Boardgaming at The Dell House
The Dell House has gained a reputation as the UK's No.1 Boardgaming B&B but what does that mean?
We have been playing 'modern boardgames' since the 1990's and have amassed a sizeable collection. The collection is available to B&B guests who want to play them and forms the centre of various boardgame events and gatherings here, including our own "DellCon" weekends.
Firstly, are you thinking 'Monopoly'?
If you associate "boardgames" with Monopoly, Cluedo, and "the one with the Twirly Thing"; Christmas and children, then that's no surprise but you have missed out on the last 20-30 years of boardgame development. Read the Modern Boardgames Introduction first.
That said, we do have Monopoly, Cluedo and at least one Twirly thing.
While abstract two-player games are not what we personally play very often, the facilities here are perfect for a small convention or club weekend away, so do read on. We've also got a few 2-player abstracts you may not have come across, such as Trax and Hive, to add some variety.
Gaming Facilities at the Dell House
The main collection of around 200 games (mainly eurogames†) resides in the B&B part of the house, in the 'function room' which serves as either a TV lounge or a gaming room. There are two large tables here, and another in the main lounge. These are separate from the two large dining room tables which may be available depending on what catering we are doing for you.
These facilities are available to you if you book into the B&B part of the house either as a straightforward B&B booking or as a larger group booking that has booked both the B&B and some of the adjoining self-catering apartments.
Under normal circumstances, those solely booking the self-catering accommodation don't have access to our games library or games room. However, there's plenty of scope for your own gaming in the apartments - especially the 3-bed Nursery apartment (mid-blue to the right of the floor plan) or the 2-bed Coach House. Both have sizeable lounges (the Coach House's lounge is bigger) and if you talk to us nicely we're happy to arrange more or larger tables in there.
This would seem to suit lengthy RPG sessions and the like.
Involving Local Gamers
If anyone would like to have an ad hoc games session here and play with some new people, then we can usually rustle up several local gamers. Just to be clear, this is your choice as guests. If you prefer to keep it to yourselves, that's what will happen.
The first thing to look at is our information about hosting larger groups [opens a new tab]. That page describes the bedroom arrangements, catering options etc. but isn't gaming-specific.
It is unlikely that any self-organised gaming stay will work out cheaper than one of our own DellCon weekends. We subsidise DellCon's because we get quite a bit of gaming time in ourselves, however, if you want to emulate a 'Standard DellCon' then the pricing won't be far off.
We are open to a certain amount of negotiation (we are all games players after all). Things become a lot more negotiable during the quieter months, which for us are November to April, and if the length of stay and numbers involved are reasonable. As a guide on the latter, once the group gets bigger than 16 it gets a bit cramped, and our workload (and thus the price) rises quickly.
When we agree a price it will be for the whole booking. If you want to make adjustments within the group to balance the large en-suite B&B rooms with the apartment rooms, then that is your challenge to solve. For DellCon we solved it with a first come, best room approach.
- Eurogame. A class of boardgame that has a theme (racing hedgehogs, building cathedrals, ..) but is semi-abstract in reality and the theme could be swapped without particularly affecting the gameplay. That said, the best designs use the theme to make the play intuitive and fun. Eurogames usually accommodate variable numbers of players and have a predictable play length. Playing pieces are often basic (coloured cubes are common) but the quality of the board & card artwork is valued. Play focuses on planning, optimisation and risk management. Player conflict typically revolves around competing for resources. Where luck or randomness occurs it tends to be before a player's action so that bad luck can be mitigated. Players are very rarely eliminated. There is often more than one way to win.
- Boardgame Collection listing is here [opens a new tab]. Note it's a superset of the collection in the B&B, those in the self-catering, and a few that are archived for various reasons.