Thursday, July 1, 2010

Board Games in Town

 "Dusk in Catan" photo by BoardGameGeek user jamesmattbob
I've recently returned from the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, which has inspired to share a bit about my board game hobby.  I'm assuming the general audience for this blog is not made up of board game geeks like myself, and in doing so, assuming that you readers are unfamiliar with the sort of board games I'm talking about.

You may be familiar with some of the "gateway" titles of the economic style of games I enjoy, such as Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, or Ticket to Ride.  These are considered gateway games because they tend to draw folks deeper into the hobby.  These games are economic in that players are often faced with difficult choices, and ultimately hope to make the right ones in order to earn the most points.  Unlike traditional family favorites like Monopoly or Sorry!, these games are much less random and give players a great deal of control.  Still, the mechanics of these games are simple enough that they, too, have become favorites with many families.

Ticket to Ride photo by BoardGameGeek user garyjames

The publishers of the above four listed titles include Rio Grande Games, Mayfair Games, and Days of Wonder.  These are some of the relatively larger publishers, but they're nowhere near as large as Hasbro, and as a result, you may not find these in a toy store.  To find these games, you'll have to visit your FLGS.

FLGS is geek speak for "Friendly Local Game Store," of which there are two in the Chambana area. 
Just up Vine/Cunningham, you'll find Armored Gopher Games [Facebook page], where folks meet up Sundays after 4:30 for some board game playing.  Other days/times are devoted to specific games as noted on their event schedule.  Armored Gopher has store copies of several popular games, which allow you the free opportunity to try before you buy.  I'd highly recommend swinging by there to see if anyone would be interested in teaching you to play Dominion, if you've never had the pleasure.

Over in downtown Champaign, you'll find the Dragon's Table, where open board game night is on Saturday, and other days/times are also slated for specific games noted on their event schedule.  If you played Hey, That's My Fish here a couple years back on National Boardgame Day, that was DT's kindly lent copy.  I'm sure they have other store copies, so this would be another option for freely trying a game before you buy it--try Hey, That's My Fish if they've still got it around.
Puerto Rico photo by BoardGameGeek user Jormi_Boced

If you're looking for a group to play games with, set up a free account and post to a forum on Board Game Geek.  You can also find more information about individual games than you could have imagined on BGG, as well as reviews, copies for sale, and such.  Another good source for reviews is the blog, The Great Game Gate, written by a presently-local blogger. 

I may have more to say about board games, so expect to see another post or two here.  If you have any questions about games or the possibility of games at the library, please feel free to contact me at the library or post in the comments.

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