Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Board Games

Some people like board games, some people hate them. In our house we have a whole cupboard dedicated to board games so we pretty much fall into the first set of people. Now, that said, I don't like all games. One of my particular dislikes is Scrabble - I'm not very patient and like a game to keep moving, while in Scrabble people often take a really long time to make their move.

But this is really about games I do like. In no particular order, here are some of my current favourites and why...
1. Puerto Rico - This is a five player game. It is reasonably fast paced, every game is different and there are a lot of different strategies to winning. It also looks nice which always helps.
2. San Juan - This is a slightly simpler version of Puerto Rico using just cards instead of lots of fiddly pieces. It is a bit more dependent on luck - you might pick up a great combination of cards, or you might keep missing one that would really help you. It's also really good for couples - it makes a good game even with just two of you.
3. Settlers of Catan - This game is really nice looking in all the forms I've seen and is pretty simple to pick up. You have towns and cities - they bring in resources, you spend resources on upgrades to earn more victory points. It's not too luck based, although there is some dice rolling. I would say you probably need at least three players for a good game.
4. Carcassonne - You build up the region of Carcassonne by laying tiles. You score points for roads, cities, farming and monastries. It's a bit complicated at first - the farming really floors some people but after a couple of games you get used to it. There are lots of expansions which keep the game fresh - my favourites are Inns and Cathedrals and Traders and Builders. For a wedding present Lulu gave us the fantastic Hunters and Gatherers version which is really good with two players and a bit simpler on the "farming" aspect.

In the spirit of linking this with kreativ-ity, one of the best things about board games is that although they come with rules you should never be afraid to adapt them or invent new ones. Or even whole new games - our latest one (an adaption and improvement on the game "Hey, That's My Fish!") has proved very popular with our friends and relatives. And look, we even got to make these cute penguins to play with. (This is them mid-creation. They're still missing white tummies and eyes.)

So what's your favourite game?


  1. I've never heard of any of those games. you're like a Game Coinosseur or however you spell it. What's wrong with Game of Life? It's so realistic. We spend most of our lives in cars, we either go academic or down a self made route, and of course, we all end up at millionaires mansion. OK so maybe not entirely realistic. But I like Snakes & Ladders too, it's simple, it has highs and lows and best of all moral messages in a pictorial format.

    For real! :) Shiv Xx

  2. I like Carcassonne, though we have it in German so that makes it a little more complicated when we moved away from germany at least 14 years ago and none of my family have really kept it up.

    And I have to disagree with you completely in terms of Scrabble! I love the game. Though when I play with my family we keep it relatively fast moving and we work together in order to help each other get words and use up all the tiles (or as many as possible) at the end. We still manage to be quite competitive though, despite the teamwork! A friend came to stay and the two of us played possibly the worst couple of games of Scrabble I have ever played! He spent ages thinking of 'the best possible word' rather than just playing. I wanted to introduce a time limit! That's when it got boring. I never want to play against him again!

    I'm glad I just stumbled upon your blog.

    Blue Eyes xx

    PS I will give you a clue, I know you from St Js, though not that well.


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