Game Night

  • Here are a few game-related tidbits from the past week or so:

    1. The recording of our Arkham Horror game is available at The House of the Harping Monkey. The recording is about two and half hours long and went out on the Side Dish feed earlier this week. If you’re not subscribed to the feed, here’s a direct link to the Arkham Horror play session from 30 January 2007.
    2. Speaking of Arkham Horror, I now have my own instance of the game.I use “instance” because I agree that “copy” is probably not the right word but can’t bring myself to use “set”. Chris Miller traveled far and wide on Saturday in search of the game, finally locating two instances at I’m Game, the excellent gaming store at Great Northern Mall.
    3. Miscellaneous G™ and I don’t normally do Game Night two weeks in a row, but we had to reschedule due to some work conflicts. We fired up the Xbox and played Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It had come to my intention that we inadvertently skipped a portion of the game in our earlier play, so we started over from the beginning with Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine coming to the aid of a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier under attack by Doctor Doom’sClive Revill, who provided the original voice for Emperor Palpatine in The Empire Strikes Back voices Dr. Doom, which is pretty cool. You know, if you’re me. new criminal conglomerate, the Masters of Evil. My preferred hero is Captain America, but I also like playing Earth’s Sorceror Supreme, Dr. StrangeSorceror Supreme toppings include mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ham, black olives, onion and green pepper., who kicks a supernatural amount of ass.
    4. Last but not least, an update on Kyle Katarn’s progress in Jedi Outcast. I’ve been trying to complete one mission each evening over the past few days, and have been pretty successful. Kyle was able to run the gauntlet of snipers and other unpleasant aliens on the streets of Nar Shaddaa then infiltrated the garbage disposal facility, where he found none other than Lando Calrissian locked up in a holding cell (admittedly not part of the normal garbage disposal facility floorplan). Kyle and Lando escaped to a nearby starpad where Lando’s ship, the Lady Luck was docked. After opening the hangar’s overhead doors, refueling the ship and defeating the mob boss, the two men jumped to the planet Bespin and Cloud City, which had been seized by Remnant forces. There, Kyle encountered the Reborn, twisted force users created at the Valley of the Jedi by Desann. Kyle also battled dominatrix-cum-swashbuckler, Tavion, and after defeating her learned that Jan Ors is not actually dead. Next up for Kyle: Finding Jan Ors and Desann.
  • Game Night: 30 January 2007


    Arkham HorrorDue to some wintery weather and other extenuating circumstances, Game Night did not get underway until about 9:00 this week. Once again, the game was Arkham Horror, but this time out the Unquiet Desperado himself, Chris Miller, joined in the festivities.In as much as clinging to your last shred of sanity while battling a seemingly endless onslaught of savage creatures from Other Worlds can be called “festive”.

    Once setup was complete (which took about twenty minutes), Miscellaneous G™ was playing Amanda Sharpe, the student, Chris was playing Monterey Jack, the archaelogist, and I was playing Vincent Lee, the doctor. We three investigators were all that stood between the small town of Arkham, Massachusetts and the Great Old One, Ithaqua.

    It took us a little while to get into the flow of the game, and there were several points where I had to search through the 22-page rules booklet for clarification on how we were supposed to handle certain situationsUnfortunately, the rules aren’t exactly consistent on the movement of flying monsters. Reading the official FAQ from Fantasy Flight Games last night, I found that the sidebar detailing this aspect of the game omits an important aspect. Had I been handling this properly, there would undoubtedly have been several more encounters with flying monsters., but the game did go much quicker than it would have if none of us had played before.

    Arkham Horror isn’t a game for the faint of heart. In addition to the aforementioned 22-page rule booklet, the twenty-one different types of cards, the myriad array of tokens to keep track of and the various modifiers that come in and out of play throughout the game, there is the realization that the investigators’ situation grows more and more hopeless with each turn. While they rush around Arkham scrabbling to gather the necessary elements to successfully close and seal gates to Other Worlds, the investigators must deal with monsters of every shape and size, ever aware that new gates are opening, the townspeople are growing more terrified, more monsters are appearing, and an ancient and powerful evil is ever closer to stirring from its slumber. On more than one occasion the question of whether it was even possible to triumph in the face such seeming insurmountable obstacles was voiced.

    It is, but the task is daunting. Amanda Sharpe and Monterey Jack both successfully investigated Other Worlds and closed their gates; unfortunately, the cost of doing so was high, and left the investigators unable to seal the gates and prevent new ones from opening. All three investigators—through the casting of spells, discharging of firearms, invoking of arcane artifacts and sheer dumb luck—defeated cultists and other monsters, collecting grisly trophies to mark their victories.

    Alas, we were racing against the clock, as Chris had to get up at some silly hour the following morning, so we decided to wrap up at around 11:30. Two gates had been closed, the Terror level was at 2 (shops start closing when it reaches 3), the Doom track was four or five, and there were several monsters in the Outskirts.

    Chris recorded the entire game on his MacBook. The recording may go up on the Rolemonkeys feed from The House of the Harping Monkey later this week. This feed is dedicated to actual play recordings of roleplaying games, but we thought a game of Arkham Horror might be of interest to the Harping Monkey audience. Only time will tell whether we were correct. I think I’d like to try recording another game, perhaps with a bit of actual roleplaying and a couple of pictures to make it interesting.

  • Game Night: 16 January 2007


    Miscellaneous G™ came over to the International House of Johnson last night, putting an end to the Game Night Winter Holiday Hiatus. Here’s how it went down:


    Miscellaneous G™ was in the right place at the right time last week and managed to score the much-coveted Nintendo console. We took a swing (literally, in most cases) at all of the Wii Sports games: baseball, boxing, bowling, golf and tennis. I give bowling and tennis high marks, but they were all fun. We also played some of the mini-games in Rayman Raving Rabbids. I enjoyed shooting rabbits with my plunger-gun, but I think I may have hurt myself while spraying carrot juice into their SCUBA masks — and then there was the moral ambiguity of the cow-hammer toss. Moo.

    Arkham Horror

    I’ve wanted to play this Lovecraftian horror board game ever since I heard Mur Lafferty mention it on Geek Fu Action Grip. I’ve known there was a copy of the game sitting at Comics Heaven in Willoughby for at least six months, but I’ve never been willing to plunk down fifty bucks of my hardly earned cash to make it mine. Once again, Miscellaneous G™ came to the rescue; he plucked the game from the very shelf where I’d seen it on numerous occasions and completed the requisite financial transaction like a true capitalist.

    For a board game, the rules of Arkham Horror are pretty hefty, and there are many, many different types of cards and tokens. After a few rounds, we started to get the hang of it. Unfortunately, it was right around that time that the one o’clock hour drew nigh, and we decided to bring the evening’s activities to a close. The Ancient One had not yet awakened from its slumber (though the Young One did), but there were monsters roaming the streets of Arkham and several gates to Other Worlds had been opened (and one closed). I look forward to playing this game from start to finish in the (hopefully) near future.

    Between the Wii and Arkham Horror, we didn’t have time to bust out Marvel Ultimate Alliance or Burnout: Revenge on the Xbox, and we were one person short for a game of Apples to Apples, but there will be other Game Nights for all of those things.