Re: Cards Against Humanity

1

So it's sort of like Mad Libs, but multiple choice?


Posted by: Dud Par | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:19 AM
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Yeah, sort of. Everyone submits their best punchline, and then the dealer selects their favorite, and that person wins the round.

A nice part of Apples-to-Apples/CAH is that you're trying to figure out what will most appeal to the dealer of that particular round.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:22 AM
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I suppose it's not MadLibs whatsoever, because you know the prompt before you submit your answer. Your answers are constrained by the choices on the cards in your hand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:24 AM
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Agree with the OP.

I thought this stunt of theirs was pretty good.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:27 AM
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5

It' sounds like commenting on Unfogged except the limited range of options is explicit.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:29 AM
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I was supposed to play it once, but over the course of several months I spoiled the invitation.


Posted by: Dud Par | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:30 AM
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5: it was bad enough when we were just one bald 47-year-old in a basement, now you're saying we're a Chinese Room? I resent that in Wisconsin dot com.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:33 AM
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The one gameplay element where it actually differs from Apples-to-Apples are the great multi-card combos. e.g. the obvious "1. ____ 2. _____ 3. Profit".

I've just seen it as more of an inhibition limiter then saying anything deep about what your sense of humor.

Sadly, it does tend to racism. Also, sexism. I think they've turned down some of the worst of it, though.

4: I was going to mention that. I knew it was a stunt as it was happening (I'm not that cynical), but didn't figure out it was Temkin until afterwards.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:34 AM
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I played it at a party with some people a few months back. It is, as the OP gets at, throughly grounded in contemporary American white humor, which I find really tiresome. The Europeans there didn't really get it, and the one PoC there was noticeably uncomfortable.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:44 AM
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As a counteranecdatum, I've played it at a majority-PoC party and it went as usual.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:46 AM
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It's arguably not a counteranecdatum. Huge difference between being the one PoC among white people stamping around racial taboos, and doing the same within a group of PoC.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:49 AM
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The best party game is "What's the worst thing you can say about someone in this room?" and then have everyone guess who you're talking about.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:51 AM
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11: Yes, probably.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:52 AM
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14

In fact, we play that game in the comments!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:52 AM
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C got it for us all at Christmas. It's funny (and having the 11 year old playing too made it even more so), but I've played it about 3 times and that's probably enough for me. The kids like it, it seems to come out when there are extra teenagers in the house.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:54 AM
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I played with a drunk Polish family. It was awful.

Also, I hate the feature of 2.2. "Engorged Anne Frank" wins? That's not funny and it doesn't even make sense. Fuck you.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:01 AM
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It sure sounds like a teenager/hipster game, most of which leave me cold. Usually we play Carcasonne, or Castles of Burgundy.

My favorite game of all though is Diplomacy, which is sort of like reenacting The Game of Thrones in your own home, though usually with less blood. (In fact, now I think about it I'm shocked no one has done a GoT tie-in edition of Diplomacy.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:08 AM
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17: We played a game of Diplomacy in our office using a web interface where we gave two days per turn. Dear god the politicking. It was awful, far too intense for me. When I had to stab a coworker in the back I felt horrible about it for months.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:14 AM
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Speaking of games in poor taste, I was going to make a joke about "Settlers of Canaan", but it turns out somebody made it for real. Except in their version, there's no PLO or Hamas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:16 AM
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Insofar as they substitute for real games like chess or bridge or Carcassonne or Diplomacy or Settlers of Catan or even Hearts for god's sake, Cards against Humanity and Apples to Apples are deplorable. I guess they're marginally better than just sitting around chatting though.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:31 AM
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18 is a terrific idea if anyone ever wanted to destroy Unfogged forever.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:35 AM
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Oh jesus no. I mean, real strategic games are good if you enjoy real strategic games, but Hearts just sucks. Silly social games are an entirely different thing, perfect for slightly not-very-fun kinds of social situations. It is a great thing when someone in Jammies' family suggests playing Apples to Apples.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:37 AM
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23

Pitch is better than Hearts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:38 AM
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20: I think that's a typing error. They're party games, not strategy games, and they're suitable for different purposes. My gaming group is in the habit of playing a strategy game and if we finish up early use a party game as a palate cleanser--the most popular recently is Telestrations, which is like dictionary meets the telephone game. Not very deep, but fun.

