On The Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Scwarzer Peter (Black Peter/Old Maid) and a book about German robbers and thieves.

The Rules!

The whole deck of cards is shuffled and then dealt out between all the players. Each player then looks through their cards and removes any pairs they already have in their hand and lays them on the table in front of them. Once this is done players take it in turns to draw one card at random from one other player and see if it makes a pair. Once all pairs have been laid down the player left with the Black Peter card is the loser.

For Christmas?

Yes! It’d be a good way of keeping the kids calm and in one place whilst you get dinner going, or out of the oven. Aunt Jean could even be enlisted to help play as it’s simple enough that she can’t get confused. This game would be a good stocking-filler for the kids as it’s pocket-sized. It can also be played with up to 6 players (when playing with one deck of cards) so it’s good for those times when there’s a group of people together!

Happy Second Day of Christmas! Keep playing games, keep eating sweets, keep opening presents and keep reading about our Christmas games!

On The First Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me…

Teddy Memory – and suggested that I work on my memory before buying him another present…

The Rules:

This game is just Pairs, but under a cuter name. Very simple and straightforward. You shuffle all the cards and lay them face-down on the table/floor/whatever surface you’re playing on. Then the first player picks two cards and turns them face up. If they’re the same that player gets to keep them and takes another turn. If they’re different they have to be turned over again and play passes to the next player on the left. The winner is the person with the most pairs when all the cards have been picked up.

For Christmas?

Well, why not? It’s a nice easy game that can be played by any number of people (provided you have enough cards and a big enough table or floor). It’s also fantastic for all ages because it forces you to exercise your memory muscles! Brain-active games have been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s, so get all the oldies playing with the kids and then everyone can have healthier brains! It’s definitely a social game too, so Aunt Jean (see Twelve Games of Christmas – 2013) won’t be able to complain that no one wants to spend any time with her! (Unless of course she doesn’t want to play the game and then, well, what can you do?)

Anyone who was reading this blog as far back as 2013 will already have a feel for how these posts go. The only difference really is that this year they’re all kids/family games rather than just any game we really liked during the year.

Merry Christmas everyone! Play many games and bring joy and game-related arguments to all your family and friends!

Christmas Update!

The Twelve Games of Christmas Are Go!

First thing’s first. It’s the start of December and I am now going to officially announce that the Twelve Games of Christmas are going to happen again this year. We didn’t really have a theme to the games last time we did this, but this year I found myself surrounded by games that were great for kids. So an obvious theme appeared almost immediately. If you aren’t even slightly into kids games then I apologize and hope that you’ll find what I’ve got planned for the New Year more interesting!

Those plans are going to remain secret for the time being though, as they shall all be revealed in the January update post. All I’ll say is that I’m hoping for a pretty interesting/exciting board game year!

In other news avid readers (if they exist) may have noticed that we’ve changed the day and time that we post at. Statistically we realized that Sunday was the most popular day for people to view this blog. So instead of posting on Monday evenings at 8pm we’ve decided to try out posting on Sunday mornings at 10am so see if it makes any kind of a difference. Aside from that not much else has changed.

Enjoy Christmas, and the posts that go up in the interim!

Over and out,

Miriam

Update – PLANS!

So since my last update post I’ve successfully posted…. 1 game. :/

This is a little underwhelming I know. But I have been formulating a plan in the time since then, and I promise it doesn’t involve every second post being an update! The first part of the plan involves my sister, Bex, blogging about books over at anarmchairbythesea, and Terry Pratchett, well-known author of the Discworld series of books, among other things.

The second part of the plan involves Christmas!

A little explanation is in order? Perhaps.

