Game Day in Retrospect

This past Saturday, I had a fantastic day.  I ended up having two of my three Saturday classes canceled, so I got to spend my entire day at a Game Day.  This event was held at my Friendly Local Game Store (aka Paradox) and put on with the help of the store, NDSU’s Gamers Guild, and MSUM’s Gamers Club.  Unfortunately, I managed to leave my camera at home, so you’ll have to deal with my play by play here.

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My day started when I got to the store and saw some of my friends playing a board game.  I went and sat down next to them as they played when some of the NDSU gamers announced they had one spot left open for a game of Pandemic.  I jumped up (which is VERY uncharactaristic of me) and offered to take the seat.

The gamers were pretty nice, though a little uptight.  They taught me how to play Pandemic.  Now, Pandemic is an interesting game in that it is cooperative in nature.  Meaning, you and the other people playing are trying to work together to beat the game.  In the game, deadly diseases are spreading across the world, and it’s your job to stop the spread of infections, cure the diseases, and save the earth.  There are five different positions to take up, the Researcher, the Scientist, the Medic, the Dispatcher, and the Operations Expert.  The diseases are marked by four colors – red, yellow, blue, and black.  It’s meant for two to four players, though we played with five the first time.  There is an expansion available that fits the fifth player in more easily.

Pandemic is a very difficult game.  From what I’ve heard in listening to one of my podcasts (revealed in an upcoming post) and the gamers there, the game wins 90% of the time.  It’s very difficult to get things finished.  My first game was lost pretty horribly.  We couldn’t seem to work together very well.  During the first game, I was playing as the Researcher, a role I guess I’m not very suited for.  I tried my best to do what the job entailed, but it was quite difficult.  The second game, however, went much better.  I played the Medic, and that seemed to be a job much more suited for me.  I ran around the game board blowing up infections like no man’s business while my fellow players worked on finding the cures.  And the second game?  We won.

The extreme rarity of winning in Pandemic was proven when the player who knew the most about the game stood up after we won and shouted to the entire room “WE JUST WON PANDEMIC!  SIX MONTHS AND WE FINALLY DID IT!”

I was a pretty proud gamer.

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After my exploits in Pandemic, most of the other people in the room were already involved in a game.  So I sat back down next to a group of the gamers from MSUM’s club that I’m friends with as they played the Battlestar Galactica board game.  In the meantime, I discovered just how many people are playing Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.  Stacy (one of my best girlfriend) and I hooked up our Pokewalkers to get our awesome items, and then suddenly, there were at least ten more people producing Pokewalkers from their pockets, bags, and belts.  I connected mine to all of theirs and got quite a few items out of the deal (mostly Dire Hits, which was disappointing.)  After that, I set about shaking my Pokewalker to try and catch an Elekid.

15,000 steps later, I finally got him.  ^.^

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Then I got together with the MSUM club’s adviser, Phil, and another girl gamer to play Burn in Hell.  This is a Steve Jackson card game suggested for 2 – 5 players.  In this game, there is a MASSIVE stack of cards with names on them.  These names range from Elvis to Atilla the Hun.  Each card has a number on it (which is it’s point value) and a list of sins on the side.  These sins correlate to the seven deadly sins.  Your job is to create “rings” of four or more cards that synch up with the specific sin, the descriptor on the bottom of the card (author, politician, etc), or create a ring of the seven deadly sins.  When you create a ring, you get points!  But every turn, someone gets thrown into the Pit, and when someone enters the pit, Hell’s temperature decreases by the number of points on the card.  When Hell goes from 100 degrees to 0 degrees, Hell had frozen over, and the game is completed.

I was amazing at this game.  My first turn, I created a ring of 8 cards and didn’t let up on my play until Hell had frozen over.  It was a lot of fun, and I’d most definitely purchase this game.  There’s a ton of replay value, and each card has a bio on the back that says why they’ve been included in the game.  And considering there are 168 unique cards, that’s a lot of people on their way to the Pit!!

