Bonfire night, fireworks, plots. November is a brilliant month for spending time with family, so many activities to do, and of course this includes board games. Here are my suggestions for great games to try in November and I’ve also included ideas for snacks to help get your gaming night off to a bang.
First up it has to be Hanabi, which is Japanese for fireworks. This fun family friendly game sees up to 5 players work co-operatively to build fireworks from your hand of cards. The catch is, you can’t see your hand, only other players’ cards! You can give each other hints using the number or colour on the cards and you’ll have to strategise, or guess, which cards you have and how you can play them to create the best display and launch all five of the fireworks. After you’ve put the cards down, I suggest getting stuck into sticky honey mustard sausages, with optional chilli powder if you fancy fireworks in your mouth as well. These always go down well, so make plenty and enjoy!
Next, I’ve taken inspiration from the gunpowder plot, whilst it’s not quite treason, you can get into a conspiratorial mood with Codenames. This sees two teams of spies try to contact all their agents using the codenames on cards set out on the table. Each team has a spymaster who knows the secret identities and gives hints to get their teammates to guess correctly using one word to link as many cards as possible. This is great fun, especially trying to figure out what the spymaster means. If you want a bigger challenge, you can play this game while supping on mulled cider and watch the links get more tenuous and the guesses get more outlandish as you all get merrier.
If you’re more into quickfire bluffing, Coup allows up to 6 players to lie about their identities, steal money and assassinate others to be the last man standing. Each player has two face down character cards and can use the special powers of the characters to take coins, kill other characters or switch cards. Of course, you don’t have to use the powers of your characters! The beauty of this game is that you can say you have the Assassin for example, and take out someone’s character card. If others don’t believe you, they can call you out. If you’re lying, you turn over one of your cards but if you were telling the truth, they turn over one of theirs. The winner is the last man or woman with a face down card.
Whilst bluffing your friends, sweeten them up with a nice homemade hot chocolate, whipped cream and marshmallows optional, and a slice of warm treacle tart.
After the thrill of watching a raging bonfire, imagine yourself as a hero and get stuck into Flash Point. In this co-operative game, for up to 6 players, you are trying to rescue at least 7 of 10 victims trapped in a building fire. But nothing’s ever simple and whilst you’re making rescue attempts, the fire is spreading. You can spend action points to put out the fires, move yourself or victims or perform special actions.
If co-operative games aren’t your cup of tea, try the fiery Eruption game. This sees up to 4 players compete to ensure their village survives as a volcano erupts. Players place lava tiles, build defences and use action cards to protect their villages whilst directing lava towards other players’ dwellings as the temperature rises. The player with the lowest temperature in their village at the end is the winner. I like “cool it down” nachos with this game, although you can always heat up the salsa if you like things a little more fiery.
Hope you enjoy these suggestions and please comment below with your own favourite November games and recipes.