The second part of Fiasco changes the game completely, and for the better. The design of the game was created with the intent of creating scenarios for the participants to react to and add to their playthrough. Last week we started our stories as a group and acted out scenes to incorporate into our unique rehearsal. Instead of repeating that, this week was all about performing the “Tilt”. The Tilt is when the players use their dice, just like in the beginning, to select new components for the story. Following that is Act Two, which is the same steps and turns as Act One but you incorporate your twists and new components. Once that was finished you move on to the last and final step which is the Aftermath. This is where each player counts their dice to determine if the character they played had a good or bad ending one at a time.
The hardest part this week was determining how these new twists and alterations would be added to our story. It was confusing already on how to continue our production with the “script” we’ve followed so far. Adding more elements that drastically change it made it difficult and not easily coordinated to keep the narrative on the right path without getting overly ridiculous. However, the play session overall went very smoothly. Since I’m not the only one twisting the story, my group members had pretty creative ways of having fun with it. That means that friends specifically would be the best people to play this with considering there isn’t usually any filter that allows for more diverse gameplay. I liked having multiple people being able to alter our playthrough how they wanted because building off their thoughts and ideas is what makes this game enjoyable. That being said, I wasn’t a huge fan of how the aftermath was designed. I personally feel the dice count determining the outcome of your character was lazy and rushed. Honestly, I don’t know how I would fix it nor do I have a better option I just didn’t like that mechanic and felt that they could have improved on it a little bit more.
Again, overall the session went very well and I enjoyed being taken down the path of our group’s ending and conclusion. The way this part of the game ties with leadership is about the same way as the first part. That is, being the leader in controlling the flow of the story and producing ideas for your group members to build off of. However, this week had a slight tilt, dealing with the tilt itself and how to mitigate your decisions based on what else you needed to incorporate could also be part of it. Being a leader means expecting the unexpected and solving problems like that without letting the setbacks get in the way of the flow. Fiasco strengthens this side of being a leader and assists in the overall connection between the game and the players.
Fiasco is an all-around and very imaginative role-playing board game that is, basically, a fiasco. This was my first experience with a role-playing game and it was actually pretty fun considering it seemed nerdy at times. Being able to have almost complete freedom in the path you take your story is refreshing especially since most board games are fenced off with incoherent rules. Each play session was unique and the one I participated in was no different. I liked the wild west theme I took part in and I enjoyed the enthusiasm of my “teammates” throughout my playthrough. I love being able to do improv because I suck at it which makes it all the more funnier. However, I wasn’t a fan of the dice, maybe because we didn’t really use it right but creating your character and the relationships, etc. in the beginning was hectic. It made it pretty confusing to keep track of who was who and how I know them or how I’m related to them.
That was pretty much the hardest part besides making sure in the back of your mind that you also had an object and a location and whatever else to guide your story. My personal values surfaced in how I perceived the environment. I gave my character courage and sustainability while also being manipulative. That’s what I like about Fiasco, you can have the freedom to be and do whatever you want and the people around you have to play off of it and keep the story smooth. I can’t tell you how much fun I had in the creativity department for what I was going to do next and how I was going to screw over my outlaw friend at the gold creek.
Being that leader and controlling the direction of the simulation is what made me feel powerful. Everyone was their own leader in a sense because they had the ability to throw everyone else off their game. They were on the balcony looking over us on the ground being the leader and forcing our hands on what we do next. Playing with 4 or more people is what is going to make this a blast so bring your friends and family and your creative art majors and see where this role-playing fiasco takes you.
I attended the Geeks on Ice campus gaming event on Friday, September 16, 2022. My boyfriend tagged along with me and we were able to walk around and see different clubs within the League of Geeks. When we walked in, I waved hi to JS and we made our way toward the board games. We looked at some of the options for a little bit. This was nice because I saw both games I was familiar with and some I had never heard of before. My boyfriend and I arrived at the very beginning of the event so there were not many people there yet to start up a board game yet. We sat down at a table with Code Names and a game called Letter Jam which I had never heard of before.
