Al Capone goes to jail: what to play

On this day in 1931, Chicago crime boss Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of tax evasion. Elliot Ness and his team of “Untouchables” brought down one of the most significant criminals in America’s history.

So, what we should you play?

In keeping with the theme, I suggest bringing these games to the table:

  • Don Pepe. You’ve been invited to a party of Chicago mob bosses on a rainy evening. It isn’t long before things go south. Everyone vies for the largest pile of cash while trying to move or “off” their opponents with knives or guns. For 3-6 players aged 8 and up.
  • Gangsters. The players are bosses of Chicago crime families during the prohibition era. Set up “front” businesses to earn money from the unsuspecting public all the while avoiding the boys in blue, and keeping rivals in check. What’s interesting is that each turn is timed, so you’ve got to act fast. It’s for 2-5 players aged 12 and up.
  • Al Cabohne. This is a set-collection game that’s a variant of Bohnanza, which I love. The players compete against each other and the “bean mafia.” Whoever earns the most money selling beans wins.
  • Alcatraz: The Scapegoat. I love cooperative games with a twist, and Alcatraz: The Scapegoat definitely qualifies. The players must work together to escape from the island prison, all the while knowing that one person will be left behind as the scapegoat. You must successfully complete the six-part plan, but “teamwork” isn’t the name of the game. If you aren’t perceived as being absolutely indispensable, you’ll likely be left behind. Alcatraz: The Scapegoat is for 3-4 players aged 15 and up.

Just remember, organized crime is bad. But games about organized crime are a lot of fun.

You’ll find more “Games and History” posts here.

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