Board Games and Werewolf

One of the excellent things about Rebellion (amongst many others, of course) is that there’s so many geeky people that there’s a board games club at lunchtime. (There’s also a lot of people who play computer games – I’ve been offered Halo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft, and several others that I hadn’t heard of!) But because I like board games, I made a point of investigating who did what, and I’m now usually – if the publishing department hasn’t caught fire or the printers have just sent a proof copy back – to be found playing something at lunchtime…

7 Wonders

You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Gather resources, develop commercial routes, and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times.

I admit that when I first played this, I was a bit worried as it was quite long…but it’s actually a really good half-hour game! The setup’s a little fiddly but once you know what everything does (which I found took 5-ish games) it’s quite easy to start looking at strategies and ways of playing. I haven’t yet won, but I’m starting to hold my own – and develop my own strategies for winning! It can be as complex or as simple a strategy as you want it to be, and I like 7 Wonders because the game changes every time, so – so far! – it hasn’t become boring.

Tzolk’in

We’ve just started playing this (aka. we’ve played it twice now?) so I’m just about getting the hang of it. It’s got a cool mechanism of turning wheels, so you add your workers to a wheel and then can either leave them to ride up the rewards, or remove them to gain the reward, plus go up in temple points, build buildings…it’s quite complex to understand what everything does, but kinda fun. Still working out my strategies though!

Mystic Vale (with expansions)

A curse has been placed on the Valley of Life. Hearing the spirits of nature cry out for aid, clans of druids have arrived, determined to use their blessings to heal the land and rescue the spirits. It will require courage and also caution, as the curse can overwhelm the careless who wield too much power.

I really like the mechanism for this; you get issued a “base” set of cards, and then you add in powers on top in clear plastic sleeves. It means you power up your deck as you play, but still gives you randomly selected cards – and you’re potentially fighting everyone else at the table for the cards that you want to take. It’s been a 2-lunchtime game each time we’ve played (although sometimes only just!) and it fairly easy to set up. And it is very pretty.

Race for the Galaxy

Players build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent worlds or technical and social developments. Some worlds allow players to produce goods, which can be consumed later to gain either card draws or victory points when the appropriate technologies are available to them. These are mainly provided by the developments and worlds that are not able to produce, but the fancier production worlds also give these bonuses.

Another quick-play one, and one that I’m slowly getting the hang of – although I’ve only played this one a few times, too! Good for card strategy although has some dice-roll luck too.

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico players assume the roles of colonial governors on the island of Puerto Rico. The aim of the game is to amass victory points by shipping goods to Europe or by constructing buildings.

Getting the hang of this one! It’s quite a simple one to pick up, and fairly simple to play. Haven’t yet won (let’s be fair, I haven’t won anything yet…) but getting closer! Coffee, that’s the key – and taking over one boat when no one else has any of that commodity 🙂

We’ve also been playing Dominion, Galaxy Truckers (which, I incidentally learned, isn’t supposed to take an HOUR to build your ship. It’s supposed to take five minutes. So there’s that), Ticket to Ride, and I forget the others…but definitely a bunch of different things! And we’ve still got quite a bit of the stack of get through! So my lunchtimes are busy and fun, even if I am still losing everything at the moment.

Aaaand…Werewolf

There’s an Oxford Werewolf group – I think there’s actually a couple around, but I trundled along to this one a week or so ago. It was awesome and it’s a really good group of people, but I’d forgotten how freakin’ anxiety-full Werewolf is! Especially for someone who doesn’t like arguing. Not sure I’m going to be able to go back, which sucks as otherwise it was a fun game. I mean, I got burned at the stake which frankly wasn’t very friendly, but a wolf nearly won – which is hilarious when you’re a ghost and hanging around just to watch the chaos.

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.