Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beer and Pretzels and Tokyo...

Ending up at the club without a game, I let myself be roped in to a couple of board games; always an easy option on a Thursday night.

We began with simplicity itself:

No Thanks is a gambling game essentially.  Kind of like a draft version of blackjack.  Players have a stash of coin with which to pass on cards as they are played, each card being scored from 1 to 36. If you don't want to pass you can take the card, and any coins on it, these then become part of your stash of coin and the card part of your score.

Have a sequence of cards and you only score for the lowest one, but break the chain and you score each set or individual card separately.  At the end the lowest score of cards, less coins still in your hand wins.

It's a simple game, made more complex by the fact that you only play with part of the 36 card deck each round.  It would be so easy to bet on this game...

After that we jumped in to King Tokyo, a fiendishly simple dice game of monster rampaging.  Each player takes control of a monster looking to be the first to accumulate 20 destruction points in Tokyo, either by damaging the city itself or by taking on the other players, whilst surviving.  Each beast begins without special powers and ten life points, but both of these can be augmented as the game progresses.

All of which is managed by the use of 6 special dice.  To be fair they are just D6 with special symbols on the higher three sides, but the mechanic is simple and ingenious.  For example, roll an energy symbol and you get an energy cube, accumulate enough and you can use them to buy one of three upgrade cards available at any time - allowing you to develop extra powers such as firebreath, x-ray vision, flight or a radioactive bite.

Quick and lightweight, it's a game with attractive production standards, but only enough depth to sustain it as a casual experience.  If you like dice-rolling it'll keep you going for a while.

Red Dragon Inn was up next and is another light hearted game.  Centred around the favoured activities of role-playing game archetypes when not down the dungeons, i.e drinking and gambling, Red Dragon Inn is a card based game of winner takes all survival.

Each turn your character can play an action card, buy another player a drink, and have a drink yourself.  Actions may include starting a round of gambling, forcing other players to drink more, give away money or other actions.  As you gamble your funds may go up or down, as you drink your sobriety inevitably goes down; if your sobriety and health trackers meet, well you are officially under the table and not only out the game, but thanks to your friends, penniless too!

Apparently this is a game well suited to real drinking, I just can't imagine why!  As it was without alcohol it was still an entertaining diversion.  Not the cheapest of games for what it is, but certainly a bit of fun, maybe ideal for a less conventional Christmas after-dinner activity.  Doubtless a great one for D&D and Warcraft players, especially if they wish real pubs and bars were more like this.

1 comment:

  1. We always play games on Christmas Day (rather than watch crap on TV) and we're always on the lookout for some new games. These will be a blast!