$10.00
My Family is a Bunch of Losers!
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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--- EDIT ---
Thanks for all of your wonderful contributions. It was impossible to choose a best story, so our office decided to award a bunch of honorable mention prizes. You'll find the winners in the bottom comment section, or at this link. Cheers everyone!
--- EDIT ---




It's true. I bring games to our holiday gatherings, but my family always loses to me. Even simple games like Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne are too complicated for them. When it comes to strategy games... my family is a bunch of losers!


... but they don't like losing, and they certainly don't like being confused. Enter North Star Games. We design games that are interesting to gamers, and that casual gamers can actually win. In short, we design:


To help get the word out, we're giving away $100 cash and 2 games with this holiday contest...
[NOTE: we have BGG permission for this contest]

How to Enter
Thumb up to 10 stories (and hopefully this list).

2 Winners
We will send a game to the person who posted our favorite story, and to a random person who thumbed that story. We will choose the winners on December 17th.

Optional Stories
Post a story about a time your friends or relatives were over-whelmed with a board game. Actually, post any fun story about playing games.
(you don't need to post a story to win)
(and your story does not need thumbs to win)


Prize
Each winner will get $50 cash and their choice of any one of our games. Cheers!


Please note that Clubs will not be available until February. But if you choose it, you'll get a pre-release copy 3 months before it is available in stores!


Happy Holidays!
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51. Board Game: Farmageddon [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:2784]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
Visalia
California
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Every year and every family get together I try new games on my family - The only problem I have to continue to remind myself to dumb it down and when I say dumb it down I mean games meant for 6 year olds -

Thinking a card game would be easy to explain and understand, I decided to pull this one out "Farmageddon" really how hard could it be. You plant, fertalize and harvest - you also have action cards to managet but the game is really spelled out (put poison on a crop and the farm is harvested you get minus points, Simple).

My 12 year old loves the game - IT'S FUN - oh no my sister kept saying she didn't understand what she was doing the whole game - really? Just like life get a farm and plant a seed come on really? it's that hard really?

Well, after we finished my sister, the one who didn't understand the game ended up winning.

She either played us or we just couldn't take it and let her win.
She did say afterword no more, we need to play normal games for now on. Hmmmm any one know what a normal game is - I think it'll be looping louie this year
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52. Board Game: Euchre [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:992]
David Morneau
United States
Maspeth
New York
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When we were first married, my wife and I would often play Euchre with her parents. Her mother is not a great partner because of:

1) her love of dramatic reveals.
She will very often make four bad plays in a row in order to slowly reveal the highest trump as her final card. Her team loses a lot of points, where as if she'd played it earlier she could have won more tricks.

2) her easy frustration when losing. When her team is not doing well, she gets bored and tired and will often play leaning on her hand with her eyes almost completely closed. Many humorous moments result, including several occasions where she calls trump based on red or black rather than the actual suit, only to discover that she has none of the right cards in her hand.

We learned this pretty quickly and would maneuver so that my wife and I were partners, and her dad was stuck playing with her mom. It stopped being about winning and losing and was more about being entertained by her mother's play style...
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53. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:2277] [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
Joshua Miller
United States
Connellsville
Pennsylvania
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me and my family was playing munchkin and I drew the level one crabs card.I was level three and I had a combat level of 5 so it was in the bag or so I thought at first but then my dad played smart, then my sister intelligent, and finally mac played ancient by the time they where done it was so powerful that even with help I would still have loses of my armor and the shame of having crabsblush . which they still do not let me live down.cry
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54. Board Game: PanzerBlitz [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1589]
THE MAVERICK
United States
Herald
California
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PanzerBlitz Situation #14: Christmas, 1972

Mom: "You like to play games! Why don't you bring a game for us play on when we're all together."
Me: "Ok. I know several fun gateway wargames that everyone is sure to love!"

--- Over the holidays... ---

Me: "It's called PanzerBlitz. It's one of the most popular wargames in the world right now."
Mom: "Wow, there are a lot of pieces. Does this take long?"
Me: "No, it should only take about 90 minutes to teach everyone the rules."

