We're planning a camping holiday and are expecting to be outside for a fair amount of it. Most of the board games we enjoy have lots of small pieces, or require cards to be displayed on the table. Are there any Eurogames that would stand up to a strong gust of wind?
There are travel editions of some very good boardgames that are specifically designed to have more durable board states than the standard games. For example...
I've played the Ticket to Ride Card Game on a train - I think you could probably manage it outdoors, if you had a card table or something. A bungee cord strapped across each face of the tabletop could help everyone secure their cards and could be used to secure boards for games that have pieces substantial enough to survive some breezes.
I'm not sure if it's a "Eurogame", but Abalone is an abstract with substantial, heavy pieces. At least, my '80s vintage edition is.
Dice games might be a good choice. Zombie Dice would be a great choice for a quick game outside, especially after a few beers have dulled everyone's strategic minds a bit. But Roll Through the Ages is an excellent game by any standard! I've only played the iPhone implementation, but game state is maintained with pegs, not pieces, so it should naturally be wind-resistant:
As you've realized yourself games with light parts will be susceptible to wind. This is difficult to answer as it always depends on the strength of the wind but let me try...
- Blokus - By the time those tiles fly off the board you probably don't want to play outside anymore anyway...
- Mesopotamia - Might be borderline with the wooden pieces but the board itself should hold together well enough.
- Bohnanza - There are cards but with some stones or other items on top they should stay put.
- Tavel variants of games - Most of them will have pieces that are either magnetic or get stuck into the board.
- Amazing Labyrinth - Aside from the treasure cards there shouldn't be much of a problem.
- Trick taking card games - Not really euro games but since the cards don't stay on display for long they should work quite well.
Other than looking for particular games, you can look for ways to play your current games outside.
- Replace paper money with poker chips
- Use small figurines or pewter pieces instead of lightweight pawns
- Place the board inside of a larger container/box so that pieces will not fall into the grass
- Paper weights (or your legs) can keep cards pinned down
- Bring rain prevention gear; standard board game boxes don't like getting wet
- Remind people to play more casual; the environment will be different and that should feel good not stressful
- Feel comfortable asking people for information. Don't make people lean over everything to read what is before you; just tell them when they want to know
- If people seem more interested in running around playing frisbee or exploring that is okay; board games are great fun but don't pressure people into playing them
The Climbers - Doesn't involve any cards or lightweight pieces that can fly away. You build a large mountain ouf sturdy wooden blocks that have six differently colored sides. Pawns can only travel on their same color or neutral gray, with the objective of reaching the highest point. You get to pick up pieces of the mountain, changing their placement and orientation to allow for more moves, but at no point does it get into a situation where playing outside would be a problem. In fact, this game benefits from being able to take a look at the mountain from all angles, and people may be more willing to get up on their feet to consider moves than they would being glued to a dining room chair at a big table.
Puzzle Strike works well outside since the chips are much less susceptible to wind than cards in similar deck-building games (like Dominion).