The recent changes to our gaming group have also meant significant changes to game nights. Back in the good old days (a few months ago!), game night involved a pre-arranged game, one game system (usually Malifaux) and generally a generous helping of alcohol. They would generally involve 2 people and be mostly about playing the game.
Last weekend, my Soulstone Train co-host Shane’s wife went out so naturally, that meant it was game night! The night turned out to be quite a bit different to the good old days and not in a bad way. There ended up being 5 of us there (myself, Shane, Nathan, Chris and Barry, all of whom have made appearances on SST) with a wide variety of games to choose from. The thing that I noticed most about the games on offer were that the majority of them were co-op games.
While I was giving Shane’s wife a lift to her drinking partner’s house, the guys selected the first game of the evening, D&D Castle Ravenloft. It is one of the D&D Adventure System board games that is mentioned in SST episode 13 (which I am still editing) and is for 1-5 players. At that point, Ravenloft was the only one of these games that we had not played and the others had only been played with 2 players. The general gist of the game is you select an adventure (we randomly chose with a D20) and that tells you what you have to do. In this case, we had to work our way through the dungeon and find the evil Baron’s bodyguard (a randomly selected monster from the pile of nasty options), this was part 1 of a 2 part adventure.
In order to keep the character selection fair (clearly I’d want the most smashy one!), we each rolled a D20 and picked in order from highest to lowers. I ended up in the middle and selected a human rogue, not a much of a beatstick as I would normally use but not a bad selection. The general idea of the game is that you start on a start tile and whenever a hero is touching an unexplored edge during their exploration phase, you place a new tile on that edge and place a monster on it. Depending on the tile, you may also have to draw an encounter card which are rarely good (as we found out). Almost straight away we got a bit eager with the exploring and found ourselves surrounded by monsters. My rogue had multiple opportunities to thin the herd but seemed unable to roll anything above a 4 on a D20! We finally managed to escape the monsters long enough to find 5 different traps and decimate our ranks. If any hero dies, the game is lost but thankfully the group get 2 healing surge tokens that can bring you back from the brink of dead. Somewhere in all that chaos, Shane’s frail little ranger managed to use both of those. With little healing in the group and monsters everywhere, Barry’s mage was the one to fall (thankfully, my rogue would have almost certainly died later that same turn).
That was the first of the D&D board games that we’ve lost and the number of players definitely added to the difficulty. It was definitely more fun with more players though and a game that I can really recommend.
Next up was The Last Night on Earth, a zombie board game. Again this was a co-op game with Chris playing the zombies and the rest of us playing the towns people (I was the high school sweetheart, lucky me!). The object of the game was to find petrol and keys and escape in the truck in the middle of the board, sounds simple right! The difficulty came in finding the items, you had to get to a building (dotted around the board) and search it, you can either search or move in a turn, not both. Barry found the petrol early on but the keys eluded us as the zombies were closing in. After much fighting and a badass nurse whacking a load of zombies, Shane pulled a hero card that allowed him to take any card out of the hero deck, the keys were found! The game came to an end as 2 heroes tried to gas up the truck surrounded by about 10 zombies. The nurse thinned the herd to about 4 and 3 of the 4 heroes made it to the fuelled up truck. The high school sweetheart just had to roll a 4 on a D6 for everyone to survive the game. She rolled a 1 and the other heroes waved as she was left to her fate.
This was a really enjoyable game and I would really recommend this one too.
Last up was the Space Hulk card game (I can’t remember the proper name for it!). The general idea of this is that you’re terminators and you’re working your way through an abandoned space ship clearing out all of the aliens. There are different squads of terminators with different abilities and thankfully, I pulled the close combat specialists which was right up my alley. As the game started, straight away my big hitter fell. Bugger! As the swarms of aliens grew, so did the game’s difficulty. Chris managed to do a lot of damage with his flame thrower but ultimately, in the final room, the last of the terminators fell.
Although we lost badly, this was a fun little card game and, if it wasn’t a GW game, I would really recommend it.
All in all I’m a really big fan of the new format of our game nights, it’s the most fun I’ve had gaming in a long time. We played 3 awesome games and still had classics like Munchkin and Fluxx in reserve that didn’t get played. The future is definitely bright for our gaming group J