All-Time Top 10: Board Games
It’s the middle of winter and as you look through the window of your cabin you can see there is four foot of snow and there is no sign of the flurries ceasing. Luckily you have heating, television, the internet and most importantly beer. Suddenly an act of god takes all of those things away from you. A power cut has all but ended any chance of heating your home and rendered your massive multimedia collection useless. Foolishly you left your beers out in the snowstorm and now they are frozen solid and many now are without caps (like dead soldiers who never got to see the fight).
Not to worry this is where you improvise. You roll out the hide of that grizzly you skinned back when it was legal, ethical and environmentally acceptable to kill large wild animals. You light a roaring fire and pop the cork of one of a stash of burgundies knowing full well there is also whisky somewhere in the cabin. You pull your betrothed ever closer and then suddenly multiple screams remind you…you have kids –Improvisation over. What do you do! What do you do?
There’s only one thing to do – play bloody board games. And then play them some more. Just play those games incessantly until the foods eaten, the alcohols gone, the kids are asleep or the birdsong of spring lets you know the snow has melted and you have some flat beers to carbonate. It is the one and only saving grace for your predicament. So what do you take? What are these ten games that will get you through the winter? Take nothing electronic. For god’s sake don’t take Simon especially not Simon …not even those Casio LCD hand held Donkey Kong games for their tones will be etched in your brain for a lifetime. No if I were you I would take board games. Here’s my ten. They won’t keep your family at peace but they will keep your family distracted.
Special Mention: Yahtzee and UNO – Neither are board games but no game collection is complete without them. Yahtzee is a dice game and UNO simply a more colourful version of last card. The more players, the better.
10. Connect Four – Ok so this isn’t really a board game either but its kid friendly and I noticed on my travels it was the game of choice for bartenders in Thailand.
9. Backgammon – It’s been a while but I used to really enjoy playing this. I honestly can’t remember how to play.
8. Pictionary – For budding artists and doodlers. This is one way to perfect your stick-man. There is nothing funnier than watching a frustrated drawer pointing at a badly drawn blob.
7. Cluedo – For nostalgia purposes mainly this murder mystery is dear to my heart. I do think its time to introduce new characters though. It was Agent Orange in the en-suite with a stick of Brighton Rock.
6. Cranium – The new kid on the block. The performance stuff is humorous. I will never forget my sister humming ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’.
5. Draughts / Chess – Two classic games conveniently played on the same board. If you understand castling then you’re a better player than me.
4. Scrabble – I love words and the exhilarating feeling of getting a triple word score. Hmm exhilarating…Is that the right word?
3. Risk – I’m a huge fan of strategy and also geography. This where players have some international back and forth losing and recapturing that blasted Kamchatka peninsula.
2. Monopoly – The definitive classic. Most people have their own rules at this stage. The Irish variation is where you pay way more than the asking price for a property but my favourite variation is having a shot of vodka in free parking.
1. Trivial Pursuit – Invented by Canadians – who were no doubt snowed in and in a cabin in the middle of nowhere – My favourite game in the world. I would spend hours reading the cards and now I can throw out completely useless random facts at dinner parties.