Letter Jam was an interesting game. Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way through. I was drawn to this game by the design of the packaging. I thought the strawberry was clever because it was talking about jam. The game reminded me of Wordle through The New York Times. It took a long time to set up the game. The setup was more complicated than I anticipated. I felt like the instructions were slightly complex and confusing. Although, It is possible that my brain was just tired at the end of the week.
We did not end up playing Letter Jam. I found the setup got to be confusing. Then, my boyfriend and I walked to the floor above to check out other areas of the event. We walked through the lounge with the Super Smash Bros playing and other computer games as well. We made our way toward the virtual reality area where someone was all set up to play Beat Saber. Only one headset was charged enough to be used. So my boyfriend and I sat and waited for a bit observing the process. He thought it would be funny to watch me, but he never got a chance. We were waiting for a while and decided to go check out other areas of the event again.
We made our way back through the lounge where all the games were being played. This time I saw a group playing mario kart on the Nintendo Switch. I like Mario Kart but I have only played on switch maybe once. Every other time I have played Mario Kart it has been on the Wii. I think next time I may take my chance at virtual reality or Nintendo Switch Mario Kart, but that did not happen this time.
When leaving the lounge, a group of five people was just setting up the game Mysterium and I got excited. Only a few individuals in the group had played Mysterium before. The person who played the role of Ghost had the most experience with the game. It was interesting playing with a mix of experience levels with the game. It took some time to explain how to play but it also helped that the more experienced individuals were able to help the process. This reminded me of some of the leadership styles and aspects we touched on during class the other week. We talked about leading by example, thinking politically (which was thinking of all the options and outcomes) and a lot more. I saw different styles of playing games and leadership come out.
I was also intrigued by how the individual, who had played before with their family, had different intricacies with playing the game that came out as we went along. This made it interesting as I had to adjust my game play slightly from what I had experienced in class. We ended up making it through to the last stage with only one “hour” left on the clock. Then, we all displayed our individual collections of the person, room, and weapon. The clues given were mostly supporting one card out of the three. This was an interesting strategy that I do not think I particularly enjoyed. I think only one out of six of us actually matched what the ghost had chosen as the final culprit, location, and weapon of choice.
I liked seeing people’s reactions as we made it through the game. How people reacted at the actual outcome and final result was intriguing. The ghost also noted that they had used all of their crows before the final round and that two of them had been used to get better cards for one person in particular. This made me think about the dynamic of having a group of five friends playing with two people they had never met before. It was probably an interesting dynamic from their experience as well. I think this observation and the note about the crows influenced how I saw the end result of the game. I thought there may have been some choices that were made that would have been different if someone else was the ghost. This would most likely be because of differences in experience, personality, and leadership style. Playing in this setting and with this dynamic of individuals really made me want to try a go at being the ghost in the future.
We set up the game to play again and another individual joined. This was intriguing because they stated they had played before, even if it was a while ago. However, I found that they asked more questions than the players who had only played for the first time that day. This new individual also had a more assertive personality. This added a whole new layer to the game but also made it slightly more complicated. It is quite possible I viewed it as more complicated because I am a fan of cooperation and sharing different ideas. While this assertive personality may have been helpful in some decisions that needed to be made. It was also frustrating because we had to explain the rules and re-explain them after this individual was trying to help make decisions as to people or places that would be selected. This made the second game start out with a very interesting point of view.
We did not end up finishing the second game of Mysterium. The group we were playing with wanted to go ice skating so we cleaned up. My boyfriend and I walked through the areas once again and passed by several groups down on the second floor playing board games. Seeing a variety of groups playing different games was wonderful. I had not expected a lot of people to be at the event. But I felt like the turn out was pretty impressive for what I was expecting. My boyfriend and I did not stay too long after that because it was getting late and I had another event I had to help facilitate within my Residence Hall. We did pass JS on the way out again. They were bringing in SDS Pizza when we crossed paths again. This would have been wonderful, but I also appreciated the ability to recognize that we were done for the night and would not have had a good time if we tried to stay much longer.
