Next week is the Christmas GNN, but unfortunately Joe can’t make it that day. I started wondering if there was a way of him joining in the fun, even though he wasn’t physically there. In the event that he can’t rustle up a games night of his own, I started wondering if there are any games that he can play by phone or text.
The first, and most sensible answer I came up with was the online version of Brass. It works fine on a mobile phone, no worries. And I’m sure that there are other similar apps that offer you a chance to play your favourite board game remotely.
But then I started thinking, what about an actual physical board game? Are there any that he could join in with? We could even have an empty chair and a glass of cranberry juice to mark his presence.
Auction games would be impossible, so Ra and Medici are both out. Similarly, any games where you have to share cards, like 7 Wonders or Kakerlakenpoker, can’t be done.
After some thought, I decided that Incan Gold is playable over the phone. As long as we tell him what’s going on, he can keep track of the game quite easily, I reckon.
Stone Age, too, is a possibility. It’s more complicated: he’d need to set it up himself and pick out the cards and huts as they’re revealed by us, but otherwise it may be possible to play this over the phone. And I’m sure we can rely on him to be honest about his dice rolls, as we will be honest about ours.
Castles of Burgundy could also be done, but that’s because it mostly feels like everyone’s playing a solo game anyway. He could just play on his own, and then text in his results. Not terribly interactive. But then, CoB doesn’t have a great deal of player interaction anyway.
The Resistance might be possible with a little preparation. We’d have to know the number of players well beforehand and then put a spy/resistance card in an envelope and give it to him earlier that day. Preferably at a park bench, while wearing trench coats and black leather gloves. Then, when we come to play the game, he opens the envelope, the rest of us draw the remaining cards, and we play with Joe on speaker phone! It’d be fun!
And I’d love to know if it could be possible to do the same with RotW. It’d have to be by text, since two and a half hours on speaker phone would wipe out most phone’s batteries. As long as Joe doesn’t mind passing on every auction then, once we’d got the board set up in both houses, it may be possible. Or is that just a crazy dream?
Of course, there are probably apps and websites that do all this for you. But it would be nice to have him physically there, if not in person, at least in meeple.