On February 27, 2006 the world was introduced to a game that would provide the inspiration for the world’s greatest party activity. This game was called…Marshgammon.

It combined all the best features of all the best games. Candyland, I Never, Pictionary, you name it. Naturally, you would expect Backgammon to play a pivotal role in this new game. But no! In the immortal words of it’s creator:

Backgammon sucks! We took the only good part of Backgammon, the Gammon, and left the rest in the trash where it belongs.

By now, anyone familiar with How I Met Your Mother has recognized this introduction to Brettgammon and the name itself is a shameless and blatant ripoff. However, I’m a firm believer that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so consider this a homage to my favorite TV show of all time.

As with it’s predecessor, Brettgammon is a mashup of all of my favorite party games. It began as a simple concept to entertain my friends during a recent get-together but grew in my mind to such epic proportions that it actually took us two days and a revolving door of participants to finish. That’s the beauty of Brettgammon: you can pick and choose the challenges that are most interesting or randomly select and let the universe decide!

Getting Started

By now I trust we’ve fostered a healthy air of mystery, anticipation, and perhaps a little apprehension about what is in store for Brettgammon.

As mentioned,  Brettgammon is a mashup of some of my favorite games but with the added element that it caters to the minimal attention span inherent to a large group of party-goers by quickly hopping from one game to the next.

Think of it as the Mario Party of party games, full of short mini games that will even keep even your most distracted friends paying attention throughout.

Brettgammon is designed for a larger group, ideally between 10-14 people, but can be played with as few as 4 participants.  However many players you have, the group shall be split into two teams.  These teams can be assigned by the MC or determined by random draw.  For random draw, I recommend using a stack of playing cards with an equal number of red and black suits.

Once your teams have been established, have them gather at opposite ends of the room.  Depending on how competitive your group is, this physical separation of teams will be critical in preventing cheating, sabotage, and genearl harassment of one another (or, if you have friends like mine, the flinging of cups and other objects at the opposing team).

The premise is simple: Each round we will randomly select a mini game from the bag.  Games are worth varying numbers of points depending on how I arbitrarily decided to value different events.  The team with the most points at the end of the game wins! But to steal a line from “Whose Line is it Anyway”…

Brettgammon is a game where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter!

But the winning team will have perpetual bragging rights, and isn’t that what’s really important?

Additionally, each team shall be awarded 2 Chance cards.  The chance cards can be played at any time during the game and the required tasks shall be determined by the MC.  The Chance card activity must be completed before the team can return to the game.  The Chance card may be played strategically during a challenge to slow the opposing team down, after a challenge as a “Victory Dance”, or really whenever the hell you feel like it.

Some potential Chance card activities:

  • The team must complete a complicated math problem or brain teaser
  • All team members must finish their drinks
  • One team member must make one complete lap of the house or apartment building
  • Anything your creative MC can come up with!

Lastly, each game of Brettgammon will require an MC to direct the proceedings.  The MC, unfortunately, will not be allowed to participate in these games as he or she must have the answers available to determine which team wins the challenge.  In order to prevent anarchy, the MC reserves the right to dole out “Any Time” points at his or her sole discretion, so bribery, flattery, and favors are certainly encouraged.  But mostly, just don’t piss off the MC or they can (and will) give points to the other team.

Assuming there are no questions, the game will begin with the first challenge: Each team will decide on a team name and whichever team name the MC likes better will be awarded one point.

Let the games begin!