Your Turn: Gaming for the Holidays

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 21-Dec-13 | 23 comments

Your Turn - A BoardGaming.com Discussion

Hey there, I’m Andrew; game industry professional, reviewer, gamer, fellow Boardgaming.com member and the host of BoardGaming.com’s new discussion series called “Your Turn.”

This is your chance to let us know what YOU think about a variety of topics related to hobby gaming. I’ll start the conversation and then it’s “your turn” to chime in and add to the discussion. Each Your Turn discussion will have a new topic, and we may even have some special guests make a surprise visit down the road. In the meantime…

Gaming for the Holidays

It’s the Holiday season and it’s the chance to play some games with family and friends!

Or to be incredibly disappointed that no one wants to play Clash of Cultures.

Look, I’m an idealist. I feel like every game has a person who will want to play it. That may be true, but they may just not be in my family or even in my general vicinity. Every year I have to tamp down that feeling that there is an opportunity to introduce my family to some of the best games that came out in the past year. But every year, I don’t get to play most of the games I envision in my little sugar-plum head.

Don’t get me wrong I grew up playing games; board games, card games, dice games, video games. My family played those games as well. We loved them. It’s what helped foster a love of many different types of games. Every year Christmas was a time of hanging out and playing games. My favorites were Rack-O!, Dark Tower, Carrier Strike, The Great Dalmuti, (My Dad was the champion – he even has a custom made hat to mark his accomplishment!) and a cool game called Gambler which strangely made all of us gambling fiends for a few hours on some nights. My mother was the master of word games. She killed. One of my sisters was (and still is) the “rules lawyer,” making sure each game was played to its most potential and by the book. Me, I loved adventure (of course having recently returned from seeing Star Wars at the cinema for the 12th time). You name it we played it. Back then I guess I didn’t really have a game collection, or tracked the best games of the year. I just… played!

Now, life and gaming is a bit more complicated. There are games I have that I desperately want to play this year and I know that I won’t play half of them. What’s on my game play wish list this year? Betrayal at House on the Hill, Space Cadets, Tokaido, Steam Park, Hanabi, Mice and Mystics, Firefly, Mythic Battles, X-wing, and please.. please… someone play Pathfinder Adventure Card game with me?

Ok that’s my list for games I wish to play. And what usually happens with wish lists is that you get to a point – the spirit of the season takes you away – you actually believe that you will play all these games and EVEN that all the folks around you will love them! It won’t happen.

It’s ok.

As I grow older I have realized that’s not what the season is about. It’s not the games that I get to play, it’s the fact that I am lucky enough to have them, to have people around me who actually do show interest in what I love and want to try to join in. When I was a boy growing up, I joined in playing Boggle with my Mom, always lost, and well, didn’t seem to care. The experience is even a pleasant memory for me and an ongoing joke with my now 83 year old Mom. So then I remember that this year, I may play one or two, but the fact that I get to share them at all is a blessing. This year, I will just try to just hang back and no matter what games are played, look around and enjoy the time and the season where social interaction with friends and family has that special cinnamon, evergreen aroma. It’s the season to game with a child’s heart.

And oh yeah, Mom? Boggle…I’m coming for ya.

What’s on your wish list this holiday for games you want to play? What are your holiday plans that might give you a chance to play them? And what is one game from your childhood that you wish you could play again?

Your turn…
(and Happy Holidays!)

Comments (23)

Gamer Avatar
9
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue

The holidays are a wonderful time for gaming for several reasons. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, days are likely cooler and shorter during the holidays. So, more people are doing indoor activities. But the main reason the holidays are so special for gaming is that families and friends gather together in their homes. Last year my wife and I introduced Ticket To Ride: Europe, Coloretto, and Love Letter to some of her family. We had a wonderful time sharing and teaching some of our favorites to family members who had limited gaming experience.

Perhaps our sharing sparked the interest of members of our family and made them want to try other new games. Maybe after the holidays, they picked up a game or two to play at home. I am looking forward to this holiday season for many reasons. And among them is spending some time sharing games with family and friends. As much as I love playing board and card games, I enjoy sharing them with others just the same. And if I can explain to others why I play and why I enjoy the games I do, then I have done well.

