back to article Cylon is golden: Backstabbing bank holiday board games

The Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, so why not prepare for a wet weekend, as is the tradition, and go in search of some backstabbing board games? These games can involve working co-operatively with my fellow players, which can be rewarding, but you can always change your mind and there’s nothing like sadistic satisfaction of …

  1. Tomislav

    Saboteur 2 does exist, but I would rather call these two party games, not backstabbing. Try Shadows over Camelot. :)

    1. Graham Marsden


      The problem with Shadows over Camelot is that you really have to have each player doing just one quest for most of the game to have a chance of winning and, frankly, that gets a bit tedious after a while.

      Not only that, but you need to "game" the system such that, eg on the quests for the Grail and Excalibur, you don't actually complete them, just ensure that they don't fail because otherwise you end up with them just chucking up loads of catapaults which will inevitably wipe out Camelot.

      As such, it's often very difficult to succeed as the Traitor because if you don't play this way, it rapidly becomes obvious who you are.

      It's a shame, because apart from this it's a quite a good game.

      1. Tomislav

        @Graham Marsden

        True, Shadows over Camelot can get a bit tedious after a while and working as a traitor is complicated but with just a bit of luck you can make Camelot go down in flames. :)

        There was a game I played but not really liked that was very paranoia inducing - Panic Station. Some might like it. :)

        1. Graham Marsden

          Re: @Graham Marsden

          The problem with Panic Station is the ridiculous mechanic where you have two characters which can be in different locations, but which are clearly Quantum Entangled because they *both* end up getting affected by the same event!

  2. havancourt

    Another old board game, not around except at places like ebay is Lie, Cheat and Steal. The game of political power. A fun and cynical afternoon.

  3. auburnman

    "Battlestar Galactica .... The rules are simple"

    This is absolute bullshit don't believe it. It's an entertaining game once you understand the rules but if you do play it go in with the understanding that there are literally 7 or 8 different card decks that are poorly labeled and you need to constantly reference the rules to look up the military hierarchy, the political hierarchy and what the NPC's do at specific points in the turn depending on the level of Cylon presence.

  4. graeme leggett

    Armada - how much?

    100 USD for the game I can go with but 50 USD to add another Star Destroyer.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck me:

    I remember when scrabble was £2.99, monopoly also.

    £50 for some cut out cardboard?

    I'll pass thanks.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Fuck me:

      You obviously have no idea about board game design these days.

      Games like these will often be several *years* in the making as they are designed, revised, play tested, revised again, re-play tested, modified to improve the balance, blind play tested, revised again to clarify the rules or fix problems that experienced players didn't encounter but newbies did because it wasn't obvious that you could do X or you couldn't do Y...

      Then there's the cost of artwork, printing, rulebooks etc etc.

      And once you've actually *produced* the game, there's no guarantee it will sell, so for every Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne or Splendor, there are ten others which didn't make the grade, but you have still forked out all that money to make them...

      1. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Fuck me:

        He's also making the mistake of comparing scrabble and monopoly with BSG, SoC and other similar level of games. Thats like saying the egg and spoon race is a race, so its the same as the olympics.


    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Fuck me:

      There's this thing called inflation, you might have heard of it? A copy of Scrabble will cost you £20 now.

  6. x 7

    Board games are so 19th Century. Totally boring

    1. Graham Marsden

      Totally boring?

      Yes, because sitting on your own in front of a computer talking to others via a headset is *so* much more sociable than meeting up with a few mates and enjoying a game *with* other people...

      1. x 7

        Re: Totally boring?

        "sitting on your own in front of a computer talking to others via a headset"

        yep thats probably boring as well. Never tried it myself

        1. Graham Marsden

          Re: Totally boring?

          So what board games *have* you tried? Amazingly enough there are more games than Monopoly, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit out there these days.

          Find out if there's a local board games club and go along and try a few, you might find they're a lot more entertaining than you think.

          1. x 7

            Re: Totally boring?

            no thanks

            I'll stick to the pub - far better conversation there. If I want to play a game there then I've the option of real games such as chess or crib. Or shove ha'ppeny. Traditional real mens games. Not namby pamby games for victorian schoolgirls

            1. Graham Marsden

              Re: Totally boring?

