Coffee & Dice is now permanently closed and inboxes are no longer managed



Unit 7 Calendula Place, 752-778 Christchurch Rd
Bournemouth, England, BH7 6DE
United Kingdom

01202 309938

A board game Cafe in Bournemouth specialising in barrista grade coffee and board games.



Coffee & Dice, a board game cafe in Bournemouth, Dorset

Take a look at our board game blog

New Year's Again (already!)

Marc Kenobi

After the success of last year’s New Year’s Eve party we’ve been looking forward to doing it again this year, but wow did that come round fast!


We’ll be closing early on the 31st to set up for the party, then from 7pm to 1am guests who’ve booked a table will be enjoying our hospitality as we say farewell to 2018 and welcome in 2019.

So if you’re looking to start the year with a win we have over 650 game for you try your hand at. Even if your lucks out with the games, the delicious, locally sourced buffet and a glass of bubbles as the New Year begins should make up for it!

To join in the festivities book your table here. Attendance costs just £25 per person (£20 for members).

Marc Kenobi

Saved You a Seat!

Marc Kenobi

We’re pleased to announce that as of last week we have a booking system – hurrah!

We tend to be full on weekends and bank holidays, whilst we love seeing the place full of people enjoying games we understand it’s frustrating to be turned away after you’ve made the trip to get here. Well worry no more! Half the café’s tables will be available to book in advance so you can guarantee a table for when you arrive. We’ll keep half the cafés tables unreserved so they are free for walk-ins on a first come first served basis.

So how does it work? You can book online here, or book at the counter in store a day in advance of your booking. We take a deposit of £5 per person to secure your booking, which covers your game time on the day. “But what about discounts for members?!” I hear you cry – if you, or those in your party, hold a valid Coffee & Dice membership card you’ll get you 25% discount off game time as usual. Children under the age of 12 also have a discounted rate of £2.50. These discount can be taken off your first food/drink purchase, or given as a cash refund on the day of your booking before being seated at your table.

The deposit is non-refundable, but you can edit reservations up to a week before you're due to visit, so changing the date, time or number attending is no problem. We’ll send you an email reminder ahead of time so you can make any changes needed. Our full terms and conditions can be found here, or as always, get in touch with any questions.

We’ve had a few requests to reserve tables since opening, but wanted to wait until we’d found the right system and trained our team to deliver the right experience. We hope you’ll find it easy to use and will give you peace of mind if you’re coming from far away or are celebrating something special with us.

As this is something new for us, your help would be greatly appreciated. We’d love your feedback on what works well and what we can do to make things even better. So if you’ve booked a table with us, do get in touch and let us know!

Changes for the Autumn

Marc Kenobi

We've had a great summer in Bournemouth, but now the weather appears to be changing and heading into Autumn. Coffee & Dice seems to be the place to hide away on a cold and rainy day with a stack of games and a coffee or two - or maybe even a cheeky Luxury Milkshake. As a result we've had to turn a few people away on busy weekends when we are full. To prevent disappointment in the future we're setting up a booking system so you can reserve tables - hurrah! This should be in place mid September, and we'll let you know as soon as it's live.

In the Autumn we'll be shaking up our menu, bringing back the soups and some themed hot chocolates for the cold weather. We'll also be changing our hours for the winter months. Our weekend and bank holiday hours will remain the same (10am to 11pm), but from Monday 3rd September we'll be open 5pm - 11pm Monday to Friday. During the school half term and Christmas holidays we'll be opening from midday again during the week, but if you're ever unsure of our hours you can always send us a message or check here .

Changes for the Summer

Marc Kenobi

We've been open over a year now, which means we've been having sensible and exciting reviews of our menu and pricing. Following this, we'll be charging £5 for adults and £2.50 for children under the age of 12 from 16th July 2018. Members will receive a 25% discount off this price, as always.

The new price will help us continue to grow Coffee & Dice, and brings us in line with pricing across other board game cafes in the UK. We've listened to feedback from families and decided to introduce the children rate in time for the summer holidays.

We're also shaking up the menu with some new drinks for the summer. Iced coffees, frappe's and smoothies have been a big hit with you guys, so we're trying out some new soft drinks, ciders, IPAs and lagers too.

We're also looking into the possibility of a booking system - something many of you have been asking about. Hopefully this will prevent the disappointment of there being no tables available when you arrive, which can happen at busy times on the weekends. More details and a new blog post will follow on the table booking once we've more details in place!

Playing the Role

Marc Kenobi

Once we started organising role playing games at the cafe it was inevitable that players would start asking how to run a game. Game Master School is our attempt to help you do just that.

Role Playing has been with me since I was a child. When I first opened The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and found a type of story that wasn't fixed and complete, but evolved based on the decisions I made, I was excited. I devoured every choose your own adventure book I could find and it wasn't long before I stumbled across the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG. Reading that for the first time I discovered it was possible to tell stories born not just out of my own decisions, but shared with a group of friends and from then I was hooked.

Since then I've played and run dozens of different systems from the heaviest traditional games like Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Runequest and Champions to Indie classics such as Fate, Lasers & Feelings, Dread & Dead of Night. Added to that are all the marvellous one shot systems like Family Affair, Penny for my Thoughts, Cthulhu Dark and Lady Blackbird as well as the various home brewed systems.

Over the years I've managed to learn a few things and met some amazing GMs with different viewpoints, experiences and styles, some of who are close friends that I've managed to convince to help me. We're looking to share our experiences, hopefully helping new Games Masters avoid the countless errors we've made, get to some of the good moments we've had and generally enjoy and be enthused to run games in the future.