--- 3 minutes later... ---

Mom: "Are we almost done? I'm starting to forget some of the rules."
Me: "Actually, we've only covered a few of the rules, but it's pretty intuitive, except for the Panzerbush problem."
Cousin: "Not for me! Anyhow, someone should probably help Grandma with the dishes."
Me: "Ok, but this is a really fun German game. You're going to wish you joined up..."

--- 2 minutes later... ---

Mom: "Ok, I think I'm starting to understand. So do we roll dice to move along the roads?"
Me: "Not really..."

--- 2 minutes later... ---

Cousin: [pokes head in from kitchen] "You know what! We should play UNO like we did last year. Do you remember how funny it was when Uncle Milty forgot to say 'UNO' a dozen times! You want me to get the game?"
Mom: "I don't know. Maybe we should try this game first. Are we almost done with the rules?"
Me: "Not really, we are still need to go over Obstacles and Elevations and LOS/LOF. Should we save it for another time?"
Mom: "That's a great idea! I'm sorry, there is a little too much going on right now. We'll learn how to play some other time, I promise."

--- End Result ---

We play UNO and Hoosker Du for nearly 2 hours! ARRRRRGGGGGG!!! The worse part is that they think they are doing me a favor.

Ok, not a true story - rather than trying to convert everyone in the family into a wargamer during the holidays, I just sucked it up and played UNO, Monopoly, Scrabble and Smess... including the loudest and most competitive games of Smess in all of history - but that is another story!
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55. Board Game: Taboo [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1352]
A. Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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At some point in college, four of us-- me, my girlfriend, her friend, and her friend's boyfriend-- were playing Taboo. We decided to try one round with each of the three possible pairings.

The big moment came when we were paired off as couples, which in retrospect probably put rather a lot of pressure on us to show we understand our partners. J, the guy who'd been most skeptical about the whole thing, was guessing; his girlfriend was giving clues.

She picked up a card and thought for a second, then said, "Bumble blank."

"What?"

"Bumble blank." She made a hand gesture to indicate the blank space after "bumble" that he was supposed to fill in.

J looked horrified. Looked at the game box, back at his girlfriend. Looked at us. He looked as though he was sure someone was playing a trick on him. Finally, in an astonished tone of voice, he said (spoiler for four-letter word):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
"FUCK?"


Everyone else laughed for about five minutes straight. I can't remember if we bothered finishing the game.

The right answer was "bee".
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56. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:4095]
Mike Esquivel
United States
Metairie
Louisiana
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Back in my fledgling years of board gaming, when my most complex game was Risk 2210 (first edition big box), my weekly pen and paper RPG friends would occasionally play a board game with my wife and I. We were all pretty adaptable to board games and card games... except for my friend's girlfriend. She was the person in the gaming group that was there mainly to hang out with her boyfriend (who was our primary GM/DM). When anyone would make a Star Wars reference that'd cause us all to laugh (or any reference to 80's/early-90's pop culture), she'd get mad because she wouldn't get it.

One day, for the sake of my friend's girlfriend, we broke out an easy game, Cranium. Things were going really well until my friend's girlfriend drew a card and started to just bawl insanely. You would have thought her dog just died. Her challenge was to hum a song and have her team guess what it was and her song was Three Dog Night's Joy to the World. She had no earthly clue what that was. When she finally got out the words, between sobs, of what was wrong, someone from my team (my wife) felt bad for her and took her to another room to help explain the card. When they came back, she immediately hummed the Christmas carol version of Joy to the World. Her teamed guessed it instantly and she was ecstatic... until my wife pointed out that they guessed incorrectly. My friend's girlfriend started bawling again. After a few minutes of arguing about it, we all agreed to give them the point (much to the dismay of my wife) and we continued playing. I don't even remember who won. After that, we just wanted the game to be over.
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57. Board Game: Rage [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2128]
The neutral evil villain known as
United States
Indiana
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I was running middle of the road, not winning, not losing, getting a little bored.
I got dealt a hand with 8 cards. three suited. all low cards. I was first bid. I bet 7. Everyone else bids zero. I name trump the suit I DON'T have.

Gasps all around the table.

After the first couple rounds about the table, people start questioning what's going on.

By the time it was over, my dad was in such a rage he threw his cards at me and told me if I ever do that again, he would kick me out of the game.

I got none of the tricks, but for a few minutes I was wildly entertained.

