Analog gaming

Hey people,
what analog (non-computer/console) games do you love?
Can be board games, card games, TTRPG, dice games or something else.


On the board games side, I’m a full-on lover of Betrayal at House on the Hill. But if anyone is to buy it, make sure you get 2nd edition, not 3rd! 3rd is rubbish, and 2nd has an expansion that is soooo much better than the original. But of course, you need the original. If anyone has it already - have you tried making your own haunts then playing them? Im thinking of writing a personal expansion. Or maybe implementing everything into a text game.


On the TTRPG side, I’m personally acquainted with D&D 5e, of which I am fond of Out of the Abyss. Curse of Strand I’d say is okay but nowhere near as good as OotA. I don’t recommend the first Waterdeep. I haven’t got the second but it looks better. Actually, now that I think of it - Waterdeep is also really cool because it’s very small but you can play it 4 times (each a different season) without it getting boring. So if you like big city sprawls using -more than anything - your own imagination to spice up the unimplemented parts, you’ll have a really good time with the first Waterdeep.


James Ernest 's CheapAss games are good.

I also like Fiasco.

I’m curious about This War of Mine, but I wonder if I should get it.

I also wonder if GloomHaven or FrostHaven are any good.

I’m currently boycotting Hasbro/WOTC because of their poor treatments of customers and employees. Maybe if I can find a used box.


I haven’t played FrostHaven, but GloomHaven is not bad. It has some D&D style trappings, but in reality is a co-op card game with a dash of miniature wargaming thrown in.


I’ve been playing D&D since 1980-1981. I’ve played in every 1st and 2nd edition setting TSR created. I mostly skipped third edition, and hated fourth, but fifth is not bad. I’ve played a handful of other old school TTRPG’s over the years, e.g. Boot Hill, Gamma World, Battletech, Twilight 2000, Shadowrun, etc. and a few newer ones, like the Cypher system.

The last couple years I’ve also been playing a game I designed myself. It is still a work in progress.


Euchre? :man_shrugging:

I like the social nature of it, partners, accusations of table talk, someone forgetting what trump is every 17 seconds, the only avenue left in my life where the utterance of “Trump” doesn’t immediately aggravate me. Usually snacks, soda, music, laughing late into the night.

I miss it. We moved with the Pandemic, so we never set roots, so that’s been robbed from us for some time now. We hope to start over right in PA.


I love the Captain is Dead. If you like Star Trek, you’ll love this cooperative board game. The captain is dead and the players are the remaining crew left on the ship. Each turn brings new problems to combat and solve while you try to get the jump core back online. Systems that you rely on will get damaged, aliens will board your ship, strange phenomena will afflict the crew. Every crew member has unique strengths and working together is key. It’s classic Star Trek.

It’s also worth noting that it’s a game made with the manufactured parts and printed materials through Game Crafter. (Ever wanted to make your own board game?)


Does it fix the lockout problem? The big thing that turns me off that game is how easy it is to get effectively locked out of the game. If you fall into the basement early on, you might go the entire rest of the game unable to interact with the other players.


I am steadfastly attempting to convince my irl friends that tabletop systems other than D&D 5e exist. The main one I run/play at this point is World of Darkness (and Chronicles of Darkness) but my big thing is wanting a system that fits the intended experience, so I end up using a whole lot of different ones.


Have you looked at Index Card RPG? It’s a simple, easy, versatile system, IMO.

Just a note, for those of you interested in checking out ICRPG, there’s free Quickstart, as well as sample Master Core pdfs available.


There’s a board game called “Pandemic” that came some years before COVID did. It has interesting mechanics in that the players all fight against The Disease instead of each other.


I’ve heard of it but never played it. Might be worth another look!

I’m currently (on the back burner) working with my partner on a new d12 system based on Elsewhere University.


GURPS is/was pretty good at having something for just about every genre you could think of. Palladium was good too, particularly with the “Rifts” series.


Well, you CAN get that, but that’s one of the countless reasons the expansion is so awesome - it clears that whole thing with dumbwaiters! (You can find dumbwaiters in certain rooms, which allow you to move to the lading of the floor above or below.) Plus, there are some items (such as the rope) in both expansion and original that are helpful. I really recommend buying both together - there are countless rules but if you get people who like the game involved, you can play for years (100 haunts over both!)

