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.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Sunday 25 February 2018

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work:- Week 16

This week's board game night almost didn't get off the ground due to too many people working late at the office, but after a lot of grumbling from me, we managed to get a small group together and probably had one of my most satisfying board game evenings in my new job. We played some new games, some slightly more thinky games and less party games.

Week 16

Number of Attendees: 5

Games Played: Tsuro of the Seas, Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama, Barenpark

The Successes

Most 'complex' game yet
Building on my success with Kokoro last time the group met, I decided to step it up again with a game of Barenpark. I had recent success introducing Barenpark to a colleague at a board game cafe, so assumed it would be easy enough for our group of four to pick up. We played without the objectives, and everyone did pick it up quite easily, with the final scores being quite close. I'm happy that I got to introduce a more 'gamer' style game, but there were some drawbacks I'll mention in my lessons learned.

More love for Kokoro

As mentioned above, Kokoro was a hit last time and was requested again this week. I really like when people request that I bring a game back because it means I'm doing something right and also takes the pressure off me for choosing a game for the group. This time some new players struggled slightly with the concept, not quite realising the importance of planning ahead and creating bigger opportunities for the future, but the people on their second play did well and I think everyone enjoyed it and would be more successful on their next play.

The Challenges

Later start and less gaming time

Unforunately this week I had to work late. Because I was in a meeting, some of my colleagues decided not to wait and see what time I finished and instead went home, deciding that board game evening was cancelled or rescheduled. When I got out of my meeting, ready to play with the bag full of games I'd carefully picked and carried to the office over the last few days, I was pretty frustrated that people cancelled on my behalf. Luckily, enough people were still left in the office and we acutally packed in more quality gaming time than usual with a smaller group and fewer work distractions later in the evening.

Lessons for Next Week

Games with enough interaction
Although I believe the group did enjoy Barenpark, it was definitely noticable for me that there was something missing. The game was almost played in silence which isn't normal for our board game nights and probably isn't the right atmosphere for bonding amongst colleagues. Even though Kokoro is still essentially a solitaire game, calling out the numbers and looking at what other people are doing each round just brings more interaction than building your own board in a game like Barenpark. I'll definitely be wary of this in the future, unless, of course, people as me to bring back the bear game.

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