With that in mind we set up an event on Sunday 24th June, calling it Games Master School where we'd attempt to share some of our thoughts and experiences. Luckily we had a great crowd who were willing to listen to us and asked some great questions. The audio from the event as well as a bunch of resources can be found on our GM School page in case you weren't able to attend.

Following on from this we're running some Rookie One Shots for new GMs to try out their skills. The slots for GMs are all signed up now (but do let us know if you're interested in running one in the future) and these are the games on offer:

Dread in the Dark Forest
Wednesday 4th July
Jon Cockeram
D&D 5th Edition

The Wild Sheep Chase
Sunday 8th July
Jason Hickson
D&D 5th Edition

The Quest for Osmodios
Wednesday 11th July
Simon Merrifield
D&D 5th Edition

The Haunting
Wednesday 11th July
Nicolas Bentayou
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

So if you're a kind and generous player who will encourage them, please sign up in store. 

Finally we're adding another date for GM School. On the 15th July we'll be running a Campaign Building Workshop from 7pm to 11pm. Attendance will cost £4 per person.

This is designed for Games Masters who want to run a campaign and would like some support setting this up. We'll take you through developing the overall story as well as creating the initial adventure, plot hooks and tying adventures together. We will have D&D materials on hand but if you're planning to use another system that should be no problem, please just let us know in advance and bring the core rule books for reference.

M Kenobi

UKGE 2018 - Bigger and Better!

Marc Kenobi

After a hectic long weekend Jess and I are back from UKGE with a few new additions to the library and an extensive new buy list...

We marvelled at the size of XXL Codenames, saw the new expansion for Kingdomino, got a first look at Forbidden Sky, a sneak peak at Concept Kids and heard about the changed mechanics in Rise of the Inkas and that was just on Thursday at the Retailer's Summit and Show Preview!

Ranging the halls over the next three days we spoke to so many games companies, designers and played so many games. Here are some of the highlights:

Tao Long.png

A wonderful production, the art style is beautiful with an engaging theme the look of Tao Long reminds me of Onitama but is definitely its own game. Made for two players, this abstract game about dragons boasts a range of difficulty settings. You play as opposing dragons seeking to diminish each other through careful positioning. This was always going to be a game for us. I played, I loved, I lost.


I split, you choose; this is the simple concept that drives New York Slice. Wonderful attention to the theme runs throughout this game with a box look like a pizza box, a rulebook that looks like a menu and a score sheet that looks like an order pad. With quick turns and meaningful decisions, this game is a joy to play, but is likely to end with you craving pizza. Just try not to end up with the anchovy filled nightmare that I created in my demo...  


Made up of gorgeous hexagonal tiles this game was my surprise of the con as I'd not even heard of it prior to finding it at the back of hall 1. Essentially you collect minerals by moving off tiles and the different colours have different values, but here comes the rub; the higher the value of the tile the further you have to move and if you can't make the move you get nothing. It sounds easy until a few turns in, when you realise each of your opponents is chipping away at the game area making it more and more difficult to take high value tiles. Simple enough that when the guy demoing it was called to another table we managed to play on using the brief rules description on the table. Another abstract that looks amazing and is easy to learn, this is definitely one we plan to kickstart.

Kickstarting shortly, this is another game I can't wait to add to our library. Based on an app game I hadn't heard of (but have since downloaded) Jetpack Joyride wasn't on my radar when I arrived. Featuring synchronous play and real time action each player is looking to enjoy a joyride in the jetpack they 'borrowed' from the lab. Its a race against the other players to escape the lab but with different objectives each time that stop the puzzle getting tired. Absolutely loved the demo we played and not just because I beat Jess so soundly...honest.


Albedo is a 2-8 player sci-fi deckbuilder where each turn presents you with a remarkable amount of choice. The focus of the game are the planets that players are able to exploit. To do so they must commit enough ground forces to be victorious, but also the space capability to get there first. Each card can be used as a specialist who is better at one or the other, or as generalist who adds less but to both counts. Do you arrive early to get the victory points and equipment you need or arrive late with the ground forces to maximise gains on what the other player leave? This range of choice is at the heart of a game where you will carefully consider where to commit every card. I was able to meet the designer Kai at the Expo and he was kind enough to give us copies of the game for our library, so why not check it out?

Catch the moon.jpg

A dexterity game where each player takes turns to add ladders to the stack. How many other ladders you're allowed to connect with and if the one you're adding needs to be higher than the structure so far are controlled by the roll of a dice. A simple game that nevertheless had people watching turns from the sidelines and oooing and ahhing every play. Wonderful. 

Fog of love.jpg

Fog of Love has a really attractive ascetic and clean visuals that drew me to it immediately and its been one I've been itching to try for a while. It's a story telling game over the course of which you'll discover if the couple you create were destined to be together, and if so, for how long.

A friend joined me for a demo of Fog of Love and we created Oswald and Wendy.  Oswald was a parking attendant with a nose ring and a deep seated bitter streak, while Wendy was an internet celebrity with weight issues and a fancy tie who lied about her age. It was a harrowing tale and didn't end happily for either of them, but success in that sense is not what this game is about. Its about the journey and the stories you come up with together rather than if the couple are a match made in heaven.

An amazing event as always with more to do and see than you can possibly get to - can't wait till next year!

Marc Kenobi

Coffee & Dice - First Birthday

Marc Kenobi

It's almost been a year since we opened the doors of Coffee & Dice - and what a years it's been!

We've had over 18,000 gaming sessions, made more than 23,000 coffees, added more than 150 new games to the library and grown the team to 7 members of staff and three regular volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us as a kickstarter supporter, customer, member or volunteer as part of the Coffee & Dice community.

