Board Room Game Cafe

On May 27th, I travelled in to Halifax with a friend to check out the Citadel and a few other things. We finished up everything around 6pm and thought… what now? After a discussion that lasted about two minutes, even though we both already knew the answer before it started, we decided to go to the Board Room Game Cafe. We figured we’d stay until maybe 11pm then head home. We stayed until closing – 2am!

It was just the two of us and while we thought it might be hard to find enough games to play, there was really no reason to worry!

Cosmic Wimpout

Dice game  |  Friend’s Pick  |  “Winner”: Friend

Friend picked the first game – a Boxing Rock Brewing Co. branded edition of Cosmic Wimpout. We keep seeing this game at the Cafe, Friend almost even purchased the game when she visited the brewery. Thank goodness she didn’t!  We finally tried it tonight and it was… not a great experience. I’ve only heard great things about Cosmic Wimpout. There are a lot of rules and we found most of them confusing. Perhaps it was because they tried too hard to be funny? Most of the rules we did get, we threw out because the game was too frustrating.

Maybe we’re just dumb?

We threw out a big rule – the forced re-rolling under certain circumstanced – because I think we’d gone ten rounds and hadn’t been able to hit the 35 points required to get in the game. Even then, there were rules that we ignored or changed and finally managed to get to the 300 points we agreed on.

I really wanted to like this game. I even looked on YouTube for play throughs to try and get a handle on the rules and game play, but I didn’t find any. If you’ve played it, and enjoy it, I’d love to have a tutorial and give this another shot.

Lanterns

Tile placement game  |  My pick  |  Winner: Friend

When we play a universally disliked, frustrating game, I like to pick a guaranteed winner – a game we’ve played before and know we enjoy. I chose Lanterns, a Game Cafe staple for us. I’ve talked about this one before, so won’t go into it again.

Pandemic: The Cure (x2)

Cooperative dice game  |  Friend’s Pick  |  one win, one loss

Game Cafe staple number 2 – Pandemic: The Cure. My family owns the regular Pandemic board game, with a few expansions, and I hate it. It’s one of those games I never have a chance of winning and don’t enjoy playing.  This version is different. It’s got a slightly higher win-rate, but I think it’s mostly because it’s a dice came and I kind of like dice games. I’d buy it, but we already have so many Pandemics, there’s no point. It will be another one we play only at the cafe. It’s nice to have games there that we know we like, but don’t own. No point wasting time playing a game there we can play at home!

We lost so fast, we decided to play again. We won that time, with friend making the winning move.

Istanbul

Strategy game  |  my pick  |  Winner: Friend

It’s no secret to those that know me that I love Istanbul. When I discovered a game in the cafe’s library called ‘Istanbul‘, of course I had to try it!

In this game, you control a merchant and his assistants in an the Grand Bazaar, trying to accumulate as many rubies as possible. Following movement rules, you travel throughout the bazaar and the city to raise money and resources to collect your rubies. It’s one of those games that seems confusing as you read the (extensive) rules, but all clicks into place as soon as you start playing.  I loved it! I want to own it but, as friend said, we have so many games now within our little games group.

Last Word

Party game  |  Friend’s pick  |  Winner: Friend

I was so bad at this game…

In Last Word, you have to be the last person to call out a word fitting a prompt and letter before the randomized timer runs out. Succeed? Move around the board. Cross the finish line first.

It was a good game. I’d play it and lose again, but not sure it would ever be my pick.

Brew Crafters Travel Card Game

Hand management card game  |  My pick  |  Winner: Friend

Brew Crafters Travel Card Game (pictured here with one of my craft beer flight samples) is a card version of a larger board game. The Game Cafe has the board game available for purchase, but I didn’t see it in their library. They did have this, though and I thought it was fun to play. It reminded me a lot of Machi Koro (where you need to collect cards to build a city (or brewery) and have card modifiers that give you extra points) and Catan (where you trade in a certain amount of resources for different levels of beer), but set in a craft brewery.

No interest in purchasing this one, but I would choose it at the cafe again.

Shakespeare

Strategy  |  Friend’s pick  |  Winner: me

Friend is a fan a of Shakespeare and we saw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead earlier in the day. I’m actually surprised Shakespeare didn’t turn up earlier in the evening!  Like our first game, I really wanted to like this one. The art was amazing, and all the little pieces were neat. And it was Shakespeare. I think there were one or two rules or mechanics too many, however. It seemed a bit more complicated than it needed to be, especially with some of the tile placements on the player’s mat. In the end, I won by a few points, but we ignored a couple of the rules.

One of the staff was excited to see us playing it. Maybe we’d get into after playing it another couple of times, but there was just too much in this game to make it enjoyable. Maybe we were just too tired by this point? I’d definitely try it again if Friend wanted to give it another go, but won’t be upset if I never see it again.

Codenames: Pictures (x2)

Game of deduction  |  Friend’s pick  |  one win, one loss

This is a cooperative-ish game when played with only two people. It’s a version of Codenames that uses pictures instead of words. You have to find all your spies, without coming across bystanders or the other team’s spies. I’m no good at giving the clues (that’s the game we lost) but moderately successful at guessing the words.

Board Room Game Cafe – May 2017: Results

Funny, I actually remember losing a lot less than this. Go me!

Friend – 7/10

Me – 3/10

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