A call last week from Donald broke incommunicado, so he and Andy were round for boardgames on Sunday. A recent thread on the Classic AT board at Fortress Ameritrash (F:AT) had reminded the me classic oldie from my collection I most wanted to play after the past few month's hankering for more tactical and wargames-oriented multiplayer gaming. That game was Gunslinger.
Donald turned up well first, so Andy arrived to witness me finishing Donald off in our first game. I'd got the first hit, typically enough in Gunslinger as in its prototype. Donald therefore spent the game reeling in shock while I finished him off, which had a certain charm of its own thanks to the delights of the system. All that can be said is that I wasn't the utter cold-hearted killer, letting Donald's character pass out from his wounds instead of sending him to Boot Hill when I had him dead to rights.
Andy agreed to join in for another game, and, funnily enough although by pure chance, he and Donald ended up on the same side against me. Against 2 opponents, I figured my best bet was to go in as close as possible against 1- Andy; thus being as far as possible away from the other- Donald; this left me 2 hexes (each hex is a pace, or approx. 1 yard in Gunslinger it seems) from Andy, who'd been chosen for his role because his character had the lowest 1-handed shooting skill, which improved my survival chances against him.
All of which only served to prove the difference between probability and eventually, statistics and luck, when Andy's character nicked mine just as I ran behind him. Looking back, I suspect that the turn sequence management might've broken down a bit there. It wouldn't've changed the result, which saw Andy and Donald's characters finish me off in best clinical spaghetti western fashion. I just think that I might conceivably've been in a different hex is all!
In any event I was pleased to get this old favourite out on the table again. Andy and Donald's reaction was more guarded. Insofaras as application of the actual rules went, I was left with the impression that it was the strict attention to the peculiarities of the turn sequence that both players found most testing. Otherwise, I thought that both players found the mechanics quite intuitive, really startlingly quite intuitive when I look back on it, considering that I actually explained almost nothing to begin with.
Settlers of Catan
My past few month's hankering for more tactical and wargames-oriented multiplayer gaming notwithstanding, after Gunslinger we just had time for a quick game of guess what? Settlers.
Precisely the game from which, for quite some time now, I have been wanting to escape in favour of more martial pastures new in my mulitplayer gaming. 'Combat Settlers' is the multiplayer game I've been looking for for years now, and even as I still look for it (Nexus Ops is the closest I've seen yet), I can't help but enjoy coming back to the qualities of the original.
The main distinguishing feature of our game was there being just 1 grain region on the board. Our setup meant that we each got a corner of it. That single grain region then proceeded to come up for at least 5 of the first dozen or more turns, and then more again later!
We entered the midgame with Andy just behind. I was happy to be generating a lot of lumber and/or ore to trade through my 3:1 port. Donald however was doing much better, with more numbers and cities to generate even bigger hauls of resources. Andy was suffering at this point, having to watch a long, long series of 6's net him just 1 resource instead of the 3 his building should've entitled him to (the robber's responsibility, naturally enough).
And so we entered the endgame with Donald in front and Andy even further behind. And we barely had time to realise we were in the endgame before a series of resource rolls had come round leaving Donald with a huge hand of cards in his turn, with which he, if I recall correctly; promptly built a settlement then a city in one turn to leave him on 9VP, then noticed he could trade for a development card, so picking up a VP card for the game. Curses!
Ah well. ;b