On Saturday 19th May 2018 we will be having a celebration and we'd love to see you there! The private evening event will be accessible through pre-booking only between 6pm and 11pm. Your ticket will include a glass of bubbles on arrival, as much gaming as you like and a Mediterranean buffet.

Tables can be booked in our shop and start from £16 per person, with discounts for members. 

Additionally we'll be closed on Monday 14th May for a private celebration and to prepare for the party, and will be open as usual between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 19th.

We hope to see you there to celebrate our first birthday - the first of many

A Change of Hours

Marc Kenobi

We’ve been open for almost a year now, which has allowed us time to understand what time of day people like to come and play games at Coffee & Dice. Looking back at the last year, it looks as though you guys like a lie in during the week – we think this is a fantastic idea and will be hitting our snooze alarms until midday Monday to Friday.

From Monday 30th April 2018 we will be open from midday until 11pm Monday to Friday. On weekends and Bank Holidays we will be open from 10am to 11pm, as usual.

Speaking of being open almost a year – we’ll be having a birthday party on 19th May 2018! We’ll be hosting an evening event which can be booked in advance. Keep an eye out for our next blog post with more details about the event and how you can book.

Table for two?

Marc Kenobi


One of the most important lessons we've learnt since opening has been how important it is to have a great selection of games for two plyaers.

We get all sorts of tables for two; new couples on a date, friends waiting for others to arrive, long standing couples on date night or friends trying out the latest games, each pair are looking for something different and we try to makes sure we have a game for them all. We've added games every month since opening and part of our focus has been making sure we deepened the choice of games suitable for two players.

With Valentine's day approaching and tables on sale for our event, here are some of our favourite two player games...


My mantis style will be victorious

My mantis style will be victorious

Collect your students and take to the field to prove your dojo's martial skills are superior. Close enough to chess that everyone is familiar with the concept, the wonderful components make it a lovely game to play. The game can be taught in under a minute - I managed to teach it in just 55 seconds with a member of the team, but rest assured I take longer with guests!

To win you're trying to capture the opponent's master, or move yours to the entrance of their dojo. To accomplish this you have a series of 'move' cards that determine how you can move your pieces. With just two moves available you'd think the turns would be simple, but the move you use is passed to your opponent and so you have to consider the options you're giving them as well as where it will put your pieces.

Taking about twenty minutes and with only five of the sixteen move cards used in any game, you have plenty of reasons to have another game. 

Odin's Ravens

Odin's waiting...

Odin's waiting...

Using the legend of Odin's ravens as its theme this small game still only just fits on one of our tables! With the gorgeous terrain cards laid out in a row 16 long representing the whole world, you take on the role of one of Odin's ravens, instructed to travel the world and bring back news. There is of course another raven doing the journey in the opposite direction, but I'm sure you'll make it back quicker.

The travel cards from your hand that match the terrain types on the table are used to move round the world and if that was it this would be a fairly dull game. Step in Lokki, making things interesting as always! Lokki cards let you adjust the path, making it shorter for you, but act too soon and your opponent will get the benefit as well. You could always make their path longer but do that too soon and your path will be longer too!

Really simple and quick to play, but with enough strategy and forward planning required to keep it interesting. 


In the hustle and bustle of the market you're looking to shine and attract the attention of the Maharaja, earning yourself a position as his personal trader. Jaipur is an amazingly simple yet devilishly strategic game.

Riches await the bold

Riches await the bold

On your turn you have two choices, sell cards or take cards. Selling is easy; just hand in as many cards as you like for the reward, but wait, should you hold to sell a higher number of cards thus attracting the extra rewards for an amazing deal, or pick up the higher early rewards for smaller deals before your opponent does? 

When you take cards you're presented with three choices; take all of one good in the market, trade between your hand, herd of camels and the goods in the market, or take all the camels. Each choice can have a dramatic impact on how the game progresses and each will be the perfect choice in some circumstances but not others.

For a simple game Jaipur presents you with intriguing choices at every turn, you never know what deal will come up.

Codenames Duet

Following up from the original and its spin offs, Duet is the version of this phenomenal game that gets you down to two players (we ignore the terrible two player variant they put in the first one). The set up for this elegant word game is wonderfully simple, a 4 x 5 grid of random words, a set of tiles and a double sided map that you can only see one side of.

Romance, 4

Romance, 4

Taking it in turns each of you gives a single word clue and a number indicating the number of words on the grid that the clue relates to. Your partner then tries to guess the words related to your clue. If they get it right - excellent you're on the way to victory, but watch out as if you're giving clues with low numbers you'll run out of turns. If they get it wrong it can go badly or spectacularly wrong. Pick the wrong word in a grey space and you lose some time, pick a wrong word in the black spaces and you lose the game!

If you like the sound of that you can play Codenames, Codenames Pictures and Codenames Disney using the duet maps or if there are more of you play them with more players.

7 Wonders Duel

Another game that has its roots in a game for a higher player count 7 Wonders Duel does an amazing job of breaking down its classic predecessor and keeping all the great parts in a game for just two players.

7 Wonders Duel is a game about becoming the most successful, most accomplished or mightiest nation. There are three ways to win this game; either through becoming the strongest militarily, reaching scientific superiority or being the most generally successful nation. The central board is dominated by the military track, drive the war marker all the way to an opponent's side and you will win the game immediately. If you are able to accumulate six of the sciences over the course of the game you'll also win immediately. If you do neither of these you'll have to bite your nails as the points are totted up at the end of the third age.

Build your empire

Build your empire

Played over three ages each turn will see you remove a card from the display; either building it, using it to signify you have completed one of your wonders or exchanging it for coins. The choices you make here will help you forge a path to victory, but also impact what your opponent will be able to do, not just because you've taken a card but also because of what taking that card makes available.

