September 12, 2011

Gaming Report: Red November, Mag Blast

A packed weekend in which the kids had plenty going on, but we still made a little time for a couple board games.  I rolled out Red November for the first time with the kids.  I'm pretty sure I corrected the rules we missed when the brother-in-law and I broke the shrink on it last weekend.  It was indeed a frantic affair with one of the kids even about to abandon ship, but his path was blocked and we were able to avert the immediate disaster that was motivating his cowardice!  In the end we survived by the skin of our gnomish noses: one gnome remaining with 8 minutes left, trapped in a room with all hatches blocked, one tick away from both the oxygen pumps and the reactor completely failing, and three event cards to draw.  FUN TIMES!  The kids struggled a bit with the mechanics and the confusion, but that was expected for their first play.  Still, they had a good time.  As our first cooperative game, it was cool to see them think out the chaos management.  It was encouraging to watch as they analyzed which gnome had the best opportunity to fix various problems based on their location and items in hand.  It was also disconcerting and humbling to see them ready to abandon their loved ones without hesitation!  Ah, board gaming.

Then on to something decidedly not cooperative: Mag Blast.  We really enjoy this game.  Some decry it as an aimless filler, or overly light, or frustratingly random.  We like it because of all of those points.  It's humorous and quick.  And while by design it is super spiteful (you're blasting opposing vessels out of the stars!), it's usually quick enough to negate the drawbacks of player elimination.  The kids (okay, me too) really get a kick out of making the blast noises.  And they generally gang up on me.  Ah, board gaming.

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