Social Distancing and Board Games

Hey folks! I’m going on day 20 of different games each day. Moving forward I’m going to do one post at the end of the week to say what games I played and how I enjoyed them. Then in the week I’ll try to get a more in depth review.

If you’re like me, you’re probably finding this social distancing hard. It’s just natural to want to see other people, converse with them, and break up your day going different places. If you’re a board game enthusiast that regularly does a game day or game night this can be even harder. Most game stores are on hold. New games can be hard to come across during this time.

Well, hopefully this article will help curve your craving for new games.

Print and Play (PNP)

green and black industrial machine

First up, we are going to look at PNP games. These are games that come in printable files. You’ll need a working printer, some paper, and scissors. Some of the games require other bits, but if you have some games already you can scavenge them for bits. This is sort of a Mad Max of board gaming. Bits from this game, bits from that, printed cards, printed board, dice from that game, and you have it!

I haven’t done a whole board for a PNP game. I’ve done only an expansion and a card game. For the card game, I found using a card stock paper works best. I did find a way that I could use an old pack of cards, stock paper, and card sleeves to make them have a good feel to them. This made handling and shuffling the cards easier.

Here are some sites I’ve found for free PNP Games

PNP Arcade

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This site has a lot of free games and some paid content. There are a lot of card games and roll and write games here. I printed and played Scuttle! with my family. I used the old deck of cards and card sleeve deck. The paid games range from $1 and up. I don’t think I’ve seen anything on there over $10.

PNP Arcade

Cheapass Games

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This is a game company that has a lot of games you can buy physical copies and play. They also have a lot of free print and play games. Kill Doctor Lucky is probably one of their more well known games. It has a feeling like this game leads up to Clue. You’re playing a character moving around the mansion and trying to kill Dr. Lucky.

Cheapass Games

Board Game Geek

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Forums and pages here have a great resource for PNP games. Link.

 

Some publishers are releasing content for their games so that everyone can play and stay. Play a game, stay at home.

Kingdomino Expansion – The Court

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Blue Orange Games just put out an expansion for Kingdomino that’s free. It adds resources to the game and buying buildings and characters. Best part about it. It’s free adds a fresh new thing to the game.

Link Here.

Chronicles of Crime – The Power Behind

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Lucky Duck Games has released a print and play version of their game. It’s a chapter, and one that I’ll be printing out and playing later. Chronicles of Crime is on my list of games to try, and what better way than something I can print at home!

Link Here.

Remote Playing

black filming camera

This is playing games over face time apps. Here are a couple of sites that can help with that. Recently I played Red Dragon Inn with this method. Besides the occasional lag from my internet, it was smooth. When you’re playing games like this, you want to focus on something that is easy to play. Types of games that fit well here are Roll and Writes, Cooperative games with perfect information or hands that are shown(Pandemic, Horrified, Atlantis Rising) and games that only rely on player boards.

  • Roll and Writes – Patchwork Doodle, Welcome To, and That’s Pretty Clever as some examples. For this type of game, the person who has the game is focusing on the area with one camera. Everyone else is printing out a sheet to mark on. The person with the physical copy is doing all the work rolling the dice. Turn sequence can be played as normal.
  • Cooperative Games – Once again, the player with a physical copy of the game is doing the leg work. This will require a shot of the game board, and then an area players can reference for cards or items they have. Using Horrified as an example, you’d have a shot of the game board, then a shot of an area for each player. Using that, you should be able to play a whole game with friends.
  • Player Independent Games – I put Red Dragon Inn, Villainous, and Smash Up in this category. Red Dragon Inn, each player needs a drink deck, character, and coins to play. Villainous just needs one character board, decks, and powers to play. Smash Up is a little more needs each player to have a combination of factions and one player to have the base deck and an area numbered as a reference to other players to show them. Then each player’s screen will show the base locations with corresponding numbers. Each game that you play is focusing on your player area. It’s easier to use games that don’t have a lot of trading bits between players.

I think these games would be the best to try and play over streaming.

Zoom

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This is currently being offered for free use. However, meetings are limited to 40 minutes. I used this once to talk to my family. I don’t know if this would work for board games. You could use the 40 minute shut off as a prompt to take a little 5 minute break or so.

Zoom Link

Jitsi Meet

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This is what I used for Red Dragon Inn. We were able to get 9 screens in on this meeting and it was free to use and no time limit. I liked that I was able to click on the different screens and enlarge them to see what was happening.

Jitsi Link

 

Digital Gaming

Okay, so you can’t print things. You Don’t have a good set up for streaming video. What else can you do? Here are a couple of options for you.

Steam Tabletop Simulator

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This is a game that’s on Steam. I say a game, but really it’s a whole bunch of games. There are some games on here that you purchase and can play with other players. Where this shines is the workshop area where other players can upload and share files. With this program, you can get Red Dragon Inn and play it with friends, Warhammer 40k has some files if you search hard for them. There are a lot of options here. Down side, the program costs to purchase it. Then there are additional add-ons when purchasing official board games. The use of the game is pretty simple. Point, click, and drag for most games.

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Tabletopia

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This is an app that you can download on most operating systems. It’s one that I’ve tried, but couldn’t get used to the system. Now, that’s not saying it’s complicated to use. I’m just not that great when figuring out new systems. I’m still playing around with it, but they have games like Monster Lands, Wingspan available on here to play. I has a design that lets you signal ending turns and prompting other players to play.

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Link here.

Jackbox Games

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I haven’t played this yet but I’ve been seeing a lot about it. I have played the old You Don’t Know Jack games and always had a blast with them. Jackbox Games These are games that are played on a screen and mobile device. One person needs to purchase the Jackbox game, and then other players connect using a room or code sent. This looks promising and fun.

Link here.

So there you have it. Some options to do while practicing social distancing.

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