October: Cranium, Carcassonne & Cards …

21 Oct

We had another great Games Day on Saturday, thanks to MyCube Cafe and you guys! Gave me a chance to try out some of my new boardgames!

For some reason there was a bicycle race in Lygon Street, with lycra-clad cyclists dashing along the road … and then back again. I wish I’d known about that in advance – I could have warned people, but luckily it wasn’t the entire length of the road, and people could walk around it.

Perpetual Commotion

As is our wont, we started with a few rousing games of Perpetual Commotion, much to the alarm of a few people who’d never encountered it before. Ready? Set? GO!!!!!

All hands in motion!

All hands in motion!

Chess, Cranium & Scrabble

While a couple of the guys locked horns in an epic chess battle, others played Cranium and Scrabble.

Hmm that’s an odd Cranium board, I wonder what version it was, perhaps some American one? It came with green plastic jumping frogs, and I heard someone read out a question about flavours of Jello? But I also heard you guys spelling words backwards, so it can’t be too different 🙂



(Aha – it’s Cranium: Family Edition)

Apparently the Chess was a good game, with both sides skillfully dodging each other, so it was a while before any pieces started getting captured.



I’d never brought Carcassone along before – wasn’t sure if you guys would like it, but I was quite pleased at its’ warm reception. Glendon’s attempts to build a massive city – his “Evil Empire” – were sabotaged by some sneaky moves from other players.

For those of you who haven’t played before, it’s kinda “Competitive Jigsaw-Puzzling” – you are all building (inventing) a map of a mediaeval region of France. In the pictures below, there’s a blue river, brown-ish towns, and white roads meandering between them. The coloured “people” are players staking their claims on certain areas. (Click the second photo for a close-up view of the map we made.)

French countryside menaced by a looming Beef Rendang
The Euphoric Victor
The Euphoric Victor

Crazy Eights

David grabbed a deck of cards and proceeded to teach “Crazy Eights“, which I understand was the ancestor of Uno. I didn’t hear how it went, but it looks like they’re engrossed!

Covert Action

We gave my new “spy” game Covert Action a bit of a go, although it icovspys a bit of an unusual game, particularly for those people who have never played Werewolf before. There’s so little to Werewolf, I understand that can be confronting for people used to normal games. I guess Covert Action is even more minimal as there aren’t even turns over which you can build up clues to the villains’ identities. It’s all played in the mind!

Half of the players had never played Werewolf, which probably would have helped. Everyone seemed quite cautious and unwilling to accuse anyone. I think next games day I’ll try its competitor “Are You The Traitor” which is supposed to work a bit better.


werewolfHappily lots of people were now free and we leapt into Werewolf, which people said they enjoyed much more. During the game we had at least three separate “feuds” where people were “duelling” it out, each repeatedly accusing the other of being a werewolf, adamant that they’d spotted a hidden villain. Naturally in most of these cases they were both utterly misguided and lead to the death of innocent villagers. :-))

Reasons heard for accusing someone of being a werewolf:

  • because his ears were going red (“I’m in the sun!”)
  • because I’m petty (“pretty?” “no, just petty”)
  • because he’s got a cheeky grin (“I’m just naturally happy!”)
  • because she looks sly
  • because he was saying a lot and trying to deflect attention down the other end of the room
  • because everyone she’d voted for died (“that’s not true! I voted for lots of other people!” …or did she ??)
  • (…do you remember any other accusations? Let me know in the comments below…)

Unfortunately for the villagers, the Werewolves did a great job of slipping beneath the radar, and one even managed get the mob to ignore a clever villager who was repeatedly accusing her for several days … until she met with an unfortunate accident … 😉

Gem Dealer

On getting out my shiny new game Gem Dealer, I was sad to find that one of the purple gems was already missing! Did anyone see one lying around by any chance? I’ve never played it, so perhaps it was missing when I bought it.  😦

We played it for a while anyway, but since we were learning the game as we went along, we made some mistakes, and stopped at one point when we thought the rules made no sense, but as I realised later, when explaining the problem to a friend, we’d forgotten one of the rules – oops!

(For those of you who were playing the game – we forgot that whenever you raise your bid in the gem auction, you get to pick up an extra card. When Monique won the gem but had no cards left, that must have meant that the last time she raised her bid, she’d forgotten to pick up an extra card.)


Another of my new games! Keen to please the angry French citizens, one executioner seemed sure to be on a winning streak when he put hated King Louis XVI to death, but later incited a riot, hoping to mix up the queue to his advantage, a stunt that backfired spectacularly, as he found the head of the charismatic “Hero Of The People” on his chopping block. Guillotine.


A traditional classic, although I’m a bit unsure about the inclusion of that unofficial rule where Draw Two cards and Draw Four cards can be stacked on each other for a cumulative effect – with the result someone may well have to draw sixteen cards!! Seems overly cruel to me, but I must be in the minority because so many other people seem to like it!

See you next time!

dice_redAll in all, lots of fun. I look forward to seeing you next time. Either Thursday 29th at the Yak Bar, or 14th November back at MyCube. I’ll be updating the Calendar regularly.

PS: leave some comments below! Tell me about the games you played, or would like to play, or what you remember about the event! What happened to you in Werewolf?


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