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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.

Thank you! (now scroll down for the rest of the blog…)


#Friedrich Tournament details (update 1)

Hi everyone, exciting news about the Friedrich tournament John and Andrew regularly take part in, well next year… it’s here! Semi official release from John’s very own writing desk:

Next Year the Bar Convent will be hosting an international Friedrich tournament from 8-10 June.  Entries have already been received from Germany, Holland, Spain and Sweden.  Entry Fee £20, 4 games guaranteed (one in each role).  Entries to John McCullough (  Talk to John or Andrew Brown if you are interested or want more information.  John would also like to hear from club members who would be prepared to act as reserves (play 1 or 2 games to fill a place if entries are not exactly 16, 20 etc..).  John and Andrew will be happy to introduce you to the game and/or provide coaching in the new year.

I’ve played Friedrich, it’s a very clever game, and if anybody is interested I urge you to take up John and Andrew on the offer of being taught how to play (and possibly competing in (and winning) the tournament!).

This has been the official Friedrich Tournament update. Regular Batman update to follow.

I’m exhausted (too many games)

I wish that were the reason. No, it’s just the traditional tiring start to the year (Hi some of our regulars who are teachers!). Hello everybody, and welcome to the mid-september update. What an update. There’s a meet this Saturday, from 10 until 9 in the Bar Convent. Beat the miserable weather and join us for some fantastic games in a room with or without heating, depending upon the temperature. What games? Well loads of games. Seriously, too many to list. Think of a game and we’ve got it for playing. So instead I’ll pick one:

Heimlich & Co.

Aka Top Secret Spies. Not traditionally the game you would open with to entice people, but this really is a brilliantly daft game of seeing who’s playing like orange. Roll and move, but you’ve got to deceive people into thinking you’re not who you actually are. A classic. But you absolutely must play with the ‘guess players’ colours’ rule.


Oh, we also continue to be at Travelling Man on Thursdays if you want to pop along and say hello. Any more information people want me to post let me know. Especially Flav.

Quick update, meet this Saturday + We’ve got a new game!

Hi everyone, just a quick post to remind you all it’s our regular 1st meet of the month this Saturday in the Bar Convent from 10 until 9. And to let you all know we’ve got a new game:

Codenames Duet

Those of you who played this at Airecon will already know what it is, but for those that didn’t, Codenames: Duet is a co-op version of 2015’s smash hit Codenames. It works fantastically well with 2 players, and even groups, and due to the lack of downtime I prefer it even to the original. Brilliant game.


Friday meet- last meet in August!

Good-day everybody, and I hope you had a great time gaming on Saturday. It was excellent to see so many people gaming during what is normally a quiet time (Summer), blame our lovely British weather. A note to remind everyone we have gaming this Friday in the Bar Convent, 5 until 9pm. All are welcome, and all sorts of games will be played.

We will also be doing some open gaming upstairs in Travelling Man on thursday, so feel free to pop in and play something with us.

Game of the week…

RoboRally (2016)

It’s getting to the stage now where I can’t remember if I’ve had particular games as game of the week before. But no matter. Roborally is a move programming game. I believe the first game (probably, I might be making that up) of that type. Essentially what this means is all players choose what they’re going to do before the first move happens. Because other people’s actions may affect the state of the board it means what you thought was going to happen, isn’t what actually happens, and mayhem ensues. This fits the theme perfectly, with some sort of robot race, a Robo Rally if you will, becoming completely derailed as conveyor belts move, cogs rotate, and you end up getting pushed into a hole. It’s a lovely slice of chaos, and plays up to 6 people in 1-2 hours, depending upon how you setup the board (protip- don’t go crazy and assemble loads of them together unless you don’t want to play anything else that day).

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.