How-To Guide With Board Games

The full set of board game skills you will need to achieve superiority this Christmas.

The Christmas period. Board games. The perfect opportunity for you to assert your vast array of knowledge over that of your friends and family, inevitably leading to fall out, furore and drunken tears. I lost myself there. I meant those well-spirited games where you can sincerely enjoy time with friends and family. Who am I kidding? Let’s unpick the key skills, knowledge and wit you will need to take bragging rights this Christmas.


First and foremost, team up with the friends or family members that you understand most, preferably of the same age and experience. They don’t necessarily need to be the most intelligent, but you’re going to need chemistry and telepathy to be victorious. Second, understand each other’s weaknesses. There is no point chasing loose ends with ‘Burkina Faso’ when your teammates have little to no knowledge of the UK’s geography, let alone Africa’s. Thirdly, hone in on your descriptive powers. No actions allowed, so be prepared to describe words syllable by syllable. That is not easy, which is exactly why you need a teammate on your level.


To me, this is the embodiment of board games. A real classic with a set of complex rules and tactical nuance that make it so exceptional to win. The first key; patience. Monopoly can be a long and enduring game that requires concentration and attentiveness to an elite level. Am I taking this too seriously? You must be on the ball at all stages or you may well miss out on those valuable ‘M’s. Secondly, if you’re playing in a big group, don’t be negligent of those lowly browns and pale blues. They may come in valuable if others are struggling to monopolise another set. Old Kent Rd and Whitechapel Rd may not bring in the big bucks, but who are you to belittle them? Thirdly, avoid off-the-game deals with that family member who didn’t get you a Christmas card. Shady.


The first of our board games that is going to require genuine linguistic skill. That’s a shame because nobody has the time to swallow a dictionary in preparation for Christmas scrabble. A key to this game is rearranging the letters on your panel so that they themselves start to take shape as a word. Seven jumbled letters will confuse the brain, but neatly separating your vowels and consonants may unearth a gem. Secondary to this, never undermine the power of three and four letter words. Scrabble is as much about being able to adapt and think on your feet as it is showing off your well-read breadth of vocabulary.

Trivial Pursuit

The game for show offs. The clue is in the name. The knowledge required to win this game is trivial, unimportant and petty. First, take solace in this and realise that losing is so insignificant in the grand scale of life. Bitterness aside, make sure your version of the game is up to date. If you’re a young player, you stand basically no chance in your quest for victory if the question is about the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1979. That said, if you do know the answer to that, I would suggest you preserve that rusty version and use this tactic in reverse.


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