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Popular Bluffing Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Bluffing mechanic.
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So two player games have mostly been played between me and my spouse, who tends to enjoy less number crunchy games. We've really enjoyed the following:

#Scrabble - recently got this at Christmas and it is so much fun, surprisingly tactical at two players. We've recently taken to picking a theme and you have to link the word to the theme in order to play it. We get fairly wacky with the justifications but that is half the fun.

#Targi - I was a little surprised with how much Maddy enjoyed this, although she is very sneaky and enjoys foiling my plans.

#13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis - one of my favourites, it has wonderful mechanics, enjoyable historical information and has a really fun balancing act and bluffing dynamic to it.

#The Fox in the Forest Duet is a really nice relaxing two player cooperative two player game, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons but with enough tension to keep it interesting

Also, cannot heap enough praise on #War of the Ring: Second Edition, it is epic and thematic and strategic and just is so worth committing an afternoon/evening to.


1. #Maracaibo - I am giving this one a slight edge over Clans for now.  I think players can leave feeling a little closer to accomplishing what they set out to do than Clans but these are very different games and so I make that conclusion loosely and tentatively.  1A and 1B might be a better way to line them up.

5. #Bag-o-loot - I actually enjoyed this with updated rules and had a good time playing but it is running a gauntlet against games that just plain outrank it.

4. #Canvas - I haven't played this one enough to know where it will actually sit in the long run but given the three games above it I feel this is a comfortably safe spot.  It's unlikely that Canvas will surpass the others.

3. #Raiders of Scythia - I like Viscounts slightly better than Raiders and I think perhaps I like Paladins better than Raiders.  The Paladin solo is the better of the three with Raiders slightly behind and Viscounts in third on that account.  Still, Maracaibo and Clan are a notch above on all accounts.

2. #Clans of Caledonia - My 1B (could be 1A).  I might rank Maracaibo higher with higher player counts and would rank Clans higher with two players.  I haven't played CLans with three or four players and so I am not sure that it wouldn't shine in a setting where neighborhood bonuses get triggered more often.

If I included online games as mentioned, I'd say Scythe and Gloomhaven would rank very high around the 1-3 range.  

Tried a few new to us games this week..

#Innovation - Sarah got this for me for my birthday/Christmas and we finally got around to playing it. I could tell she definitely was enjoying it despite me stealing her "2 good cards" and using them against her to eventually win the game. Probably have to be in a good mood to play this again with her as there's a lot of take that compared to what we're used to.

#Freedom: The Underground Railroad - A guy in my group was literally giving this away so I grabbed it from him thinking the theme would get Sarah's attention and it certainly did. We ended up winning after 6 rounds and it's good it stopped when it did because we would have run into a lot of trouble if we had to keep playing. I totally expected this to be a one and done game for us but Sarah liked it so much she requested we keep it as a game we know we won't play all the time but can break out "every other once in awhile" LOL

#Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One - Speaking of games I have because I thought Sarah would like them, I got this from my BGG Secret Santa last month. We played the first of 3 cases and I think we probably followed the wrong leads but in the end we were able to piece some of the mystery together. Because and asked to hear about how it went, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Definitely an upgrade for me from #Chronicles of Crime because it doesn't have the same time pressure (at least for me). The only thing I didn't really like about it was the questions at the end when you submit your final report - they were multiple choice and I felt we had ruled out options more than actually figuring out what actually happened in the case and we just made some educated guesses and got it mostly right. Just felt kind of off to me there but otherwise a great experience!

#Bag-o-loot - like , we playtested this one. Not something I would ever seek out on my own but I could see where it could be a hit with our families.

#The Gallerist - a friend from my group reached out to play something with me on TTS. I gave him a list of games Sarah hates and we settled on the Gallerist lol. I had to relearn the rules to make sure I didn't screw anything up and I was pretty good..just failed to mention that he couldn't place his 4th piece of art in his gallery without having a celebrity artist first. Despite his slight cheating, we ended up tying for both score and the first tiebreaker. He won on the second tiebreaker. We're getting together again to play #Darwin's Journey on Wednesday before I decide to back it. Spoiler alert I probably will anyway..lol

#Stone Age - handed myself and a pretty big loss on BGA. I'm always really terrible at going for the end of game bonuses..still a really fun game!

