Monday, January 16, 2012

Prodigal Son: Game Night

Part Fifteen

    So, this past weekend, I threw a game night for a few friends.  Nothing formal.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure it was going to happen at all until it happened.  Just a few friends over to the apartment to try a couple of games.  I didn’t even know what we’d play, because I didn’t know how many would be showing up.  It ended up being four of us, which is a good number.  A lot of games are made for four.  (I have games for 2 to 10 people, but some numbers become a limiting challenge).

    We started the evening with some food.  Lisa and Brad were swell and brought dinner (and soda).  Roast chicken and couscous.  Mmm.  I had some snacks I’d picked up at Trader Joe’s.  Man, I feel like a hipster or a hippie, but I’ve really taken a shying to that place.  Not great for everything, but you can always find something interesting.  Had chili spiced mango, caramelized nuts (the big hit of the night), and salted seaweed snacks (quite tasty, though only Lisa and I dug them).

    So, my friend Paul, my co-dork Brad, and his wife Lisa sat down with me to play a game of Settlers of Catan.  Turned out, we’d all played it before, but we were all a bit rusty (me, more than anyone, I think).  Though Lisa started out strong, and I actually got a few early wins, Paul dominated, winning the game.  Brad and I spent much of the second half of the game hitting setback after setback.  That darned Thief!

    After rum & Cokes (or Diet Dr. Pepper), we sat down to a round of Once Upon a Time.  Like nearly everything else, it had been a LOOOOOONG time since the last time I played, and I was very rusty.  Nobody else had ever played it at all.  So, after mucking my way through the rules explanation (they’re actually quite simple), we got started.  It was a bit awkward going at first, but as the story unfolded, we all started getting into the swing of things.  Eventually, Paul brought it all home and won the game.  The second game went much better and smoother.  Also, much more cutthroat than I’m used to, with the story changing hands fast and furious, then coming to an abrupt but proper ending; Lisa pulling victory out with a sudden grab for storyteller.

    Sadly, at that point, I had to call it a night.  There were requests to play a third round of Once Upon a Time, but I know from experience that a third game always devolves into a mess.  I’ve never had a third game that was any good.  Plus, it’s good to leave a game wanting more, I guess.  Lisa certainly seemed interested in getting her own copy, too.

    Overall, the evening went quite well, I thought.  Good to have some friends over.  It had been a long time since I last entertained.  And this was the first time in many years that I played solo host for anything other than a movie night.  I hope to do more soon.  And of course, the idea of getting a roleplaying game together continues to be the Holy Grail of this Dork’s life.  Time will tell.


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