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58. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:4095]
Jordan " ; " Czop
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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A few weeks ago my mom was cleaning out her house in preparation for a move. During her clean she found an dusty old version of Cranium. She put it aside and the next time I was over she asked if I would be interested in having it. I almost declined as Cranium is not really my kind of game. Regardless, I accepted as I thought it would do me no harm and my mom needed it out of the house.

Later that week my kids (5 and 3 years old) found the game sitting in their boardgame cupboard. My five year old asked it we wanted to play. So we cracked open the box and, to my amazement, we had an absolute blast!

I completely changed the rules to suit their level. I made up things for them to draw, questions for them to answer, and things for them to act out. My kids were sooo into it! I was so encouraged by how well this went.

The best part was feeling that sense of joy from just being together , forgetting about life for a while, and acting like goofs. To me this is what boardgames are all about and I feel so fortunate to have had this experience.

EDIT: I forgot to share that when I tried to replicate this pleasant experience again the following week and it was a complete disaster. There were pieces everywhere, tears were shed (mostly me), and the game ended early. Probably wasn't a good choice to try this again right before bedtime whistle

Cheers
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59. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:10291]
Daniel Rose
United States
Orem
Utah
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So this game was introduced to me from a friend. After playing I imediately thought I a love this game and I not only need to own it but I need to get more of the expansions to make the game better.

If you hate this game which I know a lot of people do you can go to snore and I will wake you up latter.

So after I got the first four expansions I decided to play the ultimate mega game of Killer Bunnies with the Red, Purple, Orange & Green Expansions. So the game started off with about half of the people playing having played once while the rest were newbies. WAKE UP

Me: This game is about collecting as many carrots as possible. You want as many carrots as possible so that you can end up with the winning carrott.

1st time player: Then why is is called killer bunnies? If your just collecting carrots.

Me: Basically you need a bunny to do almost anything and you have to have a bunny in order to win.

Fast forward to the game play and it basically went something like this. I played a bunny and I drew a bunny. The game continued for several rounds and I found myself with the only bunny in play.

Played before player: What gives man you have like 3 bunnies down and no one else has any.

Me: I'm just playing the game. I've offered to trade bunnies from my hand and have traded several bunnies it's not my fault that other players can't keep them alive.

Fast forward to a few rounds latter. By this point I have almost all the carrots and 2 bunnies down. Finally a bunch of the other players had gotten a bunny or two out.

Played before player: Hey everyone let's gang up on Daniel he has been running away with this game.

My future wife: So if I played this card and put his last two bunnies in this jet and send it around the board then it might even the playing field?

Fast forward to the end of the game. My two bunnies get blown up; my luck of continuing to draw bunnies ends. All my carrots end up going to my future wife seeing as how she was the only person left in the game with a bunny and the most money.

First time player: That game was awesome.

Played before player: I'm just glad Daniel didn't win.

My future wife: I was so confused. I've played this game multiple times and I still don't know what half of the cards do. I didn't even know what I was doing so I guess it was a lucky win.

Me: Yeah I would say it was a lucky win. If I kept my bunnies to myself and played cut throat I would have won.

My future wife: Well I guess you won't want to ever play that game again?

Me: No actually I like the game even if I lose. I just want to have fun that's all that matters to me. I just wish other people didn't get so butt hurt about me playing well when I had nothing to do with it.

My future wife: I guess I might play again if the circumstances are right.

Fast forward to today.

Me: Hey honey are you up for some killer bunnies.

My wife: I don't know why you keep wanting to play that game it's so confusing and you almost always never win but ok.

Me: Or I could save us the time and just chalk up another win for you or whoever else is playing.
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60. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:39]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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A few years ago, I picked up a cheap dual sided American Carrom board - the other side having Crokinole on it. I had tried (and enjoyed) Carrom at Origins the year before and thought it was fun. I brought the game home, ordered some replacement carrom men and strikers and a couple of weeks later, set it up to play with my husband.

I am positively awful at dexterity games but I have fun anyway. I figured it was perhaps a way to get him to game with me - some game, ANY game. After the great Wings of War: Famous Aces fiasco (he flew his plane off the edge of the table - twice - and walked away pronouncing it 'a stupid game') and the attempt with Combat Commander: Europe ("look at that rule book! Can't we play something with less rules, like, say Monopoly?") I still had hopes of gaming with him.

