Exposed VS Treehouse Cafe

Board games: the number one cause of sibling scraps and tearing families apart since c.3500 BC. Honestly, I know a guy who knows a guy who pretended his brother was invisible for six months after a violent sesh of Trivial Pursuit.

Armed with multiple Christmases of gruelling family Monopoly experience under our belts, we decided to roll the dice and take on the board game whizzes at Treehouse Café. Here’s how it all went down…

We arrived at Treehouse Café and were greeted by Ruth, who ensured that we were well hydrated and caffeined-up for the challenge ahead. We opted for flat whites all-round, God we’re an adventurous bunch – delicious though, by the way. Treehouse have kept it local, sourcing the good stuff from Sheffield-based Frazer’s Coffee Roasters.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the mighty (painfully non-alphabetised) bookcase on the far wall offering an eclectic assortment of board games enough to satiate even the kookiest of board-based fantasies. A hoarder’s paradise or a cool collection? We aren’t sure.

The games we were to battle over were already expeditiously arranged over three centre tables, each testing a range of cognitive and physical skills. Ruth introduced us to our opponents Andy, Matt and Sam, and to Patrick, who would serve as in-house game referee/maestro/wizard for the duration of the afternoon.

Game One – ‘Sonar’ (Treehouse 1 – Exposed 0)

First up was battleship-esque game ‘Sonar’ and Patrick deftly explained the rules of t’ game.

Played in real time, both teams were split into three roles: A designated Captain (Joe), an Engineer (Megan), and a Radiographer (Eleanor). The Captain was in charge of setting the direction of the submarine and firing cool weapons, the Engineer had to plot damage taken to the sub, and the Radiographer was in charge of plotting the enemy’s movement.

Much to our surprise, Team Exposed secured an early lead by being the first to inflict ‘damage’ on the Team Treehouse submarine.

However, it wasn’t long before Captain Andy of Treehouse stripped bare our convictions and knocked us down a few pegs through an aggressive offensive of mine detonations and expertly-targeted torpedoes. Captain Andy evidently wasn’t taking any prisoners today. Both our submarine and pride ended up suffering the four ‘damage’ that formally translates to Game Over.

As if sustaining a couple of crafty direct hits from Team Treehouse wasn’t enough destruction to our fragile egos, our Radiographer realised that the enemy movements she had been plotting were in fact a comical far cry from the actual position of their sub, so we never stood a chance anyway. Balls.

Our Treehouse nemeses had admittedly played the game a fair few times before, and so we put defeat down to our newbie-status. Practice makes perfect, after all.

Game Two – ‘Flick ‘em Up!’(Treehouse 2 – Exposed 0)

With the second game, we were going retro. Wooden western cowboy game ‘Flick ‘em Up!’ tested our ability to ‘flick’ tiny wooden objects towards slightly bigger wooden objects, and knock said slightly bigger wooden objects over. The Sheriffs (us) had to shoot (flick) bullets (tiny wooden objects) to kill (knock over) all of the bandits (Team Treehouse).

The catch was, using thumbs at all during the flick was a big ‘no no’, and yes, this is as hard as it sounds. Much to our dismay, it became apparent that the Treehouse Team were clearly well-practiced in the endeavour of thumb-less flicking.*sigh*

After an initial lead by Exposed, Treehouse Bandit nicknamed ‘Crazy James’ went full Kill Bill on our poor boys. The last man standing was of course ‘Lazy Pete’ (who hid behind a cactus for the duration of the game) and he was certainly no match for the expert finger-flicking dexterity of Team Treehouse. Joe excused the game for a quick toilet break, probably due to trying to drown his despair with coffee, but returned to another loss on the scoreboard for team Exposed.

We don’t have an excuse for this one other than having embarrassingly weak fingers.

Game Three – ‘Code Names’ (Treehouse 2 – Exposed 1)

At this point in the afternoon, the Treehouse team had valiantly won two out of three games, and so our chances of securing victory were already history. However, due to not wanting to trudge back to the office and our gallant good spirit, we took up our positions for the final game. *cue ‘A Team’ theme song*

The name of the game was to assign a ‘Spymaster’ within the team, whose role was to offer clues to the ‘Intelligence Analysts’ relating to varying code words laid out in front of us. Eleanor valiantly volunteered (she was unknowingly already sitting in the designated Spymaster chair). Each card corresponded to each team’s colour, red or blue, but only the Spy Masters were the wiser of which ones were which. By offering one word clues, the Spymasters must prompt their team of ‘Intelligence Analysts’ to choosing specific cards. However, if chosen incorrectly and you end up revealing the ‘Black Assassin’, it’s game over (tears of shame flowing). The first to identify all of their team’s cards wins, so the more code words that can be connected by a single clue, the better. After an impromptu “practice” round (Spymaster Eleanor forgetting our team colour and instead giving away a point to our opponents), we started the game afresh…

“Death two” was the final clue from Eleanor. The first answer was obvious – “Funeral” Joe asserted with ease. The second seemingly not so much as we deliberated over “ground” (dead people get buried, right?) and “pass” (on the grounds that people ‘pass’ away).

“Think about how simple my brain is!” Eleanor spurred, battering her own intellect for the sake of Exposed walking away from Treehouse Café with the semi-dignity that winning one out of three games would secure. A legit martyr, that girl. With this snippet of intelligence Megan and Joe threw caution to the wind and with a newfound confidence, Megan declared, “Pass”. Eleanor slid a red spy card from the deck and cemented our victory. We’d done it; we’d finally won a game (albeit with some not-so-dignified “helpful prompts” from Eleanor, along the lines of “No, you don’t want to pick that one” (AKA barefaced cheating).

Although we had justifiably lost 2-1, the experience wasn’t a total kerplunk. We’ll definitely be back to claim our victory soon, Treehouse Café.

The scores so far:
Exposed: 31
Challengers: 41
Draws: 3

Fancy a game? Head to treehousesheffield.com

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