1 EAGLETON NOTES: Board Game Nightmares

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Monday, 18 February 2019

Board Game Nightmares

I suppose most of my readers will have played board games at some stage in their life. I see that board games are still sold and apparently in numbers sufficient for new variations constantly to appear. I see, for example, that Monopoly is still available in just about every guise from capital cities to Game of Thrones and Roald Dahl.

Of course, chess, draughts, backgammon, Chinese chequers and similar games of mental skill and agility are board games still played universally.

What about Ludo, Cluedo, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, and Othello (Reversi)?

Of course there are hundreds of other games which I've never played and I've specifically excluded any card games.

Many board games have been translated or transformed into computer related games including Words With Friends (Scrabble by another name) which I play.

The board game I loathe the most is Monopoly. I have always dreaded the words "Can we play Monopoly?" 

With apologies to Hilary Rose:

When did I last play Monopoly? 
With the children in New Zealand, at least 10 years ago when I just couldn't get out of it.

Did you know they are going to make a film of it? 
NOOOOOO! I find typing the word annoying never mind playing or, heaven forbid, watching a film of it.

Don't worry, it's going to star the actor and comedian Kevin Hart.  
Who?

It's about a boy who comes from Baltic Avenue, the second cheapest property on the board.  
No! That's not going to work. The second cheapest property is Whitechapel Road.

This is the American version. The film will be good: it's been on the go for three years.  
Which is about a long as most Monopoly games seem to go on for.


What is or was your worst nightmare of a board game? (Answers other than Monopoly may be censored).

33 comments:

  1. I'm not a board game fan but Trivial Pursuit is acceptable once in a decade.

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    1. Adrian, Trivial Pursuits is a blast from the past. I think I have an unopened tin of questions from around when the game was introduced.

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  2. Playing any game where parents of competing children try to let them win.

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  3. Ha ha ha I'm so with you on Monopoly! Might have something to do with the fact that I ALWAYS lose. I think I take clever decisions, shaking my head at the unreasonable spending of my fellow players, only to end up with one of them winning and me losing.
    At my parents', we still have the old post-war game my Mum's uncle owned. Its little houses are of wood, the cards and font of the text written on the card are rather charmingly vintage, very much early 1950s. And - believe it or not - I own a Star Trek: Next Generation game, with the series' main characters as little metal-cast figures, and space ships and space stations instead of houses and hotels. Of course the "properties" are all planets, and the events cards relate to events from the series. It still does not make me a better (or keener) player!

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    1. Meike, my Monopoly is obviously from a similar era (but slightly more recent) to your Mum's Uncle's set with the wooden houses and hotels.

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  4. My middle child was always asking to play monopoly and I never ever did (not even once) I have since apologised to him and he always claims that it's a stupid game and he's glad I never played.
    I love him for giving me a free pass and I will never ever give monopoly to his children!

    Chinese checkers isn't bad and I like scrabble but I'm really not a board game person.

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    1. Kylie, I wish that I'd had the courage to say no to Monopoly as a child. I used to play a lot of Chinese checkers because it was one of the family games when I was young.

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  5. "Monopoly" seems to bring out the worst in people. I suspect that Donald Trump must have played it regularly in his youth. I much prefer "Scrabble" because I usually win. I am afraid I haven't got any board game stories to share. We played "Articulate" at Christmas and it was good fun.

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    1. That's interesting, YP, I've never heard of Articulate (or if I have I can't remember) I shall go and see what it's about.

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  6. Monopoly was one of me favorites. I miss board games as I seldom gather in homes with a group. Board games are now played in libraries and senior residences.

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    1. Red, thanks for the information. You've given me an idea.

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  7. I loathe board games with really complicated rules. Some people seem to like exactly that aspect of the game, and positively gloat about the rules, seems to me!

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    1. I agree, Jenny. I can't recall which game it was I was inveigled into playing a while ago and every time I made a positive move a new 'rule' appeared.

