GameS: a small summary of the different ways of gaming at Ludi et Veritas

August 23, 2016

“Games” are a form of activity spread among several species (yes! not only human beings! any pet owner can relate … maybe not goldfish but seriously, goldfishes are by definition boring as such). To quote the most reliable friend of us all, Wikipedia, “games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures” since around 2600 BC. It is very logical that Humanity, beside improving its tool-crafting skill to hunt, cook etc., started to create new way of passing time. When you give it a thought, what were supposed to do our ancestors without internet and Netflix? Okay … maybe first focusing on surviving and building a family… but then what? Ah! Creating new ways of spending time! Maybe even cooking was a game at the start, in which the one who dies from food poisoning is a pitiful looser. To make it short at this point: if you are attracted by participating in a game, that’s NORMAL cause it is one aspect of one species culture, and, in the case of Humanity, one for which we are really good at.

Now that you are reassured that you are far from being weird in being interested in playing games (assuming you ended up on this page because you are interested in playing), let’s talk about gameS. The plural has to be emphasized as there are different ways of playing games. For example, by definition, most of sports are games (yeah! Even if you have been associating the words “game” and “sports” for long, something has just been highlighted for eternity in your mind). However, at Ludi et Veritas, we are not focusing on Sports, but rather on TableTop Games, and more specifically on board games. In the following article, we will present different type of games that you can play with us at the club.

The core of Ludi et Veritas: the Board Games.

Let us settle this now and for ever: Board Games ARE NOT Role playing games. Last day for one of our event, someone new in the club asked us: “do we have to play a role when playing board games?” and the answer was again: “NO!”. For sure, 99% of the Board games have a more or less deep theme, but it is mostly to attract people and let the potential for players to interact by exploiting this theme … if they want to. Board games are mostly based on a mechanic that is independent to any role play or acting. Think about this: even chess presents a (concise) theme, and the fact that you are moving your knight or your queen on the chessboard does not mean that you have to impersonate the pawn (some of us may like it a little bit … but it’s because the lust for power can be too strong…). Now that we have eliminate this misconception, let’s talk about different kind of board games you will find at Ludi et Veritas.

Starting to merge in the group: Social Games.

This kind of game is one of the most popular at Ludi et Veritas. They are perfect for newcomers to explore the world of gaming. Their mechanics are usually simple and rest on players’ interaction, consisting mostly in discussing and exposing their thoughts. There is also a part of bluff and deception, explaining why we call as well some of these games “deception games”. The “plus”: with these game you will be integrated very quickly in the group as everybody will try to make you feeling the more comfortable possible. This games are very recurrent at the club and you will be able to play one or two rounds on the Friday meeting for sure.

Notable examples: Mafia, Werewolf series, The Resistance, Spyfall, Codenames.

Learning the basics in gameplay: Gateway games.

Ludi et Veritas members are always willing to introduce new players to these games as a beginning. These category regroups the games that present no more than one or two distinct gameplay, making the understanding of the game obvious and quick to catch. Building strategies does not require a lot of training (if any) and anybody can fairly win at the end. These games are usually very short (no more than 10-20 min) and call for a re-match. If you come on our Friday meeting and you are brand new in the world of gaming, an experienced gamer will be for sure pleased to introduce you with these games as a first contact with board games.

Notable examples: No thanks!, Love Letter, Carcassonne, Bohnanza, Sushi Go!

Warming up to the next level: Strategic Games.

If you are seeking for more challenge but are not willing to spend hours to dig your brain for winning, this category of games is for you. The range of difficulty may be large for these games, as they are mainly dependent of your environment (i.e. the other players). Mostly, they are not extremely complicated, but with training you can explore new strategies that could unbalance the odds. Rest assured that the vast majority of the Ludi et Veritas members won’t exploit this advantage, and will rather friendly guide you in the gameplay. These games are usually longer than the previous (30-60 min max) but are not overwhelming. We play them recurrently on the Friday meeting, but more frequently on the Saturday event at the School of Medicine.

Notable examples: Ticket to ride, 7 Wonders, Catan, Splendor, Cosmic Encounter.

You are a true gamer: Advanced strategy games.

In this category, fall the games for which you need some training before starting. They usually call up for several well-known gameplays, which you have to mix up to strengthen your strategy, and can be catchy at the first time. You will have to manage resources, victory points, competition and game building to achieve victory. Different strategies will usually change the shape of the game and you will mostly interact with others by competing for resources. These games are not recommended for people totally new in the world of gaming, as the feeling of not entirely control the game can be upsetting for some. We usually play these games in special sessions with the most hardcore gamers of the group, but are always happy to have new people on the table, even new comers who are not afraid before the challenge. These games can be very long, if not very very very long (1 hour to 8 hours for some).

Notable examples: Puerto Rico, Agricola, Terra Mystica, Power Grid, Twilight Imperium.

I am not a competitor! I wanna play in harmony with my mates: Cooperative games.

All the games are not a competition between different players! The last decade has seen the rising of an underrepresented kind of games: the cooperative games. As their name indicates, these games rest on the cooperation of the different players, which are working together to beat a precise set-up. Discussion, trade-off, coordination, this is a totally different experience of gaming as you are not focusing on your self-achievement, but rather on the team play. Sometimes you end up sacrificing yourself for the greater best, resting with a feeling of nobleness. We play them from time to time, but you can usually find a group of players on the Friday meeting.

Notable examples: Pandemic, Forbidden Island, Ghost Stories, Eldritch Horrors, Hanabi.

What if I want to play other types of games?

Ludi et Veritas is a Board Games-focused group. Thus, we are only playing board games during our dedicated meeting sessions. However, a gamer can hide another one, and hence several members of Ludi et Veritas are playing and/or have knowledge of other types of games, including Role Playing Games, Living/Collectible Card Games, Video Games etc. You can still come to one of our session to catch up with someone sharing your game interest … around a board game.