Board games offer endless hours of fun, strategy, and social interaction. However, finding the right game for six players can be a challenge. This article guides you through the best board games for six players, whether you want a quick or complex game. Gather your group of six and dive into the world of board gaming!
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Six-Player Board Game
Selecting the perfect board game for six players involves considering several factors:
- Game Length and Complexity: It’s important to consider how long you want your gaming session to last. Some games are designed for quick rounds, while others offer a more extended experience. Similarly, the complexity of the rules can vary, affecting the game’s accessibility and appeal.
- Themes and Interests: Board games come in a myriad of themes, from historical and fantasy to economic and sci-fi. Choose a game that aligns with the interests of your group for maximum enjoyment.
- Age Appropriateness: Always check the recommended age range, especially if younger players are involved. Some games are more suitable for adults due to their complexity or thematic content.
Best 6-Player Board Games:
Age: 12 and up
Average playtime: 60 minutes
Archeos Society is a well-crafted board game that combines set collection with strategic planning, offering a unique and replayable gaming experience each time. It is especially recommended for fans of card drafting and set collection games.
The objective is to collect sets of explorer cards. Players lead expeditions that consist of various researchers, scientists, and explorers, and their goal is to chart some of the most incredible sights in the world. The game has high replay value as there are many different combinations of game components and special abilities of the explorers, which can be mixed and matched to create a unique gaming experience for each playthrough.
During the game, players select six sets of explorer cards. Each set represents a type of explorer, such as Botanists, Curators, Mercenaries, Students, Linguists, and more. The cards share the same set symbol but come in different colors, corresponding to different boards on the table. Players draw cards from the deck or display discarded cards and play sets of cards to advance their markers along one of the six location game boards, thereby scoring points.
The game offers a range of strategies and tactics, as players must decide which explorer to place on top of their set, affecting their scoring and progress on the boards. The end-of-game round is triggered by drawing three specific cards from the deck, adding an element of unpredictability and tension to the gameplay.
Archeos Society is a game that is easy to learn and play, making it accessible to a wide range of players. It is noted for its simplicity in mechanics, primarily set collection, but also requires critical thinking and planning. It offers depth in strategy for those looking for a more challenging experience.
2. Bad Company
Age: 8 and up
Average playtime: 30-45 minutes
Bad Company is an exciting strategy board game where players develop their own gangs and customize them to carry out heists, recruit new members, and avoid being caught by the police.
The game is known for its engaging gameplay and minimal downtime, making it perfect for both solo and group play.
In “Bad Company,” each player is provided with a player board containing 11 gang members, which can be upgraded by placing overlapping cards on them. This mechanic not only enhances the abilities of the gang members but also changes their visual appearances.
The game involves rolling four dice each round, which the active player divides into two pairs. These dice pairs are then used to activate gang members on the player’s board. Other players can also use one of these pairs to activate a gang member on their own boards.
The main objectives in the game are to gather resources for completing heists, earn money to upgrade gang members, and advance your car through the city to stay ahead of the police and collect loot. Players earn points by completing heists, upgrading their gang, and driving through the city. Some heists provide special abilities, allowing players to develop unique strategies.
The game ends when a player completes their 6th heist or when any car reaches the dock on the city track. The player with the most points is declared the winner.
3. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Age: 8 and up
Average playtime: 45-60 minutes
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a board game that combines elements from two popular games: “Between Two Cities” and “Castles of Mad King Ludwig.” It is a competitive tile-drafting game where players work together with their neighbors to build two castles – one with the player on their left, and another with the player on their right.
During the game, players select two room tiles from their hands, reveal them, and work with their partners to decide where to place them in their respective castles. Each tile represents a different room in a castle, and placement is crucial as it affects the scoring of both castles. The game incorporates a variety of room types, each with its scoring mechanisms, which draws inspiration from the intricate room scoring in “Castles of Mad King Ludwig.”
At the end of the game, each player’s score is determined by the lower of the two castle scores they helped construct. This scoring mechanism encourages players to balance their attention and resources between both castles, as neglecting one could be detrimental to their overall score.
“Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig” is praised for its unique blend of cooperative and competitive gameplay, strategic depth, and the interesting decisions presented by the tile-drafting mechanic. The game is suitable for a wide range of players, from families and casual gamers to more serious board game enthusiasts.
Age: 8 and up
Average playtime: 15 -30 minutes
Codenames is a popular word-based game for parties that combines guessing, deduction, and teamwork. It’s a great choice for casual gaming sessions or social activities at gatherings.
The game has two teams, each with a “spymaster” who knows the secret identities of 25 agents. These agents are represented by words on cards laid out on a 5×5 grid. The spymasters know the agents by color, either red or blue, and each team is trying to make contact with all of their agents first to win. On the board, there is also a “bystander” and an “assassin” which make the game more interesting.
