This week's featured game: Dragoon

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Dragoon. Verb. To coerce (someone) into doing something: she had been dragooned into helping with the housework.

Or, in the case of Dragoon from Lay Waste Games: “The villagers and been dragooned into paying tribute to the huge dragon, lest their village be reduced to a smoking crater.”

Dragoon is a light strategy game for 2-4 players in which vengeful, feuding dragons threaten each other as well as the populations of the growing villages and cities on their shared, tiny island. As players it’s your job to horde the most gold (dragons love gold) anyway you can get it: stealing it from other dragons in combat, robbing their caves or demanding it from terrified villagers.

There’s also a thief about, stealing gold for himself. If you’re lucky enough to catch him, you can shake him down for a bit of his stash.

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Dragoon is played in rounds, and each round has three phases: populate, actions and tribute. In the populate phase, players roll dice to see where new villages or cities appear on the map. During the actions phase, dragons spend their three actions to do things like move, claim a village or city as their own, fight or raze villages to the ground. Finally, during the tribute phase, the terrified humans who are still alive try to appease their winged overloads with offerings of gold. Play continues like this until one dragon has amassed 50 pieces of shiny gold.

The game is fast-paced, fun and so pretty. Look at those metal pieces! Metal dragons, metal dragon caves, metal dice, metal scoring markers. It all happens on an attractive, hand-drawn map that folds up nicely when play is finished.

We’ll be teaching Dragoon this Saturday and Sunday at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons (map) from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Come down and give it a try. Our game days are just $5 per person for four hours of gaming.

See you soon. There are villages to raze!

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Announcing board game “speed dating!”

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Meeting someone special can be agonizing. Board games are always awesome. What happens if you combine looking for someone with playing board games?

That’s exactly what we’re doing. Here’s how it works.

Imagine this: you’re in the beautiful lounge at The West End in Hyannis on Thursday, February 14. Game Gurus walk you through several simple, fun games, including classics you know and some new ones you might not. You play each with different people, getting a chance to meet fun singles, all the while enjoying adult beverages and delicious snacks.

At the end of the night, you write down the name of who you’d like to get to know better as a friend, and who might be a little more than that, on a card and hand it to the Game Gurus. If there are any matches in either column, the Gurus will make sure you get each others’ emails so you can coordinate a time to hang out.

You know that awkward silence that always happens when you’re meeting new people and no one knows what to say? Just concentrate on the game. Awkward silences, eliminated!

  • Best case scenario: You find the love of your life, discover new board games and meet lots of cool people.

  • Bad case scenario: Only one of the three above.

  • Worst case scenario: At least there’s games.

Ready to sign up? Click the button below. The deets:

  • The West End, Hyannis (map)

  • February 14, starting at 6:00 PM.

  • $10 at the door.

What is a "breadstick game?"

Anyone who’s ever eaten at an Olive Garden has had those warm, lovely bread sticks. No, they aren’t what you came for (Ok well they probably aren’t what you came for), despite their garlicky goodness. The breadsticks are meant to give you something to nibble on while you wait for your entree to arrive, and to get you in the mood to enjoy dinner.

Breadstick games work the same way. When sitting down to an afternoon or evening of board games, be it at your local board game cafe or at home, a few quick, simple games can get you in the mood to hunker down with a more substantial title. In this post, we’ll describe a few or our favorite breadstick games.

Kulami

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Kulami is an abstract strategy game for two players, who must arrange marbles on a randomly-generated board of wooden tiles. A player may claim a tile — and its points — by having the majority of his or her marbles on it. Ah, but there’s a bit of a catch: your opponent’s move dictates where you can place your marble.

Word A Round

This super-simple game takes seconds to learn, is fast-paced and light enough that you’ll want to play a couple of times. In it, players must flip over a card and be the first to read a word inside one of the card’s three concentric circles. It sounds simple enough, but each word is presented as one continuous string of letters, with no clear beginning or ending. It’s quick and funny.

Spot It

If you’ve ever played I Spy while enduring a long road trip, this one will be familiar. Spot It features circular cards bearing eight symbols each: snowman, whistle, lightning bolt and more. There is exactly one matching pair of symbols across any two cards. Your job, as you may have guessed, is to spot the pair before your opponents. There are five ways to play Spot It, though that core mechanic remains the same.

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Sushi Go

Imagine you’re at your favorite Japanese restaurant, trying to piece together a meal from all of the delicious offerings. That’s the idea behind Sushi Go, a set-collection card game that has you gathering sashimi, tempura, wasabi into sets to score points. Played in three rounds, this quick game features cute art and fun gameplay.

Animal Upon Animal

This cute dexterity game from Germany has you stacking wooden animals on top of each other, without knocking the whole thing down. A roll of the die determines which animal you must place next, or lets your opponents decide. Each player starts with the same pool of oddly-shaped animals and it’s a wobbly race to see who can get rid of their menagerie first.

Bananagrams

This son-of-Scrabble has more in common with a crossword puzzle. Players each have a collection of lettered tiles and must build off of each other’s words. But hold on, opponents may steal letters and more in their effort to become “top banana.”

There you have it. There are more, of course, but these are some of our favorites. These titles and more are available to play every week with us at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons (map) from 12:00 - 4:00. If you have a breadstick game that you love, bring it! We’d love to give it a try.