How to build an amazing board game collection for $10!

bananas and fascists and farkles and feelings and mutants and jellies and MORE
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Quinns: Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary folks, and anyone else who's left a comment over the last six years along the lines of "ARRRGH STOP MAKING ME SPEND MONEY." Today, SU&SD amends for its capitalist crimes.

We talk a lot on this site about how we want board games to be "for everyone", but to an awful lot of people the games we recommend are prohibitively expensive. That said, putting together an amazing board game collection can be cheap. Below, we've assembled a list of the very best games that could collectively cost you less than ten bucks, depending on your situation.

This isn't some unsatisfying sampler platter. What lurks below is a moveable feast of some of the greatest games ever made. Were you to gather all of these games, I'd prefer your collection to ones I've seen costing $1000.

If you approve of this feature, please do share it far and wide! It represents a lot of work for both Team SU&SD and our donors, who we bothered about cheap games we might have missed (special thanks to subscribers Amanda and Jeff, who were especially great).

Let's get started.


Games News! 10/07/2017

a terrier in a tarpit, keiko's bowels, bitch planet, escaping a octopus
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Quinns: Paul have you had enough of game of thrones yet

Paul: The honest, complex and difficult answer to that question is both yes and no.

Quinns: Paul would you like another game of thrones board game

Paul: no

Quinns: Terrific because here comes A Game of Thrones Catan Brotherhood of the Watch!

Paul: I’m glad they picked a name that rolls off the tongue.


Review: Near and Far

vignetting, the rubbiest rub, the docked wagging tail of a small dog
Paul has been hankering to try Ryan Laukat’s Near and Far for over a year now, but being a Kickstarter release, all the world’s copies only went out to backers, right? Wrong!

Hearing that this game of epic adventure and dangerous expeditions was now out in the wild, you can bet that Paul unwrapped his copy faster than you can say “You can have a dog in your party.” He’s been journeying high and low ever since. So what does he think?


RPG Review: Lady Blackbird

wrg snargles, top fruit, pints of cream, juicy specificities
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Cynthia: Everyone, I have a little secret that I want to share with you. Ok. Maybe it's a decently-sized secret. Maybe it's not that secret at all. MAYBE it will change your tabletop gaming life.

DON'T TELL ANYONE, but some of the best roleplaying games out there are not available at your local retailer. Thanks to the magic of the internet, they're completely free.

These irresistible blossoms of RPGs can suddenly appear on Twitter or Reddit only to vanish within a few days. Sometimes they'll quietly bloom on a designer's Tumblr or publisher's homepage. A few older ones thrive quietly in the dark places of the internet to be occasionally plucked by some intrepid RPG gatherer who brings them back into the light. There's even a contest-fed bouquet of 200-word RPGs out there, as Quinns and Paul mentioned in a recent edition of Games News. The brightest flower of all these lovely free RPGs, however, is Lady Blackbird.


Podcast #62: Bruises in Bruges

the ghost axis, anti-riot acrobats, it's all fun and games until someone is dead
OH MY GOODNESS our 62nd podcast ever is here! This episode is all about older games, so why not join Paul, Matt and Quinns as they creep across the board game scene like a pack of daring botanists through primeval jungle, jealously cataloguing and scrutinising all that they find.

Paul's been inspecting the darling buds of Bruges, a Stefan Feld classic that we're expecting a reprint of any day now. After that, Matt and Quinns continue their analysis of the bloomin' brilliant Tigris & Euphrates, chat about their time with the somewhat-toxic Zombicide: Black Plague and run through a field of Railways of the World.

Returning home after this educational hike, the boys read an email about ghosts and answer another asking why we haven't reviewed the excellent Game of Thrones: The Card Game (second edition). Finally, we discuss a folk game sent in anonymously by an ambulance crew. What could possibly go wrong?


Our Top 8 Board Games from Origins ’17!

clinical immortality, a cranky wonder, sweet sweet telenets, hot hot birbs
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Cynthia: Date: June, 2017. Subject: Origins Game Fair.

Known in the United States, at least, as Gen Con's quiet but friendly little sibling who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Also known for revealing major summer releases well in advance of Gen Con.

But what really goes on at Origins? Shut Up & Sit Down was curious, so I donned my best black hoodie and infiltrated the scene. Slipping past the bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger that guards the convention center, I entered a bustling space filled with thousands of gamers. Fortunately I seemed to blend in, and… oh, alright. It was just a great con.

Locals and industry people were open and nice, it was easy to get into events or find gaming space at the last minute and, above all, the Columbus Convention Center is a quick walk from the North Market, where there's all kinds of good, nutritious food like Vietnamese noodle bowls and donuts and gourmet ice cream.


Games News! 26/06/2017

retired canadians, packed bladders, a labour of love, yakkity snax
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Paul: For the 90% of the Earth’s population that lives in the Northern Hemisphere, we are now well into HOT SUMMER FUN. Maybe. Probably. Unless you’re somewhere that doesn’t tend to have so much HOT SUMMER FUN, like maybe Greenland or a part of Russia where there is just a yak.

Quinns: Yaks can be pretty important, you know. When I was backpacking in Tibet they were a cornerstone of agriculture. Yak dumplings. Yak-stuffed bread. Yak butter tea.

Paul: Yak butter tea. What was that like?

Quinns: Well, try to imagine what something called “yak butter tea” might taste like.

Paul: OK.

Quinns: It tasted exactly like that.

Paul: Is this yak anecdote going anywhere?

Quinns: No, I think I just slept funny

Paul: Should I get on with the news?

Quinns: NEWWWS


Review: Tigris & Euphrates

Everybody, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! We of course refer to the Annual Summer Goodtime Tile-Based Reinerstravaganza, and this year the star of the show is the new Windrider edition of Reiner’s 1997 classic, Tigris & Euphrates.

Don’t know who Reiner is? Don’t like tigers? Allergic to tiles? Well frankly, that’s just not good enough. This box is a bulwark against boredom, a titan of the table, and the new edition deserves just a little more love.


Review: Fields of Arle

Cow compression, campestral candy, for peat’s sake
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Paul: I’m not sure what it is about all this grit and graft that hooks me. Uwe Rosenberg keeps making games about hard work and manual labour and there I am again, scraping at the soil or sweating at the forge as I worry if we have enough food for the winter. My servile son shoves another horse into the stables, while my wife trudges through the fetid, bubbling peat bog that marks the edge of our land. There is so much that needs doing. Fields of Arle is the greatest farming challenge I've ever taken on and… is it weird that I relish that?

Games News! 19/06/2017

vigilante folding, quilliams for president, look at my lambs, pumped 4 gems
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Paul: Right then. That’s another whole heap of stories loaded into the Games News trebuchet and ready to be launched into the world. What do we have this time? Seems like Vikings, rampant global sickness, gem hoarding and…?

Quinns: Murder.

Paul: Oh yes. Murder. Seems there’s always a lot of murder in board games.

Quinns: Gotta give the public what they want. Shall we fire this thing, then? We should let loose the news that Fantasy Flight Games are releasing the new Whitehall Mystery, a standalone cousin to SU&SD hidden movement favourite Letters from Whitechapel.