Author Archives: stackhnw

Captain Sonar!

Last week our class played a game called Captain Sonar. This game is played with 2 teams and 4 roles on either team. The two teams are separated by dividers in the middle of a table. Technically you can play with 2 players on each team (4 total), but that would be chaotic. The best case scenario is 4 players on each team (8 total). The goal of the game is to move your submarine around the map without crossing your line or without running into stuff. Within that you’re supposed to use powers to inflict damage on the other submarine. One of the roles is the captain, who decides the direction of the submarine and must say the direction (north, east, south, west) aloud so the other team can hear them. They keep track of their route on a map. The captain can also choose to use the submarines powers such as sonar, drones, torpedos, mines, as well as silencing. If a captain wants to use a power they must have everyone stop to make it happen. Another role is the radio operator who’s job is to track the enemy submarine by listening to the opposing captains directions. You will not know where they started, but you can get a general idea of where they are based on the layout of the maps. The next role is the first mate, who has to responsibility of charging up the powers of the submarine. There are white spaces to fill in next to each power, and each move the sub makes, the first mate can fill in one space. Once the spaces are all full this power is fully operational. The ability to use these powers is also controlled by the engineer. They have a sheet in which there is a column for each cardinal direction with circuits going across each. For each move the submarine makes the engineer must cross out one of the decals in the circuit. Each decal corresponds to two of the powers that the submarine has, and if one of the decals is crossed out, the power may not be used. The only way to allow the engineer to erase all of the crosses is when each piece of the circuit is crossed out, at that point, the circuit is operational again. The game we played was simultaneous, which meant players could go as fast or as slow as they wanted.

For me the most difficult part of the game is that we played with only 3 people on each team, which meant that the captain was also the first mate. This was only a problem because the game couldn’t move as quickly as with 4 people on a team. The extra responsibility also made our team get confused and mess up the rules a few times. Beyond that it was difficult to find a strategy that worked well the first time, because as the engineer I had no idea where the other team was. I think my team could’ve worked together more in order to understand what our goals were going to be. That way as the engineer, I could know which decals to cross out, so that the right powers were available. Overall it worked pretty well, but I think more communication would’ve made this game better.

The leadership ability that I found would come out well in this game is strong communication and multitasking skills. It was very important for everyone to know what was going on with the team so that you knew which strategy to take. The captain needed to know where they were trying to go in order to inflict damage on the other submarine, but they also needed to know from the first mate what powers were able to be used and with the engineer to know what decals needed to be crossed out. These are only a few examples of what you need to know, and there were so many moving parts within this game, that it’s a necessity to multitask.

I would like to play this game again with 4 people per team this time, but with my friend Pete. I think he would be really good at a few of the roles within this game, and being good friends, we work well together. I really think that this is a game that would be fun to play with  your close friends.

Ultimate Werewolf!

This past week my class played ultimate werewolf, which I have played before and really enjoyed. It’s a large hidden role game similar to that of Mafia for those who have played Mafia. There are two teams, with specific roles on each team. The werewolves goal is to kill everyone in the town until they have the same number of werewolves as townspeople. The townspeople’s goal is to use all of their roles and vote a person to kill every night, in hopes of getting rid of the werewolves. The game has 2 phases, night and day. During the night everyone “goes to sleep” and the narrator wakes the werewolves up, and they choose someone to kill by pointing. They go back to sleep and then in succession all of the special roles get to wake up and preform their actions. For example the seer can ask the moderator if someone in the group is a werewolf. There is the bodyguard, who every night gets to pick someone to save from death. So if a werewolf picks someone and the bodyguard later chooses to save them, the person is alive and no one dies that round. One of the roles which I dislike the most is the ghost. The ghost (once he is killed) may give the group a 1 letter clue each round. So essentially the ghost should get themselves killed as soon as possible to help the team. I dislike this role, because it takes over the game, and people end up ignoring the other roles and mechanics that this game has. The ghost in the case of our game, end up getting all 4 werewolves dead in 6 turns total (including killing himself). The only reason the werewolves weren’t killed all in a row is because I was somehow able to convince the group that they should kill someone other than myself. There are many more roles within the game, but they can be changed. In this game, each role has a positive or negative value, and the moderator must make sure that the cards are even so that one side doesn’t have an advantage.

