24th November 2019
Sunday at 'The Sovereigns' in Woking continues.
The next game was 'Codenames'.
I have it on good authority that spies, above all other things, really like having codenames.
So it's a good thing that the game 'Codenames' is all about spies.
Actually, it's a team based card game about words, but I digress...
Whats in a game?
How's it play?
Codenames requires a bit of setup.
When describing Codenames I've not really explained the dilemma and challenge facing the spymaster players.
The example I used had 'cat', 'pigeon' & 'ant' as all being blue. But in reality, it's more likely that not all of them would be the same colour, 'pigeon' might be red. Now the blue spymaster could simply say, "Animal, two.". But then they run the risk that the team might select 'pigeon' instead of the other choices and if they select the wrong word first, it stops their turn straightaway!
So the spymaster has to select clues that don't draw their teammates to the wrong answer. This can be downright tricky.
Now the spymaster could play it safe and select, "Meow, one." for 'cat' and use 1 word clues. The problem with playing it safe though, is that it probably won't win you the game unless you're already ahead. So doing 2 or 3 word clues can be a good way of getting ahead.
The same principle applies to the other team members. When the spymaster gives you a clue for 3 words, managing to find all of them grants the team a good advantage. But getting wrong can prove a bad thing.
It's a good implementation of a 'risk/reward' mechanic. A successful risk pays off and a unsuccessful risk penalises.
There's only one small drawback to Codenames and that is that it basically needs at least 4 players to play and ideally even numbers of players too.
The game goes up to 8 players, but I can't see a reason why team size should be limited to 4 (Other than it takes a longer to come to a consensus with bigger teams!).
Codenames is easy enough to learn to be a 'crossover' game and has a high replay value. It's probably a bit too long for a filler game, but makes an excellent party game. Particularly when with larger groups and/or family members.
2nd July 2019.
Tuesday has arrived and gaming night with the 'Woking Gaming Club' at 'The Sovereigns' beckons.
Whilst waiting for the later arrivals, a quick game of Just One was played. You can read my thoughts about it here.
25th June 2019.
Tuesday night gaming beckons at 'The Sovereigns' in Woking.
The evening was kicked off by the word game 'Just One'.
Just One is probably the best cross-over game ever. This is a co-operative party games that anyone can learn and easily play.
What's in a game?
The game comes with the following components.
That's it, all these components are plain and purely functional. It's like someone made a game out of the crap left over at then of a conference or something similar - well except for the deck of cards!
How's it play?
Firstly the deck of cards is shuffled and 13 cards are dealt face-down into it's own separate draw deck. The remaining cards can be placed back in the box, they are not needed for the game.
If the clues were 'Sylvester', 'Sylvester' and 'Whiskers'. Both iterations of 'Sylvester' would be erased and removed from the round and only 'Whiskers' would be left.
My only gripe about this game, is in the selection of words. Some types of words are a lot easier to get clues for.
'Cat' for example is easy, I can think of lots of possible clues.
'Panther' on the other hand is a lot harder to think of clues for. I think of 'Black', but that's about it.
Just One also has a little more nuance to it than what you would expect.
The rule about removing duplicate clues is what makes the game in my opinion. Going for an obvious clue risks having 2 or more clues removed from the game! But going for something too obscure risks muddling the clue.
But overall all, Just One is party game that's for up to 7 players, that is also co-operative and is easy to learn.
What's not to like?