John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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A Friday Night's Gaming with Dragons and Pandemics

Just returned from a quick run to the grocery store with a friend to pick up some vegetables and a few things for supper tonight.

As promised, here's the blog entry about last night's gaming session.

The Friday night gaming group showed up at my place, all ready to play some board games. The guys and girls decided they wanted to play some simple stuff, in deference to the fact that my sinuses are blocked and my thinking is a bit wonky at times right now. Mighty kind of them. :)

We started the evening off with a game of Dragonriders of Pern, a board game that I've been fond of for years, and play as (semi-)regularly as I can. The game ended about an hour and a half into play, as I regret to inform readers of this blog that Pern was inundated by Thread due to the inability of certain Weyrs and their leaders to cooperate in destroying the foul stuff. While we lost in really bad style, it was a fun game and all of us had a good time.

From there, it was decided to play a more cooperative game. Since I had just picked up the new Pandemic game at HammerCon 2013, we christened that game for the night. The group played four or five games of Pandemic (I can't remember how many, to be honest), and had a good time with it.

The first game was one of those games which the four players (Kathy, Ellie, Tom, and Joanne) wish they could forget. Ellie was somewhat disruptive in the game, and the players got smoked by a bunch of Outbreaks and several really bad decisions with two of the Event cards and lost when the blue virus conquered North America and Europe.

The second game saw the players (Nick, Angela, David, and Ellie) fight their way out of a deep hole, with most of North and South America inundated with plague, but managing to cure both diseases. They ran out of time in terms of the draws from the deck, and lost that way, but not through lack of trying to work together.

The third game was one that saw me get a chance to play. Kathy/Ellie, Tom/Joanne, Angela and me, and Nick/David made up the teams in this one so that everyone got to play, and things started off well enough. (I've decided to post up all four photos, though the first and third aren't very clear due to my lousy mobile phone photo skills, for which I apologise in advance.)

At the start of play

The initial disease set-up was focused on the Orient and bits of Asia primarily, and we thought that we would be able to stem the tide there, and handle things. The key, of course, was to cure the red disease and then work from there. However, by the end of the third turn it was obvious that we had lost control of the situation, regardless of the Roles in play that I thought gave us a good mix.

Three game turns in

By that time, as you can see from the photo, the disease in Asia/the Orient had gotten out of control despite the best efforts of the Medic to stop it there. And we were no closer to finding the cure for that disease as the play of cards was turning up very few of the red City cards. On top of that, there was disease cropping up in North America and central Asia. I actually felt we were doing our best, but we were hanging on. And meanwhile, the Player deck just kept getting smaller and smaller.

Six game turns in

By the end of this turn, well... you can sort of make out in my lousy photo that things were working against us. While the disease in the Orient was sort of under control, the problems in Asia, Europe, and North America persisted, with only Africa and South America relatively clear of disease. The good news was that we had enough cards to start dealing with some of the problems. The bad news was that the Player deck was getting dangerously low, and we were in danger of losing the game that way.

End game - and a loss

This one's the end game photo. The bad news is that we lost the game. The good news is that we lost not due to disease overwhelming us or through disease Outbreaks, but that the Player deck was exhausted. We managed to cure two diseases (blue and red), though not eradicate them, though Asia was starting to feel the brunt of the diseases at that point. Overall, it was a fun game, and we managed to hang on until the end, and partially accomplished a Victory goal...just not enough of them.

Finally, there was one more game played, this time with Kathy, Tom, Angela/Joanne, and David. They actually managed to cure three diseases (blue, yellow, and black) and eradicate the black disease, but again ran out of time as the Player deck exhausted itself.

Everyone said they'd had a good time with the games, and that it made for a nice diversion from roleplaying games for a bit. Once the folks had left, around 11:20 pm or so, I cleaned up a little bit and then crashed for the night. Long evening, but fun.
Tags: board games, dragonriders of pern, friday gaming group, gaming hut, pandemic, personal, photos, playing, report

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