YORKTON - So as noted a few weeks back our little Meeple Guild has started a couple of local initiatives in Yorkton involving games and we are happy to now report things are going rather well.
Our Tuesday night board gaming at the Yorkton Public Library is attracting about 10 people a week, and while that is certainly not a huge number when we had the idea we wondered if we might be sitting there alone.
And the better news there have been new faces each week, so we are hopeful one night everyone shows up and the numbers get bigger.
The challenge of course is finding games that appeal to a rather diverse group, but so far it seems to be going well and this week we got King’s Cribbage, Dvonn, Battle Sheep and Wizard Thieves to the tables.
This is an idea that would be great in most libraries if there is a source of multiple games.
Our second endeavour is Blood Bowl at Tapps Sports Lounge & Grill every second Sunday. Last week we had a fine turn out with some veteran players coming out to play and watch, and one new player, who got in his first Blood Bowl game.
That is really what the Sundays are all about, at least leading up to Christmas; for new players to come out and test drive this classic fantasy football game.
Blood Bowl, for those wondering, dates back to 1986, and since then there have been a couple of rules updates – which is very typical of miniature games. There is a need over time to tweak particular player powers as gamers find ways to use certain skills and abilities to unfair advantage in game play.
But, at the heart of the game, you are in charge of a fantasy football team, and you hit the pitch to score touchdowns by grabbing the ball, running with it, or passing it and letting the catcher take off to the goal line.
In its purest form Blood Bowl can be a very tactical run/pass/run representation of football, and certain teams among the many allowed, excel at that sort of game, Skaven (rats), wood elves, and lizardmen among those.
But this is fantasy football, and there is another aspect to it. Other teams are very much about bashing and bludgeoning the opposition to send them to the injury reserve box, or potentially the morgue. Orcs and ogres and others are the bashy brute type teams.
Mix in a few trolls and tree men and there can be a lot of calls for an apothecary – if you can afford one.
The game rises to a new level with league play, as catching a pass or scoring a touchdown earn the player on the pitch. Earn enough points and you can trade them for new skills, and suddenly players get better at the game.
That’s the Meeple Guild hope for the new year -- to run a league – although we will always welcome and teach newcomers to the game too.
As a long time Dungeons & Dragons role playing gamer BB was really a natural progression and I do still enjoy the game, although I only own two official minis teams. Oh yes a team is rather low cost at about $55, but you will have to glue them together – think tiny models – and they can be painted not that we require that for our league.
As noted BB is a classic, and it was the first of a cornucopia of fantasy football – or maybe more accurately sport games. Among the offerings are Dreadball, Kaosball, Elf Ball and Guild Ball. Some of the newcomers are even better than BB in some aspects – at least to this writer’s mind.
Guild Ball, which has a more soccer feel, has far better sculpts, but the company ‘cheaped’ out on the plastic used late in production, and the brittle stuff breaks on a heavy breath. And then the company abandoned the game.
Dreadball is a bit more like basketball, but earns big points on many varied teams, on board score options, multiple boards and rule sets for play, but the game is hard to get here, so BB still tops the list for most.
So if you are curious head over to Tapps and take a look. We meet again Nov. 20, Dec. 11 and 18.