By Adam Slight
With a plethora of obscure, over-complicated, and time consuming board games out there, it is sometimes refreshing to just return to the well-known classics that we all grew up on. This may involve dusting off some old Milton Bradley boxes in your closet, and searching desperately for missing pieces and denominations of play money.
Or, it could involve heading to Chateau Lafayette in the Byward Market and perusing their library of classic board games, playable over a drink in the bar itself! Some such classics include:
“You sunk my Battleship!”
This declaration of defeat doubles as the highly memorable slogan to this classic guessing game, charging players with detecting and sinking their opponent’s hidden naval fleet before losing their own.
Battleship is available for play at The Laff – just be sure to speak loudly if you’re at The Laff on a live music night.
Balderdash is one of my favourite classic board games, and is ideal for larger groups of people (and for playing while drinking). Players take turns randomly selecting a challenging word from a stack, while the other players anonymously attempt to create a false definition of that word. The false definitions are then shuffled in with the real definition. If the player can correctly guess the true definition of the word, they get a point. If the player guesses a false definition, then the player who concocted that definition it gets a point. Players alternate guessing and writing false definitions until everyone’s brains break.
Scrabble is a board game ideal for pitting intellectuals against each other. If you’re the type that likes to visit the pub, have a few drinks, and then pontificate pseudo-philosophy with your friends, then Scrabble at The Laff might be just the ticket for you. The game is always best when players agree to bend the rules a bit by including dirty words and proper nouns.
Yahtzee is like poker for dice, where players roll 5 dice in attempts to get doubles, threes of a kind, and full-houses. Yahtzee has roots in some of the oldest dice games around, making it perfect for Ottawa’s oldest tavern.
This game of mystery and intrigue require players to use the powers of deduction to pin chargers on a murderer and determine the details of their grisly deed. This is also perfect for The Laff as a ghost has allegedly lived upstairs of the bar for over one hundred years.
Like many of the games on this list, Trouble had an insanely memorable TV commercial in the 90s, with a mom walking in on her kids, inquiring “What are you doing in here?” to which the kids scream in unison—“GETTING INTO TROUBLE!!!!”
This fairly generic board game about rolling a set of dice and getting to a designated location first distinguishes itself by its unusual dice-rolling mechanism: a plastic globe at the centre of the board that pops, keeping the dice from rolling onto the floor—perfect for pub play.
Speaking of 90s commercials, everyone can remember the taunts of “Jengaaaaa, Jengaaaaa” in Jenga’s TV ad. Jenga requires careful hand-eye coordination to stack and restack blocks without causing them to topple over in a mess—something that undoubtedly becomes a daunting task after a couple of drinks at The Laff.
A match of Jenga would be the perfect way for a bar tender to prove that it’s time to cut you off!
Among the board games listed above The Laff also carries:
Simply ask the bar tender to see the board game selection, and have a Laff!