Last class period I played a game Bloc by Bloc in which each player represents a group such as workers, prisoners, students, and neighbors. We played a completely cooperative version where we all were working together. The board is a 5×5 grid of tiles, where some represent one of the groups players can choose from and some are neutral. A specific group can decide to build an occupation on a tile that is denoted to their group and anyone can build on a neutral tile. The goal of the game was to build occupations on specific spaces where the police were stationed. On each turn a player was allowed to roll dice and based on their dice they have options. Any die amount allows a player to move across the board as long as the path isn’t blocked. In order to build an occupation in a tile, the die you roll must be equal to or higher than the number on the tile. There are a few other options that you can choose to do like loot a store in a specific tile. After each turn a player must pick up a police ops card that can do a few things like move the police or add extra police into the game. A night constitutes each player taking a turn, once that happens the police take action. There are 8 nights total for the game in which the group can win or lose. There are a few more intricacies within the game that would take too long to explain, but the general goal is for the players to build occupations on the tiles where the police are by defeating the police during their turn.
Within many games where they are brand new to me and complicated, the most difficult task I find is coming with a strategy. When I was given all of my materials and had the rules explained to me, I understood what my goal was, but I had no idea how to get there. On my first turn I had no idea what to do, I didn’t know if I should build an occupation near the police or if I should try and be closer to my other players. Luckily I had a teammate who had played before and since it is a cooperative game, he was able to help us all out with the beginning. On top of that it’s a difficult game because of how random it can be. For our specific game we got lucky with the layout of the tiles, because the cops typically stayed in the same location which allowed us to plan for a specific tile to attack. This made our game very simple and we won relatively easily, without any issue from the police. However, I watched another game of Bloc by Bloc recently and the police can make a much bigger impact and can ruin the entire game for the players because their movement is relatively random. So it’s difficult to play a game in which your strategy can be great, but randomly get derailed by a drawn card.
For leadership qualities, I think one of our members stepped up and kind of took the “head” of the group. Since it was a cooperative game there was definitely a lot of deliberation and discussing to find the best strategies, but he took the lead and help facilitate. It was also beneficial that this person took the lead, because this person also had played before and had a general idea of what strategies we should take. The specific quality is the ability to be the leader but not a dictator. He was able to help us when we weren’t sure what to do, but as the game went on we were able to discuss and come up with strategies that he hadn’t thought of. So it also helps when a leader is open to all ideas before making decisions.
This is a game that I’d like to play with my brother Nathan. I think he would really enjoy the backstory of the game and that it was designed around real events. I also think he would like the gameplay and the fact that it is cooperative. I think he’d be really good at coming up with good strategies based on how the police were laid out. I hope to get to play this game with him sometime soon!