Game of Scones

One of our newest obsessions in life is board games. No, not those terrible family ones you’re forced to play at Christmas, but a new generation of board games. Like most addicts, we were introduced to them by our friends, Rich and Hannah, who were lured in by their friends, Ryan and Bethan. One of the things we love about board games is that they allow socially awkward people like us to be able to interact with strangers in a fun way. There’s no time for stilted small talk and avoiding eye contact when you’re focused on saving Camelot, as in one of our favourite games, Shadows Over Camelot. Or if you’re playing Avalon/Resistance, you’re soon accusing total strangers of being traitors and vowing to never trust them again 😀 Or in the hilariously occasionally offensive and rude Cards Against Humanity, you’re suggesting to strangers that ‘A Romantic Candlelit Dinner Would Be Incomplete Without’…’A Super Soaker Full of Cat Pee’. We once played this game with seven people we’d just met. Two of them are now Facebook friends 😀

Counters board game cafe

some of the games at Counters

And there is also a wonderful place where we can feed our addiction with loads of new games we’ve never played – Counters board game events. Rich, Hannah, Ryan and Bethan have formed a crack team to put on regular board game events in Pontypridd YMCA. We’ve met some really cool people there and tried out games we might never have played before. We were at the November event for the whole eight hours and it only felt like we’d been there two! The Counters events are a prelude to them opening their own board game cafe. We can’t wait. You know how some authors are known for practically living in a particular pub? We’re going to be authors who practically live in Counters board game cafe. They’re going to have to charge us rent 😀

Yesterday was the third event and there was a Hanabi tournament. We’d never played Hanabi, so had no intention of entering. Instead, we played Terry Pratchett’s The Witches until Neen and Zoe arrived then we played two games of Witches of Salem. It’s a horror game with beautiful artwork and it’s all about fighting Lovecraftian monsters. The second game was tense. Lynx was the first to go insane, followed by Zoe. It was left to Cat and Neen to defeat the Great One, Hastur. They were barely clinging on to their sanity, the counter was creeping towards the dimensional rift and they only needed a dagger and two elixirs to defeat the monster. Sadly, their fading sanity was not enough and they too succumbed to madness. Battling mythical monsters and slowly going insane…it sounds like an episode of Calamityville Horror!


Hanabi champions

Then Rich persuaded us to try Hanabi. We figured we’d have a trial run, so formed Team Wildraven – combining Neen and Zoe’s surname, Wilder, with our Raven pseudonym. Hanabi is a card game, where you have to make five sets of cards numbered one to five, each of different colours. The tricky bit is that you’re only allowed to see everyone’s else’s cards, not your own. The temptation to peek at your own cards is harder to resist than a chocolate-covered Johnny Depp. You have to give other people information about their cards, in the hope they put the right one down without costing you a life. We won the tournament! Not bad for a team of Hanabi first timers. We even won prizes, donated by Hanabi’s makers, Abacusspiele. We finished the event with Cards Against Humanity.

Game of Thrones board game

you win or you die

Because of this, we now have the holy grail of board games – Game of Thrones. We bought it from Rules of Play last week. Since buying it, we’ve discovered many of our online friends want the game, but have never bought it. We’ve only played two games so far, with Cat being House Lannister, Lynx being House Baratheon and Ryan (Ashcroft, not Counters Ryan. Yes it gets confusing) being House Stark. Ryan keeps forgetting the cardinal rule of ‘there must always be a Stark in Winterfell’. So in the first game, Lynx took Winterfell and won the game without fighting a single battle. In the second game, Cat won after an epic four hours.

So if you love board games, come to the next Counters event and challenge us to a game. But we will warn you, we are very competitive and if you decide to take us on, we win or you die 😉