As essential as they are vilified, Rogues are as sneaky as they are fun to play. But while thievery, backstabbing, and stealth may work well while roleplaying… few board games let you enjoy the power fantasy of skulking around with a cloak and dagger looking to stab some rats.
So, here are eight of our favorite games that reward the tricksiest of players, starting with-
The godmother of all worker placement games; Troyes is unforgiving and relentless when it comes to forcing payers to pay for their mistakes…or let others profit off your own. Now over a decade old, it’s not surprising to see why the game has earned its reputation. Played across a razor-thin 4-6 rounds, the game asks you to accrue wealth and influence…the latter of which can easily be pilfered. While victory points are the aim of the game, Troyes allows for an astonishing amount of player interaction that rewards mind-games and tricksy plays, letting your opponents buy your dice, take advantage of your secret ‘role’ you were given at the start of the game, and more. A true delight just watch your money when you’re playing.
An asymmetric delight, Vast grabs a handful of fantasy tropes and shoves them into the close confines of a magic cave. Playing up to 5, the game offers a unique cocktail of objectives and conflicts each session as players take on the roles of Knights, Dragons, Goblins, the Cave itself. And our personal favourite, the thief. While many of the roles conflict with each other (Knight kills dragon, Goblin kills Knight etc), the Thief has the highly thematic task of sneaking past everyone, stealing everything that isn’t nailed down, and scarpering as fast as they can. This lets you fiddle about with your stats every turn and keep the other players guessing, turning you from a mild annoyance that can be ignored to a treacherous maniac who has to be stopped now or the game is over! Throw in a little backstabbing and pickpocketing and you’re set.
One of the most beloved indie RPG’s of the last decade, BitD not only still has legs, but light fingers too. Setting players in the slippers of a school of bandits, players plan heist after heist as the group takes scores and steals away anything that would stand in the way of a frictionless narrative. This includes being laser-focused on your storytelling, making admin, and planning simple, and give everything you need to start building your own homebrew capers with confidence. I’d pick up a copy, but I think I misplaced my wallet. Must be around here somewhere. Unless…ah. Crap.