Last weekend I hosted a game night party in honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day. It was a huge success and I’m already working on the next party for Halloween.
I love throwing parties, but in recent years they have been few and infrequent because of the cost and the work involved. The pirate party was my first attempt to solve these problems and make game nights happen on a regular basis.
My strategy for making the party easier and less costly was pretty simple: Invite less people. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but it’s more difficult than it appears. My wife and I would always go through this process of making a short guest list, which would soon become a very long list. We would say things like, “Well, if we invite so-and-so then we need to invite you-know-who,” and so on. We would end up with parties that cost a crapload of money and were exhausting to host. For the pirate party, I made a list of folks that I thought would enjoy playing some games, and left it at that. I wanted to invite more, but I didn’t.
We ended up with a dozen people, and that ended up being perfect. I was able to teach and keep two games going at any time. I set up three gaming areas, but it just worked out that two games kept everyone entertained. I looked for games with a strong pirate theme that could be played in less than an hour. Here’s the list of games for the evening:
- Jamaica – a lavishly produced pirate race game that got played twice, each time with a full set of six players.
- Loot – a fun and light pirate card game by Reiner Knizia.
- Cartagena – a neat little game where you must be the first to get your pirate crew out of prison and onto the boat.
- Ca$h ‘n Gun$ – a hilarious party game where you threaten your friends with foam pistols.
Here are a couple of other games I had ready, but didn’t see any play:
- Cartagena II – now that you’ve escaped from prison, you’ve got to find your way to the pirate camp.
- Corsari – a light pirate card game that looks a bit like gin. Hey, pirates like gin, right?
- Pirateer – sail out to the buried treasure and survive long enough to get it back to your port.
I can’t wait for next year! ARRRR!