A friend of mine has rekindled my love of boards, cards, dice and little wood or plastic figures :)
Dominion was the first thing that got a group of us hooked. It seems to have this universal appeal . . . I haven't been able to find anyone who didn't enjoy it, regardless of how skeptical they are of "Nerd Games".
It's a card game with a few simple principles . . . you play as a feudal lord trying to buy more land than the other lords around you. Every card you buy goes into your deck, which is continually cycled so you see the same cards come up over and over. There's a delicate balance between buying money, action cards (that let you either do wonderful and exciting things or stab the other players in the back during your turn) and victory cards. It has a nice timing feel to it . . . when is it good to build up a deck of actions, and when is it time to just start hoarding victory points for the fast approaching end of the game?
For more information, check out Board Game Geek.
Another beautiful game I just bought (at CanCon, Canberra's board games convention) is Dixit. This beautifully designed and illustrated game is all about aesthetic creativity rather than numbers.
It's a game of storytelling that's incredibly simple yet amazingly enjoyable. Everyone has a hand of cards that have cute little abstract pictures on them that could have many meanings. They choose one and tell a story about it . . . the trick is that if everyone or no one gets it, then the storyteller gets no points . . . you have to be obvious enough that someone gets it, but not obvious enough that everyone does. You end up with those classic "How could you not have guessed that?" moments :)
There's also info on Dixit at Board Game Geek.
I'll talk more about other games later . . .