(with apologies to Jesus Jones for the title)

Recently I discovered that the Canadian dollar vs. the US dollar was soft. If anybody wants to know why, this is what I was able to locate.

Previously in a blog entry I mentioned that our family love for Carcassonne. Yes, Carcassonne is more Valerie’s game than mine, but I vainly continue to search for a new expansion that’ll give me an edge to victory.

To that end, I continue the never ending search for esoteric Carcassonne expansions that have not yet been released in the United States. I started with godboma solely on (a) availability, (b) they had done me right on the Carcassonne mini expansions a few months before they saw print in the US and (c) shipping from Canada to the United States is a lot cheaper than other countries. 

Sadly, I discovered that godboma.com was internet dead.  😦

Over the last year, I discovered a liking for the worker placement games made by Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Caverna) and decided after a failed attempt to get the at-that-time out of print game Ora Et Labora at a game auction that I would attempt to try to find a copy of it.

What I did learn is that the game was going to be reprinted this year. So rather than shell out 2-5x for it’s out-of-print status, I decided to be patient and wait.

So… where do these things all align?

Well – the reprint for Ora Et Labora IS available just this week… providing you are in Canada. I decided to see if it was affordable to order from a Canadian online store and assumed that the cost of the game + shipping would be a slight markup but certainly not the prices folks were asking for a few months back.

Once I discovered that the exchange rate was not only favorable to a US client, but that the price effectively was about what would be charged for the US MSRP, the realization hit me – it was like buying a board game overseas but at a US-dollar SALE price.

However, for the few sites I did check, many of them had expensive shipping costs to the US fees.

Not so for boardgamebliss.com. $15 CAN from them to California.  Now we’re talking!

Granted, that’s $10 I wouldn’t spend on Amazon Prime (if it were available through Amazon Prime), but …

The short answer was that I found a copy of Ora Et Labora for an affordable price.  I thought – heck, what else might they have and thought of the US-unobtanium Carcassonne expansions.  

Unfortunately, the folks at boardgamebliss.com did NOT have my esoteric Carcassonne expansion I was hunting for (“Halb So Wild”). They did have a placeholder for it, but it was labeled as “Sold Out”.  So my search for the Carcassonne expansion that’ll help me win at Carcassonne continues.  :/

That said, while I wish the Canadian people well with their current economy, I’ll sheepishly (okay, gleefully – you got me!) take advantage of our current exchange rate and help myself to a a nifty Euro that I believe I’ll enjoy.  Other folks in the US might want to investigate this while the getting’s good.  🙂

Over our big summer trip this year – one of the things I wanted to do on vacation was indulge my inner and outer board game nerd.  We were fortunate enough to visit London’s board game cafe Draughts and it did not disappoint.

All of us had a great time and my online Draughts BGG review reflected that.  

The three of us played two games:  Survive:  Escape from Atlantis! and The Laser Game: Khet 2.0.

Go ahead and read the review.  I have additional thoughts below.  I’ll wait right here.

Okay?  Good!

While I’m not going to run out and buy Survive! – it was fun but I don’t need to buy it – Max and Valerie made sure many of my meeples became fish food and each meeple’s “death” was hilarious!  

That said, I may consider getting The Laser Game: Khet 2.0.  It’s basically chess but with rotating parts and the “kings” have tiny LASER BEAMS.  

Needless to say, both Max and I kinda dug it!  As with any game with lasers, it should be noted that there are no sharks in Khet, which is probably why we played Survive!.

Three takeaways from the Draughts Board Game Cafe experience:

(1) it is possible to create a board game cafe that I can get Valerie into for a period of time.  Said board game cafe needs to be well lit, possess good airflow, a decent amount of space, friendly staff, good food and drink, and have a nice library of good to great games kept in a clean condition.  Now to us, this seems like a reasonable, attainable list, but it’s a list that needs to be repeated since we have been at places that have only some of these on the list, but Draughts managed to have all of these things, as well as a cool architectural back story (brick arched former train station).

(2) we liked Draughts so much we managed to pick up a pair of logo’ed pint glasses and brought them back to our humble abode.


(3) While I doubt the local to-be-open-someday soon (October?) EndGame Board game cafe will be sporting Old Mout Cider any time soon, I certainly have high hopes that the space will provide a similar experience.  It also makes me hope that someday I can make it up to Toronto to see how Snakes and Lattes compares to Draughts and EndGame.  

Here’s hoping!  🙂