2011 Backlog! Tournaments and Picnics!

11 Jan

Pardon me, the end of the year is always so busy I didn’t get around to showing you these extra photos, mostly from the tournaments day in November, but also our Picnic in December.

(We also had another of our “500” cards nights in November – once again it was very popular!!)

Over one weekend in November the Canberra-based club “Australian Games Expo” came down to Melbourne to run tournaments to find Victoria’s best players of “Settlers of Catan”, “Stone Age”, “Carcassonne”, “Dominion”, and “Magic The Gathering”.

Quite by chance they decided to run their event on the same date and same location as our monthly Cafe Games day – the Celtic Club, so we were able to join forces and have a lovely general games-fest after the official proceedings were over.

Tournaments and General Games night

One end of the venue was absolutely jam-packed with “Magic” players – folks who are into this game tend to be very enthusiastic about it and the stakes were quite high.

In “Magic” players take on the roles of Wizards who fight each other using spells and magical animals. Each player owns their own deck of cards – the cards are collectors items and are usually bought in randomly packaged sets. (This is not normally a game that gets played at Cafe Games.)

The finalists table for “Magic”. This was serious stuff with four official uniformed judges, massive cash prizes and a trip to Honolulu to compete in the international championships.

On the other hand, the “Settlers of Catan” tournament seemed quite laid-back.

If you don’t know this classic “euro” strategy game, players are colonists on a new island, they try to set up their settlements in such a way that they’ll be able to make better use of the island’s resources and crops than each other. They can also barter with each other for things they need.

Here’s a little one-minute overview video of “Settlers”

Unusual old-style “Settlers” set.

Finalists table for the “Settlers” tournament.

More islands – but this time it’s Treasure Island and Pirates’ Cove. Can you become the most famous pirate of them all? Fight! Plunder! Bury treasure! Brag at the pub!

A rare boys-only table at Mahjong.

Drum Roll !!! Life in the circus? It’s a colourful and exotic boardgame that Julian (Unhalfbricking games store) brought back from the famous Essen boardgame festival in Germany.

Fresco – an appropriate game for an artist to introduce, eh Paul? Folks, don’t worry if you’re not an artist, no actual drawing is required in this strategy game. You’ll be re-enacting life as a mediaeval artist helping restore an old cathedral fresco: buying the right paints for each section, impressing the bishop, earning money on the side, and even knowing which days you can sleep in 🙂

If you’re intrigued, check out this video review of Fresco by “Castelli”, an Australian blogger.

It’s a Small World – but packed with exotic creatures all trying to make it their home.

A quick little game of Carcassonne, another classic game, but one that produces a quirky map as a result.

Fans of the comedy card game “Munchkin” give its horror themed version Munchkin Cthulhu a run through. Fight monsters, collect treasure, try to remain sane in the face of unspeakable horror.

No, he’s not hiding behind a napkin, he’s talking to a covered baby attached to his chest! Here the gang are playing Bohnanza, trading colourful “bean” cards with each other to try and make the best sets.

Playing San Juan – the card game version of Puerto Rico – set up buildings and grow plantations to run the most profitable business.

Qwirkle – it’s fast become a staple game here. Interesting that these guys have “stretched out” the tiles so far, usually they’re more compacted in together.

Looks like Colossal Arena again. Must be a good game since Bayden always seems to be playing it. Gamble on which fantasy creatures will beat which others.

Staple of many games clubs – Ticket To Ride. In this expansion they’re building train routes all across “Asia” – from the Mediterranean to Japan

A desperate rush to find the four treasures on Forbidden Island before it sinks under the ocean.

WOW!!! A dramatic occasion as four intrepid ghost-busters manage to finally beat the big boss in Ghost Stories!!! It’s a wonderfully colourful co-operative game set amongst the supernatural legends from China. You all work together to try to defeat the swarms of exotic ghosts plaguing the land. It’s also quite tricky – this was my first win in over 30 games. Special thanks to Mike for using the Buddha statues to great effect!

Cafe Games Picnic!

In December we held our annual picnic. A bit later in the month than usual, so there were less people, but we still had fun!

We were based at Albert Park Lake and had wonderful sunny weather, and mostly the swans and seagulls played their own games instead of getting involved in ours.

This game of Cosmic Encounter has a table-cloth! How refined!

Bridie towering over everyone else while playing the popular imaginative picture game “Dixit

French? Mexican? Russian? All sorts of exotic types wait for the Greed dice to be rolled.

Quick, name a fairy tale! … No, “Bugs Bunny” doesn’t count!!

Anomia – tie your brain in knots!

The guys ham it up through the dungeon in the fantasy-comedy game Munchkin (Deluxe!)


Thank you all for helping me make 2011 the best year for Cafe Games so far. We’ve had some massive events and a great time as well. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2012!

Feedback: Did you get games for Christmas?

Did you get any new boardgames for Christmas? Leave a comment below sharing the news about your cool new games.


6 Responses to “2011 Backlog! Tournaments and Picnics!”

  1. Bayden January 12, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Great post Chris – thanks for coordinating what has been a fantastic year at Cafe Games, looking forward to the year ahead!

  2. Luke January 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Not pictured in the Cosmic Encounter picture are the angry swans that constantly tried to eat the plastic ships.

    • Christopher January 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Giant Intergalactic Swans of Doooom!!! Made of Dark Matter! 🙂

  3. greenpearceSimon January 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Thanks for a great year Chris. It was only in 2011 that I found this group, and I was hooked straight away! I ended up getting given 3 new Boardgames this Christmas. All based off non-board game things: Civilization, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, and Doctor Who. I’ve only played Discworld so far, and it was great!

    • lectoresenaustralia February 2, 2012 at 2:07 am #

      That looks like real fun!

      Would you accept a new Spaniard in Melbourne to those awsome games? What do I have to do? When? 🙂

      • Christopher February 2, 2012 at 9:22 am #

        Hello lectoresenaustralia,
        you’re very welcome to attend our events.
        As I’m sure you’ve already seen, the next one or two Cafe Games events appear in our Calendar here.

        Also you can get sent new information about our events via our email mailing list, or if you have accounts on them, Meetup and Facebook.

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