Manly games for Manly men?

2 months.  that's all I have left until the anual mens campout.  once a year a bunch of us guys pick a weekend, go out to a secluded camping area (occasionally in a campground)  & behave poorly.  We drink, we cuss, we eat meat & not much else, and we play poker using risque cards.  We've been doing this for about 9 years now.  The faces change a little, but theres always between 6 and 13 of us & a core group of 5 that show up every year.  The problem is the poker.  There are a couple of guys who claim to have "not budgeted" for gambling.  And "let's divvy up the chips & play for fun".   Now playing poker for fun is like climbing a rosebush.  Sure it's a challenge.... But it's kind of stupid, and there is no feeling of accomplishment at being on top.   The risque cards do have a certain attraction, but let's face it after the 6th year it's kind of redundant.

   So I figure if we're not going to play for money, we might as well play something more enjoyable.  I have been trying to introduce alternate games.  But it's not a simple task.  First off despite the fact that we carry 3 pickup trucks worth of gear (admitedly half of that is coolers (some of which have food)) we delude ourselves into thinking  we are rough & manly men, secondly we drink early and often.  So traditional "gateway games" are just mostly invites to ridicule.  Sadly my biggest success was LCR huge in the non-money poker game.  (but in the end voted down due to no money & no risque dice)  At this point I'm thinking Risk just because it's simple, everyone has played it, and world domination feels manly.  But there has to be something more and better out there.

So I appeal to you Spielers. I have been absorbing back issues, and there are tons of games I'd love to try.  But last year my attempts with Polarity (first night & all players sober and abstract tolerant.  (one of the guys loved Khet but wouldn't touch polarity)) and Kapow (thought the screw our neighbor aspect would work)  I realize that practical experience makes a difference.  So rather than stab in the dark again, I am asking for advice from practiced hands.

    There is kind of a double edged benefit to the even this year.  It is scheduled for Talk Like a Pirate Weekend.  (okay yes it's technically only a day but since it falls on a friday, (like a birthday), it gets celebrated all weekend.)  This means Pirate games have a decent chance.  (So far I  only have Cartagena and Loot, but I have hopes for both of them.)  The downside is knowing the group we will be hitting the rum early and often.  So simplicity (or knowing the rules drunk & sober on my part) is a must. 

Having said all that...any suggestions? 
(as another aside.  the skies the limit.  while I am budgeted, I am more than willing to use an excellent suggestion as an excuse to convince my wife I need to buy another game (or 7)

Thank you for your time,



PS. If this is the wrong forum I apologize.   I wasn't sure where to post.


Hi Christoper

sounds like a lot of fun. Can I come ?

Your question could be a sommalier challenge but let me put in my 2c in terms of two games that spring to mind. Neither are pirate themed but one is gangster, and the other wild west, so plenty manly:

  1. Cash 'n' Guns
  2. Bang !

 In the first one you get to point (foam) guns at each other and steal money. A real hoot.

In the second you are playing to a specific agenda decided on by your 'role' card (outlaw, sheriff, renegade etc). Of course, you don't know each others true nature so there's a lot of bluffing. And shooting. It has less bits than Cash n Guns so may be better if you are camping out.

If you go for Bang! you can get the base game and all the expansions wrapped up in the "Bang! The Bullet!" set.

Cash 'n' Guns is, I believe for 4-6 players but with two sets you could easily go up to 12 which would be a blast.

Hell, buy them both.

Hope that helps. have fun....

Hi steerpike,

    You are more than welcome.  The only thing we require is that you be Male & not need parental supervision.  (We don't want to have to babysit.)  Of course most of us are in oregon somewhere between Portland & Salem, so we will probably be camping on Mt. Hood, but if transportation is not a problem sure.  (I have a feeling your question was mostly being friendly, but on the internet you never know and the more the merrier, ya know.)

