Tuesday 14 January 2014

Board Games to Beat Cabin Fever

by Capital Geek Girl Sandi


It's a frigid Sunday afternoon, and my children, aged 7 and 4, are finally old enough to keep themselves occupied for about an hour. This may seem like an odd thing to be excited about, but since my husband and I were first introduced to the board game Carcassonne, this is the first winter where we've been able to find time during the daylight hours to peacefully play a game together. This newfound freedom and the onslaught of cold weather have given us time to delve into our modest board game collection. Here are our favourite games to while away a cold, winter afternoon:

1. AGRICOLA (by Uwe Rosenberg) 

The object of Agricola is to build a family and develop a well-balanced farmyard over 14 rounds of game play. The level of strategy required in this game is quite high – you must think many rounds in advance to balance achieving goals and nourish your family – and it probably hits the limit of my strategic abilities (I was never a chess player). If you can get past the complicated instruction manual (I recommend searching online for an instructional video instead), you’ll find a challenging game to keep your brain stimulated while the snow blows outside.

2. DOMINION by Donald X. Vaccarino
Dominion is one of our favourite games to introduce to friends. The game play is simple, and most people pick it up within a couple of rounds. It is a card-based game, where each player builds their deck to get the most Victory Points. The base game comes with 24 action cards, of which ten are used per game. At the beginning of each game, players can either pick a recommended set of action cards from the instruction manual, or randomly choose a set. Expansion games are also available that add new action cards to the mix. With eight expansion games, adding anywhere from 12 to 35 new action cards each, no two games are alike, and strategies constantly change to adapt to the new cards.

3. CARCASSONE by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede  

Carcassonne remains one of our go-to games to beat the winter blues. If you've ever played dominoes, you can play Carcassonne! Carcassonne is a tile-based game, where players add tiles to the board in a way that will extend the features already present – field can be placed next to field, city can be placed next to city, and road can be placed next to road. Points are generally awarded when features are completed. What I like most about this game is that it can be easily adjusted to remove complexity if needed. Our 7-year-old daughter has indicated interest in learning the game, so that will be our next challenge (and a future topic to write about).

I'd like to stay and chat, but it's cold outside, my kids are busy, and I have a game to play!

Sandi is a 30-something environmental engineer and mother of two from the metropolis of Stittsville, Ontario. Writing for Capital Geek Girls is a new adventure for her, with previous writing experience limited to technical documents, briefing notes and Facebook updates. In her spare time, Sandi enjoys playing board games and video games, reading books, watching movies, and crocheting. She looks forward to sharing her geeky endeavours with you, as well as reporting on the next generation’s response to those endeavours.

1 comment:

  1. We have Carcasonne for kids as well and also bought a catapult that adds an extra element of interest for our son in particular. Our 10 and 8 year old, play both adult and kid versions, as well as a kid version of Settlers of Catan.


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