Board games are traditionally one of the sub-categories under tabletop games, where pieces or counters are moved or put on a pre-marked surface or board in accordance with some rules.
But in common parlance, a board game doesn’t necessarily have to involve the use of a physical board. Certain games deal with pure strategy.
However, several of such games have an element of chance, while others are purely chance, lacking any element of skill.
When you’re hanging out with your buddies and are up to 6 in number, then one of the best ways to get yourselves entertained is by playing board games.
No idea about the best board games for 6 players? No need to worry; simply go through this post and pick your choice from the titles we’ll be reviewing.
Top 6-Player Board Games
This game’s current version is the 4th incarnation of the original board game, which hit the market 2 decades ago.
Since then, it’s been ranked among the largest, most classic, and grandiose board games out there.
Twilight Imperium is the Fantasy Flight’s flagship board game, which is offered in a 2ft x 1ft box, weighing 16 lb.
The game takes 4 – 8 players, though the perfect number is 6, and play lasts throughout the day.
Players will assume roles of 1 of 17 unique alien races that are slugging it out with one another for influence in space and using their galactic empires.
Players, throughout the game, will colonize planets, make findings of military technology, take part in space battles.
Also, they’ll sabotage the galactic senate to ultimately usurp the galactic throne and emerge as the emperor of space.
The board represents twenty-seven (27) to thirty-five (35) hexagon tiles with the galactic capital, known as Mecatol Rex, sited in the center of the map in which the former seat of the empire can be found.
Other tiles could hold other planets, wormholes, systems, supernovae, asteroid fields, including several other items in space.
Each player will start small with only a couple of technologies at their disposal, basic spaceships, units as well as decent special abilities. Apart from these, a unique secret objective will be given to every player.
By completing objectives, you get to earn victory points. And the 1st player to attain ten (10) points becomes the winner of the game.
How to Play Twilight Imperium
In each round, we’ve 4 phases: Strategy, Action, Status, and Agenda.
In the Strategy phase, players have to make big decisions. They‘ve to choose 1 of 8 cards providing a unique role, ability, or power for that round.
In each card, there are primary and secondary abilities.
As for the Action phase, it’s where the major interaction takes place as players will move, design, invade, and take part in space combat with other opposing players.
Further, this phase involves bringing your diplomacy skill to play and putting in place a number of beneficial arrangements.
In the status phase, we’ve the game’s upkeep stage in which things are checked, with some housecleaning done.
Finally, the Agenda phase comes up, allowing players to vote as regards creating changes in the galactic constitution by establishing new laws and effecting changes in the rules of the game on the move.
Voting can be influenced or lobbied by providing other players with goods, services, or making promises in exchange for their votes.
Everything about this game looks grandiose — the box, the game board, the miniatures, and the theme.
In the 4th edition, the gameplay has been streamlined. Still, it’s intricate, lengthy, and involved.
The game does offer a perfect balance between a prolonged strategic play and certain tactics working in synergy.
Strategies to Win
Due to the game’s epic feel, size, and weight, you may have a perception that it must be played by adopting a sledgehammer approach. However, a cautious and thought-out tactical play needs a scalpel.
One of the features you’d love most about this game is how much flexibility it offers to the players to select the style they like.
If you love making trouble and engaging in combats everywhere you go, you’d find your preferred style in Twilight Imperium.
Conversely, if you opt for a more peaceful approach that involves using tact and diplomacy, it allows you to do so.
- 17 various races
- Highly interactive
- Streamlined variant of a galaxy scale strategy game
- Offers three-hundred and fifty (350) plastic miniatures
- Play lasts for a whole day
- Not ideal for the faint-hearted
This game involves incompetent outlaws seeking vengeance on each other. Colt Express, which is set in 1899, puts the player on board the Union Pacific Express on the route to deliver forty-seven (47) passengers and the payroll to the Nice Valley Coal Company.
At a point throughout the whole journey, the train will be besieged by thieving bandits.
You’ve to battle the other outlaws in your gang that will attack you to gain possession of more loot. However, they could be the least of the issues you need to worry about.
This is because Marshal Samuel Ford, who is the trusty sheriff, is also aboard and will try his best to put a stop to the robbery & save the day.
How to Play Colt Express
It’s a programmed card playing game in which players play their cards in turns in a common pile.
Once everyone completes all their turns, you’ll then flip over the cards and carry out the actions one by one.
For each card you draw, you can move along or up the train. Also, you can fight someone, shoot someone, or grab the loot.
But that’s not all as you can even move the sheriff. This will force anyone from the carriage he goes into up the roof.
To win the game, it’s important to do long term planning.
