I was asked by my wife last week if I would like a replacement tablet for Christmas following the sad demise of my Nexus 7.
The unfortunate placement of a marble fireplace in the exact spot I decided to relax my grasp the aforementioned slab of plastic resulted in a terminal case of ennui.
Whatever the specifics of the device’s catastrophic exit, my wife had seen a reasonably priced entry model type tablet for around £120 and wondered if I’d like it.
I duly considered this kind offer – whilst I did like having a tablet and it was kind of handy, in these sorts of situations I always apply my law of irreplaceability, being:
If I break it, go at least one month without it
If, after that time, life has become a meaningless charade – get another one.
If it hasn’t – don’t.
Having not really noticed a huge, gaping hole in my life as a result of its loss, I thanked her for her kind thought but declined the offer and demanded my customary gifts.
Some torso enfolding knitwear (a jumper) and a board game, dammit!
My top xmas board game shortlist
In the past my long suffering spouse has made some extremely good board game purchases without any input from me.
- Fury of Dracula
- Last night on Earth
- World of Warcraft
This year, however, I thought I’d offer a helping hand by providing her with a shortlist of games that would not result in a huffy, awkward silence which demeans us both (although looking at the above list, she’d been doing pretty well by herself and I’m starting to suspect I’m a totally dick).
Cooperative board games
There is a bit of a hole in my collection where cooperative boardgames are concerned – I picked up a ludicrously cheap copy of Lord of the Rings from a charity shop last year, but that’s about it.
This is an important point in Forbidden Island’s favour as I, like many in my demographic, am faced with the ticking time bomb of a young child who will, at some point, wake up to the fact that her dad is a pathetic loser and stop playing these silly games with him.
My last two suggestions were reserved for Dungeon Crawlers, a genre which is again underrepresented in my collection (except a very strange repackaging of AD&D which I’ll probably write about in a later post).
I’ve been wanting Descent for many years now – it’s an expensive game that sounded like a really good mix of the accessibility of a board game with the full-on geekness of a proper RPG.
I realise I could have been playing something like this years ago if I hadn’t been such a terrible snob and refused to have a go at HeroQuest.
The involvement of both MB and Games Workshop in that particular production were too much for my refined sensibilities, I’m afraid.
I learned about Mice and Mystics sometime later and, going back to the young child/pathetic loser event horizon, this seemed like a potentially exciting and satisfying way of doing the dungeon thing with someone at junior school.
To be honest I would be deliriously happy with either of these games – on reflection I’m slightly annoyed I didn’t just have a short list of two.
The Obligatory D&D game
I love the whole D&D thing – it was one of my main influences early on when discovering the hobby. So this game was immediately attractive to me.
You play the part of a Lord overseeing adventures and the like, having a more hands off role that the more traditional D&D perspective.
Having seen a TableTop video of Lord of Waterdeep being played it does look sort of fun, but I’m not sure I’m going know what the heck is going on half the time (I had the same experience playing Arkham Horror, but it didn’t spoil things)
Games that probably should’ve been on my shortlist?
Since making the shortlist, stapling it to my wife’s hand and sending her off into the cruel world to visit shops populated by enthusiastic, deeply disturbed people as is the way – there a a few games I probably should have put on the list.
Most of these games are more kid friendly and things that look fun.
Escape: Curse Of The Temple
I watched The Board Game Family video review of this, and they sold it really well. Any game that is so tense it makes kids quake deserves a place in my collection!
I can’t actually remember whether I did put Netrunner: Android on the list now, maybe I did.
Not a typical game for me as it’s just the card game but it does sound like a good way for 2 players to have fun (oh that lucky wife of mine).
Ticket to Ride
It will really shock some people that I don’t already have this as I’m sure it’s an absolutely brilliant game, but it sort of feels like something I should have in my collection rather I must have!
Saying that If it had been left up to me I wouldn’t have bought Settlers of Catan (a previous xmas gift), so what do I know?