I don’t want to say too much in case of two things;

  1. I fail epically at making any of this happen, OR,
  2. I fail at making you (the reader) excited about it, and therefore unlikely to return to read the fruit of these plans.
Part 1:

A basic sum-up of the plan can, however, be given. The part involving Bex goes like this: she’s organizing and partially hosting a Discworld Readathon or ‘Discworldathon’ (as she’s taken to calling it) on her blog, starting in January and continuing for one full year with each month having a Discworld-novel theme.
Since Terry Pratchett also authorized the creation of several board games based on the books, which we have already reviewed on this blog (the reviews can be read here) we thought it could be a nice idea to tie in the Discworldathon with some kind of replay or re-enjoyment of the related games. As of now we’re not 100% sure what the best way to work this out is, but we’re theorizing and planning and scheming and such, and we’ll undoubtedly come up with something.

Part 2:

This is the part of the plan involving Christmas. As some avid and dedicated readers may remember we did a series of posts entitled “Twelve Games of Christmas” in 2013. These, based on the statistics of the site, were quite popular. So I intend to bring them back this year. I’m hoping to be organized enough to make this possible, and I’ve already compiled a list of potential games to use for this.

That about sums up everything that’s in the works at the moment, and my hope is that even if posting is sporadic there should be a decent amount of posts going up around Christmas and some definite ones happening in the New Year in connection to Bex’s Discworldathon.

That’s everything for now, and I sincerely hope that my next post is not an update!

Miriam

A Final Farewell To Christmas!

Our Gaming Christmas!

Traditionally our Christmas’ are rather game orientated, along with a classic Christmas film in the evening and usually the Dr Who Christmas episode! Unsurprisingly our parents are no strangers to the odd board game and before we even started actively collecting board games it was safe to say we had somewhere between 30 – 40 games in our house, just because that’s the way life was. Now with our active collection and recent explosion of board games we probably have somewhere close to 100 games in the house… Which is awesome (obviously). Christmas leant a hand in that; between the two of us we got 12 games (not all exactly board games) to add to the collection here’s a picture:

All the games we got for Christmas!
All the games we got for Christmas!

So these are all the games we received for Christmas! They made us SUPER happy! Obviously not all of them will feature on the blog, we’re hardly going to blog about table football, for example, but it did make the picture look cool! This is the list of what we got (from left to right):

  1. Clue
  2. Quarto!
  3. Perudo
  4. Mah Jongg
  5. Who Am I?
  6. 3-A-Side
  7. Table Football
  8. Stationary Rubber Band Duck Shooter
  9. Shove Halfpenny (Shove Ha’penny) – Which we have already posted about HERE!
  10. Go
  11. Chinese Checkers
  12. The Witches

So we thought we’d share a touch of our Gaming Christmas Day with you through some pictures as a final farewell to our favourite holiday of the year!

Note that Aunt Jean does not feature in any of these pictures… She believes cameras are the work of the devil! They steal your soul she says! If this is true Kim Kardashian is truly Soulless!

Babies Can Play Too:

Our nephew joining in the traditions!
Our nephew joining in the traditions!

OH MY GOD JUST GET ON WITH IT:

This moment look like deep concentration and evil eyes...but don;t be deceived...
This moment look like deep concentration and evil eyes… But don’t be deceived…

…It Was Much More Like This:

Picture lovingly borrowed from http://www.memecenter.com/fun/169438/monopoly
Picture lovingly borrowed from http://www.memecenter.com/fun/169438/monopoly

52 Card Pick Up:

I have no idea what was actually being played here but I wasn't 52 card pick up!
I have no idea what was actually being played here but I wasn’t 52 card pick up!

Last, and Apparently Worst, Game of The Day:

I didn't play this so am not qualified to comment but apparently it was somewhat less than thrilling. But being true gaming pioneers they stuck it out till the end!
I didn’t play this, so am not qualified to comment but apparently it was somewhat less than thrilling. But being true gaming pioneers they stuck it out till the end!

To End At The End Would Seem To Be The Right Place To End:

That brings me to the end of our Christmas day and the end of this post. Other games were played and much fun was had, and I hope your Christmas was just as good. This post was obviously meant to go up earlier but I kept forgetting about it!

As a belated Christmas present… Or a really, really early one you should like us on facebook HERE!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

…A Twelve-Player Game and I Introduced Him to Some Men in White Coats! – Boggle…A Million Points if You can Score a Twelve Letter Word in It.

