For a number of years in the 2010s I would research and then buy a board game suitable for our family for Christmas.

The game had to satisfy certain criteria:

  • Be suitable for as many people in the household as would reasonably want to play (anywhere from 2 to 6).
  • Not take too long to complete (maximum of an hour, please).
  • Not be too complex or adversarial (or cooperative).
  • Get decent ratings in the family games section of BoardGameGeek.
  • Be vaguely accessible from local games suppliers.

Our purchases under this criteria have been:

  • Killer Bunnies
  • Ticket to Ride: Europe [2010]
  • 7 Wonders [2011]
  • Carcassonne [2012]
  • Dominion [2013]
  • Stone Age [2014]
  • Patchwork [2016]

Christmas afternoon and/or Boxing Day brought the horror of having to teach/learn a new game followed by the relative delight in playing it!

Interestingly different family members have tended to perform consistently better at particular games than others over the years. Without putting too fine a point on it, I’m better at Carcassonne than Stone Age or Ticket to Ride. Or perhaps that should be that I’m worse at Stone Age or Ticket to Ride than Carcassonne.

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