A New Strategy…

Last Friday, I joined The Wedding Date and his youngest at his parents’ house for a round of Lords of Water Deep.  What is Lords of Water Deep?  Why I thought you’d never ask.

Dungeons and dragons board game

Lords of Water Deep is the next step on my descent into total geekdom.  In other words, it’s a board game… a “Euro” if you want to get technical.  First it was Carcassonne, then cam Settlers of Catan and now finally Lords of Water Deep.

The thing I like most about it is that you can tell when your opponents are scheming because you have to collect little wooden cubes that represent people and allow you to complete an assortment of non-violent and quasi-historical quests.

But it’s not just the non-violence and the vague historicity that I’m into.  It’s the fact that you can stick it to your opponent with a mandatory quest card that requires them to use their carefully selected cubes on an ill-advised goose chase, thereby draining them of their hard-earned resources in exchange for a mere two victory points.

The Wedding Date is always scheming.

And so am I.  But I’m not just scheming about winning the game.  I’m scheming about how I can keep him from winning the game.

Sometimes I build alliances with his kids.  Sometimes I just go on the offensive right out of the gate, even if it ends up costing me in the long run.  Whatever my strategy, the goal is always the same: keep TWD from winning.

And even though he didn’t start out this way, he’s gotten pretty vicious himself over the past few months.

But on Friday night, something weird happened.  His parents, who had never played the game before, started helping one another.  Whenever they drew a card that gave them the option to bestow cubes upon another player, they chose each other.

And wouldn’t you know… TWD’s mother killed us.

It wasn’t even close.

She won by like 50 points, and she didn’t even fully comprehend the rules until the 6th or 7th round!

I was amazed.  In fact, I’d never seen anything like it and I’ve been playing board games for… well… at least eight months now.

(But seriously, this was unprecedented.)

It made me wonder: TWD’s parents have been together for upwards of 30 years now.  Clearly they’re doing something right.  Maybe board game alliances are the real deal.

I’m pretty sure my parents (who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year) would aim to clobber one another if they ever found themselves playing Lords of Water Deep but they’re just like that.  When it really counts, they do have each other’s backs.

So you tell me: when it comes to competitive activities (be it board games, mini golf or a nice friendly game of who-can-hand-out-the-most-bulletins-at-church) do you and your partner set out to destroy one another or do you work together?

10 Responses to “A New Strategy…”

  1. Maia Simon

    “Sometimes I build alliances with his kids. Sometimes I just go on the offensive right out of the gate, even if it ends up costing me in the long run. Whatever my strategy, the goal is always the same: keep TWD from winning.”
    Isn’t that more or less Mitch McConnell’s strategy vis-a-vis our president?
    I think you’re on to something, Kat.

  2. Jenny Romalis Winters

    We set out to destroy each other…lol. Seriously, we love competition…I think because we’re really great matches for each other. Scrabble, Scramble, Words with Friends, even mini-golf.

    But to qualify that a bit, we also work on puzzles together, cook together and love the same things when we travel. It’s a nice contrast to the competition.

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, hadn’t seen that one, Becca– very cute! I did ask TWD the other day if there are any board games out there in which the object is to work TOGETHER and he just laughed his “you’re such a hippie” laugh and said he’d been wondering how long it was going to take me to ask him that. (Apparently there are but they’re lame… I guess conflict is just way cooler than cooperation…)

  3. siobhan

    my Mum always used to make me and my sister play the “ungame” which hasn’t got a winner and is all lovely and affirmative. bloody waste of time and not much fun…!

  4. sddave007

    Couples teaming up is quite possibly THE biggest board gaming faux pas. Give TWD’s parents a time out and see what they learn.

  5. Chicago-Style Girl

    It totally depends. I love playing against rather than with the husband at Taboo because he’s especially bad at that game. But on the Wii Tennis, we prefer to play together. Same thing for cards games and more drinking games and board games. It’s really just word games that I have to ditch him. I suppose I’m a fair weather collaborator…

  6. carfreeinthechristmascity

    My husband and I are avid game players and very competitive. One day a friend told us that he couldn’t play games with us anymore because we were mean to each other. My husband and I took on transforming how we play games. It went something like this:

    Me: I get defensive, angry, frustrated, disrespectful, rude, distrusting, and upset when we play games. I do not want any of that in our marriage, not at all, anywhere, ever.

    Husband concurs. (I’m the talker.)

    Me: We can play to win AND not try to make each other lose. Let’s agree to be respectful, kind, supportive, and loving, no matter what happens in the game.

    Husband concurs.

    It worked. We both win sometimes. No one feels upset or thrown under the bus. We can now celebrate each other’s wins.


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