March Merriment

7 Apr

Ouch, 2016 continues to speed by! Codenames is still very popular, and games derived from Monopoly are still with us. Cards Against Humanity still has a few die-hard supporters, but is far from the days when it was the craze. Hedbanz is showing unexpected popularity, and the deduction game Deception seems to have crept into the gap left by the disappearance of Mysterium.

Anyway, here’s what we got up to in our March event …


Qwirkle – just like Scrabble only crunchy only with colours and shapes.

The new version of Ca$h and Guns – lots more guns, lots more cash and even other precious stolen goods to squabble over like diamonds, paintings …

It’s pretty popular so here it is again…


Saboteur – it should be easy to dig a tunnel to find gold, but someone on your team doesn’t want you to find it and will send you in the wrong direction, or worse – breaks your diggin’ tools!

This is “The Game” – you can see the top of the two rows on the left, cards are counting down from 100 … and on the right cards are counting up from 1 . On your turn you must play some of the random numbers in your hands onto the rows. If you can work with the other players to get all of your cards out on the table, then you all win!
Only problem is, you can’t tell them what cards you have, only recommend which piles they should avoid!

Monopoly Empire – Intriguingly not simply a retheme of the original Monopoly. Instead of houses and hotels, each player has a tower (blue) which they build up with advertising billboards they’ve bought around the board (instead of properties). The higher you’ve built on the tower, the more money you get when you pass Go or when people land on your spaces. More expensive places give you taller signs. There’s also no elimination!

Not sure what Ben, our champion Monopoly obsessive player would think of this one! 😉

Hedbanz! Amusingly I heard some concerned passers-by say they couldn’t possibly play this sort of simple game. Well, their loss, these folks are enjoying themselves being a bar, a bagel and a cell phone, trying to discover their true selves!

Tsuro – slide around and around on the twisty lines, but be careful not to fall off the sides or run into anyone else! So simple, and a good opener.

Upwords – a new challenge for fans of Scrabble and Word Ladder puzzles. Here you get to change words already on the board by putting new letters on top.
I see they’ve played “LOON” and “DOOF”. hmm.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, a hidden-role team game a bit like the mystical Mysterium where the team of Investigators are trying to interpret cryptic reports from the Forensic Scientist so that they can work out who’s holding the evidence that will implicate them as the Murderer. Obviously the Murderer doesn’t want to be found, so she’ll pretend to be an Investigator and send everyone on the wrong track.

Sushi Go – collect the best happy sushi from the train of cards going around and around the table

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! Your island is sinking into the ocean! Better try to find a boat with an spare seat and head for the far shore, trying to avoid the sharks, whales and sea monsters! Sure, if there are no spare boats, you could try to swim instead, but … you probably won’t get far.

Blokus – like a kind of multiplayer Tetris. Get as many of your pieces on the board as you can. Okay, so I used to think the name was pronounced “bloke-us” … but I guess it makes sense to be “block-us” named after the “blocks” in the game.

The King Is Dead. In his absence, various armies battle each other across the land. As a schemer behind the scenes, you want to back various armies, hoping that when fighting is over, you’re in the most influential position and get crowned the new king.

Chronology, a light trivia game that gets harder the better you do!
Cards all have historical events on them and each time you are presented with a new card, you attempt to put it in the right chronological order with the cards you already have. If you are correct you get to keep it. That might be easy if you only have two cards in front of you, but if you keep winning and get eight cards, it will get much tougher!!


The hype for Codenames still hasn’t passed. There’s usually at least 2-3 copies at every event.


Dixit Codenames – the Codenames variant using Dixit picture cards, is still popular as well, but has waned a little. I guess people have to find a copy of Dixit as well.

Codes Against Humanity? Ha, I hadn’t seen this variant of Codenames before. Using the white cards from the gross-out game Cards Against Humanity.

Thanks Melvin for running the Mahjong section while Leo was away 🙂

Looks like someone has discovered the Antidote, in this logical deduction game.

A significant game of the farming game Agricola – Kerrin’s teaching Carol who is herself an enthusiastic teacher of games. Carol now seems very keen on the game, maybe one day she’ll be teaching and promoting Agricola too.

The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus. Run into the temple, grab some treasure and get out – but watch out, mummies and monsters roam the halls and giant chunks of the roof are starting to crash down, possibly barring your exit.

Building an affluent town in Machi Koro. Playing the game feels like playing roulette – building each building is like buying spots on the roulette wheel and then you roll the dice to see what pays off – a “1” and everyone gets something!

The return of Cave Troll after many years. It’s not a dungeon exploring game, more of a team sport with a sports field shaped like a dungeon where you send out your team of heroic champions and vicious monsters to wrestle with the other teams over the most popular places on the board.

Oh dear, looks likes someone put the 6th card in a 6 Takes row, and so has been forced to pick up the whole row! Bad calculation on his part!

The classic “monopoly card game” Monopoly Deal. Really it’s just Monopoly themed, it’s quite different and a nice little game of set collection.

Coming Up!

This Saturday we have Cafe Games from midday to 11pm again – no RSVP required but you’re welcome to put your name down on Facebook or Meetup and invite your friends.

The following Saturday and Sunday (16-17 April) we’ve also got TGE’s Victorian State Boardgaming Tournaments. Unfortunately no Rummikub this year, where last year our very own Siew-Li did so well. (Making it through to the World Rummikub Championships in Berlin!!!)

ABT-header

However, there are tournaments for the strategy games Settlers of Catan, Dominion, 2 player Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride, with some great prizes. Put your name down now!

Lost and Found

I haven’t heard back from my notices that I posted about items found after the last Cafe Games. Do these items belong to you, or do you have info about them?

  • Whose copy of Resistance was being played? Someone dropped a set of Approve/Reject tokens.
  • Did someone drop a yellow plastic disc token?
  • A copy of Zooloretto was left behind, and surprisingly no-one has contacted me about it.

See you on Saturday!
~ Christopher

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