I have loved being “stuck” here in St Lucia during these troubling times because I have been able to hang out with 8-10 boats for a few months now. During that time one of the things we have down is played games, which I love. Now I am not talking about Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, etc. No, no, no. As I tell people, I probably have two dozen games you have never heard of. 🙂
The main participants of my games is a Kiwi family of four with an 8 year old girl and 7 year old boy. I am amazed at how well both of them get the concepts and rules of the game. Although truth be told the 7 year old still struggles with the long term strategies. Haha. I also have a British couple that loves to play with me and I have introduced a few couples into playing games for the first time since they were kids.
I think board games are wonderful and I love to play them. I also think game nights are good for families and friends as a way to get together and spend time with each other. The games I like to have aboard are ones that have great strategy, but I can teach in 15 minutes and don’t last much past an hour. Otherwise I lose my guests attention. Haha
Some of the games I have aboard and highly recommend are:
Auction – This one will be tough to find because it was from the 70’s. In it you are trying to buy “historical” artifacts (Washington’s wooden teeth, Ross’s fabric scraps, etc) in order to form sets and turn in for cash, so you can buy more stuff. Three times during the game an auction card come out and price goes out the window and it is simply what someone is willing to pay.
Camel Up – This one you are betting on a camel race in the desert. This allows lots of players and the mechanic of having the camels stack on top of each other is what makes it so much fun.
Carcassonne – Here you are building the French countryside and chose to claim cities, country, roads, churches, and gardens to amass points as more and more tiles are laid out to form the country.
Century Spice Road – This is my most popular game. In it you are collecting cards to help you trade spices up and down in order to buy buildings. It is easy to learn, but still has lots of strategy. The first year there must have been eight copies ordered on Amazon before guests even left the boat. The company actually made three different games that can be played individually, as pairs, or as all three together making it 7 games in 3. It can take up to 5, but this is one of the few games that is just as great for only two people.
Citadel – This game has two parts for each round. In the first part you are secretly picking a character (assassin, thief, bishop, merchant, etc) and then you play that character in a particular order as you try and build up money to buy building for your town.
Evolution – This game is a bit longer, but you start with an animal and can grow it and add traits based on what the environment and other players are doing to theirs. The object is to get the most food, so the better your traits the more food you get.
Guillotine – Set in the French Revolution you are trying to chop the heads off the highest noble you can. It is a silly game that is quick and super fun…..if you can get past the concept. I would say it is one that heads roll to play. Haha
Mille Bourne – This is a French card racing game from the 70’s. You are trying to drive a 1000km, but you can throw obstacles in the way of your competitors to slow them down.
Pandemic – This one is very cool because everyone has to work together and not against each other as you try and find the cure to four diseases while still controlling different outbreaks around the world.
Pirate’s Cove – Every player sails their pirate ship from port to port as they acquire treasure and famous points, but make sure your ship is ready for battle at any time.
Puerto Rico – This game has everyone building plantations as they try and ship coffee, tobacco, sugar, corn, and indigo to Spain. Lots of building you can buy and things you can do to help you enhance your plantations outputs.
Saboteur – Silly card game for lots of players as miners work together to reach the diamonds, but watch out as someone is trying to sabotage the effort.
Sagrada – Unique game where you pick colored dice to fill in your board to build a stain glass window in a church. There is a little more thinking in this game as you try and figure out where to put each dice when they come up. Also it is another other game I have that is great if you only have two people.
Scotland Yard – Fun game where one person is a criminal and everyone else is cops in London. You can use subways, buses, and taxis to get around the city as you try and contain the criminal.
Settlers of Catan – Great game that has become mainstream. There are five different resources needed to build different things and you get them by placing settlements on them and having that tiles number rolled on the dice. The best part is the trading of resources.
Ticket to Ride – You have got to collect matching colored train cards to build a line between two cities. If you can connect the two cities on your ticket then you get more points. I like the European version better than the USA one because it has train stations, tunnels, and ferries which add to the fun. This is my 2nd favorite game.
Disney Princess Uno – Everyone knows Uno (btw, do they call it One in Mexico? Haha) but the Disney Princess version is the best because it has a dragon card and when played everyone has to lay down a knight card (the zeros and fives). Just that really changes the game. I do think it is funny that a single guy has the Disney Princess version, but it was a gift from one of my closest friend’s daughter (basically my niece) when she was six and every time I see the game it still breaks my heart how cute she was.
Now that I have described each and every one of these games (of course I still have others, haha) I want to play something. Lucky for me everyone is on the way over in a bit for game night. What to play, what to play?