Offbeat Internet
Treasures

Tabletop Gaming

Tabletop games are games played in a parlor setting, such as those played on a board or map, card games or card systems, miniatures played in a confined area, and paper-and-pencil role playing games. These games often require strategy, but they can also be games of luck, skill, or knowledge. Electricity is either minimal or absent.

Social Board Game Club (*.pdf)
Family Game Table Rules (*.rtf)

Fun with various Playing Card Systems (Chinese Mah-Jongg deck, French Standard deck, Italian Tarock deck, etc.)

Official Rules of Card Games (*.pdf book)
Games with Tarot Playing Cards - [see page 12] (*.pdf book)
Rook Rules (*.pdf) Tarot Minor Arcana plus one Major Arcana card
Abridged Mah Jongg Playing Card Rules (*.pdf)
Bid Grid for Contract Bridge Novices (*.pdf)
Whist Rules (*.pdf)
- Cartomancy
Useful Cartomancy Decks = [suggested public decks]
Tarot Card Divinatory Meanings = [a fully illustrated guide]

Paper & Pencil Roleplay Gaming Tools

Event Resolution Guide (*.doc)
Attack Table Sliderule (*.xls)
Saving-Throw Tables (*.xls)
Subordination Tables (*.xls)
Character Attribute Tables (*.xls)
Movement Guide (*.doc)
A Monster Description Template (*.xls)

Rulebooks from several superior Board-style Games - (portable document files)

For successful game play session, it is highly recommended that all players familiarize themselves with a games rules before their first play.
Bear in mind though that the host always has final authority on how their game is to be played (but the host is obligated to reveal any rule variations before the game commences).

Click on the game name to view the game's rulebook. Click on the box cover illustration to visit a link with reviews, photos, and details about the game.


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Multiple Players Only

A number beside the cover photo indicates a minimum multi-player count.
Games that could be successfully played by a lesser focused player, have been flagged with a greenish bar beside their icon (e.g., weight 1.69 or lower).
- If we state that a game might be attractive to players of a more well known game, we are not claiming that this game is a re-skinned clone; but rather that either the games theme, mechanics, or objectives, are broadly comparable.


3 Catan family edition ~ [ Basics | Aid ]
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3 For Sale *attractive to players of: Pit
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3 High Society
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3 Mahjong *attractive to players of: Rummikub
3 Mermaid Rain ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Afrikan Tahti
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3 Pictionary Junior
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5 The Resistance *attractive to players of: Werewolf
3 Tin Goose ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Power Grid
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3 Wings for the Baron second edition ~ [ Track | Standard | Campaign | History | Solitaire ] great war


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Better with More Players

Games that could be successfully played by a lesser focused player, have been flagged with a greenish bar beside their icon (e.g., weight 1.69 or lower).
- If we state that a game might be attractive to players of a more well known game, we are not claiming that this game is a re-skinned clone; but rather that either the games theme, mechanics, or objectives, are broadly comparable.


Animals on Board + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: cardgame Rummy
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Best Treehouse Ever
Blokus *attractive to players of: Cathedral
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Chaos *attractive to players of: Checkers
Clever Endeavor *attractive to players of: Trivial Pursuit
COIN: Cuba Libre ~ [ Playbook | Aid | Actions | Solitaire ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) cold war
Cover Me
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Ivanhoe + (Bonus: 1)
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Jamaica + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Buccaneer
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Kemet ~ [ Aid | Expansion | ExpansionAid ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: Risk
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Libertalia + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: cardgame War
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Maria ~ [ Politics | Log | Aid | Sequence ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3) *attractive to players of: Friedrich revolutionary war
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Nuclear War ~ [ Spinner | Placemat | People ]
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Payday retro edition ~ [ Chart ]
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Ratrace *attractive to players of: The Game of Life
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The Great Dinosaur Rush ~ [ Aid | Screen ] *attractive to players of: Ticket to Ride
The Grizzled ~ [ Aid ]
The Hunger Games: Training Days ~ [ Aid | Improvements ]
TriBond diamond edition *attractive to players of: Go to the Head of the Class
Trumpet *attractive to players of: cardgame Bridge
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Windup War *attractive to players of: RoboRally


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Suitable for Fewer Players

Games that could be successfully played by a lesser focused player, have been flagged with a greenish bar beside their icon (e.g., weight 1.69 or lower).
- If we state that a game might be attractive to players of a more well known game, we are not claiming that this game is a re-skinned clone; but rather that either the games theme, mechanics, or objectives, are broadly comparable.


