2488: Board Game Argument: Legacy

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Board Game Argument: Legacy
Listen, you need to get over your reluctance to permanently alter a game. Now roll 2d6 to determine how many ounces of soda to spill into the box.
Title text: Listen, you need to get over your reluctance to permanently alter a game. Now roll 2d6 to determine how many ounces of soda to spill into the box.


This comic continues the joke from comic 2486: Board Game Party Schedule, released the previous week, about the difficulty some gaming groups have actually playing any game at all once they get together. In this scenario the group have leveraged the difficulty of choosing a game into a game itself. It seems to be that each player has a certain number of votes, or tokens, that they can use to decide which game to play, with the added element that they permanently dispose of the losing game. This can lead to strategic play where a player might vote for a game, even if they don't want to play it that night, so that they could still play it at some future resolution of the choosing.

Once the voting is finished, the next phase of the game is to debate which expansion packs they should collectively buy for which game.

A legacy board game is one where players change the game itself in the course of play, such as by writing on certain cards and ripping up others, causing future sessions to be modified. A legacy game thus avoids the tendency of some games to become repetitive if they are played every week, which is a common tradition among friends or families. The meta-game this comic describes fits this definition, because the available pool of games (and expansion packs) changes based on the players' decisions. Randall refers to the “game” of choosing what to play having become repetitive. Although official legacy games are sold by the manufacturers of the original game, some players may create their own legacy versions of a game.

The title text refers to how many board and card game owners are bothered by legacy games because they destroy game pieces. A legacy game, of course, is meant to be permanently altered, but many players find it hard to perform destructive actions like cutting or tearing up cards. At an extreme, some owners wish to keep their games in as-new condition, going as far as refusing to shuffle cards in ways that bend them, or not punching tokens out of their cardboard frames. Even some games not classed as "legacy" games may have elements such as blank cards to be filled in by the players. For those who are reluctant to make changes, these items may remain blank forever. An additional layer of humor comes from the fact that it sounds like the speaker is chastising a game owner who does not want to engage with ordinary elements of the game, but instead urges them to pour soda on the game (something that would usually be an unfortunate accident). "2d6" is standard notation for games that involve rolling several different types of dice, where the first number refers to the number of dice to be rolled (in this case 2), and the second number referring to the style of dice (in this case 6-sided). That means that the player could end up pouring between 2 and 12 ounces of soda (inclusive) into their game box, depending on the total value rolled on the two 6-sided dice and assuming the dice roll directly translates to ounces.

The board game boxes visible in this comic are real board games (from left to right):

  • Mall Madness (Electronic)
  • Wingspan
  • (to be determined)
  • Wits & Wagers
  • The Classic Dungeon
  • Obsession
  • Medium


[White Hat, Megan, Ponytail, and Cueball are sitting around a table that is covered with board game boxes. White Hat is pointing at Ponytail. Both Ponytail and Cueball are holding boxes.]
Ponytail: You may reallocate up to five tokens to your top choice from last week. Remember, the game with the least support tonight will go to the thrift store.
Ponytail: Next, we'll resume the debate over ordering expansion packs.
[Caption beneath the panel:]
We got tired of having the same repetitive arguments every week over which game to play, so we developed Board Game Argument: Legacy.

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So there is a game wherein one can write "sudu bring me a samich" as part of the rules? Excellent! 06:47, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

The game Cueball is handlig seems to be Boggle, the one Meghan is leaning on might be Wingspan. Can someone identify the others? If we can get a full table, we should add it to the article. 07:48, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

Here's a closeup of the games with added math: (edit: This super-wide embedded image completely messes with both the Talk page and the Talk-embedding normal page, at least for me, so I'm editing it out for sanity's sake - the IP editor below) Frankie (talk) 16:08, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

The full original image link that will show what I edited out as a File: insertion is https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/images/b/b4/2488-board-games.png - there may be better ways to address it as a non-inline image (or one that does not override usual page-width limits to make everything else squash into super-small font stuck into a partial page-width column of text until I pinch-zoom it back to 'normal'), in which case I invite you to entirely edit out my comment and do it better below/above as you see fit... 21:32, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

The one on top in front of Ponytail is Wits & Wagers. -- 19:20, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

fun fact: this is a different table than the one used in another board-game themed comic, 1566: Board Game . 21:41, 13 July 2021 (UTC)Bumpf

The one with a big cursive O is the game Obsession. The one in front of White Hat is none other than Mall Madness.-- 00:22, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

Mall Madness FTW. Only a couple left unsolved - Frankie (talk) 04:13, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the main text is riffing on RISK: Legacy, which develops a world over 15 games in which stickers are placed and cards are ripped up and unlocked for play. Thoughts? 06:17, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

wait no i am stupid nvm 06:19, 15 July 2021 (UTC)