The biggest highlight of the event was the community. It was a very cordial group that was both inviting and welcoming. I feel like more students should branch out and go to League of Geeks events as well. There were a lot of options to participate and get involved while at the event. Therefore, it was easy to get involved and find something at lest somewhat interesting. I would definitely recommend this event to other students. It felt like a wonderful way to build community and create great memories with friends. I felt like the community was kind, respectful, and welcoming on all accounts and interactions that I had.
One thing I would have done differently if I went again, I would have brought along more friends to play games with. I think this would have made my personal experience better. I felt like my boyfriend and I were just wondering around for a little while because we did not want to start a game with just two people. I think I also would have worn socks. It was a warm day out and I wore sandals so I was not able to go ice skating once that had opened up. I appreciated ice skating being an opportunity and only wish I had planned ahead more. Maybe I was not anticipating being at the event for such a long time, but I am truly glad I did stay.
If I helped plan the event, I think I would have done the event on a different day than the Art After Dark Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) event. This would be helpful because there was so much advertising for the MAP event that I did not know about the Geeks on Ice event except from word of mouth during out classtime.
Overall, this event was really fun! I will recommend this event to others in the future. I also hope to go to other League of Geeks events in the future, or atleast the Meeples board game nights. I hope other students take the opportunity to experience events like this as they are good experiences and opportunities to see the amazing community that exists on Miami’s Campus.
The images included are the box of Letter Jam because I thought the design was cool. I also included an image of Mysterium mid-game. I would like to note that I am not good at remembering to take selfies and/or other pictures at events, yet I remembered to take these at least.
Mysterium is my favorite cooperative game that I’ve played so far in this class. After messing around with Ultimate Werewolf the first week and Pandemic the next one, there’s something different about mysterium, and the uniqueness is capitalized in the cooperative experience. Players aren’t forced to communicate which is something I felt when playing Ultimate Werewolf because everyone is trying to help out each other so you yourself can win the game. The themes and creativeness in the cards engages you to think critically about what the ghost is trying to tell you. Everyone is playing against the actual board game itself which causes tight-knit discussions and communal problem-solving. This is something I personally didn’t feel myself in the past few weeks and I’m grateful that I found “my” game.
The most difficult or hardest part of this game for me really boiled down to something as simple as correctly predicting who got their guesses right or wrong. I enjoyed this one so much that the fundamental rules weren’t hard to follow or difficult to play with. The way to play this game kept me occupied and immersed in the Mysterium and that’s exactly what I look for in tabletop games as well as videogames. I enjoy the fact that it relies heavily on the player’s interpretation and imagination to keep things new and fresh. With the introduction of extensions and add-ons to this board game, I want to experiment with this board game again.
As I’ve clearly stated, this is my favorite game I’ve played in this class so far because of its cooperative or leadership function. The ghost is without question the leader of everyone else because they are giving out cards to everyone else and trying to stimulate thought-provoking questions and guesses. This game ties into that leadership because each player is not only trying to get themself to the end but also needs their teammates to reach the end as well. This causes leaders to emerge and guide everyone else toward their people, locations, and weapons. I personally liked the subject and theme of the cards because of the fantasy feel which definitely fits how the game is played in my opinion. I’m confident that my family and friends would love this game and that it would work well with a full amount of people. Overall, the class session went well and everyone did their part in assisting other players and doing their best to beat an inanimate object.
The game we played in class was called Werewolf. The premise is very similar to Mafia and Town of Salem. There are three werewolves, including a cub, a peer, a bodyguard, and many others. The point of the game is to take out the werewolves unless you are the werewolf then your goal is to survive to the end. The hardest part about this game was deciding how to vote someone out. In the game we played, sometimes those who accused someone were voted out, and other times those who were accused were voted out. Either it was stay quiet and go with the crowd or speak up and risk getting voted.
