Monday, May 20, 2013

Game Night Favorites

I've been meaning to write a bit about our game night favorites.  We play a lot of games.  Mainly board games.  We've got all the old standards- trivial pursuit, monopoly, the game of life, etc.  And a ton of the Euro style games.  I was never much of a gamer before I met my husband.  He on the other hand is a life long gamer.  Total Game Nerd-which is why and how he learned a lot of his strategy skills.  I asked him specifically about computer games when we started dating, having an intense dislike of all computer games and the waste of time they suck out of lives.

In any case, I didn't ask about board games and quickly learned about a lot of these.  Mike and I are highly competitive in board games.  We love to play and want others to love it too.  So we're always willing to teach someone a new game and give them a head start or handicap to even the playing field.  It's not fun to win unless it's an even playing field.  It's fun to play whether I win or not.  And even if I lose the game it's a great game if I beat Mike.  And he feels the same.  He's always trying to "beat the wife" as he says.

If you haven't played a board game in awhile, I suggest you pick a night and arrange a game.  Good friends, a good game and snacks make for an awesome night.  Plus waiting for your turn is excellent knitting time.

I'm known at all the game groups for having my knitting out.

Small World is a fun game.  It's a war style game.  Each player has a character race and power.  Each turn you place your characters to fight against others in a bid to win territory.  Once your characters are killed off you can kill your character/race and pick a new one.  

Empire builder is a really fun train game.  You build track and deliver and pick up goods at cities across the country.  The winner is the first player to collect $250 million dollars.

Darjeeling is a simple game where players are collecting pieces to put together a box.  Complete boxes are turned in for points.  It's fast and simple.

I won't even try to explain 7 wonders.  Its fun but a bit complicated.  You will pick it up fairly easily in person.  I highly recommend it.

Pastiche is an art game.  Each player is given a painting to complete which require collecting the right type of color cards.  Tiles are placed to gain color cards.  After the player collects the necessary color cards the painting is completed and points are collected.  First player to a certain number of points wins.  Great game for kids-fun for adults.  And it's a good party game.  Doesn't take very long and anyone can play it.

A couple of our favorites for game night are Catan, Settlers of America and Powergrid.  Catan is hard to explain without the game in front of you.  Each player starts with a number of little houses.  It's similar to regular Settlers of Catan-the dice is rolled, each player wins resource cards and uses those cards to purchase new houses and routes. When a house is played it frees up a token.  (The little blue tokens on the bottom corner of the picture). The tokens are delivered to a neighbors house.  The first player to place all tokens wins.

And PowerGrid:

In Powergrid each player is tasked with purchasing power plants and cities.  Each power plant powers a city.  You also manage output for each power plant by purchasing power tokens.  The game takes strategy and management of resources.   It's similar to Monopoly.  The game hinges on auctions, management, strategy and a bit of luck.  It's fairly simple to pick up and a lot of fun.  The makers have come out with expansion sets with different maps (so you have a lot of options to keep the game fresh and interesting).

Check out your local game store (no big box stores carry these types of games) and ask the store to teach you how to play some of these games and bring game night back to your house.  You can also check out and search for local board game groups-these groups are always welcoming and willing to teach newcomers new games.

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