What to do after a pandemic? Play pandemic with the Wageningen Board Gamers of course! During COVID times the Wageningen Board Gamers have been a bit dormant, simply because it is very hard to social distance while also sitting at the same table as the other players. This doesn’t mean nothing noteworthy has happened in the last two years. So let me give you an overview of the state of gaming in Wageningen in 2022.
The Sunday’s at Café ‘t Rad were the first to come back. Mainly thanks to Jos who organises these open events. In 2022 we’ve expanded from having one gaming table to having the entire back of the building filled with enthusiastic gamers. Never been there? Here’s how it works:
- Go to the bar. We’re there from 19.00 onwards
- Optional: bring games that you like to play. Make sure you know how to explain them.
- Slightly less optional: try some of the delicious local craft beers. They have a lovely menu.
- Ook goed om te weten: als je Engels niet zo fantastisch is ben je van harte welkom. De Wageningen Board Gamers doen hun best om iedereen zich thuis te laten voelen aan de speltafel.
Monthly Board Game Gatherings at Thuis
The Thursday evenings at the community center were wildly popular pre-pandemic. At its peak this event drew 45 participants from Wageningen and surroundings. It is easy to see why. There is a lot of space to play games, and even more games to try out. And the coffee is good, as is the company. My personal highlight of these events are Sam’s improvised speeches.
So far we’ve organised two post-pandemic Monthly Gatherings and we were surprised to see that 30 people attended. It was fantastic to see both familiar faces and new people find their way to our gaming tables again after such a long hiatus. Never attended a monthly gathering? Here’s how it works:
- Go to Thuis Wageningen on the 4th Thursday of the month. Gaming starts at 19.00.
- This is a community centre, not a bar. So make sure to bring some drinks and snacks to share. Or take some tea or coffee from their kitchen. As Thuis is a community centre, a small donation is always appreciated.
- Talk to the people who also just walked in and ask if they want to play a game. They are probably just as confused as you are and likely to say yes.
- There will be at least a hundred games at the event, so we recommend you bring some more. Just to be sure there are enough games to choose from. This is the first rule of boardgaming: there can never be enough games.
The underground meeple scene
The two previous events are fairly well known, but did you know that there is a vibrant underground scene in Wageningen? As big game nights became literally illegal, the hardcore gamers started organising small game nights with 2-4 people at their homes throughout the pandemic. These small gatherings are still happening and a lot of fun. Especially our Meeple Members consolidated into smaller “bubbles” to play legacy style games such as Gloomhaven, the King’s Dilemma and the aptly named “Pandemic Legacy”. These games are played over several game nights with the same players so it makes sense to plan these in advance. Also something that didn’t stop during the pandemic: the fulfilment of Kickstarter campaigns. More than ever before are games on the shelves screaming at us to be played. Now is the time to make that happen! So, how does the underground meeple scene work?
- Go to one of the events and look a player you expect to be part of the underground scene deeply in the eye and give them the secret handshake
- Learn that there is no such thing a secret handshake
- Become a Meeple Member and become part of the Meeple Member whatsapp group.
- Post “hey who wants to try *name of the game* with me?” or react “sure, when?” to someone posting a similar question
- Game on!
But wait, there’s more! There are several things already set in motion that will be rolled out over the course of 2022. There’s likely to be another Board Game Getaway this year for example. We’re also working on setting up a board game library and some brand new merchandise with our logo. Personally I’m the most excited about the annual field trip to the mecca of boardgaming: Essen Spiel. This is the largest board game convention in the world and we’ve secured accommodation with a capacity of 30 gamers within walking distance of the convention. Keep an eye on our Facebook Group, the Discord channel and this website to stay in the loop on these and other developments.
See you at the gaming table,