Size Matters – Games For Five

By Mike McGinnis on

About Mike McGinnis

Mike is Canadian. We felt bad about this so we thought we'd let him write about board games as long as he agreed to drop all the extra "u"s.


Greetings and Salutations!

We’ve covered perhaps the most common groups – two, three, and four.  Adding a fifth wheel is perhaps socially awkward but by no means makes choosing a game difficult.  Five is still a great player group with a host of options.  Here are some of my favorites!


SWSmall World – A fantasy themed conquest game, Small World let’s you create hundreds of different monsters by combining different races and special powers.  Use your Flying Orcs to take strategic mountains and then a few turns later switch to Diplomat Ratmen and limit who can attack you.  Each race and power provides a different number of tokens used to grab territory on the map, with the number of tokens necessary varying based on the terrain, occupancy, and other in game factors.  While somewhat similar to Risk in that you’re using units to capture spaces on the map, there is only a small dice component to the game making it more satisfying for strategists, and shorter two.  It has spawned a few expansions as well.  Recommend it simply for the fun of the race and power combinations you’ll come across.  Commando Skeletons!  Check out Kelsey Low’s Geekly Essentials look at Small World here.

LoWDLords of Waterdeep – This is a worker placement game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.  Use members of your clan to recruit wizards, rogues, warriors, and clerics from various locations in the city to help you complete quests and increase your clan’s power.  There are several main buildings in the city that provide the various resources you need, while buildings added during the game provide bonuses for the owner as well.  A step up in complexity from Stone Age which I mentioned in Games for Four, Lords of Waterdeep holds the additional benefit of up to six players.  Read up on Nika Howard’s full review here.  A word of warning – while I love the box design, transporting it other than right side up will lead to potentially extensive cleanup upon your arrival – might be worth looking into some custom foamcore!


rrrrRisk: Legacy – The first of a new category of ‘Legacy’ games where the board and rules change as you play it.  As you progress through the game and hit certain milestones you open envelopes which can change the rules or alter the actual board.  Pandemic: Legacy also came out during 2015, and from the looks of it, it would certainly have made this series if I had played it.  This starting rules are somewhat simplified from the original ‘Risk’, no longer requiring world domination to win the game.  Find a consistent group and make a Legacy game your weekly choice and get caught up in the game story, as well as the trash talk from games gone by…


Guillotineguill – A super light card game where you manipulate a line of nobles waiting for their death.  On your turn you play action cards to rearrange the line.  At the end of your turn the noble at the front of the line loses their head and goes into your score pile.  Different nobles of course have different point values – ranging from negative points for a Martyr and five points for Marie Antoinette.  Despite the macabre theme, the artwork and actions cards are quite humorous with a light tone.  This is a great palette cleanser that can handle a variety of player counts.





tokaTokaido – This is a very pretty game.  Players take the role of travelers making their way from Kyoto to Edo.  Along the road there are various stops available to the travelers – villages, panoramas, bath houses, and others.  These stops provide the opportunity for each player to gain points through shopping, painting, and other methods.  Players can choose to stop or continue forward to further destinations, but the player at the back always takes the next turn, so there is a penalty for skipping objectives.  Check out the full review from fellow Geekly Harry Huberty here – definitely recommend trying this game and enjoying the scenery along the way.

Did I miss something?  What games do you break out when you’ve got five?

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