Needless to say, he beat me in every game we played that day. He seemed to enjoy playing - in fact he cackled and gloated with ever win. Taking this as a positive sign, I felt that completely justified my order of a custom board from the Hilinski brothers. (Well, yes, I had already ordered it, but what's your point?)

The board arrived. I hung it on the wall in my computer room. You could see it in all its glory right from the living room.

I proudly showed it to my husband. He gave me a puzzled look. "What's that for?" I explained about crokinole and asked if he wanted to play. After all, this was so much better than that dinky little board from before. "Maybe later".

It's been nearly two years now...shake



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61. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:161]
Mike Pearse
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
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I don't have any particularly memorable stories. I've found that it really doesn't matter which game I bring to a gathering of friends or family, people who don't immediately recognize it are going to ask the following questions:

1) What's this game called?

And then, regardless of the name and appearance of the game:

2) Is it like Settlers of Catan?


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62. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:85]
Luis Fernandez
Venezuela
Caracas
Miranda
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I was involved in the two most IDIOTIC plays ever in the story within humankind knowledge of The Resistance

First ever game, 10 players 6 new including me, first round 3 Red cards... resistance blue autowin.... shake

a day with cousins and relatives; 3 traitors SENT into the mission 3 times in a ROW, no Red Card ever... Resistance won in 3rd turn.... shake

......duhhhhh..... shake .... I guess it´s genetic and I´m ADOPTED!
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63. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:4095]
Mike Beiter
United States
Tonawanda
New York
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My funniest game memory comes from a game of Cranium.

We were playing with a large group of people and when one team makes their move they landed on a creative cat card where just their team draws.
Their team had a player who was new to the game of Cranium and this was her first time drawing.
She takes the top Creative Cat card and looks it over and the she passes the card around so all the rest of us can see what she has to draw for her team.
The card was “Mud flaps.”

We set the timer and everyone gathered around in excitement to watch her draw.

She starts drawing a stick animal…
OK maybe it is the animal on the mud flaps we think?
She then makes it into a cat in a litter box. We all start looking at each other puzzled as she continues her drawing and her team is shouting out “Cat! Pussy Cat! Cat in the box!”
She then starts drawing an easel and paintbrushes, and is making and putting art supplies in the cat’s hands.
Everyone not on their team is looking confused, “how is this mud flaps?” we are all thinking.
More shouting of cat variant words for a little longer when the timer finally ran out.

Her team looks at her in confusion and asks what was the word? They said every cat word in the book.

And the rest of us chime in. “MUD FLAPS! It was MUD FLAPS!”

And she goes, “No I wasn’t drawing mud flaps, I was drawing creative cat because that’s what it said on the card...”

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64. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:645]
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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First let me say that these friends like games, but most of them are not gamers.

Every year I help coordinate a camping trip where a group of people from college all get together somewhere in or near Pennsylvania. We go to different state parks, and sometimes to private campgrounds near state parks. I always bring the "bag of games" in the hopes of getting a few plays in while out in the woods.

This particular year, shortly after Tsuro had been released, I thought this would be a great simple short game for everyone to play since it takes up to 8, and finishes faster than an inconsiderate husband.

When I introduced the game people gave it the initial goggle eyed stare, and they shook their heads, nodding to the few rules that it has. Seriously, they should never try to play anything like princes of florence or reef encounter. Anyway, it was too early to tell how it would be received. The positive thing here was that I had the attention of even the most casual non gamers of the bunch.

Finally we start playing the game, and lo and behold, I find myself very quickly cast into the pit of oblivion known as off the board, and everyones eyes light up with hope! One of us will win! They don't say it with words, but you can tell what they are thinking. Suddenly this exercise in placating me and my insatiable need for games has become a contest to see who will win. Finally! The outcome is unknown!

The game might have lasted for all of 15 or 20 minutes, but I could see more enjoyment during that game than I'd seen in many plays of roborally, ticket to ride, or stone age. It didn't matter that it was a small game. In fact, we were quickly setting up for a second go.

