Game on at U3A Bribie Island

Published 6:00am 9 September 2023

Game on at U3A Bribie Island
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A retired police officer with hundreds of board games at home is helping others learn to play new games by teaching a course at Bribie Island’s University of the Third Age (U3A).

Every Tuesday afternoon, Andrew Wilmot sets up some of his favourite games and demonstrates how to properly play them through his class, Twenty-first Century Board Games.

“Board games have changed a lot in the last 20-30 years, and nowadays there are millions of new games and expansion packs for people to play,” Andrew says.

“With so many games, there is no way you could know how to play them all.

“As part of my class, I pick out some of the most popular games and teach people the rules so they can then play the game with their friends and even compete in tournaments.”

Each term Andrew chooses a new game for his class to learn, with the class being made up of people who have taken the class before as well as newcomers.

“Depending on the game, it can sometimes take two or three weeks to learn it,” Andrew says.

“Once you know the basics and have practiced them a few times, you can then start thinking about strategies to beat the other players.

“Each term at U3A runs for about 10 weeks, so towards the end of the term I will bring back some of the other games so you’re not playing the same thing every week.”

One of Andrew’s favourites is a game called Catan – a classic game of trading and building.

“This game came out in 1995 and won Game of the Year straight away, so it’s a good one to learn,” Andrew says.

“The game is played with hexagon tiles, and you must join the tiles to build cities, settlements and roads.

“Each time you do that you receive points. The first person to collect 10 points wins.

“I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of points, but it is quite a challenging game that can take close to two hours to complete.

“The beauty of this game is every time you play it’s different because the tiles never end up in the same places.”

Some of the other games Andrew plays in class include Carcassonne, Sagrada, Santorini, Wingspan and Sushi Go Party.

With a new term starting in September, Andrew is hoping to meet more people who are keen to join in the fun.

“I love playing board games, but the class isn’t just about that – it’s also about interacting with people face-to-face, which isn’t something you get with a video game,” Andrew says.

“Playing board games also helps keep your brain sharp.

“If you would like to come and join us, we would love to have you.”

Twenty-first Century Board Games is held every Tuesday from 12.30-4pm.

Bribie Island U3A is located at the Bribie Island Recreation Reserve, 156a First Ave, Bongaree.

Game on at U3A Bribie Island

Join the Bribie Island Gamers

In addition to running his class every Tuesday, Andrew has also started a group for people to come and play games once a week over dinner.

Known as the Bribie Island Gamers, the group gets together every Thursday night alternating between the Bribie Island Bowls Club and the Woorim Golf Club.

“There is obviously interest from people who like to play board games, but my goal is to get more people involved because the more people you have, the more people you have to play against,” Andrew says.

“We play tournaments and competitions with other people, which is a lot of fun.”

If you are interested in joining this group, scan the QR code.

Game on at U3A Bribie Island

Did you know?

With Monopoly being one of the most popular and controversial games of all time, Andrew says there is one rule not a lot of people know about, and it could help you win.

“One of the biggest controversies in the game is how you deal with buying properties,” Andrew says.

“If you read the rules, what you’re supposed to do when someone lands on a particular property and don’t want to buy it is to auction it off to other players, but nobody ever plays it that way.

“If you’re smart, you will probably buy most of your properties like that because it will be cheaper that way.

“The money then goes to the bank.”


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