Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Rucht Hour: ManCabin Round Up pt. 2

Continuing the game count at ManCabin....

Last Night on Earth 

After our rousing game of Epic Spell Battles, we got together a game of Last Night on Earth. Now, Last Night is probably one of my favorite games of all time. If you don't already know what this game is  - it's a cinematic zombie survival game. One or more players plays the zombies, while one or more people play the heroes. Mik has his own review of the game here.

What makes Last Night on Earth so distinctive is its bent towards the cinematic. Zombie players can play cards that make the lights go out in a building, zombies appear out of nowhere, or characters to make stupid decisions like splitting up. Heroes can gather weapons like chainsaws, dynamite, and even fence posts. The zombies start out as slow, but far tougher than the human heroes. As heroes gather more weapons and other playing cards, they become more powerful. However, each scenario has a turn limit, so human better hope they peak early enough to make a difference!

The mechanics for this game are excellent. They are very easy to learn. The game is quick to play as well. You can play a game in two to three hours. Because of these two attributes, it's an excellent gateway game for people just getting into boardgames, or a game that you can play with non-geeks.

Lords of Waterdeep

In a complete surprise, Lords of Waterdeep was the MVP game of the cabin. We played multiple games of Lords of Waterdeep. What made this game so appealing for many of us was that it was a lighter version of Agricola - which, if you've played it - sort of needs a lighter version.

Like Last Night, the rules of the Lords of Waterdeep were quick to learn and each game was quick to play. Again, hitting that two to three hour sweet spot. In this game, you play a Lord of Waterdeep, a character from the Forgotten Realms literature or game material. For example, I got to play as Mirt the Moneylender. As someone who played in the Forgotten Realms back in the day, it was pretty delightful to be able to be ol' Mirt.

Each Lord of Waterdeep attempts to gain the most influence points. You gain influence points by completing quests. You complete quests by sending adventurers on these quests. Thus, it's a resource gathering game, where the resources are thieves, wizards, priests, or fighters. For example, your quest might be to deal with one of the local thieves guilds, and you can only do that if you have 4 thieves, 3 fighters, 1 wizard and 1 priest.
You can see here - the cubes are resources, while the meeples are agents.

To gather these resources, you have to send agents out into the city. This plays like Agricola in that you have to place down a counter, which represents your agent, to an area on the board which gains you specific resources. Place an agent on a certain place on the board, and you might deny your opponent that spot. You might also play an intrigue card to steal resources from another player. While there are a few ways to put the screws to your opponent, the game mainly rewards players who can form a plan of action and gather the most resources. Mainly, you're playing against the board and the game.

The game was so popular with our group because it was quick to learn, fast to play, and a great social game. There are games that are so intense that you don't really talk to your friends while you play. This wasn't one of those games. Plenty of drinking and joking went on at the table.

Catacombs

Well, I can't rave about this game enough. I almost didn't get to play it, too. On Sunday, I was milling about, having coffee, and Mik kept pushing me to play Catacombs. "You've been talking about his game for six months! Come on! Go play it!" I had played it two years ago at a past ManCabin. So, I cracked open the box. In about fifteen minutes, I had read and understood the rules. Then, I gathered some people and played. If you want to read more detailed, pictured, and complete review of the game, find Mik's version here.
Each room has barriers which make it harder to just sail across the board and smash an opponent. 

The game is a dexterity game. One person is the dungeon keeper who plays all of the monsters in a dungeon, while the rest of the players are an adventuring party, who are making their way through a dungeon. Each time the players conquer a room, a card is flipped, revealing another room. If the players survive, they eventually reach a final room with a boss monster, controlled by the keeper.

So, here's where the dexterity aspect comes into play. You don't move pieces around a board, you flick them, the same way you would a paper football. If a piece is flicked off of the board, you place it back on the board where it left it. The adventurers and monsters fight each other by bumping each other. Bump your fighter pog into an orc pog, and you inflict a point of damage. Some monsters take a single hit to kill, others require two.


Where the game gets nuanced is all of the different abilities each monster or adventurer has. The archer, for example, can flick smaller, wooden pieces at opponents to hurt them, while staying in the back. The wizard can summon a skeleton pog to flick at opponents, or place a shield counter on the board which blocks opponents. The barbarian can rage for multiple flicks (multi-attack, essentially). And the thief gets extra movement.

Again, very quick to learn and very quick to play. I bought a copy of this game because it seems to have high replay value and it's so easy to pick up. I recently played this with my home group and had one of the other players be the keeper. Yep, it's easy enough that you can give a newbie the keeper job.

Anyhow, all for now.

3 comments:

  1. Still haven't played LNOE, we meant to but got Game of Thrones instead!

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  2. The important question is...

    Does Lords of Waterdeep include Eliath Craulnober in any way, shape or form? He basically runs the place anyway.

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  3. Have to check out Last Night on Earth, certainly looks interesting.

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