Monday, February 11, 2013

A Day at the Mox

On Saturday, Kevin Smyth organized an expedition to Café Mox in Seattle (actually, in Ballard, once an independent town, but now a neighborhood in Seattle that observes the anniversary of its incorporation as a day of mourning). The expeditionaries were Kevin, his son Casey, Tim Barella, Dave Demick, Dave Schueler, and me.

Café Mox is a unique place in the area. It's a combination full-service café and game parlor, which is attached to a full-service game store (Card Kingdom). Table space in the café is limited, so we got there early enough to snag the big table in the middle. We started with a game of Revolution! It's a fun everyone-against-all-others kind of game where players vie for influence and control using power, blackmail, and gold. It was touch and go for a while, but in the end I would up farther back than even dead last. IIRC, Dave Demick came out on top.

Game two was Gloom, an Edward Gorey-esque card game where players control a family whom they try to make as miserable as possible before killing them off. Opposing players, however, may try to make your family happy—and then killing them off. When one player's family is entirely dead, all players count up the pathos points for their dead family members.The player with the highest count of negative pathos points wins. While the rest of us were enmiserating ourselves and felicitating our opponents, Dave Demick quietly ruined his wretched family while no one was paying attention. Gloom is a simple, fun game with a lot of strategy and twists of fate. One minute you're down because you've been "mocked by mimes" only to be up because you "find love by the lake" the next.

The final game was Balance of Power. A strategy game set in post-1815 Europe (i.e., after Napoleon). Players try to rebuild the influence of their countries using a rock-paper-scissors kind of approach to economic, political, and military power. It's just 99 years to go before the next great European implosion, so get a leg up while you can. I sat out Balance of Power so I could shop and drink. I believe that Dave Demick won, which, I think, would give him the hat trick for the day.

The game store had lots and lots of stuff to buy. I came away with another Gloom expansion (Unfortunate Expeditions) and finally my own copy of the classic Settlers of Catan (yes, I do have wood for sheep, if that's any of your business).

The expedition was a great success and I foresee more visits to Café Mox in the future. However, it's strictly board games. The Card Kingdom has space for "miniatures" only in the sense that there are some game boards set up for Warhammer.