Recently I have been trying to scratch a recurring itch of mine, board gaming. I flippin‘ love boardgaming. And we’re not talking Cluedo, Trivial Pursuits or, dear god help me, Monopoly (gawd, Monopoly sucks). We are talking real tactical thinking boardgames, each seasoned with enough luck to suit the occasion.
They are a happy compromise between mindless dice-roller family games and chess to me. Backgammon would be a good example of this, although more modern classics like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride would be a better example of what great board gaming is these days. I think the German’s are more into this, indeed the hobby seems kept alive over here mainly by European publishing houses.
But my newest game, sitting next to my desk, is Fury of Dracula – a storming 2-5 player action / detective work game where 1-4 players as characters from Bram Stoker’s classic hunt down Count Dracula, who moves around the board in secret laying down traps to hinder the hunters whilst trying to create a network of vampires around Europe.
However, as with many of my geek like hobbies, it’s kind of hard to get something like this going. It needs semi-regular interest from people, like sporting hobbies, but is more of a leisure pursuit, so rarely something you plan too far in advance. But this is where the London effect comes in – so many events and socials DO require advance booking to secure facilities, tickets or numbers in this big city, so most of us book ourselves up regularly and in advance. It feels quite contrived to book a gaming session 2-3 weeks in advance, but that’s the option here.
So if anyone is a keen board gamer in London, feel free to drop me a mail ! Otherwise I’ll keep on trying to find enough vampire hunters / island settlers / city builders and railway travellers to keep my hobby going in the big smoke. Living in a big, bustling city, sometimes I can do with as much escapism as I can get 🙂