Games Day 2017 – The Climb #341

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Games Day 2017 – The Climb #341

Thursday 28th December 2017

Today was my annual games day, spent in the company of some of my oldest friends.

I’ve known Nick and Simon since we volunteered in a youth charity together some 25 years ago.  It doesn’t seem that long ago… but we’ve been through a lot – good and bad – together.  We used to meet up most weekends as part of a big group, but as we all got older, we got into relationships, we got real life commitments and some of us drifted apart.  Some are still Facebook friends, but a very few are still good friends to whom I speak nearly every day.  Nick & Simon are amongst those very few.

During his mature student years, Nick would host a film weekend.  NEFF (or Nick’s Easter Film Festival) would see him screen back to back films over the Easter Weekend, all carefully selected.  It was often more endurance than pleasure but it was good to catch up.

From there we moved onto online gaming.  We couldn’t afford to meet up in person every weekend so we met up virtually in online games.  We were very active in Star Wars Galaxies, and that’s where we met Mark.

When Star Wars Galaxies went south, some of us went on to Warcraft but we all played Xbox live for a time.

Now I don’t have much time for Xbox (I’ve not had a TV in the house until this year) but we still all chat most days online.

As I’m now the one with a house and without a partner and children, so it has come full circle and I now host everyone one day between Xmas and New Year at my annual Games Day.  The gang comes round to my house and we play boardgames for the day.

This was the third time I’ve held it:  the first year we played Shadows of Brimstone, last year we played Zombicide:  Black Plague and this year it was the turn of Massive Darkness.

Some of my friends are sticklers for the rules rather than just having fun and using it as an opportunity to catch up.  So we played a tutorial game first so that we got an idea of the game mechanics and what we needed to do.

Massive Darkness is a dungeon crawler.  You have set scenarios (although you could create your own) and you venture through a set map and set of objectives to “win”.  Along the way you’ll pick up treasure to level up your hero, plus run into bands of the classic D&D type monsters – orcs, elves, dwarves.  I backed the Kickstarter so have a ton of extra enemies and boss monsters but for today we just stuck with the core box.

It probably doesn’t have the same RPG depth that something like Shadows of Brimstone has but the tutorial was fun and we seemed to level up quick.  XP gets spent to unlock new skills although I didn’t feel that one day was enough to really understand the strengths and weaknesses and special abilities of my shadow barbarian.

We went on from the tutorial to play the first scenario.  It seemed to be going well but I think we got over confident as we levelled up the monsters too quickly by being greedy for better treasure.  As a result I faced a bunch of dwarves I could not get a hit on and who one-shotted me.  It took some of the fun out of the game but by this time everyone was starting to tire.  So we gave the artefacts we’d collected to one of our group who could sneak past enemies and got them to dash for the exit.

At some point I’d like to better understand why there seemed to be such a massive jump in difficulty.  One moment we were dealing with mobs quite confidently and then suddenly we had 2 mobs and a roaming monster all kicking our backsides.

But it was a fun game to play and it was even more fun to spend time with friends and catching up with what we’ve done in the last year.  Just last year I was talking with one friend who was thinking about spending time in China.  Now he lives out there and it’s incredible to think just how much a lot of us have progressed just in a  year.

Hopefully by the time Games Day 2018 rolls round I’ll have made significant progress of my own to a stage where people can see it.  And given the number of boardgame kickstarters I’ve backed I don’t think I’ll run out of candidate games for a long time even if I don’t buy another one.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-12-29T12:22:19+00:00December 29th, 2017|Games, The Climb|0 Comments

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