Every Wednesday I get together with members of the gaming group I run in Bishop’s Stortford. (For more details head to our Meet Up Page) Through the group I end up playing two or so games a week with one of them almost always being something I haven’t played before. The Boardover is a summary of the evening where I give my impressions of the games played.
This week was an interesting one turn out wise. We had a grand total of eight regulars come along and then a small group of four turn up, only one of whom was part of the group. The group of four kept to themselves but I moseyed over at the start and end of the evening to talk up the Meet Up group and what we do. It’s cool to see more people coming along even if they keep to themselves. The more the merrier and it also makes the get togethers more appealing for people who wander into the bar on the night. It also hopefully means I can get a few more members and regulars for the group!
Me and Kim were late arriving due to the trains in England being trains but we caught the tail end of a tense game of Codenames that went down to the wire. I’ve played Codenames recently and it is as good as everyone says. Quick, easy to teach and fun to play. A near perfect opening/introductory game. The key to victory being playing to your team’s strengths and giving them clues based on shared knowledge.
We then played a game of Cash’n’Guns (2nd Edition) with a full group of eight people. Cash’n’Guns is great with most group sizes but it is very much a game that is better with more players. With eight players the dynamic shifts constantly and loot becomes much more valuable. It also looks equal parts hilarious and cool when people stumble into the bar and see a large group of people pointing foam guns at each other. I hardly ever win Cash’n’Guns but I always have a blast playing it. I especially enjoy all the jokes about people “banging” each other that come up while you play!
After the hilarity of pointing pistols at each other one person had to shoot off for the evening. (Pun intended) We then divided into two smaller groups. One playing Airlines Europe. Then the group I was in managed to fit in two shorter games, Cacao and Splendour.
Cacao played out like a slightly more structured and tactical Carcassonne. A game were tile placement and working out the best combinations of things is key. I enjoyed it but it is one of those games that the first time you play it feels like a training session. It was only towards the end of the game that I saw what some of the better placement combinations could be. Mainly due to the owner of the game playing them! I still enjoyed the experience. The theme was unique too and the mechanics played well with it. I’m interested in giving Cacao another go at some point in the future.
We ended the evening with a game of Splendor. This was the first time I have played it and I walked away very impressed. I also won so GO ME! In short: Splendor is my kind of game. The puzzle to it is challenging while not being overly complex and while the theme is somewhat abstract it still works. At its core the game is about balancing your inherent greed (if you are me anyway) with acquiring a good combination of cards to allow you to win the game. It does suffer from a bit of tunnel vision were players end up concentrating on their own collections too much. However I realised early on to keep an eye on what combinations people were going for and to keep track of how many Victory Points people had. One thing I really liked about the game was the weight of the chips used to represent the gems. They go a long way to giving the sense that they have great value attached to them. They also sound really good when you mess around with them while waiting for your turn.
I may have added Splendor to me ever growing To Buy list at the end of the evening…