I've been working with the #Bag-o-loot designer and several rules have been tweaked. I'll be running it through another playtest video soon to see how the updates work out. 

Played session 7 of #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated.  I'm still enjoying the experience but the group in general has cooled on it overall.  A couple members of the group feel like they have no shot at winning and its impacting their enjoyment of the game.  I'm honestly not sure if we'll finish the game at this point. 

Played a game of #Imhotep which was fine.  Its a quick little game for what it is and can see it being a nice lunch time game and gateway style of game.  Scores ended up pretty close (37,37,35, 32) which is always a nice thing for a game.

Ended with 4 rounds of #Coup in which each of the four of us won 1 game.  Not my favorite game in the bluffing,lying, hidden roles genre of games but its hard to get upset about a game where the rounds last 5 - 7 min like most of ours did.

I had a great week! Things just worked out!

  • #Too Many Bones @ 2-players - Nugget and Gasket VS. Drellen - We made it through 9 days of the campaign and lost to Drelln on our first attempt, we took pictures and are all set to head to day 10 and fight him one last time!
  • #Dune: Imperium Solo Play - I really enjoyed this game solo. Not much thinking on the AI turn, and it allows for some anticipating while not detracting from the core of the game. I am a fan! Though I wish the box was smaller....
  • #Dead of Winter: The Long Night @ 5 players - I know I hate on this game around here a lot...and it still is not my favorite game out there. I did have more fun with it this time though. The people you play with for sure makes a huge difference in how I feel about the game. This was more fun. 
  • #Tiny Towns - @ 2 players - Finally had an opportunity to redeem myself from the one play of this I ever had. I won pretty handily and I understood the game more (I also have grown a lot as a gamer since my first play of this!)
  • #Sprawlopolis - Man I am so bad at this game...I almost never score positively! But I have a great time playing it!
  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game - solo - I took about 2 weeks to research this game and I really fell in love with it...I had some gift cards remaining from my birthday and made it happen! Played the starting scenario with Spiderman vs. Rhino and won with 1 health left! I had a blast!
  • Played a small little bluffing game called Bluffaneer, pretty fun nothing too crazy but a nice little wamr up. 
  • #Space Base @ 4-players - I really have come to enjoy this one, though the cards can be annoyingly small but the gameplay overpowers my problems with the art and components!
  • #Ride the Rails @ 4-players - This was my second Iron Rails game and I enjoyed it as well (other was Irish Gauge). Very different games and this one is probably more accessible for the non-gamer but still fun! I can see how the game has some good variability with how you invest and how you partner up! The variability definitely comes less from the board and more from human interaction.

This is not even including the online games played!! I had a good gaming week :)

I don't purchase a lot of expansions as I'd rather get new experiences than expand on the ones I already have with my limited gaming budget.

Expansions I own.  I don't regret any of these though the Legendary expansion is my least favorite of the ones listed here.

