Friday, 12 February 2021

3 Boardgames with a BIGGER Brother

Sometimes a boardgame mechanic or theme is way too good to let it languish in just one game.  Here are just a few boardgames which have spawned big brothers or little brothers.

Ticket to Ride / Ticket To Ride The Card Game

Alan R Moon's classic train set collection game was released in 2004.  It is often seen as a gateway game and an introduction into the world of modern "Euro" boardgames.  

It's little brother was born 4 years later in 2008 and is a pretty neat little 4 player travel version of the original.  It does away with the board and all the little carriage meeples replacing it with the "railyard" and "on the track stack" to represent the cards you have at your disposal and those used to fulfill your route tickets.  

It's a different and faster way of playing Ticket to Ride and makes a nice change.

Ticket to Ride / Ticket to Ride The Card Game
Ticket to Ride & Ticket To Ride The Card Game

Citadels / Mission Red Planet

Bruno Faiduti really knocked it out of the park when he came up with the action drafting / variable powers mechanism for the game Citadels.  He's used it in a bunch of games since including Mission Red Planet which replaces the city building concept with area control.

These play like two very different games and there's a lot more going on in Mission Red Planet and more opportunities for Player vs Player shenanigans.  The additional secret missions aspect can lead to some surprising end games with noone really sure who's won until the final scores are tallied.

Citadels / Mission Red Planet
Citadels & Mission Red Planet

San Juan / Race for The Galaxy

Whilst some will say "Hey wait a minute! San Juan and Puerto Rico are brothers!!" and indeed that is a fair point as they are both by Andreas Seyfarth.  I think the similarities in mechanism are much greater between San Juan and Tom Lehman's Race For The Galaxy.  In fact I usually introduce people to Race for the Galaxy by first playing San Juan.

There are so many similarities; the turn order role order mechanism, the action drafting and the concept of playing cards into a tableau and paying for it with cards in your hand make these spiritual siblings.  Race for the Galaxy is one of those rare games where the expansions really take a game to the next level and don't break it.  The inclusion of missions and prestige in the 3 main expansions; The Gathering Storm, Brink of War and Rebel vs Imperium, add so many new combos and ways to win that I now only play the game with those expansions. 

IMHO Race for the Galaxy is the greatest card game ever invented as it has so much replayablility and there are so many different ways to win and strategies to adopt.  It has consistently been high on both BoardGameGeek and The Dice Tower All Time Rankings and having won numerous awards including the Golden Geek and JoTa Best Card Game in 200.  

Infact I've played over 2,000 games of the Race for the Galaxy iPad version and I'm still coming back for more.  The game is also available on Android Play Store, Steam and on BoargameArena.

San Juan / Race for the Galaxy
San Juan / Race for the Galaxy

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