Cafe Games – not Supernova

9 May

Apparently this weekend we clashed with the Supernova anime/sci-fi convention. You’d think they’d be more careful picking dates, but we’re sorry if they took a hit because of us. Turns out there’s a lot of geeky overlap between our members and Supernova fans! We had lots of fun anyway…. despite there being no cosplay. It’s not banned you know :-P

Tschak! It’s the sound you make while slicing up monsters!
But don’t be fooled, this is a sweet little old-style card game updated to have a colourful fantasy theme. Try to second guess your opponents and choose when to send your best team of adventurers into the castle!

Turns out there’s money to be made by raiding the nearby rubbish-dump and selling the dodgy retro furniture you find to second-hand stores! Reminds me of driving around the streets on hard-waste day, looking for Unexpected Treasures

Squint – like Pictionary without pencils! Gaze thoughtfully at the arranged cards and you might work out what they’re trying to convey.
No, not right now! :-P


Qwirkle – it just seems so ubiquitous these days! A great game for kids and adults alike.

Classic Backgammon, but Frankie has a few interesting variants to keep you on your toes…

Wurfel Bohnanza – a dice game by the people who brought you the hit trading game Bohnanza … but this game doesn’t have trading, so I think it provoked mixed emotions.

“Dix Against Humanity”!!! That’s right, a mash-up of the beautiful family-friendly game Dixit … and the obscene Cards Against Humanity. It’s interesting to read online that the inventors had trouble coming up with phrases to use in Dixit, so they decided to use the CAH cards instead. Hmmm, that’s a bit weak! Anyway … here are the rules!


Jason does his best to epitomise the class of playing Cards Against Humanity ;-)

An introduction to Blokus … not so daunting is it, ladies?

No ordinary game of Carcassonne – it’s Carcassonne Winter – the French countryside is all covered in snow!! Plus a castle-like tile holder from Carcassonne – The Tower.
You might think Carcassonne Winter is just one of many Winter-themed games. Are you sure? The guys from Board With Life get stumped in this video.

Ahhh the classic game Cosmic Encounter (est 1977) – exotic alien races trying to land flying saucers on each other’s row of planets through attacks and negotiation.
Does it look to anyone else like they’ve arranged their planets and cards into a two-armed spiral galaxy? Swirling into the centre where the vicious Warp drags in all lost ships!!

Everyone’s racing to build up their own civilisations in 7 Wonders – but gee Calvin seems the most keen of anyone at the table!

There’s bound to be some lame joke I could make here about “wood chips” … but luckily you’re saved by a temporary failure of imagination. The game is Skybridge by the way – named after the wooden planks that get placed between the multicoloured towers.
(Don’t worry Maurits, I put in the best version of this photo – the other had you actively devouring a chip)

Some familiar faces! Not sure why Jason has temporarily levitated out of his chair … perhaps taking a short break from the intrigues and debates of an epic 10-player game of Resistance: Avalon

String Railway – players vying to build the best train lines out of coloured string! Clearly this edge of the triangular island is barren wasteland – there are almost no stations, compared to the busy other side where everyone wants to be.
(Sorry players: turns out I’m wrong. Despite what the theme might suggest, you can continue your train network from a “Terminus” station that you previously reached. Weird.)

Reflection…?

In an interesting “Ivory Dicetower” episode recently, famous hairy boardgamer and academic Scott Nicholson reminded people to pause after playing games and chat about the game.

I’m always reminding people to do that too – don’t just rush from one game onto the next. Take some time to chat to your fellow players about what you enjoyed about the game, what happened, why they did this or that, and what you might do next time. Remember we’re not just here for the games, it’s part of a whole social experience. As Scott says, that’s how you really maximise the gaming experience!!

We often see this after social-psychological games like Werewolf and Resistance – people gather in groups to chat about what happened, but I’m sure it would add a lot to even strategic games. Compare tactics! ;-)

(Here’s the complete “Dicetower: Board Game Breakfast” episode that the segment appears in, but if you aren’t interested in watching the whole 35 minutes (lots of different people doing different segments) then click here to jump to Scott’s 4 minutes in the middle.)

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  1. “Aliens Seek Intergalactic Colonization.” The Cosmic Encounter Boardgame of Avalon Hill - July 21, 2014

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