Wonderful in depth, varied in choices, strategic and always different 7 Wonders Duel is a wonderful two player game for those wanting to play something that feels epic even when there are just two of you. 

These are all great games, but if you're booking one of our Valentine's tables and are fiercely competitive like me, maybe you should grab a game where you work together from our Co-Op section instead?

Maybe work together?

Maybe work together?


Seven weeks since we opened the doors

Marc Kenobi

We're pleased to report that we had an amazing first few weeks and things are going really well. Thank you to everyone who's supported us in our first month by popping in for a coffee, a game, or becoming a member. It's because of your support that Coffee & Dice can be here.

A special thank you to those who supported us via Kickstarter prior to our launch - we hope you've had the chance to come in and find your name on the wall! We've still got many of your Kickstarter rewards here for you to pickup when you visit. We'll be posting rewards to those who requested it in the next month.

In our first month we had over 1500 people stop in for games, 59 five star reviews on Facebook, made 2228 coffees and been awarded a 5/5 score for our food & hygiene rating from the FSA. We couldn't be happier with how our first month has gone.

So whats next? Now we've settled in and got a handle on things we're setting up a range of weekly and monthly events. Our Tuesday game nights started in July. The idea is you can come by yourself, or with a few friends, and we'll put you in a group with new people to play games. More information can be found on our events page or on Facebook.

We're emailing our members to ask what theme they would like to have run for the upcoming events on Tuesdays and will update the website once the votes our in. Not heard of our membership you say? It's £10 for the year and gets you 25% off your game time, early access for events that require bookings and voting right on the events we run. You also get a snazzy membership card! You can sign up for membership in store, just ask at the counter and we'll get you setup.

We're also setting up a range of Wednesday evening events which will run every month including an RPG taster session, a board game play testing evening, a chance to meet games designers, more large group games of werewolf, and we're looking into a cosplay themed event for creators to work on their projects and share ideas.

Open from 10am to 11pm seven days a week at Unit 7 Calendula Place, 752-778 Christchurch Road. We hope to see you at Coffee & Dice soon!

The Library

Marc Kenobi


Great news! We signed off our agreement to lease a few days ago and we’re expecting confirmation of our planning early next week, which should mean we’re 6-8 weeks from opening.

Now we need to get on with sorting the games library, plastering, painting, plumbing, electrics, lighting, signage, hiring staff, staff training, finalising the menu, placing the first food order, kickstarter rewards, organising the opening, fitting the furniture… OMG - there’s so much to do!

Adding new games is an ongoing process

Adding new games is an ongoing process

Well as you may have seen we’ve made a start on at least one of these - our games library has been catalogued and our website updated with the list of games you can expect to play when you visit. That’s just the start of course as we’ll frequently add new games once we’re open through backing kickstarters, finding out of print gems and buying new releases – that way there should always be something new for you to try.

So what will it be like when you visit and how do you access all this gaming goodness?

As you walk through the door at Coffee & Dice you can expect a warm greeting from a member of our team and the question ‘have you visited us before?’, answer in the negative and they’ll explain how it all works.

For just £4 (£3 for members) you get unlimited access to our library of games for the duration of your visit. We’ll be on hand to recommend games if you need some guidance, or you can browse the library and pick out something for yourself.

The library will be organised by the style of game, so all the quiz games will be in one place, while the strategy games will have their own area and the party games will be somewhere else. We know a bunch of games fall into multiple categories and no doubt we’ll be arguing long and hard about where some belong, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for don’t hesitate to ask us.

Our games will also be labelled, giving you a quick guide to how many players the game can play and how long a game will take. For seasoned gamers these are contentious issues! There’s a certain zombie game which I personally believe should never play more than 5 - even though the box says 6 – and then there’s the highly optimistic expected play times often printed on games. Please be aware that wherever we can we’ll give the benefit of our experience on our labels so they may conflict with what’s written on the box.

Once you’ve picked a game we’ll help you get started by teaching you the rules and helping you set up whenever we can. Obviously with over 500 games and new ones arriving all the time, not all of our team will know every game intimately so please bear with us if we have to sneak a peek at the rulebook!

Of course should you fancy a refreshing drink or a tasty snack while you play we’ll have those available for you too.

Can't wait to see you there!


Successes, delays and more events

Marc Kenobi

October was a blur of convention weekends, for November we prepped for Kickstarter and the Christmas Fairs and then we held our breath till December 18th.  


The last few months of 2016 were full of successes for us starting with a mass of convention weekends; from WynterCon to Stabcon to two Library's game day events - it was all go. We met the usual mix of wonderful people and played some truly epic games; from Werewolf's worst seer ever in the early hours at Stabcon to the most horrifying start in Pandemic Cthulhu while demoing the game (they had three great old ones awake at the end of turn one!).

Then starting in late November we hit the Christmas Fairs; playing endless demo games of Ice Cool, Librium, Codenames and more with people who'd never seen these types of games. We made some great contacts and found a bunch of gamers we might not have met any other way, giving us the chance to spread the word about what we're doing further.

Then the big one - our Kickstarter.

We cannot express how thankful and humbled we are by the generosity of everyone who's supported us. To every single one of you; for your shares, likes and re-tweets, for passing on the campaign in person and for every penny of every pledge - our most heartfelt and awed appreciation. 

Our campaign started on 18th November and we were more than a little concerned about the timing, it being in middle of the run up to Christmas. In the first day we hit 12% of our target and we were amazed by the run on the colour deeds - wow were they popular!

Then it began to slow down, adding just a few pounds a day and our worry started to build, but at the start of December, much to our relief, it picked up again.

