Café Review: Randolph Pub Ludique

The Place We Played: Randolph Pub Ludique – Montreal, Quebec
Visited: March 2014

Our thoughts: The highlight of our visit to Randolph was, without doubt, Peter the game guru. We talk about him now like he’s an old friend. “Hey, remember what Peter had to say about Net Runner?” Yes. Yes we do remember. Because Peter was a guru who clearly had earned that title. He got us up and running on Lord of the Rings within 15 minutes – as some of you may Randolphknow, not the simplest of games around – and all in his second language, no less. No one has lived up to his standard at any game café since. He then proceeded to teach us two other games with equal skill, and tolerated us grilling him on his opinion of games on our short list and the top of the BGG charts.

The collection at Randolph was also very impressive. Built, as many of them seem to be, on the foundations of the personal collections of the people who started the café, there are many gems here you won’t find many other places. For example, we got to play Nefarious, a notoriously hard to find OOP game and have been searching for a copy ever since.

The pub itself is cramped, but making the best of a small situation. The board games framed on the wall were awesome, and the food and Quebec beer on tap made us forget the dudes next to us playing an obnoxious round of King of Tokyo. This maybe isn’t the place to try out Twilight Imperium, but that’s not a huge deal for us.

PWP Ranking       Score             Other Stuff We Like
Space:                         C                      Retail?      Yep!
Collection:               A+                    Flat Fee?      Yep!
Food:                          B                       Events?      Yep!
Drink:                         A
Staff:                           A+
Layout:                      C
Look and Feel:       B-
Overall Score:      B

Great for: Randolph is awesome if you’re looking to learn something new and complicated in a fun and rowdy pub environment – must be able to handle crowds, but the collection and expertise are worth bumping elbows for.

What we played: Lord of the Rings, Nefarious, Indigo

Ellie Frederickson is an experienced player of many board games and has cred as a purveyor of games from a time working in a game store. She has an inclination towards Euro-style games, but isn’t especially picky. Reading rules is a particular skill of hers (and a source of enjoyment, oddly enough) and she usually gets a game right the first time she plays it. She has a keen eye for good designs; in art, cafés and games; and an aversion to sub-standard food and drink

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