Even on the all time high that board games are riding right now [no source], there’s still room for the lighter classics. Games like Sorry! and Yahtzee don’t seem to die away fast. I’ve played by fair share of riveting new board games, but I won’t protest a couple hours with either.

This weekend I came across a homemade Aggravation board. It’s a straightforward set up, marbles, dice, and a large wooden board. The game plays like Pachisi or Sorry!. You roll a dice and move your marble, if you land on another piece they must go back to start. It has a shortcut path which is clever. Four of us played a game in around 45 minutes. I’ve played games like this before as well as tester games from heavy nerd board game designers — all of them have that homemade aspect.

It has changed my perspective on what a board game can be. Much like a card game there only need be a few simple components on hand and then a game can begin. Many of the longest lasting games are founded on this concept. Even games like Dungeons and Dragons employ this concept.

…there only need be a few simple components on hand and then a game can begin.

I will pursue the simpler games more often now. Components don’t have to be hard or complicated to assemble. They should be generic and replaceable and most importantly allow many more people to be included in the act of playing.


Make your own game!

I went hunting to see what is involved with the process with making your own board for Aggravation. You can make it simple (drill divets into a cutting board) or more fancy. I was going to cleverly summarize a process and borrow a guide, but I didn’t do the work this other person did. See their blog here:

There’s more too! Boardgame Geek forums has a whole post about “print and play” games. Essentially homemade games. They have great links to stores to get the bits and basics for a variety of games.


Here’s a copy of the rules for PDF download,

Or you can follow this link to read them online easily: https://sites.uni.edu/joneswac/aux/aggravation.html

unsplash-logo Cover Photo Credit: Josh Appel