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Favourite Games 2017
A Gamer Writes
Favourite 2-player games by Mark Dryden
Our Top-Selling Games of 2015
Warzone Demo
Table Top Day at Spirit Games
Exciting New Stuff added to our Games Library
Wednesday Night Gamers January 2015
Phil's Christmas Suggestions 2014
MidCon 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers August 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers 21 May 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers 26th February 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers 19th February 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers 12th February 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers 5th February 2014
Monthly Gaming Sunday 12th January
Wednesday Night Gamers 8th Jan
Wednesday Night Gamers August 2014
Wednesday Night Gamers December
The Magic Gathering Sunday 24th November 2013
Wednesday Night Gamers 6/13th Nov 2013
Wednesday Night Gamers 23rd Oct 2013
Wednesday Night Gamers Aug/ Oct 2013
Wednesday Night Gamers More Catchup
Wednesday Night Gamers 7th August
Wednesday Night Gamers Catchup
Tabletop Day
March 6th & 13th Wednesday Night Gamers
Gaming at the Talbot 10th March
Wednesday Night Catchup
Gaming at the Talbot 27th January
Value for Money
Free Gift Wrapping Service
Phil's suggestions for Christmas 2012
Autumn Beer & Pretzels - the free expansion
October 31st Wednesday Night Gamers
Saturday September 26th
September 19th Wednesday Night Gamers
August 29 Wednesday Night Gamers
August 8 Wednesday Night Gamers
August 1 Wednesday Night Gamers
July 18 Wednesday Night Gamers
July 11th Wednesday Night Gamers
July 4 Wednesday Night Gamers
June 27 Wednesday Night Gamers
June 13/20 Wednesday Night Gamers
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May 30 Wednesday Night Gamers
May 23 Wednesday Night Gamers
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April 5 Wednesday Night Gamers
Wednesday Night Gamers
March 7 Wednesday Night Gamers
Feb 29 Wednesday Night Gamers
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Feb 15 Wednesday Night Gamers
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Feb 1 Wednesday Night Gamers
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Jan 11 Wednesday Night Gamers
Expo 2011
Pub Games
Garden Games

Value for Money

This is a term particularly relevant to board and card games, as it is relatively easy to calculate; most people have a fair idea of how often they have played a particular game, divide the price by that number and voila! there you have it. In fact, it is not quite that straight-forward. Even assuming that you will only repeatedly play a game you like, you have to factor in the pleasure of anticipation of a game you seldom get to play for whatever reason - usually length or required number of players - which amplifies the satisfaction when you finally do get a game. Some games are well worth having just for the rare occasion that they get an outing. Generally, though, it makes sense to get some decent use of your choice of purchase.

It occurred to me that there are two related genres which I neglected in my recent recommendations, which are actually the most played hereabouts. A mention of collectable card games has many gamers scurrying for cover, but the constant expenditure is matched by constant playing time - for those with both time and money, they can come out on the right side of the value equation. As most of us have lamentably limitations on both leisure time and funds, games that suit these limitations have a strong appeal, and there are now a lot of card games that offer great variety of play from the outset, with the option of expansions but also the option of sticking with the original set. Dominion, the first non-collectible deck-building game of which I became aware, is a case in point. There are a good half-dozen expansions which give a lot of options and ownership of all of them would make sense for a group playing it constantly; with so many other games to try, we just have the basic set, but that still gives scope for trying plenty of different tactics and a cry of "who's up for a Dominion?" always gets a positive response. Ascension always has willing players when we get that out, Eminent Domain and Core Worlds likewise, Thunderstone is a little harder to get into but has bags of flavour. Quarriors has the same sort of system but using dice - collectible dice games never really work because of the impossibility of filing and organising large numbers, but as the whole point of this type of game is keeping the numbers manageable, Quarriors does work very well.

Closer to the original Collectable Card Games (CCGs) are what are now termed Living Card Games (LCGs), which have plenty of expansions but these are, again, optional, with plenty of play to be had from the original set. The Call of Cthulhu, Lord of the Rings and A Game of Thrones LCGs have been around for some time, I am personally delighted with the arrival of Netrunner LCG as the original CCG from the mid Nineties was a favourite game, and I now get the chance to play it against people who would never agree to get involved in a CCG. These games are mostly 2-player but that can be useful at times and several different opponents can be fitted into an evening.

Card games generally enjoy a price advantage over board games, the ones mentioned so far are mostly a few Pounds either side of £30 and you get a good boxful for your money. Card games are usually quick to set up, too, so that last game of an evening, which has to be under way quickly, is often San Juan for 2 -4 players or Citadels for more, though it does work with small numbers too. Innovation gives a lot of gameplay for £18.99, the new Uchronia is said to be similar to Glory to Rome with added dinosaurs, at £19.99 I will probably succumb to temptation myself this Christmas. Infernal Contraption is a hard one to categorise, a card playing/positioning game which we always enjoy, at only £15.99.

Board games can also come at a bargain price, especially tile-laying games, Carcassonne being the obvious one here. Carpe Astra is tile-laying/strategy with a strong card element, originally giving a lot of game for under £20 and now, due to the sad demise of Reiver Games, priced at just £9.99. Its sister game, Sumeria, was priced at £25 and was a whole board game in a small box. It was perceived as expensive for its size and sales were slow - also coinciding with the banking system collapse. Now also at £9.99, with most games having gone up a lot since then, it is very good value indeed.

A lot of good games are on sale for around £35, but many are closer to, or even the wrong side of £50. Some games have loads of bits and come in a big box and it is easy to see why they cost £60 - £70, e.g. Twilight Imperium, War of the Ring, Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness, Eclipse, though looking at my Large Box shelf I see that Claustrophobia is only £38.99. On the whole the rule of thumb used to be that a "gamers' game", excluding the megagames, would be likely to be £30 - £40, with the more "family" games £20 - £30. The Days of Wonder games have been very successful at straddling the family/gamer line, but rising costs have now put Ticket to Ride struggling to stay much below £40 and Pirates Cove nearly £50, with similar increases from other companies. We start to ask, what do we have at the prices we were used to?

Well, good old Hare & Tortoise, still a classic, is £16.99, and while Settlers of the Stone Age and Settlers of America (favourites here) have gone up quite a lot, basic Settlers remains below £30. Snowdonia has been this season's hit game, and is only £26.99. We've been having a lot of fun with Spartacus (£27.99), and Panic on Wall Street, a remake of the very good but only briefly available Masters of Commerce, is only £23.99. The current version of Survive (the remake of Escape from Atlantis) is just £29.99, having first turned up in a posh version at £40-odd - and this brings me to my final point. Some very good family/gamer games haver been over-produced and have come in at too high a price (for this part of the world anyway). If we are lucky, the supplier may drop the price, sometimes we have to take the hit, but because of the initial excessive price, they often get overlooked. Two that come into this category are Montego Bay and Asara, both favourites here, and both £28.99. And Click Clack is a children's game, most impressive looking, as it should be for nearly £50 - now also £28.99.


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