Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stops Speaking Mid Sentence and Just Stares Off.....

Posting a Little Late this Week about Our Deadland's Game Saturday.

But first. . .

I have the best wife in the world. We've been participating in the Marriage and Family relations class for Sunday School. This is a class that the leadership of the church wants everyone to have an opportunity to attend. This is the third time the class has been offered this year, and my wife and I finally get to attend. In one of the recent classes it was discussed how a husband and wife should support each other's interests, it's nice taking the class and feeling that we've already got certain things going right with our relationship. I have to say that I feel very blessed to have a wife that supports the enjoyment that I get out of "Nerdy" stuff. I feel like we don't really have that confrontational man vs. woman thing in our relationship, that seems to be so prevalent in our society.

On a related note, I was listening to a Gaming Podcast recently, and the hosts of the show were commenting on some of the things that they hear on gaming forums, etc.—one of them that they hear more often than not is the: I would like to X but my wife won't let me... (where X is the playing of certain games, or spending time doing a certain hobby). They went on and on about how this is such a detriment to the relationship and such behavior is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

When I hear these sort of things I realize how blessed I am. My wife is not against my playing of games, and in fact—more often than not she will participate. She enjoys crafty things like, making beaded watch bands, or flower hair clips—I don't necessarily participates, but I don't ban her from it entirely. She's not into the whole Zombie Apocalypse thing, but doesn't try to stop me from enjoying it. Just being around each other as we enjoy our various personal likes is enriching; for instance, I would never in a million years have voluntarily exposed myself to Pride and Prejudice, however it is one of Emily's great joys, when she is feeling under the weather, she Watches one of the Four Movie Versions that she owns and she reads it once or twice a year.

It took some time, but I am now familiar with the story,  I can enjoy it, and yes—I have a favorite part. What's really great about this exposure, is that I have learned to enjoy something that I normally wouldn't have even given the time of day. (It's also really cool that there is a book, soon to be a movie that collides with one of the things I enjoy: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I still haven't had a chance to read it, but I'm definitely looking forward to it, and I can guarantee that I will probably enjoy it more than the people that are just checking it out for the Zombies, because I'm already so familiar with the original source material.)

So what does all this have to do with the game Saturday?

There was a Family party taking place that very night, and my Wife didn't even consider asking me to cancel the game (How Great is That?!). I still attended the party, so it wasn't like I was skipping out on the family (actively participating in-fact, I cooked the Steaks and the Potatoes), I just took the kids home and put them to bed like I normally would and then ran the game. My wife skipped the game for the family party (first time she's missed getting XP since the campaign began) and all is well.

So let's talk about the game. This session was supposed to take place last time, but I didn't have enough people. I had read through the material two weeks previous, but I had not looked at it again since—I wasn't exactly prepared.

The way the previous session left off was a bit of a loose end. The characters could choose to immediately follow up on the information given them (snagging the plot hook so to speak), or they could choose to go a completely different way.

The players that had shown up were an interesting mix. There was one person that is very out-spoken, there were two that don't speak up much. This made the deciding-where-to-go part of the evening really fun since I got to hear from the more quiet players in the decision making process.

The other interesting thing about this session, was that the Plot Point book was a little vague on one of the details concerning how the characters could get from point A to point B. In fact the general vicinity of point B was mentioned, but not how to find the exact location of point B. I went with a prospector, a prospector that was not all there in the head, and I played up his personality quite a bit—it was really fun making that character up on the spot.

It was a very heavy RP (Role Play) evening, with very few dice rolls. The dice rolls that were made were fun though. They at one point were pushing boulders off a cliff trying to hit a boat-full of pirates. I had them make a throwing roll for it, it made sense at the time.

I heard something great during the game. One of the players told me that if he could, he would have given me a Benny.  Good Times.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Buried Alive!!

My Saturday Savage Worlds Game did not take place. I only had My Wife and three others R.S.V.P. and one of them was unable to make it. I was not upset by this, since I was only marginally prepared for the evening.

We had a little Holiday recently, you may have heard of it. . . Halloween. 

I had some birthday money, and wanted to get a new game for Halloween, but the game I wanted to get was sold out, I tried my favorite game store, the discount game store (Which looked to be closed for good), and the game store that's practically around the corner. None of them had a copy of The Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game.

Seven years ago, when we first lived here, we had a Halloween Party. I wanted to play a Halloween appropriate game at said party. The game I ultimately chose was Betrayal at House on the Hill. It took me a while to make that decision and when I went to get the game. . . no one had a copy—it had gone out of print and used copies were going for a premium.

