Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ghost Stories

A friend brought this along to the Thursday club a couple of weeks ago, a place where board games are always in vogue.  This one is a collaborative rather than competitive game, with the players working together to achieve victory against the game.

The objective of the game is to protect the village from a horde of ghosts and supernatural monsters, in the style of classic Chinese fiction and Hong Kong martial arts movies.  The catch is it is really hard!

We had four players, the normal maximum for the game, each represented by one of the coloured figures and each having different skills.  As each player takes a turn you draw a card for a new ghost appearing, play it to the appropriate coloured card and then move once and take an action.  Actions may be interacting with the square - each of the nine squares of the village allow a player to do different things - or attempting to dismiss the spirits ravaging the village.

Early in the game and the ghosts are closing in.

To dismiss a ghost you must gather enough materials or roll enough successes in an exorcism to destroy the spirit.  For example a green ghost with a rating of two would need two successes rolled on dice alone, with a one in three chance on each dice of getting a pass; however you can use green materials to guarantee successes and if things seem one sided the temple and shrines in the village can further add to your power.


If you are overloaded by spooks you lose 'Chi' or health, until of course you die.  But other players can revive you at the graveyard.  Dismiss enough ghosts and you can stem the tide until the final form of the lord of the undead appears.  Defeat this particularly savage spirit - who comes with his own rules which change conditions for the players too - and you win; the village is saved.

Alas we didn't get that far, and were defeated as he finally appeared.  With only two of our monks still alive, the dark spirits gathered around the village and put site after site out of commission until the village effectively was helpless.

Beaten by the game.

Ghost Stories is a game that demands close cooperation from the start, forward planning, and a good dose of luck.  In the end we took our eye off the ball for a second and were smacked down for it, realising that our defeat had become inevitable.

There are supplements that apparently make the game even harder.  I'm not sure why that would be needed, we played at the easiest setting and still got spanked.

It should be clear from the photo's that the components are top notch, production standards are excellent throughout.

Entertaining, and definitely different.

1 comment:

  1. I've got the iPad app and really enjoy it. But you're right, it is fricking impossible. I must have solo'd 30 games and failed every single one.