I did win a few games eventually, but the word was out, and I was vulnerable! I think the game got played at least 15 times that weekend. What is now known as "the line game" sort of took over our down time in the woods. We even played outside by lantern light despite the invasion of skunks that tried to baptize us with their unholy water.

So, that's my story, and while everyone I know is familiar with wits and wagers, cluzzle, times up, and why did the chicken, this one weekend had all of my friends playing, enjoying, and winning a strategy game. Against me. Losing has never been so sweet.
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65. Board Game: How to Host a Murder: The Good, The Bad & The Guilty [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Doe E. Lion
United States
MI
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This story is nearly 40 years old. When I was young, my parents would get together with other couples to play cards. Us kids would go play somewhere else in the house. Usually the game the grown-ups were playing was Spades. My dad is one of those 'bang your hand on the table' kind of players. So they were often loud, with laughter and accusations of sand bagging etc...

Now on this particular summers night, when it was time for snacks, my dad and the other fellow were making a run down to the Shoppette to pick up a few things. My mom was in the kitchen. All of a sudden there is screaming and sounds of struggling coming from the kitchen.

There were man arms trying to get into the kitchen through the back door. The broom had fallen over into the door opening, and my mom was fighting to get the door shut and not let the man get into the house. Alot is going on at this point, and things are frantic.

You see, I must take you back in time a couple more days. The elementary school was right across the street. We would go over there to ride our bikes. My sister was just getting the knack for riding on two wheels, and often needed a push to get going. The paved area was on a small hill around a six sided building. So each door was hidden away behind a wall.

We stopped at the last doorway to turn around and saw red stuff all over the pavement. 'Ew that's blood!', we said scaring each other. All at once we took off. I had to give my lil' sis a push, and we all went straight home, peddling as hard as we could. ....Turned out that a taxi driver had been murdered, and his body was found in one of the school dumpsters.

Okay, now we can go forward a couple days, to my mom in the kitchen. She can't shut the door because of the broom handle. So she grabs the handle and starts beating on the guys arms. She's still screaming when my dad comes in the front door. He goes back to the kitchen, and starts laughing!

He and the other fellow thought it would be so funny to prank my mom this way after a murdered body was found across the street. Of course they thought it was funny. Poor mom. We laugh about it now. It was a game night none of us have forgotten! If I win, I am for sure picking Clubs!
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66. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
John Sammons
United States
Clarksville
Tennessee
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Until my kids get older, most of the gaming I get to do is with my wife. I love her, but she has no experience with Dungeons & Dragons, or any type of game where turns involve phases.

Because I've always loved Lovecraft and his Cthulu mythos, I have always wanted Arkham Horror. This past summer, I finally bought it. We've tried to play it twice......and neither time we've been able to finish. We got a little ways into it the second time, but when I told her she had been lost in time and space, and explained what that would mean, she lost all interest.

I would really love to play the game, but until my son gets older, I think it's just going to have to sit on the shelf. We enjoy playing games together, but they have to be a little bit easier to pick up.
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67. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:106] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Stoic Bird
United States
Fairport
New York
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We were headed to my in-laws' house shortly after we got married for a small gathering. My wife's aunt was in town, and we were going to have dinner with them and hang out for a bit. They knew I liked board games, and encouraged me to bring one over, because they "love to play games!" I picked Carc because it's about the only game my wife and I both enjoy, and it's easy enough to teach.

When I started getting things ready, my wife (who, perhaps, had better foresight than I did) elected not to play. I began explaining the rules. I should note that I'm very good at explaining games; I even have a gamer friend who will give games he buys to me and ask me to play it first so I can teach it to him because he'd rather hear it from me than read the rules himself. This is roughly how it went:

Me: "OK, so the object of the game is to score points by making cities, roads and such. On your turn, you draw a tile, and you put it down so that it matches -"

Mother-in-law: "Can we just get started?"

Aunt-in-law: "We don't really know what we're doing yet."

Me: "I mean, the first few turns are pretty straightforward. We probably could -"

Aunt: "No, keep going, I want to know how the game works before I start."

At this point, my mother-in-law decided she didn't want to play after all. I've since learned that she won't play any game that takes more than one sentence to explain.

