The wonders and pitfalls of ‘The Works’

For those of you who aren’t resident in the UK let me introduce you to The Works, a UK based discount bookstore. However, although The Works does stock a wide variety of cheap books, books are not all it has. With stock ranging from stationery and craft supplies to jigsaws and puzzles, there are plenty of good reasons to visit The Works.

In the last few years, however, there has been another reason – the stocking of board games. And not just mainstream boardgames such as Risk and Monopoly (which interestingly they stock ridiculously over-priced themed versions, a bit odd when the everything else they sell is so cheap), but strategy board and card games, some of which are decently ranked on boardgamegeek. If you want to see all the games they have previously stocked try this geeklist.

About 18 months ago I bought 4 of their current offerings for around £10 each.

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My initial spending spree at the Works resulted in the purchasing of 4 games.

Havana – this has been our most played works purchase by a long way. Each person has the same hand of cards which they secretly choose each turn which two to play, with the lowest number going first. Higher numbered cards are more powerful, but have too higher number and you’ll go last, so it is a delicate balancing act. Plus once played you cannot use one of the two cards in front of you again until you have used all your cards. By playing cards you gain resources and then spend them on buildings which are worth different amounts of points, the first to a set amount of points wins. For some reason I’m really bad at this game and my husband usually wins, but it is still fun.

La Citta – this game is good but a bit long for our tastes, it can also be quite fiddly to keep track of everything. We haven’t played it in a while so maybe we should give it another go.

Priests of Ra – we have only played this once and my husband was having a bad day so didn’t enjoy it. We should try it again, but I think maybe it isn’t at its greatest with only 2 players.

Mousquetaires du Roy – this has been sitting on the shelf since I bought it. We should love it, it’s cooperative (you can play either fully cooperatively or all against one), but the rule book is confusing and so it hasn’t made it to the table yet.

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New purchses from the Works

And now in the last month I have bought 3 more – OriginMadame Ching and Artificium. I think I may have a slight boardgame acquisition problem, especially when it comes to resisting cheap games.

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My initial spending spree at the Works resulted in the purchasing of 4 games.

Edited to add (23/05): I’ve just realised I actually have another game I purchased from the Works – Palazzo, which we have played once and enjoyed so it should return to the table soon.

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2 thoughts on “The wonders and pitfalls of ‘The Works’

  1. I know what you mean, in the last month I’ve acquired 6 new games, 4 of which were from the Works: Shafausa, a long-winded economy game that I actually enjoy a fair bit but is a bit of a marmite game; Berzerke: War Of The Realms, which promised to be a 2-4 player game, but is more of a 2 player with little explanation as to how 4 players can play it – it also came with a bunch of sealy bags (always gets me excited that does) but they’re not big enough to fit a deck of cards (very snug), as yet this is unplayed; Origin, which didn’t have the cards in the box (Matagot are very kindly sending replacement cards) so not played that either; finally Open Sesame, a shorter game along the lines of ‘I packed my suitcase and in it I put…’ not a bad game as it is, but a little different to what my players usually look for in a game.
    Why do they have to sell them so cheaply? I can scarce resist!

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    1. Yeah, I need to think before buying in future as if I purchase several Work’s games I’m actually spending a fair bit of money, it just doesn’t feel like it when I buy one at a time. I should probably resist and save the money for games on my wishlist, although the one game we have played most (Havana) we do really enjoy. And they feel like a bargain…

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