(For a more video gamey equivalent, clearly Mario Kart and Alpha Centauri have different and acceptable niches.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:40 AM
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dictionary -> Pictionary


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:41 AM
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22 and 24 aren't disagreeing with 20 as far as I can tell, they're saying that A2A and CAH replace chatting, not Catan. Which is reasonable but disappointing if true.

You know what's an underrated group activity? Laser tag. (And also Hearts, which is pretty fun.)


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:49 AM
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Ha. I really do hate Laser tag. I don't like the adrenaline of being hunted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:52 AM
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28

What about LARPing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:53 AM
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It's very popular with late teens/early 20s; playing it with your in-laws can be quite strange (but devolves quickly to standard CAH play).

It is fantastically popular, despite their horrible relations with retailers for their first couple of years. Some of that should improve as they're entering distribution... but I sincerely hope it's almost played out. (My cynical side suspects that it is, which is why they've caved and gone into distribution.)

It's on my list of games that I'll play to be sociable, but I never recommend it, and usually recommend something else (or several something elses) first.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:57 AM
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Best group activities: Strategy games, anything involving physical activity (sports, hiking, swimming)

Second best: making something (food, art, etc.)

Third best: structured doing of nothing (watching something on a screen, Apples to Apples).

Worst: long unstructured periods of sitting (restaurant meals, dinner at someone's house, bars)

If you wrote up those categories a little more neutrally, I'll bet they'd be a good guide for your dating preferences.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:59 AM
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Worst: long unstructured periods of sitting (restaurant meals, dinner at someone's house, bars)

That's pretty much what I do with free time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:07 AM
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30: Those almost work, except you have failed to distinguish unstructured doing nothing with good conversation from unstructured doing nothing without. The first is high on my list, but the last is rock bottom. (I also want to distinguish strenuous from non-strenuous physical activity -- hiking vs. strolling.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:08 AM
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33

30 is an awesome list if your main goal for group interaction is to not speak to anyone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:08 AM
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34

s/b not speak to anyone WHILE competing against them, which is the essence of socializing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:09 AM
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35

32: Drink until the conversation is good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:11 AM
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36

Especially given the chiding in 26.1 about how sad it is that A2A replaces small talk with my in-laws extended family.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:12 AM
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37

35 is correct and invites the alternate scenario of puzzling out why you all got so mad last night, anyway.


Posted by: Dud Par | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:15 AM
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38

Surely Star Fleet Battles is the ultimate party game.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:18 AM
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I think you misunderstood 26.1. It's not sad to replace small talk with A2A, it's sad to replace small talk with A2A rather than something that creates deep, meaningful, emotional bonds, like chess or Diplomacy.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:18 AM
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34: You're on to me.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:19 AM
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41

I guess it's no surprise that I haven't heard of any of these games. Did you play any of them at Unfoggedycon?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:19 AM
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42

TIL ogged hasn't heard of chess.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:20 AM
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43

Maybe he only knows it as Chatrang.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:23 AM
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A nice part of Apples-to-Apples/CAH is that you're trying to figure out what will most appeal to the dealer of that particular round.

I only played CAH once, but in that case it benefited from the fact that everyone clearly had different styles as far as what answers they would accept. There was one person who was completely game for stupid, crude humor, another person who was never going to pick the crudest answer me, me who wouldn't pick anything that didn't make logical sense, no matter how funny it was, and a fourth person who was sort of in the middle, but clearly had her own preferences for humor.

The thing that bugged me was that some cards were just going to be difficult to win with in any round, and as the game went on those cards started to clog your hand, so that you were only picking from 3 or 4 possibilities for most rounds.

Surely Star Fleet Battles is the ultimate party game.

SFB is on of the things that really makes me miss having the free time that I had in my teens or early 20s. There is something fun about being able to settle into a game and know that you're committed for the next five hours and can just get absorbed by it, but I don't know that I will ever have the time so that, if I did have a free block of five hours SFB is what I would chose to do with it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:34 AM
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45

Chatrang.

