A good, fun family game wrapped up the march HoGS gaming night.
Wits & Wagers involves trivia and betting. It's not a likely combo but it works and it's great fun.
The thing is, you don't actually need to know any trivia. It's probably more fun if you don't know the answers. I was hopeless at the questions and still had a lot of fun, even though I lost all my chips both games we played.
The idea is that every team (up to 7 teams of however many you like can play - for our two games we had teams of 1) writes down an answer to a trivia question, reveals that answer, and then teams bet on who they think has the closest answer.
All answers are numbers, but can be anything from measurements, to ages to years. Some of the questions we got included the number of SUVs sold in a particular year in the US (over 2 million), or the year the sound barrier was first broken in a plane.
When the answers are revealed, they are placed in numerical order on the table and everyone places bets on the answer they think is the closest without going over (Price is Right style).
The correct answer is then read out and whoever bet on the closest answer wins chips. The team who wrote down the closest answer also win 3 chips for obtaining that honour.
The amounts that are paid to the bet winners vary for each answer, which is a cool mechanic. The lowest answer pays 5-1 if it is right, the second lowest 4-1, then 3-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1 and 5-1 respectively up to the highest answer. If any teams give the same answer, the identical answers shuffle down to the same space on the board.
There's also a 6-1 option teams can bet on if they think all of the answers are too high.
All teams start with two chips and you can never lose these. These starting chips are in the colours of each team to help keep track of the betting.
As you have two chips in your team colours, you are allowed to bet on up to two answers. Even if you ar correct and win more chips (the chips you win are red or blue (blue chips are worth five)) you can still only bet on a maximum of two answers (though you can plonk down as many of your chips as you like on those two answers), and in fact it is generally better to do so.
If you're feeling confident, you may still place all your chips on one answer. If you lose all the chips you've won, you still get to keep the two you started with.
The game ends once 7 questions have been answered.
We found that 3 or 4 of the 7 players finished each game with only the two chips they started with, and that included me both times. The thing is, it's easy to fall behind if you don't bet on the right answers, so you throw all your chips in to try and catch up.
Even though I came equal last both times, I still had fun. With only 7 questions, the game is over very quickly, and I think it could benefit from having more questions to lengthen the game and give players who drop behind early (ie. me) more chances to catch up.
As I said, it's a good, fun family game. If you can muster up at least 7 players, you're going to get the most out of it. Even those stick-in-the-muds who hate trivia games will enjoy themselves, and that's got to be a good game.