Game Session Recap for 6/27/05
Michael Silbey stopped by tonight (armadi from BGG) and we got to play some 2-player games. We had talked about playing Hammer of the Scots or War of the Ring some time, but didn't really feel up for it tonight, instead opting for a few different games instead of one big game.
To get things started, we played Starship Catan, one of my favorite in the line of 2-player Kosmos games. As the first game with any player, I encouraged using the excellent script included with the game which teaches the mechanics while also slowly introducing strategies and tips. By the time the tutorial is through, you're ready to play a strong, competitive game. With the tutorial, the game takes about an hour and provides a pretty good game experience, with a nice mix of luck, strategy and light competition. I ended up winning (10-6) by rushing to build up improved versions of my ship's modules and completing a VP mission on the final turn.
Next, we played our long-discussed head-to-head Boggle match. Armadi had commented that after reading one of my GeekLists on BoardGameGeek about games I generally win, that he'd be more than happy to put my Boggle record and prowess to the test. We had put the match off several times before, wanting to make sure we were both at our optimum level of competition -- no starting at 2 am and complaining that we were fatigued, etc. Putting it politely, I upheld my honor. For not having played in several years (literally, since none of my friends would play it any more), I was very pleased at how well I "fell back into" my routine. I defeated Armadi handily, doubling his score in each of the games. We played three games/rounds/whatever you want to call them, after which, we agreed to move on to something new.
So to round out the evening, I was able to introduce Armadi to Silent Death, one of my favorite tactical ship-to-ship combat games, produced by Iron Crown Enterprises. Silent Death is a sci-fi game of dogfighting spaceships, with a wonderfully integrated damage tracking system and all-in-one die rolling combat resolution -- with one roll of the dice, you determine if you hit and how much damage is done. While it doesn't sound like that big a deal, cutting the number of required die rolls in half speeds things up considerably. We played the first two introductory scenarios.
In the first scenario, Silent Death, his two Thunderbirds took on my four Pit Vipers, and almost wiped them out quickly. My Pit Vipers barely scratched the paint on his ships, with three of my "hits" being negated by his damage reduction (curse the low powered pulse lasers!)... but a lucky shot got me to the critical hit table on his lead ship, and it blew up right quick -- a close game I barely won. In the second scenario, Moons of Something-Something (or something like that), his four Spirit Riders squared off against my two Night Hawks... My first shot crippled one of his Spirit Riders, and things looked grim for Armadi early on. Then he tore into one of the Night Hawks, stunning the pilot for a turn. A solid shot by by second Night Hawk decimated another Spirit Rider, but the Night Hawks wouldn't land another shot before being riddled with splattergun fire and being torn to shreds.
Man, I really like Silent Death. Sure, there's a lot of luck, but there's strategy, too, and the shortness of the individual scenarios helps soften the blow of having bad luck... And the ability to string scenarios together into campaigns, where pilots can earn experience and you can manage a roster of ships for each mission, is something I really enjoy. If Armadi got a kick out of the game, maybe that's something we could set up down the road.