Twelve Booglers Boogling!
Twelve Bogglers Boggling!

The Rules:

Boggle is a brilliant quick game for any number of players, all you need is a piece of paper and pencil to play. Before you start players must decide on the number of rounds that are going to be played, and the time allowance for each round. The timer that comes with the game is two minutes, and, although the timer for our copy doesn’t work properly any more, we still play to that, using someone’s phone as a timer. However, if you also have to do this, having the vibrate function on when you set the timer is a bad idea, as we found out when playing with Aunt Jean. The first time the timer went off and started vibrating on the table, it made such a strange sound that I was almost responsible for giving her a heart attack!
To play, one player shakes up the cube containing the dice, until they’re all flat, showing one face up. Then another player flips (or starts) the timer, and you have two minutes to make as many words as possible from the letters you can see. These words must be at least three letters long, and the letters must be connected either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. You cannot use the same letter twice in one word. When the timer goes off, one player reads out their list of words, any word that any of the other players has also written down is crossed off and doesn’t get you any points. When everyone’s checked their lists, you score. Three and four letter words are worth 1 point each, any word with more letters is given one extra point for each subsequent letter, i.e. 5 letters = 2 points etc.
After you’ve played through the appointed number of rounds the player with the most points overall wins.

For Christmas?

A great game for fans of Scrabble or similar games, not so much fun for dyslexics (like Dave) who get overexcited when they score two points in a round, mostly with three letter words. However, it’s a fantastic game because it can be played super-quickly with any number of people, you could challenge yourself and whoever you’re playing with to find the longest or silliest words possible, making it a superb game for any occasion!

Happy Twelfth and last day of Christmas and a Happy Epiphany too … For those who celebrate that kind of thing!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

…An Eleven-Player Game and The Suggestion That I Make More Friends – Eleven Pictionarys Drawing!

Eleven Pipers...Playing Pictionary!
Eleven Pipers…Playing Pictionary!

The Rules:

Pictionary is supposed to be played on teams of two (or four), but eleven is an incredibly hard number to find a game for, I mean, Aunt Jean may be willing to make up your 12th player, but given her tendency to shout things out in a slightly turrets-y way you may want to direct her to some other occupation whilst you’re playing. For her own good . So, just pretend that eleven is the optimum number for this game, and all will be well! The objective of the game is to advance round the board by guessing the words that the other teams are drawing out on their turns. At the start of the game, each team is given a pad of paper, a pencil, a category card and a playing piece. Each playing piece is placed on the start square on the board. Each team then elects one player to be their picturist. It’s this player who will draw out clues for the other teams for the rest of the game.  Then each team rolls the die, highest roll selects the first first card. The first word sketched is an All Play sketch, meaning that all teams can guess. At the start of the game, the die is not rolled to advance. There are five different categories, as follows; All Play – this can be any word or expression and all teams participate, Difficult – challenging words, Action – verb, things that can be performed, Person/Place/Animal – self explanatory, proper names can be included and Object – noun, things that can be touched or seen.
To play, the starting picturist selects a word card from the front of the deck the word that matching the coloured square that the playing pieces is on is the one being described. The picturist is allowed five seconds to examine the word, then the timer is turned and the picturist begins sketching. The other team(s) can then begin guessing, this continues until the word is guessed or the time runs out. If the word is guessed the team then continues by rolling the die and advancing the appropriate number of squares, they then select the next card and picturist. If the word is not guessed, play then continues clockwise, the next team then begins by drawing a new card not rolling the die.
The first team to land on the Finish square and guess the word correctly, wins.

For Christmas?

So describing the rules may have been a little lengthy, but it’s actually a very simple game. It’s good fun with a small or large group of people, and a fantastic family game, whether being played for a challenge, or just for a few laughs as we all enjoy our different (and sometimes dubious in my case) artistic abilities. This game can be a fantastically relaxed way to end an evening, or it can be a creative challenge for younger kids! it’s good for everyone old enough to talk (well, possibly not quite) and is a timeless classic for family time. Appropriate for this time of year, no?

