Category: Games

PadAddicts Episode #2 – It’s a Ludo

Aug 12
Posted on August 12, 2010 19:24 in Games, Podcast

Make sure to head over to PadAddicts.co.uk and get the latest episode of the podcast. This week Dom and I rant about some of the coolest games we’ve been playing. Alternatively get your episode from iTunes.

Board Game Madness: Carcassonne – The City

Aug 18
Posted on August 18, 2009 8:00 in Games

Last week I managed to get my hands on a really cheap version of Carcassonne: The City (Amazon, Wikipedia). This game comes in a nice wooden box and normally costs about £30+ in the shops. The game is a not an expansion of the Carcassonne game, but instead the first spin-off from the main game that I’ve bought so far.

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The main reason for The City to be this pricey probably has a lot to do with the amount of wood that has gone into this game design. The normal game only has 24 little wooden meeples, but this version comes with an additional bag of wooden “wall” pieces. This gives the game a great haptic improvement over the original game, but obviously at a price.

The City can be played with 2 to 4 players, but I think 3 is probably the best. Make sure you play with people who’ve played Carcassonne before though, as this definitely seems to be a more advanced version of the regular game. The added dimension of walls and the point scoring and option limiting factors that are involved with it can be a bit overwhelming to new players.

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Overall I have to say I like the game and I’m glad I managed to get it for cheap on eBay. I’m not sure if it’s worth spending £30+ on, but if you’re a Carcassonne junky or you bump into a cheap deal make sure you get your hands on it.

Board Game Madness: Carcassonne

Apr 23
Posted on April 23, 2009 10:00 in Games

So, I got a new hobby.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have noticed already by the excessive tweets, but I have a Carcassonne addiction. It all started when Melinda got the game for her brother for Christmas, after which we soon bought the travel edition for ourselves. Soon after that followed the normal edition, then some expansions, and it never stopped.

I was first introduced to Carcassonne a few years back in our student flat. For a while we played it like crazy but at a certain moment the craze faded and I never got around to buying my own set. It’s the perfect game to introduce you to the so-called “Euro Games”. The Wikipedia article for Euro Games (also known as German-style board games) states:

The games emphasise strategy, downplay luck and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends. German-style games are sometimes contrasted with American-style games, which generally involve more luck, conflict, and drama.

So what’s Carcassonne?

The game is loosely based on the city of Carcassonne, which is famous for its fortified walls. The game starts off with one tile on the table after which each player in turn gets to pickup a random (faced down) tile and connect it up to the other tiles. In the mean while the user has a set of meeples (little wooden figures) that they can place on either cities, roads, cloisters, or fields. The larger the city, field, or road, the more points a user can gather.

Day 40 - Carcassonne

Although the game partially relies on getting the right tiles at the right moments, the game most definitely has a large strategic element. It is to the user to at all times try to maintain as large a point potential and scoring as many points as possible, while also making sure to occasionally make situations harder for their opponents.

Carcas jugando al Carcassonne 1

Some meeples in play

Expansions

The really cool part of Carcassonne is that basic game can be explained a few minutes (the base game comes with a small A5 sized booklet of 4 pages with full color images), but for advanced players there are numerous expansions that add extra characters and tiles that add new dynamic and strategy to the game. Since we bought the base game we’ve already acquired 8 expansions but if you want to buy an expansion we’d recommend getting The River 2, Inns&Cathedrals, and Traders&Builders first.

Dragon on the River
The dragon from the Princess & The Dragon expansion

If you really want to go crazy though, you can get The Big Box 2 which combine the base game plus a few of the most important expansions together. Also have a look at MeeplePeople.com and BoardGameExtras.co.uk where you can get your own custom colored meeples, meeple t-shirts, and much more.

Board Game Nights/Afternoons

Obviously it’s no fun playing any of these games on your own, so go ahead and follow our lead and organize your own board game afternoon or evening with friends. Again, the great thing of Carcassonne is that the rules can be explained in a few minutes, which makes it a perfect “gateway game”. Now before you know it you’ve got your entire circle of friends crazed about it and ordering their own meeples like mine did.

My Own Werewolf Cards

Nov 21
Posted on November 21, 2007 15:21 in Games

As some of you might know, a popular game to play during BarCamps is the game of Werewolf. Werewolf is a very social mind game (based on the Mafia game), where a group of villagers go to bed at night to find that the werewolves ate one of them when they wake up. So, as a revenge, the villagers decide to lynch one of their fellows who they suspect to be a werewolf. This goes on until either all the werewolves get lynched, or all villagers get eaten during the night. Obviously there is basically no way the villagers can know who the werewolves are which makes it a very fun and mind-fucking game to play.

So I wanted to get some special cards for a long time now that assign all the players their character, and I was actually planning to use Moo-cards for this, just as some other people had done. I didn’t want to order 100 cards though so I was in a pickle. Imagine my surprise when I found actual real Werewolf cards in an ordinary game shop in The Netherlands! 24 nice cards for only €9 (£6.5)!

There are some weird characters in the game which we will probably never use, but if you go to the Flickr photo and take a look at the notes you will see what every character is supposed to be.

Dutch Werewolf Cards