It almost goes without saying that when moving to a new country, it is essential to join a board game club as soon as you can. I arrived in Australia on Friday night. On Saturday I attended my first meeting of Melbourne-based Cafe Games.
Back home, my own humble board game club (affectionately known as BGC) has eight members, average attendance is four or five and we play in my living room. Cafe Games is held in a pub’s function room and was attended by well over 100 Melbournians. There was a really good mix of people and everyone was very welcoming and apparently unfazed that this was how I’d chosen to spend my first day in their fine city.
The games being played were many and varied. When I arrived, a new game of The Resistance was about to start. While watching this game on Will Wheaton’s TableTop recently I had thought that I would be terrible at it and should avoid it at all costs. I joined right in.
The Resistance takes place in a country ruled by an evil government. At the start of the game you get a card that tells you whether you are a member of the resistance or a government spy. Everyone closes their eyes and then the spies open their eyes so that they can identify one another, but they don’t get any chance to talk tactics. For the resistance, the aim of the game is to successfully complete three out of five missions. The spies’ aim is to thwart them.
Players take it in turns to propose a team for a mission then everyone votes to approve or reject that team. If the mission gets enough votes to be approved, those taking part anonymously choose whether the mission succeeds or fails (the resistance can only choose ‘succeed’). The outcomes of these stages help the resistance to work out who the spies are so that they can put together successful, spy-free missions. There is lots of discussion at each stage, with accusations flying around and spies telling fibs to throw suspicion onto others.
I really hoped that I’d be part of the resistance but of course I got a spy card. I’m terrible at lying so my tactic was to stay quiet, which made people start to suspect me. I started throwing out some accusations, some of which made no sense at all. Despite my poor efforts, my team of spies were able to fail enough missions to win the game and uphold the evil regime. Horrah.
Vaguely interesting fact: The Cafe Games venue sells pints of beer for $10. That’s about £6.40. Ouch.
Verdict: This is an awesome game and, if I can just develop the ability to lie convincingly, I’ll be amazing at it.