The leadership was shown through the person who was the bodyguard. He chose to tell us his role and since no one spoke up against him, we all believed him for the most part. Since he was someone the good side could trust, most of the time everyone listened to him. I was one of the werewolves so I just went with whoever they said so they would not suspect me. I thought the werewolves had a good game going until the P.I revealed a werewolf was sitting next to the girl who happened to be next to me. Ironically enough a werewolf was on both sides of her.
Somehow the person who was the witch suspected me as a werewolf and the night we chose to kill him, he used his once a game ability to kill me. After that the werewolves went downhill. One of the two werewolves remaining told everyone to vote him and he got out and the other one forgot the lying game he was playing and switched up what role he was when he was questioned. Personally there wasn’t anything I disliked about the game because it was very well played and went on for quite a while. Some of my friends back home would love this game because we used to play Town of Salem.
Since we are still around COVID-19, Pandemic is a fitting game to play for week two. Board games are pretty simple. You have cards, a board, of course, and other tokens and items the developers pack into the box. Pandemic is no different however, there’s some spice and uniqueness to it. I personally don’t play a lot of board games which is kind of why I decided to take part in this class; try something new and maybe find something new that I enjoy doing. After playing Pandemic, already in the second week of class, I feel confident that board games are my new specialty.
The hardest part about this game was the cooperative part. Many games are like this, board or not. Working with other people in conjunction with the board itself playing against you is a feat within itself. You and the other players are trying to agree on moves, strategize research station placements, and trying not to let an inanimate object win over you. Your team members aren’t thinking the same way you do and you aren’t thinking the same way they are. This is what makes the game entertaining, not the fancy artistry or the unique pieces, at least to me. What makes it interesting is the cooperative nature which is the core gameplay. This makes leadership a struggle because no one can get off the dance floor and look from above to really see the big picture. There are too many moving parts and a lot of agreement and disagreement that comes from the hardcore players.
I really enjoyed this game even though there were some rough patches. I enjoy games where I need to think strategically and I love them even more if I’m immersed in them, granted if I’m playing them solo. I didn’t like how our team’s minds were clashing together making decisions and moves more difficult to come to an agreement to. Maybe this was from other members of my team knowing what to expect cause they’d played it before or maybe it was because it was the rest of our first times. Overall, the game session went well and I would definitely play this one again with family but not friends, I feel that would get even worse.
Ultimate Werewolf was the perfect way to start Tabletop Games and Leadership. The hardest part of this game was trust. Everyone had their own role and they were all trying to figure out and accuse those who were their enemies. This in turn caused the students to become overly skeptical and defensive, which is how the game now functions. It’s almost every man for himself situation because you can’t trust anyone else except for yourself. Because of this, trust is the main issue when it comes to an individual win.
This game ties into leadership because the followers blindly trust the leader. What I mean by this is once someone deviates from the main group and votes, others will subconsciously vote for that same person because they now start to follow the majority. This may not be a fair psychological way of going about things, but it is the way how people get voted out. My personal opinion on this is that it can turn the tables if there is one confident leader with devoted followers blindly agreeing with confidence at its core. There are also other leadership factors such as the person who got naturally selected to have a certain card. This can dictate the power the person automatically obtains in the game.
Overall, the session went well but was also a little chippy. There are a lot of moving parts with synergies to different characters and situations that it was difficult to grasp the concept on my first go around. There was a lot of risk in not consciously knowing who you picked and whether or not that person was a positive or negative target in the end. It’s hard to escape this however because this game is all about that risk. There is no definite answer to a multitude of things until it’s nearly too late. This, however, is similar to taking leadership. There is no finite answer to if your leadership will take off and you play that risk knowing that, which makes a good leader if you have the confidence and the consciousness to take on that feat. Logical and critically thinking people such as my uncle for example would like this game not only because of its medieval theme but also because of the thought-provoking actions that occur as well. Overall, I personally enjoyed this game and would definitely take part again.
