Over the past few weeks, I have been blessed with the opportunity to do some board gaming at a 6-player count — normally, I’m in the 2-to-4, maybe 5 range. Because of that, I was inspired to make this week’s top 10 list all about games that play well at that higher count of 6 persons.
Note: I will specifically not be including any games that are for 2-to-99 players (or something like that). Thus, no roll-and-writes or other games that are essentially competitive solo play. Those are great options for when you have bigger groups, but I’m simply choosing to narrow down the focus of this list a bit.
I’m sure there are tons of great games I have yet to play that maybe “should” make this list — so feel free to chime in and let me know which ones I’m missing. And now, here we go!
#10 – New York Slice
The I-cut-but-draft-last mechanism in this game is very interesting and when you get up to a high player count, the importance of cutting pizzas up as evenly as possible becomes intense.
#9 – Magic Maze
Now, generally speaking, I would suggest that this real-time, fast-moving, semi-stressful game be played at lower player counts. BUT, the beauty of a higher player count like 6 is that you are guaranteed mayhem! While some would get frustrated, I get enjoyment and end up laughing a lot (internally, of course, since there is no talking allowed)
#8 – Atlantis Rising
At a full 6 players, I personally feel like the ship/raider negatives are slightly less impactful than at 4 or 5. You get full player powers at this count, and the worker placement becomes tight and really forces the team to cooperate and work together to “solve the puzzle” before time runs out.
#7 – Codenames
Personally, I think 6 players is the sweet spot for Codenames. I like that each team has 3 players — one who is the clue-giver and two who get to work together to determine the best answers –> it creates the dichotomy that a) two heads are better than one, but b) we interpret clues differently and thus have to come to agreement/compromise on final decisions. Oh, and my preference is to be playing Codenames: Disney, for the record.
#6 – Between Two Cities
I really enjoy this game and part of its beauty is that it doesn’t really matter how many players you have, because your direct focus is on the city to your left and the city to your right — and maybe the city one away in case you are doing some defensive-drafting. Thus, this is a great game to pull out when you have a larger, 6 player crowd at the table.
#5 – Sushi Go!
I guess I should clarify — Sushi Go Party! The dynamic of this game really changes as you start to consider higher player counts, which I love. In fact, I would easily put this game on my top 10’s for lists of more players as well. At 6 players, you have to plan that cards in your hand won’t make it back to you. Every hand that gets passed to you has to be carefully and tactfully considered, as you attempt to be aware of what everyone else has that could impact your final scoring.
#4 – Dixit
At the 6-player count, I love that the scoring you get when you are NOT the active player really matters. Being able to play cards wisely that fit the vision of the given clue becomes even more important as you try to eek out points on as many turns as possible. Plus, this is such a fun and beautiful game so play it at whatever count you can.
#3 – 7 Wonders
Like Between Two Cities, 7 Wonders plays equally great at anywhere from 3-to-7 players — but overall I like 7 Wonders better. Great drafting. Diverse set collection options and paths to victory. At higher player counts, it becomes interesting to see how part of everyone’s strategy gets impacted by the two people directly next to them. A “Wonder”ful game indeed.
#2 – Downforce
I’m not sure if fans of Downforce would agree with me on this one, but I really like the game at 6 players (let’s be honest, though, I like this game at all player counts….each player count seems to give the game a slightly different feel). At 6, though, everyone has one car. How much you spend on yours matters, along with making sure you get a car that your hand of cards can better propel forward. Finishing well matters. Betting is extremely important and means you may have to help a competitor to make sure you get solid betting points if your car might now win the race. I love it!
#1 – Charterstone
So, I have only played Charterstone at 6 players (and feel fortunate that I have a full group for this campaign game). I’m sure it still plays well at lower counts, but it sings beautifully at the max. Every charter has a person to run it and the chances of winning a single game are lower, so I feel there is greater significance on making sure your long-term plan stays intact. This is my favorite game at 6 players and, honestly, the game I get most excited to play each month.
Thanks for perusing this week’s top 10 list — what 6-player games would make the top of your list?
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