Common Ground is a board game that pits two to four players (or teams) against each other as they try to come up with words from one category that share common letter sequences with words from a different category. For example: CAR and CARROT share C+A+R. Car is an item in the category: “Transportation” and Carrot is an item in the category: “Vegetables.” C+A+R is Common Ground!
Note: For the purpose of this explanation, the word “players” applies to teams if team play is chosen.
Setting up the board
1Unfold the board.
2Shuffle, then divide the category deck in half. Place each half in the areas of the board labeled “Category 1” and “Category 2.”
3Distribute the four colored sets of option cards to each player or team. Hand them out according to the color of their game piece.
4Place the game pieces in the Start Zone.
5Place the die and timer on the board.
6Distribute one pad and pencil to each player or team.
1Choose a player to go first (there is no advantage to going first). That player turns over the top card from the Category 1 pile and then names three items from that category. All players write them in the left hand column of their pad.
Reveal a card. The top card of the Category 2 pile is then revealed and the time started. Players then have 90 seconds to think of an item in the second category that shares common ground with the items listed.
- Only one response per item.
Tally the number of answers. When the time expires, players add up the total number of letters in common for the three responses. The player with the highest total wins the round and advances five spaces.
- In the event of a tie, the payers involved play an instant round where the next category cards in each pile are revealed simultaneously, and the first player to call out an item from each category that shares common ground, wins the tiebreaker, and advances five spaces.
- Instant rounds also take place whenever a player lands on the same space as another player, and the instant round involves only those 2 players.
Continue. Next the players select an option card (No Action, Roll & Advance or Super Instant Round) and place it face down on the board. When all have done so, they flip them over simultaneously.
- No Action – This means that the player wishes to not use an option card at this point.
- Roll & Advance – Player rolls the die and advances accordingly. These are played in order beginning with the player to the left of the player who started the round by listing items. Roll & Advance cards are played before any Super Instant Round.
- Super Instant Round means that the player is calling for an instant round involving all players and the winner advances four spaces in this case. If more than one player chooses to play a Super Instant Round card at the same time, only one Super Instant Round shall be played and the other Super Instant Round cards are forfeited. Once any Roll & Advance card is used it cannot be used again.
Ways to find common ground
1Think of words that rhyme with words or parts of words provided.
2Start small. Look at two consecutive letters at a time, shifting through different pairs of letters across the word. Then try it with three consecutive letters, and so forth.
3Look for whole words within the word given.
4Look for pairs of consonants and change the vowel before or after each pair. Or, look for pairs of vowels and change the consonant before or after each pair.
5Try adding a letter before the first two letters or after the last two letters.
6Think of as many items in the second category as possible.
Winning the game
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