In class today, we had the choice to play Pandemic or Forbidden Island. I have played Pandemic before and am the cousin to Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert. When I arrived, the Pandemic was the game that stood out to me. This is a cooperative game where the team wins together or loses together. Key word: together. At the end of the class, we discussed different areas of leadership like seeing the bigger picture, leading by example, initiating conflict, thinking of all the possible outcomes, encouraging the team, sharing a common goal, and more.
These leadership concepts were very important to the game as they all contribute to how a group, organization, or team functions, hopefully in an effective way. When I play with my family I feel like I have a completely different function on the team than when I played in class. Because of this, I considered how my own experience and leadership impacted the game. I tried to lead by example but I also provided input which hopefully did not seem like I was too controlling. I probably could have improved in encouraging the team as we went but I do think they all did a good job contributing to our efforts.
We were able to play through the game twice and start the third game of Pandemic as well. I had a good feeling about the last game because we were all more comfortable and confident with the game. I felt like this led to more contribution and shared leadership overall. We also all had a better understanding of the process. Unfortunately, we lost the first two games. We lost when we ran out of black disease cubes during the first game. During the second game, we lost when we were no longer able to draw playing cards. This helped us learn the game as well as each other personalities and styles when it came to the cooperative format.
I disliked being the most comfortable with the game to start because I felt like I was overbearing at times, but this can also be helpful for others when they are just learning for the first time (I have been in that situation before). I did like how our teamwork improved every game we played. I also think we each paid attention to ways we could improve our gaming strategy as a whole.
I felt like this connected to the ideas we discussed in the class of how an organization may have either an executive team or a leadership team. The way this difference was described from our instructor’s perspective was intriguing to me. I felt as though our first round was built with more of an executive team or top individuals who took on the most work or ran things with more control. However, I feel like we transitioned to a leadership team as we all got more confident and were able to bounce ideas off of each other.
I like cooperative leadership teams better. In teams with executive boards, a small group of people controlling everything and seemingly doing the most, I either feel like I am not contributing enough or that I am overpowering the opinions of others in the group. By our third game, we had figured out how our personalities worked together to improve our success in the board game Pandemic.
In a lot of games, you are on a team working to achieve a common goal. Being on a leadership team is a very similar experience. Everyone on both teams is usually assigned to a role and given specific tasks to complete. In games players typically have special abilities to help fulfill their role. On a real-life team people have real life skills that they excel in, making them better in certain positions. In both scenarios team members can help and support each other as needed.
Leadership and games also both include a lot of management. In many games you must manage what resources you have to avoid running out and accomplish goals within a time limit. As a leader you often are scheduling dates for events and keeping up with deadlines. Leaders also manage funds, deciding what to purchase or not, much like the resource management in games. Giving people orders and keeping them happy are goals that exist both in some games and for real leaders.
Another similarity between leadership and games is that you get better at them the more you practice. As you play games more you level up and learn better strategies to grow stronger. As a leader you must have practical experience leading to get better. Much like any other skill leadership can be improved with time and effort. So don’t avoid being a leader just because you think you’re bad at it. No one starts out as the perfect leader and you’ll never have a chance to improve if you don’t start.
On Tuesday, February 15th, I attended a gaming event here on campus, specifically one of the Strategy Gaming Club’s (SGC) meetings. SGC is a student organization that provides a time and place for students to play all sorts of tabletop games, as well providing a wide selection of these games at each Sunday and Tuesday meeting. Additionally, SGC also has a group of members that have been hosting sessions of the Warhammer series of games, as well as miniatures for players to use with the games on Wednesdays. Recently though, these Wednesday meetings have been taking place alongside the Tuesday meetings, allowing those who usually could not come to the Wednesday meetings to play various Warhammer games during the Tuesday meetings instead.
