I havent done an update of various endeavours as far as gaming goes of late. I will post on Dragon Age Inquisition next, but lets look at the tabletop version of things first.
One of the things I have been most interested in is how Narratives work in a board game. There are multiple ways narratives form in the format, some games rely on the story emerging from the gameplay itself much like a sport where the trials and tribulations of individual games and seasons can (and do) make remarkable stories for us. Some games inject strong narrative of their own, particularly when there is an emphasis on theme or where cooperative play is at the heart of things. These three games I have played over the last week or so are very much at this end of the spectrum featuring story, characters, plot and more…

Mice and Mystics

Ok, the game isnt toooo complicated, but we still made a whole bunch of little mistakes on our first forays. These small mistakes made the game quite hard and thus we were doing extra analysis every turn, things should get a little easier for us going forward now.
Everyone enjoyed the premise of the game and the scenario and we were all quite immersed in the world, our little heroes and their foes. Each hero mouse had their own character and brought different things to the group both tactically and narratively. All four of us had a great time and are looking forward to the coming chapters. Note that the audio files for all the ‘story moments’ available from the Plaid Hat Games store added a heap to our sessions, worth every penny.
Mice and Mystics (official site) and on BGG

Mage Knight

This was always going to be a long game and thankfully I was playing with people who kind of knew the rules. We played it as a 3 player coop game which made it quite friendly, with us building up our power against the various denizens of the world before we geared up for the big city fights at the end. I didnt think we had a chance of winning, but there was lots of hidden firepower in our decks and we swept to victory in that last night.
Mage Knight (official site) and on BGG

Dead of Winter

Another wonderful realisation of a compelling theme with strong scenario based gaming. This time we had a traitor (though nobody thought we did until I revealed that at the end) and nobody won, nobody got close really. This is a very clever game where there is the narrative set in motion at the start, but from there we get a more emergent form come through based on all the random elements and player interactions. Really great fun all around and with some good background music I had a ball.
Dead of Winter (official site) and on BGG

Tabletop Day

We are in the leadup now to International Tabletop Day (April 11 2015) this coming weekend and are gaming ‘in public’ again this time where I trust the restaurant and passers-by will be intrigued. Not sure what we will play yet, maybe things without tooo many components 🙂
Tabletop Day site