Saturday, March 04, 2006

Friday boardgaming recap

Risk, like Monopoly, is a four-letter word. I stole that line blatantly, and am not afraid to admit it.

This Friday's game session was a little lightly attended, so I only got in a few games.

First, I played a seven-player game of Bang! (BGG, BUY ME!) with four people who had never played before. Once again, I'm struck with the fact that teaching a game's rules is very definitely a skill. I've seen a few blog posts here and there in the blogosphere regarding what it takes to tell someone how to play. I tend to give an medium-broad overview, then details in order. (Insert PowerPoint joke.) Interestingly, just reading the rules out do not always provide the best overview of a game. As I can readily testify from my recent training, just reading and/or just being read to do not a learning experience make. After the first game (I was an outlaw; we won! Death roster went as follows: Outlaw, Deputy, Renegade, Sheriff.) I left my copy in the hands of the circle so everyone who had arrived late could keep playing. I wanted to play the next game listed below, but I like seeing a game reach critical mass and people love it and keep playing when I'm not part of the impetus for playing it. Two people bought their own copy of Bang! right then and there before the evening ended.

I left the next round of Bang! to play a game called This Game Sucks (BGG, BUY ME!), which I had never heard of before. Published in the Cheapass fashion, This Game Sucks is a boardgame about bad roleplaying experiences- you try to crush the GM's ego or make the players' interests wane to the point that the game ends. This hit close to home, but was not too painfully funny. I'll probably order this off the Interweb. We managed to play a really quick game that ended in about fifteen or twenty minutes, so this is definitely a quick "filler" game. Maybe something to play next time somebody is late to a session.

Next, we played a relatively light game called Brewmaster (BGG, BUY ME!), a basic trick-making game with a microbrewery theme. The production value was high, with a nicely laminated board and sturdy cards- suitable for beer spillages in J. Random Pub, say. While diverting, I didn't think the game had enough player interaction; most decisions come directly from the cards rather than the placement of tokens and relative standings of other players.

The last game of the evening turned out to be Kill Dr. Lucky (BGG, BUY ME!), the Director's Cut. This means that the game has more color text on the cards, the board has two sides for twice the fun, and the rules come with a commentary track. High falutin', for Cheapass. This is yet another game that is easier to play than to explain, not that it's complex, but that players have a moment where they suddenly "get it" and all makes sense. As for who killed the good doctor- I dunnit, with a chainsaw, in the Hedge Maze.

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