Shatranj is a better, if more unfortunate, transliteration.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:40 AM
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46

Kid and better half play cribbage, mostly when on a train. We all play the music game incessantly.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:43 AM
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47

I've never heard of these games (except chess, of course) and LB correct re hierarchy of social pleasures, except difficult for me to imagine certain family gatherings could be improved by introducing formalized competition.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:45 AM
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I am not generally fond of strategy games, because if I am going to concentrate that hard, I should get paid for the effort. I do like Pandemic, though.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:45 AM
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49

Knockdown is a weird party game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:45 AM
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50

More seriously, jigsaw puzzles are great for family gatherings because you don't have to look at or talk to each other but it's still a little bit like you're interacting.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:46 AM
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51

Once again reminded forcefully why better plan is to just avoid family gatherings.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:48 AM
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52

We do lots of jigsaw puzzles at family gatherings, because people with early-stage Alzheimer's and small children can do them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 8:58 AM
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Jigsaw puzzles are difficult for me. I get obsessive about them, to the point where it's difficult to get anything else done. But I don't actually enjoy them much. So mostly I avoid them until I encounter one that someone else has set up, at which point I'm helplessly sucked in and no use to anyone until they're done.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:00 AM
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51. I try harder with my family, because I'd prefer that my son did not conclude 51. in the future.

I was recently in Las Vegas. Clearly a popular place with Chinese, but I didn't notice much tailored to middle easterners. In particular, no way to bet on backgammon that I saw. Things that make you go hmmm.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:02 AM
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55

We did a puzzle based on a Thomas Kinkade painting. It was a pain in the ass for two reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:10 AM
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56

My kid and my step kids are all much more enthusiastic re spending time with my family than I am, so perhaps my misanthropy will not carry over.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:17 AM
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57

Hopefully neither reason involved Thomas Kinkade's penis.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:17 AM
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It's funny, I have no interest in games or puzzles of any kind. I tried sudoku and other things for a while, have occasionally taken a stab at cryptic crosswords, and at various computer games. But all those 2048 type things, and similar, I have about as much interest in those as I do in knitting, or basket-weaving, i.e. none.

I'll play games with other people, Scrabble or chess, or whatever, or join in at quizzes, but that's a social thing. I don't care about winning very much, either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:26 AM
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Just to pick up the game described in 12, someone here, and I'm not saying who, fakes his Scottish accent.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:28 AM
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'allo Mah-reee Poppinggs!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:33 AM
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For gatherings with extended family, some of those ridiculously massive 70s era war games based on the Eastern front in WWII might work. They can easily fill up an entire multi-day visit, and family gathering + genocidal war = big fun!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:40 AM
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62

Everybody here should fake a Scottish accent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:40 AM
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63

Post clips. ajay will judge.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:42 AM
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18

Diplomacy does have the defect that sometimes you find out more about your friends than you wish to know.

53

This. I never start a jigsaw puzzle but when someone else does I'm compelled to finish it. For example, the 3D foam Eiffel Tower last Christmas.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:43 AM
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I fake a Scottish accent at all times. I just do it badly enough that no one's noticed yet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:43 AM
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66

58 is me too. I just don't get the desire to win something that just doesn't mean anything at all in the end.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:44 AM
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There are a few people in our friend circle who try, from time to time, to get a Carcasonne game going. To no avail. We had a couple over not long ago for dinner and Scrabble. Which was fun, and not just because I won (after being way behind for much of the game).

Traditionally, we play Hearts and Charades -- my parents played both a lot when they were young (and TV didn't exist), again when we were young (and TV was stupid), and now enjoy playing with the grandkids. We've played Charades a few times with our friend group here -- many of them, though, are just not very good at it. We should try again some time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:44 AM
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61 -- I played Panzergruppe Guderian and Afrika Korps with my uncle for a few Christmases. He's now estranged from the family, but that's not why. It is a little weird in retrospect how much more fun it is to play the Nazi side in those games.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:48 AM
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I'm faking a Scottish accent as we speak, but I don't believe in eye dialect.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:48 AM
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re: 66

Yeah, I usually say that the only thing I care about winning is arguments, and while it's just a line, it is basically true.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:50 AM
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66: Huh. I care intensely if I win anything while I'm actually playing. I snap out of it immediately afterward, but the whole point of the game is pretending winning matters -- if you didn't, then yeah, games wouldn't work. (And of course caring too much wrecks them as well; Buck doesn't play games because he revs up to a life-or-death emotional state, and it's no fun for him.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:50 AM
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68: Sally was talking about some video game version of Stalingrad that a friend of hers has been playing obsessively, and noting that there's something weird about designing a game where you can only play the Nazi side.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:51 AM
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73

GB introduced us to Richochet Robots, which is a fun game in that it's not a "party game" like A2A or CAH, but it very much invites dropping in and out, doesn't last very long, and seems almost impossible to lend itself to a friendship-ending argument the way, say, Settlers can.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:52 AM
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Och!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:55 AM
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73: That's a great game for people who have large mental stacks. A couple we know has been training there approximately nine year old son on it and while he's not up to our level, he's gotten surprisingly good at it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:55 AM
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Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to the OP. There are definitely opportunities to make hilarious combinations, and the trick of appealing to the person whose turn it is can elicit some great jokes, especially when the person's sense of humor or delight is not totally on the nose with regards to the game's. (Nasty-cute works well.) But after a couple games, you should be embarrassed that you didn't come up with it first.

