Oh, the humanity! - Two games ruined during a session. Add yours!
Steve Oksienik - Cardboard Insanity

Ann Arbor
Michigan
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I've been gaming a long time and I've never had a game get ruined during a session before. I've heard horror stories about it happening but I was always able to dodge the bullet. I've had close calls before, but Sunday, April 26th was the day that bullet found it's mark. Twice. In 3 hours.

I'm sure this has happened to you as well. Feel free to share so we can all commiserate.
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1. Board Game: Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:711]
Steve Oksienik - Cardboard Insanity

Ann Arbor
Michigan
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I had two new players over to learn some games and we started with this one. They wanted to be jerks to each other so this was perfect. And since we were playing a game about biker gangs, beer seemed like the perfect choice. It was, until one guy dropped his on the table.

It was like something out of a nightmare. I watched with abject horror as the beer spewed forth from the bottle. Before I could do anything there were cards, locations, order tokens, money, guns, contraband, and clubhouses doused with Dos Equis.

We cleaned it up, but the damage was done. That cardboard was thirsty. It doesn't always drink beer. But when it does, it drinks Dos Equis.

To be fair, this is Sons of Anarchy. I suppose beer is probably a fitting expansion. At least it doesn't smell like cocaine and strippers.
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2. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:290]
Steve Oksienik - Cardboard Insanity

Ann Arbor
Michigan
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This one hurt. I felt it in my soul.

We were between the first two phases and one guy dropped a card. Then he said "I bent the card". I thought maybe it was just a bit out of shape. Nope. Creased. In half. Not even just a corner.

I suppressed panic in a way I didn't know I could. Every anxiety I had ever felt about my games getting ruined ran through my body in a nanosecond.

When I pulled myself together, I said "Well, now I have a reason to sleeve this one". And I shed a single tear.
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3. Board Game: Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:983] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Mike N
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I was playing this once with a friend and sadly, the game came to a rapid ending when he drowned the entire Pacific in Dr. Pepper. The flood swept most naval units off the edge of the world. Turns out the Flat-Earthers were right.

The plastic ships went into the sink for a wash, and came out fine of course. Amazingly, the board survived the sticky deluge quite well after a thorough wipedown/cleaning, so kudos to the good quality cardboard stock and whatever they covered it with. It was mostly water off a duck's back.

He was playing the Japanese and losing, but he swears that was just a coincidence. shake
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4. Board Game: Rex: Final Days of an Empire [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:602]
Sean McDonald
United States
Yonkers
New York
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Brought this to a game session after work in the office.
When all was done everyone was cleaning up and one of the players took the board and bent it the wrong way. Snapped it at the seam. One of my other coworkers looked at her in horror. She said "what, is it not supposed to do that".
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5. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:42]
Dennis Schwarz
Germany
Siegen
NRW
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maybe on the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one....
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We played a six player game of 7 Wonders that evening and a friend of mine came late to the game night. Since the game was fully underway, he just sat there and watched, discussing this and that with the players, when there was time.
Even though he didn't even play, he waved with his hands while making a point and even though we normally have a "no drinks on the table" policy (we often have small tables beside the gametable for the drinks), that night it happened and he hit a bottle of cola and spilled it over the cards.

Even though we were fast to the rescue the cards were marked beyond repair.
He suggested reporting this incident to his insurance (I wouldn't even have thought of that).
The insurance paid and I got a new one without a problem
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6. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:227] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
Gauteng
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You know how this game has Disaster cards...

My son thoughtfully put down an (unasked for and unnoticed) drink at my elbow as I was waving my hands around to explain some obscure rule. An unanticipated Flood of sweet, bubbly liquid swept across North Africa. Fortunately quick thinking from my opponents produced serviettes and tissues and quickly blotted it up. One or two counters were slightly damaged, but no cards, and the board - thanks to solid Avalon Hill construction! - survived without any problems.

So a "no drinks" rule works well ... until it is broken in circumstances beyond your control.
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7. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:252]
Tomas
Finland
Helsinki
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Disregarding some "minor" incidents, such as dropping a greasy sausage with all condiments on my War of the Ring board, or dipping various tokens from Ghost Stories in coffee, I can think of a particular incident involving a cat (operating near warp speed), a full glass of some Chilean red wine, and a fully set up game of Battlelore.

However...

