Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Board Gaming Meet-Up

While Jonathan was in Las Vegas for the CES event with his dad, I decided to join a club. I had been on Meetup.com for nearly a year... having joined when we first moved to California. But since I didn't have a car out there, I never really went to any of the groups that I found. When we moved to Pennsylvania, I changed the groups I belonged to. The nearest board game meetup is the Princeton Area Boardgamers, and they had a gathering last Thursday.

Google Maps said it would take 22-23 minutes to get there (no tolls either way, yay!), so I left with some extra time. And it's a good thing I did, since the GPS wanted me to get off at an exit that was a field. It didn't look like there had EVER been an exit there, so that was weird. I was just going to get off at the next exit, but GPS's re-routing suggested otherwise. I followed his idea, but he thought there would be a turn-around opportunity where there was not. Long story short, a few miles down the road I was able to get off and then get back on headed south. It was easy to figure out the exit going that direction, but it was clear that the whole shopping plaza (the meet up was at a Panera) was new, since the roads weren't in the GPS and even the Target wasn't a listing in the points of interest.

I walked in and easily found the group. It was a little strange in that nothing had started (it was about 6:10), and that when I walked up and introduced myself, the four people I was talking to immediately identified themselves as first-timers, also. Five minutes later the area was packed, with about twenty people all around, discussing the different games that people brought. I was really intrigued with how many European-style games there were, and can't wait to try one next time (or maybe the time after. I was to establish myself as a good player at regular games first, LoL). I met the "organizer" and his wife... he has a hobby/game store in Hamilton, NJ. Before long, people began to break off into groups for different board games.

Three of us were going to try "Words From Words," an anagram-type game, but the Taboo group asked us to join them, since they were only 5. It ended up working out pretty well, and the team I was on kinda dominated. But in all fairness, the four of us had all played before, and there were a couple people who were kinda unfamiliar with the game on the other team. There were some great cards played (like "Kenneth Starr" and "Watergate" and "modem"). After that, one person suggested Cranium, as she had just received it for Christmas. Of course I couldn't say no to that! I was also able to find out that there's a definite interest in both my black box edition and my pop culture edition of the game, and I'm really excited to find new people to do the Pop 5 with! Our team (different people from the first game) really got lucky rolling, and we were "in the brain" when the other team had gone 1 space. But the datahead (red) cards tripped us up multiple times, and they were able to completely go around the board and were also in the brain when we won the game.

The groups changed a bit again and Words From Words was brought out again, but I had to go so I could catch the National Championship game at home. Overall it was a great experience, and I can't wait for the next one... and to bring a couple of my own favorite games!!

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