All Aboard the Boardgaming Train

29 January 2016

Think that boardgames are just games where you move hats and cars around to buy hotels that’ll bankrupt your friends? Well, think again.

It used to be that any time someone mentioned boardgames, you would immediately think of Monopoly, Cluedo or Risk. These days, there’s a variety of boardgames - from Settlers of Catan, where you build cities and townships, to those like X-Wing where you can re-enact intergalactic battles from places far, far away. They all share one thing in common though - they get you hooked on to sessions that last an entire day.

“Boardgames have moved away from the ‘traditional boardgame’ circle ever since (Settlers of) Catan came into the market back in 1995,” explains CK Au from Boardgamecafe.net. The online community connects gaming enthusiasts with one another through its forum, regular meet-ups and gaming retreats.

CK believes that the local boardgaming scene has grown in leaps and bounds since Boardgamecafe.net started in 2006, marked by the steady flow of new games entering the market each month.

For boardgaming store operator Francis Wolf, people from all walks of life are increasingly interested in boardgames now. “Initially the boardgame customers were all card or miniature gamers who needed a game to pass the time between painting their miniatures or waiting for their card opponent to come by the shop,” says Wolf, whose game shop has been around for more than a decade. “These days we have people from all walks of life giving boardgames a go. I suppose it moved from the geek elite to the masses very quickly, in less than 10 years in fact.”

 

If you are keen to try out some boardgames but not buy them right away, there are now cafes where you can sit down and play games over a hot cuppa or a meal. Some of these cafes even have hundreds of games for you and your friends to try out.

But how would you get started?

 

“Find a gaming group that’s convenient for you, whether it’s location or schedule – and join them,” advises CK. “Gamers are mostly friendly, and they would readily welcome new gamers – both newbie and experienced ones – into their gaming groups since they are also always seeking to get more people to join them for gaming. Or, if you are fortunate to be surrounded with like-minded friends who are also into boardgaming, then it’s a matter of picking up some gateway games to get your group started.”

And after you have started on these games and realise you have a competitive streak, there are even leagues and clubs you can join, like the Star Wars: X-Wing and Armada Malaysia group or the annual Carcassonne World Championship.

By Myra Mahyuddin

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