Today is the Yellow Meeple’s birthday!!! Yesterday, Amy threw me a surprise birthday get-together and I managed to see a couple of new games hit the table as well as winning a game of XCOM!
This week I also visited the Library Pot – a brand new board game cafe in Richmond, London. Having visited a few cafes in the past, I’m pretty used to a similar format, but The Library Pot is definitely unique – I have never before been served by a pilot and a French maid (dress-up appears to be obligatory for staff). They’re very obviously finding their feet and could definitely do with more staff and maybe a more laid back attitude to use of the game library, but they’re going to need more gamers to give them a try to build this up. You can also tell that their roots are as a meet-up group and I felt slightly guilty for wanting to play independently with a friend. However, they’re creating a community and it appears that they’re bringing gaming to a new audience in this way, so they definitely deserve credit. They’re library is pretty respectable as a starting point and we got a few games played, including some new titles.
· 7 Wonders: Babel is the first expansion we’ve tried to 7 Wonders – a game which I really enjoy. 7 Wonders is not a game I’ve really felt the need to expand, but some people do enjoy having it fully expanded. It seems that the aim of Babel is to ensure that you have some interaction with all players at the table, rather than just your two neighbours. Instead of building a wonder stage, choosing a card to develop or sacroificing a card for coins you can sacrifice a card to build an element of the Tower of Babel, which either causes a global ability or a global penalty that often helps or hinders a particular strategy. For me this was an interesting element to the game, but definitely isn’t essential for me.
· Celestia is a quick push your luck style game with beautiful artwork. You are a group of adventurers who take turns to either captain an airship or to be passengers. The ship flies between lands and encounters fog, birds, lightning and pirates which can be rolled on the dice. If you are the captain you need to have cards matching the faces rolled on the dice in order to complete your leg of the journey. The passengers have to determine if they should leave the ship or stay on board and trust that you’ll be able to fly it safely without crashing. At the point when you leave the ship you receive points and there are greater points available as the ship travels further. The game is really light-hearted and fun – there is a small amount of bluffing involved, but primarily there is just some luck in the card draw and you’re playing the odds – but the short time frame for quite a high player count, means that this doesn’t out stay its welcome.
· Loopin’ Louie has been a game I’ve wanted to try for ages. I really don’t know why this kids games in particular goes down so well with gamers, but we’d probably put it into the category of a ‘dexterity’ game rather than the kids game it obviously is. Quite simply you are defending your chickens using a flipper to try and keep the acrobatic aeroplane away from your chickens and make it swoop in to knock down other peoples. It’s ridiculous but we had a great laugh for 15 minutes and were definitely having the most fun in the cafe.
· Welcome to the Dungeon is a small push your luck style game from Iello. You choose an adventurer and at the end of each round one of you will take the adventurer into the dungeon with whatever equipment he has remaining. The dungeon is made up of monster cards of varying strength and if the adventurer does not have the spells, weapons or HP to deal with all of the monsters in the dungeon then they will fail – two failures is a loss, but two successes is a win. On your turn you can withdraw from the round, meaning you won’t go into the dungeon or you will draw a monster card from the deck and decide whether to put it into the dungeon or to keep it hidden face down and take some equipment away from the adventurer instead. The game rewards some elements of memory about what you put in the dungeon, some tactics in either putting large monsters in the dungeon or using smaller monsters to take away vital pieces of equipment. Timing is also key as well as a small amount of luck. For such a small and simple game there’s actually plenty to think about. It worked well with two and we played 3 times in quick succession. I would definitely play this again as light filler.
We’ll be spending next weekend with my parents, so it’s likely that Ticket to Ride: Europe will be requested, but hopefully we might try and put another gateway game on their radar, maybe New York 1901.This does mean that next week probably isn’t one for trying new games, but I always say that and then still manage to squeeze some in!