Settlers of Catan.
I bought my copy five years ago on a whim, never played it, and boxed it away in the garage until last night. It was our usual gaming session, but a couple of the players couldn't make it and after the topic of board games came up, I pulled my dusty Catan box out of storage.
For those of you unfamiliar with this game, here's a bit of an overview. Settlers of Catan is a strategy based trading/resource gain/construction board game where players each control a small group of settlers as they vie for control of an equally small island. The fun comes in the placement of your settlements (only settlements on specific resources can get that resource) and when players are forced to trade for what they need. What resource you get is determined by rolling a pair of d6's and whatever land tile has the matching number (2-12) produces resources for that turn. A roll of 7 (the most common roll possible) enables the roller to steal a resource from another player and block one of their resource tiles.
Since that night, I've played 10 times in the last two days and for a game that you can learn in 10 minutes it has a huge amount of strategy behind it. There's a good deal of luck as well, so even those that are veterans can loose to a totally new player. Amidst the trading, thievery and backstabbing there's a good deal of laughter and at the end of each game I was left thinking two things. 1) where has the time gone? and 2) why haven't I been playing this game the last five years?
So the bottomline? Pick up a copy of Settlers and call some friends if they have a night to burn. Play a game and you'll be entranced, play two and you'll never look back. Well, until next time (where I'll be going into more Pathfinder/RPG related topics) - Avid out.