Last week we checked out a board gaming group in Brighton. I have to admit it was located in a pretty weird shop, on the first floor of an office tower with no visible street presence, but Dice Saloon is definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. A great board game library and drinks and snacks on offer means you could really make a day of it, whether you’re a board gamer, wargamer or enjoy CCGs. We met a bunch of new people and with the perfect number of 8 players, tried a game of Captain Sonar.
Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;
· Captain Sonar is one of the only 2016 releases we’ve tried and it’s one I was super excited for. It’s a team game where your team of 4 mans a submarine trying to evade an enemy sub. Each player has a unique roll and entirely different things to do on your turn, but your common goal is to keep the enemy confused about where you are whilst deducing their location, powering up the right weapons and shooting at them with torpedos as well as exploding mines when they’re nearby. This game was the most satisfying deduction game I’ve ever played. It was exactly the right balance of a hard puzzle, but it played out with just enough clues for us to be deducing and eliminating, rather than just guessing or losing the plot. For me, there was plenty of complexity, but each person had a manageable job with more or less support from their team mates. I love this game, but I just don’t see me getting the perfect 8 people together very often. Maybe we’ll try and have a game with 4 and see if two roles each works to be able to justify owning Captain Sonar.
· Qwirkle Cubes is a game we only tried because it was a car boot sale pick up. The original Qwirkle is in our collection and is an enjoyable abstract, especially with my parents. Qwirkle Cubes makes 2 notable changes. You now have an open hand, and you can re-roll your cubes at the start of every turn. In combination, this means that your opponents know what colours you have, but not what shapes. The changes had good sides and bad sides. On the positive side, if you don’t like your shapes you can try and change them, but for Amy the bad side was a tactical element is removed in your prediction of how many of each piece remain to be drawn. We probably don’t need both games, but I’d be happy to keep either for the collection.
· Spin Monkeys is a lightweight game for 2-8 players. We first played a friends copy of this when it was on offer at a store in the UK and weren’t put off, picking it up for ourselves to try at a car boot sale (again!). In spin monkeys, you’re a monkey in a bumper car, trying to collect fruit of varying values. Cards dictate your direction of travel and your speed is dictated by the number of cards laid out in front of you. Sometimes you hit the walls and lose cards from your speed track and sometimes you hit other players too. The concept of the game is quite light and fun, but a 2-player game definitely drags – I’d like to play this one again with 5 or 6, although I’m not exactly sure who is the right audience – perhaps a party atmosphere?
Not really many more gaming developments this week. Think I will be getting a vintage copy of Heroquest next weekend and I’m pretty excited even though I’m sure I won’t like the game. And finally we managed to talk to our only two geographically close friends about starting up a new campaign of Imperial Assault, so there’s a couple of exciting things on the horizon!