Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Game Philanthropist

We are into games. Probably because we don’t have cable. And probably because I’m very competitive. As a result, our entry closet is full of games—literally full. We own 75 games. That’s good and bad.

Last night, we decided to play a game. Matt and I wanted to play Power Grid. It’s a dominate-the-electrical/nuclear/trash-burning/hydroelectric-market of either the US or Germany—it’s a German game. But Jacob appeared to think playing that game might cause him sudden and instantaneous death. No doubt from electrocution. Luke wanted to play Killer Bunnies. I do NOT get that game. The point is to collect bunnies and carrots while other players dump weapon cards on you to kill your bunnies. Cards like fluorine gas, kitchen wisk, cruise missile prime, quite-irrascible-defractable-cheese-balls, stray asteroid, and nuclear warhead. (Yes, this game was obviously developed by unmarried male grad students in their mid-twenties, which explains why it appeals to Luke.)

We ended up playing Lord of the Rings Monopoly. My personal opinion is any version of Monopoly is equivalent to death-by-boredom. What makes it worse is that Luke peppers the game with random questions like “Who knows what the name of the Shards of Narsil were called when the blade was reforged?” Matt and Jake say simultaneously, “I know.” I say, “They renamed the sword?”

We ended up making a new rule. When you land on someone’s property you must announce it to them and pay them the rent. (Cal is always in his own world so the rule was made by him after he missed about 7 instances of rent.) Of course, this removes the one non-random aspect of Monopoly. So my competitive/sneaky streak died. I decided to become the Monopoly philanthropist. I didn’t build on my properties, and l loaned money to anyone who needed it without charging interest. Interestingly enough, I played the entire game without landing on anyone’s fortress (the LOTR Monopoly’s version of a hotel). I bragged about how I was being blessed for my philanthropic generosity. But the truth of the matter is that I spend most of my board time in jail, which is the best place to be in a killer game of Monopoly. 


  1. Oh gracious--my husband and his friends LOVE Killer Bunnies. I'll play, but only if they take the Ebola card out of the deck--because, I'm sorry, but bunnies dying of ebola is just one step too far for me. :S

  2. Rowenna,

    I forgot about the Ebola Virus card. Yet another reason NOT to play Killer Bunnies. (I'll admit, though, that I'm a huge fan of Bang--the Italian Spaghetti Western card game.)

  3. Monopoly IS pretty boring.

  4. I think it's great that your kids are willing to play board games, and with their parents yet! I can only manage that feat at Christmas time, where I hold all the cards. :)

  5. Yeah, I've NEVER had much fun with Monopoly. You kind've have to push yourself through it.

    Bang, on the other hand, is always tons of fun. We played it with Douglas when he visited for Christmas, and he loved it just as much. :)

  6. We have a bazillion games, too. Only one I don't like is Monopoly, but no problem. I'm usually the first one to be knocked out of the game, so I can sit back and read the paper while everyone else continues. (oh darn)

  7. Monopoly can be pretty boring, but every time I play, none of us ever really remembers the rules. So it ends up being kind of fun. Mostly, I just liked the themed boards. (I have the LOTR one and the Star Wars one. Incidentally, is the answer to that Shards question Anduril?)

    Andrew mentioned BANG, which is super fun if he's talking about a card game that's kind of like a complicated version of Mafia.

    One of my friends taught us this card game called NERTS (apparently the copyrighted version is called NERTZ), which only requires multiple decks of playing cards - 1 for each person playing (although we prefer playing against each other in teams of 2). We've been obsessed ever since. It's fast and competitive and SO fun.

    I've never heard of any of the other games you mentioned, but I'm curious as to what else you have.

  8. Personally, I've always been partial to the Stray Asteroid and the Miniature Black Hole in Killer Bunnies. And Florine Gas, of course. Krispy, Anduril is the right answer.

  9. I'm always really into Monopoly until my hubs informs me all the rules I play by are actually illegal and made up. Then I try to leave the game.

  10. This post made me laugh.

    Ah...time in Monopoly jail - brings back memories.
    My daughter and I played the old-fashioned regular version, but still had fun.

    One of the thing we loved, and still do on rare occasion, is have Lego nights. Now that she lives in her own place we make a date and I'll bring the dog and my PJ's and we'll dump the two big buckets (the one thing she couldn't part with) of Lego on the floor in her living room and just start building.

    It's fun seeing where our imaginations will take us. Sometimes we collaborate and other times we are quite competitive, seeing who's end result is the coolest. like that is often the best fun, isn't it?
    I much prefer it to modern TV games and the like!

    I enjoyed this post - brought back some wonderful memories. Thanks!

    Cheers, Jenny

  11. The worst thing about playing Monopoly with a philanthropist is when you are deliberately trying to lose so you can be done with the darn thing, and they keep insisting on giving you money and keeping you in the game. Torture!

    But then, I'm not a big fan of board games in general. I would much rather have family reading night, where we all sit around with popcorn and soda and our own books from the library and read. My idea of quality family time, right there!

  12. this blog is very good mmmm

  13. I love board games, but no one in my family does. I like games like Trivial Pursuit and 30 seconds.