Tabletop Tuesday: Ten Games for New Year’s Eve

Another one bites the dust! A brand new year is about to hit and you’re sending off the highs and lows of 2015. The party starts at eight (or earlier), but there’s still a few hours left to kill. What is an aspiring host to do with a bunch of drunk folk? Pfft! That’s simple. Get them playing games! Here’s a list of 10 games to crack open come New Year’s Eve. Seeing as how my fellow writer, Arlene, has her own list, I’ll hold off on copying any of hers and add my own to the list. Some I’ve talked about before. Others I haven’t. Let’s do this:

10. Smash-Up: I can see this being tough to play with a lot of people but if you can track down a few of your fellow nerds, get them to sit down and play Smash-Up. You pick two factions at random and smash them together to make a deck. Afterward, you duke it out with your friends to see who can reach the target point score the first by trying to take over various base cards. Each faction is different so it’s up to the player to figure out how they mesh, so that you can take home the prize! Want to add a little extra fun beyond that? Make up awesome names for the decks. Zombies + Pirates? Easy. Pirates of the Caribbean. Ghosts + Steampunk? Ghost in the Machine deck!

9. Sheriff of Nottingham: I’ve talked about Sheriff of Nottigham before. I’ve done a full article as a matter of fact. Here’s the elevator pitch for those too drunk to pay much attention: Everybody’s trying to smuggle goods in to town to help Robin Hood. Players take turns being the Sheriff and try to catch the others who have to bluff and bribe their way to victory. The game is fun and, let’s face it, bluffing your friends is fun as well.

8. Dread: Dread is a roleplaying game with a twist. Instead of traditional character sheets and dice, you have a couple of questions that describe your character’s fears and desires and a Jenga tower. Yes, that’s right. That terrible night you let your friends down at Jenga has come back to haunt you. This time, if you fail to pull the block and you knock the tower over, your character is done for. How dreadful!

7. Sushi Go: This fast-paced card-drafting game personifies simplicity at its finest. Pick a card and pass the others along until there’s no more cards to pass. Matching certain cards gives you points. Toss wasabi in with two sashimi cards and boom! Watch your points multiply. At the end of three rounds, the person with the most points wins. Done and done!

6. Pandemic: There’s an outbreak of diseases across the world and the players are agents of the CDC sent to sort it out. There are so many variations of this game out now that there’s liable to be a version for you, but even the vanilla gameplay of the original Pandemic can still entertain for hours.

5. Villainy: Forget superheroes! Let’s be the supervillian! Assemble your minions, perpetrate a variety of increasingly dastardly crimes, and ultimately come face-to-face with the superhero, Fantastiman, himself. It’s all good fun and sometimes can bog down after a while, but if you’re just playing it the once with friends at a NYE party, then you’re golden!

4. King of Tokyo: You and up to six players play as a kaiju monster bent on destroying Tokyo. Need I say more?

3. Accentuate: You have a phrase you have to say. Now you have to say it in a Japanese accent. Nope, now you have to recite a tongue twister in a faux German accent. It’s New Year’s Eve. You’ve been drinking. This is going to be good. Remember to upload the videos please.

2. The Resistance: I talked about bluffing games before and this is my all-time favorite. The players are agents of the Resistance fighting back against corrupt corporations who have sent their own agents to infiltrate the Resistance. This means some of the friends you have playing with you will be lying through their teeth and you won’t know who they are. You have five missions to complete. Assemble a team of loyal Resistance agents, go on the mission, and pray the team leader chose wisely. One wrong move and the Corporations win.

1. Dungeon Fighter: This game is probably going to get someone hurt. Don’t ask me why. There’s a dungeon you’re going through as a party and you have dice that you have to roll on a bullseye-like target board in order to deal damage to monsters. The problem comes when you have to roll the dice a certain way. Eyes closed and behind your back. Roll it off of your nose. Toss it at the board from across the room. Fail the land the die on the board of fail to deal enough damage when you do and fail to beat the monster you were fighting. I play this game sober quite often and I have no idea what I’d do if I’d been drinking.

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