I enjoy board games as much as anybody and I found one on Steam that is downright *AMAZING*. It’s called “Gremlins, Inc”.
The setting is in a dystopian world where Gremlins vie with each other for all sorts of resources. Fight with each other over who is going to get elected mayor. Fight with each other over who is going to get arrested and spend time in jail. Fight with each other over who will get to go to the casino, or the bank, or the office, or the plant, or the dump. (Or the inferno. Or the astral plane.)
Watch out, every ability that you have to stab someone else in the back is one that they also have at their fingertips. So stab them in the back first! (Oh, but if you’re stabbing, you’re not exactly gathering the resources you’ll need to win.)
The mechanics are somewhat simple. You get dealt a hand of six cards. Each of the six cards has the face of a six-sided die on it and you can exchange any one of these cards to move the number of spaces on the face of the die (as soon as you get rid of a card, you get a new one so you’ll *NEVER* have fewer than six cards in your hand). Then you move on the board until you get to the space you land on (there are forks so you can pick and choose which way you’ll want to go). Then, if you have a card that can be played on that space, you can play it… assuming you meet the pre-requisites (some cards require gold to spend, some cards require that you give up votes for the upcoming election, so on and so forth). Then it goes around.
If you land on a space with your opponent on it (or he lands on your space), you have a bidding war to see which of you goes to jail (so don’t be the guy with 23 gold when the guy with 625 gold lands on your space! (Or vice-versa) He’ll bid 24 and you’ll be off to jail!).
It’s, seriously, so much freakin’ fun. I wouldn’t want to play it against humans unless they were humans I knew *VERY* well (because it’s so cutthroat it’s bound to cause hard feelings) but playing it against the AI is an absolute blast.
Except, of course, when you spend 10 turns in a row in jail because they keep stabbing you in the back. That part can stink. (It feels good when you send *THEM* to jail, though.)
Seriously, check it out the next time it goes on sale if you enjoy board game mechanics. This is one of the board games that would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too complex to play IRL because there are too many little things to keep track of but is absolutely perfect for your desktop.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))