After the mess was cleaned up it turned out that the muted red staining remaining, actually enhanced the board, resulting in a gritty impression of the dried blood from fallen soldiers locked in an epic struggle, in the name of some psychopathic king wants more land or something. So perhaps this should belong in a pimp my boardgame geeklist instead.
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8. Board Game: Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:747]
Justin S.
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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We actually had a running joke that the game demanded beer, 3 or 4 sessions in a row we had one spilled on the board. Surprisingly, no serious damage. The game survived to be played again (and have beer spilled on it again.)
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9. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:276]
Agent Emme
United States
Ohio
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Holy shit, rebuilding your games collection is expensive!
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Phelanpt Feb 11, 2:15 PM: evils have mostly stood by and watch goods fall. except for emme. she's spinning them round and round.
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I love Hanabi. Wonderful game. But in 2013 I had a hard time finding a copy. Game stores just weren't carrying it. So on a trip to Austria I made a point of visiting a game store so I could pick up a copy. Good old Europeans.

Fast-forward a year later. My copy has seen a lot of love but it's still in excellent condition, and there's something novel about having a copy from Europe itself. I brought Hanabi with me to a game retreat I organized in Georgia. Friends from around the country came to the rented house for a week of doing nothing but laughing, eating, sleeping, and playing board games. Lots and lots of board games! These guys fell in love with Hanabi pretty much instantly, and I woke up every single morning (errrrm ... afternoon) that week to the sounds of them playing it.

They loved it so much that we even played it in the airport while waiting for our flights. But we made the mistake of playing while sitting cross-legged on the floor, and it was then I learned that airport carpets are one of the most nasty things ever. My cards were soaked, stained, dirty, grimy, and just plain disgusting after only 1 game. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh blech.

Cards went into the recycling bin this week. Now my copy is from the plain old USA.
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10. Board Game: Starfarers of Catan [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:850]
Joshua So
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
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This is one of the gems I treasure as times go by. But in a session aimed for my church boardgame group last year, the game was picked and played and all of a sudden a nice young lady from my church dropped one of the rocket dice - the tip of the rocket was broken and I immediately reconnected the broken part. The tip is now almost normal except that it's about 1 mm short.sobluecrycrycry
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11. Board Game: Cards Against Humanity [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2385] [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked]
Rob Schleicher
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Game night with friends. Since we were playinging CaH, alcohol was involved. Lots and lots of alcohol. So much that I (who has gamer OCD) started throwing cards around. ALL OF MY CARDS AND ALL 5 EXPANSIONS. Which lead to throwing of beer cans. Which lead to the throwing of some random pogs I had in the area. Which lead to bent cards. Which lead to a massive hangover, beer and wine soaked cards, and a giant smelly mess that I had to clean up the next day.

I'm still finding cards in random places.
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12. Board Game: Kingmaker [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1702]
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
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Beer is for wimps. At one gathering a game of 'Kingmaker' was underway when someone noticed that one of the host's cats had curled up inside the box lid.

Very cute until it got up and urinated in it.

Nobody bothered to try and wipe that one down.
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13. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:6239]
Brian and Keisha Pihl
United States
St Louis Park
Minnesota
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We are playing D&D in HS at my rich friends house (at least his house was way nicer than all ours) on this huge, nice dining room table. We have the map in the middle of the table but the table is so wide it's hard to see. Four of us are trying to examine this small section of the map so we are all leaning on the middle of the table. Snap!! The table breaks in the middle and game and four people crash down. I actually don't remember if we finished the game or not but we all laugh about it now.
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14. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:238] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Kyle A
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
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Copied from my session report (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1345769/arkham-alcohol-didnt...)

Read the first few and the last few paragraphs if you don't want the Arkham details

Quote:
We are the kind of people who like to drink when playing games, especially a 3 hour long board game like Arkham.

I had been looking forward to Saturday because we were going to be playing with the Dark Pharaoh expansion, a gift I recently bought for my friend for his birthday. We don't get to play Arkham very much, mostly because of the game length, but we made plans to start earlyish in the day so we could do something else if we wanted. I have played it maybe a dozen or so times for those keeping track.

So Saturday arrives, and we make it over to my friend's house and see that he already has it set up, Sweet! As per usual, we hang out and chat for a little, cracking an early afternoon beer. We get a call that our other friend is coming over, so we set up the game to add a 5th player. She had never played before, but the rest of us had, and she plays other lighter games with us, so we figure it will be OK. The new player knew going into this that it was going to be a lot to take in.

