After a quiet few months in the store due to Covid and various related issues, we are gearing up for the Christmas period with a little sale (see https://allgoodmeeple.co.uk/on-sale/https://allgoodmeeple.co.uk/on-sale/ for the latest special offers) and a review of some classic favourites – particularly ones that work well for taking down to the pub to play with friends and family (hopefully the ability to visit pubs will stay with us over this winter, touch wood!)
Recently we took Fox in the Forest for a spin and a couple of pints, and it lends itself well to pub play. It is basically a game of cards with a few scoring tokens so there is hardly any setup needed. It’s one of these games where someone can easily grab a couple of points here and there or gain turn advantage through strategic play, so it keeps you on your toes to the end of the game. Unlike standard trick-taking games such as Whist, there is a trick-avoidance mechanism in here too, which is more like Hearts, where you need to try and win a sweet-spot number of tricks (0-3, or 7-9) to get the most points each round. Why not give it a whirl!
After all the upheaval of the last few months, stock deliveries are back to near-normal after the pandemic and Brexit delays.
Just a quick heads-up that new stock of the very popular Outfoxed is here and ready to order in the shop. It always sells out quickly so don’t miss out. Outfoxed is a crime deduction game based around a thieving fox and a prize pudding, suitable for kids aged 5 and up. It is also a co-operative game so the grown-ups and the youngsters can work together to rule out suspects before the fox gets away!
You may have heard on the news that there are problems at UK ports currently, and this is likely causing some delays to restocking of games.
We’ve got a list of over two dozen popular games we are waiting for restocks of, including Wingspan, Ticket to Ride Europe, Takenoko, Tokaido, Onitama, Potion Explosion, Bohnanza, Santorini, Fox in the Forest, Wavelength, Condottiere and several others. Plus new games Pictures, (Spiel des Jahres 2020 winner), Paris and Calico.
Keep watching the web site and the Facebook page for further updates. Absolutely no idea whether these items will arrive in time for Christmas or not, but if the port logjam clears we will do our best to get everything we can, sent out before the 24th.
Extra copies of the essential games you’ll need to get you through to New Year have been arriving over the past few days. Business has been really brisk and we have had people registering interest in many of these titles, so if you would like to get your hands on one, don’t hang about! There are plenty more titles on the web site, with a full description and explanatory video on the product page, and also information on how easy they translate into playing over Zoom (other video conferencing apps are available!). More restocks are due in in the coming weeks so keep watching the site and subscribe to any out of stock product you are interested in.
With COVID-19 restrictions continuing, 2020 has been the year when one of the most often-asked questions in the board game world has been “does this game work over Zoom?” So here at All Good Meeple we have started adding a “Zoomability” attribute to many products to give an indication of how well each game would play, with one or more players on a remote video connection link.
Before explaining further, there are of course sites such as Board Game Arena and Tabletopia which offer multiplayer computerised versions of many popular board games. But this article is all about trying to get as close as you can to playing your friends and family in person, using a boxed game over a video link without breaching any social distancing or group size rules that may be in place where you live, whether those people are in the next house to you or in another country. It requires at least one member of the group to have a physical copy of the game in question, and the ability to set up a video conferencing session on a laptop or mobile device, via Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams,Goto Meeting, Jitsi, Houseparty, or other similar service (paid membership may be required to get past time limits or feature restrictions on some platforms).
Not all games have been assessed as of end October 2020, but the Zoomability level is shown on the “additional information” tab for each product and you can filter the whole shop catalogue for this attribute, in the margin. We’ll get through the back catalogue in due course and will add this attribute for new stock as it comes in. The four levels are, Easy, Medium, Tricky, and Impractical (i.e. don’t bother!). Below are some descriptions of the sort of complexity involved at each level and the factors you may need to consider. It’s just our personal assessment and your mileage may vary, but if you have a neat way of doing remote play for a game that we hadn’t considered, please let us know.
Games with no playing area, where players can participate remotely with just their own camera, with players holding cards or written notes up to camera, and remote players using pen and paper and/or dice (or if appropriate, materials from their own copy of the game). Generally applies to most acting/talking, quiz or word-guessing games. Also dice games where the dice are rolled centrally, and both local and remote players make selections or take actions accordingly. Plus, some co-operative games where the remote players can give meeple-movement instructions and/or chip in with ideas and suggestions to the others. Might require some printing off of notes / score sheets for remote players.
You will need additional help or tools, e.g.
Someone to manage and play remote players’ hands of cards/tiles (could be another player who remembers “not to look”, or a separate referee), draws new cards/tiles for them and moves their playing pieces
Racks of some sort to show remote players their hands of cards or tiles on camera – remote players will have to give directions to someone to pick a card/tile (e.g. “third along from my left”) and where to play it
A phone camera tripod to support an additional device showing the overall playing area and key game components held by each player (e.g. in Ticket to Ride, players’ remaining carriages) – that device would need to log in to the meeting as an additional attendee (disabling sound to avoid audio feedback)
NB any card dealer role may not be able to rotate round remote players
Google “playing card racks” to find them in several online retailers for a few pounds each – they can also be found at retailers who provide products for the elderly and care homes.
