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Three Moves Ahead Episode 94: Home for the Holidays

December 9th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 9 Comments · Board Games, Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


We were on a good run and it couldn’t last forever. A pleasant light little seasonal chat about how to cope with the gaming constraints of visiting our families went off the rails when we realized that that topic would only last us about forty minutes.

I made the mistake of pushing us forward and then things got a little weird and stupid.

I cut that bit – saving it for an outtakes show where it belongs; trust me you do not want to hear how unfocused it got until you are in the mood for it. Note to self: If you run out of things to say after 30 minutes, it is OK to stop there.

Shorter than usual, but we talk about how board games can bring families together, what games keep us sane on our own when we retreat to a quiet corner.

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Buy Fluxx
Buy Bohnanza
Buy King Me
Buy Blokus
Buy Pandemic


9 Comments so far ↓

  • Rez

    Great podcast! I don’t often disagree with Julian, but in this case I have to side with Troy: Ticket to Ride is a great choice for a gateway game. It may not be as simple as Fluxx, but it is certainly more fun. When picking new games to introduce to my non-gaming friends, I look for ones that I can explain in a short time, that play in a relatively short time, that have little downtime, and — most importantly — that _I_ will also enjoy. After a few of those kinds of games I can bring out the bigger guns like Puerto Rico or Caylus. :)

  • Jared H.

    I honestly didn’t mind the wandering nature of the podcast, it was quite amusing. Granted I wouldn’t want every episode to be like this but it was an nice change of pace.

    My family’s holiday tradition is to play a really old version of Risk that we got from my grandparents. We have yet to ever finish a game, though whether that’s because we watch movies while we play or because the game is Risk is up for grabs.

  • Adam D

    What about Zombies!!! for a game to try and get the family involved? Small enough box to transport easily, simple rules, decent amount of players and plenty of potential for back stabbing (maybe more front stabbing than back) and conflict.

  • Quinten

    Julian, there are no words for how wrong you are on Ticket to Ride. Everything else, good. Troy… apparently my girlfriend is smarter than you, since she picked up the Carcassone scoring pretty quick. I am kidding, but I have found new people do not need to understand scoring right away. Few games require the player to know EVERYTHING

  • Codicier

    Just thought id throw in another thumbs up for Fluxx as a game which works well with non gamers.

    In particular the Monty Python Fluxx version has been a huge hit with the wives and girlfriends of my gaming group.
    Humour always does a great job of breaking down barriers. Non gamers often hesitate to participate in some games because they are afraid of looking stupid, but if everyone is already making a fool of themselves that ceases to be a issue.

    Which on a side note reminds me: can anyone suggest some other funny board/card games?

  • Andrew Doull

    You guys totally missed the ‘seasonally themed strategy games’ discussion angle. Xmas based RTS / turn based strategy games deserve more coverage…

  • Dirk

    “Ticket to Ride” as a gateway game is a great call: Julian’s smoking something here. I’ve used Ticket to Ride to introduce non-gamers to “our” games for almost a decade and it always goes over very well.

    The best scam when you want to introduce games to your family over the holidays is you buy them the games for the holidays. “I thought you would really like this…” They are compelled to play it, and for travelers it has the extra bonus of home delivery so you don’t need to schlepp the game on a plane or whatnot. Of course, this also requires your choosing a game that the person receiving your “gift” actually might like, or at least you think would like!

  • Peter S (Mind Elemental)

    (In the right thread now!)

    How grizzled a gamer is your soon-to-be-a-PSP-recipient nephew, Troy?

    If he’s up to it, I’d get him FFT: War of the Lions. Beautiful, mature story; fluid tactical battles; lots and lots of intricacy in how you can form your party. It may make a decent introduction to strategy!

  • Evan N

    Troy, if you’re having trouble playing roguelikes on a netbook, you might consider picking up a USB numpad. I bought one for my laptop for that exact reason and it makes a world of different, not just for that but games like Civ as well.