This Month in Board Gaming – February 2019

Welcome to my first This Month in Board Gaming post this month we will be looking over February 2019! Each month I’ll be sharing my gaming and non-gaming highlights: what’s going on in my life, the social media post that I resonated with the most, and my most anticipated board game announcements of the month. Let’s get this show on the road because February has been an awesome month full of gaming and board game announcements that I can’t wait to share with you.

What I’ve been up to!

Away from the games table, the start of 2019 and the whole of February has been dominated by trying to buy our first home. We’ve viewed loads of houses, but none have been quite right for us. The house search is taking up a lot of our spare time AND spare head space, which has meant less blogging and less time on social media.

Picture of Jamaica (published by Games Work)

Despite all the house hunting we’ve managed to fit in a surprising amount of board games! It started with a visit from some good friends. Unusually for our group we weren’t in the middle of a field camping, instead we invited them down to Cardiff for the weekend.  We played a few rounds of Codenames, a favourite with this group (last time we played it was by camplight!). And Jamaica once again proved to be a brilliant option for casual/non gamers. Our friends LOVE escape rooms, so we also headed into Cardiff to Escape Rooms Cardiff and took on their The Heist room. This was a really cool escape room where the group starts being split into two different areas and they have to work together to get together and steal a diamond. We smashed it and definitely want to go back to try some of their more difficult escape rooms.  All in all it was a great weekend.

I can’t talk about February and not mention Valentine’s Day! As per our Valentine’s tradition, we spent the night in with a ‘meal for 2’. This year we also decided to play some games – only choosing from the 2-player options. In the end we played Odin’s Ravens and Oceania (for the first time!). We ended the night (like most these days) talking about houses.

Picture of Random Encounter in York

Last weekend we had a mini-break to the historic city of York. Whilst we were there we took in some of the tourist hotspots. We meandered through the Shambles and excitedly explored all the Harry Potter shops, there are loads of them! Being a massive Potterhead Lauren was in her element. We visit the York Minster (cathedral) and looked at the beautiful stain glass windows which were reminiscent of Sagrada.  We were even lucky enough to be staying in York at the same time as the local Viking festival. And over our weekend we released that it was seemingly normal to walk passed a Viking as you walked down the high street.  On the Saturday, the Vikings marched through town and we were able to get a brilliant spot to watch as the horde of Vikings passed us by.

We also hit some of the board gaming spots: Random Encounter Pop Culture Cafe and Travelling Man. I’ll be talking more about our time in Random Encounters in another blog post soon but both of these places are definitely worth a visit.

Social Shout-Out

This month I saw this Instragram post from brettspielsuechtig:

A Screenshot of an Instagram Post by @brettspielsuechtig . In the background are board game box covers for Monopoly, SPiel Des Wissens, Hotel, Hexentanz, Life, and Labyrinth. In front is a text box asking the question 'Favourite Childhood Game?' On the side is the original image caption which reads 'After my post and the reactions to Labyrinth I decided todo a post about my favourite childhood games. I actually grew up with some 'classics' and some of you might be able to guess my age now. So here's my childhood games.

It got me thinking about what games I enjoyed growing up. As a family I can remember (semi-regularly) sitting around the dining room table to play Cluedo, Pay Day, Kerrplunk! and even a game or two of Risk. Out of these, I would have to say that my favourite was Pay Day. I loved it. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a pretty straightforward ‘mass market’ type roll and move game. The board was a designed to look like a calendar page and you had to make it through the month till you got paid! Depending on the spaces you landed on, you might have to the pay bills, fines, or shopping whilst on others you could gain money through investments. My favourite part was that every Saturday space was the ‘Lottery’ and it was a chance to make some money by guessing the roll of a dice. I can remember getting so excited about it, shouting ‘L-L-L-LOTTERRYYY!’ whilst quickly chucking down the money for my ticket and calling dibs on a number before someone else. Just thinking about it makes me want to play Pay Day again, but unfortunately I own a copy!

A photo of the components from Dreamphone. Showing the 90's style game board and cards with the pink electronic phone in the middle.

On the other hand, Lauren still has her favourite childhood game, Dream Phone! Brettspielsuechtig’s post inspired us to take it out of the box for the first time since she was a child – and the phone was still working! I was actually impressed with how the game played. It’s a cracking little deduction game, clearly inspired by Cluedo but focused on a much more important mystery… finding out which boy has a crush on you. You use the electronic phone to ring the different boys and get clues about your Secret Admirer (where he hangs out, what he wears, which sports he likes, etc). We were both in hysterics looking through the cheesy headshots of the ‘boys’ and listening to the calls – I challenge you to find a board game that is as 90s as this one!

Thanks to brettspielsuechtig for the inspiration!

Monthly Announcements

I don’t know if you noticed but February has been a really interesting month for game news we had an announcement for:  an expansion for Root, a dice-based Sushi Go and a new Tiny Epic Game (Tiny Epic Tactics). But there were two announcements that I found more interesting;

USAopoly annouce Harry Potter Defence Against the Dark Arts

Photograph of the game box and game components for Harry Potter - Defence Against the Dark Arts
Photograph Credit – USAopoly

USAopoly announced a new 2 player deck building game Harry Potter: Defence Against the Dark Arts. It’s inspired by the cooperative decking building game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, but instead of working together players will go head to head in duels. As someone who grew up alongside Harry Potter, it’ll always have a special place in my heart and on my board game shelf. So I’m really excited about this game! I also love the fact that it’s two players as Lauren and I spend most of our gaming time playing together so it’s perfect for us. It’s expected to be released in Summer 2019, so we don’t have to wait long!

Is there going to be a 10 year anniversary of Castle of Burgundy?

It also appears that at Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany, Alea (a subsidiary of Ravensburger) were showing off the 20th anniversary addition of Las Vegas Royale with new box art and components. I don’t know anything about Las Vegas Royale but I was very interested by a teaser that was alongside it – A mock up of a game box for a 10th Anniversary edition of Castles of Burgundy. It is only a teaser at the moment, as I can’t find any more information online other than a few pictures and short German articles. If you know anything more about this let me know in the comments below!

Rules of Play announce RulesCon is coming to Cardiff.

There’s one further announcement this month that got me excited: RulesCon, a local convention here in Cardiff hosted by Rules of Play. In previous years it was a day-long convention for International Tabletop Day (usually in April), but as Geek and Sundry has moved the date of International Tabletop Day this year (for whatever reason), Rules of Play has stepped up to have its own weekend-long convention on 27th & 28 April at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff. I’ve already got my tickets, and if you’re local to the Cardiff/south Wales area I strongly recommend going – it would be great to meet up for a game! You can get tickets from the Rules of Play website

So that pretty much sums up my highlights from this month. A lot happened in February and I can list everything here. Let me know in the comments below what your highlight of the month was

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