Air Show ~ [ Aid | Sequence ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3) *attractive to players of: Masterpiece
Airlines Europe + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Acquire
Animal Upon Animal *attractive to players of: Operation
Art of Chill Game + (Bonus: 1)
Avalanche *attractive to players of: Pachinko
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Barbarossa + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Dominion
Battle Sheep *attractive to players of: Hey, That's My Fish!
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Concordia ~ [ Aid | Setup | History ] + (Bonus: 1) roman ages
Conquest of Paradise deluxe second edition ~ [ Aid | History ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3) byzantine ages
Crows + (Bonus: 1)
Cubist ~ [ Aid | Expansion ] *attractive to players of: Blueprints
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Dale of Merchants ~ [ Expansion ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Clank!
Dingo's Dreams *attractive to players of: Bingo
Double Double Dominoes
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Equate *attractive to players of: Scrabble
Evolution ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: Dominant Species
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Feng Shui Game Pack
Feudal
Freight Train + (Bonus: 1 \ 2)
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Gaslands *attractive to players of: Car Wars
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Herd Your Horses
Homestretch ~ [ Improvements ] *attractive to players of: Can't Stop
Hoot Owl Hoot! *attractive to players of: Candy Land
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Imhotep + (Bonus: 1)
Indycar Unplugged ~ [ Improvements ] *attractive to players of: Chutes and Ladders
Istanbul ~ [ Aid | Expansion ] + (Bonus: 1)
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Jump Drive ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: 7 Wonders
Junk Orbit
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Ker Plunk *attractive to players of: Jenga
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Labyrinth
Last Call- The Bartender Game
Latice deluxe edition *attractive to players of: Azul
Landlord + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Trailer Park Wars
Ligretto Dice *attractive to players of: Dutch Blitz
Luchador! second edition *attractive to players of: Yahtzee
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Management ~ [ Blurb | Log ] *attractive to players of: Brass
Memory spidersense spider-man edition *attractive to players of: Husker Du?
Mille Bornes classic edition ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2)
Mini Orchard *attractive to players of: Hi Ho! Cherry-O
Mob Town ~ [ Aid | VariantAid ] *attractive to players of: Small World
Multiplayer Pentago
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Navegador ~ [ Summary | History | Improvements ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: Puerto Rico
Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 ~ [ borgo | hegemony | moloch | the outpost ] + [ iron gang | new york | uranopolis ]
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Pandemic: Iberia ~ [ Aid ] war with mexico
Planes ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: Mancala
Planetarium
Ploy
Police Precinct second edition ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: 221B Baker Street
Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time *attractive to players of: Break the Safe
Protect the Penguin *attractive to players of: Don't Break the Ice
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Qin *attractive to players of: Carcassonne
Quinto ~ [ Scorecard ] *attractive to players of: Bananagrams
Quoridor *attractive to players of: Blockade
Qwirkle + (Bonus: 1)
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Rack-O
Ranglin' Rabbits
Regatta + (Bonus: 1 \ 2)
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Santa's Workshop + (Bonus: 1)
Santorini *attractive to players of: The Climbers
Sequence for Kids
Skip-Bo *attractive to players of: cardgame Spite and Malice
Snow Tails *attractive to players of: PitchCar
Sorry! Star Wars edition *attractive to players of: Pachisi
Spot it! ~ [ History ]
Star Trek Panic ~ [ Aid ]
Stay Alive *attractive to players of: cardgame Old Maid
Stellar Conflict
Stone Age ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: Agricola
Survive 30th anniversary edition ~ [ Expansion ] *attractive to players of: The Downfall of Pompeii
Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge *attractive to players of: Mystery Date
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Take Off! *attractive to players of: Trouble
The Big Deal *attractive to players of: Monopoly
The Great Heartland Hauling Co. ~ [ Aid | Expansion ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Game of the States
The Tea Dragon Society ~ [ Aid ]
Tiny Epic Galaxies ~ [ Clarification ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Caylus
Topple *attractive to players of: Don't Spill the Beans
Traverse
Tsuro *attractive to players of: Metro
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Uno classic edition + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: cardgame Crazy Eights
Upwords *attractive to players of: RSVP
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Victory or Death ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Axis & Allies peloponnesian war
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Warp 6
Waterworks + (Bonus: 1)
Welcome to the Dungeon ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Craps
Why First? *attractive to players of: Uncle Wiggily
Word Power ~ [ words ]
World's Fair 1893 ~ [ Start | Actions | Scoring ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: El Grande
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Zombies!!! directors cut edition ~ [ Expansion ] *attractive to players of: Mouse Trap
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Head to Head Only