              > real games such as chess or crib. Or shove ha'ppeny.

              "According to John Aubrey, cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century, as a derivation of the game "noddy""

              "Shove ha'penny (or shove halfpenny), also known in ancestral form as shoffe-grote ['shove-groat' in Modern English]"

              And "Chess is believed to have originated in Eastern India, c. 280 – 550 CE in the Gupta Empire,"

              - All from Wikipedia

              And you think *board games* are "so 19th Century"?

              1. x 7

                Re: Totally boring?

                yes - a 19th century fad for girly victorians who couldn't indulge in real games because their corsets were too tight.

                Those three games you've found the origins of, are all older traditional real games with a bit of tradition and excitement behind them. Play them with real history at your shoulder

                1. Graham Marsden

                  Re: Totally boring?

                  x 7, I can't decide if you're just a sad troll or whether you're really that stupidly ignorant.

                  Modern board games are part of a tradition that dates back over three and a half thousand years. Some concepts in games may be new, but many (if not most) others are based on ancient types of games and if you'd actually bother to try looking at them instead of indulging in pathetic sneering, you would realise this.

                  FYI there are generally six types: Race games, War Games, Games of Position, Mancala Games, Calculation Games and Dice Games. If I wanted to waste my time in trying to educate you, I could find both ancient and modern examples of all those games, all of which you could play "with real history at your shoulder", but I'm sure you'd just find a way of trying to dodge the issue or weasel your way out of it.

                  As I've discovered in gaming, sometimes it's just not worth bothering to play with certain people, so please feel free to declare victory and go on enjoying your narrow little range of games whilst I, and everyone else, enjoy the vast universe of games which are out there.

                  1. x 7

                    Re: Totally boring?

                    If you're looking for trolls you really ought to be playing a game which involves building bridges. You might find some then (and win)

                    I'm a bit worried about some of your game definitions though - "Game of Position" - is that something to do with the Karma Sutra?

                    1. Graham Marsden

                      Re: Totally boring?

                      Sorry, x 7 I'm just going to have to trit-trot along.

                      Enjoy your "victory".

                      1. x 7

                        Re: Totally boring?

                        "I'm just going to have to trit-trot along"

                        Spoken like a real billy goat gruff. Was one of those board games something to do with farms? Or fairy stories?

                        1. Bernard M. Orwell

                          Re: Totally boring?

                          I think you can stop trolling him now, X7.

            2. Jedit

              "I'll stick to the pub - far better conversation there"

              My group meets in the pub, so we get the best of both worlds - assuming we don't run into any idiots like you, that is.

              I'm not really a fan of the games on this list. Game of Thrones strictly needs six, BSG takes way too long for what it is, Saboteur is plain dull and anyone who recommends Munchkin to anyone ought to be shot. My go-to list is:

              Kemet - an area control game with all the viciousness of GOT in less than half the time, and it scales. Viticulture - a worker placement game about running a vineyard in Italy. Very smooth, easy for beginners to pick up despite having a fair few elements.

              One Night Ultimate Werewolf - a social traitor game that plays in 15 minutes.

              Hyperborea - a 4X game where you build an engine by buying cubes that let you perform different actions, angling towards three different victory conditions.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Munchkins - Thumbs Up

    Read this article Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening went to a get together at a mates place and ended up playing games. The rules of the first one were being explained and I thought, "this sounds very familiar" - turns out it was Munchkins.

    Good fun and to be recommended. Reminds me of a sort of "Talisman Lite".

  8. Elmer Phud


    Nowt quite like a game of Family Business to wind people up.

    When it's possible to deliberately bypass one player for the entire game AND they keep having people die off, expect some very fruity language.

  9. Vic

    If you're looking for a pub game,

    Try this - NSFW!

    Disclosure: I used to work with the bloke who made it.


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Cylon Correction

    >If I play Gaius Baltar ..... well known Cylon characters from the television show.

    Baltar's not a Cylon, he just falls for one (or two. Possibly three...)

    1. Vic

      Re: Cylon Correction

      Baltar's not a Cylon, he just falls for one

      Six, hactually...


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