Top 5 Gaming Memories
Not sure if this will be of much interest to anyone else but thought it might be nice to share some of my favourite memories of playing games from the last few years:
5) The time I was betrayed in the most glorious fashion in #No Honor Among Thieves. So this game is all about betrayal: you each have a small gang of criminals that you aquire throughout the game but in order to have a good chance of pulling off a mission you have to partner up with one or more other players. You agree beforehand how you will split the treasure (which is binding). During the mission you can play cards to improve your chances and players not involved can play cards to hinder you (another reason not to go it alone). If you do succeed however, you get the chance to betray each other to steal a greater portion of the treasure. Now, some of the cards/gang members have special powers that only trigger once the first 'betrayal' has happened and the game becomes a lot more brutal from then on in. As such it is usually not until maybe a thrid or so way into the game that anyone betrays someone else. Now imagine this: after a couple of rounds of eveyone just recruiting/ going on easy missions on their own to gather a crew and drawing cards on my turn I go on the first 'proper mission' of the game, taking one other player along with me, agreeing a roughly 50/50 split. The other players hassle us but we play some cards and succeed the mission. At this point we both have to play a card (which could be nothing or could be a betrayal) face down and reveal them. I play a card that gives me a bit of extra cash (from the bank) for a betrayal-free heist, thinking it is a pretty safe bet, but this guy, this sneaky sneaky guy (who admittedly is the leader of a criminal enterprise) plays a 'Magnificent betrayal' which not only allows him to steal the entire haul out from under me but having broken the 'seal' on betrayals then proceeds to activate an ability which allows him to send my best gang member (who i obviously sent on the mission) to jail. So there I am, penniless, with my best guy locked up. Now comes the most hilarious part, it's his turn next and he goes on a jail-break mission, 'rescues' my old gang member from prison and as such adds him to his own gang and cause I had spent all my cards ensuring we completed the previous mission there was nothing I could do to stop him. The whole table, myself included, were in fits of laughter at the sheer audacity of the scheme and how flawlessly I had been played. Needless to say a lesson was learned that day.
4) The time I sailed away from an exploding ship in an escape pod in #Nemesis. I love nemesis, I think it is a glorious thematic mess of mechanics that just seem to work. In the game everyone has a a secret objective to fufill, mine was to kill Player 2. Now, in Nemesis you can't just walk up and shoot your crewmates so this is quite a tricky thing to achieve, but there are ways to get creative but we'll get to that. The game had not been going to well for us, the ship was on fire, crawling with aliens and we were all pretty beat up, as such I decided that the best thing to do was hop on an escape pod and hope that something killed Player 2 for me. Me and Player 3 (not my target) made it to one of the escape pod rooms, there was only one pod but it can hold up to two people, so no problem. However, I realised on my turn that I had enough cards to fix the pod I didn't have enough to also enter it and while I had no reason to want harm to befall my compatriot I had no clue what his objective was: he could well just jump in the pod and eject without waiting for me, even if I didn't fix it, he had enough cards to fix it an abandon me; a dilemma for sure. However, I was playing the 'captain' character which has a very convenient card that allows you to command another player to move to an adjacent room (usually used to help your team out), I played it thinking on his turn he could come back into the room, fix the pod and then I'd get in and wait for him (cause I'm good like that). Now, what I hadn't predicted was that when he moved into that room he rolled the one face of the dice that triggered an alien to spawn there, which was promptly joined by another alien during their movement phase. He didn't have the cards to safely flee so promptly spent the turn trying to kill these aliens, to partial success. Back to my turn, I fixed the pod and hopped inside. Now, I could have waited to see if he survived the attack, but if an alien had followed him into the escape pod room, I would have had to fight it before I could launch. Being the upstanding and loyal captain that I am I promptly launched the pod immediately and benefitted from the extra leg room. A turn or two later the whole ship exploded quite spectacularly, killing everyone onboard as I floated off into space imagining the medal they would pin on me for bravery.
