*Board Games*
By: Varsil
22 May 2010

I know, most of us probably haven't played board games in some time, and probably aren't the biggest fans of them. A lot of us remember growing up with games like Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, Risk, Sorry, and so forth. You probably remember that they had a lot in common - they weren't a lot of fun (as a historical note, Monopoly was designed by a communist who was trying to show the problems with the rent system - it's actually a game that was intended to be unpleasant for everyone except the winner). Games like Snakes and Ladders and Sorry have no actual decision-making to them. You just roll the dice and see who randomly ends up being the winner, which isn't a great way to go. Risk is long and badly designed.

Board games have come a long way since then. A wealth of new ones have been steadily hitting the market, with many gems that are very well-designed, require difficult decisions from the players that test their intellectual ability, and are a lot of fun. With that in mind, board games have a lot of advantages during a survival situation:

For those reasons, board games can be useful both before and after SHTF. If you plan to include them in your post-SHTF planning, you should get them now. You're not going to want to be searching for things to keep the children entertained after the fact. Further, board games are like everything else - keep what you plan to use, and use what you plan to keep. It does you no good to pick up a board game at the store and throw it into a box to try out afterwards. It might turn out to be something you love. More likely, though, it'd end up being something you'd discard. Also, a lot of the benefits are things you can enjoy now.

Where do you get board games? Many of the ones you find in stores are on the 'avoid' list as bad games. That said, some of the new, better games are starting to appear on the shelves of retailers like Wal-Mart and so forth. Otherwise, you can find them online at various sources (I support my local board game store at http://www.boardgames.ca, you can support your local store or shop around for the lowest price).

So, where to start? Below are a few games that are great for getting started. Whether they end up being the only game you own or the beginning of a larger collection, these will serve you in good stead.


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