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Archive for April, 2014

Return to the Metropole

April 23, 2014 Comments off

You may remember that last year we visited UK Games Expo at the Birmingham NEC, where we played a few games, bought quite a few, and generally had a great day out. Well, it’s nearly that time again. The Expo is on from 30th May until 1st June and is well worth a visit if you are able to get there.

Here's a pic of part of one of the trade halls from last year, which I stole from the UKGE website.

Here’s a pic of part of one of the trade halls from last year, which I stole from the UKGE website.

Anyway, we have now had a family events planning discussion and have decided that we will be taking a day trip on Saturday 31st May. I expect we’ll be spending most of our time around the trade halls and the family zone as we did last time, but it just depends on how the day flows.

If any of you reading this are planning on going, particularly on the Saturday, please do sign in on the comments on this post, and we may be able to arrange to meet up at some point. It would be great to meet some new faces, shake some hands, and maybe roll some dice…

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Categories: Events Tags:

Of Lego, lollipops and food chains

April 20, 2014 2 comments

Today we had a lovely trip into Oxford to meet up with some friends with their two kids. After stuffing ourselves with pizza, we repaired to the Thirsty Meeples board game café for a few hours of playing.

I neglected to take a photo, so here's one ripped from the Thirsty Meeples' website.  Since this pic was taken, even more games have been piled on top of these shelves.

I neglected to take a photo, so here’s one ripped from the Thirsty Meeples’ website. Since this pic was taken, even more games have been piled on top of these shelves.

The selection of games available to play is quite intimidating, but we managed to identify some candidate games without needing to resort to recommendations from the very helpful staff.

So, while our friends’ sons started playing with their first choice, the Lego Battle of Hoth game, the other five of us tried out Om Nom Nom. which Miss B had spotted and fancied trying. I had never even heard of the game before, but it didn’t take long for us to get going. The game involves rolling enormous quantities of dice representing animals or things that can be eaten by animals, and then all players simultaneously playing cards representing animals trying to eat the things on the dice without themselves being eaten by something further up the food chain. This was just so much fun for all of us (I suspect it is best with five or six players), but it seems that it is quite hard to get hold of at the moment. If I manage to get a copy of the game I would love to write more about it (and play it a load more).

After that we played Gold Mine, which I have been wanting to try for ages, but which wasn’t much enjoyed by Miss B, so that comes back off the wish list.

Then I ended up playing the very pleasant two-player card game, Morels with one of our friends, while the others had a go at the Lego Creationary game (it’s basically Pictionary with Lego bricks rather than sketch pads). Creationary didn’t go down so well, so the others moved on to the daftness of Dalek Operation, followed by the great looking Monster Factory, which I was sorry to have missed: it’s a bonkers tile laying game which involved building some pretty crazy creatures.

That pretty much used up all our available time, so we all bought a load of games (hopefully you’ll be reading about Wicked Witches’ Race and Splendor here in due course) and went our separate ways. We think that was a very well spent afternoon, so we’ll do it again some time…

Categories: Events Tags: , ,

Gaming in March

April 1, 2014 Comments off

Another month, another report. March saw Miss B and I playing 16 different games for a total of 19 plays. We had one new-to-us game, Dixit Jinx, which you may already have read our write-up of, and this was one of only two games that had more than one play; Dixit Jinx got played 3 times, and Dobble twice.

It turns out that, for some games, you don't need the rules to have fun.  We'll probably play Maharani soon, though...

It turns out that, for some games, you don’t need the rules to have fun. We’ll probably play Maharani soon, though…

In the case of Dobble, we seem to be settling on the “Gotta Catch ’em All!” variant, which has natural pauses in gameplay so is less likely to get manically out of control than the other Dobble games we have tried. Miss B is also getting pretty good at it.

Towards the end of the month Miss B was delighted to get a chance to play the original Dixit when some friends came to visit. This doesn’t often come out, and often ends in bewilderment, but Miss B still loves it. In fact, this play probably went more smoothly than any we had done before, which is nice.

For the year so far, our lead games are Dobble, with 5 plays, Plyt with 4, and a cluster all at 3 each: Apples to Apples, Dixit Jinx, Love Letter, Them’s Fightin’ Words, and my prototype card game without a name. It’s probably worth noting that Plyt is the only game that we have played every month so far this year — and always at Miss B’s suggestion.

Finally, an honourable mention for a game that we have played with, but not actually played: the beautiful tile-laying game, Maharani. Hopefully we’ll play and report on this soon, but for now it’s fun just laying out the tiles to make nice patterns.

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