Top 10 Hobby Card Games -

Top 10 Hobby Card Games

Danny C – GFS
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It’s been a long time, and it’s finally here – let’s define the difference between a board game and card game. Let me know what your own definition is! Be sure to check out my Patreon to potentially become a direct supporter –

I’m a terrible person who mixes up card and board games on my channel all the time. I’m sorry 🙁 . At long last, I’m calling out an official separation, or at least what I view as a separation, of the two categories. Far too often, board games have cards and card games have boards. Let’s look at ones that REALLY put a focus on the cards – as resources, buildings, engine components, and more. Enjoy!

As always, please let me know what you all think! What are your thoughts regarding how these games should be classified? Do you find card games MUST be ONLY cards? Or do you have a bit of wiggle room, as I do? Let me know in the comments!

Number 10 –
Number 9 –
Number 8 –
Number 7 –
Number 6 –
Number 5 –
Number 4 –
Number 3 –
Number 2 –
Number 1 –

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  1. Imho, there's no need to distinguish between card and board games. I'm not claiming that this topic is unnecessary. But really, I see cards as being just one of several mechanisms in hobby games, and thus there's no reason to separate them, except to help people find games with mechanisms that they may really like or dislike. In any case, you can even purchase playmats for a lot of card games — they are mostly optional, but can be helpful, or at the very least, add to the theme or mood of the game. I don't think that a card game suddenly becomes a different kind of game because you added a playmat. To me, a board is just an item like any other that may or may not be needed for a particular game, and its presence doesn't define the fact that it's a hobby game. People say board game out of habit, not because it's supposed to define anything. The only time I've seen people actually be confused is when they think I'm talking about a game like poker or blackjack. In a card game, the table is the board. There is a need for some people to make the distinction, but not because there is no board, but because they may like (or dislike) games where the principle mechanism involves cards.

    I tried 7 Wonders: Duel, and I kinda liked it. But I was very disappointed to find that the person I was playing against didn't, so I never got to play it again. I really want to explore the game more at some point, but that means I'll have to recruit someone new who is willing to try it (right now I don't have anyone that is willing).

    I do love the Century games (I'm curious about the completion of the trilogy, which should happen later this year). Century: Spice Road is always the game I use when there's a new player who is being introduced to the game. But most of us have played Spice Road so often that we've moved on from there (From Land to Sea, the combined game, is the popular favorite). I am going to be teaching Spice Road to one of our newer players on Monday, though. I always have fun playing it.

    One of these days, when I have some time and some willing players, I'm going to have to break out my Illuminati game. I have the same edition as you do, I think. I haven't played it in years, and you just made me feel nostalgic for it lol. BTW, do you remember an earlier version of Illuminati where there was an expansion where you actually HAD a board to track the strength of different alignments? I don't remember in detail how it worked, except that you could take an action to try to make, for example, the world more peaceful (I hope I'm remembering this correctly). Anyway, it wasn't a great expansion so I'm kinda glad that it's been left out of later versions.

    I've been playing a bit of Dice Throne lately, and that has cards, dice, and status tokens to place on your own or other people's character cards. It's kinda fun — I think my friends really like it more than I do, but it is very popular now. I find it to have the same exact problem as Yahtzee (which is not surprising, since the game is so much like Yahtzee) in that luck beats skill almost every time. I guess it's mostly a dice game instead of a card game. But because every player has their own deck of cards, it also feels a bit like a card game. Would dice and cards be a new category perhaps?

  2. Another interesting list, thank you. Missing "Space Realms" and "No Thanks" 😉

  3. Love 7 Wonders: Duel. How would rate a game like Trains:Rising Sun? The board is necessary but under no circumstances do I consider it a board game.

  4. I had never thought of it, but now that I do, I need this to feel I am playing a Card Game:

    1. I must have a hand of cards.
    2. I must play cards from my hand.
    3. I must draw from a deck.
    4. That is all you do, otherwise you're plaing a game which uses cards.

    My list would be something like this:

    1. Once Upon a Time: The art is great and the main objective is to tell a story, which makes this a great game to play with all kinds of people.

    2. Sentinels of the Multiverse: The best Superhero simulation game in my opinion. You can play with the best of Marvel and DC together and the cards trully simulate each hero powers, abilities and personality.

    3. Dixit: I love playing this game, it is tons of fun. Amazing party game.

    4. Lost Cities: It is a very fast and fun game for two players, full of meaningful decisions and luck in the draw. It has everything an abstract card game should have, including no theme at all :P. All other kinds of two player games similar to it could go here, like Conquián, Tute or Brisca, which are played with a usual deck of cards.

    5. Magic: The Gathering & Warhammer Invasion: I like to play this games casually, with no deckbuilding. I only have the free sets and one toolbox for MTG and the core set for WI, so you grab a color or faction and play. They are very much alike which is why I put them together.

    6. Canasta: I played this game as a kid with my grandparents and my dad. There are many variations of the rules, but the one we played was 4 player and it was deeply strategic and tense. The fact that you could not talk to your partner added an extra spice which made this game a rush of adrenaline for me. You could always win or lose in just one hand, no matter the point gap.

    7. The Big Book of Madness: An abstract coop card game with the theme pasted on, but the mechanics are solid and the game is fun. I like the fact that you have to build up for the future and adapt your strategy to deal with the threats in the order they come out.

    8. Mysterium: Just the Ghost is playing a card game, but what a fun card game it is. Kind of a social solitaire :P.

    9. Marvel Legendary: It is great as a solo game with BGG's Golden Solo Rules.

    10. Gloom: The clever see through cards allow for a fast way to keep track of things and the art is great in this card game.

  5. For 100% pure card games (only cards, nothing else) I love Birds of a Feather, Palm Island, the games from Button Shy (Sprawlopolis, Circle the Wagons, Supertall, etc), Wipers Salient, and Airborne Commander. My family really enjoys Happy Salmon, Apples to Apples, Cinelinx, and Double Feature.

  6. This is why I recently have been using the term tabletop games because it’s more appropriate I guess. Board games and card games to get mixed up a ton. I feel if the game revolves around as cards, than it could be considered a card game.

  7. Do you play these games with yourself? Nobody plays these

  8. Symbology?? I believe the word you're looking for is symbolism! It has symbolism!!!

  9. I'm putting my top 2, pit and munchkins

  10. In this Quarantine i started collecting card/board games

  11. CARD GAMES: Games using Cards and Bets and no board needed.
    BOARD GAMES: Games using a Board.
    CARD AGAINST HUMANITY: Card Game for Horrible People (those who can't play Real Card Games).

  12. Me and my friends made a new card game with over 4000 cards will u show it on your channel

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