Pub Play: Cathedral

In 1962, Royal New Zealand Air force pilot Bob Moore flew several training maneuvers around Christchurch Cathedral and became fascinated by the architecture and the interlocking structure of the streets and buildings below. Several years later, Bob spun this early fascination into the prototype for Cathedral, a game in which the pieces evoke a medieval city surrounded by a wall.

Cathedral is played on a grid with interlocking, building-like pieces. The object is simple: capture as much territory in the city grid as possible by taking turns placing your differently-shaped building pieces. With careful placement, whole sections of the city can be walled off, preventing your opponent from placing pieces there. Alternatively, there is defensive play – a player can prevent their opponent from walling off a section of city by ensuring that two pieces of their color (the grey Cathedral piece can count as either color) are in a section beforehand. Each game is made different by the random placement of the Cathedral at the start.

All pieces of the standard and deluxe versions of the game are crafted from solid wood. These quality components, and the intriguing shapes they make as they are interlocked during a game, make Cathedral a beautiful conversation piece at a local pub or home bar. The pieces also have a very pleasant tactile quality – they’re just big enough to feel significant in the hand, and the wood lends a warm and familiar charm.

Cathedral is a game for 2 players, ages 8 and up, distributed by Family Games, Inc.

Gameplay/ReplayComponents & ThemeFun
There's not a ton of depth to Cathedral since it's a pretty straightforward strategy game, but the random placement of the cathedral piece makes each game different, providing tons of replay value. It's crafted from solid wood, with stained pieces and beautiful craftmanship. The price tag is fairly hefty, but the components are worth it. Quite a conversation piece.Cathedral may not be for everyone - particularly those types of players who would rather play Yahtzee over Chess - but for two great strategists, Cathedral is as satisfying as the classics.
Overall score: 14 out of 18 - Worth adding to the collection
If you happen to be in Durham, NC…

Finding Kiwi fare in Durham can be a difficult endeavor, so a pub with an abbey-like atmosphere may be the next best thing. Bull McCabe’s (427 W. Main St.) is just that right spot; old cathedral lamps hang from the ceiling and the rich, dark wood of the interior are a perfect match for Cathedral’s aesthetics. Come on Tuesdays for the special (house wine by the glass for $3.00) and get lost in some drinks and a game or three, nestled comfortably in one of the high-backed, intimate booths.

About Pub Play

In many local bars, brews and billiards or drinks and darts are a common pairing, but there are times with friends when you may crave a little something different.This article is part of a continuing series on board and card games that will bolster camaraderie at your favoritewatering hole, and perhaps draw a curious eye from someone special.

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