  1. #Sheriff of Nottingham: Merry Men - This adds a bunch of new modules to include with the base game and includes an extra player count which was the primary reason I picked this expansion up.  The more people around the table lying and bluffing is a great thing IMO. Fits in the Core Box.
  2. #Sushi Go!: Soy Sauce Promo, #Sushi Go Party!: Sake Promo, #Sushi Go Party!: Inari Promo, #Sushi Go Party!: Pickled Ginger Promo - I'm counting the Promo's as expansions.  More options for a great party game is always welcome.  This game is a hit with my extended family. All fit in the core tin.
  3. #Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport - Adds two new modules, though I've only ever played with the Corruption one, and an extra player count.  I really enjoy the corruption module, it opens the game up a little bit and gives you another something to track.  Each corruption you have at the end of the game is worth negative points based on how much corruption is out there.  Both the base game and expansion fit in the smaller expansion box :)
  4. #Camel Up: Supercup Expansion - Adds 4 or so modules.  Love this game and the expansion made sense especially to make the race a litle longer.  Fits in the core box
  5. #Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game - World War Hulk - Hulk is my favorite character to play in the base game so adding more Hulk made sense.  I've gotten just a couple of plays out of this expansion so far as Legendary doesn't  hit the table as often as it us to.  Fits into the core box.
  6. #Clank!: Sunken Treasures and #Clank!: The Mummy's Curse - More maps for Clank.  Clank is my favorite deckbuilder so having more maps made sense.  Love both of these expansions and they both fit in the base box.
  7. #Downforce: Danger Circuit Expansion and #Downforce: Wild Ride Expansion - similar to Clank, more maps and more powers to add variety to the game. I've gotten a ton of plays and excitement from both of these expansions.  Both fit in the core box :)
  8. #Kingdomino: Age of Giants - Adds additional scoring options and provides a score sheet which is nice.  Doesn't change the base game a lot but freshens up a game that was getting a little stale.  The base and expansion fit in the smaller expansion box. 

Not sure I have any expansions for games that I'm going to avoid. 

Potential future expansions include:

  1. #Flamme Rouge: Peloton and/or #Flamme Rouge: Meteo
  2. #Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears
  3. #Bohnanza: Ladies & Gangsters Expansion - probably the least likely expansion I'd pick up as I love the base game and don't play with all of the beans in the game as it is so plenty of replayability left.
  4. #7 Wonders: Leaders, #7 Wonders: Wonder Pack, #7 Wonders: Cities, #7 Wonders: Babel, #7 Wonders: Armada
  5. #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion
  6. #Carcassonne: Expansion 6 - Count, King & Robber, #Carcassonne: Expansion 2 - Traders & Builders are probably the two I'd most likely consider but the base game doesn't get a ton of play anymore so not likely to purchase.

Just the sheer amount of games makes me happy that I wasn't the only one to get that many games in a month lol. Granted my crazy month was December..not so much January. That being said, I did get a few games in January

#Caverna: The Cave Farmers - picked this one up on Amazon after finagling a few (more than a few lol) gift cards. Really enjoyed my first play so much, I'm thinking about grabbing #Caverna: The Forgotten Folk Expansion

#Bag-o-loot - Guess you could call this an addition since it is in my house lol. Got this for free for agreeing to playtest it.

#Cat Lady: Premium Edition - I got the expansion on a GameNerdz deal of the day (more on that in a moment) so I obviously needed to get the base game..

#Glen More II: Chronicles - I really wanted to play Cat Lady with my cousins and couldn't wait for the months it may have taken to get said expansion, so I threw on a couple of games to my hold to get the free shipping threshhold. Technically this is a pick up from my giveaway win here in December

#Exit: The Game - The Sunken Treasure - See above

#Brass: Birmingham - Also got this on a DOTD from GameNerdz. Don't have it in my possession yet but I am real excited to play it..might take a couple months

#Hansa Teutonica: Big Box - Miniature Market totally got me on a sale combined with a "we miss you here's $5 off email." Like Brass, this is just currently sitting on hold waiting for free shipping to be met.

#Brass: Birmingham - last night with three friends.  I greatly enjoyed playing this and look forward to playing again already.  While the rules have some nuances that feel finicky, I believe they are historically based.  The player interactions and puzzliness of determining which cards to keep, which to play, what to build, and where are all fascinating.  

#Mountain Goats - played a friends copy.  Goats meets #Yahtzee...sort of, but generally more fun because there are goats.

#Bag-o-loot - play-tested the 10th Anniversary edition.  Family was 'meh' on it but we learned we played it incorrectly and will have to run it again.

#Wingspan - got a play in on our weekend camping trip.  Managed to squeak out a rare win on Becky 109-102.

Nifty list! Even a few games I haven’t heard of. Pre-Covid, my wife’s family would participate in a white elephant/Yankee swap in which we would always throw in a small game. Here is short list of games we’ve gifted in the past that should fit in a sock.

