Xmas Board Games

I went out to visit the family for Xmas (we have ours a few weeks early to get around conflicts on the day itself.) As I have done so the last couple of years, I took a few games out with me.

The Resistance has always been popular, but this year I took out The Resistance: Avalon. For guys and girls who don’t game much, the whole class-based system got a little confusing at times, but by the end of the weekend we had it all worked out. I was keen to try out the classes thing – I thought it actually sounded more fun than plot cards. After giving it a red-hot go, I’m not sure if I actually like it better. It’s nice for something different, but I wouldn’t say better. I think mixing it up is the key.

I also took out Fury of Dracula. One of my favourites. I thought it might work well, because one side is co-operative, so all I had to do was put the relative that was best at picking up the rules in Dracula’s seat, and have all the other players working together against them. Or, alternatively, get an experienced player (like my brother) to play as Dracula, while a bunch of relatives and I play as the hunters. The big problem with this game was its length – it’s honestly 2-4 hrs long, and although very good it’s hard to convince people to play. To my surprise, I did get a game in the first night and my little 11-year-old niece stabbed Dracula (my experienced brother) twice in the heart killing him and winning the game for us. She wanted to play again after that, but we just didn’t have the time.

The big success was City of Horror. This is no surprise – it’s a fantastic game. It’s not quite as easy to understand as some games (even a complex game like Mage Knight has more intuitive rules and easy-to-grasp mechanics) but after one game you get the hang of it and it all comes together for a great social game. The teenagers/early 20s loved it and were online looking to shop for their own version straight after that first game. I wasn’t sure people were really “getting it” so I was a bit surprised. The second game played out like a proper game of CoH, though, with lots of wheeling and dealing going on, so I guess people got into the swing of things.

Well, the actual point of this post was supposed to be to give a list of games stores to get these games from. I got three separate requests from family members, so I thought I’d post here as well. If my family visits my blog, they’ll get an updated list too, since I think I might have left a couple off.

These are my go-to stores in Australia. You have a much better selection getting things from the US or, in a pinch, the UK, but the shipping is extremely painful. By getting it from an Australian store you usually get it for about the same price (once you include overseas shipping), but much faster.

I got most of my information from this old Board Game Geek thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/47360/2009-online-australian-retailers-list-price-compa. Unfortunately, much of the information there is now dated, but I was still able to get a few nuggets from it.

http://allaboutgames.com.au/

http://www.fastbreak.com.au/

http://unhalfbricking.com/

http://www.milsims.com.au/

http://www.gamesparadise.com.au/

All sites I have bought from at one point or another. For me, it’s less about price and more to do with stock. It can sometimes be hard to track down a great game I’ve heard about and get it for less than $50US + $50US shipping. In Fury of Dracula’s case, I just happened to walk into a cosplay store a few suburbs from my house and saw it on the wall. I had searched everywhere online for that game and just couldn’t find it, so I was pretty chuffed.

If you have any other stores I might be missing (I’m sure I am) please let me know in the comments.

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