People seemed to really like my last tabletop games post so I figured I would go ahead and do another as I plan for a birthday game night with friends. Here are some of the games that I've played previously (though not necessarily recently), as well as my thoughts.
Munchkin is a great deal of fun. You and your friends are exploring a dungeon together: fighting monsters and gathering treasure. The goal is to be the first person to level up to ten. Throughout the dungeon crawl you will help your friends or stab them in the back or maybe do both on the same turn. It can be a wildly volatile game with no clear winner until the moment they do, actually, win. The expansions add more cards and/or game mechanics. I personally have the Clerical Errors and Demented Dungeons expansions. Easy to medium learning curve.
Bonus points for being pretty cheap as far as tabletop games go.
Warning: I have dubbed this "the game to end friendships." It's the only game that I've actually gotten angry enough to start shouting. I could write a short treatise defending myself, but at the end of the day it's not cool to get all angry during game nights no matter how butt-hurt you're feeling. So keep that in mind.
Castle Ravenloft. It has a great premise--based off of D&D rules, you and your friends are exploring the titular castle in order to put an end to the evil housed within. You are all working together for this purpose and you either all win or all lose. The good: the art is very cool and the minis are a ton of fun (for someone who doesn't have any experience with miniatures). The bad: the leveling and combat rules are simplistic.
Overall I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I want to find a game that is similar to this but just a little more in depth. That being said, my friends liked it a lot more than I did. Medium learning curve.
Game of Thrones: The Board Game is, well, complicated. As are my feelings on the game itself. Despite getting this for Christmas in 2012, I've only actually played it twice. That's mostly because my gaming group decided, while about half way through setting the game up for what would have been our third play through, that it's just too damn involved. Too many pieces, too many rules, and too long a game. None of us really have the patience for it.
Despite all this, I really do like it. With the right group of friends and with the proper amount of time it's a very fun game. Well made, evenly-balanced. Just be ready for a 30 minute setup and a four hour game. If you like that kind of game, then I do recommend it. Difficult learning curve.
Citadels. This is a really cool game. Each of the players is building a city in the hope of gaining the most victory points. Despite this sounding exactly like 7 Wonders, it's not. Each round you select a different leader who gives you different bonuses and you slowly build yourself up while trying to keep your opponents from building their own cities. We haven't played this one for a while and I don't know why. It's really quite good. I do recommend it for anyone who likes 7 Wonders.
Again, bonus points for being rather inexpensive for a tabletop game. Medium learning curve.