Game time


Board gam­ing is on a roll, and not nec­es­sar­ily of the dice.

For the fourth year, Palmer­ston North board gamers Bethani Eus­tace and Alas­tair Man­ning have or­gan­ised a suc­cess­ful Board in Palmy event, with two sell­out days at the Palmer­ston North Bridge Club.

It may mean next year find­ing big­ger premises for the vol­un­teer­run and staffed event.

Mod­ern board games the pair ex­plained, are light years in ad­vance of those ‘‘tired old sta­ples’’ Mo­nop­oly, Cluedo and Scrab­ble. Board in Palmy, a smaller ver­sion of Wel­ly­con in the cap­i­tal, was a two-day show­case for long-time board game con­verts as well as for novices.

‘‘Ev­ery year, more people have at­tended. When tick­ets went on sale, half of them sold within 24 hours,’’ Man­ning said.

Par­tic­i­pants came from as far away as Christchurch, Hamil­ton, Welling­ton and Hawkes Bay.

The pair took along their own col­lec­tion of about 70 games to add to a li­brary avail­able for people to try out.

Play­ers at the event were given ‘helper’ flags, one marked with a ‘‘?’’ re­quest­ing guid­ance and the other fea­tur­ing a ‘‘meeple’’.

Meeple was the name given to a game fig­ure, a con­trac­tion of ‘‘My’’ and ‘‘People’’ (in days of yore they were known as game coun­ters), though when any­one waved that flag it meant ‘‘more people’’, as in more people were wanted to join in a par­tic­u­lar game, Eus­tace said.

Her favourite game of the mo­ment was a quest game called Land of Wa­ter­deep. Eus­tace also has a pen­chant for The Cas­tles of Mad King Lud­wig, which in­volves build­ing fan­tasy cas­tles.

Man­ning’s pref­er­ence was Mer­chants and Ma­raud­ers, chan­nelling his in­ner Cap­tain Jack Spar­row around the is­lands of the Caribbean.

Games could be co-op­er­a­tive or com­pet­i­tive. There were bluff­ing and guess­ing games, such as Were­wolf, played with cards and a sound­track. XCOM, based on a com­puter game, re­quired the use of a phone app to play.

Three lev­els of games were show­cased at the week­end, small - over in an hour; medium - up to three hours, and epic, which could last the whole day.

Eus­tace said she en­joyed the pas­time be­cause it pro­moted so­cial­is­ing with­out pres­sure, was a good way to make friends, and there were no screens.

‘‘It’s good old-fash­ioned new­fash­ioned stuff,’’ she said.


Scott Grady looks on as Cal­lum Mills (right) makes a move dur­ing Board in Palmy.

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