Enrichment Activities

WTS Winter Session - Week 3: Co-op week - Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Forbidden Desert.

I will continue introducing new games over the next 2-3 weeks, varying mechanics, themes and gameplay to make sure as many players are exposed to as much variety as possible.  Next week will be cooperative games week.  All three games are a slightly different take on the same idea that everyone is playing together to beat the game, so that everyone wins together or loses together.

Pandemic is a classic.  It is based on the premise that four diseases have broken out into the world with each player embodying a specific role, such as the dispatcher, the medic, the scientist, operations expert, etc.)  The combined effort of all the players and their specific strengths and abilities will help discover cures and eradicate the diseases.  There is only one way to win (cure all four diseases) and many ways to lose.  This one definitely puts the cooperative spirits of the players to the test.  It's also great to learn world geography.  It is one of my all-time favorite games.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, fixed-deck card game with a comic book flavor. Each player plays as one of ten heroes, against one of four villains, and the battle takes place in one of four different dynamic environments.

Each player, after selecting one of the heroes, plays a deck of 40 cards against the villain and environment decks, which "play themselves", requiring the players to put the top card of the appropriate deck into play on the villain and environment turns. On each player's turn, they may play a card from their hand, use a power printed on one of their cards in play, and draw a card from their deck.


In Forbidden Desert  a thematic sequel to Forbidden Island, players take on the roles of brave adventurers who must throw caution to the wind and survive both blistering heat and blustering sand in order to recover a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city. While featuring cooperative gameplay similar to Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert is a fresh new game based around an innovative set of mechanisms, such as an ever-shifting board, individual resource management, and a unique method for locating the flying machine parts.


All three games are incredibly strong at creating a great shared experience, akin to a narrative that gets re-written with every play.  There are a few additional cooperative games I am planning to introduce in the next few weeks, including Castaways (a Robinson Crusoe-themed coop game with worker placement mechanics) and Shadows over Camelot (a cooperative game with a twist: someone may be a traitor, but then again, maybe not).



Winter Session Week 2: Takenoko, King of Tokyo and Ticket to Ride.

In our second week, we will be introducing Takenoko, King of Tokyo and Ticket to Ride as our featured games.

I would recommend that students view some of the videos in advance to have some basic idea of the games.

Takenoko: How to Play

King of Tokyo

Ticket to Ride: Europe


First Week: Settlers of Catan!

Dear Westlake tabletop gamer, 

In the first week of our second session, we will all be playing Settlers of Catan.  We have multiple copies of the game, including the 5-6 players expansion set, which will allow for more students to play together.

For those of you that have never played Settlers of Catan before, you may consider watching the 9-minutes video below that goes over the basic rules.


WTS Week 10: the End of an Amazing First Session and the Start of a Lifetime of Board Games.

Thursday will mark the last meeting of our Fall session.  To celebrate our 10th week together, I would love for our Fall session members to join me in the library at 12:30 pm (right after the end of school).  Gina and Jeanie have taken the lead in providing us with pizza and drinks.  Please get in touch with them should you be able to help in any way.  If you already know that your child cannot be there on this last session, please let me know so I can give Gina a head count.

I am planning to end Thursday’s session around 3 pm.

I do not know if we will be able to top last week’s epic session of awesomeness.  Landon ran an amazing game of Pandemic (with the mutation variant) with Brigham, Bryson, Nicky and Eoin.  All seemed lost when, as the last turn ended, with our merry band of scientists, medics, contingency specialists and dispatchers ran out of player cards.  But victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat when Bryson remembered that he held a special card that could be played at any time and at no cost to move another player.  He sent Eoin to the nearest research station, where he was able to turn in the last five yellow cards he had to cure yellow fever once and for all.  The world was saved and much joy echoed throughout the classroom.  There may have also been some dancing.

After a false start following a misread of how kobolds were played, Helena, Leon and James ran a very tight game of Small World, with James narrowly winning by less than a handful of points, thanks to his flying ratmen.

In our third table, our original Mice & Mystics team did eventually manage to rescue Lily, played by Emma.  Julia, Quinn and Natasha made quick progress through the courtyard, dodging the old crow and quickly dispatching the rat warriors, while Emma, with her tail stuck in the mouse trap, was courageously fending off a never-ending stream of roaches.  Unfortunately, as the trio approached the entrance of the crystal tunnels, they were met with both Skitter-Clak, the centipede and bad luck.  Both Skitter-Clak and his rat minions were picked first on the initiative track and Lily was quickly overtaken by the beast.  Feeling the intense disappointment of an unjust twist of fate, I decided to turn back the clock (also know in our realm as the cheese wheel) and restarted the game at the start of the tunnels.  Our luck was much better the second time around, as Nez (Natasha) quickly defeated Skitter-Clak with a few swings of his hammer.  Victory was finally theirs and Lily was saved at last.

Mice & Mystics will most likely return on Thursday, but I will also introduce a new game called Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd. Ed.):

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) is a board game in which one player takes on the role of the treacherous overlord, and up to four other players take on the roles of courageous heroes. During each game, the heroes embark on quests and venture into dangerous caves, ancient ruins, dark dungeons, and cursed forests to battle monsters, earn riches, and attempt to stop the overlord from carrying out his vile plot.

With danger lurking in every shadow, combat is a necessity. For such times, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) uses a unique dice-based system. Players build their dice pools according to their character's abilities and weapons, and each die in the pool contributes to an attack in different ways. Surges, special symbols that appear on most dice, also let you trigger special effects to make the most of your attacks. And with the horrors awaiting you beneath the surface, you'll need every advantage you can take...

Featuring double-sided modular board pieces, countless hero and skill combinations, and an immersive story-driven campaign, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) transports heroes to a vibrant fantasy realm where they must stand together against an ancient evil.
Think of it as Mice & Mystics meets Dungeons & Dragons.  It is a very, very neat game.  I will try to prioritize interested members who will not be rejoining us in the Winter and Spring session.  


How to Play - The Best Game!

Thank you so much, Rodney and Jerry Hawthorne, creator and designer of Mice and Mystics for an unforgettable video shoutout to our Westlake Tabletop Society.  I shared it with the esteemed members of our merry group before today's session and they were both blushing and cheering through it.  So much fun! Memories to keep for sure!