I greatly appreciate your suggestions.  I actually already have Bang!  (just the main deck so it would be a good excuse to buy the bullet.)  Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with bang.  Upon purchasing I tried it with Myself, My wife, my daughter, my friend & his wife.  It wasn't bad...  but my friend and his wife thought it was too confusing with the pictures on the cards, and generally did not apear to enjoy it much.  On the other hand, I kind of enjoyed it.  Looking back, it's probably not so much a couples game.  Perhaps it's worth trying with a bunc of guys.


Cash & Guns.  that is not a bad thought at all.  From what i've heard of it ayway.  Especially since some of them like to play with pretend money anyway.  That is defiately worth a look.  Besides i've been looking for an excuse to purchase it cause it does sound cool.



Not sure if I would require parental supervision, although my wife might think so.

I'd love to come although I was being slightly tongue in cheek as I live in the UK and the nearest I have been to Oregon is California (and I know that that is not near). However, others have found, to their cost, that sometimes I just turn up so you never know !  


I would agree that Bang really is not a couples game. But with a bunch of (drunken) guys it might be a hoot.

You know the feeling you get when you are out shopping, and in one of those depratment type stores that has a little bit of everything.  You  casually peruse the book section, and something catches your eye.  It's a book in a genre you are fond of, and perhaps even by an author you partiuclarly enjoy.  You look at the blurb on the back, and realize not only have you not read it, but it sounds delightful.  Then you look at the cover again, and upon reading the title gain, you notice those words...."Sequal to....". 


  That is almost exactly what it feels like to have your wife tell you she found Ca$h & Gun$ at a game store you are going to be close enough to visit on the weekend.  And while the focus of the weekend is picking your duaghter up from Summer camp, there is always time for a quick side trip.   You walk into the store.... and find a copy of Ca$h & Gun$: Yakuza.  <sigh>

Ah well the hunt is half the fun.  I do appreciate the suggetion, it sounds pretty perfect for the weekend.



Liar's Dice - Super simple but always a hoot. Each player is given five dice and cup to roll and hide them with. Players make successively higher declarations regarding the results of all the dice remaining in the game, e.g. "there are ten sixes". You can also slap a pirate theme on it. Arr There be 5 fours!

Cosmic Wimpout  - Can't go wrong with a greed style dice game. Cosmic wimpout scales to almost any size group and you can play and have a beer and talk while it's not your turn.

Crokinole - Dexterity games would be perfect for your situation, I think. Yes someone has to invest in a nice board, but you will NOT regret it. Super fun, drunk or not. You can play in teams and you could even have a tournament!

I'm the Boss - Total chaos, total fun. Wheeling and dealing trying to get in on the most deals and make the most money. You can teach the game in 5 minutes and even if someone doesn't understand, after the first deal goes down, they'll get it.

Pitch Car - Again with the flicking games. Easy to get racing fans to try this one. Rules are easy but it takes some skill and some luck to get your car to the finish line! You'd have to pack along the track, but you're already taking 3 trucks, so I think you could find room for it.

6 Nimmt - Having played this a ton in recent months with groups small and large and with gamers and non-gamers, I can almost guarantee this will be a hit. It scales to 10 players and is really easy to learn. If you need a refresher, we just  reviewed it in Episode

Diplomacy - OK this one I am going out on a limb a little since the guys aren't exactly gamers. BUT the whole meta-gaming aspect to Diplomacy could be really fun to have going throughout the whole trip. The basic concept of the game is super simple to explain. PLus you get to be the leader of a country! You could explain the rules and give everyone a map and a country (partner up if you have more people) and have a place where you leave the main game board out for people to examine and make their plans. There could be all sorts of deals and double deals brokered behind closed doors and after hours. 

Goodness this list will keep me quite busy "researching" for a while, thank you.

I hadn't thought of Liars Dice, although I do play it with my family occasionally.  And it definately has a piratical theme thanks to Disney.  hehehe.

I LOVE cosmic wimpout.  I found a set for 99 cents at goodwill once.  Bought it cause it was odd looking dice.   It's the one game I have with me pretty much all the time "just in case".  Don't know why I hadn't thought of suggesting it before.  It plays well drunk though.

