Monthly Archives: February 2018


This past week I played Mysterium in class. In this game, each person is assigned a role. There will be 1 ghost and the rest of the players are trying to uncover messages from the ghost. The ghost is trying to reveal information about their murder (the murder, the location, and the murder weapon). However, the ghost cannot remember the exact details of their murder, so they reveal a different scenario to each player. Behind a closed wall the ghost randomly chooses a person, location, and weapon for each player. The ghost uses dream cards, which are images in order to get the players to first guess the person they were given, then the location, and then the weapon. During each turn the ghost gives each player a dream card and the player has to make a guess. The first turn a player has to guess who their person is. If they guess correctly, the player will guess on the location on the next turn. If they guess that correctly, they’ll guess the weapon on their next turn. Each turn the ghost will reveal if the player has guessed correctly. Eventually once everyone has guessed their person, location, and weapon correctly, the ghost will reveal 3 cards trying to explain the scenario of their murder. One of the combinations of murderer, location, and weapon is correct, and the 3 final cards are used to try and reveal which of those combinations is correct. Each player votes individually, and if the majority of players vote correctly, everyone wins.

This game is relatively straightforward in the goal, so that part of the game is easy. The most difficult part for me and I’m assuming most people is interpreting the dream cards effectively. Usually the dream cards are very complex and have a lot going on in them. This makes it difficult to pick out exactly what the ghost is trying to hint at with each card. Sometimes the ghost could be using the card because of color scheme or the ghost could use the card for a specific aspect of the picture. This ambiguity makes the game a little more difficult.

For leadership, this game can be helped by someone trying to facilitate discussions during each round. When interpreting the meaning of dream cards each round, it helps once everyone receives a dream. Once everyone has a dream you can use a process of elimination to make better decisions. For my group there was not a single person trying to facilitate it was definitely more closely related to group leadership. But I think having that facilitation and trying to work together is really important when leading, because its important to make sure that all ideas are heard and understood. This allows for more diverse ideas so that every possibility is considered.

I really think my dad would like playing this game. He would be a good ghost, because he would be good at determining which dream card would help lead a certain player to choose what person, location, or weapon they were. He’s a good critical thinker, so I think he would thrive in the ghost role.

Two Night Ultimate ReCon

Friday, and Sunday, I attended ReCon, thrown by the League of Geeks. On the two days, I participated in two very different events: an open-smash session, and a board game session.

On Friday, a friend and I visited the Smash 4v4 tournament in Armstrong Pavilion. We arrived, and saw many TV’s and monitors set up to various consoles throughout the large room. On one side of the room were several different fighting games. The other side and middle of the room was filled with Wii U’s running Smash 4 and some game cubes running Melee.

We quickly gravitated over to an active 4v4 match underway, observing the hectic mess of heavy attacks and seeing what hit. Seeing some of the participants, my friend and I felt emboldened to ask a friend and organizer if we could join the tournament. They told us no, so we hung around, and eventually sat down to play a friendly game of Melee, since only Game Cubes were open. We asked if there were any extra controllers, and plugged in for a match. A friendly stranger joined us as we played a few round.

After a little bit, we got up, tired of Melee. We soon found a Smash 4 station was open, and sat down to play again. The stranger followed us to the new space, and we played another few rounds before my friend and I had to leave. I personally have some weird baggage with Smash 4, so even though I wanted to play, I left in a weird mood. We left ReCon for the night after that second session.

On Sunday, I received a text from friends that they were intending to go play board games at ReCon, so I got ready and joined them. I asked an officer and friend in Armstrong where my friends playing board games might be, and was told to look for board games in the East Wing. My friends were already in the middle of a game of Carcassonne when I arrived (one of my favorite games), so it was very nice to see them have fun with a game I enjoy.

While they were finishing a game, I looked over the pile of games on the nearby table and found one that I’d like to play: Terraforming Mars. I dove into the rulebook, and was very excited by what I saw. When they wrapped their game of Carcassonne, I began to set up for Terraforming Mars. As I was doing so, JS came up to us and said he’d teach us how to play, and that the rulebook was not very good at doing this, so that was very lucky. It was around 2:30, and he told us it would take 2.5 hours for us to finish.

We played for about an hour before an officer came around to tell us to wrap up playing, since they intended to give the game away. After light protests (what if we win? What if they aren’t here?) we had to stop playing and clean up. That was very frustrating, as we had all been enjoying the game. When they finally named the winners, someone else who wasn’t present won the game.

