Particularly in the company of people who are very particular about keeping you off the screen, I imagine that we're seeing an up-spike in Americans playing board games and other tabletop games.
I also imagine that so many people are doing this that they'd get a kick out of some helpful (and obscure) tips for playing board games. Knowing these strategies can really help you win. Not that how many of the 1,000 rounds of board games we will be playing indoors until ???? that we win will help some people get out of lockdown faster than others, but here goes.
- TRIVIAL PURSUIT
- Keep track of how well all other players do in each of the six individual categories. That way, when they get all six pie pieces and make their way to the "hub" to try to answer one final question for the win, you can choose which category you think will stump them based on your tally of what stumped them the most during the game.
- Specifically identify which of the six categories you are best at before the game, and begin the game by moving out from the center of the board in the direction of the square that will earn you a pie piece for that category.
- It helps to put particularly strong defenses on these territories if you hold them: Alaska, Greenland, Central America, Brazil, North Africa, Egypt, East Africa, Western Europe, Southern Europe, Iceland, Russia, the Middle East, Kamchatka (which my brother calls "Kombucha"), Southeast Asia, and Indonesia. Ownership of North Africa, Egypt, East Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe particularly, and a strong hold on all five, will almost guarantee victory.
- A lot of players try to easily claim all of Australia at the beginning of the game. This isn't as helpful as you think it is.
- AA, AB, AE, AG, AH, AI, AL, AR, AW, AY, BA, BI, BO, DE, ED, EF, EH, EL, EM, EN, ER, ES, ET, EX, FA, FE, HA, HM, HO, JO, KA, KI, LA, LI, LO, MA, MI, MM, MO, MU, NA, NE, NU, OD, OE, OI, OK, OM, OP, OS, OY, PA, PE, PI, PO, QI, RE, SH, SI, TA, TE, TI, UH, UM, UN, UT, WO, XI, XU, YA, YE, YO, and ZA are all acceptable words.
- Rearrange the letters on your rack into different orders, and you might see a word you would miss otherwise.
- Plays that make more than one word simultaneously are legal.
- If you have some combination of the letters ADEIGLNORSTU, then you probably have a word that can use all 7 letters, which scores a 50-point bonus. If six of the seven letters on your rack can spell TISANE, SATIRE, RETINA, ARSINE, SANTER, SINTER, STONER, TONIES, SENIOR, EATERS, RETAIL, DIALER, GAINER, or NAILER, then your seventh letter will probably give you a 7-letter word. If your entire rack spells STONIER, NASTIER, EASTERN, ENTRIES, SERIATE, TRAINEE, SAINTED, SARDINE, REALIGN, or NAILERS, then you can not only play those words as 7-letter words with a 50-point bonus ("bingos"), but can combine the letters with a letter on the board to make an 8-letter word.
- Letter scores are always counted before word scores, and when the word score is doubled/tripled, Double Letter Scores and Triple Letter Scores are doubled/tripled with the entire word.
- If you play a 7+ letter word that stretches across two Double Word Score boxes, multiply your word score x 4. If you play an 8+ letter word that stretches across two Triple Word Score boxes, multiply your word score x 9.
- Do not play with more than two people. As evidenced by last night's scene at my house, there will be chaos, as if there is not enough already.
- For all of you people getting into loud arguments with the less than 10 people with which you are sharing your intimacy, the rule is: you can slide on all colors EXCEPT your own. This is a hotly debated rule. My boldface declaration should settle it!
- Send each of your four pieces out as soon as you're able to move them from Start.
- You can only get Home by exact roll.
There will be more board game advice on The Corona Light within the next few days, as you continue playing!
CLOSING QUESTION (Leave your responses in the comments)
If you've been playing board games while on social-distancing lockdown, has anything funny/memorable happened?
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