5 Board Games That Can Ruin Friendships


Chris from The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast lists 5 board games that are so brutal and can get your friend so riled up that it could get a fight brewing.

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  1. My previous game group practically disbanded after a particularly devious round of Diplomacy. We renamed it “The Friend Ender” 🙂

  2. For my group: (in alphabetical order)

    – Cry Havoc
    – Dogs of War
    – Game of Thrones
    – Tammany Hall
    – Twilight Imperium 4E

  3. Diplomacy is the only game that I have actually lost friends over, but Game of Thrones has a similar enough feel that it covers both for me. Other games that would be high on my list are Tammany Hall and Dominant Species. Despite being a lighter game, I’ve also seen folks get pretty steamed during games of Ticket to Ride, when another player claimed a link that cut them off.

  4. For my group, Fury of Dracula and Betrayal at House on the Hill were almost friendship killers. We learned to steer away from one vs many games the hard way.

  5. I was so happy to see City of Horror on here. It doesn't get a lot of attention, but our group has had a lot of fun with it. Some of them aren't "take that" type gamers at all either. Backstabbing is a constant in this game, but there is some room for nuance through negotiation.

  6. Bootleggers would be top on my list, that is definitely the meanest game I've played. I really enjoy it, I love being a bully and backhanded in board games, despite being very cool-headed, but this is the only game that has actually gotten me angry before.

    Not only is it an area control game, but the person who controls each speakeasy can choose who he will buy booze from, to get the booze there you need to transport it, if you don't have the cars you need to rent them from another player, so you could be getting extorted on every aspect of your logistics, and still have someone be a jerk and ambush your delivery, hah. It's great.

  7. There's a new "Anniversary Edition" of Cutthroat Caverns, it's too bad you didn't pull the pictures from that because it looks SO much better and less dated.

  8. Libertalia will cause quite a few arguments when you manage to kill another player’s character and steal the treasure they wanted. Also Diplomacy… I refuse to ever play Diplomacy again.

  9. After playing Warrior Knights for 6+ hours, things can get very tetchy.
    My wife did not speak to me for a day after an unfortunate incident involving a cat in This War of Mine (soooo many tough decisions).

  10. Thanks for the video. I would like to bring to everyone's attention, a little gem that has all of the despicability of Diplomacy, but plays in 45 minutes. I think it is currently out of print, but do yourself a favour and play Intrigue if you get a chance. Wow. It is wrong in all the right ways. 🙂

  11. Dutch Blitz is well-loved in my family. We are extremely competitive and it's the most physical tabletop game I've played. Truly emblematic of "might makes right."

  12. It seems like the list only contains games he likes. But if it could be any game, my vote would be Diplomacy although I will never play it again.


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