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After finishing up with Burn in Hell, the three of us who had played were joined by a fourth gamer from NDSU.  We talked about what we wanted to play for some time before getting off track and discussing how hungry we were.  So once we had decided to get pizza (though we ended up getting Subway >.>), Phil introduced the lot of us to Illuminati.

Illuminati is a Steve Jackson game from the 1980s.  Despite it’s apparent age, it’s a really fun game.  For those familiar with Paranoia, it has a similar feel to that.  Each player has a single organization to start with a specific set of “end game” goals.  The first player to achieve their end-game goals wins.  Every turn, you get some money and you use your organization to attempt to overtake other organizations.  For instance, in our game, my starting organization were The UFOs.  And the UFOs overtook Girlie Magazines and a Parent Teacher Agglomeration.  Phil was playing a different organization who managed to overtake the IRS, which was the bane of everyone else’s existence.

However, we didn’t get to complete this game.  By this point in time, my Star Wars Saga Edition game was supposed to be starting, and I couldn’t get through Illuminati.  I felt really bad about having to quit, but I would really like to play it again.

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After a quick trip down to a local Subway, my usual Saturday game of Saga Edition took up camp in a small side room where we played out another session.  It was a shorter session in which we introduced a new player and thus character and had a small encounter.  And when I say small, I also mean deadly.  My Chiss decided to ruin her own plans after managing to talk down one of the big guys, and then tried a Mind Shard.  Apparently,  57 points of damage wasn’t enough to take him down, and he retaliated by almost killing Moenke.

It was a fun session, and we hit level six, but I am getting a little sick of my characters almost dying…

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Having almost died in game, I decided to opt for something a little less intense.  So I played Munchkin for the first time.  It was honestly a lot of fun.  There were four of us playing — myself, Phil, Stacy, and another NDSU player.

Munchkin is a relatively new game by Steve Jackson (I’m seeing a pattern here. >.>) that is played with 2-6 players, though is recommended to be played with 4.  It’s almost like a Dungeons and Dragons mockery with cards.  It’s very silly and a lot of fun.  Your job is to defeat Monsters that come up and try to reach lvl 10 before the rest of the players while managing to make the journey much harder for the others.

Stacy and I ended up sort of ganging up on Phil.  It was pretty hilarious as he wasn’t able to get past lvl 1.  After his overtaking the IRS and making me pay up all sorts of money in Illuminati, I’m glad I had a chance to get some revenge.  By the time the game was over, Stacy and I were miles and miles ahead of the other two, but I managed to come out on top.

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Lastly, after most of the others had left, I got to learn how to play Carcassonne.  This game was done by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede in 2000 and is talked about a lot on the podcast I listen to.  It’s a tile placing game in which you’re attempting to place your people (called Meeples) on the tiles you lay in the most strategic manner.  It’s a little complicated at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Even though I lost. ;-;  I came in dead last.

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All in all, this was a fantastic day and I’m really glad I got to experience all of this wonderful games.  I hope to be able to have a little more time to game in the future now that my appetite has been tickled again.

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2 thoughts on “Game Day in Retrospect

  1. My brother, dad, and I play Munchkin all the time! Were you playing the original or one of the expansion sets? If it was the original, how hard did you laugh at the “Humongous” card art? I used to also play Carcassone a lot, but my dad got way too good at it and it lost its fun. My dad told me about Pandemic and how incredibly hard it is. I didn’t believe him until you posted this. Also, have you ever played the game Settlers of Catan?

    • So many questions! But since you’re probably one of my most active readers (I get more comments from you than my fiancee! :P), here goes.

      We played the Original Munchkin because it was my first time and someone else’s first time as well. At home now, we have The Good, The Bad, and the Munchkin, as well as the original. So I’ll get to start experiencing more of the expansions! I loved the artwork.

      I have not played Settlers of Catan yet. But I plan on it! See, I’ve only been a “serious gamer” for about two years now, so I’ve got lots to catch up on!

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