Topic of the week - games at Christmas

Being presumptive here, but why not?

What games did you get for Christmas?

What have you played?

Is there anything you traditionally play, or people you play with at this time of year?


For us it’s normally family, so lots of light stuff. Times Up/ Monikers is a big one. Crokinole and Carton tend to get an airing as well.

This year I introduced my parents to High Society which was a hoot.

We bought the boys War of the Ring this year and they’ve already played it 3 times! I’m hoping I get a chance to sit down with them on New Year’s Day.

We gave about 5 copies of That’s not a Hat this year.

We’re spending our new year with a big group of mostly gamers. Am excited to try Green Team Wins and introduce more people to Bring Your Own Book.


None, none, and no, sadly. Not by choice, it’s just that a) it’s not a holiday and b) with Christmas and the birthdays, it’s all about the kids, and none of them are particularly interested.


This is the way.


No games received, this is the way as I can be quite specific about versions and editions.

Lots of That’s Not a Hat. A little bit of Zoo Vadis and lots of Sink’n’Sand (my youngest got this). I usually dictate the games so it’s whatever party style games I can force on people.

We’re going to a friends house for NYE, so I’ll probably take That’s not a Hat. I expect to play nothing though


Bought myself Paperback Adventures (Damsel and Ex Machina), Trek 12, and the Edge of the Empire starter box for the new Star Wars RPG (used to be FFG, but was since picked up by a different publisher). Oh, and the newest expansion for Destinies.

Gave the neiphlings Adventures of Robin Hood, Cockroach Poker Royal, and Santa Cookie Elf Something Snowman, and played a bunch of Turbo Kidz with them (which is a hoot).

Giving our co-op gaming friends a copy of Dorf Romantik and their adopted child Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Flipside, and one other friend is getting a copy of Deep Sea Adventure.


No games received as presents from others, although I ordered a copy of Calico for myself which should arrive next week.

My gaming tradition at this time of year is to try to complete my “Twelve Gamedays of Christmas” during which I attempt to play a different game every day from December 25th through January 5th. I’ll post some details of this when it’s finished but this year has been more trying for me so far due to work, although that is due to ease off from 1st January.


Gave my husband a bunch of Lorcana, the Disney trading card game, second set packs.

Gave my niece Dixit and Animated, a Disney co-op game.

Played a ton of Uno, a couple games of Dixit, and one of Animated.

  • Bought myself Mischwald
  • Daybreak arrived just before so that counts we‘ve so far played 1 game on the table (forgot to take pics) and I played several solos on BGA—I am loving it.
  • I don‘t get games as presents anymore b/c I am very specific and also we don‘t do presents among the adults.
  • Gave Louping Louie to the niece to much laughter from everyone involved. Have a video of her playing it at the grandparents the next day so she seems to like it
  • My nephew gets Next Station London and a Rubik‘s Cube
  • Gave my friend for her birthday That‘s not a Hat which was immediately played—I did worse than the kid who was back from sports practice and half asleep
  • Played games with my dad (on his request): Cascadia, The Crew 2 and Cat in the Box
  • Played half a game of TM: the Dice Game with friends before we ran out of time and had to go to our other friend‘s bday party together
  • Expect to play some games tomorrow for Silvester party. That‘s Not a Hat, Bohnanza, Dixit, Just One are likely candidates.
  • edit: Finished Act II of Baldur‘s Gate 3 (it‘s a game!)

As mentioned in the “Bought” thread, I received:

Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace
Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits
Tokaido Duo
Tokaido Matsuri expansion
Furnace with Interbellum expansion
Arkham Horror TCG: The Blob That Ate Everything

Then with some money I received, I bought used copies of Tash-Kalar and Fief: France 1429 and a new copy of the Deus: Egypt expansion.

I gifted Orichalcum to our friend for his birthday (12/24) and Lost Cities to the couple we started spending time with this past year.

