Monday, December 01, 2008

Post-Holiday Gaming

Thursday was Thanksgiving, Friday was "Black Friday", and so apparently Saturday was Board Gaming Saturday. I was sad to miss the TMBG Flood concert on Friday, less sad about the Dragonforce concert as I can see that becoming boring pretty fast for me, but we've pretty much decided $25 per ticket for concerts is outside of our budget for this year at least.

Saturday afternoon started with a 6 player game of Mall of Horror, which is a survival-diplomacy game that involves secret voting and random zombie placement with some tactics based on cards and movement. The first time I played this game I really enjoyed it, but this game was significantly worse. There are definitely some rules issues with the game as published, but we also ended up playing it not by the rules which isn't too unusual for us. I'm not sure if it was a result of the way the game played out (who was in each room, what was rolled, etc) or the people that were playing but there were almost no secret or surprise votes. I ended up actually being able to decide the game, which player one or leave it to a total tie which would lead to a random (die roll) winner. I opted for the die roll, because it's very rare but also a hilarious way for a 2 hour+ game to end. Also because I think subjectively picking a winner is a bad way to go in a game like that vs. leaving it to chance.

After that Dave, Dennis, Scott and myself sat down to try the new Battlestar Galactica board game which Dave purchased and was one of the main factors in us having a get together to begin with (Dennis requested it and was in town from Florida for Thanksgiving). I have to say I was very surprised by the game, it took over 3 hours in the end I think but that includes set up, rules teaching (none of us had played it before), and me ending up being a Cylon, being stupid, and not ending the game earlier when I could have. I really want to play this game with 6 players, as it looks to have some interesting mechanics if you have more players between being the President and Admiral as well as more chances of their being cylons. A pretty accurate depiction of the first season or two of the show at least in board game form. Also seems like Fantasy Flight tried to make this game more simple and quicker than their typical licensed game. We also played this game incorrectly, due to some mis-interpreted graphics that actually made it look a lot tougher for the humans despite them winning in the end. I'm just not a very frakkin' good toaster, I guess.

After the extra-long game of BSG, we played two rounds of the new game Dominion which Dave had been telling me about for the last year based on playtest/prototypes he'd played at the various gaming conventions. Finally it's out and published, and I loved playing it! It is a tabletop card game (not collectible) that manages to recreate the feeling of deckbuilding that comes from games like Magic: The Gathering but without the cost of a collectible game. I actually dominated the second game with an accidental tactic, but my deck worked really well and it paid off in the end. Plus the game only takes about 30-45 minutes to play so I can definitely see playing this a lot and will probably pick up a copy sometime before Christmas.

People who weren't playing in these games generally hung around the basement, watched TV, played Incan Gold, Classic Dungeon, or RockBand 2. The whole thing ended into the morning hours with Josh and I playing Left 4 Dead, which is hands down the most fun I've had in a multiplayer console game in a LONG time. Possibly since Goldeneye. It's eaten up a lot of my evenings/weekends lately and will probably do just that for a few more weeks to come at least.

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