3 Tabletop Games That Take Forever To Play, But Are So Worth It.

I recently wrote about tabletop games that you can play quickly to satisfy your gaming fix when you might not have the entire day to invest in gaming experience. Let’s face it, most of us just cannot sacrifice that kind of time regularly. Damn you adulting.

Then there are those days that you plan for. You get the gang lined up. The date and location are picked. Everyone knows what game you are playing, and it is a beast. You tell the kids and loved ones that you will be home… tomorrow.

These are a few of my favorite tabletop games that take forever to play, but are so satisfying in the end.

Twilight Imperium

I don’t think a list like this can possibly be made without including Twilight Imperium. It is simply one of the best tabletop games ever made, in my opinion, but it can also take the entire day to play.

Each player has their own race, their own starting planets, and their own special abilities. Everyone is trying to explore and conquer other planets to gain resources. The resources can then be used to build bigger fleets and advance their scientific knowledge. Yes, each player has a tech tree.

The rules are the one thing, besides the time investment, that keeps people away from this game. They are a bit involved. Each turn, you have a lot of options available to you. Each individual action is fairly simple to grasp, but there is a lot of them, and for that reason there is a lot to learn.

I found a pretty good tutorial video on the rules I’ll embed here for anyone that is interested, but even that is 32 minutes long.

This game is filled with combat, politics, spaceships, aliens, everything a girl needs to be happy.

For someone that has never played the game, a good description would be it is a tabletop, sci-fi version of Sid Meier’s Civilization with 6-player PvP.

If I had one tip about this game to have a great experience, be careful in choosing your gaming group. Someone is going to get ganged up on. Someone is going to get betrayed by an ally. Someone is going to see portions of their empire crumble due to bad luck or all of the above.

If anyone in your group can not laugh and have a good time due to their own misfortune, it can rapidly destroy the experience for everyone involved. This is way too long of a gaming experience to have it turn sour because of one player’s bad attitude.

Arkham Horror

If you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft and have not yet played Arkham Horror, what’s wrong with you? This game is about as close as you can get to the Lovecraftian universe in a board game.

Arkham Horror is a cooperative board game for 1-8 players. Yes, it can be played solo, but it is so time intensive I cannot imagine anyone wanting to play this solo.

Players take on the role of investigators in Lovecraft’s town of Arkham, Massachusetts. One of the Ancient Ones is stirring from their slumber.

Every turn opens a gate from another world and a monster is spawned. Players travel around the board combatting the monsters and trying to enter the gates.

When players enter a gate, they are transported to another world where they must have two encounters before returning to Arkham. Then they need to pass a skill check to close the gate.

Each time a gate opens, a token is added to the Ancient One’s doom tracker. Once it fills up, the Ancient One awakens and players must fight it in order to win. If all gates are closed, the players win.

It all sounds very simple, but once you start playing you will quickly realize there is a lot more to the game than that. There are also expansions upon expansions for this game which add new mechanics and flavor to the game.

This is one of those games that can end quickly in a players’ loss or can easily hit the 4-6 hour mark, and then usually also end in a players’ loss.

Fury of Dracula

Have you ever watched the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula? This game feels a lot like the last 30-40 minutes of that movie where the main characters are chasing the Count across the globe back to his home in Transylvania.

There are two sides in this game. One person plays as Dracula, full of Fury and stuff, and the other side is 4 hunters, Van Helsing, John Seward, Lord Godalming, and Mina Harker, trying to track him down and defeat him once and for all.

While the hunters are trying to find and eliminate Dracula, he is trying to increase his influence over the world by maturing new vampires, defeating hunters in combat, or simply surviving long enough for his power to grow to a point that makes him unstoppable.

There is a bit of a cat and mouse feeling to this game. The whole feeling of chasing the trail of an enemy reminds me a little bit of the game Scotland Yard if you have ever played that.

It’s great fun from both sides, but I particularly enjoy trying to outwit 3 other players as Dracula.

The only reason we don’t play this game a lot more is that you are probably looking at a good 3 hours from start to finish, sometimes even longer.

There they are. Three of my favorite games that can feel like a real chore to play, but are an absolute blast.