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This is where you'll find my incredibly erudite insights into life, board games and stuff. And nothing says erudite more than triple emphasis and the word 'stuff'.

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World War 1 Remembered.

An evening of World War 1 memories: music, food and games. I have been working on providing games for our upcoming event at the Abbey Inn. We want to mark the centenary of World War 1 with 'a bit of a do' on the 11th of November, to raise money for the Royal British Legion and the Bramley War Memorial Fund. Taking retro to it's logical conclusion. No, don't worry I haven't gone all Mighty Boosh on you. In fact, I didn't even realise how retro I was going until I looked at my games shelf. Games I had thought were old were just not old enough; Kan-U Go for instance is from the 1930s not as early as I had thought. My search was made more challenging by the fact that casein and bakelite were not

Get Adler: A Game of Two Halves

Agent Adler has done a runner with Top-Secret documents. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to track down and eliminate Adler and retrieve the stolen dossier. You have seven hours... First half Before you can stop to reflect on your success over an orange segment you must discover who Adler is. The game kicks off with each of you assuming an identity, and in the style of Guess Who ascertain who is who by asking a series of cunning questions: do you wear a blue hat? Is your coat brown? The card reference sheet is excellent here, providing a summary of differences and similarities between characters. Like in Guess Who, you can opt for questions which move you closer by halving yo

Let them win: why you should let children win at games.

I want to begin by clarifying: I am not an advocate of mollycoddling children. Mollycuddling? Yes Coddling? No. When under pressure and outnumbered by whingy teens and moany toddlers, I have uttered the words 'tough', 'life is hard' and 'get over it'. Often in the same sentence. And, I still maintain you must let them win. More specifically they have to start by winning a higher proportion of games than they lose. Losing at games is valuable and character building. We use it to foster resilience, but as adults competing against our peers we forget all too quickly what it's like to play an imbalanced game. As the youngest in a family of four I remember well the people who always beat me and t

Monopoly: why do we hate it so much?

Sunday in our house: all three children have independently settled down to a board game. All of my Enid Blyton fantasies are coming true. But before I can don my frilly apron and serve up lashings of ginger beer, I hear snatches of angry conversation: 'No. We NEVER play that rule' 'Well, it is the rule' 'So...' Then, an adult voice. My partner shouting above the melee of three indignant children: 'I don't even know why you've chosen this game!' And then I know. I realise what has happened. Blyton has been ousted by Orwell, or worse still Darwin, as I realise my delightful offspring have embarked on a game of Monopoly: where only the richest, the most ruthless survive in a kind of dystopian h

Gobblin' Goblins and the importance of biscuits.

I need to start this review by coming clean. People have understandable reservations about trusting the veracity of some reviews, especially when the reviewer got a free copy of the game. It is true, I did get a free copy but it's worse than that. I won. I actually won. I even won the first game! All I can say is - bear that in mind as you read the review. My victory doesn't invalidate the review but it may make it insufferably smug. I've won all the badges! This raises an interesting philosophical question which probably needs exploring in greater depth (lying on a couch maybe). Am I a naturally smug winner or if I won more often would I be less of a ** when I won? ** insert expletive of ch

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