Facebook activity suddenly increased as supporters began to rally their friends, not just sharing or liking but adding incredibly kind words and encouraging people to pledge. Heart Radio tweeted about us and Tabletop Magazine wrote up a piece about our campaign. Jess had an interview with Bournemouth Scene and then we were asked to go on Radio Solent - what on earth was happening? 

Somewhere on the way back from that interview - a little shocked with how quickly 5 minutes of radio time had gone - we rounded out the idea of letting people sponsor tables and boy are we glad we did as this was another idea that people seemed to love.

We actually hit target a few days before the 18th, saving our nerves and finger nails, but it was still amazing to see this on the KS page:

But the success of the campaign hadn't quite finished, and we've continued to receive support since. As a result of that support three more tables will now have names on them when we open.


Buoyant with the Kickstarter and raring to go at the start of 2017 we visited the venue last week to see how things have been progressing and sadly the answer was not particularly quickly.

Unfortunately we were informed that we're not going to get the keys in February as expected and the best estimate is that the property wont be ready till the end of March. When you add in time for our refit it will most likely be the end of April or early May before we'll be ready to open.

Not much has changed...

Not much has changed...

We realise this is a disappointment for so many of you who're eager to come and visit and we think you'll believe us when we say that we share that frustration - pushing back two months was certainly not part of our plan!

That said we're still massively excited about this venue and the plans we have for it. The custom tables are going to look amazing and the space and layout work really well. We just hope you'll bear with us - we think it will be worth the wait.

More events

The upside of this delay is that we'll be able to attend a few more events before the refit and launch, after which we're hoping to be too busy making you delicious drinks and tasty food and explaining games to ever leave the cafe! So if you can make it we'd love to play a game or have a chat at one of our upcoming events, all the details are on our events page, otherwise we'll hope to see you when we open.


Do you have an opening date yet?

Marc Kenobi

‘Do you have an opening date yet?’ is a question we’ve been asked a lot lately. We’re so excited about Coffee & Dice opening and it’s great to hear that other people are too.

Our first event with Coffee & Dice was back in April 2015 for International Tabletop Day; some of you reading this may have been there where it all started. We were hoping to be in our own venue for Tabletop Day this year, but finding a home for Coffee & Dice has been a challenge.

We started our venue search back in January, and whilst we’ve had offers accepted on two venues we’ve unfortunately had to walk away before signing on the dotted line. Location, space, accessibility and aesthetic are all so important and unfortunately the previous venues have fallen short of what we need. We want the best experience for everyone who comes to Coffee & Dice, and this isn’t something we’re willing to compromise on.

After a long search we think we’ve found the perfect home; it’s a brand new building which means we can customise it for the ideal gaming space, it has street parking, public transport links and pay and display car parks nearby, ample seating for sixty with a spacious layout and will be accessible for those with mobility issues. Sounds ideal… So what’s the catch? Well unfortunately the building work won’t finish until February 2017. 

An artists impression of the building once construction is complete. Our unit will be on the far right.

An artists impression of the building once construction is complete. Our unit will be on the far right.

We’ve thought long and hard about this and have decided that it’s better to wait for the right space than to compromise and rush into anything less than awesome. It was a tough call to make (especially since Marc and I have quit our jobs to work full time on Coffee & Dice!) but we know it’s the right decision.

So when are we opening? Assuming the building work is completed on time (I’m sure anyone who has undertaken renovations will be scoffing about now) we should get the keys February/March time. We’ll then need a month or two to refurbish the place and find space for all 500 games. And then, tah-dah! We should be open April/May time. We’ll be keeping you updated on all the little milestones, and share the confirmed address once we’ve signed on the dotted line (our solicitors are currently agreeing the paperwork – I assume via rock, paper, scissors or best of three at an appropriate board game). 

In the meantime you can catch us at the following events:

WynterCon on the 1st and 2nd October

StabCon South 7th- 9th October

Visions & Voyages at Bournemouth Library on 15th October

We’ll be bringing our board game library along with the team to teach and help you pick the right game. We’ll be selling some games at WynterCon in case you discover something you must take home with you, or you can pick something up from our new online shop. Hope to see you soon!

Native Americans vs the Cooper Clan

Marc Kenobi

We were kindly offered a review copy of the second expansion to Flick 'em Up: Red Rock Tomahawk, which adds Native Americans to the mix. Time to break out the wonderful wooden pieces for another adventure in the Wild West...

I must admit a little apprehension about the theme of this expansion given the treatment of Native Americans historically and that most depictions of the Wild West are riddled with fiction wherever they are mentioned. This game is deeply rooted in that theme, so the downside is that you will find several of the stereotypes of Native Americans being played to. However in what feels like an attempt to counter that, the creators have made the conflicts in these scenarios between the Cooper Clan (the original game's bad guys) and the Native Americans, casting the later in a heroic light. 

Setting that issue aside I was curious to see what they'd added with this expansion. As with the original game a lot of care has gone into the production of this expansion. The cardboard features and the wooden figures and weapon pieces are all wonderfully well made and the artwork has that same great vibrancy and simplicity. Despite my best efforts I can't quite get everything into the fantastic wooden box from the base game so the flimsy cardboard box is a bit of a shame, particularly given the contrast.  

We jumped right to the first "real scenario" ignoring the practice fields - we highly recommend you don't do this, or at least make sure you shoot some arrows and fling some tomahawks before you start to play with them!

The meat of the content in the expansion is the Native American's weapons and the way they work is different enough that without some practice you're likely to miss a lot and have a much less satisfying game.

So about those weapons...

