Monday, November 27, 2006

You Sunk My Battleship!

Thanksgiving is always a nice time with our family. And, on extra-special years, my cousin and his wife, Tim and Angie, travel with their children from Alabama back to our hometown of Canton. I drive 3 + hours - as traffic is rough in St. Louis when I head home for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), and everyone else lives in central Illinois.

Because Tim, Angie and their children stay in Alabama for Christmas, Uncle Dick's family usually exchanges some gifts for Christmas during their Thanksgiving visit. It is always fun to see the kids open their presents with such excitement and anticipation, and this year was no different. To our surprise, however, Tim and Angie had some presents wrapped up for their siblings and for Aaron & Ketra and me. They did not need to do that, but it was very kind of them. We had no idea what the gifts were...just were supposed to pick one from the group based on the gift tag clues that Tim read aloud to us from across the room. One was labeled "MSBS", and since my initials are MS, I thought it was a pretty good choice for me. I think Aaron and Ketra picked one that was labeled "Mystery."

Well, we were thrilled when we realized that the gifts were all board games, and our family LOVES board games. Aaron and Ketra received the DVD version of CLUE, and immediately I wished I had picked that box! But, I was even more excited when I opened my box and found Advanced Mission Battleship!

When I was younger, I always loved going over to Uncle Dick's house so that I could play with Becky, Stephen, Tim and David. However, oftentimes, I was disappointed as the older kids had plans in mind other than playing with little ol' me. So, I would sometimes sit and watch whatever they were doing... or help Stephen pull up worms from the yard after dark so that they could be used for fish bait. But, I digress...

I don't know how many hours I spent watching Stephen, Tim, and David play Battleship at their kitchen table. This was the OLD kind... the one where you had to actually say, "You sunk my battleship!" - just like the boy used to yell out on the old commercials. I so badly wanted to join in on the fun. I would try to patiently wait for my turn - which would be promised to me, always right after the boys would finish their "tournament." But, sadly, I don't remember ever playing a full game with any of them - as my turn always came conveniently when Aunt Phyllis had a job for us to do, we were going somewhere, or the boys were just tired of playing. (Usually, the latter. I think they used to fight over who had to remain there to play with me... a girl... a young girl, no less.)

We have never had a Battleship game at our house. We always spent more time on Big Deal, Catch Phrase, Sorry, Aggravation, Chinese Checkers, Othello, Careers, Bonkers, Mousetrap, Trivial Pursuit, Axis & Allies, Chutes & Ladders, Operation, Trouble, Scrabble... I won't bore you with the long list. Just be assured, we like board games. But, Battleship is one I always wanted to play... and my wishes came to fruition on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, Ketra had plans to attend a shower for her soon-to-be sister-in-law, so she could not be with us. And, we missed her. But, Aaron came over to Mom and Dad's house for one of our family's favorite lunches: burritos. After dinner, Aaron and I set down to put the game together, apply the decals, install batteries, and try to understand the directions. I must admit there was too many directions to take in all at once, so we decided to try one of the less challenging versions of the game. But, it was fun! Aaron won by sinking all of my ships... and as most do, we spent half of the game just trying to search for each other's small two position boat. With the control center voice, explosions, and other sound affects, the game has had some major advances over the years. (It even has fighter jets that a player can send out to search for ships.) I look forward to many other battles with my brother....or maybe even with Stephen, Tim or David - if I allow them to play.

Because Aaron was heading off to a "guys' night" with his brothers-in-law, I gave him Battleship - as I thought all of them would have fun playing it. And, Aaron gave me the Clue DVD game to check out... so I'm excited I'll be trying it out this week! I always love to hear of the games that other families play. Do you have some that your family returns to year after year?


Sandy-san said...

I really loved Battleship when I was younger! My family really doesn't play games of any kind anymore, unfortunately. =(

We use to love playing Monopoly, but my favorite has always been Scrabble, but nobody wanted to play that with me (Aaron would, though!) My youngest also loves to play Chess with me, however he is way ahead of me when it comes to strategizing! My mind doesn't click as fast as his!!!

Both boys want me to play online World of Warcraft or some kind of computer game... but it's just not the same to me!

The boys and I ALL loved to play the original Zelda or Tetris on Nintendo (way back when!!!)

Dani said...

We played lots and lots of games board games and stuff like Tabbo. Our favorite that we play every year every chance we get is Balderdash. You would LOVE this game. 8 of us grandkids played at the Mallard family Thanksgiving this year. Then my family and a friend up from Florida to see me played 2 more games on Sat.

Good times, good times.

fasolamatt said...

I recommend "Settlers of Catan" for a group of four to six... it's a favorite of ours, with opportunities for gain and treachery for each player on every player's turn (not just their own). There's usually a game going among non-singers during our singing parties...

Michelle said...

My absolute favorite is Trivial Pursuit, but nobody in the family will play it with me.

We've been building a tradition with my in-laws to sit around after holiday dinners and play cards. Usually Rummy or 500, sometimes Hearts. I've found I really look forward to it and it's a great way to enjoy the parental types as friends.

strem said...

Sandy-san: We never had a Nintendo, but we had Atari - long after everyone had Nintendos. I guess we got stuck on Space Invaders. I used to play that for hours.

Dani: We have Taboo also. I forgot that! I DO LOVE BALDERDASH, and I've played it at many friends' houses. I need to get that eventually.

Fasolamatt: What you wrote makes me immediately want to know more about Settlers of Catan. I wonder if it is too late to add it to my Christmas list. Thanks for continuing to stop by!!!

strem said...

Michelle: Card games are a whole different animal. (Of course, we loves those too.) Our problems is that our family knows a lot of the same games that others do... but just by different names. I know Rummy. I'm still learning Hearts. But, I wonder if we play 500 - but know it by a different name???

Sandy-san said...

Oh, I LOVE Trivia Pursuit, however nobody would ever play that with me. Plus when I did play it with the more "intellectual folks", I felt like such an idiot! It was great fun anyway!

I enjoyed Atari with friends who had the system... Asteroid and Pong was my favorite!!!

At the local gaming place, I loved Centipede and Galaga! Pacman was boring!

I enjoy a good card game, too, like Rummy! I never learned how to play poker, but I can go fish or play war with the best of them! *laughing*

Hmmm... oh those fun memories!

gonefishin said...

We have a tradition with my wife's family to play Pictionary with the men against the women. We give each other a hard time and have great fun.

strem said...

Gonefishin: I am so happy to say that - after years of wanting it - my friends Jeff and Tracy gave Pictionary to me for my birthday this past summer. I played it at Thanksgiving with my mom, my dad, and my uncle, and it was so fun (and funny!) We'll have to try that men vs. women competition.