So now it's the aunt, my father-in-law (who won't seek out games, but has played and enjoyed things like Agricola since, so he's OK), and myself. They seem to follow the rules explanation - asking the right questions, even about field scoring. I think they get it. We start playing. Fairly early on, I put a piece down while still kind of in rules explanation mode:

Me: "OK, so I can put this on this side of my road here [put piece down], but not on the other side because then the city edge here doesn't match with the field. Oh, wait..." [noticed that piece would make more sense on an open city, start to pick it up to move it]

Aunt: "Wait a minute. You can't do that. You already put that piece down. Nice try!"

This was a little bit more hardcore than I would've expected, but it was fine - I can handle chess-style, and the main idea was to teach the game this time anyway, right? I went along with it.

A few turns pass. The countryside becomes increasingly developed. The aunt, to my surprise, puts a piece down, then as I'm drawing my next tile, picks it up and moves it.

Me: "Hey, you can't do that."

Aunt: "Why not?"

Me: "You'd already taken your hand off the piece."

Aunt: "So?"

I was flabbergasted. I should've let it go, but I was just so astounded that I couldn't. She had absolutely zero memory of stopping me from doing that not that long ago. My father-in-law stayed out of it (years of experience paying off). Fortunately, my wife rushed to my defense. My mother-in-law, who hadn't been in the room when the previous incident happened, helpfully declared that she didn't remember what I was talking about either. It ended up as one of those situations where I said (truthfully) that I didn't care, and only then did she sulkily give me what I wanted. (Why people insist on holding out until the other person doesn't want it any more is beyond me - maybe subconsciously they figure the only compromise is nobody being happy?)

A few turns pass. I decide it's time to start farming. I put a guy down in the field.

Aunt: [laughing] "What, is he taking a nap?"

Me: "Could be. It's hard work out there in the fields."

The aunt then slides the guy into the city piece on that tile.

Me: "Oh, sorry, I thought you were kidding - I meant to put him in the field."

Aunt: "Why?"

Me: "Because at the end of the game the guys in the fields score points for completed cities that touch the field?"

Everyone say it with her now:

Aunt: "You never told me that rule!"

This time I dragged my father-in-law into it; he'd never played before and was aware of the field rule, and they were both there for the entire rules explanation. Ergo, I did so tell her that rule.

Incredibly, despite what I would consider incontrovertible evidence, she maintained that I, in fact, did not tell her that rule, and moreover had ruined her strategy because if she'd known, she would've played the last several turns differently. (I've found this to be alarmingly common, in fact, even among gamers. I've even asked flat out how the other new players could possibly know about the rule if I didn't tell them, and they usually respond with "I don't know, but you definitely didn't tell me.")

The game ended. We put it away. Other than my father-in-law, I don't play anything more complicated than Blokus with them any more.

(P.S.: Dom, you'll appreciate this: since then, the only game of mine my mother-in-law has ever requested I bring over was Wits & Wagers Party.)
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68. Board Game: Star Wars Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1211]
Ross Wolfe
United States
living in Utah
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I'm not sure if I was the one overwhelmed or not here but I was on a Boy Scout camping trip and I had brought some Magic cards to play. But a friend had also brought some Star Wars cards. I'd never played before so I figured I'd learn. He gets us started, we both put out our starting cards and whatnot. I'm reading the cards trying to figure out what they mean. My friend offers to go first to show me how things go. I figure this is sensible and expect for him to start explaining rules. What followed was him saying (and I kid you not, this is almost verbatim): "With this card I destroy this. With this card I destroy that. And with this card I steal that card from you. You have no cards left on the table. I win!"

No explanation of any rules. No explanation of why any of those cards could do what he said they did. The only explanation was "I win." Cue me losing all interest in the game...
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69. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:11074]
JEREMY JINKERSON
United States
Memphis
Tennessee
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Okay, look. I know somebody already talked about this crapfest. I also know Monopoly's easy to dump on.

But my father-in-law *looooves" Monopoly. And he's a cheater. A downright, dirty cheater. If you have someone in your group who never cheats but makes accidents in their favor, you know a kindred spirit. I like to play games that other people enjoy, thinking it spreads good karma or whatever, but when he talked about playing That-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named, I declined. He was visibly hurt.

