This isn't your dad's Monopoly: 5 boardgames to tickle your geeky fancies

Star Trek: Fleet Captains

If you’ve always secretly hankered to go “where no man has gone before”, then Star Trek: Fleet Captains is the game for you. You can either play as the Federation or the Klingons and then race to claim victory points…or blast the other side out of your quadrant.

The rules of the game are fairly simple to understand. You traverse the galaxy by flipping over unexplored tiles and choose one of several actions. Do you scan a quadrant for enemy ships? Do you build a settlement? You will also be assigned missions, some of them secret, which adds more challenge to the game.

A nice feature of the game (which which will really excite the Trekkie in you) is that you get lovely plastic models of the ships. Three versions of the much loved USS Enterprise are included as well as various other makes for Trek fans to geek out about.

Another feature of the game is command decks, of which there are several for you to pick and choose from. Fancy yourself an ‘action’ type? Then choose the Captain Kirk deck. More of the peace-loving, explory type? Then choose the Picard deck and maybe a little Earl Grey tea by the side. Other decks can give boosts to security, engineering or combat.

One thing to note is that you'll need a fairbit of space to play this boardgame as you'll be laying down quite a bit of tiles but it is enough fun that you probably won’t mind.

Game of Thrones

If you’re a big fan of George R.R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, then you will find this game a treat. Play as one of the Westeros clans and fight, negotiate and backstab your way to the Iron Throne.

Be warned, though, that being a pacifist in this game is strictly not a good idea. You don't just go about moving pieces around the board but you will need a fair amount of strategising while having to take the occasional risk to achieve your agenda.

The game sees you trying to claim as much territory as you can as by the end of turn 10 and the winner will be the one who controls the most cities and strongholds.

It's a five-player game, but works well with three or four though the rules will be slightly modified with fewer players.

One of the ‘fun’ aspects of the game is being able to negotiate directly with other players over territories and form alliances. But as there can only be one winner, truces and treaties are fragile and by the end, it will still be every man (or woman) for himself!

It's more a game for people who loved the books than the TV series (and who doesn't love that wonderful adaptation by HBO), but still fun if you like a game of cheerful backstabbing.

More after the break...

Battlestar Galactica

This is a monster of a game and more for the hardcore boardgamer only. It's a fairly complex game to wrap your head around, but can be incredibly satisfying once you learn the rules.

For those unfamiliar with the Battlestar Galactica series, the story (and the game) revolves around a universe where humanity is nearly extinct, with the remaining survivors forced to band together to flee the Cylons - a race of sentient AI. The Cylons happen to be the reason humanity's nearly wiped out and they intend to finish the job. There's also the tiny detail that the humans created the Cylons in the first place.

In the game, you control the human fleet and each turn sees the fleet trying to make hyper-space jumps to get away from the Cylons. With each jump, the fleet gets closer to either salvation or annihilation,as when players make a jump, the jumps will eat a precious resource: fuel. Lose enough fuel (and population or food) and it's game over.

To make things even more complicated, each player is dealt a ‘loyalty’ card. The card will determine whether the player is siding with the humans or, gasp, is a Cylon in disguise.

In some cases, forcing a player to reveal his or her loyalty card will result in Very Bad Things (TM).

So it's a hectic game where you will constantly be wondering if you can trust your fellow crewmates or, if you're a Cylon, you'll be happily trying to screw your fellow teammates over without getting found out. This game can either be mad fun or leave you wanting to murder all your fellow players. Consider yourself warned.


Originally on Kickstarter, this game is the closest thing you’ll get to Sim City as a boardgame. Ridiculously simple to learn, you basically compete with other players to have the most population by the end of the game. It is not all that easy, though, as you will be competing with other players for resources and have to contend with keeping your reputation and income coming in.

You start out with a few buildings and each turn there will be an ‘auction’ of sorts where properties will be put up on sale. As the turns move on, the properties get their price lowered and it will often become quite competitive as you can only grab a property on your turn.

In-game, your progress is marked on a special board peppered with ‘red lines’: each time you increase your population, you might hit a red line and each time you hit one, your reputation and income go down a notch. So city planning in Suburbia, as in real-life, will see your reputation and earnings go down very quickly if you expand too fast.

Some complain there is not much interaction between players as it is more about grabbing the best tiles before your fellow players do, but its simplicity makes this game one that is easy to bust out at parties or at family gatherings. Family-friendly, simple to learn and teach and fast-paced, there is more to recommend Suburbia than not. Get it if you love city building games or just get it for a town planner you know.


King of Tokyo

Ever fancy playing in a game as…Godzilla? Then you will love King of Tokyo. Described as Yahtzee with giant monsters, it is a very simple dice-rolling game which sees you trying to take over a city and beat out other monsters to take over Tokyo.

You choose one of a selection of big monsters, each with their own special attributes and then either fight to defend your position in the city or annihilate the competition.

Along the way, you can also purchase special cards to boost your powers and assure your dominion as the biggest, baddest monster in the land.

A game can be over is as quickly as 10 minutes, but it is so simple (and fun) to play that you could easily just requesting a rematch. Just remember, this game is supposed to be a light one so don’t overthink it and just be your bad monster self.

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