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Do you like playing «настольные игры» [board games]? Let me tell you, board game «любители» [fans] in the US are absolutely «избалованны» [spoiled]. There’s such a variety of board games here «для всех возрастов» [for all ages] and «на любой вкус» [for every taste].
Growing up, I remember playing just a few board games – «шахматы» [chess], «шашки» [checkers] and all its derivatives such as «поддавки» [giveaway checkers], «уголки» [corner swap] and «в Чапаева» [the Chapayev, a flick-the-checkers game named after the legendary Civil War hero]. Then there was «реверси» [Reversy] and «домино» [dominos], but they really seemed boring to us, kids.
A much more fun strategy game was «морской бой» [The Battle Ships], although most of the time we made do with hand-drawn “boards” in the backs of our «тетрадки в клеточку» [grid notebooks].
As things started to change in the 90ies, we got a taste of such games as «Монополия» [Monopoly], «Тривиал Персьют» [Trivial Pursuit] and «Эрудит» [Scrabble]. All those games were fully translated into Russian. But that seemed to be the extent of it.
So it came as a surprise that there was quite a variety of board games in the Soviet Union, including «Дадим сырьё заводам» [Deliver raw materials to factories], «Ленин идёт в Смольный» [Lenin is walking to Smolny], and «Химическая война» [Chemical Warfare]. I have to mention that all these games were «детские игры» [games for children].
Apart from chess, checkers and dominos, board games were not really «для взрослых» [for adults]. «Взрослые» [adults] were «слишком заняты» [too busy]. Besides, game playing by adults seemed such a frivolous «проведение досуга» [spending one’s leisure time].
Things are changing now and there is a lot more interesting board games in the Russian stores and online. There are also online communities that review games and discuss rules and strategy. The games can be categorized as
Some helpful board game words to memorize
«очередь» – turn as in «теперь твоя очередь» [now it’s your turn] or «подожди своей очереди» [wait for your turn]
«ход» – a go, a play as in «прийдётся пропустить ход» [will have to skip a go]
«фишка» – a token or a game piece
«игровое поле» – a game board
«шаг вперёд» – a step forward
«шаг назад» – a step back
«соперник» – a rival
«команда» – a team
«выиграть» – to win
«проиграть» – to lose
«победитель» – a winner
«проигравший» – a loser
Do you play board games? Which ones? Which ones did you like playing as a child? If you play your favorite board game online now (and for free), please share a link. Are there games you absolutely can’t stand? (Mine would be The Hungry Caterpillar and dominos).