Category Archives: News

Next Meeting, 13th April 2021 – Online!

Although the spring is definitely on its way despite the snow, with the current stresses, people still need what social contact they can get, and board games are a great medium for that.  Despite the limitations of “remote gaming“, everyone feels it is important to stay in touch, so we are persisting with online meetings.  Therefore, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 13th April 2021; we will gather from around 7.30pm, and start playing at 8pm.

This week, the “Feature Game” will be Tiny Towns, this time with the Monuments module.  Unusually, this is not a “Roll and Write” game, though it has some similar elements.  It is an area and resource management game where players are planning and building a town.

Tiny Towns
– Image by boardGOATS

And talking of planners…

Jeff went to see a planning consultant to ask for help building his new house.  As he arrived and was being introduced to the consultant, he asked, “What’s your least expensive fee?”

The consultant answered, “£150 for three questions.”

Jeff looked quite shocked and exclaimed, “That’s very expensive, isn’t it?

“Yes, it is,” replied the consultant. “So what’s your third question?”

Next Meeting, 30th March 2021 – Online!

Although the spring is definitely on its way, with the current stresses, people still need what social contact they can get, and board games are a great medium for that.  Despite the limitations of “remote gaming“, everyone feels it is important to stay in touch, so we are persisting with online meetings.  Therefore, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 30th March 2021; we will gather from around 7.30pm, and start playing at 8pm.

This week, the “Feature Game” will be Las Vegas, a dice chucking, betting and push your luck game that we love and played a lot before we were forced to move game nights online.  It was the first game we played online a year ago and we thought we’d play it again to mark a year of remote gaming.

Las Vegas
– Image by boardGOATS

And talking betting…

Every year, Jeff made a bet with a local farmer, as to which lamb will jump highest—He likes a gambol…

Goats in the News: The Goats are Back In Town…!

Last year, a group of Kashmiri goats went on the rampage in Llandudno.  It is actually not uncommon for them to visit the town when food is scarce, but now they are back, and thanks to a lack of contraception caused by the pandemic, there are more of them than ever.  Apparently they’ve been caught queuing at the chippy, waiting for a bus, and going to school—they are a very popular sight kidding around in town.

– Video by 5 News on youtube.com

 

Boardgames in the News: The Monopoly Community Update

As well as the variety of different editions, over the years, there have been a number of updates to the classic Monopoly game.  These include include changes to the iconic cast iron tokens including the popular addition of the cat a few years ago. In the eighty-six years of the Monopoly Brand, however, the Community Chest cards have remained unchanged.  Until now that is.

Monopoly Cat Token
– Image of unknown origin

The original Monopoly game was set in Atlantic City; according to The Monopoly Companion by Phillip Orbanes, the Community Chest was the city’s “forerunner of the United Way” and was a welfare organisation.  For this reason, the Community Chest cards mostly give players money (compared with the Chance Cards which usually move players to another space).  There are just sixteen Community Chest cards in the classic Monopoly game, and the space is marked by the iconic treasure chest logo.

Monopoly
– Image from
fineartamerica.com

The Community Chest cards currently include include “Bank error in your favour, “Hospital fees” and “You have won second prize in a beauty contest,” and do sound a little dry and out-dated.  So, yesterday, Hasbro announced that they will be changing all the cards and asking the public to vote for possible replacements with the new version available in Autumn.

Monopoly Vote
– Image by boardGOATS from
monopolycommunitychest.com

Next Meeting, 16th March 2021 – Online!

Although the spring is definitely on its way, with the current stresses, people still need what social contact they can get, and board games are a great medium for that.  Despite the limitations of “remote gaming“, everyone feels it is important to stay in touch, so we are persisting with online meetings.  Therefore, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 16th March 2021; we will gather from around 7.30pm, and start playing at 8pm.

This week, the “Feature Game” will be Das Labyrinth des Pharao.  This is a tile laying game in a similar vein to Take it Easy! which we played a few weeks ago, or the Spiel des Jahres nominee Karuba which we last played a long time ago.  This game has an Egyptian theme though, with players exploring a pyramid.

 Das Labyrinth des Pharao
– Image by boardGOATS

And talking about Egypt…

Jeff was living in Egypt by the banks of a beautiful ancient river.  Every year the river flooded, but Jeff remained certain that the river would not destroy his house.  One year, the people of the village tried desperately to persuade him to evacuate, as the floods that year were particularly severe.  Jeff would not listen though, convinced he was right.  The floods came within the month, however, ruining his house and pulling him, and the debris, into the river.  The people, watched from the shores, shouting at him, and yelling, asking him why he didn’t listen.  Jeff continued ignoring them—he was still in de-Nile.

Boardgames in the News: Asmodee’s Plan B

When Asmodee acquired F2Z/Filosofia/Z-Man Games etc. in 2016, the then owner of F2Z, Sophie Gravel, activated her “Plan B” and set up a new company, Plan B Games.  This company was successful almost straight away, winning the Spiel de Jahres Award & Deutscher Spiele Preis just two years later, with Azul.  Since then, Plan B has released the follow-up games Stained Glass of Sintra and Summer Pavilion which, although not as popular as the original, were still very successful in their own right.

