2. Settlers of Catan
Arguably the Settlers of Catan board game sparked the board game revolution when it was released in the United States in 1995, and has since become a mainstay in many people’s collections right alongside Monopoly. It has become popular with multiple groups also, including Silicone Valley execs and venture capitalists. In this game, players represent groups that are establishing colonies on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities and roads. To do this, though, they must spend resources they collect throughout the course of the game. These resources are gathered either via random dice rolls at the start of each player’s turn, or through players negotiating trades among one another.
This aspect of trading is where the meat of this game lies. Because the game is played on a modular board that can change every game and the random dice rolls, some resources can be abundant in one game but rare in others — as such their value can vary dramatically. This is the aspect traders will love as they vie against their opponents to always be on the better side of a trade. Usually, the winner is the person who was able to make the best trades throughout the course of the game.