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Hello and welcome to Beyond Monopoly! We are a boardgames club in York who meet regularly for fun boardgaming times. We play all modern boardgames- Euros, Social deducation, co-op, American; and if that means nothing to you, then come along and discover the exciting (genuinely) world of modern boardgames. We meet in the Bar Convent on the first and third Saturday of the month, from 10am until 9pm, and on the second and fourth Friday evening of the month, from 5pm until 9pm. If you can’t remember that then please sign up for regular reminders and updates! Absolutely everyone is welcome, and with our numbers attending you’re usually never waiting long for a game. First visit is free (wow!). Given we’re in the Bar Convent we do ask that people don’t bring in outside food and drink- instead drinks are provided, and the cafe does fantastic food (and we get 10% off).

If you want regular email reminders of club meetings, put your email address in the subscription box on the right and click on Sign Me Up! You’ll get a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in that to confirm your sub. After that, you’ll get an email when we post an item on this blog. That includes the reminders which go on the blog.

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Meet this Saturday, and I sell the club for people who haven’t been before/ in a while.

Hi folks, and thanks to Jim for last weeks update. It makes me want to play Tigris and Euphrates now. First up, we have our regular Saturday meet this Saturday in the Bar Convent from 10 until 9. We’ve had a number of new people show up recently, so I thought I’d do a friendly post for people who perhaps haven’t been before, or only once or twice.

We at Beyond Monopoly are here to play boardgames and have a fun time doing so. If you’ve never played modern boardgames before, or feel daunted about turning up to a new group of people playing some indecipherable game- don’t be! We’re an incredibly friendly group, and are as welcoming as possible. We’re happy to teach any game you want to play from our extensive collection, and understand what it’s like to play a game for the first time. In fact we’re always getting new games, so often it’s a number of people’s first time playing. Unlike most board game cafes you don’t need to bring a gaming partner, just join in with the people there- whilst I can’t promise people will just be starting a game when you arrive, people are rarely waiting around for long. Also unlike board game cafes, your first visit is free, so there’s really no reason to not see what we’re like. Also, if you become a regular member, you can borrow games from us, which is an incredible offer given our magnificently curated collection. In addition to borrowing games, we can offer other services, such as helping to set up longer games, such as a full compliment of Game of Thrones, as well as giving 10% off in Travelling Man (ask for a membership card), and gaming tournaments.

In terms of travel, we’re near the train station, and right next to a bus stop, but if you drive in please send me a message to ask about parking. Also, in terms of food, because we’re in the Bar Convent we can’t allow people to eat or drink items purchased elsewhere inside. That said, we get a discount at the Bar Convent cafe (lovely food and drink), and afterwards there’s normally a contingent who head to ‘Spoons afterwards for dinner.

Basically, if you like modern boardgames and are in Yorkshire visit us. And if you haven’t played a modern boardgame, still visit us, because they’re great.

Finally, there’s also our small mini meets in Travelling Man upstairs during the day on Thursdays!

Game recommendation of the week…

Nothing Personal

Nothing Personal is a climbing the mafiosa tree game, in which players try to gain the most respect in the mafia by influencing key players, and making moves up the leadership chain. I was glad to finally get this to the table (we got it at the UK Games Expo back in June). This is ostensibly an area control game with negotiation, but if like me you’re not particularly a big fan of negotiations don’t worry, you can negotiate as much or as little as you want. The area control is tightly controlled through cards, and when characters get enough influence on them they’re sent to jail. This keeps the mafia hierarchy ever changing, enabling future planning and making sure one player doesn’t overwhelm everyone else. Nothing Personal is a fantastic game, with truly excellent components. It plays up to 5 players in about 2 hours.

Meet this Friday and a recommendation for Tigris and Euphrates.

Hi everyone, just a  quick reminder that after the headiness of three Saturday meetings on the trot (if I recall correctly – I was on holiday for a lot of July) this Friday 11th August will be our first Friday meeting for a while at the Bar Convent, 6 till 9. All are welcome, so if like me you’re back at work (sigh) after a nice holiday why not pop along to get a lift from some good gaming and even better company.

Also, for those of you off tomorrow, we will be gaming in Travelling Man during the day, come along upstairs to join in some boardgaming fun.

Tigris and Euphrates

Mark’s not here so you’ll have to wait a little longer for his views on Space Alert. But that’s ok, because I want to talk about Tigris and Euphrates which (like my daughter) has come of age this year. Yup, the one time king of the boardgamegeek charts (and still riding high at number 60, pop-pickers) has turned 21 years old this year. Ahh ….

Few of its peers (El Grande apart) have had the same staying power. Here’s why. It’s arguably celebrated designer Dr. Reiner Knizia’s signature design (which is saying a lot), and comes from his purple period when he seemed to come up with a new, genre-expanding idea every year or two. It combines a number of his trademark features: a light ruleset, quick turns, simple but fiendish victory conditions that keep players on their toes and that require you to play the other players rather than the game. And it plays in less than an hour.

What do you do on your turn? Usually, place two tiles on the board. That’s it.