Normally we try (and usually fail) to accomplish a “12 Games of Christmas” where we both pick six games we will play over the holidays. We didn’t make a list this time around, but we have played eight games so far, so maybe we’ll hit twelve! Games played so far are Tyrants of the Underdark, Tokaido, Lords of Waterdeep, Lost Cities, Star Wars the Deckbuilding Game, Azul, Ethnos, and 7 Wonders Duel.

Lords of Waterdeep tends to be one we play every holiday, so I guess that can be considered a tradition.

We will be having our usual gaming couple over tomorrow for New Year’s, where there will definitely be some gaming, which we try to do every year, so that’s kind of tradition too at this point.


I bought myself Ark Nova, planning to try it tomorrow as a gaming New Year’s Eve with my partner.

We played Timelines and Codenames with my parents, generally good fun, although I’ve come to loathe the long silences while someone thinks of a clue for Codenames.

I tried to teach Welcome To… but did a terrible job, leading to my mum asking ‘Has everyone else switched off?’ while I was trying to explain, mid sentence. Threw me off my stride totally. I am really developing a thing about teaching, hate hate hate it. I spent the rest of the game wishing it was over already, thankfully my partner won in record time.
I’m really looking forward to Ark Nova but am stressing about the teach, am making sure I know the rules backwards before tomorrow (I’d half forgotten Welcome To…, which really didn’t help the teach).


I didn’t receive any games this year, but I did give my parents a copy of Akropolis and played a couple of games with them - they seemed to like it!

We also played:

  • Verdant
  • Condottiere
  • Good Puppets
  • Scout
  • Flamme Rouge (with Peloton)

Flamme Rouge came out on top with five plays over a few days. I’ll be adding that Grand Tour expansion to my list if it ever materialises!


it is tradition (here) to trash talk as long as they think or until they scream an exasperated “Silence!” … usually the trash talking is making matters worse but as long as it is all in good fun, it’s fun :slight_smile:

Ark Nova is one of the longest teaches I know. I tend to go all over the place. I’ve had to teach it like 3 times so far and it doesn’get shorter.

Try the usual:

  • The game is about building a zoo
  • The winner is the person with the most VP which you get when your markers cross. It is quite common to win with mayb 10 points. This is also how the game ends. Everyone except the crossing person gets another turn!
  • This is how you get the points to cross your markers. Green ones are a little harder to get initially. (Maybe a good time to explain some iconography)
  • On your turn you take one of the five actions
  • This is what each action does. I usually try to explain card drawing first because it is easy. Building next (adjacency rules). Then playing animals and sponsor cards at the same time (which is also a good time to explain card anatomy) and finally the complicated one that is called “Verband” in German where you need the workers.
  • Don’t forget the really limited handsize and the coffee breaks/income turns and the track in the middle and that you can only upgrade 4 cards maximum, goal cards

At least you will only have to teach one person, that makes things a little easier. If you want a refresh playing a quick solo on BGA might help you out? At least with everything but the coffee breaks.


We got ourselves Dorf Romantik for Christmas (well, okay, I got us Dorf Romantik for Christmas…)

We’ve played it three times so far and it’s lovely. Hits just the spot I was hoping it would.


There are three games that almost always get played at Christmas:

  1. Boggle. My Mum really likes word games, so we always try and play a few games of this. It’s one of the few games where she can reliably beat my Dad. In recent years we used to play me vs. them as a team, and I’d usually come out on top. However, I’m definitely not strong enough to beat the two of them if they teamed up with my wife. Me + my Dad vs my Mum + my wife might make for a close game, I’ll have to remember that for next year!

  2. 7 Wonders. We always play several games of this with my wife’s family. I’ve said before why I really like this game, but in particular it’s simple enough that even after a year a very quick refresher is all that’s needed before we’re ready to play again.

  3. Mahjong. Doesn’t get played every year, but played most years with my wife and her parents. We play without scoring, which for me takes away some of the interesting decisions, but I still find it an enjoyable way to pass the time.


I put my report in the ‘last game you played thread’ but basically it went really, really well. Knowing the rules backwards helped massively.