[Tuesday Board Game Night] Tuesday Two-fer

I’m hit. Respawn!

This past Tuesday, I demoed Frag at Quarterstaff Games’ weekly board game night. Along with myself, three new players and one old hand played through three rounds. In the interest of time and sanity, we reduced the win condition from five frags to three. The rate at which we tore through, getting three rounds done in two hours, makes me think we should have gone with a four frag goal. I liked the speediness, but when a player only needs three kills to win, it can be hard to catch up from behind — particularly, as was the case with one beleaguered player, you simply cannot scrounge a weapon or a gadget to save your life.

The best part was when a husband and wife duo wandered in to check things out. They were sufficiently interested in the game I got the husband to take a turn. He took two shots at the leading player, which only dinged a little and then inadvertently left himself in position to get fragged to bits, but definitely enjoyed himself. The wife and he got into the game and both asked good questions about game play.

Reach for yer cranium!

After packing up Frag, we picked up some players who had wrapped up their Scrabble match and, since it was too late to start anything really involved, the Frag veteran, Luke, pulled out The Great Brain Robbery.

Now, Cheapass Games have a special place in my heart, as running across a stack of them at my college’s honor program lounge kick started my current interest in games in general. I particularly appreciate the “less is more” philosophy, because it really isn’t necessary to keep packaging the same accessories over and over again. The game design, I have discovered to my great, is sometimes less than sterling — I’m looking at you, U.S. Patent No. 1.

Anyway, despite my previous lackluster experience with The Great Brain Robbery, we had lots of fun with it. I think having six players really helped bring the madcap lunacy of zombies raiding a train — and then squabbling amongst themselves — for the smartest brain to the forefront. I actually wound up winning this one when another player became kingmaker by stomping on the locomotive’s brake for the final time while I happened to have the smartest brain in my zombie’s head — which was Yavin, beast from another world, with a whopping 225 IQ.

As it turned out, Luke is also a casual Lab Rabbit, one of Looney Labs‘ demo volunteers. I mentioned Northeast Wars, hoping to plant the seed for him to run some games there. The great thing about game nights like this is gives me the chance to meet gamers new to the area, like Luke, find out what they’re like and what they’re interested in. And it gives them the opportunity to meet the local community and find out what the regional gaming spots are, including conventions like Northeast Wars and Carnage.

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