In our most recent meeting, our class met to start playing T.I.M.E. Stories, a cooperative, card-based game that sees a team of player’s traveling to a specific point in time to uncover and prevent a fault in time itself. You and your teammates will be placed into the bodies of people present at that time and location, each of which will have their own specialties and limitations that affect how the team performs. Bear in mind though that every action you take to investigate the area, interacting with cards, traveling to new locations, completing tests and participating in combat, will require you to spend Temporal Units, a shared resource that determines how long you can remain in this time. The base cards at the start of the game will inform you just how many cards Temporal Units your team begins with, and reaching zero Temporal Units will force you to flip over a failure card before resetting the game and starting over. However not all items will be reset if this happens, and your own knowledge of the events can be kept.
However, the most difficult part of playing this game for our team was not any of these mechanics specifically, but rather the rules of the game itself. T.I.M.E. Stories is a very complex board game, with a lot of various moving parts that make it quite intimidating for first-time players such as ourselves, and the rule itself does not do a good job of explaining things. There were multiple times while we were playing where we were uncertain of how something functioned, or of how a particular mechanic worked. The rule was unfortunately not very helpful on this mark, it feels poorly organized, and some things that you would expect to be explained in the rulebook are actually only explained on cards, meaning that you won’t actually be able to fully understand how the game plays until you start playing it yourself.
With this in mind though, what does T.I.M.E. Stories have to do with leadership? Personally, I believe that one of T.I.M.E Stories best contributions to leadership is its emphasis on teamwork. Given that Temporal Units are in such short supply, the players are heavily encouraged to strategize before deciding anything, determining which team members should interact with which cards. Sharing information is also critical if the players hope to advance through the game, as clues acquired at one location are possibly required to complete tasks later on. Similarly, if a leader hopes to accomplish any of their team’s goals, they need to ensure that their team members are working together and cooperating effectively. If a team does not work well together, progress on whatever project or goal they may be working towards will slow to halt, so a leader must ensure that their team members compliment each other.
Overall, I do think I had fun with T.I.M.E. Stories, though the issues that we ran into with the rules certainly did make it more stressful than I expected it to be at times. Now that our team has a better understanding of the rules and how they fit together, I would like to see if we could make more progress next week, as we saved our game at the end of our first “run”. I would also be interested in trying out some of the other Stories that have been created for the game, as one group in particular was actually playing the second Story, and it appeared to function very differently from the Story that our group was playing.