Get to Know the Wahoo Board Game
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Playing games together as a family is a great way to bond. Game nights have been a staple in most homes for generations, and they’re not just for families. Friendly gatherings and even date nights can all be enhanced with a good game. The Wahoo Board Game is a classic that has helped families and friends bond while having fun. Here’s everything you need to know to get the most out of your Wahoo game session.
What is Wahoo?
Wahoo, also known as ‘Aggravation,’ is a classic board game with a similar play style to parchisi or Chinese checkers. The origin of the game dates back to the early 1900s in Germany, but the game families know and love today originates from folk in the Appalachian Mountains. The goal of the game is to move your colored marbles around the game board and finish with all of them in their ‘safety’ zone. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
The Game Board and Pieces
The Wahoo game board can come in a few different sizes, although the most common sizes are 16”, 20”, and 24” in diameter. The board is commonly fashioned in a hexagon shape, with a pattern of divots for marbles to fit in. The pattern of the game board can vary, and each family has its own favorite style of play.
The game board also comes with a set of colored marbles for each player. The marbles are designed to match the size of the game board, as the divots will be bigger or smaller to accommodate the same number of spaces. The colors of the marbles will match the colored divots on the board that mark the starting and finishing areas for each player.
Common Wahoo board games support 2-6 players, but some boards are designed to support larger groups.
How to Play
To start, players choose a colored marble set and place their marbles in their corresponding home areas. Then, everyone rolls a die to see who goes first (the highest roll wins). Alternatively, families and friends can make their own rules as to who goes first, such as whoever did the most chores that week or whoever won the last game. Whoever is going first will then roll the die. In order to move a marble out of the home slot, a player must roll a one or a 6, at which point they can move a marble to their starting position.
Players use the die on their turn to move their marbles around the board in a clockwise direction until they land their marbles in their safety zones. This requires players to go all the way around the board. Shorter versions can be played in which players only need to reach the safety zone of the color opposite of them.
Rules for Movement
Moving your marbles isn’t as easy as it may sound. Not only do you need a 1 or 6 to start, but you also have to pay attention to the position of your marbles. On your turn, you can move any marble of yours you’d like, but there are a few ‘illegal’ moves.
First, you cannot move past your own marbles. For instance, if you have two marbles that are three spaces apart and you roll a five, you have to move the marble that’s further up the board.
Second, you cannot land marbles in the same spaces. If your move would land one of your marbles on another of your marbles, you would have to move a different piece. You can, however, ‘land’ on an opponent’s marble. When this happens, your opponent must give up the spot, sending their marble back to its starting position. This move is why the game has gotten the title of ‘aggravation’ as it tends to ‘aggravate’ the other player. However, most agree that the actual aggravation is minimal compared to the fun of the game.
If a player is unable to make a move because every option is ‘illegal,’ their turn is forfeited, and play continues with the player to their left.
Variants for Younger Children
If you’re playing with younger children, it’s often a good idea to fudge the rules a little or add some extra benefits to help them along.
Team Play – In team play, players are teamed up with the player sitting across from them. Once a player on a team has gotten all their marbles into their safety zone, they then use their turns to help their teammate move their marbles. The first pair to get all their marbles in the safety zones wins.
Easy Start – Waiting to get a 1 or 6 to start moving your marbles can be frustrating. For an easier start on each marble, families can play with any roll allowing you to move a marble or making it a bit more challenging by saying only even or odd numbers get to move out.
Passing Allowed – Another way to help younger children enjoy the game is to remove the strategic planning required for moving marbles. In this variation, players can pass their own marbles without breaking any rules.
The Wahoo Board Game at Amish Toy Box
If you’re looking for some extra fun to add to your next game night, give the Wahoo board game a try. Wahoo has been a classic for many families for generations, and it continues to delight players year after year. At Amish Toy Box, we sell a variety of handcrafted wooden Wahoo game boards and pieces, all made by Amish craftsmen. These beautifully crafted boards will delight players of all ages as you bond over your next gaming session.