Hmmm.   I have heard & read about crokinole... That sounds good.  So far for dexterity games all I have is Elk fest (which is okay but only plays two & remembering stone set up gets frustrating)  Arch Rival (fun, but the setup would be too difficult to make a good drinking game)  &  Block Head  (kind of a bandu type game which I got mostly cause I lost Bandu in a move and have been searching for an equivalent.)  The problem is talking my wife into purchasing a board.  I read those can be expensive.

I'm the boss, pitch car & 6nimmit.  I really dont' know much about, so that will be awesome to research thank you.  Space is not an issue.  But durability is kind of important.  I would hate to bring a game that gets destroyed due to rowdy men in the wilderness getting careless.  I guess in pitch car I wonder how well the tracks & stuff would stand up to wilderness survival.

Diplomacy!  I played one game of this something like 10 years ago, and was just pretty much fell in love.  It was so cool.  I then found out I couldn't buy it.  But when the it was rereleased a while back I bought the first copy I saw.  That one could be fun.  And actually might not be bad as kind of an ongoing game all weekend.  With extended negotiation breaks...naah we aren't organized enough to schedule turns & stuff.  But having a "Diplomacy party" over the course of a weekend with specific turn times & space in between to negotiate & play other games.  That could be really cool.  Thank you for that inspiration.


Always glad to put on my Sommelier hat and take on a fun challenge. :)

As far as research goes, we covered I'm the Boss in Episode 23, 6 Nimmt in Episode 54, Crokinole in the Back Shelf Spotlight of Episode 44, and Pitch Car (aka Carabande) in Episode 8 (apologies for the craptastic sound in the early episodes).

I need to create a page or pages that list all the games covered in each segment so it's easier for folks to see the crazy number of titles they can "research." As it stands, the search button and the episode list page is the closest help at hand.

 Listening to podcasts about boardgames makes a much more pleasant commute than listening to the latest antics of various & sundry politicians, and the latest trends of the oil market.

 Incredibly cruel & slightly sadistic Podcasters seem to delight in reccomnding incredibly cool sounding games that are astoundingly absent in the region of the reccomendee.

 There is a plethora of information about more than just the reccomended games.  A veritable piniata stuffing worth of games & items which excite the imagination, and provides potential months if not  years worth of gaming experiences.

 Going game hunting with the wife.  Not being able to find any of the increadibly cool (if slightly sadistic) reccomendations.  But...finding a copy of Inkognito which sounded so fantastic in episode 8 on the sale shelf for under $15.  Yet knowing with dead certainty that if you buy that game, the wife will ask "why are we spending another $80 on games online if you just bought one you haven't played yet?"

 Finally finding a last copy of Pitch car on a canadian website through google and snapping it up as quick as possible, because after hearing 2 different descriptions (truckloads of goober episode 8 & Game Sommelier episode 44)  & a watching a couple of youtube snippets, the desire for a copy is unbearable, yet a copy for sale in us dollars cannot be found.

 The day after convincing the wife it's worth the expense, and making an irrevocable commitment to purchase pitch car & even eagerly anticipating it's arrival in 2 weeks time.  Finding mini pitch car and the expansions available for approximately the same cost at Time Well Spent. 

(okay admitedly the last was a pro and con of Google rather than audio research.  but worth mentioning in a "it's funny when it happens to somebody else" kind of way.)

 Being torn between two different dexterity games, and being forced to pick one based on price & the ability to convince a wife the worth of the expense.

 Having a friend who enjoys some games and should be easy to convince to split a Cronikle board between the two of us.  (although I may have to let him try to make one in his woodshop first.)

 The realization of just how much information & entertainment still awaits in all the  rest of the unheard past episodes of a couple years worth of the spiel.  And the joy of discovery of new & fascinating reviews & descriptions in every episodes.  (plus the added bonus of hearing puzzles & solutions back to back without actually having to try & solve them in between)

 Not having enough time to play an uniterupted episode without listening to a mp3 player at work, and trying to balance hearing a concerned customer with an urgent request on the phone In one ear, and a description of various cheapass games in the other.  Or (and I'm still not sure what episode it came from) falling asleep listening to  a description of a hazardous mansion filled with cheese and rats. and 3 floors with shifting holes.  Then having incredibly interesting, if somewhat disturbing dreams.

