Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Some Games

Recently, I have been playing a good number of games and I thought I'd share them. I am always on the lookout for cool new games to add to the ever-growing stack, let me know if you have a good suggestion!

The Resistance: Avalon

If you've played a resistance game before, this one follows a similar set of rules, however it adds a new twist with the addition of some special characters from the lore of King Arthur. If you haven't played before, the game runs as a social game where a small number of traitors are working together to fail a majority of the five quests to retrieve the Holy Grail. The majority good players are trying to succeed a majority of the quests, however only the traitors know who each other are. The players take turns selecting a team to go on each quest, with the number of players increasing in successive quests, and then players voting to agree or disagree with that selection. The team that goes on a quest will secretly help the quest succeed or fail, with only one fail card causing the entire quest to fall apart. The special characters shake things up in that Merlin (good) knows the evil characters, the Assassin (evil) give evil a second chance for victory if he can successfully guess Merlin's identity, Morgana (evil) appears as Merlin, and Percival (good) gets to see who Merlin and Morgana are but does not know who is who. It is the job of the servants of Arthur to succeed in the quests and to discover who the Minions of Mordred are. Conversely, the Minions of Mordred should do their best to muddy the waters, sow confusion, and get sent on quests in order to secretly fail them.



The game usually lasts between twenty minutes and forty minutes, and the losing side almost always requests a rematch, leading to a very enjoyable series of matches. The game can have from 5 to 10 players, but is best in the middle of that range. If you are trying to fit in 10 people, pro-tip: you want a space where you can easily keep an eye on everyone else.

This is probably my favorite game and it is a pretty popular game to play with a wide range of group sizes. I have had many great moments where deception has won the day or where my risky tactics have back-fired catastrophically.The meta-game can get pretty fierce once you play often enough and patterns in people's behavior becomes apparent. Lying, bluffing, a good poker-face, and some political strategy are going to be your best friends in this game.

Firefly

Any fan of the tragically-cut-down-before-its-time TV series will have a great time with this game. Firefly puts up to four players in the seat of a captain of a Firefly class ship, where you are looking get a crew, get a job, and keep your ship in the air while always angling towards the main objective. Players compete with each other indirectly in vying for the best crew, equipment, and jobs. The game rules are a pretty long read but generally come down to flying around the 'verse, buying equipment, hiring crew, taking on jobs, misbehaving, evading the Alliance (Johnny Law), and avoiding the Reavers. Misfortune is constant, and many times you can be left on the brink of disaster. While the final objectives shift, they all center around being the first to complete a final, multi-part job or saving up the most cash and making a mad dash to retire with your money.


The events, missions, crew, captains, and even equipment make many references to the show, meaning avid fans will enjoy the Easter eggs, but knowledge of the show is not required for the game. Expect your first few plays of this game to go longer than the estimated 2-hours, or maybe that was just us being unintelligent. Once you get the hang of this game, each player's turn takes only a minute or two.

This game takes a little more time commitment than some other games so I don't get to play it as often as I would like. I really enjoy this game and the highs of pulling off a job by the skin of your teeth are well balanced by the lows when you might be looking at your last bit of cash, low fuel, and an unhappy crew. If you want a space spaghetti-western game about captaining your own spaceship of ne'er-do-well's, I couldn't recommend this game highly enough.

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