Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Friday 18 August 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work:- Week 12

Those of you who follow the blog, or have followed this series might have noticed the long hiatus. I last posted a Work Game Group report in March. Since then I moved on from that job, looked for a new job and got married. I've been in my new job one month and it's quite exciting that I've already managed to start a new group and we plan to meet once per month.

My new office has fewer than ten people, so it's a work social night, rather than a night to gather interested people. This definitely meant some people were reluctant and a couple of people didn't attend, but overall I was pleased with their willingness to take part and try something new. It's nice not to worry about how many people are going to come along, but complete non-gamers bring a new set of challenges.

Week 12

Number of Attendees: 7

Games Played: Codenames, Dobble, Spyfall, Rhino Hero, Ticket to Ride: Europe

The Challenges

A large group

For most of the evening I was the only game teacher, which is always going to be a little challenging with a group of 6 or 7 people. I don't own many games that work for this player count, besides Codenames and Spyfall. I need to think a little bit harder about how I can either move beyond party games and hit the high player count with games like Celestia or Jamaica or whether I can get a smaller group playing independently with something simple like Carcassonne. This week everyone left at the same time, but maybe in the future if numbers start to dwindle throughout the evening this will be the chance to teach something for a lower player count that they might be comfortable to then play independently at the next game night.

The Successes


Those who have read my older posts will know that we used to game in a pub, which comes with many problems, including reserving the right number of tables, noise, table size etc. Fortunately, now that I work in a small office, it's much easier to justify using a meeting room to play in. We have two meeting rooms and could probably support two or three games happening at once, so I'm very happy never to have to worry about venues again!

A gamer!

Word has spread to our head office in Canada that I'm a gamer (I'n trying to organise someone to accept my amazon orders before I visit in a few weeks). The great news is that someone reached out and told me that they play games too! The even better news is that he's moving to the London office in the next couple of months and the good news for game night was that he just happened to be here for a visit! I definitely enjoyed our geeky chat over a game of Ticket to Ride: Europe at the end of the evening. So long as I didn't scare him away we'll be heading to the board game cafe in Winnipeg in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to some more after work gaming when he moves here!

Very happy customers

As far as I could tell, everyone really enjoyed our game night! We only played party-style games, but there was a lot of laughter and fun. One colleague said she wanted to buy Dobble for her dad, Codenames for home and Rhino Hero for her nieces - that's definitely a glowing reception to some of the games we played! I kept the whole group together for the whole session, which meant bending the player count slightly with Dobble and Rhino Hero, but I think it was the right choice to make for our first night of gaming and made for a great social experience, especially with a couple of new members in the team.

Lessons for Next Week

Encourage splitting into two groups

As I've said above, seven players can be hard. I don't want the group to get stuck in a cycle of playing party games. There is a risk that they won't find slightly less 'fun' or 'exciting' games a bit boring if I get them too hooked on Dobble and Codenames. To try and play some gateway games like Ticket to Ride, Catan, Carcassonne and Takenoko I will need to find a way to split the group and teach two games. At least I will soon have a second teacher and then this will be far less of a challenge.

Playing something new

Everyone loved Dobble, Codenames and Rhino Hero. I hope that next time we play, in one month from now, they don't just request to play the same games again. I love that everyone enjoyed them, but for my own enjoyment, we need to play some new, and slightly more challenging, games too!

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