10 Great Sci-Fi Board Games

Battlestar Galactica/Dark Moon

In space, no one can hear you accuse your friends. Stronghold Games

One of the best things about board games is that we play them with each other. Sure, that means a game of Monopoly results in trashed friendships and knife fights, but it means that a truly well-designed game can bring us closer together.

That's why Fantasy Flight's "Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game" is such a great experience, no matter what you thought of the SyFy Channnel TV series. The plot is pretty straight forward: humans aboard the Galactica fend off the robotic Cylons as they try to cripple and board the ship.

Sounds reasonably fun, right? Well here's where fluff and mechanics elevate the game to fan favorite status: Some of the human players are secretly Cylons, each plotting bring down the ship from within. When the game begins, there may be one or even zero secret Cylons in the game -- and then halfway into play a sleeper agent suddenly discovers their cold, mechanical heart and starts to work against their former compatriots.

Most of the drama comes down to secret votes in the game that determinate the effectiveness of defensive strategies. Which player is sabotaging the votes? Soon, everyone's accusing each other of being the enemy in disguise.

So the next time someone suggests a workplace icebreaker, bust out a copy of Battlestar, or try out "Dark Moon" from Stronghold games which employs a stripped-down version of the mechanics with franchise-free fluff.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.