Friday, December 18, 2015

Gaming in Toronto

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D

In Toronto, there is a great place where you can mix lattes and playing tabletop games.  While traveling through the city recently, I was able to stop in at the local gaming café, Snakes and Lattes. I have always been a gamer and even helped launch a local game club in our community at a neighborhood hamburger joint.  So, I am happy to find a place devoted to food and gaming.

Snakes and Lattes is a board game cafe and currently has two locations in Toronto.  We visited the main café on Bloor Street.  It is a very inviting place and the staff is quick to answer any questions.  When we sat down, our server gave a rundown of the rules of the café.  For example, everyone pays a cover charge of $5 to stay and play board games for as long as they like.  The café has a huge collection of board games.  Really, just about any game you could think of was on the shelves. We managed to play two different games, a quick couple of rounds of Loonacy before dinner. Then we played Tokkaido while waiting for our food to arrive and as we ate. 

Looking around the café, it was clear that everyone in Snakes and Lattes is all about playing games and socializing with friends.  Although the name implies coffee, it does serve a variety of café food and beverage items.  The place we got to visit is a larger version of what opened in 2010 by owners Aurélia Peynet and Ben Castanie. We had put it on our Toronto to-do list after seeing Steve Tassie’s videos on the DiceTower YouTube channel.  Considering we have seen all of Steve’s videos about games and Snakes and Lattes, we were excited to actually meet him in person and talk about our love of gaming with him. 

So, the next time you are in Toronto, make sure to stop by for a latte and a game. It will make for a gaming good time!


Friday, December 4, 2015

November 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.

1775 – Rebellion, Academy Games
The year is 1775. The American colonies have begun to stockpile arms and organize militia in outrage over new taxes imposed upon them by Great Britain. On April 18th, militia members ambush a column of 700 British Redcoats ordered to seize stockpiled arms. 273 British soldiers are killed or wounded before they reach safety in Boston. The American Revolution has begun! Players take the roles of the American Continental Army and Patriots against the British Army and the Loyalists. Each side tries to control the colonies, provinces and territories. They call on the aid of Native Americans, as well as the German Hessians and French Army in order to successfully birth a revolution or quell the rebellion. When the game ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the side with the most flag markers is the winner.

Axis & allies 1942, Wizards of the Coast
It’s spring 1942, and the world is at war. Five major powers struggle for supremacy: Germany and Japan are aligned against the great alliance of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Controlling one of the Axis or Allied powers, players will command both their country’s military forces and its war-time economy, with the chance to plan attacks, marshal forces into embattled territories, and resolve conflicts. Victory will go to the side that conquers its opponents on the field of battle and liberates or occupies the greatest cities of the world. Change the course of history in a few short hours!

Defense of Lwow
It's the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 and you must block the Bolsheviks at Bug River. The object of the game is different for each player. The Bolshevik player’s goal is to conquer Lwów (which was a Polish city up to 1945, and is now Lviv, Ukraine). To achieve this, one of their cavalry units must occupy the space with Lwów. The Polish goal is to use airplanes to keep the cavalry out of Lwów for 8 days (game turns). The game ends when the Soviets are out of time or they managed to capture Lwow.

Bottom of The 9th Card Game, Dice Hate Me Games
It's the bottom of the ninth inning. The game is tied. It's down to the home team to score one run to win it all. Unfortunately, the home team is staring down the league's best closer. With variable player strengths, bluffing/deduction and die-rolling, only the pitcher knows what's coming and the batter needs to keep his eyes peeled. Bottom of the 9th is played over the course of three outs, or four hits (for one run scored) - whichever occurs first.

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer