Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mmmm, braaaains...

Ben, Simon, Jon and I met up at DL at 10am to sit down for a game of Doom. Jon the Invader threw all sorts of nasty monsters at our Space Marine heroes and started off with some quick kills. After picking up a few weapons, however, we gained some traction and kept pace with the evil spawns. Simon vaporized zombie scientists with his shotgun, Ben the sniper picked off creatures from range, and I ran like crazy with the chainsaw, slicing and dicing when I could (and getting sliced and diced myself a couple of times). Ultimately we recovered the exit key, and with the aid of a "you hit the jackpot!" BFG blast, we cleared out the boss and barely sprinted our way to safety. A very close game, and a lot of fun in a very reasonable amount of play time.

After a quick lunch break, Ted joined us for Last Night on Earth, The Zombie Game. This time, Ben was the evil Overlord and tried to swarm Ted the Sheriff, Jon the Priest, Simon the Quarterback, and me (a pretty seedy-looking drifter) with sheer numbers. Each of us ran for the safety of the high school gym, where, fortunately, all sorts of items like guns, chainsaws, meat cleavers, and ammunition (not to mention a zombie spawn point) could all be found sitting right under the bleachers. Who knew?

As the hordes drew closer, Jon continued to make the sign of the cross and cancelled out many of Ben's best evil cards. Sheriff Ted then grabbed Old Betsy, the town dog, and threw her into the path of the zombies to distract them. Old Betsy, not one to like zombies (except when they serve as a source of bones to gnaw on), held 5 zombies with her snarling and growling. At the same time, Jon pointed out to the rest of us (who had not played the game before), "There's a dynamite card that lets you kill all the zombies in a space at the same time." Simon, seeing that this was good strategy, correctly drew the dynamite card immediately thereafter and tossed it over to Ted, who had the lighter. Ted threw the dynamite out the gym window (don't worry, not at Old Betsy) and in one mighty explosion, 6 additional zombies were dead (well, more dead, I guess). Simon took out one last zombie as evil Ben howled his protests, and the good townsfolk saved the day (even though it was still nighttime). This game was really fun as well, pretty silly but certainly in the spirit of the best zombie movies. I'm glad we got this on the table.

Jon departed, and the rest of us played Zooloretto. This is always enjoyably vicious, but in this game, everyone mostly looked out for their own well-being and frequently took partially filled carts when they were clearly advantageous. This meant not quite as much cart-polluting and screw-your-neighbor tactics as I've seen in other Zooloretto games, as players were often out of the drawing-and-placing-chits part of each turn fairly early. With less interaction, the game sped along pretty quickly. This was the first time for Simon and Ted to play this game, and it seemed like a nice pace for learning strategy. We elected not to play with the disruptive building sites (that block other players' pens and barns) this time. Those definitely up the screw-your-neighbor factor, maybe too much so, but I expect they'll be thrown in for the next game.

I had to leave at this point, so I'll let Ben and Simon comment if any additional games were played. Overall, a really really enjoyable game day with a lot of games that were just plain fun.


At 8:45 PM, January 19, 2008, Blogger Simon said...

In my opinion, all the games we played had the optimal fun to work ratio I so desperately seek. Zooleretto was just as good as I had heard. In fact, I ordered it as soon as I got home! Next time I’ll remember to buy the restaurant sooner though… Ben and I split after you left Chris, so nothing else got tabled.

All in all, I have to say it was a great way to get back into the swing of things. I’m glad to see our group is still as awesome as ever!

At 10:42 PM, January 19, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Curses! The zombies should have scuttled into the buildings and made you dig them out bug hunt style rather than letting you hold up in Fort Apache. Good times!

Today replenished my board game enthusiasm. Playing with a good group of friends makes the effort totally worth while.

At 10:56 PM, January 19, 2008, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Zombies won me over. Normally I'm philosophically opposed to the genre of games where one guy is the "DM".

This game has several things that won me over, including flavor text, built in time limits, and multiple scenarios.

It's just the right length, IMO.

Ironically, Ben might have actually had a better chance to win if all the zombies had run away from us rather than attacking...

Zooleretto was a lot of fun. It includes a lot of the same ideas from Ra, one of my absolute favorite games.


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