Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Gamer's Haggadah

For the uninitiated: Passover and Haggadah.

Preparation: you must remove all traces of roll-and-move and trivia games from your house. Spiritually, you must try to remove them from your heart, as well.


These are the games of affliction that the monolithic board game manufacturers have foisted upon us, our fathers, and our forefathers. Yesterday, we were slaves to Monopoly, today we are free to play games from all countries. Yesterday we were slaves to Trivial Pursuit, today we are free men and women.

-Youngest child-

Why is this game night different from all other game nights?

On all other game nights we play all type of games; tonight we play only Eurogames.

On all other game nights we invite the Nudelman's who play only Charades, and badly at that; tonight we have lots of interesting people with good manners who look intelligent, don't smell funny, and don't pinch my cheeks.

On all other game nights we invite that ugly woman that you said is loudmouthed and a busybody and wouldn't know how to close her mouth if she were handed a six-page, fully illustrated ... ! Hey! I don't have to go to the bathroom! Hey!


Ahem. Kids. Heh.

We were slaves to Hasbro in America. Then Mayfair brought over Settlers of Catan and marketed it. Now the roots of freedom have taken hold and other game companies are flourishing. Niche game companies heard our cry and brought us games that are worth playing. If it were not for these game companies, we, and our children, and our children's children, would still be trying to pry colored plastic wedges jammed the wrong way into fat plastic pizzas.


There are four sons:

The Wise son

The Wicked son

The Simple son

The son who does not know what to do when it is his turn


The Wise son asks, loudly: Can you teach me the rules to that expensive Eurogame that you bought with the money that you promised Mom you were going to spend on repairing the sprinklers ... mmmph!

Whereupon you must bribe the Wise son with $20 to keep him quiet and let him borrow the car.

The Wicked son asks: You call this a game? I'm had more fun watching paint dry! Can't we play Sorry? This is stupid! Who likes to sit around playing board games, anyway? Get a life!

Whereupon you must knock the teeth of the Wicked son and tell him that he was adopted and his real parents are buried alive in that mud-puddle and if he looks close, he can see the bubbles coming up. Ha ha. I'm just kidding. Your parents are really dead.

The Simple son asks: What are you playing?

Whereupon you begin to explain the rules to him until he asks again "What are you playing?" Whereupon you tell him to be patient and again begin to explain the rules to him, until he asks "What are you playing?" and shoves the meeples in his mouth. Whereupon you tell him to shut up and go bother his mother.

As for the son who does not know what to do when it is his turn, you suggest to him that Aunt Katy is really winning and he should trade with you, instead. That will teach him to think on his own turn and stop asking dumb questions.


In all generations we were taught to play bad games, and if it were not for Eurogames, we would still be taping together the money that Billy ripped up after he landed on Park Place for the second time and threw yet another temper tantrum.


A story is told about five sages who stayed up all night playing games until their wives came to them and told them to cut it out already.

All who do not say these three things have not fulfilled their obligation, and these are the three things that you must say: Knizia, Kramer, Klaus Teuber.




Let us thank the game companies for all the great games we now enjoy:


If you had only given us Acquire, but not given us a great bunch of books, it would have been enough!

If you had only given us Settlers of Catan, but not given us Cities and Knights, Seafarers, Starfarers, Starships, Crossfarers, Knightsettlers, Stoneeaters, Lightsabers, Crossdressers, Turtlewhippers, Crackerjackers, and Whippersnappers, it would have been enough!

If you have only given us Carcassonne, but not given us Inns and Outs, Arks and Barks, Hunters, Bunters, and Punters, Castles and Knishes, Pickles and Tickles, and Towers, Powers, and Flowers, it would have been enough!

If you had only given us Tigris and Euphrates, but not give us Ra, Amun-Re, Age of Mythology, Ark of the Covenant, Antike, Attika, Attila, Aktilla, Antiquity, Antiquitee, Antikwitty, Anti-kitty, Aboker, Abarker, Aboukir, or Acucumber, it would have been enough!

If you had only give us Princes of Florence, but not given us a list of games about mediaeval Europe, the absurd number of which can be compared to the list in the previous verse, it would have been enough!

If you had only given us BGG.con, and not given us Bubercon, Napacon, Silicon, Proseandcon, Emoticon, Thewrathofcon, and Yourenotinvitedcon, it would have been enough!


Now we play the games.

Games are played. After four cups of wine, you sing the songs.


Who knows one?

1 is the robber in Settlers of Catan
2 are the colors of the disks in Dvonn
3 is the best number to play San Marco
4 are the players for Blokus, righto
5 are for Amun-Re, a goodly number
6 hours for a Civ game, when I start to slumber
7 cities in each area for Power Grid connecting
8 meeples each player starts Carcassonne by selecting
9 areas in the provinces on the map of Wallenstein
10 can play that Apple game, if you've got enough wine
11 blue pieces each if you're up for playing Hive
12 pages in the ASL:SK rulebook, that's no jive
13 El Grande power cards, ain't it good to be alive

Fall asleep in your chicken soup, here.


Anonymous said...

You forgot about having an extra meeple chosen for Richard Borg and having the kids search for the hidden Illuminati card.

This was a hoot.

Peter said...

Actually Dvonn has three disk colours!

Yehuda Berlinger said...

peter: yeah yeah. smarty-pants. go bother your mother.


Anonymous said...


The Reish Galuta of the Geula said...