Happy Penultimate Day of Christmas!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

…A Ten-Player Game To Which I Responded “When Are We Ever Going to Play This!?” – Yahzee…leaping

Ten Yahtzee's Leaping
Ten Yahtzee’s Leaping

The Rules:

Yahtzee! The first ever dice game to appear on this blog! (Don’t worry dice lovers we have a whole month set aside for them next year). Yahtzee in some respects could be considered the poker of dice. Each player roles five dice three times each with the aim of scoring in a particular way e.g. getting three dice on the same number = 3 of a kind (similar to poker). The scores are recorded on a score card and this goes on until one player scores zero on all three of their roles then the scores are tallied up and the winner is decided.

For Christmas?

Now if you have a big family (like we do) and will have ten or more people in your house on Christmas Day then this is a good game to play because you can play with up to ten players. However if your Aunt Jean, like our Aunt Jean, gets confused and angered by dice then perhaps this is a steer clear as the whole game revolves around them. She maintains there’s no logic to chance and all chance should be avoided…”That’s how a real British man does it” (her words not mine).

Anyway, on that note, A Very Happy Tenth Day of Christmas! It may almost be over but that’s no excuse to stop eating everything in sight!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

… A Nine-Men’s Game, Apparently From Some Bloke Called Morris… – Nine Men’s Morris!

Nine Ladies (Morris) Dancing
Nine Ladies (Morris) Dancing

The Rules:

Nine Men’s Morris, is a very quick, easy to learn game. You play on a square board with three squares drawn on it, a big, a medium and a little one, all inside each other. These are connected by horizontal or vertical lines in the centre of each side. Each player starts with 12 pieces in either black or white and the objective is to make a line, either horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally), of three, called a mill. Once a player has created a mill, they can remove one of their opponents pieces from the board. Play continues in this manner until one player has less than three pieces left. It’s so simple that even Aunt Jean could learn it, although you may run into some trouble explaining why the three-in-a-row are called mills…
Each player takes it in turns to place a piece on the board, either on one of the points in the middle of the side where the squares are connected, or on a corner of one of the squares. Then you move one piece one space per turn to try and make your lines of three. Easy, right? If you wish for any more info about this game, go to our previously published post, here!

For Christmas?

Definitely! It’s quick, fun, clever, and can be taught to people of all ages! (With the possible exception of children under the age of about 5 or 6, we wouldn’t want them eating the pieces, now would we?) This game probably takes about 5 minutes to play, so you could even set up some kind of tournament with all the relatives that visit you around Christmas time.

Happy ninth day of Christmas!!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me…

…A Eight-Player Game and I Flatly Refused to Let Any More Couples Into Our House – Taboo

Eight Taboos a-Milking
Eight Taboos a-Milking

The Rules:

Taboo is a very simple game, up to eight people can play, and you play on teams of two. The objective of the game is score more points than every other team by guessing words on cards that are flipped up every turn. On each card is a title word, and another list of words associated with it. One player on the team must try and describe the word to their team mate without saying the word or any of the words on the list. Points are scored every time you correctly guess a word. There is a pad of paper used to keep score, and a timer used to make sure the length of time for each turn is the same. One team is chosen to play first and the team opposite them takes responsibility on marking their points and watching the timer. After a predetermined number of rounds (or when you run out of cards, your choice) the game ends, and the team with the most points wins.

For Christmas?

Definitely! This a fantastic game to play with family or friends, especially if there’s someone around that you’re very close with and can say the strangest things to to describe a word. On that note, I wouldn’t, under any circumstances invite Aunt Jean to play this game with you. Chances are, she’ll misunderstand everything from the simple objective of the game, to how you’ve chosen to record points, and she’ll probably shout out random words in an endeavour to contribute whilst everyone else relocates the game to a different room. However, this game is a solid investment for any game-lover the cause of many a hilarious evening.

Happy Eighth Day of Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!