Gamer Avatar
5
Book Lover
Video Game Fan

Over the Holidays (2013 into 2014) my family and I played several games and had a really great time together. This Christmas I was digging into my Viking roots and serving Glogg along with Swedish cookies and such so “Pillage & Plunder” was played a fair bit. We also dove into some games we got as presents; “Kill Doctor Lucky,” “Firefly,” “The Legend of Drizzt,” “Mansions of Madness,” and “Munchkin Apocalypse/Zombies.” The holiday break is one of the few times all year that we all have a lot of free time so we tend to make the best of it. ^_^

Gamer Avatar
8
Intermediate Reviewer
Copper Supporter
Viscount / Viscountess

I want to share an interesting story that happens to my family a few days ago:

It was the ending of my vacation and I want to play a game. My older son was playing Morrowind on the computer, my younger son was playing GTA V on the XBox and my wife was watching some movie on the iPad. I invite everyone to play but everyone said no.

So, I decided to play alone and I chose Pandemic + On the Brink expansion. At the end of the game (I was totally destroyed by the new virus) my wife came to me and said that she wants to play a game.
I chose Roll Through the Ages. After we finish she asked to play another one.
My choice was FITS and then, my older son saw it on the table and joined us.
The next game was Ubongo Extreme and my younger son asked to join too. 🙂
We ended the night playing For Sale two times.
A nice victory from team cardboard, plastic and wood over team technology. 🙂

Gamer Avatar
7
I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Canada
Advanced Reviewer

I’ve spent the last eight years and a bit living and working away from home, and thus away from my gaming group, so while I am visiting home over the holidays my wish list is to play some of the games I miss out on when I’m away: Illuminati, Munchkin (Cthulhu, Zombies, Apocalypse or some combination of the three), and I am also eager to try out Touch of Evil with the old gang – we had a blast last year around this time playing Last Night On Earth.

After the return to work, I’ll be tiding myself over with solo games of Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign and eagerly awaiting summer, when I get to make a permanent move back home. 2014 will be the Return, and the restoration of weekly game night, I hope!

Gamer Avatar
8
Norway
Plaid Hat Games fan
AEG fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan

Since the holiday’s family time I have to aim for those kinds of games. This far I got my family t o play Carcassonne, we had some friends over yesterday and played some more Carcassonne and today we managed to try Escape – the last game in my collection. A side from that kiddo got a few light kid games that we have tried and will play more. I’ll try convince my gf to play Belfort with me one evening. When the holidays are over and the gaming groups comes together again we’ll play some more heavier games.
I’m also waiting for the 3rd adventure path for Pathfinder adventure card game. Can’t wait to have that!

Gamer Avatar
5
Canada
Belfort Fan
The Bronze Heart

I am always eager to play Pandemic, and it seems to be popular with both the older AND younger players around the house this time of year. I expect most of our game choices will be chosen by the younger set, but I anticipate some of their new games to be pretty fun. I am looking forward to La Boca, Castle Panic, Banana Matcho and then once they’re in bed we can break out the Dominion.

Gamer Avatar
7
I play blue
Book Lover
Intermediate Reviewer
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan

I am ecstatic! With my Pit-playing family of 7, I insisted that the game to break out was 7 Wonders. I was amazed that they were willing to learn, and even more amazed that after a pretty slow game explaining the rules and scoring, they want to play again! Here’s hoping to more games in the near future. Bang! maybe?

Gamer Avatar
5
I Walk the Talk!
Gamer - Level 5
Tinkerer

My recent purchases are going to be my games for the holidays.

Smash up
Awesome game, easy to learn

Drunk Quest
Don’t pre drink and use a light beer. Great Munchkin-esqu drinking game. 2 buddies and myself cleared a 36 pack in 2 games over about 3 hours. We were also learning as we played.

Boss Monster:Master of the dungeon
This hasn’t been played yet. But the game play seems solid and most of all fun!

But for the adults on late nights we’ve always enjoyed cards against humanity for some good laughs.

Gamer Avatar
7
Norway
Book Lover
I play blue
Paladin

My family don`t really understand the interest in playing games day in and day out. I think, unfortunately, they got broken by Ludo, Chinese Checkers, Toss the pigs and all that. They know there are a lot of games out there, because they have seen my collection, but still they can`t be bothered. Good thing I have a chance to play some games at my local club right before New Years Eve.