The bows really require that you hold on to the Native American figures to fire effectively and that's a bit counter-intuitive given that you try so hard not to touch the figures in the base game. Also as you need to use both hands, bows become much more difficult to use when there's a lot of scenery, but with a little practice these are highly effective and accurate weapons.

The tomahawk is really for close up work, it gets inaccurate really quickly the further away you are from your target, but I really like the fact that it changes the way your opponent has to play their turns forcing them to move with the first of their actions.

The Gatling Gun is just as horrifying to face as you think its going to be, I wont go into the rules for it, but if you're playing a scenario with it in you're going to be hoping it's on your side...

There's also new rules for the mountain which acts like a modified building you can shoot at people from on top of (and kick people off of), flaming arrows and the option to hide in the woods. 

Like the base game the scenarios can feel weighted in favour of one side or the other and this is mostly done by giving one side a mission and the other the job of preventing the mission. This is good in that the scenario doesn't devolve into "ignore the mission and just try to do as much damage as possible" seen in some of the original missions, but unfortunately means one team can be encouraged to spoil.

In one scenario we played the Native Americans needed to collect fire arrows (difficult and time consuming given the accuracy of movement required) and then set fire to a building by shooting arrows through the doorway, the Cooper Clan were tasked to prevent them. Given the time limit imposed, at one point it made more sense for the Cooper player to stand cowboys in such a way that the Natives couldn't possibly shoot through the doorway (and if the cowboys got shoot they'd just block it worse) and that just didn't feel fun.

I will admit this may have been more of an issue because I couldn't shoot arrows particularly well as we hadn't practised.

Overall Red Rock Tomahawk adds new ideas and some great twists on how you play Flick 'em Up! but doesn't change the overall feel of the game. So if you're looking for something that dramatically changes the game this isn't going to do it for you. However if you're looking for more of the same there's some great additions to your experience. The expansion challenges you to learn some new skills, has some interesting new mechanics and adds a host of wonderful new pieces to an already visually amazing game.


At UK Games Expo – We were Not Alone

Marc Kenobi

After all the fun we had last year we were excited to see if the organisers could achieve a bigger, better Games Expo this year and we were not disappointed!

We had an amazing time over the long weekend playing and discovering new games, meeting designers and geek celebrities as well as discovering, much to our surprise, that we had friends among people we'd never met; thanks for coming up to say hi! We also enjoyed taking part in the Friday and Saturday podcasts by Shut Up & Sit Down - the team were in good form and kept the whole room laughing throughout.

Cosplayers and giant games added to the atmosphere, but I hadn't expected to see the two collide quite so dramatically as in this giant version of Castle Panic.





Leaving aside those aspects I'm all about the games so here's my run down on some of the most interesting games I played at the expo:

Codenames: Pictures

Search for images...

Search for images...

Given how much we raved about the original last year it'll come to no surprise that this is a game we loved. The same concept as the words version but you get pictures to connect instead. The images themselves must have taken some time to develop as most of them seem to combine at least two unrelated concepts.

A great game made better, it also has the wonderful addition of making the game language neutral meaning it's more accessible to everyone.


Wonderful artwork and a great game

Wonderful artwork and a great game

Beautifully illustrated and fantasy themed this deceptive card game has a lot more going on than is at first apparent. Simple enough to be learnt in five minutes there is enough variety in the box and decision making in the game to keep you playing for hours. Our test game with Stuart (the game's amazingly friendly designer) was remarkable for the fact that Jay managed to pull a five card run on turn one effectively winning the game with her first play.


My favourite football game at the expo

My favourite football game at the expo

I'm not a fan of Football, I don't support a team and will only infrequently watch international events, but this seemed to be the year for football based games. There were at least four that I saw, but this was my favourite. A wonderfully made game with great components and I'm a particular fan of the way they've handled yellow cards. I was shouting at my players to track back and cover when the defence got out of place, but alas my opponent's team showed more discipline and took the lead. Seriously I really got into it, I'm not sure what was going on because...


This simple card game was brimming with footballing terms and flavour from the starting 11 cards in your hand to the half-time marker. This game takes the mechanics from Top Trumps and super charges them into a tactical decision making game that can be carried in your pocket.


A seemingly simple game with interesting layers, lovely components and swift game play. Quadropolis has a great selection and placement mechanic and really encourages you to go after one or two tactics - and there are several to choose from. Where it shines though is in forcing you to figure out what to do when you can't have what you want. For a game with no direct interaction what your opponents are doing has a surprisingly impact on your choices.

Arcane Blaster Casters

My first spell was not impressive...

My first spell was not impressive...

I had a wonderful experience playing this little gem from Battle Boar Games. A simple arena contains the player's wizards and using the cards in their hands each player comes up with the most destructive spell they can using parts 1, 2 and 3 on different cards - each oriented a specific way. My first spell was 'Faint Blowing Petals' which as you can imagine did little to worry my opponent who responded by blasting away eight of my ten hit points. My spell responding to that was better, pushing him into a trap...which exploded doing enough damage to finish me off.  So our game didn't last long but I could see myself having a lot of fun with this game. 

Ice Cool

An awesome dexterity game about penguins - no I didn't manage to pull off any of the trick shots in this video...

Not Alone

Last, but by no means least Not Alone was my game of the Expo - complex enough to keep my attention, but quick to learn and easy to play. You play either the humans who've crashed on this planet or the creature that's hunting them. Both sides progress down opposing tracks till either the creature has blocked any escape or the humans have reached the rescue ship. Mixing mechanics from several game types this includes role selection, deck (hand) building, hidden information and bluffing.

Someone doubtless regrets their visit to the Wreck...

Someone doubtless regrets their visit to the Wreck...

