Friday Nights @Hobbymania:March 25

28 03 2011

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Another Friday of fun at Hobbymania! Played three games and they were all worth it.

I started off the night with my first game of Twilight Struggle. It’s currently the highest ranking boardgame on Boardgamegeek and it deserves it. A two-player game, it’s the sort of board game I rarely play – mostly because if I have a big board with fancy counters, I’d rather have more than two playing.

However, Twilight Struggle, at its heart, is a tango. And you can’t dance a tango with more than two. Simulating over 45 years of the Cold War in a single evening is a challenge – but the games does it well. The game’s engine is simple: one after the other, players play cards for either their events or operation points to buy influence in countries, realign countries or start coups. There are occasional scoring cards as the world is pulled into the tug-of-war between two superpowers. The US wins if the Soviets don’t win by the end of the game – and the Soviets are damn strong. Also, the threat of nuclear extinction is on the horizon – anyone who starts the nukes flying, loses.

Starting out at the end of World War II, I was playing Soviets and Adrian played the US. Early war is pretty decisive – as could be seen by my total domination of Europe and the Middle East. Caught up in Asia and started to mess with South America. I was also ahead on the Space Race track. And that was by the 50s

But the specter of nuclear destruction was on the horizon. With me at eleven points in the lead, this meant Adrian was negative eleven points in the red. So he did the sane thing – started a nuclear war using a card I played.  A ruling meant that I was therefore at fault thus I lost. Damn you, nuclear war!

Next up for the night was Vlada Chvatil’s Dungeon Lords. It’s essentially Dungeon Keeper the board game. Four players play evil overlords hoping to earn the most victory points to be the premier Lord of Evil. You do this by building the best dungeons and killing those pesky adventurers in a span of two years. One of the key strategies is to keep a low profile and hope the more powerful do-gooders don’t notice you and pay a visit to your dungeon to trash your shit.

Of course, because of ill-timed events, I managed to become known as the most evil bastard in the kingdom. So the all the paladins, fighters, rogues and clerics decided to pay me a visit. I managed to kill them all, of course, but that left me in a pretty bad state in the end. Mark managed to win via building a big dungeon and not having his shit wrecked.

We decided to end the night with a rousing game of The Adventurers. AEG’s gateway boardgame is a fun little dicechucker where you play archeologists/plunderers of the Aztec Tomb of Chac. Filled with deadly trap and many treasures, the person who comes out with the most treasure wins.

As you can see, the Boulder beat our ass soundly as it suddenly built up speed while we were climbing out of the waterfall. So, the tomb wins! A fun end to a fun night.

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