Life Lessons in Board Games

life lessons used in board games
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay

May and June contain Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively—specific days to honor parents, even though you should probably do so every day. Still, these holidays also provide time to reflect on how you were raised, particularly the lessons your parents tried to impart upon you when you were younger. As the saying goes, parents often do know best, and many of those wise words they taught us as kids apply to playing board games as well! To name a few….

1) Always tell the truth

In the game Coup, you are pitted against opponents and given two cards, each of which has a character displayed on it. Nobody else can see your cards and the game’s rules allow you to flat-out lie about what you have. The Duke, for example, allows you collect three credits instead of only one—and the more credits the merrier. You may be tempted to use the Duke each turn whether or not you actually have him, but take a page from honest Abe (if your dad’s name is Abe) and always tell the truth. Not only will no opponent be able to catch you in a lie but the truth is the last thing they will expect. Watch as your opponents’ distrust causes their own demise.

2) Don’t forget your friends

Want to scream, shout and roll dice like your life depends on it? Gather some buddies and crack open Escape. Together you traverse an Indiana Jones-inspired dungeon distributing gems and avoiding pitfalls, such as the exit door sealing shut. Each of the two rounds is timed—a mere 10 minutes—and because you move and collect by rolling dice, the clitter-clatter of plastic hitting the table never stops. Unfortunately the more you roll, the more likely you are to lock yourself out: Reveal the wrong combination of symbols and you’ll find yourself stuck and unable to contribute. But the team wins or loses the game as one, so it’s imperative you stick close to your allies, even if it means sacrificing speed. Your team will spectacularly fail should one member find themselves idly sitting about, unable to contribute. So throw down your dice with ferocity and intensity and save your wounded buddy before it’s too late.

3) Respect the law

Colt Express affords you the opportunity to play the role of a train robber in the old-timey Wild West, but you’re not alone. Other banditos are after your loot and there’s not enough to go around. While you can take treasure from other players or rush to snag it before they do, there’s a surefire way to mess with their plan: Summon the marshall. This non-playable character will burst into a nearby car and shoot every bad guy in his vicinity, so alert him to your enemies’ presence by playing the right card and he’ll chase everyone out, leaving you with the opportunity to collect all the abandoned loot. Just don’t get caught yourself.

4) The sky’s the limit

Live like a real estate magnate in New York 1901, a game that challenges players to claim property and immediately construct buildings to cement their place along the skyline. The action kicks off almost immediately, as you can theoretically break ground on your second turn. At this point you have two options: madly construct smaller buildings or save up property for larger skyscrapers, which aren’t available to you until much later. Wait. While your opponents scramble to control a fiefdom of short structures you’ll earn far more points with even a single skyscraper. By the end of the game you’ll dominate the clouds—and your enemies. Always dream big!

5) Respect your elders

There’s no game directly associated with this kernel of wisdom. It’s just good manners.

And to use other life lessons in board games, head over to www.unboxboardom.com to start your board game subscription box today! Let us know of any great gaming lessons you’ve learned in the comments below!

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