So, I decided to go with another game that had piqued my curiosity, Zombies!!! I had seen some pictures of games in progress with hundreds of zombie figures on the table. I had heard it said that there can never be too many Zombies, and I had noticed that they sell Extra Zombies in bags of one hundred for a ten spot, and that they had Glow-in-the-Dark Zombies as well. 

I was pretty new to the specialty board game scene at the time, I had not yet played a game, and then not wanted the expansion or expansions—and of course, I can never do anything half way. I found an E-bay auction that had Zombies!!! and two of its expansions (Zombies!!! 2: Zombie Corps(e), and Zombies!!! 3: Mall Walkers) for just a little more than the base game would cost. Could I stop there? No. I also picked up a bag of Extra Zombies (100 Glow-in-the-Dark—I'm kind of a sucker for Glow-in-the-Dark, I'm not sure why) and the other two available expansions, Zombies!!! 3.5: Not Dead Yet and Zombies!!! 4: The End?.

I really like the Zombies!!! games, but the people I generally game with are rarely in the mood to play it. I've still picked up Zombies!!! 5: Schools Out Forever, Zombies!!! 6: Six Feet Under, Zombies!!! 7: Send in the Clowns, Zombies!!! 8: Jailbreak, Zombies!!! 9: Ashes to Ashes, Humans!!!, Humans!!! 2: Sea Food, Martians!!!, Zombietown, Zombietown 2: Road Rage, Zombietown 3: Big Boom Theory, MidEvil!!!, MidEvil!!! 2: Castle Chaos, & MidEvil!!! 3: Subterranean Homesick Blues, plus extra Zombies in Standard and Glowing Varieties of the Following Types—Zombies, Zombie Babes, Zombie Dogs, & Zombie Clowns, Plus Extra Skeletons (MidEvil!!! Uses Skeletons instead of Zombies—Skeletons are just like Zombies with no flesh right?)

Zombies!!! is pretty much reviled in the Board Game Community, ranking only 5.65 out of 10 on Board Game Geek. I've yet to see a very positive review of it, nothing down right bad, nothing truly positive either. The Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game however, has ratings in the High seven to low eight range and I've heard reviews of even non-gamers really enjoying it. Which is why I really wanted it—if the game I love seems to be almost universally hated (I mean, come on, someone has to be enjoying it enough and buying enough copies for them to keep pumping out expansions) then the game that has the same thematic elements, but is beloved in comparison has to be fun, right?

Of course, when I have birthday money, and it's Halloween, and I'm in the mood for a new Zombie game, it's nowhere to be found (one of the game stores told me it was out of print)

So what do I do?

Save my money and buy it online of course. . . no. I ended up getting Betrayal at House on the Hill. It had recently come back to print.

If you've read this far, I'm impressed—I've been rambling.

Still wondering about the Blog Title up there? Since we didn't have enough people for me to want to run the game session, we played Betrayal at House on the Hill.

So, here's how Betrayal at House on the Hill works. You are exploring a haunted house. There are Six pre-painted explorer mini-figures and each figure has a corresponding character card; the cards are double-sided and have a different character on each side. The Character Cards are pentagons and have four character attributes, two physical and two mental. There are little plastic arrow clips that slide onto the card, and as your attributes are effected you slide them up and down.

When exploring the house you move through the number of rooms that equal your speed, when you encounter a room with an item, you pick a card from the item deck, read it aloud and keep it. When you encounter a room with an event, you pull the event card and read it aloud, follow the instructions and discard the card. When you encounter a room with an omen, you pull an omen card read it aloud keep it in front of you and then make a haunt roll. When making a haunt roll if you roll a number lower than the number of omen cards on the table, the haunt begins.

There is a chart in the Traitor's Tome that tells you which haunt to play (based on the room and omen card) and which player is the traitor (hence The Betrayal at House on the Hill). The Traitor then takes the Traitor's Tome and Reads the Haunt. The rest of the players take the Secrets of Survival book and read the corresponding Haunt.

The Haunt we played was called Buried Alive. The Survivors had to find their missing friend that was buried alive and dig her up before she dies. The Traitor's goal was to kill the survivors before they could dig up their missing friend.

It's a fun game.

I played again with some other friends on Monday, and the Haunt had no traitor, we had to fight our Evil doppelgängers.

Again, a very fun game. I've played two of fifty scenarios, and due to the house being modular in design, even if I played the same scenario again, it would be different. I highly recommend playing it—a great alternate since Savage Worlds didn't work out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

King Brian's Antics

In March I tried to Purchase Darby O'Gill and the Little People on DVD, but it was sold out. I found it a month later and picked it up. I was looking at the DVD Case and noticed immediately that there was something wrong.

Still Don't See It? Try taking a look at it on the shelf.

King Brian is Definitely Up to His Tricks Again!