Bored? Try a Board Game

4 06 2010

Last night was board game night.

For years our favorite family board game was Rummikub.  It’s like Rummy, the card game, except you play it with tiles instead of cards.

Then someone introduced us to Settlers of Catan.  It’s a game where you organize settlements, acquire products, build roads, establish armies, construct buildings.

It is the kind of game where you got so incredibly invested in your little piece of the world that the competition gets unbelievably fierce.  So that when it is all over, I wonder how I could be so devious and cold-hearted toward my own children.  I felt like I had lived out Lord of the Flies.  Like I needed to take a shower.

A few rounds of that and I decided we needed to take it down a notch.

Rummikub is a lot less intense.  But it still reveals traits about each of us.

My husband, for instance, is quite an intelligent person.  But he had a lot of trouble with the basic premise.  He would play number sequences that weren’t all the same color.  Or he’d lay down three of the same number but they weren’t all different colors.  I think he’s finally got that mastered.

Now his biggest problem is that he takes SO LONG to play his turn.  While he’s deciding what to do, others wander off in search of food.  They check out what’s on television.  They start texting friends.  There’s time for a short nap.

My son, on the other hand, works out all his moves in front of us.  You can rearrange the tiles that have already been played as much as you like, as long as when you’re done they’re all legitimate plays.  He will totally revamp everything, only to discover that what he had in mind doesn’t work out.  Then the challenge is to get it back like it started.

My fault?  I’m a wild-card-hog.  Or I should say a wild-tile-hog.  If I happen to acquire one I’ll hold onto it until I can play the winning move.  I’ve never had much success with winning unless I have a wild card in my back pocket.  So I save it.  Even though the game is considerably more fun when there’s a wild card on the board to move about.

So last night we played a couple of rounds.  Son’s girlfriend joined us, and we discovered she could be an enthusiastic competitor also.

But, unlike with Settlers of Catan, we didn’t have to worry about sleeping with a machete under the pillow when we retired for the night.

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