The most challenging part of this game for me is finding the balance between talking and not talking. Someone who talks a lot draws attention to themselves and is a prime suspect to kill. Someone who is too silent is also someone to be worried about. For this specific game, as a werewolf it was very difficult to argue your case when the ghost was using their power. My name is Nick, and when the ghost put an N on the board, everyone figured it was me because I was the only one with a name starting with N. Luckily someone had an N on their shoes and I convinced everyone that it was him they should kill. They did, but immediately the next round they killed me because the 2nd hint was an I. It was challenging for me, because I believe people rely too much on the mechanism of the ghost and don’t work with the other roles to determine who the bad people are.

The biggest leadership characteristic that I saw in this game was that of convincing people to believe you. One of the players who was not a werewolf immediately talked a lot and was basically facilitating the game discussion and leading people to conclusions that they otherwise might not have come to. This ability is very powerful, because as a werewolf I was able to convince everyone to vote to kill an innocent person, and while it only worked for 1 turn, it worked. The ability of a leader to gain followers and have them trust you as a leader is very important. Gaining that loyalty of a group is something that I try to do anytime I’m a leader. I do this because I know that as a leader I’ll make mistakes, but if people are loyal to you, they’ll understand your mistake hopefully and bounce right back with you.

I think I’d like to play this game without the role of Ghost, because I believe it alters the game too much. Beyond that I’d like to play with my friend Derek. He’s really good at reading people and putting a lot of random pieces together to form a complete picture. This characteristic makes him really good at hidden role games.

Bloc by Bloc

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!

Ladies and Gentleman!

Last week we played a game that I was really looking forward to for this semester that was Ladies and Gentleman. At first glance, this game might seem like its based in sexism, but when one further understands gameplay, its easy to see the satirical nature. The game is based in a victorian era, where the normal stereotypes are being portrayed. That of a working husband who has the single goal of gaining money in order to pay for his wife’s shopping habits. The wife’s goal is to pick out items at boutiques that her husband will pay for. The gameplay ends up being very fun because interaction can only come between a husband and wife if they are talking as if they were in the victorian era. For the essential gameplay there teams of 2 people (gentleman and lady) and there are 3 phases per turn, the morning, afternoon, and night, which I’ll discuss only briefly so this part doesn’t go on forever. To first discuss the gentleman’s phases, the morning starts at the stock market, which are tiles flipped over. One gentleman says go and then with one hand, players begin to flip over tiles that reveal whatever resource they are. These resources all have a monetary sale value or you can accumulate resources to buy contracts. There are also numbered tokens of the same number of players to choose the order in which gentleman purchase contracts in the afternoon phase. So a player may take up to 3 resource tokens and 1 number token, but as soon as they take a number token, they can no longer take resource tokens. In the afternoon phase, gentleman can either sell resources or use them to buy contracts to gain money. And finally the night phase is where the gentleman can buy clothing for their wives. Now I’ll go over the lady’s rolls. In the morning phase, the woman picks an artisan card that allows her to put a certain number of clothing, accessories, jewelry, or servants in her store (there is 1 store per player). She then chooses 1 item to put in the storefront window to give people an idea of what they can buy there. Then the afternoon phase comes, and each lady reveals in which store she would like to shop in. Ladies then pick up the items from the store they want to shop in and pick out what they would like. The night phase comes and the ladies hand these items to the gentleman who can choose to purchase the items or not. The ultimate goal of each team is to maximize the amount of elegance points based on items the team purchases for the lady. There are 6 days (turns) until the ball, so the lady must get the essential items to look beautiful at the ball! There are many more intricacies the the gameplay that I won’t explain, but for that you can buy the game and play yourself!

During this game, I played the role of the gentleman, which was remarkably simple. All I had to do was turn over tiles. The ladies had to strategize what to put in their store, where to shop, what items they’d need and when, etc. So this is part of the satire, because the very macho stock market is portrayed as flipping tiles over and ladies shopping is very complex and strategic. The part I found most difficult to balance was choosing the resources I wanted while also trying to find the first number token. Being first has a lot of advantages because if you complete a contract first you end up getting a bonus. So there were a few times where I got too greedy looking for specific resources and I ended up getting the third token and not gaining as much money as I could have.

