London: Draughts

Hi, it’s Jack. I haven’t written in awhile, but I’m here now! Why? Because board games.

I’m a huge fan of board games and I’ve been getting more and more into the hobby since 2010. I’d continue to extole on the subject of board games and why the hobby is so great, but that’s certainly not the point of this post; no, this post is all about Draughts.


Draughts is a board game cafe found in central London. It’s a relatively new establishment (approximately running for a year now) where you can pop in for some games, a decent bite, and a pint. Our first foray into Draughts was with our good friend Andrew.

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It was a little drafty outside.

Initially, Draughts charged a £5 per person for the whole day whereas now they charge £5 per person for four hours of play on Fridays and weekends. This is still relatively reasonable when you consider the amount of games you can try before you buy, but becomes less so if you play games that are lengthier.

Shelves and shelves of games! Someday I hope that I could have such shelves full of games.


These are the games we played while we were there!

Splendor

A splendiferous game

Splendor is a light little card game with some really awesome poker-chip components. It plays quickly, has some decent strategy to it, and gives new players a taste of how to build up momentum in the game, allowing them to purchase cards that are worth more points. Andrea liked this game so much that she’s requested to play it every time we’ve gone back to Draughts. Also, she’s liked it so much that we’ve bought the game and have our own copy.

Jamaica

Pirates and racing and things

Jamaica is a light racing game of pirates racing around an island where you’re trying to grab the most loot as well as winning the race. The one with the most loot at the end of the game wins! The game is much lauded by Tom Vasel and co. and the DiceTower, so this was something that I really wanted to check out. There’s a neat mechanic here where dice determine the strength of your actions, but the main player gets to determine the order of the dice while you only get to determine the order of the actions. While the game was neat, we found it to be a little too light.

Arctic Scavengers

It’s cold out, but they have huskies. Huskies are cool.

Arctic Scavengers was one of the first games to come out after Dominion started the deckbuilding genre of games. Thematically, the game is quite well done and has you leading a tribe trying to scavenge for resources and beat out the other tribes for survival. The game does a good job of giving you different choices throughout the game and has a neat bluffing mechanic in each round where you’re using remaining cards in hand to win a (potentially) useful survivor or piece of equipment to your tribe.

Tikal

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Decent brain-burner of a game.

Tikal is an older game where each player leads a group of explorers in Central American jungles looking for temples and searching for treasure. The game gives each player a set of action points per turn (different actions cost different amount of points) to explore the jungle, excavate temples, set up camp, and dig for treasure. This was a favourite of Andrew’s that he already owns, but he was super-stoked to teach us the game.


For our first time, Draughts was quite an enjoyable time and well worth the cost of admission (the friendly company also helped). We ended up returning to Draughts several more times while we were still in London, but perhaps we’ll talk more about it when the time comes.

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