Friday, September 28, 2007

More Games

Our family has been really busy lately. School, soccer, Sunday School, people visiting, men's basketball, birthdays...our weeks have been pretty packed lately. But this week, after the kids have gone to bed, Mrs. BigKat and I have found time to play some games. Here is one of the new games that we've played...

It's the new Heroscape Swarm of the Marro Master Set. There isn't as much stuff in it as the first one. What you basically have is a team of 5 guys (an army guy, a flying lady, a ninja, a guy with a little dragon, and a big robot) against a whole bunch of aliens (including the giant alien shown on the box, and a 'hive' that produces new aliens). I had been waiting to get this set for a while. Mrs. BigKat knew how much I wanted to try it out, so she said that she would play with me (she's the BEST!).

The scenarios that they provide actually worked quite well for us! One new feature is that 3 of the scenarios build upon each other in kind of a story mode. Basically, the 5 good guys are battling the aliens, starting with just a few aliens, but leading up to a big battle against all of them.

This worked really well for a number of reasons:

1) Mrs. BigKat had played Heroscape with me before and doesn't like it when she has to move too many guys. The first scenario really eased her into things because she only had to worry about 3 guys. One of the guys was the guy with the dragon. Normally, Mrs. BigKat wouldn't like to play with him because his special abilities are a little more complex than others, but since he was only one of 3 guys, she was able to figure him out pretty easily. I think she is now more willing to play with characters that have interesting special abilities.

2) The first 2 scenarios definitely provide an advantage to the good guy team (because if it didn't, then it would be pretty difficult to get to the grand finale in the third scenario). I'm a bit better at Heroscape than Mrs. BigKat is, so having a natural handicap was quite helpful and made things more fun for the both of us.

3) The new set comes with multiple copies of some of the alien squads, allowing you to have a whole bunch of them at once. I don't have many of these 'common' squads, so it was fun for me to be able to try them out.

We finished the first 2 scenarios. Mrs. BigKat won both of them, allowing us to proceed to the third and final stage. It looks like it will probably take a little longer, so it will probably have to wait for an evening where we have a little more free time than usual.

I asked Mrs. BigKat if she actually liked the game, or if she only played because I wanted to play. She said that at first, she only played because she knew I wanted to play. But then when we started playing, she actually had a lot of fun. This made me happy. My wife likes Heroscape!


We also played another game of Battlelore last night, this time using the Lore rules ('Lore' in Battlelore is where you get to use these special cards that throw fireballs, or move guys from one side of the board to another, or cause stuff like that). She was a bit intimidated by the Lore rules at first. Battlelore has a lot of different rules that you have to remember for combat, and I think she didn't want to have to worry about another thing. But as we played, she realized that the extra Lore rules were not very complex and added another interesting element to the game.

The interesting part about the game was that we didn't even come close to finishing (we got a late start on the game), but we still had a very enjoyable time just playing together. I think it was because we were both having fun trying something new (it was only our 2nd time playing Battlelore together and our first with the Lore rules). There were some funny moments (like when I spent several turns, trying to save up 9 Lore tokens so that I could unleash 'Creeping Death' upon her army, only to whiff on all of my rolls when I was finally able to play it).

I like it that we both like boardgaming. With 3 kids, it is very hard to find things that we can do together. We like to watch movies together, but there isn't a lot of interaction during movies. We like hiking together, but our main time together is after the kids are asleep. Boardgaming works well for us because we get to talk and interact and enjoy each others company while we have a great time playing the game. And there are so many great games available that we can pick the game that best suits our time frame and energy level. Plus, since we're already at a table, we can eat dessert while we play!

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