How do you win? Well, you score (hidden) victory points. While many modern Euros give you 427 different ways of scoring points (all of which you add together at the end of the game), here you score points in four colours. Generally, if you place a red tile, you score a red point, and your end game score is simply your lowest score in any of the colours. So if you have 20 red, 12 blue, 10 red and 3 green, your score is 3, not 20. And you’ve lost.

Now, I’ll admit there’s a little more to it: leaders – they’re the round disks in the image above, and you’ll need your red leader (didn’t he fly a Spitfire?) in play to score red points; conflict – like I said you play the others here, not the game; monuments (they’re the buildings in the image above) and the odd catastrophe. However, it’s way, way simpler than most modern worker-placement games, plays in half the time and doesn’t require that you memorise optimum paths through a variety of upgrade cards and tiles.

It’s just been re-released (again) at a very reasonable price, and the good people at Shut Up and Sit Down have put a fine (and characteristically amusing) video review together here: Shut Up and Sit Down review

The best game from the best Euro-game designer? That’ll do me. Give me a shout if you fancy a game.

Meet this Saturday (First August Meet!) and I recommend Medici.

Hello everybody, just a  quick update today to remind you it’s our first meet of the month this Saturday at the Bar Convent, 10 till 9. It may not seem like the first meet of the month, what with us having 3 meets in a row, but check your calendars and you’ll see that’s the case. All are welcome, so if you’ve never been before, or are just in York on a trip, pop along to enjoy some fine boardgames with finer people.

Also, for those of you off tomorrow, we will be gaming in Travelling Man during the day, come along upstairs to join in some boardgaming fun.

Right, I said Space Alert would be my game recommendation this week. But it’s not. Mainly because I borrowed it and forgot to return it (you can borrow games from the club too!). Instead it’s…


I’m going to quote Ben, or Ian, or somebody who said Medici is, in their opinion, the best purest bidding game there is. And who am I to argue? (Note-I did actually argue). Medici is a true classic, really simple bidding mechanics- pull tiles out a bag and choose when to put them up for auction. All players bid until their boats are filled/ there are no tiles left. The heaviest boats, and those specialising in one or two goods, will prove victorious. But unlike most bidding games you’re bidding with your victory points. Whatta twist! It is actually a very good bidding game I would easily recommend to everyone. Medici plays up to six players in about an hour.

Another meet this Saturday!

Hi everybody! Hope you all enjoyed gaming on Saturday, especially those of you (us) enjoying your (our) holidays! We have another meet at the Bar Convent on the 5th Saturday this month, 10 until 9. As always, all people are welcome, so come along, whether you’re a regular, or someone who hasn’t played a modern boardgame but wants to try them. It’s always fantastic to see new faces, and I hope to see you come along again to play some great games with decent folk.

I went to Draughts in London on Monday. I wasn’t scoping out the competition or anything, just my game meeting was shorter than I thought it would be and we had time to kill. It did get me thinking just how bargainliscious we are. We’re cheaper than Draughts (we’re free on your first visit don’t forget!), we have a better games selection (well curated), we can teach you all the games you want to know, and if you come on your own you can join other people and play games. Not that Draughts is bad, just that sometimes I forget just how good BM! actually is.

Also gaming on Thursday in Travelling Man. I games there last Saturday, and there’s some really nice space for gaming in the upstairs area.

Right, game recommendation of the week will be Space Alert! But due to time I’m going to talk more about it next week. See you on Saturday!


Special Meet This Saturday!

Happy Summer folks! This Saturday we have a special meet because it’s the 4th Saturday meet. We’re at the Bar Convent from 10 in the morning until 9 at night. Free for first time folk, so come along and play some wonderful games! All are welcome.

Also, don’t forget gaming at Travelling Man. Thursday during the day. I was gaming there on Saturday (new Time Stories prototype- ask if you would like to borrow it) and the gaming upstairs has loads of space.

I haven’t had a game recommendation for some time, but we do have lots and lots of fantastic games. So I’m going to choose a game I haven’t played for a while:



Lancaster is a worker-placement-esque bidding style game set back in the 15th Century. Each player needs to recruit the noble houses, send troops to France and build their castle. Over the rounds players will improve the quality of their knights, or just send squires to make them look fancier. This will allow them to bump players from spots. As players get bumped, so they will bump others. This continues until every knight is placed. Then it’s activation time and voting time! One of the ingenious things about this game is the laws which change. You get to vote on what will give victory points/coins/knights etc. To get more votes you need to gain the favours of the nobles, and can then wield your electoral influence. Lancaster has a really nice system which meshes together well, relatively straightforward, with a really nice bump mechanic. Lancaster plays up to 5 people in about an hour. Superb game.

Friday Meet this week (yes, a Friday Meet)

Hi folks, just a  quick reminder that this Friday we have our regular meet in the Bar Convent in the evening 5-9pm. It’s not really a regular meet, as this will be two Fridays on the trot, but it’s a funny old month. After this Friday meet we will have 3 Saturday meets in a row! Anyway, this Friday, at the Bar Convent.

Also, before I forget, we are still gaming at Travelling Man on Thursday during the day, so come along!