Knowing there are games under my Christmas tree makes it all the easier to cope with Christmas without games. It helps even more that I can leave work next Monday to go play games with people sharing my interest!

Gamer Avatar
8
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
Junior

I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve been the most consistent at introducing games that our game group will enjoy. As far back as D&D and Magic: The Gathering, I always seemed to find out and buy the hottest new games before the rest of my friends.

But now that seems to be changing. Perhaps because we’re in a gaming boom, or perhaps because the others are seeking out new games more than they have in the past. It could be that the last two games I introduced were not the slam dunks that I’ve brought in the past. Probably a combination of all these things.

My point is that I’m chomping at the bit to introduce The Resistance and Euphoria to the team. I can tell you without a doubt that these two games are perfect for our group. Compare that to Sentinels of the Multiverse, which I knew half the guys would love, but it’d have to grow on the others.

My frustration right now is that other guys just got games they are dying to play also. So, even though we’re playing more often this holiday season than normal, my two games have to compete with Cyclades, Railways of the World, Android (NOT the card game), and The Walking Dead. I wouldn’t mind playing Railways, but I’m cringing at the idea of playing Walking Dead.

But since the topic is Wish List…I hope we play The Resistance, Euphoria, and Railways.

As for my childhood, I probably played 100 games of the old Parker Brothers game Pay Day. I’d love to play that and be able to maintain my nostalgia for it.

Gamer Avatar
3
Smash Up Fan

I have recently become a big board game fan because I feel like it gets our family off the electronics and actually conversing with each other. So naturally I have a few new games I would like to pick up:

Sentinels of the Multiverse
Not sure how this one is going to go over. I love the idea of it but worried it may be a bit technical for my wife and 2 daughters.

Smash Up
This one looks great. We love King of Tokyo and I am hoping this will fit right into that same type of game that everyone in the family enjoys.

King of Tokyo: Power Up!
Really looking forward to this one. Everyone in the family loves to be King of Tokyo.

For games we already have, I would not mind pulling out a game of Tally Ho!, Ticket to Ride and/or Catch Phrase (great game to play with the neighbors).

Gamer Avatar
1

We’re bringing Sentinels of the Multiverse to my aunt’s house, but I don’t know if anyone will want to play it!

There was a game I loved as a kid called By Jove, which was kind-of Monopoly-based but with mythology. I hadn’t seen it in years and then I was at my husband’s aunt’s house last year and she had a copy of it in her basement! Amazing coincidence. She let me take it home 🙂

Gamer Avatar
6
Novice Reviewer
I Own a Game!
Explorer - Level 3

I am looking forward to playing a number of games I have ordered or picked up “for the family”.

18 year old son: After the soloish play of Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, I am looking forward to Pathfinder ACG. I am not a huge deck guy, but I like how Pathfinder’s character deck will be built up over time and persist game to game. Also I like that it works with more than just the two players. He also asked for Axis & Allies since he likes risk. I am kicking myself a little for not getting Risk: Legacy instead, but it is what he asked for.

15 year old son: He gets our first expansion for Dominion (Seaside). We have just had the base game for 9 months or so and he tends to dominate it. It is my brother’s game that he stores at our house. I also have Eminent Domain on its way for him.

11 year old daughter: She plays a lot of games with the rest of us, but I wanted to get her some games she could play with friends. I got two- Escape: The Curse of the Temple and Forbidden Island.

Lastly am thrilled that Euphoria will be here in a day or two. The family likes other worker placement games but I am interested also in showing this one off around town. I have game night on Sunday at my mother-in-law’s, Monday at a local game store with my two sons, Tuesday at another families house, and Wednesday at my family’s house (hoping to get mom to play Ticket to Ride and I got her Qwirkle. Not working Thursday or Friday should allow for the new games as well as some of the old ones get get played.

Merry Christmas!!!

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

My wish list is to play the games my two sons want to play… so, whatever is on their lists is on mine. My 6 year old is a gaming genius. He’s crushed us at Kingdom Builder and Relic Runners with his no-nonsense approach to gaming… his focus is always on the win conditions. While us older folk try to eek out some long term strategy, he makes move after move to bury us and our unrealized dream (as time runs out). We’ll play more Relic Runners, Qin, Kingdom Builder, and maybe try out Suburbia… as I think he might like the mathematical nature of the game. Did I mention the kid is better at math than I am?

