Here's a little run-down of the games available most weeks - there's usually no shortage of opponents either!
Little-known 2-player cardgame of modern sea warfare by the inventor of the acclaimed Up Front. Players take 1 or more subs and/or surface ships in a tense duel of wit and nerve. Easy to learn cardplay rules for actions and for attack resolution make this game ideal for filling in the odd half hour or so on a club night.
The classic race and combat boardgame of all time. Each player has 15 stones which start spread out around the board. The first player to get all his stones home then off the board wins. Watch out for blots- getting sent back to the start. Guaranteed to thrill, and infinite replay value. The ideal filler game.
A fun little item from when the pre-corporate GW used to do boardgames. Bands of Orcs squabble as they form up into warbands ready for battle. Players compete by drawing cards to build 3 battlelines. Special cards keep the game chaotic. One for the kids, but a good laugh, and beautiful cards.
The late FASA's pulp 1930's dogfighting game. The aircraft designs are nice, and the rules effective and atmospheric. You can almost feel yourself hauling on the stick as your plane pulls extra G's to get into shooting position versus an opponent. And having your plane shot out from under you bit by bit just adds to the fun!
A great Avalon Hill game from the early 80's, Gladiator is the game of bloody combat in the Roman arena. Gladiators are randomly generated at the start of play, and movement and attacks are pre-plotted using a simple log sheet, generating gameplay that feels like the movie of the same name. The rules are detailed, but not complicated, and helped by the rulebook being logical, comprehensive and clear. Never dull, the combat results are suitably gruesome and lethal, and very vivid! Another quick-play filler game.
Another fine Avalon Hill oldie, Gunslinger is the game of wild west gunfights. Players must pre-plot 2 seconds worth of actions using cards, making for tense, split-second gameplay and detailed tactical considerations. Gunplay and fisticuffs are resolved using a card deck in a system neatly recreating both shock and injury. As ever with AH, the rules can be imposing, but everything is logical and well-explained, which makes life easier for the players. The boards are beautiful- full colour, highly detailed plan views of locations recognisable from every Western movie town you ever saw.
One of the great games from GW's mid 80's period (which some regard as their finest hour), Judge Dredd is the boardgame of bringing the Law to the streets of Megacity One. Players roam a beautiful full colour map in pursuit of perps both deadly and ludicrous, engaged in the many crimes available to choose from in the Megacity. Colour and spice are added by cards, which players can use to help their own judge, or to fink on their opponents. Watch out for Chief Judge Fish!
A quick and simple game of riverboat racing down an ever-changing river. One of the many games showing why European games designers lead the world. Another quickie, with lovely components.
The classic satirical game of global thermonuclear holocaust. The ultimate quickie!
A pre-Magic the Gathering Richard Garfield design, in Roborally the players are a bunch of factory control computers which, becoming bored with their lot, decide to liven things up by running races across the factory floor with the factory's service bots. Using hands of cards randomly dealt each turn, players plot their course round checkpoints, tooling the bots up as they go with all sorts of interesting stuff. The combination of the randomly dealt preprogramed movement, and the wide variety of board elements (too numerous to mention, but including conveyor belts, teleporters, and radioactive waste) make this game play like a cartoon. The boards are lovely, and the rules are extremely well written.
Settlers of Catan
The gaming phenomenon of our times, the Settlers series is the game of colony building. In all the games, players generate, trade and spend resources in order to develop their principality and become the undisputed ruler of all Catan. The boardgame is played on an island which is randomly generated for each game, and the players build roads, settlements and cities in pursuit of victory. Just watch out for the robber!
Seafarers of Catan
This expansion for basic Settlers adds other islands, sea travel, and pirates.
Cities and Knights of Catan
Cities and Knights adds new city development options, knights, and the pesky and ever-returning barbarian hordes to the game.
Settlers of Catan - the card game
This is Settlers for 2, and a whole new game. Players build their principalities using cards which they lay out in front of them. Beautiful to look at, and utterly addictive!
Starfarers of Catan
Settlers in space, this game features exploration, trading, colonisation, aliens, pirates, and the mother ships (these just have to be seen to be believed!). All the fun of the original in a new setting.