Saturday, July 16, 2011

Top 5 Board Games

This one will be pretty quick. Kristen's parents have been staying with us this week. They came out for a surprise visit. Saturday morning we decided that Saturday night we would hang out at the apartment and play games as we had to get up at the crack to go to Kristen's race. We were telling them about Settlers of Catan, a board game we both love but could never bring ourselves to spend 40 bucks on. Kristen's mom sounded interested and she handed us $20 bucks and said "Here, we'll contribute if you guys want to buy the game." I bounded off to the Dice Dojo, my local gaming store, and picked up a copy.

We had a great time playing. Kristen won. I came in last place. I was kind of embarrassed.

There's not much in this world that I can do competitively. Board games are one thing that I am very good at. I love them. So it would be fitting to do this list. For your consideration my.....

Top 5 Board Games

1. Scattegories

I love Scattegories. It's one of the few word games I'm actually good at. It requires outside the box thinking, a quick mind, and allows one to be clever in giving and fighting for their answers as we see in the commercial where the harpie would say to her husband as he desperately tries to sleep "Are you wearing a frown? Then I can wear a smirk."

2. Tripoli

Tripoli holds sentimental value for me. Back when I was nine or ten, my Uncle Russ and Aunt Jen arrived for Thanksgiving toting this game. I have fond memories of sitting around the table for hours playing this card game that combines poker, hearts, and gin rummy. We never played for real money, but I bet it would've been interesting if we had. Perhaps now that we're all grown ups, I'll suggest it this Thanksgiving.

3. Settlers of Catan

The game that begat the post. The object is to use strategic building and trade combined with the roll of the die to gain brick, wood, wheat, sheep, and stone and build settlements, roads, and cities on the island of Catan. The object is to get ten points anyway you can. It's a great deal of fun and I love the aspect of someone being your ally one minute and then your enemy the next.

4. Risk

This is another one that brings back fond memories. I can recall Dale teaching me how to play RISK when we were in high school and told by our Catholic school teachers that Dungeons and Dragons was not appropriate to play at lunchtime. Instead, after we'd finished eating, Dale and I would retreat to the library where there was a RISK game. We had a game that lasted over a month, playing every day, because of our constant (and arbitrary) fighting over the territories of the fabled Canada's. RISK is a constant staple of my cellphone applications and has been for years. I love you, you glorious game of World Domination.

5. Munchkin

I don't get to play this game nearly as much as I would like to. It takes a special type of person to enjoy this game because you need a passing knowledge of nerd culture and role playing games despite this actually being a roleplaying game. Basically, this is a card game where you attempt to reach ten points by killing monsters and getting treasure. Your fellow players can help you to kill monsters in exchange for sharing your treasure and they can also make it more difficult to kill monsters in order to win. It's great to see how 3 people will team up to stop one person from winning (especially when that person is Dale).

I'd love to hear what you think should be on this list. As a board game fan, I'm always looking for new suggestions. I was telling Kristen, now that we have our own Settlers game, we can go to Board game night at the Dice Dojo, grab something we've never played, and give it a try. I'm hoping that happens again soon.


  1. OMG! we got the settlers of catan junior version about 6 weeks ago and we LOVE it. Mark is here and we were so excited to be able to play the 4 person version. we think the junior is pretty complex, so we can't even imagine the adult version, although the photo you posted helps me imagine the adult version is doable. :-)

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  3. This is pretty strange. I put Settlers of Catan on our list of games to get last fall and just never convinced myself to get it. After seeing what you and Courtney have said about it, we are definitely going to give it a try. By the way, I think I started playing Risk when I was about 10 and I loved it, too. Back in the days of the cold war, there was something very satisfying in conquering the evil Soviet empire before dinner.

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