Tuesday, 2 June 2015

An evening of board games, socialising, and drinks!

Last year, Rules of Play (an awesome independent board game shop) announced they would be hosting weekly 'Board Game Bar' nights at the Urban Tap House in Cardiff. As someone who visits Cardiff once a year, I knew I'd eventually get my chance. Want to know how it was? Then read on!

For anyone who doesn't know about the Board Game Bar, it is a weekly event held on Mondays in the Urban Tap House from 5-10pm. You pay a cover charge of £3 and get to play as many games as you can manage in 5 hours!

Come on in!
I went down there last Monday with my better half and my good friends Emma and James (with a guest appearance from their friend John). We managed to play 4 games in the allotted time which I think is pretty good going.

As my wife and I arrived before the others, we picked a random game to play. She chose a game from the selection of over 100 (!) and it just happened to be a 2-player game! Perfect! It was the highly acclaimed Jaipur. I'd heard about the game previously but hadn't read too much into it.
After a quick read through of the rules we were ready to play. The verdict? We both loved this game! I now know why this is rated so highly. It's one of the best 2-player games I've played. I really enjoyed the simplicity and fast paced nature of the game. We managed to play best-of-3 (I won!) just in time for our friends to arrive. A great start to the evening!

The next game was Tsuro. I am very familiar with this game as we play it fairly frequently on our game nights. We decided to introduce it to the others as they were looking for something light to kick their evening off, and there aren't many better choices to start off with than this. The 2-8 player game works amazingly well with any number of players and is one of the prettiest to look at. It seemed to go down a treat and prepared us for the main game of the night.

Ticket to Ride: Europe
This was the 2-5 player Ticket to Ride: Europe, another game I have played many times but never tire when going back to. Emma and James had mentioned to us that they had wanted to play this when they attended the previous Board Game Bar but didn't get around to it. This would be a good opportunity to (attempt to) teach them the game and also play one of my favourites! Fortunately, this is one of the lighter euro-style games so we didn't have to go over the mechanics for a great length of time. Our game lasted about an hour and 15 minutes with many lead changes, and was eventually won by my wife (we won't dwell on that for too long!). It was also quite a rewarding experience teaching people a new game which they seemed to enjoy.

Our final game of the night was Coup, a bluffing game for 2-6 players that I had wanted to play for a while. As a big fan of The Resistance, I had a feeling I would like this and it did not disappoint. The social interaction in our group certainly kicked up a notch, with everyone trying to out-bluff each other, some being better than others! I'm looking at you Emma! The pace of the game was a huge plus point for me as we managed to get through 3 rounds in about 10-15 mins each, and I won every time! Woo! I don't know what that says about me as a person though...

Overall, I had a great evening at the Board Game Bar and I think the other guys did too. The selection of games was varied and plentiful, so I'm sure even the most discerning gamer could find something to play. The atmosphere was really chilled and we felt very comfortable and welcome. The Rules of Play hosts/gurus of the evening (Meg and Huw) were always on hand to help and are very knowledgeable. The Urban Tap House is a great Cardiff pub that serves really good food (the wife and I have eaten here previously) and has a wide range of craft beers. The only drawback of the night... it feeds my board game habit! I went to the Rules of Play shop the next day and bought Jaipur and Coup!!

Anyone interested in board games who lives in the Cardiff area (lucky!) or is just visiting the city should definitely check this event out. You won't be disappointed!

Thanks go out to Rules of Play (especially Meg and Huw) and the Urban Tap House for running and hosting a great evening.

Rules of Play, Board Game Bar at the Urban Tap House
Every Monday from 5-10pm. £3 cover charge per person
25 Westgate Street
CF10 1DD

For more details check out the Rules of Play Website or Facebook page for updates and other events.