Over the past couple years we have developed a healthy obsession with playing board games. I loved playing games like Monopoly, Clue, Battleship, and Life with my family growing up. As adults, Derek and I came to realize just how much larger the Board Game scene truly is outside of the mainstream retail stores. Part of the intrigue of Boardgaming for us is the hunt to find new games on Used/Like New and 50% off shelves at little bookstores whenever we visit a new town. Before buying a game, we also watch YouTube tutorials and read board game reviews to determine if it is a game worth owning. YouTube: Board Game Geek Reviews
We have found that store owners often have open play and demo nights for people to learn new games. Locally, we enjoy stopping in at Better World Books in downtown Goshen, Indiana where they will offer demonstrations of games and hold board game competitions. Derek once won a tournament playing the game Mysterium. https://www.facebook.com/betterworldbooksgoshen
Rupel’s Toys and Trains, a small business in Elkhart, Indiana, is one of our favorite stores to browse the latest games and talk game lingo with the owner. https://www.facebook.com/rupeltoytrains/
The Griffin Bookstore in downtown South Bend, Indiana, owned by a married couple, offers a variety of new and used games as well as a board game room with a large in-house collection for people to play. http://www.griffon-bookstore.com/ The Griffin Bookstore also held a board game convention, Griff-Con, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the bookstore. There were vendors selling games, open play, and board game competitions. We both participated in the Ticket to Ride tournament for a chance to win a copy of the Ticket to Ride 10th anniversary big box game.
When visiting the Chicagoland area, we joined in an auction at Games Plus in Mount Prospect, Illinois where people could buy and sell games according to genres of Strategy, Fantasy, History, and Family games. We were able to pick up huge steals at almost half the cost with some for less than a dollar. http://www.games-plus.com/
Out of the Box Games in Zeeland, Michigan also offers the option to check out games for weekly rentals. We have tried out many games before purchasing them to see how they play. http://ootbgames.com/
Boardgaming has developed into an activity that we enjoy doing together and sharing with our friends and family. Our board game collection has slowly been expanding as we hand-pick which games we can play with each other and what will work best for our friends when we visit. Boardgaming is a social activity that involves strategy, imagination, creativity, cooperation, and competition. It’s amazing that most people stop playing games when they “outgrow” them because there are so many advanced games that adults can participate in that requires brain-power and pure fun!
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for boardgaming when we reconnect with our families for the holiday weekend. For our trip to Gainesville, FL to see Derek’s parents, I deconstructed our favorite games down to the cardboard game boards, dice, and cards in Ziploc bags and rubber bands.
We taught a new game to Cal and Sawako called Tokaido based on the historic road from the Edo Period connecting Kyoto to Tokyo. The route led samurai, merchants, and pilgrims from one city to another. Most people walked the distance of 546 km over a period of several days stopping at places of interest along the way. It is still a popular route for tourists to travel today. The board game is inspired by this tradition as players follow the route picking up experiences along the way for the most enjoyable journey to collect victory achievements at the game end.
Sawako and Cal were able to explain some of the meaning behind the character names and types of Japanese dishes since they used to live in Japan. This was Sawako’s favorite game and she ending up winning Tokaido.
Among our other games, we also played Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails multiple times adding to our tally of the number of games won by each player. On our last couple days together, we found a board game store in Gainesville called Gamesville Tabletop. http://www.gamesvilletabletop.com/ We were able to rent a couple of new games to try out for the weekend including Takenoko and Yamatai. In Takenoko, players irrigate and maintain land plots with three species of bamboo for the Imperial Garden. Players also have to bear with the weather conditions and hunger patterns of the giant panda.
We love playing board games together. Derek will often take a rule book with him to read in the car to study up on the specific details. The rule-master is very good at explaining how to play games to our friends. It is truly our pleasure to learn new games or teach others how to play with us.