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I’m going on vacation and I’m bringing… #7

My name is Annette aka Nettersplays. I currently live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco. I’m an avid boardgamer and I love sharing my gaming experiences through pictures and videos with the gaming community online. During the weekdays I work at UCSF as a physicist, but at night I transform into a tabletop gamer. Instead of coming home from work and sitting in front of a television or computer screen, I enjoy opening a game box and setting it between myself and my gaming partner/group.

My Top 5 Travel Games
There are certain times of the year when I decide to pack up my bags and go on vacation or out across town. One of the first things I make sure to take with me are my games. Board games are a great way to enjoy your surroundings, meet new people or create new memories with old friends and family. I have a few games that come straight to mind whenever I have to pack up and go. Let me show you why I recommend the following 5 games for a trip.

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5. Tiny Epic Galaxies (Scott Almes, 2015)
When you are traveling for a long time or heading out to the cafe, sometimes it’s nice to take a game with you that doesn’t weigh a lot and is compact. Tiny Epic Galaxies fits the bill. It is a game where each galactic empire (player) is trying to expand their galaxy by sending their ships and claiming different planets. This is a dice game where each player can take an action depending on the die roll. Each die can either move a ship, gain resources like culture and power, or influence planets with politics and economics. Each game can last between 20-40 minutes and it suits between 1-5 players. You can even take this game on a solo adventure. Tiny Epic Galaxies is easy to teach and offers a lot of variability in a small box due to the dice rolls and the amount of planet cards. One thing that I especially love about this game is that you can use the box lid as a dice tray so you can practically play this game anywhere.

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4. Hocus (Joshua Buergel & Grant Rodiek, 2016)
Another great traveling game that is small and compact is Hocus. It’s a game that may feel familiar to people because it deals with poker hands, but it adds an interesting twist. In Hocus, everyone plays as a wizard with different spell cards. You can introduce the game easily by playing the game with basic spells; playing into the community, pocketing a card or two and setting the pot (bets) towards the community. Whoever wins a set of community cards with their pockets, will gain the pot. The real fun begins when each player has a set of special spell cards. I love introducing this game to new gamers because it’s easy to teach and fast to play (30 minutes).

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3. Carcassonne (Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, 2000)
Whenever I go on a long trip, I usually take Carcassonne with me since it’s really easy to pack up. I made a large dice bag that contains all the tiles and meeples of the base game. In Carcassonne, each player draws a tile from the bag and lays it down to form the city of Carcassonne. When laying the tile down, the player needs to make sure that they connect the tile to either a road, castle wall or grassland. Once the player lays down the tile they can place a meeple down in order to score points. It makes a great gateway game and it’s perfect for family functions. It plays between 2-5 players and takes about 30 minutes. There are also many expansions, but I recommend the base game for travel.

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2. Race for the Galaxy (Thomas Lehmann, 2007)
There’s no better way to travel the world and explore the galaxy than with Race For The Galaxy. This game has to be one of my favorites. It’s not a very easy game to learn or teach, but it’s a game I highly recommend because of the amount of gameplay in a deck of cards. There is plenty of strategy in this card game and it plays fairly quickly (20-30 minutes). Race for the Galaxy is a game that I love to travel with because it’s simply a deck of cards and it has a few tokens. I can easily pack it up in a deckbox and put it in my purse. The game plays between 2-4 players, but I highly recommend it with 2. There are many expansions, but the base game offers a lot of variability.

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1. Codenames (Vlaada Chvátil, 2015)
Codenames is the perfect game for family functions and friendly game nights. I brought this game over to my families house over the holidays and we couldn’t get enough of it. Not only was this game easy to teach and play, but it offered hours of fun and it made great memories. This game can easily be packed into a small box or bag. The really great thing about this game is that there’s an app that can track your time and makes it easier for gameplay. This game can play 2 or more players and one game can last for 15-20 minutes.

One of the best things about the hobby are the gamers and the sense of community. I have met fun and genuinely nice people since I have started this hobby. I am working on several collaborative projects: MeeplesIncluded.com and Insta Gamers Network(YouTube). You can currently follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as Nettersplays. Feel free to say hello. Thanks again!

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