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  8. I grew up with quite a lot of both board games and card games played with my family. Monopoly was never my favourite, especially because you never knew how long it might take. (I think we sometimes played it on New Year's Eve, back in the days before there was much to watch on TV!) Ludo is another game I never really liked, I still associate it with just passing time when nothing better to do... Trivial Pursuit was introduced a bit later, I think (after I'd moved away from home) but I was never really keen on that either. In the family context I almost never won (usually ended up last, as I remember it)... My parents were keen watchers of all kinds of quiz shows on TV and my brother was always good a remembering odd facts about whatever. Cluedo was introduced in our family even later, I think, but that was fun sometimes. (We all liked classic British detective stories, so appreciated the "setting"...) We often played Scrabble too, both in Swedish and in English (the English Scrabble bought on a family holiday in England). Mum usually won! Nowadays I play Words With Friends (as you know) with a few friends. I like the slow online games because one can play at one's own convenience...

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    1. Monica, I'm astonished that you could come last in Trivial Pursuits. You have such a good memory. I, on the other hand..... We played most of the games you mentioned and card games too a lot. But then I grew up in an era with no television. Like you, too, I like WWF because one can play at one's own pace.

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    2. Graham, I may have a fairly good memory for SOME things, but I think it depends a great deal for me whether I ever took a special interest in them in the first place. If we sat down to play a game of TP (and no googling or encyclopedias allowed) you'd probably all too soon discover my weaknesses... ;)

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  9. Table Top Games on youtube with Wil Wheaton is as close to board games as I care to get in my old age. I have, however, been intrigue by one of the TTG videos for the game, Lamps. :)

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    1. Maywyn it never even occurred to me that board games might appear on YouTube.

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  10. I made my own version called Stereopoly. It was based on places we knew in the UK and France. Unfortunately I never got round to making the cards, so it exists only as a board.

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    1. Cro, how on earth did you come up with that name?

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  11. I'm a bit of a scrabble fan. Growing up my dad use to play board games with us, monopoly was a favourite and usually it ended with one of us getting upset because he would buy all the expensive properties, put hotels on them and hit us with fees etc. But it taught me a few tough lessons.

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    1. Amy my wife was a very keen Scrabble fan but I loathed it at the time. I'm not sure whether I loathed it because I always lost (which is odd because words have always been a love of mine) or whether I always lost because I loathed it. I'm not inherently competative which isn't good when playing games.

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  12. I feel your pain. I liked playing Monopoly with neighborhood kids when I was a boy, but I stopped completely just after Mrs. RWP and I were married upon finding out that SHE IS RUTHLESS!!! (or perhaps better stated, she has a very competitive streak that requires her to win, win, win). For the sake of continuing our relationship I mentioned that I would never play Monopoly with her again, and I haven't. We have enjoyed Scrabble and Mexican Train Dominoes and Uno and Skip-Bo with our children and grandchildren, but Monopoly has been a definite no-no in our household for the past 55 years.

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    1. RWP I can understand how you feel. I am not, by nature, very competative in games (there are so many more important things) so playing with ultra-competative people is not enjoyable for me.

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  13. Backgammon was the height of things to play in the 1970s and became quite a kind of cult thing I seem to remember. I have never liked board games of any sort but I used to pretend I liked it just to be like everybody else in our group of friends. We went on holiday to Romania and took it with us. We also used played battleships in the evenings on the same holiday but I can't quite remember how that was played but I remember disliking it and not seeing how anyone could find it the least bit interesting.

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    1. Rachel, my younger Son was a whiz at Backgammon and taught me how to play. He never managed to teach me how to win though. We both found that frustrating because he got bored and I just got totally bemused.

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  14. Fascinating responses from people. My elder boy was like Mrs RWP with Monopoly. No-one liked playing M with him, and so he could never get anyone after a while. Little girl LOVED the Game of Life but it was rather banal so we used to play under duress (shhh don't tell). I like Rummikub. And Scrabble.

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    1. Kate, I've never hear of Rummikub or Game of Life for that matter. It's strange, though, how we remember some games. My Dad was unbeatable at draughts and dominoes and several card games (but not in any overtly competative or gloating way).

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  15. I've always hated Monopoly because I'm shite at maths, but I did enjoy the wee pewter pieces in the original game. I'm just waiting for the Marmite-themed Monopoly, I suppose.

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    1. Oops, Mrs S, I missed this one. Apologies. A Marmite themed Monopoly? Hmmm. Not even sure that would convince me.

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