Saturday Morning Gaming: Crokinole and D&D
If you’ve ever watched curling on television, you’re more or less familiar with the concept of Crokinole. And if you like the idea of Crokinole and you like the idea of D&D and you say to yourself “man, I wish that somebody would come up with a disc-knocking board game where everybody is knocking everybody else around except that there was a fantasy dungeon theme with all kinds of magical monsters”, well, lemme tell ya: You Are In Luck. Catacombs is a board game that was made for you.
While curling takes place on an ice hockey rink, Crokinole takes place on a board about the size of an intimate coffee table between friends. The idea of Crokinole is that you have to get into the higher-scoring regions of the board while knocking away the discs of your opponent…
Well, Catacombs gets rid of all of that “regions” stuff and just makes it a game of the Dungeon Keeper versus the Players and the point isn’t to be in the higher-scoring regions, it’s for everybody to knock everybody else around.
The players all pick various characters (the skeleton warrior who drives a hard bargain, the chicken warrior who can fly all around the board, the wizard warrior who has a shield in front of him) and place their little discs on the board. The Dungeon Keeper places his discs on the board. And each side tries to flick their little discs into the discs of the other.
Now, do you think that you could flick a disc the size of about a nickle (only about 5 times as thick) into another disc about the size of a dime (only about 7.5 times as thick) that was about 2 feet away?
Does the thought of doing so strike you as “fun”? Well, you need to order yourself a copy of Catacombs right now.
They take the idea of flicking discs across a flat plane into other discs about two feet away into an art form and, on top of that, they give it a narrative. You are the evil dungeon master who wants to take over the world with your quarter-sized discs. They are the intrepid adventurers who want to prevent you with their nickel-sized discs.
And they go down through a half-dozen levels of various threats to defeat you and your nickel-sized minions before you go on to take over the world.
Seriously, the game is a lot of fun. You flick discs that are somewhere between 3/4ths of an inch across and 1″ across to 1 1/4 of an inch across along a board to hit the discs of your opponent and, when you do, you yell something about victory and something about hit points.
It’s, seriously, a lot of fun. It’s primarily dexterity-based and so if you have someone who couldn’t flick a quarter into the broad side of a barn, they won’t think it’s fun… but if you have a group of friends who used to pitch pennies, this game IS A MUST.
You won’t believe how much fun it is to play shuffleboard on a 2-foot field with rules about skeletons or fire elementals or troll monsters.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is “” by Ryan Dickey. Used under a creative commons license.)