One Against Many Games
Scotland Yard is one of my favourite games and well deserving of the 1983 Spiel des Jahres. One player takes the role of Mister X and moves, invisibly for the most part, around a map of London, while a team of detectives coordinate to try and and corner him. One against many games pit the efforts of most of the players against one single person. Recently games like Letters From Whitechapel and Fury of Dracula have executed this mechanic really well. When you’re the One against the Many it’s pretty fun to have all the inside information and try to outwit the team trying to track you down.
Auctions turn up in a lot of different games. Some times as just a part or phase in the game and sometimes as it’s main focus. Players bid on items using money, points, turn order or some other commodity. What you’re bidding on can range between spices, Pharaohs, monuments and anything else in between. Auction games can be tough the first game through. The key to success is properly assessing the value of the current auction, not only to you, but also your opponents. You may be able to drive up the price on something that you know they want, but be careful. If they drop out you may find yourself paying a lot for something of little benefit to you. Figuring out the value and flow of auction games often takes a full play.
Dexterity Games have been around for awhile. Despite their appearance on ESPN, I’d call darts and bowling Dexterity Games. You are probably more familiar with Jenga and Kerplunk. In a Dexterity Game, strategy takes a backseat to motor skills and steady hands. You’re trying to not be the one who makes the thing go BOOM! Whatever that thing is. One of the neat things about Dexterity Games is that there is a level playing field. The rules are generally pretty simple and it comes down to the execution. These games aren’t really meant to be played super seriously or as the main fare of the night. They’re fillers. But what great fun fillers they are! You never see so much anxiety, so many laughs and so many screams as when playing one. Check out Bamboleo, Riff Raff and if you can get your hands on it, Gulo Gulo.