[While on vacation in North Carolina, I scheduled this re-post of my vacation boardgaming selections from last summer. Originally appeared 29 July 2011]
We recently went on a vacation in the West Virginia mountains for some white-water rafting, horseback riding, paintball, and a zip line canopy tour. (ACE Adventures, if you're interested.) In the absence of internet and video games, we anticipated the need for some quality family downtime in the cabin. So of course that means boardgames!
Last time we went, three years ago, we brought Uno and Guillotine, both of which were successful choices. This time we wanted more options without having to bring the entire game closet. So we put together a packing list of games that most of us like. Everybody got to pick at least one game. We wanted to have at least three options each for two, three, four, or five players. At least three of the games had to be accessible to the youngest of us (ten years old). We were mindful of space limitations, but we didn't necessarily cramp our style if there was something we really wanted to bring. Here's the list we came up with:
- Chicago Cribbage
- Incan Gold
- Citadels (note - this link plays music)
- Ace of Aces
- Catch Phrase
- Martian Fluxx
- Travel Scrabble
- Trains Planes and Automobiles
- Empyrean Inc
- Forbidden Island
- Car-Go Othello
- Uno H2O Splash
|Whirlpool randomizer from|
Uno H2O Splash
|Sample page from Ace of Aces|
We did play a few conventional games during our down-time in the cabin. Incan Gold played out to an exciting finish, when our ten-year-old left the ruins with the artifact and the lead on the final mission, forcing the rest of us to play out the round until scared away by monsters and leaving him with the win. Our Pirateer session saw a crazy round in which every player touched the treasure at least once before our ten-year-old stole the treasure on a perfect snake-eyes die roll and brought it home to his harbor just a few turns later. My wife beat my 18-year-old son and me in Black Jack (using cards from Chicago Cribbage and money from Incan Gold) when she kept betting all her money to get out of the game but kept winning hand after hand. My wife just destroyed me in a two-player session of Citadels, which is nevertheless still my favorite game right now.
And, oh yes, we were in the mountains of West Virginia, so we did plenty of white-water rafting, horseback riding, paintball, and zip-line canopy touring during the gaps between boardgames.
Six days until I go to World Boardgaming Championships in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.