It develops into a game of cat and mouse with the creature player trying to figure out where each player is likely to have gone. I also love that you're never out of the game - humans taken out by the creature re-spawn but there's a meaningful penalty so you desperately want to avoid it.

I can't wait for this to be released and can't say how thankful we are to the guys at Geek Attitude Games who gave us one of their pre-production copies at the end of the expo!

As usual there was so much going on that it was impossible to take part in everything, but fortunately Jess was able to cover games I missed. In particular she reported back positively on Beyond Baker Street, a game that's based on the same mechanics as Hanabi, which I love, Pandemic Cthulhu a masterful blending of concepts and Battle of the Bands which I heard was excellent - and as they were kind enough to give us a copy, one I plan to play soon.

Overall a wonderful event and one I hope continues to go from strength to strength.




The Force is strong with this one...

Marc Kenobi

When I first saw the game my excitement sparked as I’m a big fan of Carcassonne and a raving one when it comes to Star Wars, so combining the two could only lead to an awesome game right?

Unfortunately after looking at a few reviews I concluded this was probably a cash-in on the Star Wars franchise making a game I like worse and decided not to get a copy.

I was therefore a little unsure how to respond when Jay, my gorgeous fiancé, handed me a copy as a gift during our latest outing to Stabcon – on a side note we had an amazing time at this event as usual; playing games with people we’d never met before and running social games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Setting my trepidation aside we broke out the board, popped the pieces, stuck on the stickers, checked we had the rules right and started to play.

At first it felt like regular Carcassonne - there were a few cosmetic changes; roads had become trading routes, cities asteroid fields, monasteries were now planets and our meeples were linked to Star Wars characters – and then there were a few non-cosmetic changes; there’s one larger meeple, fewer meeples overall and fields don’t exist, but as someone who regularly commits too many farmers I can’t say I was too upset!

So far the game hadn’t changed too much, but then an invasion landed in Jakku, a planet I’d already claimed and dice came out for a battle and I couldn’t have predicted how much this changed the game.

In case you haven’t seen it elsewhere there are two major changes to the rules in Star Wars Carcassone.

First whenever two or more players are claiming the same feature (trading route, planet or asteroid field) you collect dice: For each of your meeples in the location (two for the big one) and for each of your faction symbols (Imperial, Rebel or Mandalorian) you get one dice, up to a maximum of three. You then roll off and the player with the highest single dice wins, the loser removes their meeple/s and scores 1 point per dice they rolled. If there’s a draw you each score one point and roll off again.

Second whenever you place a tile where it would score for a planet (monastery) you may place a meeple on the planet instead, either triggering a battle or seizing an unclaimed world.

These two rules do a few things to the game that I think are excellent.

Every player now has the chance to score for planets (monasteries), not just those lucky enough to draw one and planets drawn while someone doesn’t have a meeple aren’t just dead tiles. Additionally because of the opportunity to steal it, everyone tries to complete the planet. In our first game four planets scored the full nine points and the others all had seven tiles around them at the end of the game.

It also results in ‘dead’ meeples coming off the table far earlier. We’ve all seen the sprawling city/asteroid field that everyone’s got at least one meeple on but there’s no chance to finish. Now when (for example) a player connects two of their meeples to an asteroid field where you only have one, you get a chance to maintain control for the points at the end of the game or you get your meeple back.

As your meeples come back so much sooner players were deliberately starting battles for the bonus victory points even when the odds were stacked against them and as a way to continue being part of the action when they got a relatively unhelpful tile.

I’ve heard complaints this makes the game a bit too random, but given the basic premise of Carcassonne is a random tile each turn I actually think this gives you a bit more control. While I’ll continue to teach and play many of the other versions we own this one is a welcome addition to the collection and a lesson to always trust Jay’s choices!

Why not come and try it out yourself at our International Tabletop Day event on April 30th?


WynterCon & IndieCon 2015

Marc Kenobi

The last few weeks have been a busy time for Coffee & Dice with WynterCon over Halloween and IndieCon in early November. Over these two events we played games with close to 500 people and loved every minute of it. Weekends like this get us so excited about opening in spring 2016!

Back in January we met Andy Kybett at a role playing convention while we were launching our first survey. Andy aka 'Mr Wyntercon' offered us the opportunity to come to join the event teaching board games in the RPG zone - we jumped at the chance. WynterCon is a multi-genre convention in Eastbourne; if you’re into science-fiction, comics, steampunk, role-playing games, board games, cosplay, classic horror or anything a bit out of this world, then there's something there for you.

It was our first time at WynterCon and we weren't sure what to expect, or how many people would want to play board games. We were given three tables at the beginning of the event, but by the end of the weekend we'd outgrown these and were teaching games across seven tables - spreading like a virus in Pandemic! We played games with 300 people over the weekend with Codenames, Colt Express, Sushi Go, Evolution and Cash & Guns stealing the show as the most popular games.

We also had an excellent game of Werewolves of Millers Hollow on Sunday afternoon. There was a wonderful moment where someone pointed across the table "you must be the werewolf: your jacket is red!"... whilst wearing a BRIGHT red hoodie themselves. Thank you so much to everyone who came and played games with us at WynterCon. We met some amazing people and you made it so much fun. We hope to be back again on the 1st and 2nd October 2016.

After WynterCon Coffee & Dice packed up and left Eastbourne for IndieCon, a convention a bit closer to home in Dorset the following weekend. IndieCon is a role-playing convention designed for independent games, so there's always something new to try. If you've not tried role playing games this could be a great introduction as the games are four hours long and there is so much variety. I'd recommend signing up for a game based on a film, book or TV show you like for your first RPG adventure. I love the Walking Dead comic books and so chose a zombie survival horror for my first game - Marc was running that game and so in a roundabout way it was the beginning of Coffee & Dice!

