Games of Wonder seems epically suited to the task of making board games that have high replay ability, are totally fun and are accessible enough to... Read All Great Board Games can suck you into a world where you are crawling through the darkest dungeon to running a small empire. Many people expect board games to be fairly simplistic, one sided and often boring as they haven't been exposed to much beyond the typical department store $20 game. Some people get freaked out by some deep board game experience because of the complicated rules or length of play. I love finding board games that can provide a really great experience but be accessible by my lesser geek friends.
Games of Wonder seems epically suited to the task of making board games that have high replay ability, are totally fun and are accessible enough to interest your least gamer enthusiastic friends. One such gem they created is Small World.
Small World is a conquest game, similar to Risk in that you must fight the other players to control the world. To win the game you must pick from the different races that come up randomly, such as Amazons, Dwarves, Ghouls, Ratmen, Skeletons, Humans, Orcs, Wizards and many more. Each race is randomly paired with an ability that allows your Race a special bonus and has the extra effect of giving the game more depth. As you start your turn you decide which side of the board you enter from to control and hold territory to earn gold. The player with the most gold at the end of all the turns wins.
I like Small World because it provides a fantasy ascetic I love but isn't too nerdy to fight off my lesser geek friends. It also has accessible rules but your strategy can be fairly deep and involved. Winning at Small World isn't entirely about fighting with other players, I have seen people win by just hanging back and collecting gold while everyone else was locked in a bitter blood-feud. It's really awesome to see different strategies take hold and I appreciate how creative you can be with your game play.
If you want to see the game in action, the show Table Top with Will Weaton has a great episode featuring Small World. They miss state a rule or two, but it is a good overview of the game and how it works.