AWB put something up at the other place that was a variation on this, which looked fun. She recommended doing it Celebrity-style, everyone write fictional characters on scraps of paper, then use the cards in your hand to come up with the best romantic match for the card played by whomever's up.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:58 AM
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Oh, also, these guys put out Werewolf, which is a super-fun-and-creepy variant on Mafia. At least I thought it was them until I saw that the link says it dates to 1986.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:00 AM
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One-on-one Scrabble is great, multiplayer Scrabble not so much because it takes too long for it to be your turn again.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:00 AM
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There really ought to be some sort of meta-game where you figure out who are the best paired people from a variety of games -- Taboo, A2A/CAH, Pictionary -- and then move on to a championship round. Of Seven Minutes in Heaven or something.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:04 AM
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Buck doesn't play games because he revs up to a life-or-death emotional state, and it's no fun for him.

My wife is a bit like that. For a while we used to play chess fairly regularly, and we stopped for that reason. We are fairly evenly matched. Both of us aren't very good. So results were about 50/50 each way, and she'd get so annoyed/frustrated.

I quite like the social thing of games. Doing something together with other people. It can be a nice frame for drinking and conversation. But I can't ever really imagine either caring very much, or playing them on my own.

I suppose, as a teenager, I used to like winning at Trivial Pursuit, but that was largely because the fun was in running up the most rapid destruction of everyone else.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:06 AM
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Sounds like game night at the LB/Buck household is an awesome bloodsport. I agree with LB that you have to play to win, and also that you then turn it off. The most fun I've had playing Monopoly was with a bunch of Harvard/Stanford B-school folks, because it was VERY VERY important to them to win, and they didn't think I was a jerk for trying to do the same. Of course, when it got late and we had to call it a night, the only other guy beside me who had a plausible shot at winning wanted to argue that of course he would have won. That was tiresome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:10 AM
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Because I totally would have won.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:12 AM
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83

My children used to love playing A2A, but quickly abandoned it when they got Snake Oil for Christmas.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:23 AM
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Buck doesn't play games because he revs up to a life-or-death emotional state, and it's no fun for him.

"I will not play such games...with Jake." -BMO in the Adventure Time episode "Card Wars".


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:30 AM
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I've been playing chess with Newt, and it's hysterical because we're both terrible. There is no such thing as a position you can't recover from, because the spontaneous errors come so often that anything could happen next.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:32 AM
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86

The most fun I have ever had playing a board game was Junta.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:34 AM
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Junta is the best, as long as you don't mind losing all your friends.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:35 AM
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For a while we used to play chess fairly regularly, and we stopped for that reason.

My parents have a story of the last chess game they ever played, back in the early 70s while their marriage was becoming terrible but hadn't yet reached a steady state of terribleness. Dad had just taken Mom's second knight, and for some reason deciding to clown around, gloated "You are sans horsey" in a silly French accent. Mom flipped the board into his lap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:00 AM
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89

I remember jigsaw puzzles being fun but the big ones were rather a pain since they occupied so much space.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:01 AM
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90

You really need a dedicated table that you're not doing anything else with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:06 AM
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91

My brother and sister both refused to play chess with me after the first or second time that they lost.

My sister in particular had beaten me hundreds of times before I won a game.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:09 AM
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I'm sure I've told the story about Lee teaching me to play pool and then both trash-talking me and taking a victory lap after beating me during my first game a few minutes later. So far, she won't play board games or card games with the girls, and maybe that's a good thing.

Their favorite game is non-competitive, but Life Stories actually works really well as a way of getting to know people better and has been a way to naturally let them learn family stories while incorporating their own memories.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:10 AM
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90: Yes, that caused quite a crisis at Goodwill when they needed the table that my stepdaughter was using for her jigsaw puzzle.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:11 AM
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94

Their favorite game is non-competitive, but Life Stories actually works really well as a way of getting to know people better and has been a way to naturally let them learn family stories while incorporating their own memories.