As far as leadership goes, I think its important to understand that information cannot be directly conveyed in this game. A gentleman cannot say directly, ”I have $500,” because then that would change how the lady played. A gentleman can only say, “Money is a bit tight right now,” or, “I had a bad day at the market.” So I think a key leadership skill in this game is effective communication. Obviously many people can communicate, but this is about being helpful with your communication. A gentleman needs to be creative with what they say in order to help their teammate. That’s the biggest thing I saw in this game, and I think I struggled with it a little bit, but would be better for the next game.

I think that I’d really like to play this game with Pete and my close friends in general next time. There is an aspect of this game called rumor cards in which a player needs to insult their opponent and hand them a rumor card. This is an optional aspect of the game that is best played with people who are close and comfortable with each other. I think that adding this aspect into gameplay would make the victorian era roleplaying a lot easier and more enjoyable! I think Pete would agree with me on all of this too.

My Recon Experience

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend and participate in an even at Miami University called Recon that was hosted by the League of Geeks. It was a weekend event that was absolutely full of any geeky event you could imagine! My specific interest in this event was in board games. I’ve been taking a class in called Tabletop Leadership in which each class we get to play a game and then we are asked to reflect on those games and how we see leadership through that game. It’s a really fun class, and I’ve recently been introduced to a lot of more elaborate and unique board games than the traditional Monopoly or Life. This event presented an opportunity to learn a lot of games, and that’s what I really wanted to do.

Going into the event I wasn’t sure what to expect, because there are countless game designers with imaginations much broader than mine. Most of the games I had played were either card games, board games, or hidden identity games. I was hoping to learn more about some different kinds of games. One of my best friends had recommended deck builder games, so we started out playing Clank, which is partially a deck builder and partially a board game. The essential idea is that your character is trying to go through the all of the paths to try and recover artifacts that were worth certain victory points. Movement was determined by the cards you had. And the ultimate goal was to end up with the most victory points and get out of the castle alive before the dragon killed your character. Starting off this game, I had no idea what my strategy should be. Never having played a deck building game, I just started collecting cards that got me the most movement. After a few turns and seeing how some cards worked together in order to form victory points I started to understand a better strategy. I tried collecting enough movement cards along with fighting cards so that I could travel as freely through the map as possible. This game was really enjoyable and it made me really interested in deck-building games.

We next were able to play the DC deck-building game. Having to go over this game ourselves, we chose to play the most basic version of the game even though every expansion was available. Having just played a deck-building game, I was on the lookout for a strategy right away. Luckily you’re given hero cards that have certain abilities that help form your strategy. I had Batman, who had a plus 1 power for each equipment card I played during a turn, so I focused on buying equipment cards. This proved to be very beneficial as I was able to fight the super villains in the game faster than my opponents were. I think one of the most enjoyable parts of these kinds of games for me is seeing the creativity of the game designers. These people are very talented in many different levels. I believe that a big issue for games that have roles is making sure that all of the cards are relatively balanced. You wouldn’t want one hero who had an ability that made them impossible to beat in the game, because that wouldn’t be enjoyable. After playing both of these games, deck-building games are probably my absolute favorite.

The next game I was able to play was Carcassonne, which was very different from the deck builders. For each turn, a player flips over a tile, which they place on the table and attach it to the other tiles available. The tiles can have different things like roads, city, and a few other things. A player must place a tile so that roads connect to roads and so that cities connect. Each person starts out with meeples that they can use to claim tiles they place. So you can claim a kingdom, a road, a piece of land (a farm), and a few other things. Each of these will be worth points that you keep track of throughout the game. The game finally ends when all of the tiles are gone. Again I was hoping to find a strategy with this game, but it wasn’t super easy. At one point I was building a big city, but my opponent was able to lay claim to it and he ended up having more meeples than I did, so he was awarded all the points for my work. I figured that out and was able to steal a city from him later, but there’s a lot more strategy to this game than I originally thought.

