Things I Have Learned from Board Gaming
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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We all know someone who things games are a waste of time.

Well, I'm an educated 30-harumph old mother of two and I have certainly not been wasting my time over the past three years of intensive board gaming.

A list of things I've learned...
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1. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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1. Do Not Give Up Too Quickly

What Robert The Bruce learned from a spider, I learned from Arkham Horror: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

When we first played this I thought I would never get the hang of it or have a clue what to do. But last night we just won our second game in a row (after 10 plays).

I do not have to 'get' a game the first time. In fact, it can be more fun to play a game I don't get, and learn it.
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2. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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2. Do Not Give Up DURING The Game

Sure there are some games (Monopoly) where if you start to lose, you're just going to have a miserable time until someone (else) eventually wins, or you all die of old age.

But we don't play those games anymore (thanks, BoardgameGeek!).

Most of the games we play are so well-balanced that even if your favoured strategy is going south, or if someone else is mopping up the board, there is an alternate strategy available.

Thurn and Taxis taught me this, because, if building is going badly, you can go for the quick finish via the carriage cards, and hopefully catch your opponent out with fewer carriage cards and more left-over houses than he wanted.

I'm a bit prone to thinking 'ah, things aren't going well. I'll just go and eat something instead', so this has been an annoying lesson for me (less snacking) but a good one.

Ticket to Ride is also good here, if you can get rid of all your trains while your opponents are sitting on lots of incomplete destination tickets (a close reading of their faces is essential here. Or leading questions. Or opponents who curse a lot when you cut the off.)
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3. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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3. Exercise is Good

This one really goes against the grain, but at least I'm talking about mental exercise.

Often I'm really tired and sluggish in the evenings, but if I drag myself to the table the combination of exercising my brain and interacting with the spouse perk me up immeasurably.

I know, I know, this applies to physical exercise too, but I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing 'la la la' while you point that out.

I played a lot of Goa while nursing an infant and dealing with extreme lack of sleep, so don't tell me you're too tired to play!
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4. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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4. Keep an Eye on the Big Picture

I tend to be focused on the moment (email at work was a double-edged sword for me and my butterfly brain).

You have to be aware of what's going on outside your little plan for world domination. There's no point getting wood for your sheep (as they say) to build a 1 VP settlement, if you sell the sheep to someone who's obviously going to use it to get a soldier, the biggest-army bonus, 2 VPs and the win, this turn.

So, don't go out and buy that bargain analog TV this week. Big picture? They're turning off the analog signal sooner than you think...
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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5. Keep An Eye on the End Game Conditions

How many times have I (or my foes) been caught out by the old "Aargh! I didn't realise you had so few trains left!"?

I think the lesson for life is pretty clear here... ("Death!", "That's the lamp, Grandpa...")
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6. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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6. Budgeting and Forward Planning

These do not come naturally to me. I'm of an age where it's tempting to say 'ach, I never learned those skills, they don't suit my personality, it's hopeless'.

Sadly, I like playing games, and Caylus and Age of Steam make these skills a necessity. You have to be able to manage your resources both during your turn and taking into account things you'll earn and things you'll owe at the end of this turn or the start of the next.

There's no point going along enjoying the game play but neglecting to plan, or you're going to dig yourself into a big losing hole.

Just like life.cry
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7. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:494]
Julie Duffy
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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7. It's Not About Winning (At Least Not Always)

I love Blue Moon City and always think I'm doing quite well. Then I get trounced.

But I still love the game. I love the components, the challenge, the chatting-with-the-spouse...

One day I shall win.

In the meantime I shall enjoy kicking the spouse's butt at Ticket To Ride. (Sometimes it IS about winning...)
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8. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
David Kahnt
United States
Youngstown
Ohio
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story...
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Don't trust anyone...

ninja

-DK
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9. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14501]
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Those plastic soldiers really hurt when you step on them.
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10. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Curt Collins
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Just because people officially call something by one name (colonists), doesn't change the fact that they are in fact something else (slaves).
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11. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Not all chiclets are chewy. Some are hard and break your teeth.
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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Per Trygve Myhrer
Norway
Trondheim
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If somebody blocks your plan, see if there are another way to make your goal.
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13. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:120]
Dylan Kirk
France
Paris
Ile-de-France
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Sometimes a small sacrifice is required for greater gain.

(that and always count the liberties, never engage in a losing battle, and plan your ko fights)
 
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14. Board Game: The Winning Ticket [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:12417]
Darren Copple
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Northfield
Vermont
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Play to win, not to kill. Its no fun when someone is just out to "get you" with no reference to the game at large. So someone did something in the game to thwart your plans, get even by overcoming that move, not by going on some useless vendetta that guarantees you wont be invited back.

You know who you are.... shake
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15. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
David Wiens
United States
Lakeville
Minnesota
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Alliances are just a means to an end. devil
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