Vintage Board Games – The Cult of the Old

It seems like everyone these days is concentrating on “the cult of the new” where board games are concerned. We are guilty of doing the same thing, come to that, but we do not want to ignore games that are older. Defining “old” in board game terms is hard to do and feels very arbitrary. Hold old is “old”?

For our purposes, we are going to declare any game published in the United States before or during 2017 to be “old”. Games published elsewhere but not brought over to the U.S. until recently will not count as old for our purposes so Kashgar, for example, will count as a recent game because, although it was published in Germany in 2013, it was not published in the U.S. until this year.

So here are our recently played “vintage” board games . . .

7 Wonders7 Wonders Cover

7 Wonders was published in 2010 by Repos Production. The game was designed by French designer Antoine Bauza with artwork provided by both Mr Bauza and Miguel Coimbra. The game has spawned multiple expansions and a completely separate 2-player only game, 7 Wonders Duel, which we have not played. 7 Wonders is a terrific civilization building, card drafting game in which players are trying to compete with the other civilizations being built in military, science, and commerce in order to make their civilization the best.

We own the base game along with the expansions, 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack, which adds more wonders to the game, and 7 Wonders: Leaders, which adds as you might expect, leaders to the game. 7 Wonders leaders initially came with 36 leaders added to the game, but recently an anniversary pack came out that added even more leaders to the game – and all of these new leaders are women. We love that about this new to us expansion, which we just played for the first time recently.

We realize that a lot of people disparage the two-player game of 7 Wonders, but we will respectfully disagree with that opinion. The 2-player game is essentially a 3-player game except that one of the players is a “dummy” civilization controlled by the players. The strategy that is involved when it is your turn to decide what you are going to give the dummy player and thus not give to either your opponent or keep for yourself can make some of those decisions agonizing, especially as the game progresses. We love it!

Legendary: Buffy the Vampire SlayerBuffy Cover

Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was published in 2017, and just sneaks into our definition of “old” for this list, although the game that it is based upon, Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game was originally published in 2012. Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was published by Upper Deck Entertainment. The game was designed by Travis R. Chance and Nick Little. The artwork is screen shots taken from the television show.

As mentioned earlier, Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is based on the mechanics introduced by Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game. The theme is changed, but the mechanics are pretty much the same with one notable exception and that exception makes the game for us. That notable mechanic change is the introduction of the light/dark track. The push-pull of the light and the dark goes on the entire game as the players try to keep the track in the light so that the villain and his henchman do not gain even more power as they try to overtake Sunnydale.

Stasia has never seen a single episode of the television series, so that theme is meaningless to her, but the game still works due to the introduction of that light/dark track. The hero characters all seem to be well-balanced and the set up variability of the game with different heroes, different villains and henchmen, along with different starting schemes serve to make this a really good cooperative (we never play it as a semi-cooperative game) deck building game.

Doodle QuestDoodle Quest Cover

Doodle Quest was published in 2014 by Blue Orange Games. The designers are Laurent Escoffier and David Franck. The artwork for the game is uncredited. This is a simple line-drawing game.

Doodle Quest is different from the other games on our list in that it can be played with children as young as 6. The game is really silly and one that we enjoy due to its silliness. In the game, players are given an acetate sheet, a dry erase marker and some stencils. They are trying to draw lines on their individual sheets that line up with whatever the task that the quest sheet requires.

We often play this game for our Family Game Night. We all enjoy seeing how far off the mark we go with our drawings. Will someone get that extra point for hitting a starfish? Has someone scored no points at all? The game is just silly fun. It does include easier quest sheets – each of the 18 quest sheets is double-sided – making this a very good family game for children of all ages.

Grand Austria HotelGAH Cover

Grand Austria Hotel was published in 2015 by Lookout Games. The games’ designers are Virginio Gigli and Simone Luciani. The artwork for the game was provided by Klemens Franz. This game is an economic strategy game in which players are trying to make their respective hotels the most prosperous by using actions based on the dice that are rolled.

We were first introduced to this game by a friend of ours at one of the annual Dicee Tower Conventions held Orlando, Florida, although this is another game that I spotted on Rahdo’s channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgU0waJXFog) and thus was already interested in. However, once we actually played it, we knew it was a game for us.

The game is one of those that brings Ameritrash elements into it through the use of dice. It used to be that Euro games never had dice in them, but we appreciate the introduction of dice into euro games and the way designers have found to use those dice. In this game, the players roll the dice and then have to choose, based on what dice are rolled, how to implement the dice to their best advantage. The game features a number of ways to score including scoring game ending bonuses, bonuses from the help that you hire for your hotel, points based on your progress on the Emperor track. There is much to love in this great Euro game.

Did we mention that this game got the bling treatment? Check out the custom tokens below!

GAH Tokens

Old Does Not Mean Bad

Just because a game is not cult of the new does not mean it is a bad game. We hope that these looks back into “vintage” board games helps reacquaint both us and you as to just how good older games can be.  For these and thousands of other games, be sure and check out Boardgame Geek (www.boardgamegeek.com).  Thanks for reading and commenting!

8 Replies to “Vintage Board Games – The Cult of the Old”

  1. Hi!
    Thank you for this interesting list of board games.
    I don’t think I’ve heard any of them from anyone yet.
    I might just try “Doodle Quest” and “Grand Austria Hotel” for our game night with our friends. We usually have one every two weeks and we are always up for trying new games!
    I like how you credited the artists and the makers too. Give credit where credit is due. I think that’s awesome.

    Keep it coming!

    Hope to see more lists of board games from you guys!

    Reply
    1. admin

      I am a firm believer in the giving credit where credit is due department! The people who design and illustrate games deserve it too, IMHO. Board game designers often spend years designing a game.

      Doodle Quest and Grand Austria Hotel are at opposite ends of the board gaming spectrum. I hope you and your group enjoy them both, although I am fairly sure that Grand Austria Hotel is out of print at the moment.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Stasia

      Reply
  2. Kathy

    Did you forget to put in the ”bling” picture for GAH? I want to see the bling! I haven’t played this one in awhile, but now, of course, I want to!

    We just played Sanssouci today; it’s probably been a year! It’s a favorite, too.

    Reply
    1. admin

      Kathy,

      The blinged out components in the Grand Austria Hotel picture are the realistic looking resource tokens. In the game as shipped, they are just different colored cubes.

      Sanssouci is a favorite around these parts too. Beth and I need to get it back to the table again soon! Thanks for the reminder.

      Stasia

      Reply
  3. Hi,

    We (my wife and me) recently tried to play vintage games with our children. And guess what – they loved it. Especially Monopoly and Trivial Persuit.
    Though I don’t know the games you mentioned but we’ll try the “Austrian Grand Hotel” bcs. I didn’t know there is a game about our country out there 🙂

    Best Regards,
    George

    Reply
    1. admin

      Thanks for the comment, George. I am not sure if Grand Austria Hotel is still in print. It may be still in print in Europe though. Unfortunately, I have no way of checking that. I hope you do find a copy! I really like the game although I must mention that it is a deeper game than both Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.

      I am not sure of the ages of your children, but you might checking out the Haba line of games if they are still pre-teens. Haba (a German company) deals almost exclusively in children and family games.

      Stasia

      Reply
  4. Hi,
    When I was a child I loved playing board games with my family. Thank you for showing some new games, I will give it a try.
    I‘m sure my family would like to play new games.
    Can’t wait to read your next post.

    Reply
    1. admin

      I am always happy to hear of someone else who enjoys games. I do hope you give some of them a try!

      Stasia

      Reply

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