Board Games

The Night the Power Went Out

Fun Night

It was a Friday night game night like any other, really. This is besides the fact that tonight I was making a pepperoni pizza pasta bake for our players to enjoy. There were 4 other players besides myself and we were all sat around the table playing a riveting game of Container. We finally had the boardgamegeek recommended number of 5 players to really dig into the meat of the economic battle to the death of shipping, buying and auctioning containers. It was a fantastic way to start a game night that would see games like Root, Inis and others being played.

That is until the power decided to go out. We had almost finished the second color of container when all the lights, whirring and humming of the electronics around us faded into nothing. The pressure cooker that was making our meal for us hissed to a halt. The lights overhead that were serving to illuminate our decision-making packed it in for the night without so much as a whimper. Only then, did everyone realize the low quantity of light seeping through the blinds into the room to tease the appearance of the cardboard on the table. Things slowed down to a snail’s pace as everyone looked around, slightly unnerved by the development of the situation.

I went to open up the blinds, painfully optimistic that the power would turn back on momentarily. I would be able to continue cooking the dinner I was preparing and game night would continue as planned. This was my one night a week where I got to play the games I really wanted to play with the people I really wanted to play it with. This desire to play games with my friends almost hit a brick wall when I looked on my phone to see that the power was out for over twenty-thousand people and there was no reasonable estimate on when the power would come back on. Feeling a little defeated, we lit some candles around the table as the ambient light outside started to fade with the sun going down.

As we wrapped up the final turns of Container, we could barely see some of the colors of container we even owned. Even though I didn’t win, I got 67 points which is an impressive outing for me in Container. It also did not help that in the final turns of the game, I was hurriedly making scrambled eggs for my guests considering the pasta that was supposed to be pressure cooking would be going to waste. I also had to consider what food would go bad over the predicted several days that the power was out.

Who is going to drown?

In my stress of trying to satiate my guests, I had begun to lose sight of what game night was really about. Game night was about getting together with company to play games. The power was out, yes, but I was fortunate enough to have a crowd enthusiastic enough to continue with our night of festivities. We left Container on the table and took the candles outside to my balcony.

There still was enough ambient light during sunset to see the commotion out in the street and of other tenants sitting out on their balconies. I set up some plexi-glass on a table to have a level playing surface. Then I grabbed Deep Sea Adventure and set it up.

All 5 of us were standing out on my balcony pushing our luck and grabbing treasure. None of us really had a care in the world besides the fact that this was a new way to experience game night. Sure the sun did eventually go down but we were able to keep track of dice rolls and treasure by the candlelight. That is, of course, when we did not drown each other.

After a game of Deep Sea Adventure, we grabbed the other Oink Games box off my shelf and played A Fake Artist Goes to New York. I swear, I have not had our game night group laugh and have such a great time as we did that night. We were a bunch of eurogamers. Our idea of a fun game is one where we don’t have to talk with one another! Yet, here we were enjoying each others’ company and drawing the wackiest possible images on the sheet of paper. The night was a blur of warm candlelight, even warmer smiles and laughs that could break the most cynical of people. Of course there were some last-minute scrambled eggs, a wasted batch of pepperoni pizza pasta bake and some games that didn’t hit the table that Friday, but in the end, it was the most fun I have ever had on a game night.

It really reminded me what board games were about. Just having some people you know around you to share an activity and a moment. The goal is to have this shared experience that strengthens your bonds to one another and alleviate the weight of the world resting on the shoulders of each player. The running joke of the night is I would never run out of entertainment if the power never came back on, but there is some truth to that statement. I would never run out of entertainment because I was surrounded with friends who wanted to share that experience with me.

And THAT is how the night the power went out became my favorite game night I have ever hosted.

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