I recently hosted a Thanksgiving weekend, which was spectacular. I wasn’t sure I could pull off feeding 12 people or even seating them, but it all went off without much of a hitch. As the evening progressed, the games began.
We started with a game of The Resistance.
This was great as we didn’t actually have the game but a stack of index cards! It’s very simple. Some cards have a H for human or S for spy. They are distributed secretly and no one can know your identity. Once everyone has a card, the group closes their eyes. Next, only the spies open their eyes so they know who is on their team. We had a group of six, so two spies.
Now the game gets under way, the aim is for the Humans to complete three missions successfully, or for the Spies to fail three missions. Each person sets up a mission which is very simply, either 2 or 3 people, each with two cards (one with a tick and one with a cross) and they hand back one of them. If both (or three) people hand back a tick then the mission is a success, but if there is one cross then the mission fails. If there is only two people completing the mission and one cross appears then the spy has outed themselves to the human on the mission with them, but the rest of the team don’t know which one of you it is! This was hilarious as I did this and the more my friend Conor tried to tell the team that I was the spy the more they mistrusted him!
If you have the actual game version there is a way of keeping track of the scores and missions. This is useful but not essential. It’s a game of secret identities, mistrust and bluffing. Great for the holidays!
I actually played a game of Coup last night which is by the same makers of Resistance, and very much functions in the same way. But with more bluffing! You get two identities which can perform certain tasks, like assassination, stealing, etc.
Now you can try to do an action of a character that you don’t have, but someone can call your bluff. If you do have that card then they lose a life, but if you don’t have it then you lose a life (which means you only have one identity left). Again, to win, you are out bluffing your team mates and killing off the contenders as quick as possible, by paying for their assassination then ultimately collecting enough coins to pay for a Coup.
After Coup and The Resistance we needed something a bit sillier before feuds erupted so we gave Monocle, a charade card game, a go.
Again with index cards, we created a large pile of famous names. They could be real or fictional, human or animal, just as many as possible. We had famous serial killers, Aslan the lion, singers, politicians, actors, anyone you can think of that people are likely to know.
With this game the deck gets passed around and shuffled for each persons turn. Now in the first round, put a 1 minute timer on your phone and you have to describe the name on the card without using nouns/naming words. So for example is you have Harry Potter you can’t use Hogwarts but you could use wizard, train, lightning scar. If you had Aslan you can’t say Narnia or Lion, but you could use wardrobe and rawr!
The second round, you can only use one word to describe who you have…this got very creative especially for people like Margaret Thatcher. Again this is in 1 minute. As soon as the timer goes off, it’s the next persons turn. If you use more than one word or a noun then you have to pass that card.
Third round is the Charade element. You have to act out the person on the card. Dumbledore was a very interesting one!
Fourth round gets very silly we didn’t actually make it to this round after our friend demonstrated it for us! You have to hide behind something, we used the armchair, so that only your face is visible. That’s right, you can only use your face to act out the person on the card. If you happen to have the kid from Home Alone or Scream killer then you may be able to get through this round – but it is almost impossible! Good luck trying!
By this point, it was late enough and we were drunk enough to get out Cards Against Humanity. I think by now everyone knows how this works, you use a card from the ten you have, to answer the question asked in the most absurd way possible. The Card Tsar/Question master, decides which is funniest and awards the points. It is a very cringeworthy, horrifyingly hilarious game which is best played intoxicated.
So there you go, some impromptu card games to entertain groups over the holiday period. They have benefits over the standard board games for being less fuss set up wise, and it’s harder to lose pieces!
Munchkin is another favourite although we didn’t get a chance to play it this time. I have a Cthulhu version I’m dying to try so I’ll try to give an update of that soon!