Games I Want to Play This Thanksgiving

 Autumn is here. The leaves on the trees are wearing the brightest shades of orange and yellow and red before they are shed from the limbs they've called home since Spring, and give a last dance in the chilly breeze. Well, not in Texas- we usually just get a dump of brown leaves, but Starbucks is selling their holiday drinks now, so I think I'm allowed to post about this.

Thanksgiving! It is one of my very favorite days in the long calendar. It is a time for reflection, a time for contentment (until we go Black Friday shopping because we realize we have more wants than blessings- I kid, sort of). It is a time for family, friends, food, and fun. I want to make sure I wring out as much of the latter as I can in my week away from work, so I have prepared a delicious menu of gaming. Much like the spread set out on Thanksgiving Day, there is way more here than I would ever be able to play. I mean, with all the food, there isn't much room left on the table. However unrealistic these mini-lists are, it's just nice to set the table with options as they give us an opportunity to try a selection of new and familiar recipes.

Games With My Brother

Head-to-head games are always a delicious treat to play with my brother. True, I usually only beat him the first play as he's learning the rules before it clicks and he starts destroying me, but I don't care.

Dice Throne-

This is a game that I'm sure my brother would love. He's a big fan of superheroes, Marvel in particular (no, I'm not backing the Kickstarter), and that leads me to believe this dice-chucker is right up his alley. I've only played this one virtually, so I've been itching to get out the physical copy.

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion-

We haven't played this one in a while, but it's not because we don't like it. Jaws of the Lion has always been a great time of gaming with my brother. But with six kids between us aged ten and under, the thought that is required, not to mention the time, can be even more challenging than it was designed to be. We've only completed six scenarios, and it's been a while. But hey, we don't have turkey all that often, either. 

Star Realms-

Of the games listed here for my brother, it's the least likely to get played. This deck-builder for two has only been played a couple of times, and I don't think anyone has particularly asked for it. It's like that one side-dish that some relative keeps bringing, but rarely gets touched. It's not that it tastes bad, quite the opposite, but it feels, perhaps, a little like wasted calories.


We've played and thoroughly enjoyed the Cobble and Fog box, and I've since added a couple characters I'd like to try. 

Games With My Family

Gaming with my family is usually lighter, welcoming affair. Sometimes we get in a rut of the same games, much like families who eat the same thing week after week. Thanksgiving allows us to eat some foods that aren't prepared too often. Perhaps we can do the same with board games.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York-

When our family gets together for a game night, there is typically only four of us, one short of the minimum requirement of this interesting game- a mix of drawing and social deduction. When the player count has been there to get this tiny box out, it has always been a hit. With the holiday, perhaps we can get that extra player or two we need. Maybe I can convince my daughter to play...


This one is the most unlikely in this particular category. It's new to us all and more complicated than other games in this list. And deck-builders haven't been received well during our game nights. I'm not sure they would think the art is cute, either. I'm not a huge fan of it. But I do want to play this. Eventually. 


Here is another one that sits unplayed on the shelf. While the theme is absolutely pasted-on, it's still one that we typically shy away from. If I can convince the family to overlook the art and just play this word game, I think it'll be a surprise hit!

Quacks of Quedlinburg-

This one is a family favorite. And a potion is kind of like food, right? 

Space Base-

This one might take a bit of convincing, but I think this dice game is exactly the right game after your bellies are full. You know, in between your third and fourth slice of pumpkin pie.


A straight party game where drawing is the main concept. The active player has sixty seconds to draw a shape on the star board (a deep blue-ish black circular board adorned with stars) with their white markers. The catch is, you are only allowed to draw straight lines between stars creating constellations. It's an easy game to teach and doesn't take long to play. Plus, it's enjoyable.

Word on the Street-

Another straight party game. This one is all about spelling. Sounds fun, right?! It's still another one that has never been played, but I think I can convince the family when I tell them it's a team-based, easier version of Scrabble without the luck of the letter draw.

Games With My Friends

When I get a chance to play with my board game friends, I usually get the beefier selections off of the shelf.

Dinosaur World-

Yet another game that I haven't played. It might be a bit too complicated for the family to enjoy, but it could be a great addition to the games I play with my friends (my brother included). Worker placement games have been hit or miss with those fellas, but I think the theme might convince them to try it out.

Forgotten Waters-

Such a fun game! The thing with this one is time. Unless you play terribly, you're looking at around four hours. Maybe for one non-campaign game that might be too much. But if we had a dedicated day for gaming- not an afternoon or evening, but a day- Forgotten Waters is definitely one to consider.


This is my favorite game. And since I last played it, I have acquired several of the expansions including The Rise of Fenris. Scythe is, quite possibly, the turkey of my Thanksgiving gaming plans- the center piece, but not everyone likes turkey.

Sleeping Gods-

Oh, look! Another game I haven't played yet. My friends and I were trying for a while to choose a day to get a campaign of this started. Well, we might just have the time to see if it agrees with our gaming palate.

Games With My Wife

I have more opportunities to play games with my wife than with any other group. While we usually stick to quick games (we do have three girls in the house, and two of them seem to need us at all times), we sometimes dabble in longer family games.


When Father's Day rolled around, my wife looked to my Amazon wish list for inspiration. She chose Mariposas because it was the one with the prettiest box. She has Wingspan as one of her top ten games (read my last entry if you'd like to see her other nine), and between the look, the butterflies, and the designer, maybe that description will convince her to take a nice slab of Mariposas and put in on her gaming plate.


This is just a game my wife really enjoys. It's been a while since we played it, and sometimes you just want a little familiarity with your meals, particularly if you are picky. Which I wouldn't say she is. I just know that some people like to have a dessert option that they prefer and not only what I want.

What games do you hope to get played this Thanksgiving? Leave it in a comment below! And as always, thanks for reading. : )

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Great list! Scythe with The Rise of Fenris is a bit of a commitment (it's an 8-game campaign), but maybe Thanksgiving is a good time for that. :)


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