#Sushi Go!: Very simplistic drafting and set collecting game that works well with all ages. The artwork may inspire nightmares as the food stuffs are rendered anime style with slightly creepy faces. If more variety desired, go with #Sushi Go Party!, but be warned it comes in a tin that will stretch that sock.

#Parade: Such a neat little game. Basically players add cards to a line (5 suits with values ranging from 0-9) and depending on what they add to the line they may have to take cards from said line and placed in front of the player. The interesting thing about scoring is the player with the majority of a specific suit only counts the number of cards rather than the face value of the cards. Lowest score wins.

#Cockroach Poker: the most pure bluffing game that I can think of. This is another odd one as everyone wins aside from a single loser.

#Biblios: This is like two games in one box. First part is a draft of sorts where a card can either go in front of the start player, in front of an opponent, or in the auction pile for the second part of the game.

#Archaeology: The New Expedition: We gifted the older Z-man version (#Archaeology: The Card Game), but this newer version adds a little more variety via monuments.

#Claim: mentioned the tiny epic games, here is another one from the same designer. Claim is trick taking game that work well with two (which was a shock to me). Each suit or in this case race is unique and this does take a few plays to figure out, but its worth it. Also, there are plenty of little expansions (and a standalone) available for this as well to increase variety.

#Fleet: Another odd one. Mix multi-use cards, auctions, and tableau building with the veneer of that deadest catch TV show (is that still on?) and you get this game. Will note that I refuse to play without the #Fleet: Arctic Bounty Expansion as it has those neat “going fishing cards” that really help those turns when you either can’t or don’t want to buy a new license. Also crab meeples. CRAB MEEPLES!!!

#Hanamikoji: I’ve heard this described as I pick you choose. What’s neat about this is it is both thought provoking and short. I think it was the last game we played where I was beaten in the first round.

#Port Royal: Basically building a tableau of sorts while pressing your luck with pirates.

#Agricola (Revised Edition) - I played it once and felt like my hands were tied behind my back while trying to stay afloat while drifting downstream.  I did not enjoy the feeling and have no interest in trying it again.

#Liars Dice (30th Anniversary Edition) - I don't like pure bluffing games in general, but this one really bores me to tears.  If I just play the mathematical odds I either win or come in second.  At this point I would rather sit this game out than ever play it again.

#Catan - I don't like the trading in this game.  I suspect I would enjoy this more if the trading was a set ratio, but the open negotiations of trading X sheep for Y wood really gets old for me.

#7 Wonders - I just find this one very dry.  The game is fine but the theme doesn't draw me in at all.

It was really a process, more than one game. As a kid and a teenager I got a bit into YuGiOh, which helped me learn about local game stores, competitive game scenes, and start appreciating games as a more fulfilling hobby, but a wonky metagame and the awful collectible model pushed me away. I eventually discovered The Resistance: Avalon later, which blew me away and saw so much play, but didn't really inspire me to push further just yet. Really, it was everything I wanted out of a social/bluffing game, so I didn't feel pressed to seek out more like it.

Years later, I got tired of playing Hearthstone on my PC, but wanted something I could play with my friends that gave me the feeling of Arena mode. I discovered drafting games. After a lot of articles and videos (Shut Up & Sit Down's glowing review especially), Inis was the one that spoke to me, and it really set the fire by introducing me to designer strategy games, which was the nail in the coffin for me. I had a BGG account within a year of buying Inis.

1. I am still fairly new to gaming (around 2 years?) and would love to try it

2. I would love to be able to buy an expensive game, like On Mars or Xia

3. I love exploring new games! The only mechanics I haven't enjoyed as much yet are bidding and bluffing (if that is main focus of game, like Sheriff of Nottingham), but still depends on the game

Just thought of one more.

We always do 1 more round than suggested with #Sheriff of Nottingham.  The game feels too short otherwise and with only 2 rounds its really hard to set up a bluffing strategy.