Of all of the games I played, I really enjoyed the deck building games the most. And while they were both deck builders, the games had a lot of different aspects. I think for me it was very beneficial that Clank is a deck-building game and a board game, because that helped me get a feel for what deck-builders are like without being thrown into it right away. Also with Clank, the cards are helpful with how you move and how far you can move, but they are not the ultimate purpose in the game. It was important to strategize a path on the board that you would take in order to get as many artifacts as possible, while also building a deck that could get you where you wanted to go. With DC deck-builder, the game was completely focused on making your deck as strong as possible so that you could continually buy better cards and defeat super villains to gain victory points. It was also beneficial to me that the roles were a part of DC deck builder because it allowed me as a brand new player to strategize without knowing the ins and outs of the game. The other thing that was different was that in Clank, the draw of your hand could end up being the absolute death of your character. If by some bad luck you didn’t draw any movement or fight cards when you needed to get out of the castle, you were just completely out of luck. With DC deck builder, drawing a bad hand was very annoying, but you were going to live to the next round, and be alright. The games were similar in that while you were competing against other players, you were not always directly trying to hurt or stop your opponents. There were some cards and abilities in each game that allowed for you to hinder the people you were playing with, but that wasn’t always a key strategy when trying to win.

This event has really peaked my interest in board games, and my roommate has already purchased Terraforming Mars because that was a game we really enjoyed trying out at the event. I’m also considering purchasing a few games, because I really enjoyed them. For me one of my favorite things is to watch a person who is totally in their own personal element. Whether that element is a board game, sports field, or stage, you can see that person light up and shine while they do what they love. On top of that, talking with someone about their passion is always fun for me. Everyone has something in their life that they love and it’s easy to tell when they talk about it. Seeing their eyes light up and hearing the excitement in their voice is always amazing. I definitely experienced that a lot at Recon, and that made my experience even more enjoyable.

Two Rooms and a Boom

Last week we played two rooms and a boom. This game has essentially 3 teams that are the blue, red, and gray teams. Players are given a role card and then divided into two groups randomly. Ideally these two groups are in two separate rooms so that they cannot listen or hear each other. There are certain roles for each team, the president is part of the blue team and the bomber is part of the red team. There are more roles for each team but I won’t focus on that now. Each room elects a leader and then the game starts on the first round, which was 5 minutes. Players have the option to share the color of their card with other players or they can share their whole card with other players. So players can share or not with other people, but at the end of the round the president must elect hostages to switch rooms. This occurs and then the second round begins. We played with 19 people and with 5 rounds. As the rounds go on, they are shorter, and fewer hostages are exchanged. The goal of the game for the blue team is to make sure the president is in a different room from the bomber. If this occurs blue team wins. The goal of the game for the red team is to make sure the bomber is in the same room as the president at the end of the game. If this occurs, red team wins. The 3rd team is the gray team. There are a few roles on this team such as the gambler. Before identities are revealed at the end of the game, the gambler picks which team he/she thinks will win. If they’re right, they win, if they’re wrong they lose. The most basic version of the game is played with generic blue/red team cards, but we played with actual roles that were on each team. I’ll explain a few now. So each team had a spy, the spy’s card was the same color as the opposite team, but said spy on it. So during a color share, a person of the red team will think the blue spy is on their team. We also played with the angel, and if the angel chose to speak, they had to tell the truth. The most important role towards the end of the game was the ambassador. The ambassador could walk freely between rooms, but everyone knew which team they were on. It was really nice to have them there so that information could be exchanged easily.

For me the hardest part of the game was remembering exactly who everyone was. It’s important to note that players are not allowed to switch cards, but it was still difficult, because there were 18 other players. Originally I struggled finding a strategy for how I wanted to play. The first round I color shared with everyone, and if someone was the same color as me, we’d full card share and that was it. From there I did my best to influence the leaders in a way that best suited my interests. I really enjoyed this game once I got the strategy down.

Leadership qualities in games like this are a little more difficult, because part of being a leader in a competitive game such as this is to be deceitful and dishonest. It was in your benefit as the spy of one team to show your card to other players so that they thought you were on their team. I think the best leadership quality I found was the ability to pull oneself away from the crazy discussions and situations to actually think through a strategy with either a group or on your own. I found many of the other leaders doing this so that they weren’t making rash decisions. I think a strong leader is someone who is able to take a lot of information in and then best choose the course of action that will benefit their side.

I think my friend Derek would be good at this game. Whenever I’ve played hidden role games with him (which this kind of is) he was very good at being deceitful, but also in going through all of the information to make informed decisions. I would really like to play this game with him sometime.


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.

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.

