Home Videos Games Podcastle

Five non-boardgamers and me in a house for a week - what should I take?

Hi there,

First post and I’m looking for some advice. I’m a sometime boardgamer with a half decent selection of games. I’m going away for a week with five other people who don’t play but have always enjoyed a go on Werewolf, Codenames etc when I bring them round. What are some good six player games that are easy to teach but with a bit more depth than above?

Thanks in advance for any help

1 Like

The Mind and Illusion have been a hit for me among non-board gamers. Even got, probably the least board-gamey of my coworkers to buy them both, which then hooked his wife. They play them both weekly now.

Technically neither of them play 6, but I’ve done it before and it’s fine. Illusion works better with 6 than The Mind, but I found doing The Mind in teams of 2 actually works pretty well.

Oh, maybe Cosmic Encounter? It’s very hit or miss, though. Some people just bounce off it, and it does seem more complicated at first glance than it really is.

There are a few ways to approach this. Ultimately, I don’t know the people, so it’ll be a judgement call on your part.

You’ve mentioned two categories already: Party Games and Hidden Role Games

For additional party games, I would suggest:

  • Telestrations - this is a recurring favorite whenever we end up with more than 5 or 6 people at my house. I recommended making very specific guesses that intentionally steer the game in crazy directions… it’s never fun to start with a picture of a paper clip and end up with a guess of “paper clip”
  • Bring Your Own Book - SUSD covered this very briefly a couple of years ago and I grabbed a copy when I saw it sitting on my FLGS’s shelf. It’s fantastic and we have used it more as a wedding/baby shower game than anything- leveraging kids’ books because there are always things that can be taken out of context and made funny and they are short and easy to scan/parse at a glance

Hidden Role Games:

  • Spyfall
  • Coup (-ish? it’s lying to friends, so I think it counts)
  • Whales Destroying the World (if you don’t already have this, it’ll be hard to find. But if you have it, definitely take it with you)
  • Resistance: Avalon (best-in-class hidden role game as far as I know)

Additional categories to consider…

Light Strategy Games that can work at high player counts:

  • RoboRally (keep the layouts smallish)
  • Camel Up
  • Sushi Go Party!
  • Ethnos
  • Ca$h 'n Guns
  • Alhambra
  • Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  • Bargain Quest
  • Wits & Wagers
  • Flamme Rouge w/Peloton
  • Going, Going, GONE!
  • Flux

Sales Pitch Games (sort of a sub-category of Party Games):

  • The Champion of the Wild
  • Snake Oil
  • But Wait, There’s More

Cooperative Games:

  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue
  • Mysterium (meh, we play this as full-co-op…)
  • others? This isn’t a strong category for me

Roll & Write:

  • Welcome To…
  • Railroad Ink

And of course:

  • Two Decks of Cards

Honestly, if these are non-gamers, I doubt you’ll convince them all to play a game more than once or twice. I would count on maybe having 3 or 4 player games available for those times that some of the people will say, “Ahh, nah, count me out this time”.

Thanks everyone. These are really helpful suggestions, and a couple I’ve already got, which is handy, and a couple I was on the fence about buying.

Really tempted to finally get Cosmic Encounter. Do you think that would fly with a broad audience?

maybe? It’s really hit and miss. Do they all like sci fi enough would be my main question I think.

6 Nimmt! hasn’t been mentioned. But that’s great. Importantly as well it has enough in similarity with some traditional card games that it is accessible and familiar enough.

1 Like

Cosmic Encounter with 6 players, 5 of which are new to the game, sounds like quite a stretch tbh… I don’t think you’ll find much depth beyond what you’ve listed with 6 player games, they all tend to at least verge on party games at that count.

1 Like

There can be only one choice: The Campaign for North Africa! :smirk:


They’ll have to convince more people to join them:

It is suggested that you have 5 persons per side with the following duties.

Commander-in-Chief: responsible for strategic decisions and to settle intra-team disputes.

Logistics Commander: In charge of all supplies. Accepts supply requisitions from the others and keeps all informed of supply shortages. Is in charge of supply dumps, Third line trucks and some second line trucks and is in charge of Naval convoys.

Rear Area Commander: Gets the supplies to the front. In charge of security, reserves, prisoners and construction.

Air Commander: In charge of all planes and pilots. Is responsible for planning air missions and deployment of air bases.

Front-line Commander: Executes all attacks and troop movements in the front line. Helps with coordinating defensive efforts.

Playing time with 10 players is listed at 1200 hours.

(emphasis mine)

1 Like

Some good shouts here. Particularly agree with Flamme Rouge which I adore. Some other thoughts below


  • Monikers! At that player count, probably play it non-competitively taking turns giving clues to the group.

Light Strategy:

  • Condottiere (did this ever get reprinted? otherwise tough to get hold of)


  • Sheriff of Nottingham (with Merry Men expansion)
  • I’m the Boss (this might be hard to get hold of)


  • Decrypto
  • Trapwords
1 Like

Azul is probably my favourite: intuitively choose to be an arse game in a proper game.

Suggestion of the Mind is good.

Meeple circus has this performative thing.

Not if they wear “two hats”! :laughing:


It did.

For 6 (5 of which are gamer-newbies), Jamaica and Camel Up should work well. You should certainly bring Skull, though.

1 Like

Magic Maze! Real-time cooperative game with easy to teach rules. If they like the base game you can start introducing more game elements to keep the game fresh.

Not Alone. One vs. many game where all the players have to do is choose where to go each round. Actions and effects are written on the cards themselves.

In answer to the question in the thread title, I’d recommend walking boots.

1 Like

The longer title was: and there’s four kids under 4 in the house that will all be in bed by eight.

Then walking boots won’t be so useful I guess. Definitely take a pack of cards, if not 6 for Racing Demon (aka Dutch Blitz)

Just took Skull on a holiday overseas with kids, parents, grandparents… plus some other games that they didn’t want to play because… Skull!


Thanks again everyone. From suggestions so far, I’ve got the following in my collection, so will certainly take these:

Railroad Ink
Flamme Rouge (though minus Peleton)

In terms of shopping trip, Skull is a good shout, particularly on price and I’ve also been tempted by Decrypto for a while. The Mind looks good value.

I’d love to take one big box, but might be a stretch to buy anything too expensive. I’ve got a still sealed Fury of Dracula - worth a go with a floating player?