Why Board Games? Aren’t they for kids?
Until two years ago my experience of board games was like many others…the usual suspects (Monopoly, Cluedo, Game of Life, Trivial Pursuit) getting wheeled out at Christmas and other family gatherings and ‘having’ to play! I was not a fan of board games! Roll a dice, move, do what the space says….
Two years ago, at Christmas, I was surprised when my brother-in-law showed us a new game. It was called The aMAZEing Labyrinth….the first thing that surprised me was that there was no dice! It was also fairly well made, and unusual in layout and gameplay. (I will do a more in depth review soon!)
We played and had great fun! The kids enjoyed it too! Then Christmas passed and I thought no more about it, I thought it was just an anomaly…..until the next Christmas came! We played Labyrinth again and another game or two that slips my mind. Seeing that there was more than one unusual board game that was actually great fun I decided to look more into what’s available once we were home.
I searched online and came across some great articles from the Telegraph and Guardian online as well as BoardGameGeek.com (yikes, what a scary site that is to newcomers!) and realised that there’s a whole world of interesting and fun board games.
I quickly bought Settlers of Catan (now just called Catan) and Lords of Waterdeep after reading that they’re great ‘gateway’ games. And we were hooked! Who would have thought you could play board games without the ‘roll and move’ which was almost all I knew until this point.
I had found games where you simply choose the action you want to take by placing a piece on the spot you want! Or you collected resources to build your own buildings or town, etc. Or even having multiple actions on a turn and you choose what you want to do….want to move? go for it! want to take something? do it! want to build something? sure you can!
Modern board games also have more interesting objectives than just seeing who can get the most money or score (though many do still track progress by points). They also don’t neccesarily pit player against player either – I found co-operative games where the objective is to work as a team to try and beat the game!
It’s not a particularly cheap hobby, with large box games typically costing from around £25 to £80 (although you can buy smaller, ‘filler’ games for £5-£15 which can be great value!), but when you think about the value they give you in replayability and fun, quality time with friends and family, they do actually represent fairly good cost per hour entertainment! And for me, there’s a collecting aspect to the hobby, I love seeing my bookshelf full of interesting games and components!
It can be done relatively cheaply though if you are willing to trade, buy second hand, search charity shops (thrift stores) or even print your own games! I will be talking more about this on this site in the future.