SGC Tuesday meetings allow the attendants to play whatever tabletop games they want to, assuming that the organization owns those games and have brought the games with them to this meeting. Due to the fact these games could require any amount of space, the organization itself does not perform any setup of the room themselves beyond bringing the tabletop games, instead allowing the members to break up the large rectangle of tables themselves in order to create the space that they need for their chosen tabletop games. As a result, the only part of the room left in its initial state is often the far end of the tables, which are where the games not being played are located. However, this more hands-on setup is typically not a problem, as all of the attendees will often move the tables back into their initial place once they are done playing games, and the table is no longer in use.
Of course, you will need to get a group of players together for most of these tabletop games, but the other attendees of these meetings are usually more than willing to arrange groups to play larger games or join you for a game you would like to play. In many cases you might be able to play multiple different tabletop games in one meeting, but at this particular meeting I was only able to fit one game in, though I enjoyed it quite a lot. I was only able to play this game due to the fact that SGC was able to move some of its Warhammer content over to the Tuesday meetings.
Warhammer and it’s various games are something that I’ve been interested in for quite some time now, but I have never been able to experience them myself due to the large cost of building an army of miniatures and lacking any time to attend SGC’s Wednesday meetings. As such, now that Warhammer is being hosted during the Tuesday meetings, I jumped at the chance to finally play these games myself. During this meeting specifically, I played Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, a Campaign Dungeon-Crawler game set in the Warhammer 40k universe, along with three other players.
In Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress (Blackstone), you play as a group of explorers searching for relics and riches within the depths of an ancient space-faring fortress. These expeditions into the fortress take place in two distinct phases, the exploration phase and the facility phase. In the exploration phase, the players draw a card from the exploration deck, which determines what they will find in this area of the fortress. In our session, we only drew Combat cards from this deck, but other areas of the fortress will feature other challenges. Combat encounters in particular are quite complex, as they require the players to balance not only their own actions, but also their position in initiative, the group pool of Destiny Dice for additional actions and the potential actions that their enemies may take based on the roll of a twenty-sided die. After each exploration phase, the players have the option to exit the Fortress and enter the facility phase, where they can use their character’s ships to perform various actions and purchase items using the loot they have gathered, though each player can only visit one ship. From this point the players can either save their characters by placing their character cards and loot in their special card sleeve and stop for the time being or reenter the Fortress.
As Blackstone is a Campaign game, my group is still quite far from finishing it, but I had quite a lot of fun with the combat encounters that we were able to play through. However, I do not think that the fun I felt was purely attributed to the game, but to the people I was playing with as well. For one thing, one of the players in this group is actually someone that I have known since my first semester here at Miami, and that I would consider a good friend. And the two other players, even if we only recently met, were still more than willing to discuss the things they enjoy and just generally have a good time while at the meeting. This general feeling of openness and acceptance is not just something that applies to this particular meeting, as it is something that I have found in every meeting of SGC that I have attended.
I believe that it is because of this open and accepting feeling that I enjoy my time with SGC so much, both this meeting and any other. No matter what group of people I choose to play with, or what game we are playing, I enjoy my time while I am there. The community their organization has built is just so accepting and so committed to having fun that it seems to be hard not to have fun while playing tabletop games with them. Not only that, but if the game you are playing happens to be a game that you are unfamiliar with, and someone else is very familiar with, the more experienced players will typically jump at the opportunity to share something that they love with someone new. This exact scenario is what happened during the above meeting, as while I am still relatively new to the people that play Warhammer at SGC’s meetings, they were very excited to help teach me the games that they enjoy so much.
As I have expressed throughout this reflection, I have always been able to enjoy my time spent at SGC, and the meeting on February 15th was simply an example of just why that is. The community that the Strategy Gaming Club’s officers have been able to build over their time is just simply such a welcoming and open one. As a result the entire organization just has a friendly and accepting atmosphere that makes it clear that having fun and meeting new people should be the number one priority, and that the tabletop games available are simply a way to meet those people and build those friendships. Even after all of this time, there are still new people in the organization to meet, and new games to play, and so the environment that SGC provides will always be appreciated.