You’ve to think through your plan to seize loot and slug it out with other bandits to emerge the wealthiest bandit in your outlaw gang.
Also, you should run around the train to avoid your opposing players and steer clear of Marshal Ford.
Winning the game requires plotting 2 or 3 steps ahead and trying to counteract the future moves of your opponents.
It could end up causing some changes to your position on the train, in moving the loot, or your location compared with the marshal’s.
All in all, the essence of this multiplayer board game is unpredictability.
This is because it lets you have fun and excitement by forcing players to carry out unwanted or unplanned actions during the chaos and foil the plans of one other.
The game board comprises highly detailed 3D locomotive cars and trains that you must assemble before the game begins.
At times, you might need to make a perfectly timed run across the train and steal the loot.
At other times, you‘ll have no choice but to shoot and punch at nobody as all the other players move around you.
Playing this sort of game can be likened to watching a movie because a lot is going on, and you won’t have any idea about what’s coming next.
In Colt Express, there are 5 rounds, with each round containing two phases.
First Phase — Schemin’
In this phase, each player must play between 2–5 cards on a shared card pile, and according to the type of round, the action cards can be placed either face up or down.
But a player can also draw 3 cards from the deck, rather than playing a card.
Second Phase — Stealin’
The fun starts at this stage as the action cards will be played out following the order they were put in the pile.
Here, you’ll be able to see if your perfectly laid out plan works perfectly, if you didn’t get it right, or if one of your opponents has rendered your plans ineffective.
When the fifth round ends, the player with the most loot wins the game.
In spite of its simple objective, we’ve enough variations and twists in Colt Express to ensure the excitement and intrigues never stop.
But if you ever think it’s becoming repetitive, you can try 2 expansions, known as Stagecoach and Marshal & Prisoners, which add additional variety to the gameplay.
- Features fast-action gameplay
- Fun, exciting, and memorable
- Needs strategic thinking & planning ahead
- Gameplay lasts 30 to 45 minutes
- Has virtually no downtime between turns
- Moving pieces is tricky on a 3D train
This is a highly visual strategy card game that can be played in about 30 minutes, unlike Twilight Imperium that lasts a whole day.
Also, the rules of 7 Wonders are easy to learn.
In this game, you’re a leader of one of the 7 magnificent cities of the Ancient World.
You’ll cautiously pool resources together and construct commercial routes.
You’re also tasked with asserting your military domination over your opponents.
Develop your city and design an architectural wonder of the world, which beats what we’ve in today’s world.
Because this game is easy to learn, you should be able to play it and be familiar with all the rules and how to score after playing 1 or 2 games.
In the back page of the rule book, there’s an easy reference guide for the role of each card and how to calculate the score.
How to Play 7 Wonders
This game involves 3 rounds (known as ages).
Each age sees you and your opponents draw cards in turns from a deck, which is passed around the table.
Throughout each round, the gameplay looks alike. In each age, you’ve a chance to play 6 cards to build your city the best way you can.
As you develop infrastructure and create weapons, you’d see your civilization start to take shape during this game.
Also, you can exchange your goods and knowledge with interconnected cities.
While constructing your wonder, you can make use of its abilities, to emerge as the most advanced civilization in the world.
Certain cards you play will help in upgrading your city instantly, while others are to be used for upgrades in later part of the game, such as giving discounts on future purchases, providing you with the military strength to help defeat your opponents, or allowing you to earn extra victory points.
On completing each age, every player will then earn military points by comparing their military strength to neighboring cities.
The military points partly account for the overall points count when the game ends.
Once you complete the 3rd age, you’ll be awarded points according to your cards and any military conflicts that took place.
The player that gets the maximum points wins the game.
Strategies to Win
You can use many different strategies to win 7 Wonders. It’s a fair game in which luck plays an insignificant role in determining the outcome.
Card drafting ensures everyone stays alert as players eagerly wait to see the card selection they’re to make their choice from.
Even picking the cards is also a challenge since you’ll often want to choose multiple cards. Apart from that, you can clearly see the cards, which your opponents would find beneficial.
And occasionally, it’s wise to select the card with the sole aim of preventing other players from getting it.
While the game changes constantly, you can still design long-term strategies to have an edge over the other players.
The more times you take part in playing this game, the deeper you’ll be able to delve into the details of improving your approach to make it perfect.
- Features a lot of expansions
- Quick, short, and entertaining
- Rules are easy to learn
- Recommended for players, aged 10 years and above
- Some of the instructions are a bit unclear
- Can’t be categorized as a deep strategy game
Mission: Red Planet has to do with players taking control of mining companies in the steampunk world of 1888 in which corporations fight for resources on Mars.
