Move Over Reindeer Games – Bring On the Cowboys

letterhead-header 2One of the things I look forward to most during the Christmas break is playing board games with the family. We tend to hang out in pajamas most days, and the card tableΒ  becomes a permanent living room fixture.

Bang 9Last year for Christmas, my brother-in-law (who is an avid board gamer) gave me the game Bang! I posted some details about it in a previous blog post here. It quickly became a favorite. It’s a strategic card game that plays fast with multiple levels of variation since no two games are ever alike. I would highly recommend this for family game night. (And at the end of this post, you’ll get a chance to win a copy!)

Curious to see what other western style games might be out there, I did a little searching. Here are a few I found. I have not actually tried any of these out, but they look promising.gunslinger

Gunslinger – A card game with bullets – pretty cool.

Cowboys: The Way of the Gun – Allows from 2-10 players. Could be a great party game.cowboys-board-game

Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game – If you want to have a private battle of wits with a single opponent, this two-player game that pits lawmen against outlaws might be just what you were looking for.

revolversettlers-of-catan-trails-to-railsThen there are games I have played, and LOVED, that have western editions. Settlers of Catan is one of my favorite board games, and I recently saw that they game out with a version of the game set in the US as the railroad expands into the west. YeeHaw!

ticket-to-rideAnd Ticket to Ride is another personal favorite, again with the railroad theme. One year for Christmas, my husband and I both bought copies for each other for Christmas. I bought him the US edition, he bought me the Germany edition, and we decided to keep the German one. Nothing more classic than the westward expansion of the railroad conquering the western American frontier, though.

And now for the giveaway. With Christmas around the corner, it seemed the perfect time to give a little gift, so I’m offering a chance to win a copy of the board game Bang. The contest is set up through Amazon, and it is a random draw, so you’ll know instantly if you won or not. when I am notified of a winner, I will post in the comments. Please click on the link below to enter.

Amazon Giveaway of Bang!

Note: You can only enter by clicking on the link. Leaving a comment on the blog will not enter you in the contest. But please do leave me a comment πŸ™‚ I’d love to chat with you.

  • Do you enjoy playing board games over the holidays?
  • What are your favorites?


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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:

32 thoughts on “Move Over Reindeer Games – Bring On the Cowboys”

  1. Besides board games, we also liked to do jigsaw puzzles, especially as a winter activity.

    The problem now? Our cat feels duty-bound to clear any cardboard table she sees of unnecessary cards, and game or puzzle pieces.The only thing I can say is she is very diligent in her “duties” as she sees it. Oh, and she’s not surreptitious at all; she’s always on full-time duty even if we’re watching.

    • We usually have a puzzle going, too, Eliza. A different one each year. Last year for Christmas, my daughter got me a Buzz and Woody puzzle from Toy Story, so that one will be coming out in a week or two. πŸ™‚

      What a diligent cat! Unfortunately. Ha! That would make things challenging. Especially for puzzles. Ours are usually up for the entire holiday, people working on them here and there throughout the break. Usually my daughter and I are the most avid puzzle participants, but we make sure the boys get at least a handful of pieces in so that it truly is a family effort. πŸ™‚

      I hope your cat behaves this year. πŸ˜‰

      • Since our cat Josie is 14 years old and takes what she sees as “her job” very seriously, jigsaw puzzles will have to remain on hiatus! πŸ™‚ Our animals are also our family members so everyone–pets and people–just adjust to individual idiosyncrasies. I guess some may think it sounds weird, but jigsaw puzzles will always be here, while Josie won’t.

        • I hear you, Eliza. And I love how you love your pet. What a blessing she must be to you, idiosyncrasies and all. πŸ™‚ Maybe you could try one of those puzzle mats that you can roll up and put away when no one is using it. I’ve never tried one of those myself, but it might work.

  2. Oh, Karen, this is precious. I love the idea of hanging out in one’s pjs. One of my favorite things about writing is being able to hang out in pjs, too. : )

    We do board games usually at New Year’s — and card games. I absolutely love it!

  3. Wonderuful games, Karen. We are gamers at our house, but I must admit, I’ve never heard of any of these games. The closest we come is Mexican Train, and its a fun game many can play. Oh and A Texas Hold Em, board game.

