Role the dice, stack the cards, arrange some blocks, trade a few gems, collect marbles or investigate a crime scene — board game lovers in the city have a slew of options as groups and clubs are organising tabletop nights. Even as cafes and clubs let revellers indulge in board games while sipping coffee or having a meal, there is a strong board gaming community organising game nights every weekend. At homes, on rooftops or in cafes, the avid board-gamers get together after dusk for some fun sessions high on energy and adrenaline.
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From classics like Monopoly, Scrabble and Taboo to Jenga, Eclipse or Dixit and strategy board games like Agricola, Catan, Ticket to Ride or Battleship, hundreds of games are on offer for adults, children and geeks alike.
Mumbai Board Gamers (MBG), a community founded in 2012, recently started organising such game nights.
Karan Vashisht, founder of the group, says: “We have a good turnout for our nights. We have partnered with a few restaurants, such as Creeda in Fort and Pair a Dice in Andheri, which are conceptualised around board games. They have a huge range of games, coupled with space and decor that go with it.” He adds that the group uses the restaurant space till 11.30pm and then the sessions continue at somebody’s house or terrace till the wee hours.
The MBG has over 1500 members now and they meet at homes or other private spaces with their collection of games. The group announces such meets online and the members meet up regularly. The MBG members are from different walks of life — engineers, artists, students, businessmen. All of them indulge in a host of cooperative and competitive games.
Board Games Bash, another group, functions similarly. Its founder Kumar Jhuremalani said that with each passing day, more members are joining the community. “These (game) nights are a great way to unwind for those who have hectic jobs. We have partnered with Eddies Bistro in Bandra, where we have big game nights with around 50 people participating at a time.”
The group also meets regularly on Carter Road and in Bandra to play under the stars.
“We have more than 3000 members. We promote fun, casual, party and number games and there is room for strategy and adventure games as well. Anybody with a penchant for gaming can join us,” Kumar said.
The group meets around 8.30 pm and the gaming sessions continue post midnight. Pictionary, Blurt, Quelf, Mind your Word, Anomia, Agricola, Pandemic, Die Macher and the Voyages of Marco Polo are few of the favourites.
For the newly-inducted members, the group holds a casual training and prep session to familiarise them with new and difficult games.
Tabletop India is another group that is getting people together for game nights. It also hosts competitions among its members.
Anand Sinha, a web designer who is a regular at gaming nights, said: “Drinking, dining and partying is what people do after work. Gaming is a great stress-buster after a hard day’s work. It connects people and there is genuine interaction and adrenaline flow. We stay away from technology and all the chaos while we play. Tabletop games are fun and absolutely addictive when played in big groups. The excitement and adrenaline flow is unbelievable on such nights.”