Games that could be successfully played by a lesser focused player, have been flagged with a greenish bar beside their icon (e.g., weight 1.69 or lower).
- If we state that a game might be attractive to players of a more well known game, we are not claiming that this game is a re-skinned clone; but rather that either the games theme, mechanics, or objectives, are broadly comparable.


13 Days ~ [ History | Errata ] cold war
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Afrika Korps ~ [ Basics | Chart | Units | Log ] + (Bonus: 1) ww2
Agility ~ [ Aid ]
Air Wars: MiG Alley ~ [ Basics ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) korean war
Airfix Battles ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: Memoir '44
Ancient Wars: Hawaii 1795 ~ [ Errata ] revolutionary war
Attack Sub + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) cold war
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Battle for Souls ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: Sola Fide- The Reformation
Battle Line + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: cardgame Poker
Battleship retro edition
Black Box ~ [ Patterncard ] *attractive to players of: Hangman
Blitzkrieg ~ [ Basics | Chart | Units | Log ] + (Bonus: 1)
Breakthrough- Cambrai ~ [ Aid | Playbook | Errata ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Ogre great war
Breakthru *attractive to players of: Hnefatafl
Brezhnev's War ~ [ Aid | Errata ] cold war
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C&O/B&O ~ [ Playbook | Timetables | Log ] *attractive to players of: Dispatcher
Civil War Game 1863 *attractive to players of: Battle-Cry civil war
Cold War + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: cardgame Blackjack
Connect Four *attractive to players of: Tic-Tac-Toe
Criss Cross *attractive to players of: Zig-Zag Zoom
Cuba- The Splendid Little War ~ [ Aid ] war with spain
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Displacement Chess: Peripheral Bishops ~ [ Basics ]
Do You Sudoku? ~ [ Patterncard ]
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Final Act + (Bonus: 1)
Fire & Movement: Shanghai Incident ~ [ Basics ] + (Bonus: 1) ww2
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Gipf
Great War at Sea: Cone of Fire ~ [ Basics | Charts | Weather | Fleet | Log | Data | Carriers | Errata | Improvements ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3) war with spain
Great War at Sea: Remember the Maine ~ [ Basics | Weather | Fleet | Log | Data | Errata | Improvements ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3 \ 4) war with spain
Great War at Sea: Russo-Japanese War ~ [ Basics | Weather | Fleet | Log | Data | Errata | Improvements ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2 \ 3) war with spain
Great War at Sea: Zeppelins ~ [ Basics | Group | Log | Data | Improvements ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) great war
Guess Who? *attractive to players of: Clue
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Haleakala
Hanamikoji
Hand of Destiny: Lettow-Vorbeck ~ [ Basics ] great war
Hive ~ [ Expansion ]
Home Before Dinner *attractive to players of: Rivers, Roads & Rails
Hong
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Impact City Roller Derby ~ [ Aid | Log ]
Iron and Oak ~ [ Aid | Playbook ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Wooden Ships & Iron Men civil war
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Jaipur ~ [ Errata ] + (Bonus: 1) *attractive to players of: Splendor
Jumpin *attractive to players of: Chinese Checkers
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Kahuna + (Bonus: 1)
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Lightning: Poland ww2
Lost Cities + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: cardgame Cribbage
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Manoeuvre ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: Conflict
Master Mind *attractive to players of: Jotto
Mercury / Market Garden ~ [ Aid | Errata ] *attractive to players of: PanzerBlitz ww2
Musket & Pike: Sweden Fights On ~ [ Basics | Aid ] + (Bonus: 1) renaissance
Musket & Saber (quick play): Molino Del Rey ~ [ Basics ] war with mexico
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Odin's Ravens second edition *attractive to players of: Backgammon
Onitama
Oshi *attractive to players of: Overboard
Outwit
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Pente *attractive to players of: Go
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Quarto!
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Raptor ~ [ Aid ] *attractive to players of: Fox and Geese
Reds! ~ [ Aid ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) great war
Robotory
Rubik's Race
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Sabotage
Sekigahara ~ [ Aid ] renaissance
Shields & Swords II: Battles on the Ice ~ [ Basics ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) middle ages
Shields & Swords II: The Grunwald Swords ~ [ Basics ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) middle ages
Shuttles
Square Off
Stronghold second edition ~ [ Aid | Blurb ] + (Bonus: 1)
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The Blood of an Englishman ~ [ Aid ]
The Guns of Gettysburg 150th anniversary edition + (Bonus: 1) civil war
The Rose King
Thunder & Lightning *attractive to players of: Stratego
Trap
Twilight Struggle deluxe edition ~ [ Aid ] cold war
Twixt *attractive to players of: Tak
Tzaar *attractive to players of: Focus
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War of 1812 + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) *attractive to players of: Quebec 1759 revolutionary war
Wilderness War ~ [ Charts | Playbook ] + (Bonus: 1 \ 2) revolutionary war
Word on the Street *attractive to players of: Boggle
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Yinsh *attractive to players of: Othello
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Games based on historical events have a green-text label suggesting their generalized historical (technology/tactics) era:
peloponnesian war = until 265bc, roman ages = 264bc-324, byzantine ages = 325-1065, middle ages = 1066-1454, renaissance = 1455-1659, revolutionary war = 1660-1816, war with mexico = 1817-1850, civil war = 1851-1878, war with spain = 1879-1905, great war = 1906-1929, ww2 = 1930-1947, korean war = 1948-1953, cold war = 1954 onwards.

I own all of the above board-style games, and while some are obscure, every one is Good. Most were purchased new, but some of the less interesting ones were gifts or thrift store finds. Not every game will appeal to everyone (casual gamers may wish to first examine those games flagged with a greenish bar beside their icon), so I suggest that you click on a cover photo to read the linked BGG rating and reviews before purchasing the game for yourself. Note that if the game listed here is an "edition" of the more commonly found title, it is because in my opinion the variant plays or looks noticeably better (for example: Sorry! Star Wars edition).

Most mass-produced games, including those considered "family classics", are really not that good, and the manufacturer often does not even care. The maker just trades on name recognition and heavy marketing to convince parents to buy them. When you see a game listed here as "attractive to players of ___", it is because I believe most people would enjoy this game equally or better than game "___". And don't overlook the option that if you start to master a game, you can make it fresh again by using alternative rules (including by using well conceived house rules).

One thing you will note is that these games cross all skill levels and most genres. This is because I feel that gaming is a social event, and a good host should have games available for any type of player and timeframe. This is why you see ten minute quickies and four hour slogs, two player brain burners and multi-player laugh fests, games that fit in your pocket and games that fill a dining room table. Bear in mind also that even hard-core strategists might just want to play short, silly (but still good) games now an then, which is why you also see what some people regrettably dismiss as "kids" games listed here.

Why are there no solo player games listed here? In my opinion, solo play just isn't a good fit for physical board-style games (board games, card games, skill games, etc.). Most people play board-style games for the interpersonal interaction. Besides, many of the games listed here can be played solo using special rule sets, making exclusively solo games somewhat superfluous. If you want to physically play solo, I suggest a good puzzle. If you need to play solo due to lack of immediate opponents, I urge playing a computerized version of the board-style game where your opponent is the computer or someone online. Most video games of all flavors make an outstanding, recommended choice for solo play.