Adjusting games to make them marriage friendly.... Yes or No


My wife and I have a great marriage and sometimes we adjust games that we like to keep it that way...

Am I the only one?

We also tend to just not play games that are nasty; take that games. We recently started playing nations, and after that last game it was apparent that without changes we were never going to play that game again. The plan for our next play is to take out the war cards and see if it's still playable... if not, this game might be on it's way out of our house. What games do you have that you have made adjustments to, or house rules, to make the game stay versus get rid of it?

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Premium User14 months ago

I would steer toward playing games that are not mean. To me the idea of altering a game feels wrong, but of course that's just me. If you guys still enjoy the game after doing that, then go for it!

For me, there are plenty of games that either aren't mean, or that you can make sure your play style isn't mean (the game doesn't force you to be mean).

Supporter14 months ago

I have not adjusted games. But, there are games that we don't play too often because my wife didn't like how mean they were, though she liked it enough otherwise for us to keep it, and play it sometimes. #Innovation is in this category for us. 

We have also gotten rid of a few games that were too mean for her. Though, usually, I don't introduce her to games that I think will be too mean for her. 

14 months ago

IDK i feel that adjusting games in any way ,unless it is a rare occasion of a game being broken but for some reson you still love it , goes against the spirit of a game. My wife doesnt play anyhting except party games like cards against humanity or quelf , which are not my favorite nor are they good with 2 people. We tried #Sagrada once and when it came time to score she instantly got disinterested and we almost got into an arguement. Some people just "arent gamers" and thats cool. I personally find Museums to be painfully boring but SHe loves them ... i just dont go.

14 months ago

I'll preface this with saying my wife and I have been together for over 25 years since high school. I can't say my answer would be the same in the first years of the relationship where you are still working on the foundation but that was soooooo long ago for me now.

Boardgames are just games so my wife and I can be as vicious as we want when playing because the both of us know we have each other's back in the important aspects of our life. We end up laughing about any aggressive actions afterwards and to be fair I'm an antagonistic player. I'm a great loser but an even more fantastic winner so I usually have a target on my back so I understand why the whole table is coming at me with knives.

Should you change the rules ? I don't think so. I would say play a different game suited to the personalities at the table but in the end just do whatever you enjoy. Interesting post though makes me wonder if I'm in the minority with how my wife and I play games.

14 months ago

Hahaha that's an amazing concept. I wish i had games that could be easily adjusted for this purpose. i guess the easiest way is "play together on one team" but then you nead more people for the other roles.

Premium User14 months ago

I agree with this philosophy and often adjust games from the start if I think a rule adjustment will help my wife engage the game more or eliminate a more "nasty" feature in the game.  I would introduce the pended mechanic later if I felt she would enjoy the new layer.

I will do the same thing with rules that complicate the game in a way that is not "core" to enjoying the game.  For instance, when I first started playing Wingspan with her I left out the bonus cards and end game goals.  The next game I introduced end round goals and the game after that end-of-round-goals.  This was a strategic way to engage her with the game  which is now one of her favorites (possibly her favorite).  

Now, all that being said, we don't play "mean" games or cutthroat games.  Its just not our style.  I'm not even sure I have a game like that.  Scythe might be the closest with the ability to attack.

Owner14 months ago

I'll probably be echoing what others have already mentioned but here are my personal experiences.

  • My wife is pretty good about take-that elements. If it's a duel/brawl type of game than it's usually ok since we're going in with the right expectations. For example, she likes combat in #Root. What she did express before, when I asked how she'd feel about direct player conflict, was that she's ok as long as she's given a chance. She doesn't want to be beaten down constantly while trying to build up something, and that's completely understandable and I don't think anyone would enjoy that. If she's at least able to feel like she accomplished something significant, that seems to give her enough enjoyment.
  • I myself try to avoid getting games that seem "mean". I'm a type of person who focuses a lot on the feelings of others around the table, and ensuring they're having a good time. Whether it's my wife or a friend, if that person doesn't like take-that elements or doesn't respond very well to it, I have a very hard time playing my game to the fullest and opt for lesser plays. I think this is why we tend to like euro style games that are more tame and have a great theme to go with them.
  • When a rare game comes up that have take-that elements that push on that edge, I have thought about making adjustments for our next play. #Architects of the West Kingdom was the first to make me think of that, where the AI I added to increase the amount of action around the board was actually backfiring on our enjoyment. Especially due to the unlucky AI card draws, the AI kept on capturing her workers and made her start over (in Architects, there's no limit to the number of workers you can place in most action spaces. Instead, a worker's action becomes more powerful the more workers you have in that space). My wife didn't think to distribute her workers across different action spaces, so she kept investing in a single action space and kept getting all of her workers captured and needing to "start over" in building up the power of her actions. I took out the AI in the middle of the game but she was already pretty discouraged (on top of being tired from a long day with our son). I won't be adding it until I feel that she's experienced enough to play around the AI's actions.

Edit: I said a lot but didn't really answer your question lol. When it comes to changing the rules, I wouldn't. I can judge how mean a game will be pretty well before buying and typically avoid them. If I find a few specific cards that seem way too much, then I'd consider removing them and seeing how it plays without. 

Supporter14 months ago

I do like your wife's point about being given a chance. I feel like that is a important thing in a game. 

Premium User14 months ago

I understand, we have hyper-competitive friends that we only play co-op games with, friends that get distracted easily that we tend to play simultaneous action games with, etc.

I would rather just pass on a game, then change it. I'd be too worried about trying to re-balance it, or changing the game in a way it wasn't intended. And there are plenty of games out there that would appear to scratch every conceivable itch one might have.

Supporter14 months ago

I’m of the same mind. I prefer to play games as intended. I don’t do any house rules or anything like that. 

Supporter14 months ago

We take the approach of not playing board games. That seems to work well. 

Premium User14 months ago


Is your wife just not interested in playing?

Supporter14 months ago

She doesn’t feel like learning new games right now. She’ll play TTR or Catan or games like that but she has negative interest in playing more than that. At least right now. 

Premium User14 months ago

I see. Well hopefully she'll come around eventually! You should ask her to play one with you for your birthday or something haha.

Supporter14 months ago

I can't honestly say that I love your approach.... 

But, in all honesty, solo gaming is a lot of fun. 

Partner14 months ago

I remember we took out a couple of cards in At the Gates of Loyang. Mostly we just don't buy very confrontational games. 

Premium User14 months ago

Yep, having learned my wife's dislike for confrontational games, I just look for games that aren't, haha.

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