May 2nd Challenge Update and Musings

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May 3, 2015 by Jake

Greetings chunky dice droppers! This evening finds me jonesing for some game play, but I have a sea of words to paddle through and don’t want the passage of time to dilute the waters any further. I would like to do a little update on my challenge and answer a couple questions that were floating around my friends’ heads recently.

I see you got a new game -or- Did you buy that game? in response to Super Dungeon Explore:

I actually owned Super Dungeon Explore for a very long time before Forgotten King arrived in the mail. I owned the first edition, and even though Forgotten King is a standalone box, it is considered an expansion for me. The game was preordered in April 2014 as a Christmas present from my darling wife. I don’t consider it a new game, just a better way to play an old game. It was placed on the list back in January because I anticipated playing it at least ten times this year. I could have completed my challenge with the first edition just as easily.

Is using the Barnes and Noble gift cards cheating?:

This was actually a question I kept considering over and over. Last year I received some gift cards for my birthday and knew that the urge to spend them on games would pop up sooner or later. I was sort of keeping them as a fail safe for if my consumerism got the best of me. Technically I wasn’t spending any of my earned money on a new game if I was buying it with just the gift card. The selections at the big book chain have been getting broader and right now Pandemic the Cure and The Sheriff of Nottingham have been looking pretty stupendous. Megan became the steady voice of reason that I needed and reminded me that I still had games on my list I had yet to play and that I had already played a few new games this year with others. Thanks Hun!

This leads me to a change to my 10 for 10 List that is within the confines of the rules by the original writer of the challenge. Megan and I have decided to substitute Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System with the cooperative board game Forbidden Desert. This choice came from my reflection that several of my games involve combat mechanisms. In essence, Dungeons and Dragons and Super Dungeon Explore are both dungeon crawlers. They have alike themes of monster fighting, treasure optimizing, tile exploration, and dice based combat. Their asymmetry comes from their game mechanic implementation and art and figure style, but also in the pacing and feel of the experience. Despite its long length, Megan and I very much enjoy playing Super Dungeon and look forward to teaching it to friends as a more easy-going game. The fact of the matter is that the list of people I can get to play D&D right now isn’t very large. It is a large time investment (not as long as Super Dungeon, that is for certain) and I feel like leaving both on my list makes it rather one dimensional.

Forbidden Desert is much smaller, more portable and teachable. It is cooperative as well and requires no combat, unless you count combating dehydration. It has variable player powers which is always a plus for a game I intend to play many times. On the whole I think the game is just more approachable to others and that is what I want on my list; games that I can expand my player pool with and teach to others more readily. For those curious: Forbidden Desert catalogs the story of a group of explorers seeking a lost civilization’s remnants buried beneath the sand. Unfortunately their transportation is compromised and they find themselves needing to explore the random desert tiles for parts of an ancient flying machine that will bring them to safety before death by sandstorm or fatigue seeps in. Each player takes on the role of a specialized Meteorologist, Water Carrier, or Climber. The deck is stacked against the intrepid band however, as the winds threaten to bury them and the lost city completely. If any of the company perish before they accomplish their goal, the whole table loses.

Like the movie Flight of the Phoenix, but better because nobody has to be Dennis Quaid or Sticky Fingaz.

I am hardly done with Dungeons and Dragons, but for this year I will not get to play it as many times as I thought I would have by now. The opportunity to teach a different game to even more players while holding on to the themes of cooperation, unique talents, and exploration is part of what this challenge is all about.

Right now I am 32% complete with my goal which puts me right on track and keeping pace if I play two more games by next Saturday. Kings of New York and Small World are each only three plays away from completion! Megan has gotten much better at Small World this year and she actually crushed me in our last game 104 to 88! Several times I considered holding back my advice only to hear her come to the conclusion herself without me saying anything!

Lowest on the list are Forbidden Desert and Lord of the Rings the Card Game which have been played zero times each. I am unphased by this as the former was just added last night and the latter sparked an interest in Meg recently since she has never played it before, but had purchased a few expansions for me in the past. I am a little behind on my count for Dixit, but the year isn’t over yet and there are many more holidays and game nights to be had and it is always a hit.

Well, my next post is already drafting itself inside my head and my coffee is brewing. I will update the main Challenge Page tonight as well. Happy gaming!

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One thought on “May 2nd Challenge Update and Musings

  1. gleigh says:

    Haha I think Megan and I are on the same page with Small World. Great post, Jake! I love your style! Also, Greg and I would love to play Forbidden Desert with you guys! Even thought I’ve only managed to win one out of three games…

    Liked by 1 person

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