Do it yourself board games

Here’s a good use of winter afternoons – board games.  We had lunch with friends today, and, aided by a good stew, a couple of kittens in the background and a nice fire, a little board gaming ensued.

I found myself observing us a couple of times in the afternoon.  This is part of what life is for, isn’t it?  Good food, good company, comfort, a little entertainment?

It may not be trendy, it may not be cool or even youthful.  This is of a piece with buying a shed, having discussions about lawnmowing and other delights of one’s thirties.  Some would say that actually we could have got going on the board games earlier in life, though, because clearly our friends are well trained in strategy, distracting each other, explaining instructions and other social and competitive behaviour…

Anyway, this here board game is called Settlers of Catan.  Part of the interest in the game is that you set out the map of the board in different ways each time; the commodities that make or break the game change each time.  It also shows you how you can get stumped, collecting lots of one thing you can’t use, failing to get anything of what you actually need.

A couple of Christmases ago, we researched board games for family in the States. It’s a big market.  I don’t know if you have to have grown up with lots of board game playing to get into it more, but there’s no shortage of people out there inventing more games to play.

Many are board game versions of the kind of thing now done by Sim City and other computer simulation games.  Obviously Monopoly has been there long before, but it’s interesting to see that there’s still a lot of interest in making things, selling them, conquering other people, that kind of thing, but happily limited to some pieces of card on a table.

What with Dan and I playing cards on holiday, learning new board games today, perhaps we’re going through a make your own entertainment renaissance.  Maybe I’ll even learn to lose gracefully?  Who knows?  Raise me a few sheep, some iron ore and some bricks, and I’ll let you know…