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Amparo Bertram

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08:54 pm: If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, what does all play and no work make me?
The cable company customer service was not able to fix my problem, which is that I cannot access the On Demand programming. A service person came out on Saturday morning, and he said the cable box has probably gone bad. He offered to replace it with a new one, but that would mean losing everything saved to my DVR hard drive...which is, like, a hundred hours of programs. (I try to get my money's worth out of my cable.) I decided to stick with my current box until I can view and delete all of the shows.

As he was leaving, a couple friends arrived for a visit. They helped organize everything in my kitchen cabinets, so I can find and access my commonly used items more easily. We played some games in the afternoon, and then I sent them home with several plants and seeds and garden catalogues.

On Sunday, mangaroo came over for a day of gaming. We started with the cooperative dungeon crawl game Mice and Mystics, which took quite a while to set up and get underway, mainly because the rules are so detailed. It would probably be much faster with familiarity, but we had to keep stopping to look things up. We ended up losing due to filling up the enemy cheese wheel too many times.

Our next game was the cooperative miniatures adventure Defenders of the Realm. It also took a while, though partly that was because we were eating during setup. We struggled through for quite a long time, defeating two out of the four generals, but we wound up losing due to gaining too many enemy minions on the capital city.

We finished up the evening with a quick two player card game, Morels.

Since I had a three-day weekend, I also had Monday free. I spent most of the day working my way through the programs on my DVR while crocheting a sweater/Halloween costume for Benny. (I'm using a shaggy dark blue yarn that is supposed to make him look like Cookie Monster.)

Comments

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:October 22nd, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, Mice and Mystics! I sort of want that game but I'm sort of afraid because I don't want to go down the miniature-painting path of craziness. Was it fun, though? (It's a good thing I wasn't there, I would have made us play again until we won.)
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:October 22nd, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
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I don't want to go down the miniature-painting path of craziness.

I now have two games with minis (M&Ms was my birthday prezzie! Thanks again, s_vamp), and it is extremely unlikely I will ever paint them/have them painted, even though I saw how much prettier the painted Shadows minis looked on TableTop. I think it's because the minis feel incidental to these games. (Of course, I've never played Warhammer40K, so maybe they feel incidental there, too. It's just that people make such a big deal of Warhammer minis.) Mind you, I should at least paint the bases of the mice minis, since I couldn't tell them apart at a glance and kept moving the wrong figure.

Ack. Sorry to edit AGAIN, but just in case this is the only comment I ever make on Mice & Mystics: I can totally see people wanting to paint the figures just to match the lovely atmosphere of the rest of the game pieces. The art on the room tiles is particularly evocative.

Was it fun, though?

I'm not sure playing 2-player is a fair test of Mice & Mystics' fun factor. You're playing a story with specific requirements, and in this case, we each had to play as two mice. What I found awkward is that, on top of playing as two heroes, you also have to play each of the "minions" (opponents). In the first chapter, there are a LOT of them on each tile, and each of them gets a chance to move and battle. I think the game might be more fun for most of the party if there were a designated opponent player, but I think that person would feel lonely playing the enemy in an openly cooperative game (compared to Shadows, where the traitor would have the fun of being a sneak). While it's too big for Japan, I do plan to bring Mice & Mystics if we get together next summer. And I will read the rulebook on the plane.

I had the most fun playing Defenders of the Realm. It is almost exactly like Pandemic in its gameplay, so it has the same quality I love in Pandemic where you think you see the path to victory and then you are crushed. Part of my enjoyment was that my hero had an awesome set of special abilities, so it's possible that if I had drawn a random hero like the Contingency Planner (hee), I might have enjoyed myself less. Morels was also tons of fun, but I'm almost always going to prefer cooperative to competitive games. (I like to win, but I don't like to beat my friends. I don't like to lose, and I am particularly sensitive to the attitude of the winner, which is why I won't game with strangers because I can't trust them not to be jerks.)

Dagnabit. Now I'm probably not going to bother to write up my own birthday games day post because I have nothing more to add. Thanks for a great early birthday, s_vamp. Two years of awesome birthdays in a row.

Edited at 2013-10-22 04:06 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:October 22nd, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
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I think that person would feel lonely playing the enemy in an openly cooperative game

Depends on who you play with, I guess; we've played Pandemic with Meredith as the bio-terrorist and she seemed to get a huge kick out of it.

you think you see the path to victory and then you are crushed

My favorite! (Why do I love this so much, I don't really understand, but I swear the worse the situation is in Pandemic, the more fun I have.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 24th, 2013 11:27 am (UTC)
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You're playing a story with specific requirements, and in this case, we each had to play as two mice. What I found awkward is that, on top of playing as two heroes, you also have to play each of the "minions" (opponents).

I didn't particularly mind playing the enemies. In essence it isn't too different from flipping a card and doing the bad things written on it, like flooding tiles in Forbidden Island. I just think it will be smoother once all the enemy placement/movement/attack rules are memorized.

I did think it was awkward trying to shoehorn the players into a specific, fixed story. I know it was a creative choice by the designer, but it led to moments like having a story segment with a quote from a character who wasn't in our party.

I agree that the game components really give it a great atmosphere. And I'm glad that we've tried a dungeon crawl, so that hopefully it will be easier to pick up the rules of Myth when it arrives in January.

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