Buxton board gaming night to launch at high street pub

A tabletop gaming night is launching in Buxton this week, promising players of all levels the chance to meet new people in a battle of wits over a friendly pint and conversation.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 1st April 2022, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 9:29 am

The first meeting of the High Peak Board Gamers is happening at the Cheshire Cheese, on High Street, on Monday, April 4, kicking off at 7.30pm.

Organiser Darren Whitehouse, 46, is a civil servant who usually works on games of a different kind – overseeing the safety regulations for sports stadia – but he thinks there is just as much fun to be had on a quiet night in the pub.

He said: “When I was younger I was into computer games, but board gaming is a hobby I got into about five years years ago. There are so many different types of games to discover, they’re good fun and they bring people together.

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Board gaming nights can be a great way to find new skills, interests and friends.

“I’ve been to a few board game cafés and nights while in London for work, and they’ve been springing up all over the country in recent years, but Buxton doesn’t have one yet. I have a utopian dream of seeing a gaming café open on the High Street but it struck me that the Cheshire Cheese would be a perfect venue for now, and the landlord has been really open to it.”

Darren is expecting the night to grow slowly as word spreads, and will be starting out with members of his family and a handful of people who have joined the Facebook group.

He said: “The idea is that people can bring along any game they want, even if its a pack of cards or dominoes, and I’ll bring my collection of games along and teach anyone who’s interested.

“At first I’ll be introducing a few gateway games for people who are more familiar with the traditional Cluedo or Monopoly, and then opening up a whole new world for people to explore.”

He added: “They are generally known as Eurogames. They’re not conflict-driven, it’s a bit of light strategy, rolling dice and managing a hand of cards with really easy rules. Some last 15 minutes, some might take an hour, and I’ve got a few heavier games I’m keeping in reserve.”

The night is open to seasoned hobbyists and complete novices alike, and people can get involved however they feel most comfortable.

Darren said: “I’ve got games for two players and small groups, but it’s absolutely fine if someone wants to come and play solitaire on their own, or even if they are just curious and want to watch other people play, soak up the atmosphere and support a great pub.

“I don’t want to sound like a fuddy-duddy but we spend so much time glued to screens, especially in the last couple of years, so it’s nice to be able to put the tech aside, get around a table and enjoy face-to-face conversations while learning new skills and solving problems.”

The hope is that the night will become twice-monthly, with the next one planned at the same time and venue on Monday, April 18.

For more details, join the group on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3qUmgP9.

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