The spymaster gives a one-word clue to their team. The clue is related to the words on the board, but it must be chosen carefully. It should apply to multiple words that belong to the spymaster’s team but avoid words that belong to the opposing team or the deadly assassin. After the clue is given, the spymaster’s team discusses and guesses which words are associated with the clue.
The team can make as many guesses as the number given in the clue, plus one additional guess. The game continues with each spymaster giving one-word clues until one team successfully identifies all of their agents, or until one team accidentally contacts the assassin, which immediately ends the game in a loss for that team.
Codenames has won several awards, including the prestigious Spiel des Jahres. The game’s accessibility and engaging play make it a favorite for both casual and serious gamers, and it’s a staple at many game nights and parties.
5. Power Grid
Age: 13 and up
Average playtime: 120 minutes
“Power Grid” is a board game that is popular among players who enjoy complex and engaging gameplay. The game is about power company owners competing to build power plants, collect resources, and expand their electrical networks to different cities. The objective is to power most cities each round, earning money to fund further expansion and more efficient power plants.
The gameplay is divided into several phases. Firstly, players bid for power plants from a market. Each plant requires different resources and has varying efficiencies, affecting the player’s strategy throughout the game. Secondly, players buy resources from a market to fuel their power plants. Resource prices fluctuate based on supply and demand, making strategic purchasing crucial. Thirdly, players expand their network into cities by spending money.
The cost to build into a city increases as more players connect to it, creating a competitive aspect to expansion. Lastly, players use their resources to power as many cities in their network as possible, earning cash based on the number of cities powered. The power plant market is updated, and resources are restocked during this phase.
“Power Grid” is known for its dynamic market mechanics, where resource prices and the availability of power plants change throughout the game. This creates a challenging and competitive environment where players must adapt their strategies according to their opponent’s actions and the shifting market conditions.
The game has several expansions and variations, including maps of different countries and regions, each offering unique challenges and strategic opportunities. The balance of resource management, auction bidding, and network expansion, combined with the ever-changing game state, makes “Power Grid” a highly replayable and engaging game for those who enjoy economic and strategy-focused board games.
6. Seven Wonders
Age: 10 and up
Average playtime: 30 minutes
“7 Wonders” is a board game that lets players build their civilization using cards. The game is set in the ancient world and revolves around the seven wonders of that time.
At the start of each age, players are dealt a hand of cards representing various structures. They select one card to play and pass the rest to the next player. Players use resources generated by their city and trade with neighbors to construct buildings. Different structures require different resources, and managing them effectively is key to success.
There are various types of structures, including resource buildings, commercial buildings, military structures, scientific buildings, and guilds. Each type provides different benefits, such as resources, trade advantages, military strength, scientific progress, or victory points. Players can choose to build stages of their wonder, which grant significant benefits or points.
At the end of each age, players compare their military strength with their neighboring cities, gaining or losing points based on the outcome. Players can also focus on scientific progress, which can score substantial points, especially if certain sets of scientific symbols are collected.
The game ends after three ages, and players score points based on their military victories, completed wonders, wealth, civilian structures, scientific achievements, commercial buildings, and guilds.
“7 Wonders” is known for its depth, replayability, and scalability with different player counts. Its expansions, such as “Leaders” and “Cities,” add additional layers of strategy and variability to the game.
Age: 14 and up
Players: 1-5 ( 7 with an expansion)
Average playtime: 90-120 minutes
“Scythe” is a popular board game designed by Jamey Stegmaier. It’s set in an alternate-history 1920s period, in a world that’s still recovering from the Great War. The game is known for its resource management, area control, player engagement, and tactical combat mechanics.
In the game, players represent leaders of Eastern European factions. They’re competing to claim land around the mysterious Factory, which fueled the war with mechs. Players need to expand their territory, gather resources, interact with other players, and engage in combat with mechs and workers.
Each player has a unique faction board and a player board. They can perform four actions – Move, Produce, Bolster, and Trade – that are crucial for expanding their faction’s influence and abilities. Players also encounter narrative story moments as they interact with citizens of this post-war land. Objectives are also a key part of the game, offering additional paths to gain victory points.
Combat in Scythe is resolved using a unique system that combines hidden strength allocation and power cards. The game ends when a player achieves their sixth star, which is earned through various achievements like winning a combat, completing an objective, or maxing out a track on the player board. The player with the most coins at the end of the game wins. Coins are earned through territories controlled, resources held, and achievements.
“Scythe” is known for its stunning artwork by Jakub Rozalski, which immerses players in its rich, alternative history world. The game also includes high-quality components and detailed miniatures. It’s recommended for more experienced gamers or those looking for a more strategic gaming experience. The game has several expansions that add new factions, and new gameplay mechanics, and extend the maximum player count.
