Sunday, March 11, 2012

#61 - Game Nights

The beautiful inlaid game table that my Dad made for me a few years ago.  Each of my siblings has one as well; they all have different woods (mine uses lilac, cherry, walnut & others) and an unique design.

I've always liked playing board games; however, when I was young, I was at a decided disadvantage in playing with my family since my siblings were all significantly older than me.  Since we lived out of town, I didn't have the impromptu marathon Monopoly tournaments that I've heard city kids talk about.  But, I do remember going through a phase where I would play all of the tokens myself since everyone else was busy ... my favorite color generally won.
Word game night as everyone gets introduced to the rules of Quiddler
Gaming with my family has changed as my siblings had kids, and I was no longer always the youngest one at the table - definitely a disadvantage in playing something like Trivial Pursuit. My favorite family game is Canasta, but it's also the game where I have the hardest time being a gracious loser! My least favorite game that my family regularly plays is Nine Hole Golf; I find it incredibly tedious.
Some choices for the dice games theme

In high school, my group of friends played games fairly regularly.  One of the guys always had the latest ones ... thanks, Barry, for introducing me to Outburst, Encore, and many others I still love ... as well as Pictionary which I still find incredibly frustrating!
Clue players with their favorite murder weapon - from the night of traditional board games

As an adult, I kept collecting games as gifts at the holidays.  However, when I was working on my DayZero list, I hadn't had a regular opponent for several years, and I missed the friendly competition.  So, the idea of game night began...
Card game choices

I invited a mixed group of friends, but, from the first night, it's turned into a "girls night out" event.  The mix of people has been a little different each time.  I had to reschedule some from last summer due to my major house projects.  It's pretty clear to me that I have a couple of friends that are really there to play the games and the others are there more to have a night out; however, I think that everyone is having a good time.
The ending board of Wit's End - notice how Nina (the winner) is in the center and the rest of us were still on the outer edges!

Since I own so many games, I gave each night a theme.  Thus far, we've had: card games, dice games, gambling games, games for two players, games of wits, party games, tile games, traditional board games, trivia games, and word games.  The theme approach seems to work pretty well; I have a stack of 5-6 games on the table when people get there, we choose one to play first, and sometimes we move on to a second choice as the evening progresses.  If there's a theme that someone really doesn't like, they know in advance and can make other plans for that night - I have the feeling that next month's "music games" theme may be sparsely attended as people fear they may need to sing.
The ending spread of Qwirkle on tile game night

Although I have my favorites, it's been fun to take out some things from my cabinet that I haven't played for a long time.  And, if you're looking for something new to try, here's a few of my favorites:
  • Bananagrams - it's like Scrabble with ADD
  • Fluxx - pay attention, the rules change ... comes in many different quirky varieties
  • Dicecapades - who can not love a game that includes 100 dice and has mental, trivia, and physical challenges
  • Trivial Pursuit - but only the first two editions where Arts & Literature is still a full category
  • Sequence - both strategy and luck needed to win
  • Wit's End - it's hard, you need to know trivia, but it's also got some interesting lateral thinking and riddles involved

Some of my game collection.  Notice that they no longer all fit into the space I designed for them 10 years ago.

1 comment:

  1. Just playing "catch up" with your blog.
    How I miss Game Nights!
    And really,I don't fit into the space I designed for myself ten years ago, either!
    As for how the tally is running: your 40th birthday party and our (small, but integral!)part in the proceedings were part of a recent conversation out here.
    I know: come out here and let's play some games!