Snakes & Blogs
2013-08 ‹ By Month
Today at Snakes and Lattes we celebrate our 3rd Anniversary!
Toronto has been a wonderful home for us. We've made some amazing local and international friends here. The Snakes crew has gone to conferences and tournaments around the world always representing our small cafe in Toronto.
Over these years we've seen the board game industry explode! The interest, knowledge and sheer number of those just getting into the hobby is incredible. Shows and podcasts such as Table Top and The Dice Tower have made the hobby more accessible to a much wider audience. Snakes has even started The SnakesCast, a short, informal discussion about a range of board game topics.
Games are coming out in larger numbers than ever before. Today, no matter what type of games, mechanics or themes you're in to, there's a game for you. Kickstarter has revolutionized the way games are published, with fans getting to decide what they want to see on the shelves.
We want to thank our amazing customers. Your passion for play keeps our love of board gaming fresh! Thank you for your loyalty and your patience with us through times of growth.
Our passionate, dedicated staff keep Snakes running. There wouldn't be a Snakes without you guys. Thank you!
We're looking forward to the future and the adventure that it will bring.
Revolution is not a new game.
We've had on the shelves at Snakes for years, but it was never a game any of us knew. It even was relegated upstairs to the archive. That was until we heard it was the 'hot' game at the Cards Against Humanity office. With an endorsement like that we had to give it a try.
Revolution by Phillip duBarry is a blind bidding, role selection, area control game. It's a pretty simple teach and has quickly made its way into my rotation of Guru games.
Players are trying to raise a revolution in their small town and by bribing or bullying local officials they hope to control the fate of the town and the people in it. Using influence tokens including Force, Blackmail and Gold players secretly make bid for Generals, Printers, Merchants and other townsfolk. Once everyone has programmed their bids players reveal and see who has won the favour of the different officials.
Rewards include Support (victory points), Influence Tokens for future rounds and the ability to control different neighbourhoods in the town.
Force is the most compelling form of influence and will trump any amount of Blackmail or Gold. Blackmail will beat any Gold used. The biggest thrill of the game is seeing which officials you've won and lost from round to round. It stinks to spend 2 Force tokens on the Innkeeper, just to lose his favour to your friend who spent 2 Force and 1 Gold. What a rip-off!
For its straight forward teach and its high replay-ability I see Revolution hitting the tables quite often in Snakes.
In my line of work, I dedicate myself wholeheartedly to ensuring that the folks who come in to my workplace are enjoying themselves.
My line of work is rather unusual of course, since it's my job to recommend board games and teach people how to play them. But it's more than that. I'm also a representative of Snakes and Lattes. I'm representing an ethos that stands for something.
So when I attended GenCon in my official capacity, there was a lot of self-inflicted pressure. I felt like I couldn't be seen to have any negative opinions about any particular game (and believe me, I do have some) or any particular company (sadly, I have some of those too). It wasn't just about behaving like a professional. I wanted to be an even-handed exemplar of appreciation for all different flavours of fun.
So far so reasonable. But there was more to it than that. On the floor of the exhibit hall, I worried constantly about how I was using my time, or rather, my company's time. There was so much to see and learn, so many potential contacts to form, so many products to scout.
And that was the problem. In trying to behave like a professional, I found myself looking at games and seeing products. I found myself looking at people and seeing contacts. In the middle of North America's biggest celebration of my favourite kind of fun, I turned play into work. And it nearly ruined the experience.
Without letting go and simply playing for the joy of playing, I couldn't judge the prospective value of all the beautiful new titles on display. Without letting go and simply sharing my love of games, I couldn't form meaningful connections with the people I met. All work and no play made Jonathan a dull boy, and unproductive too.
In the end, it was the people who shook me out of it. Whenever someone recognized my voice from the SnakesCast, suddenly it wasn't about contacts and products any more. It was about games and it was about people. Over the course of that long weekend, I met some really cool people and had a wonderful time just talking about the joy of our shared hobby, not for business but for pleasure. And it was in those moments that the reason for my being there truly came into focus.
I hope I can return to GenCon on Snakes' behalf next year, because now that I've put myself through the wringer of professionalism, I think I can finally relax and enjoy myself. And through that enjoyment, I can be properly open to the people and the games I come across. In the end, that will make me better able to discover good products and make meaningful contacts.
To be serious about this business, I need to play.
The people who come to play at Snakes enjoy all kinds of games, but most of them tend to go for stuff that's quick to learn while offering a decent amount of depth and interaction.
Here are the 3 new games from this year's GenCon that we think will be hitting our tables most often when we get our hands on them.
For larger groups of 6-10 players, "Mascarade" by Bruno Faidutti is going to be hard to beat. It crosses the secret roles of "Citadels" (another popular favourite) with the simplicity and intrigue of "The Resistance" (yet another fave). With thirteen different characters to play, it'll have huge replay value, and the oversized cards with their jaw-droppingly gorgeous art seal the deal.
"Mr Jack" and "Mr Jack Pocket" by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc are both among the most popular two-player games at Snakes and Lattes. Now the same dynamic designing duo presents a new game called "Le Fantôme de l’Opéra", with a compelling new take on the Mr. Jack formula. One player tries to frighten the singer La Carlotta away from the theatre while the other seeks to unmask the Phantom.
And for medium-sized groups (2-5 players) looking for something that's just plain adorable, "The Three Little Pigs" by Laurent Pouchain will be the ticket from this year's GenCon. Roll and re-roll your little pink dice to build houses out of rickety straw, sturdy wood, or nigh-impregnable brick. But watch out when the Big Bad Wolf, because when he comes calling, he'll huff, and he'll puff, and he just might blow your house in!
Going to FanExpo this weekend? You should probably swing on by booth 1538 because we're going to be there.
We'll have our gurus on hand to get you gaming on the floor, and we'll be hosting tournaments for several awesome board games! We'll also be taking in the convention because it's 750,000 square feet of pure awesome.
One more thing - if you want to fine tune being a horrible human being we should probably mention that we have the guys who brought you Cards Against Humanity hanging out at our booth.