My older son is an adventurer. He loves cooperative games, and games with theme. He wants to play Castle Panic with the expansion. He’s yearning to play the Lord of the Rings LCC Hobbit expansions, and we both want to play the Pathfinder card game. We also have Dark, Darker, Darkest, and Kemet waiting to be played. He’s designing some games now… the kid is relentlessly productive. My guess is we’ll be trying out a prototype or two.

Personally, I’d like to play Clash of Cultures too, but I value my marriage, and the boys are not quite there yet. For me, getting to spend quality time with my family around a good board game is what the holidays are all about. I live a cliche, and embrace it. Merry Christmas!

Gamer Avatar
1
maverick:muse fan

Holiday gaming is pretty straight forward for me –

Mother-in-law down for one day so we’ll play Scrabble with her. The only time I play but I enjoy it.

Boxing day is always a family game of Mah-Jong. We crack open a big tub of peanuts and are only allowed to eat them with chopsticks. Love playing Mah-Jong and we always have a good time.

I grew up playing hobby games with two of my brothers and we always play something. From my childhood, we used to play a lot of Buccanneer – we ‘inherited’ the original 1950s? game with cut-glass beads set in metal for rubies and diamonds, small gold-painted pieces of metal for gold, small wooden barrels for rum, etc. It’s a great set and we break it out at Christmas sometimes. But this year it’ll be Blood Bowl Team Manager because I have it and have still yet to play it.

Gamer Avatar
7
Norway
Book Lover
I play blue
Paladin

There will most likely be no gaming for me during holiday, unless I get hold of some local group at my parents` place. My family can`t really understand why I bother playing, why I find it so interesting, and all. Their loss, really, with so many great games suited for non-gamers, too, circling out there in the great, big world. I have given up, pretty much, trying to get them along on any gaming…..

Gamer Avatar
2

We played The Resistance at a family gathering on Thanksgiving Day. Hope to be able to do that again. It went over well and everyone had a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, I plan to to use some of my upcoming time off playing Eldritch Horror and Hidden Intruder. The beauty is that I can play either one of these solo if my family doesn’t want to. 🙂

Gamer Avatar
7
Knight-errant
Cooperative Game Explorer
Amateur Advisor
Gamer - Level 6

In some ways this links to the previous Your Turn topic about gaming barriers; they can be an obstacle for playing new games along the holidays as opposed to old games. Still, the opportunity to play games with the family is always enjoyable. My family isn’t really a board gaming crowd, for the most part; we have euchre tournaments or poker games or play games like Michigan Rummy or Left-Right-Center.

Still, there are a number of board games and dice games that I have that appeal to kids of the younger generation. Games like Seasons, Mice and Mystics, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Defenders of the Realm seem to go over very well with my cousins, and a few of the more mature ones also enjoy a game of Arkham Horror or two.

Of course, for my major gaming kick, I always have my gaming friends to rely on for that period between Christmas and New Years when everyone will be more available to do things and also detoxing from holiday shenanigans. Firefly and Dungeons and Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep seem to be quite popular of late, and I also wouldn’t mind a game of A Touch of Evil either.

If possible, I’d like to try Eldrich Horror over the holidays. So far, I’ve heard good things, and though I haven’t seen the game in action yet, I have perused the bio and info.

Gamer Avatar
8
I play purple
My First Game Tip
Vanguard

I want to play Monopoly again!! Did I mention yet that I want to play Monopoly again?? I will be traveling to visit some of my kids the weekend before Christmas and the weekend after Christmas. I will definitely introduce a game or two during these visits. That will depend on what they like or leave up to me to pick. On one visit there is an old friend in the area and he wants to play Overpower the ccg game. I cannot pass that opportunity up!! It is a fun way to spend time with the family and have fun together. No more Chutes & Ladders!! My kids are grown, time for grown up games!! I really want to play Monopoly again!

Gamer Avatar
8
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
Junior

My family was always playing various card games, (Euchre, Pinochle, etc.) so at some point in the holidays, the table is cleared and people vie for seats around the table.

Since I moved out on my own, that hasn’t changed, but now they have a few other games that I’ve given as gifts. They enjoy Wits & Wagers and Apples to Apples best.

But it never really stops the pinochle.

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