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Marathons with the Melbourne Boardgames Group

Home > Melbourne > Free | Fun Things To Do | Games | Pubs
by Tara Tintin Rahman (subscribe)
I love to dance! I'm a tango dancer, personal trainer and board games fan. Visit my portfolio, www.storiesofsitara.com
Published December 7th 2012
Geek or no geek, get game
"Come one, come all!

Join umpteen diverse and friendly folks for a spot of socializing and strategizing with a selection of some of the best family strategy board games around: The Settlers of Catan, Agricola, Small World, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, and much, much more. Enjoy a meal and the beverage of your choice in a relaxing Melbourne pub. No fees! Beginners are very welcome
," began the invitation.

Ugg-tect
Cavemen? No, just a game of Ugg-tect


Boardgames
A stack of Eurogames


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I thought I loved boardgames. I grew up playing Scrabble, Monopoly, Pictionary, Cranium and card games like Gin Rummy and Old Maid with my siblings and cousins. I was wrong. The members of the Melbourne Boardgames Group love boardgames. I just like them.

The Melbourne Boardgames Group is 1200-members strong. For their monthly Eurogames meeting, 70 to 80 members will congregate in a small hotel or pub (an entire floor booked for the group), pool their boardgames on one table, then break out into little groups and unleash their competitive spirit. The Big Saturday Boardgames Day, which attracts over 100 members, is particularly mind-numbing. You could be playing games for 11 hours, if you arrive at noon and leave at 11pm. It's like an endurance test. On and on they will play. All they need are games, players, the occasional beer and meal (the pub people are normally happy to oblige) and access to a toilet.

Table full
Nothing like a game of A Ticket To Ride


In the same way joining a book club makes you read good books you would never have chosen to read, the Melbourne Boardgames Group's meetings introduces you to a whole slew of boardgames you may never have heard of. I have only been to two meetings but I have already learned how to play four new games:
Smallworld (Conquer and defend territory by combining different fantasy races and unique special powers e.g. Flying Orcs or Trampling Tritons)
Ugg-techt (Build structures using blocks and directions from the team leader, who can only speak and gesture in a caveman-like code)
Bohnanza (Trade, plant and harvest beans e.g. Black-Eyed Beans, Green Beans, and raise the most gold coins to win)
Anomia (Hard to describe. Well – everyone gets cards with colour-coded categories e.g. celebrity or tool, on them. When the colours match, give an example of the other player's category to win both cards)

Eurogames
A Eurogames meeting in its early stages


These games marathons exercise your brain and broaden your games portfolio. Moreover, in between exclamations of -
"It's your turn"
"Can I trade you a cherry bean for a blue-eyed bean?"
"So I get two gold coins?" and
"What shall we play next?"
- you meet people. The young and the more mature, men and women. This is the first event I've been to in Melbourne where I see twenty year-olds sitting happily at a table with fifty year-olds. And not just geeks either.

"I love the diversity of cultures, ages and walks of life. We've tried to create a space that is welcoming of beginners and casual gamers, rather than the usual geek-clique. We aim to get more women involved and to make strategy games more mainstream. I try to make everyone feel welcome," says Corey Watts, who organizes the Eurogames meetings.

Surprisingly, Corey, who works on climate change and rural policy for a small non-partisan non-governmental organization, says that he is a newcomer to the hobby.

"It was only about three years ago that I really started to get into board games. A lot of my old friends really wanted to play more often, so I started to organize gatherings. We started with about fifteen or twenty people in a local pub about a year and a half ago and we now get upwards of seventy every fortnight."

So, how do you join the Melbourne Boardgames Group?
- Join Meetup.com
- Search for the 'Melbourne Boardgames group (party and strategy games)' or click here
- When you click 'Join', you will be asked to complete your profile and answer a few questions
- You will then be sent an invitation to the next group meeting

Now, where to buy boardgames in Melbourne? Although you can find the more popular boardgames in big department stores, I highly recommend checking out MindGames. With branches in Melbourne CBD, Geelong, Malvern, Hawthorn and Brighton, they house an extensive range of boardgames. Armed with your favourite boardgame, you can now march off to the next boardgames group with pride.


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Why? Where to play board games in Melbourne
When: Fortnightly
Where: Various locations in the city
Cost: Free
Your Comment
We used to play board games growing up , now the kids have ipods or play stations, your article has inspired me to dust off the monopoly set , the backgammon, pictionery and scrabble and get the kids involved agaion in some healthy family competition thanks Tin Tin I had heard of this group but hadent made contact with them
by CRAIG (score: 1|14) 496 days ago
bring back the board games great family fun, which has been lost to ipods and computers thanks for sparking my interest again had heard of this group but hadnt made contact great article craig
by CRAIG (score: 1|14) 496 days ago
Thanks Craig!
by Tara Tintin Rahman (score: 1|99) 495 days ago
The Organiser Christopher does a good job in organising these events! Have been to a few of them. I'm definitely not a geek but on the Big Saturday Cafe Games Day have actually played games for 11+ hours.....lol
by jenni26 (score: 0|5) 472 days ago
Hi guys, please note that Christopher is the organizer/founder of Meetup.com's Melbourne Boardgames Group. Corey, 'Assistant Organizer', as I understand it, is the head of a Eurogames Club, which is part of the Club as a whole.

Apparently, there are several Eurogames clubs around Melbourne.

I consider this matter closed. Please ask questions if you are confused.

Cheers,
Tintin
by Tara Tintin Rahman (score: 1|99) 471 days ago
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