Apropo my last post, I've discovered the most fascinating thing through Slumbering Lungfish. Did you know that Mark Twain invented a boring board game? Being a boring person myself, I find this game intriguing.

Essentially, you have a big board with the numbers 1 through 100, each with holes beside it for sticking pins in. You pick a century (or are allowed to declare a free-form any-century-you-please approach) and take turns naming dates from that century along with events that occured. You get ten points for every accession, five points for every battle, and one point for every minor event (essentially anything that wasn't a battle). You also get a point for random facts, scored at the bottom. I'm not sure what the criterion for getting a point are, but I would imagine there must be some threshold of interestingness/obscurity. For example, explaining the controversy over what "DVD" actually stands for might be worth a point. Telling everyone that frogs are, generally speaking, green probably doesn't count. At the end of the game, the player with the most Minor events scores a bonus 100 points.

The game ends after some alloted time (A day? An hour?), at which point the scores are tabulated and the player with the highest score wins. I really like the idea here, but then I also like boring people with trivia and I've memorized an awful lot of dates, so I have every expectation that I would kick an unholy amount of ass at this game. And, really, this game just boils down to the question "Which of the players is best at boring the others with obscure facts and dates?" I would quibble a bit with the balance of the points; 10 points for accessions and 5 for battles seems pretty extreme, and classifying everything else as minor and only worthy of one point seems harsh. The 100 point bonus redeems it slightly, but this aspect could definitely use tweaking.

Still, though, now I really want to play this game.


This is a similar sentiment to the one that I expressed when I first heard of 1,000 Blank White Cards.

For some reason one of the next things I did was try to explain it to Sky Ziegler, and he said, "That sounds excruciating."

This really sounds excruciating.

God damnit. I'm having a couple over to play games on Saturday. I had been thinking we would play Game of Thrones, or Illuminati, or maybe Power Grid. Now I'm really, really tempted to make them play 1000 Blank White Cards with me.

Whoever you are, mystery commenter, you should do it.

Oh, and for the record, unmailed search cards from the library, cut in half along the dashed line, make the best blank white cards. They're free and abundant (important if you're going for 1,000), they're reasonably sturdy, and the fact that one side is not actually blank helps to hide any pen bleed-through. I brought home several hundred of them on my last day at the library.

Gah! You are no longer a mystery commenter!

Well, I still say you should do it.

Heh. You know, since you mention cards, I never got around to emptying that huge box of discarded cards in the year-and-a-half I was a clerk. Unless Bridget or... um... New Clerk has emptied it since I left, it's probably got all the cards that were there when you left. Plus a year-and-a-half of new additions.

zach! speaking of games, me and a bunch of my guy friends have been playing Risk a lot lately. i dont want to toot my on horn but ive been kicking copious amount of ass! oh and i will never ever ever ever play that mark twain game with you, not only would you win but you would also succeed in boring me to death. :D

Not to mention the fact that Brette would prolly have an "I-hate-Zach-so-Much" anyerism before the game ended. I want to play 1000 blank cards sometime with the whole family.

Brette: I have this game here, A Game of Thrones, that looks like a lot of fun. It's a somewhat more involved version of Risk, but with more strategy and less randomness. It's more complex than Risk, but less complicated (and with a much quicker set-up and play time) than Axis and Allies. We should try it when I'm home for your birthday. And while you're at it, you could also try capital letters! They add mystery and intrigue to your sentences!

Kelsey: That's a great idea, except: Mom won't play, because 1000 Blank White Cards isn't a romance novel. Dad will make a snide remark and refuse to participate in a game without rules, Brette will get frustrated when she decides it's all one huge in-joke between the two of us, and Maggie just won't get it and will contribute only headaches.

Brette - I think that Mark Twain's Boring Game with Zach could be bearable for you if you just sit there with headphones on and listen to Stephen Lynch...

Teddy: HELL YES IT WOULD BE!! Omg I can't wait for my birthday, I asked for all the Stephen Lynch stuff I could find!! OMG I heart him so much!! Zach: How do you like those capitals, smart ass? :P

Kelsey: You're the greatest!

Kelsey: The greatest at sucking! Ouch! PWND!

Kelsey: How is the Super Saiyan quote working out for you??

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 19, 2005 8:14 PM.

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