Board in the City
Last Wednesday, I popped down the Southampton to help my son move house. Having packed all ready for his move, we had a little time to kill in the evening so he suggested we go to a place called Board in the City, a local not for profit games venue in an old converted public house. The place also served a good selection of freshly cooked food, with vegetarian and gluten free options. Entertainment and food? Two birds with one stone!
I’ve long been a fan of board games, having played them from an early age. Campaign was a favourite of mine back then, along with the Game of Dracula and more traditional games like Backgammon and Chess. More recently board games have served as a useful supplement to my wargaming or RPG gaming - useful as a quick filler if one or two of our group don’t turn up. I’ve played several new games including Betrayal at House on the Hill, Dead of Winter and Mice & Mystics, to mention a few.
Board in the City have an extensive collection of board games with staff members who are trained in the different games and therefore can show people how they play. The group also works with lending games to local schools and with local children’s services - as board games can be used as a tool to encourage social interaction with children and young adults.
My son and I tried out a few of the games including the Legend of the Five Rings version of Love Letter (a very clever and quick card game) and Kings and Assassins (another very clever game - escort a King through a crowded city street but some of the peasants are assassins in disguise). My son is a dab hand at such games and beat me fairly easily at first while I got used to the rules. The venue also holds more traditional tabletop games and has an ‘escape room’ which also doubles as a venue for role playing games.
The venue had a useful game guide to assist players into trying new games. The drinks were all freshly made, my lemonade was made from a freshly squeezed lemon! No alcohol was available (which may be a shock for some veteran gamers) but they don’t have an alcohol licence.
One board listed a simple etiquette guide for playing board games - something which would be good in any games venue. The guide could be summed up as ‘Be nice and have fun!’ We had a fun night and I’ll certainly go again to try out their vast selection of games next time I’m in the area.
If you are ever down in Southampton area, I highly recommend Board in the City. This is a very cool concept which deserves to be emulated elsewhere.