So then I agreed. But it was my plan to play for a little while, buy all the expensive properties, and then duck out of the game while giving all of my stuff to the little girl who was playing. I was going to Kingmake her so she would win, he would lose, and I wouldn't have to freaking play Monopoly. Everybody's happy.

But the problem was that when I tried to do it, he stated "You can't do that; it's against the rules." Now not only did he not let me leave the game, but he actually got the rulebook to prove that I couldn't do it. (Who owns a rulebook for Monopoly?) So I was stuck playing Monopoly for like 1.5 hours until I finally had cause to buy a cheap property from the girl and give her my entire assets in response.

End result: I got to Kingmake her. She won, he lost, and he hasn't asked to play Monopoly again. But the joke was on me...

I played Monopoly for 1.5 hours, and the juice wasn't worth the squeeze.
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70. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:106] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Chris Korfmann
United States
Wilson
North Carolina
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Me: Who wants to play a really fun game?

Wife: Yeah, it's a lot of fun, you should play.

Brother-in-law: I guess so, does it take long?

Me: No, not long, I'll teach you... So the tiles go together this way, city to city, road to road...

Brother-in-law: Oh really? Roads have to line up? Go figure!

Me: OK, well you have these little guys here and they go on the features you want to claim, like so.

Brother-in-law: You mean they don't do jumping jacks and stand on their heads? I get it already, let's just start playing.

Wife: Really Honey, you're bad at explaining games... OK, so this guy goes here and this thing does that and you can do whatever you want.

ME: No, no you can't.

Wife: But I don't like to play that way, can't we just leave that part out.

Me: shake

Brother-in-law: This is taking too long.

Me: OK, Honey, you go first so he can see how a turn works.

Wife: I'll go here.

Me: OK, now I'll go here and claim this.

Brother-in-law: Why did you do that?

Me: Because that's really the only good option I had, I could have put it over here, but it would help her more than it would help me, so I decided I'd just put it here.

Wife: Why don't you want to help me? You're so ruthless when we play games.

Me:

Brother-in-law: Is it my turn now? I'll go here.

Me: You can't go there.

Brother-in-law: OK, how about here and put this guy there.

Me: You can't do that, it has to go on the same tile.

Brother-in-law: You didn't tell me that.

Me: I started to...

Wife: snore

Me: It's your turn Honey.

Wife: OK, I'll go here.

Me: Why did you do that? You're giving him a free city?

Wife: That's OK, as long as you don't get it. I like to share.

Me: soblue OK, I'll go here.

Brother-in-law: You can do that?

Me: Yes

Brother-in-law: If I knew that, I'd have done that last time.

Me: You couldn't do that last time, you didn't have the right tile. Why don't you go over here, you could block me from getting into your city.

Wife: You're so bad at explaining games.

Me: gulp

Brother-in-law: OK, so it's over now? Wait, why did you get all those points at the end.

Me: Because I have more farmers than she did.

Wife: You always steal the farm at the end. Why can't we share it?

Me: I beat you by 10 points. If we shared, you would have beaten me by 5 points.

Wife: What's wrong with that? He won anyway. See you're good at this game. Isn't it fun?

Brother-in-law: cool Yeah, it's OK. It would be better without the farms though. We should leave those out next time.

Wife: Yeah, see? I told you!

Me: Yeah, that was really fun! shake

Wife: I know! Let's play Crappy Birthday!

Brother-in-law: Yeah, that's actually a fun game.

Me: Sure. whistle
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71. Board Game: Dixit Odyssey [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:104] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Frank Castle
United States
Lothian
MD
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We enjoy playing this (I own all the expansions) game at family get togethers...well we enjoy almost any game (depending on who is present). This particular time, we decided to up the difficulty. You had to make any sound effect you think could be heard from an action on your picture. The catch was, after scoring, for points to count you had to then tell the story of why you hear that noise. Needless to say my (imature) family (and I) enjoyed how almost all the cards had a way for a fart noise to be heard.blushblushblush

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72. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
joewtwins
United States
Ankeny
IA
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This is kinda how I thought I was a gamer, until I found Dominion and found BGG and learned all the rest of these games I play today.

Little background. Monopoly and Risk were main staples in my game world (other than the video games) until 1994.
I got into MtG and played that for quite a while. Then a few games then came on my radar in the next few years like Fluxx and Munchkin .