We had only planned to run a couple of games of Two Rooms and a Boom at IndieCon, but were asked on the Thursday evening if we'd be able to run board games on a table all weekend. So of course we said yes! We played games with more than 180 people over the weekend and had a great time. Coffee & Dice team Jay & John offered to run a Two Rooms and a Boom session which allowed Marc and I a rare chance to play the game. We had so much fun plotting, scheming and trying to work out who was who! We also had another amazing session of Werewolves of Millers Hollow where Adele was declared chief werewolf hunter. Her gut instincts had her catching 6 werewolves in a row at one point!

We love attending events like these and have more planned soon.  We'll be at Castlepoint Library in Bournemouth for International Games Day @ your library on the 21st November, attending a Mega Game 'Doomsday' in Southampton on the 28th November, running more games of Two Rooms and a Boom and Werewolves of Millers Hollow at ConCeption a role playing convention in Christchurch 27th - 31st January 2016 and have International Tabletop Day on 30th April in Bournemouth. You can sign up and find more information about our events on our Facebook page. Be sure to Like our page to receive updates on all our events. 

Stabcon South - Autumn 2015

Marc Kenobi

The Stabcon South team were kind enough to welcome us back in September for another two wonderful days of games. Based at Jury's Inn, Southampton we once again loaded up the cars with games to attend this wonderful event, hoping to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

We planned to run Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, Avalon and Two Rooms and a Boom in the afternoons. These are the games we most love and provide us with a real chance to build a community and interact with people we might not otherwise get a chance to. They're also the kind of games where someone who's come along alone can join in and get to know people. 

That left our mornings free for playing some of our current favourites; Mysterium, Evolution and Hanabi. We also took advantage of the number of gamers we had present to play-test Escape the Nightmare from the guys at 3D Total Games. A curious card game which will have you buzzing angrily, begging someone to save you, while hoping they don't, begging people to save you knowing you'll lose the game if they ignore you, trading cards to remove frustrating limitations... you get the idea - its a chaotic and fast moving game that's lots of fun to play. There's a few rough edges as you'd expect from a game in development, but I'm eager to see how it changes and definitely looking forward to playing the final version.

In the evenings we tried out a print and play version of Time Bomb, which was so much fun we'll be looking to pick up a copy soon, Spyfall, Qwirkle and the most played game at the con: Codenames. 

We saw Codenames on the Czech Games Edition stand at UK Games Expo and knew immediately it would be a hit, a simple game play with almost infinite variety and a simple rule set that has almost universal appeal, if you haven't yet had a chance I highly recommend you play this wonderful game!

We had a blast again; all of the players are what make this such a fun event for us to attend, but we loved all of your positive feedback too...


"Thanks for running the games, had an absolute blast and can't wait for next stabcon!"

"...having you there is always brilliant :)"

"I think you are both doing a really good job of helping to build a community and enabling others to have fun. THANKS!"


Evolving a dance in the maddest of castles!

Marc Kenobi

While we've been busy working on the business plan we've found the time for one or two games, these are three of our current favouries...

The Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Not sure who wrote the blueprints for most of the castles we've built in this game but a larder probably shouldn't be reachable only from the crypt and I'm not sure I'd want the shed directly next to my great hall. In The Castles of Mad King Ludwig you build up your castle from a shared supply of rooms trying to select those rooms that will most please the King (and reach your secret objectives). Even the set up of this game is on theme, building up the pieces of the game board. The rules are direct and easy to learn, but the strategic choices can be intense.

While there's no direct interaction in the game, each decision impacts and influences your opponents as what you build limits them and sometimes you'll be paying them for the rooms you want, so you need to make sure not to overpay! With a random selection of rooms available each game a great variety of win conditions and gameplay dictated by your opponents decisions, this is a game we'll be coming back to again and again.





We saw a review of Evolution on a Shut up and Sit Down podcast which made the game sound so much fun we went out and bought it immediately - we have not been disappointed. 

Those of you following us on facebook will have seen that my initial response when I opened the game was to be amazed by the stunning components. Beautiful, vibrant artwork, great quality throughout, a reference card which pretty much covers all the rules and food bags with more great artwork. I'm not sure what more I could have asked for.

The game itself is great - you start with a simple species which you evolve - becoming a carnivore to feed on the other species at the table, growing a long neck or developing scavenging to ensure you always have enough food. Each trait card gives your species a new angle to survive and thrive, but once you start combining them the variations become immense - the fat tissued carnivore was particularly frightening! 

The game is also a wonderful explanation of the theory of evolution, so much so that one of our friends who teaches primary is already planning to use it in lessons. Finally wanted to say - great job by North Star Games with their 'how to play'  video, you got us into the game really quickly!

Waggle Dance

A wonderful game about making honey with bees - stay with us because underneath this wonderfully simple concept and brightly coloured dice is a game with depths of strategy.

It reminded me a lot of Alien Frontiers with its elements of area control, resource management and dice rolling, but more closely linked to the theme and less directly competitive. On each turn you roll your bees then take it in turn to assign them to various options. You'll want more bees (dice), to make honeycomb , collect pollen of course, but there's also those special action cards and naturally you'll be wanting to turn that pollen into honey (the victory condition). 

The competing hives will of course be doing the same thing and there'll be times you'll be cut off from particular options, but unlike in other games of this type it rarely feels like you're wasting a turn and the theme keeps it light and fun.  

A great game for people new to the hobby with a theme that's unlikely to scare anyone off, but with enough going on that old hands will be engaged and entertained - I certainly was!