  4. We love to play games and do puzzles as a family. Right now the family favorite is The Farming Game. Around christmas we have plenty of pajama movie nights or pajama opening presents nights. We love to relax with the kids that way.

  5. We just played Bang! this past weekend when my in-laws visited. My husband grew up overseas where games comprised most of their family entertainment, so we have a lot. A LOT. Lately we like to attempt to save the world in Pandemic (and often fail miserably). Dominion, a deck-building game, is tons of fun too, with great replay-ability and half a dozen expansions if the original ever gets old (which it hasn’t yet for me).

    • Every few years, I have to go through the game closet and weed out the ones we’ve outgrown, otherwise they’d take over the house. Ha! I’ve heard of Pandemic, but never played it. It sounds intriguing. I haven’t played Dominion, but we have a deck-building game we really like called Ascension. The rest of my family enjoys fantasy and online computer gaming, so battling monsters in this game appeals to the gamer in them. πŸ™‚ Even I enjoy it, though. And I’m as non-gamer as it gets. Ha!

  6. I love board games and card games! I live alone now and my grandchildren don’t like board games so I have other ladies over to play!

    • Good for you, Joan! I love your spunk. I bet you and the ladies have wonderful gab sessions while you’re playing. That’s the best thing about board games is you actually have conversations. πŸ™‚

  7. I got Bang for my birthday this year and the family loves it! Even my 6 year old brother (sh! I know it says ages 8+, but I think he knows how to play better than we do). It’s our new favorite family game. Partially because it’s one of only a couple six person games that a 6 year old can play.

    • We played over Thanksgiving with my parents and my 9 year old nephew. He was hooked from the get go and asked to play over and over. πŸ™‚ It’s hard to find games for more than 4 players that don’t require a giant group to play. Finding those in the sweet spot that can accommodate 2-6+ are awesome. πŸ™‚

  8. I love games. We play board games and card games. We also like to do jigsaw puzzles too. Some of my favorite games are Ticket to Ride, Rummikub, Bananagrams, Pit and Life. I also like to play card games like Uno, 313, Golf, etc. I could go on and on about all the games I like. We probably have around 50 different board/card games in our house.

    • So fun, Steph! I wish we had time to play more during the year, but that’s part of what makes Christmas vacation special in our house – playing the games that we normally have a hard time fitting into our schedules with kids in sports, band, and sucked into the computer. Holidays are like a return to simpler times. I love it!

  9. We enjoy game days or nights whenever we can fit them in. We really enjoy playing games with our oldest daughter and her family (husband and 5 year old daughter). She has found some good card games to play with her daughter. They are nice because as she grows older, there are different levels to advance to. Our favorite with them is Scrabble. Our daughter is really good. She plays with her best friend who is even better than her (150 points or so on a single play) plus she has a few games going on line. The other 3 of us just try not to be last. Our granddaughter is learning chess and they are bringing a Wizards chess set (Harry Potter fans) for her to play with her mom and grandfather during the week we have reserved on Tybee Island, GA. If she plays me she will likely win. It has been ages since I played. We are bringing Tic-Tac-Toe for her and Sequence for the adults. She like the first and the second is a personal favorite. I always bring puzzles, but we never seem to get to them. Will have some children’s puzzles which I know we will get to. Will bring a couple small adult ones and try to get to them.

  10. Contest Update – The Bang! Giveaway has closed. Congratulations to Allison Stevens! Hope you have lots of fun with the game, Allison.

    And to everyone else, may you have a very Merry Christmas with many family game nights (or days) to keep the cheer flowing. πŸ™‚

  11. We love playing board games! Settlers and Carcassonne are two favorites in our house. I’ve heard many people say good things about ticket to ride, but have never played it.

  12. My favorite game growing up was Operation. Now, I enjoy playing Wahoo with my grandchildren. Merry Christmas, Sweet Karen!

    • I remember Operation. My hand was never steady enough for that game. Ha! And I’ve never heard of Wahoo, but just the name sounds super fun. Have a wonderful Christmas, Melanie!

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