Azul
– Image by boardGOATS

Plan B were also responsibly for the three Century Games (Spice Road, Eastern Wonders and A New World) which were all variously successful, and the more recently released games, Beez and Alma Mater.  In 2017, Plan B Games acquired German publisher Eggertspiele, the publisher responsible for many well received heavier, strategy games including Great Western Trail, Mombasa (Deutscher Spiele Preis winner), and Village (Kennerspiel des Jahres & Deutscher Spiele Preis winner), as well as the lighter Spiel des Jahres winner, Camel Up.

Century: Spice Road
– Image by boardGOATS

Given the quality of all these games, almost inevitably, just five years after they acquired F2Z, this week Asmodee announced they have now acquired Plan B and their subsidiary brands (Eggertspiel, Next Move Games and Pretzel Games).  This time Asmodee are absorbing the whole team including Sophie Gavel, perhaps avoiding the necessity of acquiring her Plan C in five years time…

Camel Up
– Image by boardGOATS

Next Meeting, 2nd March 2021 – Online!

Although the signs of spring approaching are clear, with the current stresses, people still need what social contact they can get, and board games are a great medium for that.  Despite the limitations of “remote gaming“, everyone feels it is important to stay in touch, so we are persisting with online meetings.  Therefore, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 2nd March 2021; we will gather from around 7.30pm, and start playing at 8pm.

This week, the “Feature Game” will be the first Hexpansion to HexRoller.  This is another “Roll and Write” style game, and this one is very abstract, though based on hexagons (which are the bestagons, obviously).  This game should be quite short, so will give time to play something else afterwards.

HexRoller: Hexpansion 1
– Image by boardGOATS

And talking about shapes…

When Little Jimmy came home from his first day at big school, his father Jeff, trying to be a good parent asked his son, what had happened.

Little Jimmy answered, “Well Dad, we had a geometry lesson today.”

His father responded, “That’s really interesting son, what did you learn?”

Jimmy looked a little uncomfortable for a moment and thought for a bit, but eventually replied, “We learnt πr2.”

Jeff looked at him and frowned, “Don’t be silly, everyone knows pies are round and it’s cakes that are square…”

Boardgames in the News: Fake Games from a High Street Name

As reported previously, fake and counterfeit goods are not uncommon online, especially with purchases from certain auction sites.  Even companies like Amazon are not immune though, thanks to co-mingling of stock with that from other third-party sellers and returned items.  More recently, however, there have been lots of reports of issues with copies of Pandemic, Dead of Winter, Carcassonne, Catan, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle bought from Zavvi.  This is of note, not because of the games (which have been targeted before), but because Zavvi is a reputable high street name.

Pandemic
– Image by BGG contributor kilroy_locke

Zavvi is owned by The Hut Group (aka THG), along with a range of other companies that sell everything from lipstick to language services.  The Hut Group also own I Want One of Those (aka IWOOT) who have recently been selling quite a lot of games at a good price including Sagrada, Horrified, and Ticket to Ride: London.  There doesn’t appear to be any question of the authenticity of these games, but IWOOT have been selling copies of Dead of Winter, Pandemic, Carcassonne and Hogwarts Battle too and these also seem to be fakes, presumably from the same, communal supply as the Zavvi games.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
– Image by BGG contributor zgabor

Both Zavvi and IWOOT have been reluctant to acknowledge that the games are fake insisting to customers that they “do not handle fake goods”, they “source all stock direct from the brand suppliers”, and “items sold by ourselves are not counterfeit”.    Neither Zavvi nor IWOOT are known for selling counterfeits.  So, assuming it is against company policy, how their supply chain became contaminated is an interesting question and it is possible that they themselves have been the subject of a deception.  It seems unlikely that these fakes were supplied through the usual UK distribution channels, but it is possible they were bought in good faith from another supplier.

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
– Image by BGG contributor mikehulsebus

Perhaps the biggest issue here is the poor Customer Service people have reportedly received, including standard unhelpful replies or an offer of only a partial refund.  It seems persistence is the only answer, though reporting the company to the Trading Standards and/or the finance handling service (credit card company or PayPal), can help.  For those struggling with IWOOT, suggesting to Customer Services that they look at “ISM ticket 1195382” can also help (ISM is the Ivanti Service Manager ticketing system).

Boardgames in the News: Going in too DeeP

Four years ago today, the driver of a sports utility vehicle in Huntsville, Alabama had a seizure and lost control of his car.  His path took him through an Office Depot car park, across another road, through another empty car park and then a fence, and finally ploughed into The DeeP, a games and comic store.  Somehow, he narrowly missed numerous items that would have stopped the vehicle, but would have caused serious injury to the driver had he hit them.  Remarkably, nobody was seriously hurt, but the games store had plenty of cameras to show what happened to the stock…

– Video by Deep Comics & Games on youtube.com