Likewise search online for “iphone tripod selfie stick” and similar phrases – there are many available under £20.
Requires some of the above but you may also need to have additional processes or controls to avoid remote players seeing other players’ cards, notes, drawings, etc.
May require multiple cameras showing different elements of the game area, or focusing in on remote players’ card racks
Egg-timer elements may need replacing with digital timer or app
Remote players may need their own sets of dice or indeed own copies of the game, to be able to use some component or other
Remote players may need to take written notes of ticket or victory point cards they have collected, notes of special cards that are in play for the current round, or goal cards applying to the whole game, and/or print off their own copies of game sheets for notes, scoring etc.
Very hard to replicate the game play over video conferencing, e.g.
remote play may slow things down to frustrating levels or the amount of technical setup needed would be extreme
large and complicated playing board with many pieces not easily visible remotely
game requires close player interaction over a game board or playing area, placing of tiles or playing pieces or passing of items between players
game requires speed of reaction or physical action, e.g. flicking, balancing, stacking and so on
game requires drawing of cards or items from a bag or shared pool, depletion of which is part of the game mechanics
game requires close observation of players’ faces and reactions which would be lost over a remote connection
Here’s hoping you find this zoomability guide useful in helping you to enjoy board games when you can’t be physically close to your gaming friends.
For your lockdown delectation and delight, the delivery van has just stopped by with some re-stocks! Scrabble, Splendor, Catan and Catan Seafarers Expansion, Love Letter, and the much-in-demand Pandemic.
Coronavirus has got nothing on the FOUR viruses that are sweeping the planet in Pandemic, which is a co-operative game – all the players versus the game itself – to work as a team and use your specialist skills to find cures before it’s too late! On the product page is a game playthrough done a few years ago by Wil Wheaton in his now-defunct Tabletop web series, which is well worth a watch.
More restocks and some new games are expected soon, including some items that people registered stock alerts for, so keep an eye out here and on Facebook for further updates.
In these weird times of virus lockdown, customers have been asking about games which can be played solo. Generally, co-operative games can be played with just one player and some other games have rules variants for solo play.
A new “solo option” search tag has been added to the store to pull out any we stock that fit the bill. See the selection here. If there are others you know of that work well for whiling away the hours of solo quarantine, please drop us an email!
Just to let everyone know the online store is still open for business during these strange times, if it says it’s in stock then that’s almost certainly correct, so please continue to place orders as normal. There could be an extra day’s delay in despatch perhaps, if waiting to drop larger packages off early mornings when depots are quiet. Deliveries may also be delayed if sorting offices are short-staffed. If I’m aware of any problems I will send you an email.
Currently the wholesalers are still sending out new stocks from their warehouses. Potentially there could be issues with their incoming new supplies globally though. If the store has to close any time for our own self-isolation reasons, this will be made obvious with a site-wide message and the “add to cart” buttons will be removed.
Finally if you are self-isolated and looking for a board game fix, perhaps give boardgamearena.com a look. This site has adapted many of the popular games we sell on this site, for online play, including the likes of Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, Kingdomino, Takenoko, Love Letter, Jaipur, 6 Nimmt, and many more. Their servers recently (understandably) became very busy as people joined from all over the world. You may even discover a new game you would like to buy the traditional version of.
Meantime stay safe folks and look after each other!
As usual we will be taking orders for games throughout the Christmas period and into New Year. Friday 20th will be the last day for delivery before Christmas though. Any orders that come in over Christmas will be sent out on the 30th or 31st, and we will be back to normal on the 2nd January 2020.
With thanks to all our customers, have a great Christmas and a happy New Year!
After a slow start to the festive season things really picked up on the sales front, and as well as lots of games going out, a whole load of new ones came in, so… time to have a bit of a clear out. There is a sale running for the rest of January, click here to see the items currently on offer.
Two new games we have been playing ourselves here over the festive period, and which come highly rated, are Sagrada, and The Mind. We took both for a game at our local pub, and Sagrada caught the attention of others with its colourful dice and game boards. It was easy enough to learn although we realised afterwards we should have paid a bit more attention to the scoring criteria at the beginning, nonetheless we had fun assembling our stained-glass windows over a pint or two.
The Mind has proved a real challenge and we have played with 2, 3 and 4 players and still not got past Level 6. It all goes well until all players have got high numbered cards that are close in value, so there is a fairly long wait time before anybody plays anything, and then a rush in which it’s easy to play an 86 before an 84. Still, we’ll persevere. If we ever get through all the levels, “blind mode” awaits, which seems virtually impossible!
All prices include UK mainland postage.
You can now filter products from the shop page by “zoomability”, i.e. how easy the game will play over a remote video connection. Find out more here.