Then at the start of 2009,
Brad Thies
United States
Iowa
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and I were at the game store looking around for something to play just 2 or 3 player. I just saved up a bit of cash between Christmas gifts and B-Day cash and bought ALL the Munchkin expansions at that point, but 3 player munchkin isn't what it's cracked up to be. Also, Brad had just got out of law school and hadn't found work yet, and I was starting to get some time off due to the recession and we had some time to play.

I have about $75 left and Brad comes up with a game in hand. "How about this? I've heard this is the hot game lately."

DominionPrice: $50, most of the rest of my cash, And I haven't been working much, so I knew extra money would be scarce in the next few months so I wanted my purchase to last a bit.
OK, quick read of the back, sounds good, I see right away there is a bit of re-playability and is 2-4 players, let's check it out.

I get home and we try the beginner set-up....

I just wasted $50. I just didn't get it.

The Wife came home and we play our first 3 player game.

They stomp me. She gets it just fine.

Am I dumb? Don't know.

We play this pretty much non-stop for a week. I get it now, but still haven't won a game.
They take turns beating each other by a few points, I'm just there to play last every game.

This blows and I'm loving the game play by now, but I haven't found any strategy that would make me look like a contender. I have actually purchased a Provence a few times by now but to win? no.

Then I open with Silver/Militia once. I win!

This has been a favorite since.

And as for the parents, my Mom picked it up quicker than I did, but Dad isn't ever going to get it.
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73. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:2000]
Megan Smith
United States
Bluffdale
Utah
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I pulled out Go Away Monster! to play with my soon-to-be three year old niece for the first time today. She looked at the game box quizzically.

"Where's the controller?" she asked.

I went on to explain that this was a different type of game called a board game and that it didn't have any controllers.

"Okay," she replied, "but where's the controller?"

In her defense, she went on to have an enjoyable time...despite the lack of controller.

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74. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Canadian Dave
United States
Lehi
UT
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The Preamble: I've given up trying to teach complex games to most of my family. My little sister has the attention span of a gnat, my brother refuses to play anything but Risk, my father refuses to play period, but then hovers over the board and interjects what he would do every turn, and the rest of my family lives far away. The only family I can really play with lives in Calgary, and I don't get there as often as I should.

The Setting: On my last trip home to Canada, me, my niece, my nephews, and my sister, sitting around the table playing Dixit.

The Story: My niece was 11 and she could not grasp the concept of the game if her life depended on it.

"There was a unicorn, going over a rainbow bridge over a deep chasm."

Everyone votes for her card.

"How does everyone always guess mine?"

Her 8-year-old brother, looking at his cards shrewdly and placing one card on the table with a mischievous grin:

"Yellow"

Malachi not only succeeded with that clue, but completely demolished the rest of the family and won the game.
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75. Board Game: The BORED Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Dan
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Let me start by saying that my wife is a total nerd - she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting and actually gets giddy while working with excel.

However she is not a gamer. She grew up playing Mario and Zelda on the SNES, but her repertoire of board games is limited to Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, which she dominates at. Needless to say she has never been a part of my board gaming hobby.

Recently a friend of hers got her to play Apples to Apples, and she had fun. So in an attempt to build on that, I got her to play a game of Lost Cities. She did OK but didn't seem excited to play again so I dropped it.

A year goes by and her same friend starts telling her that they discovered this great game called Settler's of Catan. The friend, who knows I'm a gamer, convinces her we should all get together to play.

Of course I have all the Catan expansions but I want to start slow. So one day we sit down in front of a fully setup basic Cat an board so I can teach her to play before her friends come over.

I think I got about 3 minutes into the rules before I could tell it wasn't going well. Her attention began to drift and she was confused about some fairly basic concepts. I've taught Catan to my share of newbs over the years and it had never gone so poorly.

Anyway, I think we got through about half the rules before she was so bored that she called it quits and said she'd stick to Apples to Apples!

Talking about it later I determined that it wasn't that she couldn't understand or learn the game - she just had zero interest in it. Complexity isn't relaxing to her, so any game with more rules than you can fit on a two-sided sheet of paper just loses her interest.

So that's my story...and my plight. I need more games that can include my wife in, and I'm getting really tired of Apples to Apples!
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