The Scout Motto for Gamers

The Scout Motto applies to gaming, too!

A little over a year ago, when I had my own web site, I wrote about the games I always have with me in the car. I took an old Backgammon set we had and filled the empty space with 7 games available to play at a moments notice. I counted the standard deck of cards as one game, and the Cribbage board as a second. Since then, both Hive and Qwirkle have come out in travel editions, and we really enjoy both games. As times goes on, the contents of my little gamer’s travel kit continues to change. Here is an update:

  • Backgammon: this was the 8th game in the kit; now it’s the 7th. Hey, I’m carrying the case, I might as well keep it playable. That said, I did take out the dice cups to make room for other games.
  • Standard Deck of Playing Cards: a deck of cards is also a pretty obvious choice, since it’s essentially a whole bunch of games in a pocket-sized packet that will work with any number of players. With that goes a…
  • Cribbage Board: This can be played with multiple players. The only problem is I’m currently the only person who knows how to play Cribbage. This issue can easily be fixed, however.

Those are the games that survived the cut. Considering how silly it would be to leave them out, it shouldn’t be a surprise they remained. From this point on though, it’s all new:

  • Hive (Pocket Edition): this is a great 2 player abstract game that can be played anywhere. We take it on Scout outings all the time, since the pieces are made of bakelite and can be easily rinsed off if they get dirty. This game has become so popular in the Troop that several Scouts have bought their own copy.
  • Qwirkle (Travel Edition): many people think of this game as Scrabble with colors and shapes. I like this game better than Scrabble because it doesn’t leave me feeling stupid. It plays up to 4 players and is accessible to little geeks as young as 6-years-old.
  • Onirim: this is a solitaire card game I really enjoy. It gets me by when I get the itch for a game, but don’t have an opponent to play against.
  • The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow: this is the game that made the epic ride to Gettysburg and home again on our 8th grade D.C. roadtrip. With this game, my kit covers up to 18 players.

My traveling games – all packed and ready to play!

As I mentioned last year, there are other games that can be played using the Backgammon components, increasing the options already available. I might try to rearrange my gaming travel kit so as to make room for a copy of No Thanks! It comes in the same sized box as Onirim, so I might swap one game out for another if it doesn’t fit.

Some of you who know me well have read this three times by now trying to figure out where the Chess set went. I ditched the little Drueke board I had in the game kit for my full size tournament set. It has its own bag, complete with roll-up board, triple weighted pieces, and a Chess clock. It takes up more space, but playing on that tiny board was tough with my 48-year-old eyes!

My philosophy is that I should never be caught without a game if I have the time to play and willing opponents to play with. That would be a shameful missed opportunity.

Gamers, Live the Scout Motto: Be Prepared!

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About Frank

Father of One, and Husband of One, Frank was introduced to wargames at the innocent age of 13, and had a share in his first subscription to SPI’s Strategy and Tactics magazine within a few months later. After only a year or two, he had been introduced to Basic Dungeon’s and Dragons, and played some form of fantasy role-playing from then through college. Discovering hobby boardgames in 2007, he now explores them with his 14-year-old son, their Boy Scout troop, and his regular gaming group. He teaches Chess to elementary students after school, too! Prior to joining the Father Geek Staff, Frank wrote for his own blog, Zwischenzug, where he expressed his belief that all games are educational games in some manner. His experiences have taught him that board games create friendships, build families, and teach social and other important skills to little ones. He is dedicated to helping families and friends find great family games and casual games to play. Frank can be found on Board Game Geek as feldmafx.

5 Responses to The Scout Motto for Gamers

  1. Peter Schott says:

    I’d probably add in a bunch of extra dice and a pencil/paper for something like Farkle. Easy to play and dice tend not to get blown away. I’ll have to check out the travel Qwirkle or even the dice version of it. I’ve heard pretty decent things about the dice version and the full version is good, but large. I’d probably include FTW, but more because I have that already and would have to buy Hive. 🙂

    Of course, I’d likely leave the Backgammon set behind, but that’s because I”m horrible at the game and seem to lose every time I try to play. I appreciate it as a storage container for the games, though. 🙂

    I’d be interested to hear of any other tile/dice games that would work well for camping. I know even for casual camping, games like Dominion and Ticket to Ride are pretty much out because of the cards. One gust and your game is toast. That’s a bit harder with games involving dice or tiles, though most take up a lot of room.

  2. Donnie Clark says:

    You’re a master, F.G. – job well done.

    Space Beans has a similar box size to Onirim and suits a handful of players. Doesn’t really fit outdoors b/c of the cards, but is playable just about everywhere else.

  3. stickerooni says:

    A couple of other small, portable games that we don’t like to be without: Left, Center, Right and Cinq-o. Cinq-o is really hard to find and when it pops up on eBay, it’s a bargain if it’s less than $10, but it’s such a beautifully created game.

  4. Trent says:

    I just got back from our week long summer scout camp and in addition to Hive and Chess, we brought along Bears, Set, and Pocket Yamslam.

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