Games · Social Hobbies

Harry Potter Could Ruin Your Relationship (Or How My Cat Figured Out Life Faster Than I Did)

So I’m giving board games a try. (Not that I haven’t played board games before. I just meant trying them as an actual hobby. Geez – don’t be so judgey!) I’ve always enjoyed board games, although I’ve always primarily stuck to the classics – Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble, etc. A friend recently introduced me to Ticket to Ride and a few other new games, but I’ve never been invested enough to keep up with and collect board games beyond those I played as a kid.

I’m also a tad bit skeptical about considering board games a hobby. It’s certainly something I like to do, but I tend to think of hobbies as something sustainable long-term – something you can build upon via a learned skill over time. Board games don’t really fit that model. First, I need another person to play with me. Second, actually playing the games is not really a long-term solution to for entertainment. (As I write this, I realize researching, following launches, and collecting board games could definitely be a long-term hobby, though. I may have to consider that. Preferably when I am finally independently wealth from my lottery winnings and a $60 game becomes pocket change.)

Because Harry Potter is the best!

Anyway, Adam recently brought home Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle for us to try. It’s a deck stacking game which, if you’ve never tried it (I hadn’t), is basically a method whereby the game creator tries to make the game as complex as possible for seemingly no reason at all. This game is so complicated that it takes us 15 minutes just to set up all the card and little tokens before we can even start playing. This is, apparently, supposed to be enjoyable.

(Editor’s note: I’ve been informed by people in the know that this is actually one of the easier deck stacking games to set up. I can’t even…)

No really. This was a bitch to set up.

I will give them this though, once you get into it, deck stacking games are great! The complexity means that they take awhile to complete and the Harry Potter game is actually divided into 7 smaller games, each taking about 2 hours and getting progressively harder. We’ve actually been able to learn and play the game over the course of several weeks and since each game is slightly different, we were never bored and constantly encountering something new. Over the last 2ish weeks, we’ve put in around 10-12 hours of game play and we only just completed game 5!

Our occasional spectator

A few takeaways:

  1. If you’re competitive, like me, this game is amazing because you actually play collaboratively with other players against the villains on the board.  This can be very good for your relationship.
  2. If you are not a Type A personality, like Adam, this game can be frustrating because there’s a lot of steps and your partner may take it upon themselves to remind you of all these steps regardless of whether you need the help or not. This can be very bad for your relationship.
  3. It may be a good idea to have people you can play with regularly outside of your significant other (for the health and safety of everyone involved).
  4. My cat is way better at entertaining himself than I am. I don’t know if you can call them hobbies per se, but he definitely enjoys certain regularly scheduled evening activities. First, he bats around his favorite jingly ball. Then he meows (It’s really a squeak. He never quite learned how to meow correctly.) at the dried plants I have hanging in our living room for a long while before moving on to chew on a piece of styrofoam. (This is actually a way to keep us both occupied as one of us then has to chase him around the house trying to get him to spit it out.) And finally, he’ll hop up on a dining room chair and watch us play our game (please see above photo).
  5. Board games can be a hobby, but you may have to branch out from the usual suspects and try something new. Which involves buying new games. Which are mucho expensive. This is not a hobby for poor people.

I’ll keep you posted if I actually manage to make this into a hobby or if it’s just a one-off thing. Either way, it’s taking up quite a few of our evenings and I barely even notice the Netflix withdrawals anymore.

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3 thoughts on “Harry Potter Could Ruin Your Relationship (Or How My Cat Figured Out Life Faster Than I Did)

    1. I agree it’s always more fun with more people, but I’ve stumbled on some single player board games during my research. I have no idea what they’re like, but they’re out there!


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