With a little less wind in our sails, three of us selected another game to play, with a fourth joining us: Codenames. I had previously played the game before with a large group, but wanted to try the game with a smaller one. We played a few rounds, with the final one ending rather climatically. I was a spymaster, and my partner had 4 cards to go, compared to our opponents 1. Knowing they would win the next turn, I knew I had to give a clue about 3 different cards (my partner was likely to guess the fourth from a previous round). The 3 cards were dwarf, degree, and pistol. After much thought, I gave the clue “fires 3,” and my partner, remarkably, was able to get all of them, securing an unexpected victory.

Looking back, I enjoyed being a spectator to the hype and excitement of Friday’s Smash 4v4s, vs spending quality time with friends on Sunday. Smash (and most esports) aren’t quite for me, but I do enjoy the community building power they hold. On the other hand, I do enjoy participating in certain board games, particularly those that employ map-building, asymmetric strategy, and gamestate economies. While dismayed that our play session was cut off early (and further dismayed none of us won the game), I met a game that I liked and want to play again.

my time at recon

My time at recon was spent in room 2055. I learned how to make little poke ball key chains and was very careful as to not blend the white and red “clay” together. I had a lot of fun and got to get to know Aidyn better. I also learned that in a different room, they were playing board games and if you won, you were able to win the prize. I only shortly stopped by this area to have a peek, but most of my time was spent in the arts and crafts room.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

This past week we played Betrayal at the House on the Hill. In this game, each player chooses a character with specific abilities, two mental and two physical. These abilities have a numbered rating which allows players to move around as well as take other actions throughout the game. The goal is for the players to explore the house, which is created by placing a new tile once a player enters a doorway that doesn’t have an adjoining room. There are 3 floors as well, so you can expand the upstairs, main floor, and basement. This setup allows each and every game to develop a house of a different style. During a turn a player moves as many spaces as their speed rating allows and they can add new rooms. If a player enters a room with either an omen, item, or event card, they must end their turn there. If an omen card is pulled, that player must attempt what is called a “haunt roll” at the end of the turn.  The game continues this way, developing a house, until a haunt roll results in the sum of the dice rolled being less than the amount of omen cards that have been drawn. At that point the game changes, and 1 of 50 different scenarios occurs, with a typical theme of one player turning into a traitor and trying to defeat the other players who are now called heroes. However, there are different situations, and they all have rules for each player (the traitor and/or the heroes).

So this game is semi-cooperative in the fact that at the beginning everyone is on the same team and trying to discover the layout of the same house. The part that has always been most difficult for me about this game is that it’s hard to pick a good strategy. This is because no one knows which of the 50 situations will occur. In some situations it might be beneficial to be by yourself, in others it might be beneficial to be near others, or it might even be helpful to be in a specific room of the house. In the haunt my group played out, no one was the traitor, but our house was picked up by a giant bird, and the only way out was by parachute. Of course there were only 3 parachutes for the 6 heroes left, so it was every person for themselves. Unfortunately for me, I began the haunt, and in the next 3 turns all 3 parachutes had been picked up and 2 of the 3 had been used. There was only 1 parachute left, and I was much too far away in the house to do anything about it. The game ended quickly and only 2 of the 3 parachuters survived. I really struggled with the uncertainty of the situations.

Within this game, being a leader can be difficult since it is semi cooperative. For the most part it is in everyone’s best interest to work together and discover as much of the house as possible. However, there are situations where it could be helpful to not cooperate and leave another player in a situation that they cannot get out of. For me personally the trait of gaining and reciprocating trust was important for this game. One of the other players from this past week was stuck, and couldn’t move more than 1 space unless they ended up in the space room as another player. Without hesitation I moved next to the player and did my best to help him. Unfortunately my room was moved, and my good intentions were destroyed by the nature of the game. In talking to that player after they were surprised at my immediate help, because it was very possible that he could have ended up a traitor and not helping him would have been beneficial to me in that case. This thought hadn’t really crossed my mind, because a leader really needs to gain the trust of people so that there can be cooperation. In a situation where you need the help of another person, it’s very important to be able to lean on other people for support.

This is a game that I think my friend Lucas would really like. It is a game you can play a lot with many different scenarios playing out, which is always really fun. He’s the kind of person that I could see getting wrapped up in the different haunts. Each individual haunt is so intricate, that I think he’d really appreciate and enjoy getting to experience them.