3) The time stubborness ended a game of #Archipelago in two turns. Archipelago is one of my favourite games of all time because so much of it is driven and decided by human interaction. It is a semi-cooperative game where you play the bad guys colonising a series of Islands, be too awful though and the native population will rise up and murder you. Each round there will be a collective 'crisis' for a certain resource which you as a group of players have to provide or the unrest will rise proportionally. Now, I was playing a game with just me and my partner, there is no crisis on round 1 so at the start of round 2 the first crisis of the game happens: it's for fish. Neither of us has fish, but we both have 'exploration tokens' which can be used as a wild resource. Now, the level of the crisis is proportional to the number of workers (which rises throughout the game) so we only needed one fish to solve the crisis, the unrest had crept up a little (and again, the level of unrest needed to lose is proportional to the number of worker), so if we didn't solve it we would immediately lose. We both new this but neither was willing to disadvantage ourselves this early on and demanded that the other one stump up the token. You contribute in turn order, my partner went first, and I told her that if she didn't solve it I wouldn't. She called my bluff and passed, at which point my stubborness would not allow me to back down so I also passed and we both died at the hands of the natives (which let's be honest is the morally best ending for this game).
2) The time my friend won a game of #Catan with nothing but sheep. I spent many hours playing Catan at University (mostly cause we were poor and only had two board games and a pack of cards between us) but will always remember this game fondly. The board was set up randomly and all the sheep tiles ended up close together with not especially high numbers on them, my friend (let's call him A) ended up with that as his starting location. He got a fairly lucky start and quickly surrounded those tiles (mostly to try and get at the other resources adjacent) as well as a 3:1 port. Now something extraordinary happened, the numbers (which I think were like a 5, a 3 and an 10) just kept coming up, time and time again. It was astonishing, I had been thinking I was sitting pretty on my hay-6 and wood-8, but no, all that was coming up were mountains of sheep, I think at one point he had like 12 sheep in his hand! Anyway, he proceeded to build everything with sheep: roads lined with wool, settlements and cities constructed out of nothing but sheep stacked on top of other sheep, even whole armies equipped with nothing but wooly jumpers. It was hilarious to us all, as we willed the dice to come up with any other number to no effect. I exaggerate a little of course, but it was really quite remarkable. Anyway, he won quite handily and rules over his sheepy kingdom to this day.
1) That time I convinced everyone to gang up on my friend over something quite trivial to avoid suspscion and betray them all in #Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. Now I have a friend (let's call her M) who loves to aquire things in games, given the opportunity even co-operative games she will happily go off hoarding items as opposed to contributing too much to the collective goal. This is a hilarious and well established trait which has led to us exasperatingly begging her to hand over an item or two to help her fellow players with varied success. Anyway, come to a game of Dead of Winter and I am the traitor, the game hasn't gone great with very minimal work needed on my part but we are coming up to the end and there is a chance they could still pull through. My biggest worry though is my personal objective is to have at least two more survivors on my team than any other player, I currently have that but M is thinking of getting another one. So I have to convince her not to while also not raising suspicion on my self as I need to not be banished in order to sabatage the final crisis to ensure there down fall. The team has a plan of how to successfully win which doesn't need any extra characters, so I start reminiscing on all the times M has hoarded things unecessarily and although there is no apparent downside to adding an extra character at this point there is also no advantage. I slowly turn the group against M, saying that we don't know what might happen, and why risk victory just to get an extra character. Everyone piles in and we manage to pressure M do not play the card. M however, was getting suspicious and tried to rasied these concerns, but by that point the mob wasn't listening and I was able to sabotage the mission and bring the whole thing crashing down on their heads, much to everyone's shock and amusement except M, who was absolutely fuming about all this and I'm not sure has ever truly forgiven me! (She has of course, as she is a great sport in games, but jokingly has not)
Anyway, hopefully they provided some entertainment and reminded you of some of your treasured gaming memories, I would love to hear them....