If you want to try a cooler breed of board game
and don’t know where to start, the gang that converges on Enchanted Realms
can lead the way. Every Saturday, anywhere from 20 to 30 folks show up from 6 to 10 p.m. (They go from noon to 10 p.m. on the last Saturday of the month for those who want to get some epic war or strategy games going.) They welcome newbies and come supplied with backpacks full of games you’ve never played before — from light party games to heavily strategic slug-a-thons and everything in between.
Competing with online retailers is a bitch, which is why most game stores differentiate themselves by offering something Amazon
can’t: a place to sit down, meet new people, and try new games. Occupying an upstairs-and-downstairs unit at the end of an office/retail building, Enchanted Realms is a warren of rooms and tables anchored by a small retail room upstairs where you can shop a few shelves of tabletop games, load up on Magic: The Gathering
cards, and even pick up a snack and a beer. (Yup, beer.)
When I walked in last Saturday around 1:30 (it being the last Saturday of the month), only a couple members of the group were present, squaring off at Noir: Killer vs. Inspector
. Neither of them were designer board game fanatics six months ago, but they got hooked via this group.
After they wrapped up their game of Noir
, they invited me in for a game of Sushi Go!
, an easy-to-learn affair that sees you trying to score points off various categories of adorably illustrated sushi cards by passing hands of cards from player to player, playing the best card out of your hand each time to maximize your final score. (These mechanics are known as “card drafting” and “set collection” among hardcores.) It’s a nifty little game, and I’d recommend it to anyone as a light diversion.
Midway through our Sushi Go!
contest, one of my buddies showed up. We indulged in Seasons
, the one game I brought along. In the breathtakingly illustrated Seasons
, players are wizards competing to accrue the most points in a tournament that lasts three years in game time. I got my ass kicked severely by the other three guys.
During our game, more Enchanted Realmers filtered into the downstairs room, firing up games at other tables. By Seasons
’ end, they were more than a dozen strong, punching out cardboard on their brand-new copy of the zombie-themed runaway 2014 hit, Dead of Winter
. (I’ll be telling you about this beast of a game in coming weeks.)
If you’ve got a spare Saturday night and a burning curiosity about what’s out there in terms of board gaming, Enchanted Realms should be a mandatory visit for you.
Nate Warren is a Colorado Springs-based copywriter who offers both the veteran gamer and the uninitiated a local window into the burgeoning and wildly creative world of hobby and designer board games enjoyed by fanatics and connoisseurs — around the corner and and across the globe.