Blah blah blah caring and sharing. Have they tried playing the role of a Nazi tank commander invading Smolensk in an incredibly complicated 1970s wargame?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:14 AM
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I have that game at home. It's called Panzer Commander or something. Never played it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:16 AM
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94: No, but I got to pocket their allowance for yesterday because when you hit/kick/spit at your sister, you have to give her your money and when she does it back to you, it goes to a mom. That's almost as good as Nazis and perhaps an even bigger fail at touchy-feely peaciness.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:19 AM
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Yesterday, I played a few games of cornhole, and one of my opponents was talking about other yard games. Frisbee Cup (which also apparently goes by the name "Fricket") sounds fun.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:31 AM
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96 -- profiting from violence. I like it. You're like the Don King of the under 10 set.

So, back to the OP, I've never even heard of this game, but I would fear that it's "edgy" humor in the style of e.g. Seth MacFarlane and therefore unbearable. But maybe there's enough user control to make it bearable.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:31 AM
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Junta is the best, as long as you don't mind losing all your friends.

Come to think of it, I bet Halford would be an ace Junta player.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:38 AM
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100

I've never played the game, but I can tell you from long experience that fantasy dictatorship is best played when you can make up all the rules yourself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:40 AM
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98.last: It entirely depends on who you play with. Play with people who like Seth MacFarlane and that's what you'll get. Play with people who don't, you won't.

Someone elsewhere pointed out that CAH is basically Apples to Apples with training wheels for offensiveness, which strikes me as basically true. (I mean, the first time I played Apples to Apples I managed to work in a 9/11 joke; if you have the right mind for it, you don't really need the game's help.)

Also, 81 is the least surprising comment ever. Dunked on any disabled kids lately?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:46 AM
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100. There was a pretty interesting documentary about Iraq, where some high-level person explained how difficult a censor's job was. Basically, anyone who praised Saddam couldn't be taken off the air, even if drug-addled or obviously sarcastic.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 11:54 AM
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I once, as an adult, played a game of five-on-five pick-up basketball with a bunch of 15 year olds. For that hour I knew what it was like to be Shaq.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:02 PM
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It is a little weird in retrospect how much more fun it is to play the Nazi side in those games.

Among wargame players of the Avalon Hill era, there are two types: The British/Union/Axis players, and the American/Confederate/Allies players.

I was always the latter. In more modern wargames, I'd be the Viet Cong and Taliban.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:07 PM
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Cards Against Humanity definitely has the potential for horribleness, so how to play it kind of depends on the crowd, but it's sort of hard to have black comedy without any risk at all of it being just a bit too black rude.

On a separate but related note, it always annoys me when I'm playing games with friends and the conversation gets in the way of the game. I'm not particularly cutthroat - the reverse, if anything, I think I often don't play my best out of conflict-averseness - but I can't multitask, or I don't like to. I can chat or I can play Magic or CoH or whatever, but don't expect me to do both at once.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:15 PM
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You really need a dedicated table that you're not doing anything else with.

We all like jigsaw puzzles, and my family especially grew up doing them, but the only decent place to set up a card table is in the dining room, and AB doesn't really accept that during family gatherings.

When we do our annual trip to a cabin in the woods with another family, a jigsaw puzzle is a centerpiece, but it's complicated by the fact that the cabins tend not to have a proper second table. But it's really a perfect activity for chilling by the fire with a drink after a wintry walk.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:28 PM
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24 the most popular recently is Telestrations, which is like dictionary meets the telephone game. Not very deep, but fun.

That was basically my whole last year of college. Except we didn't have that name for it. (I think it was sometimes called "Exquisite Corpse" although from what I understand that wasn't quite the same thing. And I later found it referred to on the internet as "Eat Poop You Cat.")


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:29 PM
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We almost never socialize in groups (that is, it's almost always us and another couple), so we never do games of any sort. But we did do Celebrity at a New Years thing where there were (IIRC) 3 other couples, only 1 of whom we knew, and it was an excellent, fun time-passer, especially since NYE goes on for a very long time.

104 is an interesting observation. I last played those games when I was around 9th grade, mostly still childish enough to want to play the Americans. I'd still recoil at playing the Confederates.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:32 PM
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I have plans to play Twilight Struggle with a friend this summer (at three hours a game, you have to plan ahead). We have argued about who gets to play the Soviets.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:37 PM
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Among wargame players of the Avalon Hill era, there are two types: The British/Union/Axis players, and the American/Confederate/Allies players.

