I've never been a big fan of boardgames. I never really enjoyed that they just existed in one particular point-in-time. There was no backstory, and the game itself just seemed too much like like a futile distraction of dice-rolling, space-occupying, and time-killing. I'd based this opinion of games from my childhood...the types of things we've all played over and over (Monopoly and the like). I enjoyed tactical wargames much more, because they existed in some kind of world (like either the real-world of WW II, like my old Avalon Hill wargames, or fictional settings like Car Wars or Battletech). Those never felt like boargames. My friends and I were playing scenarios that could have been part of a larger experience. Our experiences could connect to something bigger, and it made us feel like what we did mattered a little more.
Recently, though, I've been spending more of my afternoons at Natural 20 in Westmont (my favorite game store...go there and check it out). I've been swept into a few different games that have gotten me to appreciate boardgames a little differently. There are better reviewers out there who can give better descriptions of how these games are supposed to be played, =but I want to give my personal opinions about a few of them.
Battlestar Galactica. If you haven't played this yet, get to a game store on their boardgame night and try it out. Players work to get humanity's fleet to Earth, but Cylon's hidden in the players' ranks try to sabotage the effort. Times I've played, most people spend alot of time yelling, "You're a fracking toaster!" at each other. Great fun.
Neuroshima Hex: A tactical game from Poland. I enjoy it, but am horrible at playing it. Last night, the owner of Natural 20 told me that he spent three days yelling about how horrible I play. His words: "Its a great game, unless Goodman's playing. Then you get angry."
A couple of recent acquisitions: Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, and Red November (the game of a sinking gnomish submarine). I would absolutely love to play either of these much more. Also got Munchkin Quest as a Christmas present from my Don. I'm still waiting for a chance to break that open.
Roleplaying games: I'm surprised at how much I like all of the stuff coming out for Star Wars Saga Edition. The core rulebook was nothign special, but every suppliment that's come out has been spectacular. My favorites recently have been Scum & Villany (playing scoundrels, smugglers, and the like), The Force Unleashed companion book (which includes a great deal of information on how to run a Dark Times game, set between episodes 3 and 4), and Starships of the Galaxy (which include further information on playing pilots and more starship combat rules). More setting books are coming out soon (The Clone Wars, this Tuesday, and the rebellion Era, a few months from now). I'm eagerly anticipating both.
I've been collecting and reading material for the Dark Heresy RPG (the Warhammer 40K RPG). I enjoy it. Although I have no idea where or when I'll get the chance to use the material, I eagerly await whenever the next set of books will come out. There's a great deal of setting information in them, and I enjoy what I read more and more. Its inspiring me more and more to work on my Space Marine army, too.