Here is how the story goes: Scientists have made a discovery of an abundance of celerium, sylvanite, and ice on Mars, and the minerals are seriously needed to supporting earth, which had exhausted its natural resources.
Unfortunately, the resources on Mars are also finite.
Thus, you must win the competition, be the first to get there, and carry out the harvest of the resources in the most efficient way.
Each player will be required to lead a team comprising 9 astronauts that have unique abilities and skills and can realize very different objectives.
Among several things, astronauts are capable of extracting minerals & resources and creating diversions by blowing rockets up before launching into space.
Mission: Red Planet revolves around 2 simple and popular mechanics, which are called area control and secret role card selection.
How to Play Mission: Red Planet
When each round starts, players will stealthily deploy character cards.
It’s those cards that determine the particular space ships astronauts are planning to board and the actions they intend to carry out during the turn.
Each spaceship, which is ready to go to Mars, will land in various areas of the red planet, rich in different minerals.
In the game, part of the challenge you’ll face is to try and guess the plans of your opponents and work to sabotage them.
On getting to Mars, your team will gather valuable resources to allow you to earn points.
Additionally, players have a secret side mission, through which they can get bonus points and move faster on their way up.
Therefore, the rules of this game could look simple. And they really are.
However, you need to be wary of a small twist: Apart from choosing the spaceship to board and the action to perform, players will also have to pick a special role for the round, which offers them unique abilities.
For instance, you could choose a Travel Agent that can board 3 astronauts into your rocket or a person such as an explorer that’ll be able to get your team to explore the titular planetoid.
To have a successful Mars colonization campaign, it’s crucial to be able to combine rockets with actions and hidden roles.
Without any shred of doubt, Mission: Red Planet is one of the best board games for 6 people.
- Has little or no downtime
- Component quality is of high quality
- Simple to play
- Easy to learn
- Fun and tense
- Highly interactive
- Bonus points scoring is given too much weight
This is a fun word-guessing game in which you play as members of two rival spy teams or networks.
In Codenames, the trick is that your team players will act as a spymaster, who is privy to the secret identity of twenty-five (25) agents.
Other players only know each agent through the use of codes.
The spymaster has to provide clues for the team in such a way that they’ll be able to recognize the agents on the cards.
As one of the cards is a dangerous assassin, it’s to be avoided at all costs.
Should the team select him instead, the game will end in defeat.
The Spymasters will provide their teammates with 1-word clues that can result in more than 1 word on the game board.
Despite that, when your teammates select the agents, you’ve to ensure they choose the right one.
Then, your teammates will now have to guess the right agents on the cards and dodge the other agents of the opposing team and the assassin.
In this game, the cards are laid out in a 5 x 5 grid containing 25 words, with each word representing a secret agent’s codename.
Each team will pick a spymaster. And every other person will play as the spymaster’s operatives.
How to Play Codename
To start the game, spymasters will draw a keycard, which will determine the map that codenames on the grid belong to what specific teams as well as the assassin’s location.
Of the twenty-five (25) characters on the board, we’ve 8 agents from a team, 9 agents from the other team, 7 innocent bystanders, along with one deadly assassin.
If you play as an operative, the aim will be to make use of the clues offered to you by your spymaster to guess the characters you see on the board.
During each turn, the spymaster will utter a word and a number, representing the clue, in addition to the number of cards the clue is applying to on the game board.
- Has short 15-min playing time
- Requires no learning curve
- Gives great fun and is entertaining
- Suitable for everyone — family, friends, and work colleagues
- Has some downtime when awaiting clues
FAQs about the Best Board Games for 6 Players
Are multiplayer board games good for you?
Yes. The best board games for 6 players are fun, entertaining, and offer you a lot of benefits.
When playing them, you’ve an opportunity to engage your mind, thus making it sharper and stronger. Playing such games can be considered an exercise for your mind.
Are board games better than video games?
When it comes to entertainment purposes, board games are of equal importance to video games.
But if you want to have fun and get educated on different aspects in the process, board games are the best.
Apart from that, playing video games for long hours can also cause some strains on your eyes due to the visuals. But this doesn’t happen with board games.
How do 6-player board games help your cognitive development?
Cognitive development largely has to do with developing your mental abilities, including your abilities in logical thinking, problem-solving, memory power, and decision-making skills.
And by playing board games for 6 people, you’ll be able to develop all these, regardless of your age. It stimulates the brain, resulting in cognitive development.
When you’re hanging out with a group of friends, nothing brings more fun than playing the best board games for 6 players.
Apart from keeping you guys entertained, these multiplayer board games can also offer some other benefits, including improving logical thinking and problem-solving skills.