A cold winter weekend is a perfect time for some hot competition … playing rousing board games.
But what to play?
Enter Andrew Lynch, community development and inventory manager at the Brooklyn Strategist, a board game cafe in Carroll Gardens.
He discussed how to have a great game night on a recent episode of “All of It” with Alison Stewart.
Below are some of his recommendations.
If you like the classic games — Monopoly, Battleship, Trouble, Clue — try these.
Splendor. The theme is that you’re gem dealers during the Renaissance. It’s “pretty quick to teach and it takes about 30 minutes to play,” says Lynch.
Catan. It’s a board game where players race to build a civilization. It’s very popular, says Lynch, and still sells well 30 years after it came out.
Carcassonne. It’s a tile-laying game — with elements inspired by southern France — where you’re trying to build cities and roads.
For two people, try these games.
Patchwork. It’s a tile-laying game themed around making quilts — “a very strange card game,” says Lynch, but “it’s wonderful.”
For a slightly more involved 2-person game
For people wanting to dedicate a little more time and energy to their game-playing, opt for “historical games,” also sometimes called “war games,“ although they’re not necessarily about war, says Lynch.
He recommends Twilight Struggle, which is about the Cold War and takes about five hours to play.
Another fun one is Votes for Women, says Lynch. It takes about 90 minutes to play and is surprisingly quick to learn.
“It’s one of my very favorite board games,” he adds.
For folks who want a simple, 4-person game
Consider card games, like Hearts, Spades or Euchre.
The board game Seas of Strife is another good option.
How to play a game with a child.
“Play so that you are playing with them rather than playing against them,” says Lynch.
That will go a long way to getting the kid to start to relax and start to understand.
As you play, explain why you’re doing things — or not doing things — and that can also help, say Lynch.
What to play if you live in a studio apartment and don’t have large amounts of space.
If your main issue is table space, opt for card games or party games because they don’t actually take up very much space.
Try a card game called Bonanza, which can be very competitive at two to three players and becomes “just a blast at six or seven,” according to Lynch.
Or try a party game called That’s Not a Hat, which is a sort of bluffing-slash-memory game he says is wonderful and takes up no more space than you need for the people who are playing it.