What makes Board Game Arena work for you (and what doesn't)?

Premium User

I've been playing on BGA for about 6-8 months consistently now and greatly enjoy the venue.  I've played TTS and Tabletopia and a few Steam boardgames (Scythe + something else I can't remember) and BGA takes the cake for me.

I try to be somewhat careful with which games I play blindly (no rules, just jump in) but I like the ability to do this and learn a game.  Some games I find that I really want a physical copy of to play with friends locally that aren't on BGA.  Other games I am glad I tried and passed on purchasing a physical copy.  Some games I love to play both as much as I can.

1. Getting better at games I enjoy is one of my favorite things about BGA.  Many of the games I really love take too much setup and teardown to play many times in a row. #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods are two games that physically hit the table only once in a while and yet they are two of my favorite games!  On BGA I have had the opportunity to get much better at Teotihuacan while simultaneously never winning at Viticulture because I am still trying to figure that one out...but I love it!

2. Learning a new game with a brief or no rule reading is great.  There are times I'd love to try a new game but need a friend with a new game or would have to purchase one myself because it's going to be a while before the next game night.  BGA lets me stretch from game knowledge and repertoire.  I generally stick to the ones I know but once in a while I really want to try something that intrigues me.

3. The platform is well designed and there seem to be very few glitches while gaming.  Several times I've been able to get a game with friends over discord when there was no way we could get together.  I love having a smooth and easy options that keeps us from messing up the rules.

What is your experience on the platform and how has it worked for you?

What would you change about it if you could change something?

What 5 games would you like to see on BGA that aren't there now? (I'd like to see #Heaven & Ale, #Brass: Birmingham, #Great Western Trail (Second Edition), and #Coffee Traders) I'd also love to see the solo option for a few games.


https://youtu.be/uYq-rxTkkas - link to my solo game metric update and a few BGA thoughts 

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Premium User56 days ago

I think my favorite thing about it is the asynchronous play. Being able to take my turn, then close the page and check back later/get an email alert when it's my turn is so nice and lets me play even when life is busy.

One thing that I don't love, but is unavoidable, is using it for games that have "turn interrupts" or something that everyone needs to respond to on one person's turn. Examples are #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Res Arcana. Overall the games work great, but opening the game up only to find that I just have to respond to something happening in the middle of someone else's turn is kind of a letdown. Again, there's not really any way to avoid it, and I'd rather have those games on there than not.

45 days ago

Yes! I was just saying this about turn interupts.

Premium User45 days ago

Nice! Yeah it's kind of annoying, but like I said, I don't think there's a way around it aside from simply avoiding those games.

Premium User55 days ago

Forgot to add games I want. I think that #Oceans would be GREAT on BGArena. It's got little things to track and trigger that would be great if done automatically by the site, and I think removing that barrier might do wonders for the game and of course introduce it to a larger audience.

Premium User56 days ago

I've been finding myself playing games on BGA and thinking: "why would I ever need a physical copy of this game?" This includes some games I used to own, but have since gotten rid of like #Teotihuacan: City of Gods or #Res Arcana. Also would include some games I've played that I was interested in owning, but thinking about having to do all the upkeep/setup/scoring myself would be a bigger hassle than it's worth. I'm thinking games like #Beyond the Sun or #Kahuna here, the latter being less that issue and more of a "Sarah would hate this" feeling lol. A lot more games I've played on BGA I've actually picked up - #Lost Ruins of Arnak, #Medina (second edition), #Draftosaurus, and #Targi come to mind. I like the platform quite a bit and would like to explore some more games on there, but rarely find the time to do so, even asynch. Wouldn't necessarily change anything about the platform either, as it's near perfect I think.

53 days ago

The UX is horrible. I love good digital board game experiences, but generic products like Tabletopia and Board Game Arena aren't that. This may change with a port to whatever Apple's headset end up being, but I suspect it would still take years to not be clunky even there.

Premium User56 days ago

The turn based play option definitely makes Board Game Arena my go to gaming site.  However, I don't find that all games work wellf or me in this format.  Mostly because I am not taking my time every time I load up the game so games where I can see the state quick, make a play decision, then make my play are best.  Complex games I have played a few times in real life work well as well.

Tabletopia is another one we used quite a bit, especially when playing real time.  The game play is not as structured which actually makes it a bit easier to teach people a game as you can show them examples etc.  

Yucata has a super old school interface and it boils the game down to the key elements but the price is right!  (Free.) There are also some games on there that aren't anywhere else.  

For playing with my friends in real time Tabletop Simulator is my favourite by a mile.

To answer your questions:

What is your experience on the platform and how has it worked for you? Great experience.  Works very well.

What would you change about it if you could change something? The iPad implementation on some of the games doesn't work great.  It would be great to be able to see tool tips somehow in this format.  

What 5 games would you like to see on BGA that aren't there now? Agree with you on Heaven & Ale, Brass (either or both), GWT.  I would also add #Concordia and #Ecos: First Continent.

Premium User55 days ago

Yes, #Concordia would be a fantastic add!

53 days ago

I'm not a big fan of Boiteajeux.net, but their Concordia implementation is actually pretty good.