To Game, or Not To Game

| Saturday, April 10
First and foremost, I am not much of a video-gamer. I like to blame this on my parents. They wouldn't allow us to have any game system in our house growing up, so when I went off to college, and really had access to them via friends for the first time, I felt horribly incompetent. And something to know about me is I'm such an OCD perfectionist, that if I can't succeed in something fairly immediately, I usually won't do it at all. Hence not playing video games unless they're slow-paced and require no button-mashing. Also, I prefer games I don't have to co-op. Thus my love for my Wii and turn-based RPGs.

This is beside the point, though, as this post has nothing to do with video games. It's about games played while sitting face-to-face with your awesome group of nerdy friends. Some of our old friends from high school had started getting together once a week for "Family Game Night" and invited us to join them about two years ago. There is nothing family-friendly about this gathering. We usually drink a lot and create lewd versions of board games. One of my favorites was dirty Scattergories. And we play Adult Loaded Questions too much for our own good, even inventing our own loaded questions quite frequently.

Then there are the days when the geekiest core of the group (of which I am often the only female) to play what we've lovingly titled "nerd games."

Nerd Game #1: Battlestar Galactica - The Board Game
complete with Pegasus Expansion
This game pits friends against friends as the human fleet tries to jump all the way to Kobol while secret (or not so secret) cylons sabotage various resources. The game contains tons of various cards and tiny plastic ships that are surprisingly realistic. The Raiders are a bit sharp, though. I got stabbed by one in the bottom of my foot when I stepped on one once. Ouch! Some elements of the game are random, some are not. You can try to figure out how to collaborate with the other players you think are on your side. Cylons can "reveal" themselves at any time (and no this is not the dirty revealing of oneself).

We did learn after playing a few times, however, it seems unfairly biased to the cylons even though they're the minority of players, so we've found rule mods at BoardGameGeek and created a few house rules. It's a great way to waste about four hours on a weekend with great friends!

Nerd Game #2: Paranoia 
All hail Friend Computer
This is a dystopian sci-fi tabletop RPG game where everyone plays a Troubleshooter who lives in Alpha Complex. This is an enclosed city controlled by Friend Computer and where treason is punishable by death. It's okay, though, because you have clones. Commit treason, die, and come back as #2 or 3 or 4... EVERYTHING can somehow be interpreted as treason. Hygiene issues, belonging to a secret society (everyone does), having a mutant power (everyone does), or Communism. They'll all get you killed.

As you can see, this is a really tongue-in-cheek and uproariously fun RPG to play. Our friend who has GM'ed all of our games so far has done an incredible job, and I'm reading the book right now to try my hand at setting one up in the near future. It does take quiet a bit of prep to run a campaign, but it's so much fun!

Nerd Game #3: Serenity RPG
Be Big Damn Heroes
This one is a work in progress. I got the book for it about a month ago but haven't really had time to do much with it. I'm super excited about trying it out, though, when I get around to it. Basically, you crew a ship in the 'Verse and run various missions some legit and some not so Alliance-friendly.

Sounds an awful lot like an episode of Firefly, but come on, who hasn't dreamed of flyin' around with Captain Reynolds on more than one occasion? It even comes with character sheets pre-made if you wanted to run a mission or two as the Firefly gang.


So yeah, I like playing games. It's a great way to spend an afternoon/evening/late night with friends. It's geeky and friendly at the same time.


Lariats and Lavender said...

I agree! When Jen and I worked our first seasonal job, we became friends with one of the geekiest people there. Him and his girlfriend played all sorts of board games and often invited us over.

Quite a few times, we'd come by after work (around 8 PM) and we'd stay until like 3 - 4 AM!!! Sometimes he'd have other geeky friends over, sometimes just us.

We'd normally play Axis & Allies!

Sadly, we haven't seen them for a very long time as they moved once the seasonal job ended.

Kara said...

I loved playing Axis & Allies, but it's got a lot of connections to a horrible ex, so I've not quite gotten past that...

Eleni said...

Those sound like fun. The BSG one reminds me a bit of Mafia just in that there are players that are secretly working against you. The Paranoia one I've never heard of, but it sounds pretty original and very funny. Hope you work out the Firefly RPG.

The only board games I've played in the recent past are things like Scrabble. My brother, though, plays a geeky board game with his friends called Descent; I guess it's a fantasy adventure game. I didn't really know games like that existed. I guess I'm pretty well entrenched in the computer game world.

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous! I LOVE board games but our friends don't really like them... Balderdash is my fav. :)

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