Yesterday I hosted Dungeons and Deagons 2, the sequel to Dungeons and Deagons which was held in May last year. It is nothing to do with the game D&D, it's just called that because I live in a suburb called Deagon, and as that's a long way from most of the people I game with, the location is a large factor in the success of events held at my house. All of the attendees this year live on the north side, and in May last year I didn't know any of them, which partly explains why it has been so long between events.
As it's such a long way to my place (as much as a 45 minute drive from some places, oh my!) the Dungeons and Deagons events have been designed to last longer than a normal gaming event, and so have to be held on the weekend, starting after lunch and going into the night. Last year we played Talisman, Wizard Kings and Plunder, and my hope for this year was to play some longer games again. Matters were complicated though by the number of attendees. Last year we had 5 (which was still difficult except for Talisman) and this year we had 7. Boy oh boy, that's a hard number. There are some 7 player games, but as they're often party-type games, I wasn't very interested in playing those. Cyberkev and I wanted to play Primordial Soup, but that takes 4 and to put the two most prolific game teachers in a 2 hour game leaving the other 3 to their own devices didn't seem fair. Particularly when one of them was the kid who tests the patience of even his patient and caring dad.
While we were still 6, we played Bluff and Elfenland. Then when the 7th arrived, there was a long debate where we were trying to sort out how to play Flying Carpet and Hare and Tortoise at the same time when they both needed to be taught by the same person who also wanted to play both. In the end we gave up on that plan and got out the second copy of Flying Carpet and Wayne explained the rules to both sets of players at the same time. I had played before, but as the rules are vague and I didn't have an English copy to refer to, I didn't think I could teach it. It was quite funny how the games turned out. The other game had 3 players and few buildings and they seemed to play nice. Our game had 4 players and lots of buildings (too many, I admit) and we were at each other's throats for the whole game. I managed to avoid most of the conflict by coming dead last, but it was brutal at the front. The rules are definitely inadequate. I haven't seen an official rule for what to do if you can't do anything, which does happen if the game is crowded. I would usually only play this with kids who will believe any rule I tell them, because trying to play by the official rules doesn't work.
After Flying Carpet, we were stuck again on what to play. As we'd at least solved the Flying Carpet problem, we negotiated to run simultaneous games of Hare and Tortoise and Bazaar. Hare and Tortoise is a very interesting game - it looks like a dicefest but there's not a dice in sight. I was thinking of getting this to play with niece and nephew, but even the kid had trouble figuring out what to do in a timely fashion, so I don't think 5yo nephew would cope at all. The kid was last throughout the game, and jugged the hare at every opportunity, and managed to get all three lettuce eaten by rolling the right numbers. I mostly went for the positional numbers and did fairly well out of those. I also benefitted from getting to tortoises and lettuces first and disturbing the plans of the other guys. I actually managed to win, with the kid dead last and the other guys a little behind me. I'd like to play again, but the fairy-tale tone of the illustrations just doesn't match the game.
After dinner we played Nuclear War at my request, as I'd seen other people having a lot of fun playing it. Yes, it was fun, but regular readers of the blog will know I don't go for fun games so much. Also, there's something disturbing about the theme of the game. Maybe if I wasn't so concerned about the idiots in charge of the U.S.A., Australia and Israel (hey, just who is in charge there now anyway?) I wouldn't mind so much. Maybe we could play a nice game about detaining prisoners of war in violation of the Geneva Convention instead?
As Cyberkev had been eliminated early in Nuclear War, he had been studying the rules to Oriente. It's technically my game, but he'd played before and I wasn't confident I understood well enough to teach it. In retrospect, the one bit I didn't know was that the lord you have persists across seasons, I was thinking they must be discarded or something. But after a comprehensive rules explanation, which was entirely necessary, we got started. We discussed what we were doing A LOT - the game sort of requires it, I suppose, with alliances between players shifting all the time, and samurai having nothing better to do than attack people - so it went pretty slowly, but it was interesting. It's definitely the sort of game I'd like to play regularly. Wayne managed to win. He was the shogun when the game ended, but that wasn't why he won as he'd had good points from being an akindo earlier. Of course the game ended just at the wrong time, when we all had plans to make a big move. Except me, of course, a harmless nofu wouldn't cause any trouble. I was just sitting quietly with my friends in the square...
It was now pretty late, and Cyberkev and Mrs Cyberkev went home, but the rest of us pulled out Cloud 9 and played two games of that. For a game with dice and cards, it's surprisingly not random by the time you get to the end. There were some spectacular crashes, often with me driving, but we did manage to make it to cloud 9 at one stage. It's not a bad game, though not one that I particularly aspire to play.
After that, it was bed time. Today is housework day, and the dog wants to go for a swim. Of course, while I was writing this the kid wandered in and asked what we were going to play...