5 Military Board Games for Your Lockdown Entertainment

Blue Falcon by War Games LLC.

After spending weeks at home for a lockdown that no one saw coming, we all came to the realization that home entertainment can be as important to surviving a pandemic as food and toilet paper.

Well, toilet paper, anyway.

If whatever was keeping us sheltered in place somehow took out the electricity or, God forbid, the internet, it would have been handy to have some non-streaming entertainment around. But books aren’t really a group activity and most are not likely to keep children riveted for hours. If you’re going to be locked up with the family for days on end, you might want to have something that brings you together.

Board games are the answer.

Not all tabletop games are created equal. We want to come together as a family and nothing will tear you apart faster than more traditional board games. Even Theodore Roosevelt famously cheated as the banker in Monopoly, Scrabble is the only game where you not only get to lose but you get to feel stupid while doing it and anyone who plays Sorry! is just a masochist.

There are veteran-owned and military-themed games for anyone’s tastes. Fun with varying degrees of family friendliness, they will help pass the hours as you wait for the apocalypse to pass you by so you can go all back to ignoring one another six nights a week.

1. Blue Falcon

War Games, LLC’s Blue Falcon is a card combat game for 3-5 players. The idea is to draw as many cards as possible while keeping your opponents from doing the same. You use a Blue Falcon card to eliminate other players from the game. The game features art from five services (sorry, Space Force) by a Navy veteran. It also teaches your kids why we don’t like a Blue Falcon and the importance of not being a snitch.

Just because it’s called Blue Falcon doesn’t mean you have to tell the kiddies what B-F really means. They just need to know the importance of not being one.

2. Lewt Ninja

This is another card combat game, but this one is a high fantasy-themed game from Georgia-based Grunt Games. In Lewt Ninja, 2-5 players become fantasy heroes who slay monsters, collect weapons, armor and magic, and swindle the other players out of the spoils of victory. In about 60 minutes, you could steal everything of value from your family members and leave them destitute.

But, like … in the game.

3. Blitzkrieg!

United Kingdom-based Plastic Soldier Company brings this token-based World War II strategy game from legendary game designer Paolo Mori. In 20 minutes, you and one opponent can wargame the entirety of World War II, as one of you takes control of the Axis Powers and the other commands the Allies. Best of all, it can be purchased at veteran-owned Macronova Games.

4. Disgruntled Decks

This is a party card game designed to be either standalone or as a military veteran-themed expansion pack to Cards Against Humanity. Like Cards Against Humanity, Disgruntled Decks is not for the weak-hearted, children or elderly people who haven’t served in the military.

Much of what's written on Disgruntled Decks cards is designed to provoke laughter, and if you’re familiar with what makes veterans laugh, you know you want to keep your children as far away from this as possible.

5. Rolling Plunder

Another offering from War Games, LLC, Rolling Plunder is currently in its Kickstarter development phase, but War Games is offering a print-and-play version on its website for free. The card- and coin-based game has one to four players fighting to become the greatest pirate in the Caribbean. Each player must build their fleet of pirate ships by capturing other ships.

And then you take on the Royal Navy, just like any New World badass does.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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