Secret Hitler

This past week, we were giving the choice of playing Secret Hitler and Hanabi. For the majority of class, I played Secret Hitler with a group a five, including myself. I found myself enjoying this game because of the cooperative, strategical game style. This game is almost exactly like Avalon which we played last week. I liked both of these games for some reason, i think it is because of having to work together but also work against each other at the same time. I think that this game incorporated a lot of leadership skills in the same way that Avalon did. They require you to make educated guesses on who is who. You have to be decisive in your guesses, especially if are guessing who is Hitler. I think that some of my friends would actually enjoy this game.

Betrayal of the House on the Hill

During week 3 of EDL 290T B, we played Betrayal at the House on the Hill. I found this game rather entertaining as it felt like a step up from the cooperative games we played the last two weeks. Although we were still playing with a cooperative style, this game made things more interesting by having anybody join the other side. Every game, the person who is evil varies every game based on how your game is progressing. I also was intrigued by the first part of the game where you spend turns exploring the floors of the house. I thought this was really cool because it made each game unique in the sense that the floor plan of the game varies each time you play. The idea of having characters being able to hold items and omens for future use is pretty cool. This game made me think about each move by using strategic planning in order for a better outcome in the game. I think that this game emphasized communication skills among players. I think that a few of my friends would enjoy this game if they played it.

game of the week blog reflection #3

The game we played was betrayal at house on the hill. The hardest part about it was when the haunt started because things started getting very complicated. Our haunt was the one where everyone had evil twins and it caused quite a bit of confusion with every move. The ties that this one had to leadership was the ability to understand the instructions and remember how to go about doing things. I was a leader when reminding people how many dice they had to roll or when they could move places. This game was a little more complex and I think that my assistant coach would enjoy playing it because his favorite holiday is Halloween and this had a very spooky vibe to it.

game of the week blog reflection #2

The game I chose to play in class was Secret Hitler. The hardest part about it was keeping track of all the unlocked powers on the board as you advance and also to remember when you can ask the chancellor if they are Hitler. The ties that it has to leadership are that you have to work with your other team members whether you are a liberal or fascist in order to achieve the goal of winning. You have to show leadership by taking initiative in your own hands when you are president and choose who you think is trustworthy. I think that my sister would enjoy this game because it was a little more complicated than Avalon even though it was a similar concept and shes good at being deceptive.

game of the week blog reflection #1

On this day we played a game called Avalon in class. I had never heard of it before being introduced to it that day. The hardest part about it is how you have to be deceptive in your moves in order to not reveal who your character is. This is hard because you want to lead your side to victory without blatantly letting others know your intentions. because then they will be thwarted. Some of the ties it has with leadership are when it is your turn to be the “leader” and you get to choose who will come along your quest with you. The entire round and outcome basically depends on your choice of people because they could be god or evil (and your choice also depends on whether or not you are good or evil). I think that one of my friends on the volleyball team, Katie, would really enjoy playing this game because she enjoys being secretive and knowing things that other people don’t know. She also had a leadership role on our team (captain) and likes that kind of power.

Hanabi – A Cooperative Game with Parameters

This week I played a card game called Hanabi, which was very different from anything else I’ve ever played!  It’s a cooperative game, so everyone is working towards the same goal, but what made this different from other cooperative games I’ve played is that there were parameters on how much you can help your teammates.  The main mechanic of the game is that you are trying to make stacks of 1-5 of different colors, but you hold the cards in your hand backwards so that all of the other players can see your cards but you can’t.  Your teammates can use their turn to give you small hints at what you have in your hand, but other than that you can’t freely help each other know what to do or play.  I play a lot of cooperative games with my family, and I like being able to discuss what I should do on my turn with the other players, so the hardest part of this game for me was not being able to get advice from my teammates.  One of the main themes of this game is weighing your options and having to make a decision, which is a translatable leadership skill.  On your turn, you can either give one of your teammates a clue about what they have in their hand, play a card from your hand and hope based on what your teammates have told you that it will go on top of one of the colored stacks you have been building, or discard a card from your hand and trust that it isn’t important or else your teammates would have told you about it.  So on each turn, you have to decide if anyone else absolutely needs to know something about their hand, or if you should play/discard to keep the game moving forward.  This decision is not always an easy one, and it involves thinking ahead and anticipating what other players will be doing on their turn without being able to ask them.  One of the students I was playing with whose name is Brennan was a great leader and took time to explain to me the big picture concepts of the game and helped me to think through the strategies at different points, which was very supportive and really helped me to be the best player and teammate I could be.  I think my brother would enjoy playing this game with his friends because they like cerebral games that require lots of strategy and thought.