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Three Fantastic Board Games to Cure Rainy Day Boredom

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Settlers of Catan

Just in case you’d forgotten, because of all the incredible weather we’ve been having, it rains in Portland, a lot. During that time it can become difficult to keep not just your kids entertained, but you can really only flip through your Netflix cue so many times before the inevitable takes over. You’re bored. 

A great way to cure this boredom has long been the traditional board game. Games like Candy Land, Monopoly, Clue, and Risk have become staples of the family gathering point, but aren’t you honestly a little tired of the same old games? Ask yourself how many times you have played Monopoly? Does it ever change? Does it have a story? Does it make you laugh? No? Well then my friend, let me introduce you to a world of games that will change the way you think about board games. You may never want to go back to Monotony ever again.

Settlers of Catan

One of the biggest hits for board game fans is The Settlers of Catan. As the name suggests you are a settler and it’s your job to expand your settlement using recourses acquired through dice rolls. You than use those resources to build roads, upgrade buildings, or build all new settlements. Through this process you gain “victory points” and the first to 10 points wins.

The great thing about this, and all of the games listed here is that the creators have not simply been happy to release a base game and then call it good. Catan has four different expansions that change the strategies and tactics needed to win the game. Beyond that there are more minor expansions that add even more to the game like oil and frenemies, and other themes like Star Trek. Regional themes like New York, Austria, and Corsica. 


The second game on the list is based off a short lived sci-fi show by Joss Whedon (The Avengers) called FireFly. This game, created by a company called Gale Force Nine, takes place in the “‘Verse” of the FireFly TV show. You are a captain of your very own Firefly spaceship. You have a variety of story cards that have various objectives on them to complete. You fly around the verse doing odd jobs and upgrading your ship and crew in order to complete the main objectives of the story.

Sound complicated? It kind of is. This game is not for the faint of heart and can take upwards of three hours to play so bring your comfy chair. The base game includes 147 cards, ship tokens, dice, and money among other things. If you can get past it’s daunting first impression the game can be quite fun, and once the first objective is completed the pace really ramps up. One bonus of this game is that it has a solo story card that allows for some epic single player action! 


Don’t like competing against one another? Why not try Pandemic. This 2 - 4 player game doesn’t play like most games where you compete against others to win the game. In this cooperative style game each player works to discover a cure for a disease before it ends the game. You can play as one of five characters dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, or operations expert. Your goal is to stop 4 regional viruses before they become a pandemic. There are currently two expansions that add a fifth player and add a lab research element to the base game. 

This is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to board games these days. You really have no idea the shear number of quality board games out there with more coming out all the time. Exploring your local Target or Wal-Mart isn’t going to get the job done either. If you want to see the expansiveness of all the games out there you have got to visit your local game store. In most cases you can try out the games first and see what’s right for you. And when the inevitable Portland rains return you’ll be ready to combat that boredom with some new fun card board relief. 


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