Week 2: Hanabi

This week I played a game called Hanabi. It’s a cooperative card game where there are 6 colors of cards, with each card having a value between 1-5 that represent fireworks. There are three 1’s of each color, two 2-4’s of each color, and one 5 of each color. The goal of the game is to built your firework sequence by placing the card’s of each color in order of 1-5. A twist to the game is that each player cannot see the cards that they have, they must hold them facing away from themselves. On each turn a player has 3 things they can do. First they have the opportunity to play a card from their hand. The other thing they can do is give a hint to one of the other players about their hand, citing that “these two cards have a value of 3” or “these three cards are blue.” When giving a hint, you must take a blue hint chip from the middle and turn it over. Once all these chips are turned over, you cannot give any more hints. Third, a player can discard a card from their hand, which allows them to take a hint chip and put it back on the blue side.

Within this game, the most difficult part is very obvious, and it’s that you cannot see what cards you have in your hand. This is a unique twist that I’ve never before seen in a card or tabletop game. Along with this, it is very important to give solid and complete clues to your teammates, so that they know what cards are in their hand and what they should be doing. My group played this game twice, and I think the hardest part the first time was understanding why other players were giving certain clues. There is supposed to be zero table talk and help beyond the clues, so when someone says, “these two cards have a value of 2,” you need to decide how you want to interpret that information. Are all of the 2’s already played so I should discard or is there something else? I think we struggled with that a few times the first game, which was understandable.

As for leadership within this game, it’s really important to have a group leadership, because one person cannot lead everyone in a game like this. This game relies a lot on trusting your teammates and making sure that they give you clues and that you understand their reasoning for the clues. It’s very important for a leader to be trusted by their group, because if you don’t trust what they say, the entire group can fail. After my group’s first game, I made sure to talk before starting our next game and went through some reasons why people might give the hints they do. I think this gave people a better mindset going into the game, which was really beneficial to our group. We improved our score 4 points between the two rounds.

I think that my sister would be really good at a game like Hanabi. She’s an intelligent person who has a strong ability to understand other people. I think that’s important, because she would be able to comprehend her teammates clues and why they were giving them. This is a game I would really love to play with her.

Avalon: Good vs Evil

This was the first meeting of our class and we started off by playing Avalon. We started playing the most basic version of the game in which there were generic good or bad characters. Every person is given a good or a bad character but does not tell anyone else. Each round a king has to choose the people from the game that he/she wants to send on a quest. The group then votes whether they approve or deny of the people on the quest. If it is denied, then the king moves to the next person and they choose the people they want for a quest. If the original quest is approved, then the people on the quest have to play either a success or a fail card. If they are a good character they must choose success and if they area bad character they can choose success or fail. So the bad players need to be careful in when they play a failure card. One failure card means the quest fails, and the bad guys win that specific round. The game has five “rounds” and three failed quests means the bad characters win. Three successful quests means the good characters win. Later on we added special good and bad roles that had special traits, like Merlin who knew who two of the three bad players were. And then Percival who knew that one player was Morgana and one was Merlin, but wasn’t sure who was who. I think that this had to potential to ease the uncertainty in the game, but again it seemed to me that the game is very short and moves quickly, so there wasn’t a lot of time to discern good from bad.

I’ve played games similar to this one like ultimate werewolf, in which there is good versus evil and you need to try and figure out which side everyone is on. In playing Avalon, I had a difficult time having enough information on an specific person to decide who was good and who was bad. There is a lot to consider when trying to decide this, like when someone approves or denies a quest and why. Also, if a quest fails, who is the person that caused it to fail. I feel as though there was a lot of uncertainty that had to be figured out in just five short rounds. I found this the most difficult part.

Within this game there was a lot of leadership shown, specifically inspiring someone to believe what you believe and to follow your lead. I think some people have a strong gift to control their behavior and tone within a game, no matter what role they are, to make people trust them. However, within this game someone’s ability to be a leader can hurt you. There was a time when I listened to someone’s explanations and thought, “oh yeah, this person has to be a good character, that logic was flawless.” Little did I know he was one of the bad characters, but it was very inspiring. While that inspiration and ability to gain trust was deceiving to me, it was very effective for the bad team. So a game where there are two sides its vital to have someone on your team who has the ability to gain the trust of other players.

I think that my dad would really enjoy this game. In playing games with him before, he seems to follow all of the moving parts well and be able to discern why people are taking the actions they did. Along with that, he is very good at controlling his behavior to make you believe and trust that what he is saying is the actual truth.  It was a fun game, and I can’t wait for next week!