EDIT: and the expansion has a roof. And just generally better haunts. But still, 2nd edition original is cool. I never bought 1st edition. Apparently they removed “Bugs” in 2nd which was apparently very sad, but some good haunts were introduced (A Breath of Wind, for example, which is about a poltergeist). My favourite of the base 2nd edition is still Lost. Frickin’ dice roll of 16! And 3 dice rolls of damage per turn to Heroes. Oh, and the traitor can increase the dice roll needed, as well as attack players - but the traitor doesn’t take damage.


I LOVE Pandemic! Not as much as BaHotH (which is also cooperative - sort of…), but it’s really good. (Sneaky cheat mode: I always rig player cards so I get medic, because it’s fun, even if a little overpowered.)


I’ve run Curse of Strahd and I thought it was fantastic. I have not run Out of the Abyss but I’ve read through it plenty (and stolen a bunch of ideas from it) and I would pick Strahd any time! Obviously we have different tastes/want different things out of campaign books.

What I love about Curse of Strahd (besides all the cool individual details) is the interconnected sandbox structure, the sense that the party can run off in whatever direction seems likely and run into a new part of the world with its own little story that adds to the overarching narrative. What seems unappealing to me about Out of the Abyss (even though all the individual details are very cool) is how so much of it involves the party seeing something interesting happen, and then having to run away from it.

But that’s based on only reading the book. I would really like to hear what makes you so enthusiastic about the campaign after actually playing through it.

(Anyone who can bear to think about this stuff will probably be fascinated by my diachronic analyses of the Ravenloft catacombs, the rest of Barovia, and the rest of Castle Ravenloft.)


I almost forgot about Forbidden Island! That game is another cooperative one. I seem to be a co-op guy when it comes to games. Anyway, FI is awesome and with a simple premise - find four treasures on a sinking island and get out. It’s fun and small.

Also, obviously, Catan. Who couldn’t love Catan? (Though I dislike the Seafarers expansion - the premise is awesome, and in theory it’s great, but when you play it, everything seems to just drag on and get boring. Which is weird.) My only other qualm with Catan is that the person who starts with placing seems to always win, despite the measures they’ve put in place to stop that happening.


GURPS birthed Fallout.

Just a fun fact.

The SPECIAL system was a rough copy/approximation at the time.


I got to play Forbidden Island once and really enjoyed it. I love how it’s self-contained and cooperative and is an adventure that DMs itself.

I also really enjoyed Love Letter - with the right group of devious minds it becomes the most scandalous trash-talking card-throwing experience that plays really fast and is easy to learn.

This could be arguably not analog but my favorite game I always play with my group is Drawful. It could be an analog board game but uses technology to facilitate what would be cards and wasted paper and allows everyone to play simultaneously all the time. All the JackBox games are great but we still quote legendary responses that came about as we’ve played it over the years that are only funny to us, like “Broccoli Doctor Hospital” and “Mr. Nipples Goes to the Mailbox”.

Drawful in a nutshell

Each player gets a prompt on their phone and has to draw a picture. you get two permanently pre-set colors that differ by player and cannot erase which leads to much gnashing of teeth. Then each picture is displayed and other players must guess what the prompt was. Then all the guesses + the correct answer is displayed and players must discern the right answer from the wrong ones.

The fun is there’s wide latitude for creatively hilarious answers, meta-gaming “what’s a prompt the game would offer?” since the game won’t misspell anything and will give potentially risqué prompts or purposefully misleading ones that sound like a wrong answer like “five lines and a circle” but nothing flat-out inappropriate. You also get to award points for your “favorite” answers that contribute to the point total of the person who wrote it. You can be thwarted by your limited color choice as well.

“Broccoli Doctor Hospital” was mine. The prompt was “Emergency Room” but due to my color combo I had only green and I think blue, so the poorly-drawn tree I included next to the hospital was all green and prompted every response to include broccoli somehow.

“Mr. Nipples Goes to the Mailbox” came from the prompt “Sexy Mailman” and the drawing was a stick-figure shirtless man by a mailbox. Everyone else thought it was a skeleton but this response got thumbs up from everyone.