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How to Play the Game of Aggravation

by: Sheila Robinson ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Do you want to know the Aggravation game rules? This family board game is simple to learn and can be enjoyable to play. Follow this brief guide and you will be an expert in no time.

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    About Aggravation

    Games can be fun for the whole family. The Aggravation game was first produced in the 1980’s. Originally it was called “Wahoo” and was designed with an asterisk shaped pathway. The name was changed to better suit the most popular strategy of the game, which is to “aggravate” an opponent by causing them to move their game pieces back to the starting location.

    The goal of the game is to move four marble pieces around the board using dice rolls. Every player has a starting point and will need to travel to a home base location.

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    Aggravation Game Rules

    Aggravation is not difficult to learn and is a great family game for ages six and up. Use the following steps as a guide and you will be playing this board game with no problem at all.

    1. Start by having all players select one of the 6 colored groups of game pieces. Each player then places their pieces on their color matched base location. To figure out who plays first, everyone will need to roll the die to see who gets the highest number. After the first person is selected, play will then continue to the individual sitting to their left.
    2. Play a turn by rolling the die. You will need to get a 1 or 6 in order to move a marble piece from the base into the starting position. If you roll a 6, you can roll a second time to move your piece further on the board. Otherwise, if you roll a 1 you simply move into the starting position and will have to wait for your next turn to move again.
    3. As marble piece(s) are placed on the starting point of the game, you will move in a clockwise direction around the board during all future turns. If a die roll causes a marble piece to land on one occupied by another player, it is considered to be “aggravated” and they will have to move it back to the original base location on the board. This player will then have to roll a 1 or 6 again in order to get their piece out on to the starting point.
    4. During your turn if your die roll is high enough, you can jump over an opponent’s piece. However, this does not apply to one of your own pieces. In this case you are blocked. If this situation comes up, move another one of your pieces that is in another location on the board (if available).
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    Using Shortcuts

    Aside from following the basic Aggravation game rules, you can use shortcut spaces to help you move faster to your home base. Shortcut spots are indicated by a star. If you land on one, during your next turn you can move along the other star spots. When this is done strategically, it can give you an advantage in the game. However, if another player is able to “aggravate” you before you can use the star shortcut, you can end up back at your base position.

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    Winning the Game

    To win the game you will need to successfully move all of your marble pieces into one of the four home base locations by an exact roll. However, keep in mind that you can’t jump over any spots that are occupied by any of your other pieces. Once all are in place, you win the game!

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    The image used for the Aggravation game rules article was by Ryan Mendoza - http://www.sxc.hu/profile/VNG_Ryan