I then find out that my other friend, lets call her Anne, and my gf decided to do a power hour while we were at the store. And they did the power hour with wine...So...Anne is drunk. Anne is also the self elected instructor of games. She takes it personally if someone tries to interrupt her or tries to explain while she is explaining.

We let the doggies out to do their business. It was cold this weekend, so we couldn't just leave them outside during the game. Turns out there were 4 other dogs @ the park, so our venture turned into a good 30-45 mins of letting the dogs run around tiring themselves out. Great! They will be tired and wont feel the need to run full speed into the table.

All this time, the wine is kicking in...Anne is getting drunker and drunker. We all are really, but we are mostly sober, keeping it in control, but having a good time. Anne is substantially drunker than everyone else.

I won't bore you with the details, but explaining the game was pretty chaotic. If you could imagine 3 mostly sober people trying to explain the game that our drunk friend Anne is doing a poor job of explaining. It is not going over well...and I can already tell this is going to be a mess.

Everyone has their little house rules, so with us, when it says draw 2 common items @ the start for your character, we fan out the cards and let the player pick cards (face down mind you). We don't just pick from the top. So Anne just so happens to draw 2 elder signs from the unique items deck that her character started off with. My GF happens to draw another elder sign to start of. So we are looking pretty good.

I am Gloria Goldberg, the author, I got some cool weapons and cool spells. I could probably have a fair shot at most monsters in the cup.

We start the game, its going well, new player ends up passing an encounter that lets her search through the unique items deck for any card. She picks the elder sign based on recommendations from around the table.

So here we are, twice around the table, 4 elder signs out, lots of clue tokens, good assortment of characters........

Most of the time when we play, we have tough encounters...this session, it seemed that we had all the easy encounters. It was painfully easy. There was nothing working against us. I was crushing monsters, others were sealing gates faster than they could appear. There was a point where I asked Anne if there was any way we could get gates to appear faster, half joking. I even went to the traveling exhibit and got some sweet item that essentially made it so I could pass any skill check by sacrificing sanity or stamina, and I didn't get cursed.

I even got to kill the Dark Pharaoh monster token that came out. Everything was going painfully easy. We sealed 3 gates (once with clue tokens), meaning we had 2 elder signs left, and multiple people had enough clue tokens to seal gates. it was looking like a sure win, 100%.

Remember how I told you we like to drink during games, well we certainly did during this game, and by this point we are pretty toasty. It is getting harder to play, people are yelling at each other about the rules, each turn is taking longer...and longer.......and people are paying less and less attention.

we collectively called it. 3 gates were sealed. I was about to come out of a gate with enough tokens to seal it, 2 elder signs still available to use, terror track at one...I was the last one holding on, trying to make the group finish it. but I finally relented. I was kind of disheartened, but somewhat relieved to finish this terrible session.

I effing love this game, and all sessions up to now we at least finished, but this one sucked. It sucked mostly because of how drunk everyone was, but also because everything fell into our laps. Again, mostly because of the booze. We always joke about how quick the game would go if we ever played it sober.......one of these days.

Oh and during clean up Anne knocked over a beer bottle onto the board and all over two sets of location cards. She just stands there admiring the beer ruining her board game for a minute. So I run and grab paper towels and play cleanup duty. The cards are fine, the board is fine, Id like to think because I jumped quickly to action. I guess it fit in well with the night, but CMON ANNE! It's not even my game and I am more protective of it than you.

Overall a very disappointing Akrham session when I was very much looking forward to it. I built it up in my own mind and was let down, and hardly got my Arkham itch scratched.
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15. Board Game: The Red Dragon Inn 2 [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1039] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Chainsaw Rabbit
United States
Antioch
California
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It was a cool winter evening, the kids were asleep, so my wife, our couch-surfing gamer buddy Justin, and I decided to break out the recently-purchased Red Dragon Inn 2 and try out some new characters, being the fans of the original we were.

Being relatively young and thinking Circadian rhythms had something to do with automobile maintenance, we were going to stay up half the night playing games, and even more, we're going to mix drinks with playing The Red Dragon Inn, an oft-suggested but rarely-enacted idea.

I was designated the drink-mixer, making my preferred libation, the rum & Pepsi. It should be noted that my wife and I are not much for alcohol. She indulges in wine at family gatherings, while I rarely drink, having never gotten into the beer-after-work habit. In addition, when I mix rum & Pepsi, I portion them so the flavors cancel out. Given that my sense of taste is wrecked from a 10-year smoking habit, my drinks come out pretty strong. To top it off, we decided to use our big glasses.

