Guess what? It’s year five for the Fantasy Oscars game. I’ve been creating and sharing this little game deck since 2012 (I invented it with friends at our 2011 party), and that’s pretty crazy to think about. Even more crazy has been your support.
I’m a little late getting the deck out this year, but it’s been sort of a blessing in disguise. Because the blog has been silent for a while, I heard from a lot of you–via Twitter, email, my Facebook page and comments on the blog–asking if I’d be doing the game again this year. You shared stories and comments about how much you loved playing the game with your friends and family. This little Fantasy Oscars draft has become a staple at your Oscar parties, and I’m SO, SO thankful. That’s seriously so cool, you guys. To fittingly quote Sally Field’s 1985 Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech: You like me! You really like me!
If you’re one of the Oscar draft’s fans, I’m proud to say the wait is over. And if you’re new to the game, here’s how it works:
- Print off this deck of cards, featuring this year’s Oscar nominees. (They’re shaped to fit Avery tear-apart business card sheets, but you can just print on cardstock and cut them out, too.) Lay out the cards face up on a table or the floor.
- Have guests draw numbers from a hat; this is your draft order. The person with the first pick makes their draft selection, choosing one card from all the available people and movies. The second pick goes next, and so on until everyone has chosen a card. In the next round, the draft order is reversed so everyone has a fair shot; it’s called a snake draft.
- Once everyone’s chosen their team (of 5-7 cards), pop some popcorn and settle in for the Academy Awards. As the Oscars go on, you’ll earn points for the movies and people in your hand. For instance, if you’re holding Birdman when it wins Best Picture, you’ll pick up three points for the movie winning, but also a few spare points each time the name of the movie is said. Tally your points on the cards, and at the end of the broadcast, compare your score with the other players. Most points wins!
If you have first pick this year, absolutely snag The Revenant. For one, I think it’s definitely Leo’s year. And secondly, it has a ridiculous 12 nominations–which gave me a pretty nice little challenge trying to fit them all onto the card.
And here’s another bit of strategy that’s new this year. I always include four “wild cards” – The Academy, God, The Steps and The Orchestra – to collect points for things award winners might do or say. For the 2016 ceremony, the nominees are being asked to turn in a list of people they want to thank in advance, which the Oscars are going to show on screen, like a news ticker. The idea is that it will keep acceptance speeches short. What that means for your game strategy is the orchestra card is a little less valuable than in past years, since we’re expecting fewer winners to get played off. It also means you need to keep an eye on that ticker – if the winner thanks the Academy or God on the ticker and in their spoken speech, it counts double.
You can make your own house rules (including playing with just the movie cards or just the people cards), if you don’t want to get into the weeds with the wild cards. And if you play this year, I’d love for you to come back and comment or Tweet me and let me know what your house rules are. I’m thinking that I’d like to revise the game for 2017, including a re-design of the cards. So I’d love your feedback about what works and what doesn’t work for you when you play.
Anyway, here’s the deck:
Happy Oscar weekend!