Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wow, What a Game!

Another Saturday, another brain burning, 8-hour fantasy-themed dicefest at Chris' house.  I arrived a bit before 9 o'clock to see World of Warcraft with both expansions laid out in all their glory, ready to be played.  The five of us split into two teams (Chris, Travis, and I vs. Rob and Sean).  My team was generous enough to let me play the Orc warrior again; Chris took the Undead mage; Travis had the Tauren druid.  Rob played two Alliance characters:  paladin and priest; Sean played to not nearly so good Gnome warlock.

Things began with a rocky start for the Alliance, as they all died a couple times on the first few turns, giving the Horde an early lead.  By mid game they had closed the gap though, by aggressive and well calculated play.  Around half way through the game, everyone seemed to be humming along on all cylinders, and it became an intense power leveling race.

We, the Horde, decided to pursue a strategy of taking down instances, while the Alliance ventured into Outland to challenge some tough quests.  Both strategies seemed to pay off in experience points, but I think the loot we pulled out of the instances seemed pretty superior.  In addition, even with three of us together we were able to ratchet up the risk and reward of the instance such that it was worthwhile for everyone.

In the end, the Horde made it to the boss dungeon probably about a turn or two before the Alliance was ready to.  We totally crushed the first of three levels when we had to call time.  Argh!  Still, I think it was pretty clear with our carefully selected buffs that we would have sailed through to victory.

I had a great time, and I enjoyed the fun times gaming with everyone all day.  Thanks go to Chris for his continued outstanding hosting, and to Sean and Travis for being willing to learn and play such a monster of a game.



At 9:51 PM, March 29, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

We, the Horde

... in order to form a more perfect union ...

At 11:27 PM, March 29, 2008, Blogger Carlos said...

Great report, Ben. I have never played this game before, but it looks to take quite a bit of planning. Based on the reports, it seems to be quite an epic.

At 12:25 AM, March 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It lasts a lot longer than I had expected. We probably started just after 9, I think. Maybe 15 minutes of going over the rules. So, roughly 9-4, plus/minus 15 minutes. 7 hours. Only Ben, if I recall, got his character to level 6. I agree with Ben that we probably would have beaten the boss without too much difficulty, although I think the Alliance team, with the right buffs, was far enough along to do the same.

I had a great time. Great game, and it went pretty smoothly. I was glad to see it was close the entire way--at one point, we were mathematically the weaker faction, despite the fact that the entire Alliance died at the beginning and we kept soldiering along.

I wish it hadn't taken so long, however. There were a number of other games I would have liked to play (Ben brought Kingsburg, and Rob brought Cuba, both of which I've been wanting to try for a while, and Sean brought Lost Valley, which people generally have spoken well of.) I also worry that when the game takes a long time, it means it will rarely get back to the table. Maybe this is like TI, the kind of game that you go four to six months between plays. So be it. I'm glad I got to play. The sensation of rolling 20+ dice at once is a pretty awesome feeling...listening to those dice fall out of the tower for what seems like minutes is a great rush for Amerigeeks like me. Thanks to everyone who soldiered through it--I hope people had a good time.

But I like my cube games as well, and I miss them.

At 11:06 AM, March 30, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

The combat system in WoW is fantastic. What's amazing is even with the multitude of character abilities and items, everything seems to stay fairly balanced as you're leveling up.

I miss wargames like Chris misses the cubes...

At 12:50 PM, March 30, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Sorry I missed out (and will miss out again next week).

But the following week I should be back and ready to rock out.

But we will need to be connected to the internet because of DRM issues.

Starting from scratch will suck, but you can thank the jackass for that.

At 8:24 PM, March 30, 2008, Blogger Raab said...

Wargames? i have a copy of Attack! and the Expansion that i have never played...

At 10:16 PM, March 30, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks Chris for hosting. I knew what I was getting myself into (an ~8hr fiasco), but I had hopes that the generally faster playing SABG group could run through it in less time.

I miss wargames.


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