At about 1:00 in the morning, we're playing our third game of RDI and are all pretty tipsy. Justin goes to refills his drink, comes back to the table, sets the drink down on the table, reaches for a card, and hits the glass with his elbow. Almost a liter and a half of rum and Pepsi cascades over my game. While Justin's yelling out apologies and I'm yelling out profanities, my wife springs into action. Some quick paper-towel and hair-dryer action saved the cards so there's no noticeable damage unless you know what to look for. It also lead to my "no alcohol while boardgaming, especially you, Justin" rule, which has really had zero impact since we're not frequent drinkers in any case.

In a bit of irony, the card most heavily damaged by the spill is the drink card, "We're Cutting You Off!." Justin was indeed cut off for the night.
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16. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Otto von Whackjob
United States
San Francisco
California
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Portland, OR - sometime in 2008

I was teaching pandemic. A n00b spilled a pint of the finest ale onto the board and black cubes. We rushed to save the beer and the game. All appeared fine and dandy. Finished, then packed up and left.

Flash forward two weeks later after being in a dish in the box in a closet. The black wooden cubes were COVERED in a white, fuzzy mold but everything else was safe.

At least it happened to the evil cubes of a game about diseases!

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17. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:938]
Dan Brandt
United States
Pittsburg
California
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One of my regular gamers spilled his Gin and Tonic on this one. At the time it was OOP. I got a copy of the new version recently but don't like the board as much. Ah well. They are just games.
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18. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Christina Brunelle
United States
Burien
Washington
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and Small World Underground. My husband and I were on our way to a friend's house and brought all our Small World stuff with us. We didn't notice we'd left a water bottle in the bag (placed in there to get all our stuff from the house to the car). When we opened the trunk we saw that everything was soaked. Luckily, once everything was inspected, we discovered that only the boxes were damaged. Everything else came out unscathed. Breathed a sigh of relief on that one.
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19. Board Game: Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2050]
Andrew N
United States
Rochester
Minnesota
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I got this game not long after my return to the board game hobby, this was about 2007-08, somewhere in that area. I didn't know a lot about current games yet, and I was excited because I thought this would be a nice blend between a Euro and a wargame. I have no idea where I got that impression (maybe the box art?), but it was incorrect. This game was BORING. I didn't know that until I played it, though. I convinced my girlfriend of the time and a couple we were friends with to try it out with me. At first it went ok, we were all gamers, so the rules weren't a big deal. The gameplay just wasn't engaging though, and the guy in the other couple got out ahead with a commanding lead. Eventually, his girlfriend decided she'd had enough, and POURED HER SET OF COMPONENTS DOWN HER PANTS! gulp I'm not joking, this was an adult in her early 20s. Well, unfortunately, she got her way, that was game over. Forever. Struggle for Rome was never played again. shake
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20. Board Game: Rex: Final Days of an Empire [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:602]
Tony Chen
Taiwan
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A gamer friend of mine would get super anxious whenever something remotely bad happens to his board games. One day we were playing with my copy of Rex, and he let condensation from his cold glass of water soak through one of the strategy cards.

He was pretty blase about it.
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21. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:872]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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After Lisa and I played Factory Fun at BGG Con in 2006, we were in love with it. But it was a hard game to get in the US, especially at that time.

However, with great difficulty I tracked down an import copy and, to her great happiness and surprise, presented it to Lisa for Christmas. We were short on money at the time and I maybe shouldn't have, but she really wanted it.

Then, at a gaming New Year's party, as Lisa and I were busy with a different game, a friend asked about borrowing it to teach some new people. We were a little reluctant, but let them.

Partway through the game, SPLASH! A glass of water gets spilled all over our brand new, very hard to find, special Christmas present, copy of Factory Fun

I think we were both nearly in tears.

We did eventually get another copy, but have wound up still playing with the old one. I don't know why - several of the pieces are clearly damaged. We should probably just switch out to the new one, but we don't.

And ever since we've been very, very reluctant to let anyone play our games when we aren't around.