Age: 10 and up
Players: 3-4 (or up to 6 with an expansion)
Average playtime: 60-120 minutes
Catan is a board game that’s popular among people who enjoy modern board games. It’s a game where players are settlers on a new island, and they gather resources, trade with each other, and build their settlements.
The game board is made up of hexagonal tiles that represent different types of land. Each tile produces a certain resource, like brick, lumber, wool, grain, or ore. The board is different every time you play since it’s randomized.
Players use resources to build roads, settlements, and cities. Each settlement and city earns them points, and cities provide additional resources. At the beginning of each turn, dice are rolled to determine which land hexes produce resources. Players with settlements or cities next to these hexes receive the corresponding resources.
Trading resources with other players is a crucial part of the game. If you want to build and expand, you need to trade with others strategically. Players can also purchase development cards with resources. These cards provide advantages like building progress, knights for defense, or points.
A game mechanic called the robber allows players to hinder others’ resource production by blocking tiles and stealing resources. The first player to reach ten points by building settlements and cities, acquiring development cards, and achieving other milestones wins the game.
Catan is well-known for its simple yet deep gameplay, balance of luck and strategy, and social interaction involved in trading. It’s a game that appeals to a wide range of players, from casual to more serious board gamers. There are several expansions available, each adding new dimensions to the game, like seafaring, city-building and politics, and explorations of new lands.
Catan has won several awards and is often credited with sparking the modern board game movement. It’s a must-play for anyone interested in board games, offering an engaging mix of strategy, negotiation, and resource management.”Catan,” formerly known as “The Settlers of Catan,” is a highly popular and influential board game designed by Klaus Teuber. It’s well-regarded as a gateway game that has introduced many players to the world of modern board gaming. “Catan” is a game of resource gathering, trading, and building.
9. Ticket to Ride
Age: 8 and up
Average playtime: 30-60 minutes
Ticket to Ride is a popular board game designed by Alan R. Moon. It’s known for being easy to learn and fun for both experienced and new players. The game takes place in the early 20th century and involves train travel across different regions, with the most popular version featuring a map of North America.
To win the game, players must build railway routes between cities, earning points based on the length of the routes and completing destination tickets that show specific city-to-city connections. Players collect matching sets of train cards to claim railway routes on the board between two cities. Longer routes require more cards but yield more points.
At the start of the game, players are dealt destination tickets, which show two cities. Completing a continuous route between these cities earns the player additional points at the end of the game. However, failing to complete a route results in a points deduction.
On their turn, players can choose to draw train cards, claim a route, or draw additional destination tickets. Train cards come in various colors, and a route must be claimed with cards of the same color as the route (or wild cards).
The player with the longest continuous path of routes receives additional bonus points at the end of the game. The game ends when one player has only a few trains left, triggering the final round. Players calculate their scores based on the routes claimed, destination tickets completed (or lost), and the longest continuous path bonus.
Ticket to Ride is a favorite in the board gaming community and has won numerous awards. Different versions featuring different geographic regions have been created, each introducing unique elements and slight variations to the base game’s rules.
Age: 8 and up
Players: 2-4 ( up to 6 with expansion)
Average playtime: 15 to 20 minutes
“Kingdomino” is a board game designed by Bruno Cathala. It’s a fun and easy game that combines traditional dominoes with territory-building mechanics, making it great for families and casual gamers.
The game is played by selecting tiles from a pool of options and adding them to your personal kingdom board. The goal is to match the terrains on the dominoes to form larger regions of the same terrain type. The game includes crowns scattered on some tiles that are essential for scoring.
Players take turns selecting tiles from the common pool, and the order of selection is determined by the tiles selected in the previous round, adding a layer of strategic planning to the game. The game ends after 12 rounds, and players calculate their scores based on their constructed kingdoms. The player with the highest score wins.
“Kingdomino” is known for its elegant design, accessibility, and replayability. It’s easy to learn and teach, and the rules are straightforward. The game won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award in 2017, proving its quality and appeal.
There are also several expansions and variations of “Kingdomino,” such as “Queendomino” and “Kingdomino Duel,” which add new challenges to the base game. These versions can be played on their own or combined with the original game for a more varied and complex experience.
Overall, “Kingdomino” is a great family game and a perfect addition to any board game collection. It offers a perfect blend of simplicity, strategy, and fun.
In conclusion, finding the perfect board game for a group of six players can transform your game nights into memorable, fun-filled gatherings. This article has explored an array of board games, each with its unique charm and appeal, catering to various interests and play styles. From the adventurous expeditions in “Archeos Society” to the strategic empire-building in “7 Wonders,” and from the competitive landscapes of “Scythe” to the family-friendly simplicity of “Kingdomino,” there’s something for every group.
So, gather your six players, pick a game from this curated list, and dive into the exciting world of board gaming. Each game promises not only a great play experience but also an opportunity to strengthen bonds, challenge minds, and create lasting memories. Happy gaming!