Simon Willison’s Weblog

What are some great board games to play for 3 or more people?

My answer to What are some great board games to play for 3 or more people? on Quora

I suggest looking in to German-style board games. They tend to be quick to learn and extremely well balanced but with a great deal of strategic depth once you get in to them, and they also have running times in the order of 45 minutes to an hour and a half. They’re ideal for games nights, especially if you might be playing with people who think they don’t like board games.

Contrast this with Monopoly, which is horribly unbalanced (people who do well at the start tend to pull ahead and stay ahead) and can end up taking hours to complete.

Three of my favourites are:

  • The Settlers of Catan—probably the most famous game in this category. It’s a delightful strategic trading game for 3-4 players (up to six players with an expansion pack) which never ceases to delight people I introduce to it.
  • Carcassonne—a tile-based game for 2-5 players (up to six with an expansion). Again, very quick for new players to pick up. It also has a flawless iPhone/iPad port which is a great way to try the game out before getting the physical board game.
  • Ticket to Ride—a railway themed German-style board game for 2-5 players. I like the European map edition.

There are plenty of other excellent German-style games, but the above are three of the most popular and instantly accessible.