  These are the ones I've recognised so far and all & all I am enjoying the research immensly. 

So if there are any other suggestions out there, please throw them my way. 

Sounds fun! 

Racing games do well with most guys, such as Formula De, Winner's Circle, or Ave Ceasar.  All work fine with adult beverages, and you could put adult entertainment on the TV for those in need of 'risque' visuals.

LCR can actually be fun if you throw a little money into the game.  Three dollar bills, or three stacks of quarters, and you roll one die for each stack of money that you have up to three dice.  One stack of money goes into the pot for each 4 rolled, moves to the left for each five rolled, moves to the right for each six rolled, and is safe for rolling 1-3.  Play order is clockwise, and the game only ends as money goes into the pot on rolls of 4s.  The final player with money has to make a final roll to keep the money safe, otherwise an adjacent player receives the money on a 5 or 6, or the last pile of money goes into the pot generating a re-ante and new round of play. 

We've always had a blast with LCR at the Ski Lodge and in the bar, usually while drinking heavy, and playing with a mostly non-gamers.

Just thought I would express my grattitude for everybodies help, and since i'm entering the commiting rules to flawless memory phase, (ha ha) I wanted to let you know what I had decided to go with.

My two big openers are:

Pitchcar and Cash & Guns.  I cannot thank you enough for those suggsetions.  So far everyone I have played pitchcar with has thuroughly enjoyed it.  And everyone I have shown cash & guns to has said they wanted to play it.  (have not had more than 3 people so have yet to actually play cash & guns, but labor day weekend should fix that.)

I figure one or both of those will be fun enough that we will either play them all weekend, or they will soften people up for some of the other games I bring.

So my second string is:

Cartagena: Because I enjoy it, and it's got a pirate theme

Zombie fluxx:  because it has it's place & the creepers give fluxx a nice twist.  also it's easy to play.

Loot:  Just for the pirate theme.  But I'm going to hide it in the back because it is very color blind unfriendly.

Diplomacy:  Mostly for saturday during the day when most of us are sober, because this game takes some thought. 


Junta:  because I have yet to play it, and it looks way cool & kind of fun. 

I'm really not sure about which one of those two, but I am leaning towards Diplomacy because it seems easier to explain the basic gameplay.

And then The avalon hill bookcase game  Outdoor survival I don't know much about the game I got it for $2 because of the name, and by the merits of the name it seems to fit the mens campout.  But I'm not sure if we will play it, or just laugh at the tokens.

And lastly a game to be named later:

I am torn between I'm the boss, Formula De, and 6nimmt (or whichever version I can find) I imagine it will come down to whichever one I first find at a game store.  (I am lucky to have 4 in a 50 mile radius(well 5 but I don't count one))

actually I forgot also:

Cosmic wimpout, treehouse, quiddler & guillotine just because those are permanent parts of my game bag because you can play them anywhere with anybody.

I will definately let you all know how it goes, and please if anybody has a last minute addition that sounds like a perfect please mantion it because I really only have to memorize the rules to diplomacy & the game to be named later I pretty much know the rest of them.


Okay, so I apologize for the lapse in time for my recap.  I have no real excuse, so am going to blame it on shock, laziness & inertia. (and a little bit on spore because that game is addictive) 

  The games for the mens campout were a huge success and thank you to everybody.  I used what I could find of your suggestions, and a few others to fill out the game box.  The games I wound up  bringing  (In no particular order) were Diplomacy, Cash & Guns, Rattlesnake, Corsaire, Cartagena, Junta, Fluxx Zombie, Pitchcar, Kill Dr. Lucky, Guillatine, Cosmic Wimpout, and mutiny.

