Top Ten Board Games for Beginners

Listed, in no particular order are what we consider the best top ten board games for a new gamer to buy. Each of these board games are easy to learn, fun to play and are some of our most popular purchases. Excluded are classic board games such as Risk and Monopoly and party games like Apples to Apples to introduce new and exciting strategy games.


Settlers of Catan 1. Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan is the game that started the 'German invasion' with award winning game play and a constantly changing board. Players strive to develop the newly found continent of Catan, building roads, settlements and cities while fighting off the predations of the thief with knights at the same time. A fun combination of strategy in settlement placement and development and luck with resources being created by the roll of a dice, Settlers of Catan has great replayability. And to add further spice to the game, multiple Settlers of Catan expansions have been released.

Settlers of Catan (4th Edition)



Ticket to Ride 2. Ticket to Ride
A game that can be learnt in minutes, Ticket to Ride takes much longer to master. The goal of the game is to build and control railway routes across North America. The tension and fun in the game comes from the need to balance greed - drawing more cards to develop railways - with fear as competitors claim routes. As an added twist, Destination Tickets to new cities provide more points to players, adding complexity. Often considered a 'gateway board game', Ticket to Ride is simple to learn but provides a high level of tension and action for new players.

Ticket to Ride



Carcassonne 3. Carcassonne
One of the most popular board games, Carcassonne has a wide variety of expansions that add to the basic game, providing even more fun down the road. Carcassonne's main mechanic is the drawing and placement of the tiles that will make up the game board. Each tile represents a unique opportunity to take control of a new land feature which include roads, cities and farms to gain victory points. As points are only counted when a feature is completed (or in the farmer's case, when the game is over) players must balance long-term goals with short-term gains. Like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne is highly replayable as each tile is drawn randomly, forcing new strategies on players each game. Less competitive than Settlers, Carcassonne is often considered the better gateway game.

Carcassonne



Dominion 4. Dominion
Dominion is the first, most popular deck-building card game and it created an entire new sub-genre of board games with its introduction. It's simple to learn, easy to teach and has a ton of replay value in the base game, never mind its numerous expansions. Dominion's very much an engine-building game, where players all start with the same deck of cards and 'purchase' additional cards through the game, strenghtening their deck as they play. Games among experienced flow fast, with a single game finishing in as little as 15 minutes. Dominion


Stone Age 5. Stone Age
Stone Age is an easy to learn, fast playing worker placement board game that lasts an hour to an hour and a half. Players control a tribe of Stone Age members attempting to survive the harsh environment, having to spend time developing tools, learning agriculture and hunting for food and resources to be the most succesful tribe in the region. A low conflict, high strategy game, Stone Age has a ton of replay value but only fits a maximum of four (4) players.

Stone Age



Tsuro 6. Tsuro
Tsuro is an abstract strategy game where your goal is to keep your token on the board as long as you can. Each turn, you place a turn on the board which dictates where your piece will move to, but another player's tile might dictate where you move to too, so choices gets tougher each turn. This is a fun, easy to play game that expands to 8 players easily, which makes it a great board game for any collection.

Tsuro



Mascarade 7. Mascarade
Like our previous game in this spot, Citadels was designed by Bruno Cathali. Mascarde's a streamlined version of Citadels, taking out the slow city building process of the game and keeping the fun, challenging strategic role choice and guessing elements. Mascarade is the perfect game for players looking for a portable card game that can be expanded to large parties and is easy to teach.

Mascarade



Kingsburg 8. Kingsburg
Kingsburg combines the very familiar dice mechanic with a worker placement and development theme to create a fun, exciting blend of a board game. In Kingsburg, players attempt to influence various political powers in the Kings court to their benefit, but can only do so using the dice and numbers they have rolled. These political figures will provide the players the resources and soldiers to develop their individual provinces to create wealth and prosperity and safety against the marauding hordes. With five (5) development tracks available for each province and 18 political figures including the King and Assasin to influence, Kingsburg combines a number of great mechanics in an enjoyable 90 minutes to 2 hour game for 3 to 5 players.

Kingsburg



Sushi Go 9. Sushi Go
Sushi Go is a card-drafting card game combined with a set collection mechanic. Put another way, in Sushi Go! players are at a sushi restaurant and are attempting to grab their favorite types of sushi or sashimi as they whiz pass in an attempt to have the nicest meal. Are you able to grab your favorites fast enough?

Sushi Go!



Takenoko 10. Takenoko
Panda's and gardening are what Takenoko's all about. You're the master gardener, desperate to win the favour of the Emperor but must contend with weather, a hungry Panada and an irate gardener in an attempt to match the Emperor's latest whim. Can you design the garden to his specifications? Takenoko's a fun, family friendly game.

Takenoko