One of these is not like the others.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:39 PM
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My families had some good low-key times with the Timeline games this winter; they devolve easily into conversation about books or movies.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:40 PM
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With those old Avalon Hill games, probably my finest hour was when I played the British in Third Reich and by the end of the game has lost everything except a few divisions holding out on Malta.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:40 PM
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That one seemed to hard. I did use to regularly kill all my men through incompetence in Squad Leader or whatever that one was called.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:44 PM
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+o


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:44 PM
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Did you even lose Canada?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:44 PM
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Squad Leader was fun as hell. I remember pulling off some goofy trick where I had half my squad fire out a doorway and then drop prone, which allowed the half the squad behind them to throw grenades over their heads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 12:52 PM
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I remember pulling off some goofy trick . . .

That sounds totally reasonable actually. But it reminded me of Murphy's Rules which made fun of the bizarre implications of some wargame rules (link goes to a pdf preview which shows two pages of cartoons). Highly recommended!

For example, for those that don't click though, "On average 3 people in a day in a typical Runequest (Avalon Hill) city of 10,000 will be suddenly and mysteriously transported to the 'God Plane,' never to return."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 1:18 PM
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|| I haven't needed to give a wedding gift in many years - is $250 chintzy? We are attending the wedding, the groom is a friend but not an incredibly close one, and we've never met the bride. (This would have been smart to ask in the thread where everyone counted up how many weddings they'd attended, huh? Good timing, me. |>


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:10 PM
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Holy shit is that an expensive wedding gift.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:12 PM
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That feels like way too much unless you are clearly a rich person, which, unless you've been hiding stuff here, I don't believe you are. $100 or even $50 would be fine based on level of closeness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:16 PM
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@118: I'm sure a vintage edition of Advanced Squad Leader would be well received.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:16 PM
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@118: I'm sure a vintage edition of Advanced Squad Leader would be well received.

Talisman.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:18 PM
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$25 is kind of low even if, as you say, you don't know the people that well. $250 is... I guess there are all kinds of different social circles.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:19 PM
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Oh, good! My standard in grad school was $100, last wedding I had to buy for was, uh, 2008 maybe? I was worried there was some kind of inflation that happened once folks started getting real jobs. Whew! Thanks!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:26 PM
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Fifty dollars would get the bride and the groom a pigeon mask apiece.

($50-$100 would be plenty in my circles.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:27 PM
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$100 if there's an open bar. Call and ask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:41 PM
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I cannot imagine this guy getting married without an open bar. But now I know not to waste my money tipping!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:45 PM
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126: Boo hiss. The implicit result of this kind of rule is that you get more expensive presents for rich friends than poor friends. Your present is calibrated by your finances and your level of closeness, their expenditure on the wedding is calibrated by their finances, and the two should be unrelated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:50 PM
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But what if people spend money on food or flowers or pointless stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 2:54 PM
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Eat the flowers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:19 PM
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There was this one time when it was me and a bunch of white people and my (also brown) sister, and my card was "White people like ______" and I was like, "tell me what you like, white people! I have a 9/10 chance of getting it right!"

HB, I agree with your summary.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:23 PM
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I don't know what normal is, but $250 would be near the high end of what people gave us a year ago. OTOH, we have a complete household and put a lot of inexpensive stuff on our registry. (And then relatives got sad that there wasn't fancy china. Not that they evidently wanted to buy us any, they just wanted it on the list. The power of cliche is something.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:24 PM
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$50 is what I aim for if I'm not especially close to the couple.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:26 PM
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Personally I enjoy Charades the most at parties. There was a more complicated, card-using Arthurian version of Assassin we played at the same party which I rather enjoyed, b/c it got husbands and wives and old friends and strangers all speculating about each others lying abilities.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:28 PM
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Huh, I wouldn't have expected Head Crossfit Bro to be a bigtime stoner. #keeponerolled


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:31 PM
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It's funny how these norms vary depending on location and social group. I gave a $75 gift to some of my college friends who got married and my parents were horrified that I spent so much. They thought $25 was about the most that was reasonable.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:36 PM
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Last wedding gift we gave was a rehearsal dinner/party for 60, it was more than $250. But they are very close friends.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:44 PM
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Also it is incredibly adorable for a group of 13 year olds to play charades as an after dinner game.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:45 PM
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Someone elsewhere pointed out that CAH is basically Apples to Apples with training wheels for offensiveness, which strikes me as basically true. (I mean, the first time I played Apples to Apples I managed to work in a 9/11 joke; if you have the right mind for it, you don't really need the game's help.)

This is one of my objections to CAH—aside from the particular sort of humor it's attempting to lead you to, it seems to presume that you can't be funny, or make jokes, without help, so it makes all the jokes for you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:53 PM
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130: Pesticides.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:54 PM
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Isn't the answer to ferment the flowers?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 3:56 PM
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I wonder if one could do CAH as a news-shuffling game; pull the answers from news headlines and meme text, rather than the prefilled cards. Like making a Boggle board from any text to hand (fill in alternate squares of the board, then go back and fill the remaining squares).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 4:06 PM
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Someone not on a phone should post a link to the death & taxes site's explainer re the vox thing on solange knowles & jayz.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 4:09 PM
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The mention of Iraq and Afghanistan had me idly wondering if there any counterinsurgency board games, or does board game military history stop at WWII? Some sort of Risk/Mafia hybrid might work.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 4:11 PM
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Then I started to think through the rules and was overcome by a wave of boredom-induced nausea.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 4:48 PM
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There are modifications to CAH. You should let people trade in their cards instead of playing, like in other card games. You can get rid of the more offensive cards, or in my case get rid of the stupid cards that mention celebrities. The Rando Calrissian adaptation works. And the suggestion in 142 is a great one as well.

Agreed that the game doesn't need the ethnic references. There aren't that many of them but we never know how to react.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 4:58 PM
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One of these is not like the others.

True. But the Avalon Hill games were always very German-centric, and focused on the efforts of the allies to not get crushed early in the war. So you get games like "Panzer Blitz" or "Blitzkrieg" or, when they focus on the good guys, you get a game like France 1940.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 5:26 PM
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I wonder if the guys who made those Avalon Hill games were actually Nazis. Probably not, but I imagine them as creepy dudes who smoked too much, lost a finger in some kind of industrial accident, and had way too much Wehrmacht memorabilia in the home.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 5:48 PM
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God, I just realized that my stereotype unconsciously came directly from the Simpsons war surplus shop owner guy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 5:49 PM
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I have just the right amount of Wehrmacht memorabilia at home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 5:56 PM
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Research!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:01 PM
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It didn't say how much Nazi memorabilia he had.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:05 PM
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They're still counting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:09 PM
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149: I knew a tabletop wargamer dude who was definitely in that demographic. Crypto-racist antisocial weirdo vet into guns and playing games with miniatures. Come to think of it the guy who owned the game shop both of us hung out in was pretty weird in read-a-lot-of-Heinlein-did-you sort of way, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:32 PM
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counterinsurgency board games

Fortress America is pretty close (a Milton Bradley classic).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:48 PM
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There's definitely a certain amount of creepy Nazifilia among a lot of WWII buffs. Apart from the obvious explanations, I think that the sort of people who get really into that stuff are especially fascinated by the fine grained technical operational level details of military history, and the Germans excelled on that level. Although they were pretty inept when it came to the broader strategic picture.

You have to remind these folks "You do realize that they lost in the end, right?"


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 6:57 PM
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156: Had a college roomie who bordered on that. Rommel and those scrappy Germans against practically the whole world! Wolverines! The Bismarck! Creative solutions to natural resource constraints! What's not to like? Unfortunately Hitler turned out to be a moron and fucked it all up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:12 PM
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Unfortunately Hitler turned out to be a moron and fucked it all up.

He does the same thing to all my internet arguments.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:15 PM
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I once knew an old guy with Wehrmacht memorabilia, but I believe he had taken it from the Wehrmacht personally.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 7:31 PM
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OT: I carefully crept down into a place where I knew there was a cave spider spawner, but now can't find my way out. So I stopped and will try tomorrow. It's like open heart surgery in that somebody involved should be sober.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:02 PM
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I was recently in Las Vegas. Clearly a popular place with Chinese, but I didn't notice much tailored to middle easterners. In particular, no way to bet on backgammon that I saw.