  The weekend started with me & Cooksy riding together.  We set up the campsite, and then setup the pitchcar track.  We had a card table, and didn't use all of the tracks, but had a curvy course with enough shifting gaurdrails to make it interesting.  With just the  2 of us we had a good time.  And to be honest, he was thuroughly trouncing me.  Then we cracked the rum.  And well I guess I flick better after i've been drinking.  Anyway, we lost count of the games we played.  We kept going around the circle, starting a new game as soon as the last was finished.  There were iregularities that flipped our cars for no reason, we flew off the track.  But it was fun.

  Then Michael showed up.  We watched him set up his tent.  And when he was done, invited him to play.  He played one race, and lost.  That was the end of pitchcar.  Now to be fair.  Michael is roughly 300lb.  so he might not have enjoyed  walking around the track for position.  But considering other events it might have been the losing.  Anyway, we put pitchcar away.  (but it's totally coming out again.  (and has already))

So keeping with dexterity games, we pulle dout rattlesnake.  Which isn't a bad game at the best of times.  But is pretty challenging playing drunk  & on a card table on uneven ground.  Still I have to say at one point we had legitimatly placed 10 of the 12 magnets on the board.  I won at least 3 games, and we played at least 6.  I didn't keep too much track.

Next we played zombie fluxx.  And this is where I went into shock.  And even this late after I still have trouble processing what happened. 1st game, we played and michael got the zombie repellent, and was comfortably free of zombies.  Finally at some point we stole, or otherwise got rid of that keeper.  Then he drew a zombie.   And so he intentionally played the Ungoal "zombie win" card.   He did not HAVE to.  He had rules & actions & keepers.  When we all protested, his response was "This way nobody wins"  I pointed out "You will lose too"  he said "yes but nobody beats me".  Which just threw a monkey wrench into my brain.  I don't get it.  I cannot see taking a voluntary lose just to prevent a possible, yet not even imagined win.  I think it gave me some insight into his personality, but on the other hand, I like him, and don't like what he did, so I'm trying to ignore it.  We played another game of zombie fluxx, and probably cooksey won.

Finally we tried corsaire.  Which is a nice little color based set collection game.  We mostly enjoyed it, except that it was dark & we were using lanterns and the color blind among us had difficulties.  But it left a happy taste in our psyches as when we went to bed.

  Next day we started with corsaire.  It was much easier in full daylight & we all understood it.  STefan showed up & we dealt him in.  IT was pretty fun.  Finally john showed up.  With 5 people I pulled out Cash & Guns.  IT was fantastic, and for the 1st time, I actually lived to the last round.  I didn't win, but living was a plus.  We tried a second round with super powers.  Again I survived, but agains I didn't win. 

  At that point dinner was started, and my games were put away.  The rest of the evening was poker & due to the limited turnout, we had a cash game.  I didn't do well, but I didin't mind.  I have succefully inserted board games into the mens campout, and we all enjoyed them.   So now I can expand, and I am certain diplomacy is just around the corner.  (although I really don't know how much I trust Michael in games.  His Fluxx move really disturbed me.)

This time I have some time for preperation.  the basic question remains the same.  Coming up I have the annual mens campout.  It traditionally involves primitive camping, steaks, risque cards and alot of alcohol.  The frustrating part is that mostly we play poker for "fun".  Which is only slightly less than playing LCR..  Admitedly alcohol pays a large part of the weekdn so i've been looking at drinking games specifically "say anything" and "red dragon inn".  i'm halfway hoping for "santy anno" .   Games that have failed in past years were polarity, kapow, pitchcar (okay that only failed with 1 out of 5 people.  but if one person is sitting out it can ruin alot of the fun) rattlesnake (this was okay but not worth the trouble)  Games that have gone over well were corasri & poker.

CAsh & guns was received okay but not enthusiasticly.


So keeping that in mind and the fact that this year for a change I'm inviting my gaming group so I may have 4 gamers & 4 non-gamers. 


rats lets simplify.  mens camping trip.  need 5 (roughly) games.  for between 4-12 people.  involving drinking.  With a roughly 50% split of gamers to non gamers.  while number of players is flexible (1 to max number of campers)  they should all be easy enough for a drunken 20-30 yr old to grasp.  Any suggesitons are appreciated.