Can this course get any better?! So as research towards our Character project, we had the opportunity to take part in a board game evening. As a lover of board games, I was over the moon with this idea and enjoyed a great evening playing two excellent games which were both new to me.
The first game we played was called Dixit and it was a fairly straightforward board/card game. The object of the game was to be the first player to reach the end of the board (or the nearest to the end when the cards had all been played). Each player was dealt cards (depending on the number of people playing) and each turn one player had to choose one of his/her cards to place face-down on the table and say out loud a word or phrase which described the card, or part of the card. The other players then all chose one of their own cards which they believed best fit the description just given. The played cards are shuffled and then turned face-up. Each player (except the person who gave the phrase) then has to decide which card they thought was the original card played by the 'phrase-giver'. Points are awarded depending on whether the correct card was chosen by the other players or not.
The Dixit game board and bunny meeple
I thoroughly enjoyed this game and really got into it the more it was played. The game is visually appealing with some great illustrations and the cute little bunny 'meeples' are a nice addition. I found the points system a little confusing, but I'm sure once you have played it a bit it would become second nature. The idea of the game is to get some players to guess your card, but not everyone! No points are awarded if no-one or everyone chooses your card. I think with practice, one might become quite a 'pro' at giving ambiguous descriptions and Fred, our 'games master' said the game can be very amusing if played by a group of people who are very close and have little 'in jokes' that they can use! We played this game three times and it got better and better each time.
A selection of the Dixit cards
Next we played a game called Avalon. This is a fantasy style game in which each game player plays either a good guy or a bad guy. The great thing is, their true allegiance is unknown to most of the other players. The idea of the game for the 'good guys' is to win as many quests as possible. The point of the 'bad guys' is to stop them doing this! The characters were based on The Knights of the Round Table and characters included Merlin,
Percival, and the Loyal Servants of Arthur (the 'good guys') along with Morgana, the Assassin and the Minions of Mordred (the 'bad guys), among others.
Avalon game box and quest board
A selection of the player cards, good and bad
Each player takes it in turn to be King and chooses players to come on the quest. Each player then secretly chooses whether they want to Approve or Reject the mission. If the mission is rejected then no quest is carried out but a count is kept of the number of rejected missions and if this reaches 5, then the Minions of Mordred win the game. If the mission is Approved, then each of the players chosen to go on the quest choose, in secret, whether to Pass or Fail the mission. Obviously the bad guys will want to Fail the missions, so this is the point when we start to realise who the fishy people are!
At set up, this game seemed a little complicated and it needs an experienced or well tuned-in games master in order for the game to begin successfully. However, once game play started, the game was very addictive and very easy to follow. The style of the game suits the period in which it is set and the board is very easy to follow. You wouldn't need much space to play this game either, which is always a bonus (can play in the pub!). Highly recommended to see how evil your friends really are!
Both games are now on my Christmas list :)