My boyfriend's cousin is a semi-professional backgammon player.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:43 PM
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That feels like way too much unless you are clearly a rich person, which, unless you've been hiding stuff here, I don't believe you are. $100 or even $50 would be fine based on level of closeness

I'm a poor grad student who goes to almost no weddings, so grain of salt. For me $50 is standard, and $100 if they're really close. If money was really tight, I would go lower but make sure I got something that seemed really useful off the registry, if no registry than something either cool or really practical (like pretty dish towels). When I got married, I feel like when I received cash from my older relatives, $50-$150 per couple was pretty standard. In terms of gifts, I'm pretty sure I received gifts with a monetary value of less than $50 (like dish towels) which was totally fine with me.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 9:53 PM
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The best party game is "What's the worst thing you can say about someone in this room?" and then have everyone guess who you're talking about.

A friend of mine had a game called "We're So Better Than..." and we played it for hours on the drive from Austin to Miami. It goes about how you'd expect.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-12-14 10:41 PM
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151

Although the obit doesn't mention it, I believe one of Roberts' first games was "Dispatcher," which was about running a railroad and getting all the trains to their destinations on time. It was so hard that the only people who played it were actual railroad dispatchers, or so the story goes. AH later put out "C&O/B&O," which was a simpler version playable by real people. I suspect dispatching is now done mostly by computer.

I remember a lot of the early AH games as being Civil War-centric, which of course presents a similar temptation to the WW2 games if you are a certain type of person. They also did WW1 games ("1914," "Jutland"). My memory is that if you played the German side in any of them you were going to lose unless you were a really good player: maybe that was the attraction for some people.

At MIT the Strategic Games Society played a Diplomacy-like game where each move was settled by playing an AH-style game for each province. The board filled a large room. Of course that was MIT, and that was the Strategic Games Society...


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 5:05 AM
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It wouldn't have been that hard for the Germans to have won in 1914. They just put too many troops in the east at the start because they couldn't bear to see Prussia occupied by the Russians until they could knock out France.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 5:14 AM
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Keep the right wing strong!


Posted by: Opinionated Alfred von Schlieffen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 6:54 AM
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The mention of Iraq and Afghanistan had me idly wondering if there any counterinsurgency board games, or does board game military history stop at WWII?

Funny you should mention that. The most recent Quarter To Three games podcast had an interview with a guy who specialises in designing counterinsurgency boardgames.

You know what's an underrated group activity? Laser tag.

Not for adults it's not. You know what you don't realise when you're a kid, or when you're no longer a kid and think laser tag might be fun nostalgia trip? That laser tag venues are built for kids and it's not fun to run around in the dark hitting your head on doorways and crawling through tunnels.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 6:55 AM
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166: Will do.


Posted by: Opinionated Fox News | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:01 AM
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What kind of Watership Downy laser tag venues are you playing in? I'm 6'1 and have played laser tag pretty recently and had no such problem.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:17 AM
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re: 169

Everything* is smaller in old Europe.

* not everything, laydeez


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:21 AM
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What kind of Watership Downy laser tag venues are you playing in?

Last one I think I played at was the Gloucester Green Laser Quest in Oxford, but it might have been the one at the Trocadero.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:36 AM
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165, 166

ISTR that John Keegan thinks it wouldn't have mattered, in that the real problem was that actual human soldiers just couldn't keep up the rate of advance they needed to win in the West in six(?) weeks. The win-fast approach was because they needed to send the troops east to push back the Russians ASAP. More troops can't move any faster, and in fact would have clogged up the roads even more. I forget what he thinks the Germans should have done: not gone for an envelopment of Paris, maybe?

Barbara Tuchman popularized/promoted the "keep the right wing strong" story in "The Guns of August," so it's pretty widely known. I think Keegan is probably closer to right.

The problem in the game was that your giant piles of tiny cardboard squares kept falling over as you tried to execute the only strategy that sorta worked, which was to make sure you rotated your front line troops frequently.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:10 AM
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Our family falls at various points from LB to Buck in 71. And it isn't so much winning ourselves that motivates as not letting another family member win. Very psychologically healthy! We signal acceptance of outsiders by our willingness to ratfuck them in a game.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:37 AM
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Had a period when I was a kid where our family went big on jigsaws. Used the dining room table which was rarely used for eating. Culminated in doing one titled "Snow White Without the Seven Dwarfs" where you only had the shapes to guide you (it was round as well). My understanding is that there are hardcore folks who routinely achieve the same effect by turning puzzles over and doing the back. And complain to the puzzle companies if they don't change the cutting dies frequently enough.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:44 AM
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Hearts just sucks

Incorrect.

Pitch is better than Hearts.

Correct.

The variation on Pitch that my family plays is even better.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:18 PM
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Well, we don't allow handguns at family gatherings any more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:20 PM
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