I confess I just copy/pasted this from an older geeklist...from 5 years ago. Wow, time flies by!
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22. Board Game: Siberia: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3044]
Danny Whipp
Germany
NRW
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This game is from a really small company and they obviously could (or would?) not afford better card quality, they're very thin and the surface seems not to be sealed in a very effivient way; so shuffling the cards already bears a certain risk.
4 guys playing this as a quick filler, one for the road to close the game evening, and one of the guys bringing some "samples" from his monthly beer subscription (yes indeed), he would not want to drink alone. I'm just putting this in for the story's sake This month's package came from a fancy Franconian micro-brewery with lots of rather sweet-ish beers. You see where this is going. One of the guys, in a poorly conducted try to draw his next card, knocked over his fresh glass of red-blonde-whatever beer, and spilled it over half of the table. Without a tablecloth (always use one to soak liquid before they arrive at the cards... ) a tsunami of sugary beer flooded the table, and this game, MY game.
With this being not the first glass of beer we all had at that evening, first aid measures were conducted not as quickly as they should have done; the worst damage happened to the central card pile, which turned out quite thirsty, and started molecularly converting itself into a single block of cardboard. Well, finally we managed to lay out the single cards to dry etc, but I was pretty sure this game couldn't ever be played again.
I must say I was a bit angry on the guy that so clumsily ruined this game;
but first, the next day it turned out the cards could be restored, and with sleeves it could be (and has been) played again;
and second, the idiot who could not handle his drinks, was me...
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23. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:534] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
United States
Ontario
New York
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It was one of my Dungeons & Dragons board games. Probably this one but it could have been Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game. In any case, this is another beer story but not like the norm. This was not someone knocking over a beer, no was anyone drunk yet. In fact, we weren't even in the process of playing at the time.

So what happened exactly? Well, we had a game going pretty late the day before and decided to keep it out to finish up later. So the game was all laid out: cards in piles, tiles in piles and patterns, pieces out on the board.

Well my boyfriend and his friend make their own beer and he decided to take one out of our mini fridge next to the table and open it. Normally, this would not be an issue. But something in this batch did not go well and every single one had explosive foam when opened. Now, this is probably the 5th (or later) bottle that he'd opened and he KNOWS they foam. Does he open it at the sink? No. In the kitchen right next to him even? No. He decides to open it while it's sitting on the table right next to the game. Beer everywhere. The board pieces were mostly far away enough to be unscathed (only two got hit on the corners) but the cards were not so lucky. Fortunately I ended up finding a website that sells the parts to games individually (thank goodness for Auggie's Game Store http://www.auggiesgamestore.com/) so I was able to get replacement decks for the game. I ordered an extra set of the decks for my other games just in case.
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24. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:423]
United States
Ontario
New York
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I had this game and a few others in a cloth bag on our way to a game session in the middle of winter. After we got in the car I handed my boyfriend the bag. When we got to our destination, he handed it back to me. We get inside, I take my gloves off, and notice the bag is all wet. Confused, thinking he had it on his lap the whole time, I'm scrambling to get my stuff out of the bag thinking there must be a water bottle in there or something. No leaking water bottles, we didn't sit it down in the snow, and the table was dry. So why the mystery water?! Come to find out, he had already had his lap full of our food, drinks, etc. so he needed to put the bag somewhere else. In this case, he set the bag on the floor in my car next to his feet in the footwell.

It was a bad winter and we had tons of snow. It was so cold that said snow could never fully melt or dry from the floor mats in my car. They never truly dried all winter. So the bag had been set on a wet, salty, mildew-y/stinky-feet-smelling footwell carpet... gulp

Fortunately, the bag took the smell/salt hit and the box was the only thing that took water damage (very minor--dried without a problem). I've since gotten my car detailed (yay clean carpets!), installed rubber footwell covers in my car (to allow for better drying and snow removal), and I ALWAYS make sure to put the game bag safely on the back seat.
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25. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1713]
United States
Ontario
New York
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I was with my women's hiking group staying in cabins in the middle of winter for some skiing and snow showing. At night we would all gather at one of the cabins to eat, drink, and hang out. The first year we went I decided to introduce the group to Zombie Dice. They are mostly outdoors people, and I figured it would be a good starter game for them.

So I pulled out the dice, explained the game and we get rolling. Hilarity ensues and they get really into the game. We're having a great time! Until someone mistakes their wine cup for the dice cup. Apparently our bad puns drove the dice to drinking.shake

The culprit feels terrible but the group finds the whole thing bad/pretty funny. I was a little grossed out (dice passing hands and then put into someone's drink) but glad it was just plastic dice. So, a little soap and water cleaned the dice up perfectly with no issues but we continued to make sure to take the person's wine cup away from them on their turn.

Now it's a common joke at the table on our winter trips. Bring the zombie dice, and make sure you put them in the right cup!
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