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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 26: Games Revisited!

A double baker’s dozen weeks are complete (how’s that for the dramatic) and it’s time for a short status report. So far, I have played 79 games off the list. There are about 24 weeks to go (since I started this column late January) and I am feeling pretty good about getting all the games remaining played. Even more so that there are a couple of games on the list that I’m thinking about getting rid of in the next game cull (either Gen Con or at the local game store in October). I do want to thank my friends and gaming group that have put up with all these games that have allowed me to get as many done as I have. I also plan on going to three additional conventions this year that I hope will allow me to get some of the more obscure ones completed (like High Frontier).

The first game played this week was Tales of Arabian Nights. This storytelling game is similar to Agents of Smersh that I talked about in part 6 (Tales of Arabian Nights is probably that game’s predecessor honestly), but instead of working together towards stopping the villain, each player is moving about the board trying to accumulate a set number of story and destiny points. Your turn is simple; you move based on your wealth level (penniless, wealthy and rich to name a few). After movement, you take the top encounter card, roll a single d6 and use the book of tales to determine what you discover. Each encounter has the player decide on a course of action based on the reaction matrix for the encounter in question (for example: what will you do when you meet an angry Princess – aid, rob, court or attack her). From there, the story enfolds and you might get treasure, skills or a status (some are good and some are bad). The easiest way to begin your tale is by starting on your personal quest, but whether you will ever complete it is a different matter as events can pull you this way and that. Once someone has their required story and destiny points, they head back to Bagdad and win. Normally I would say that Agents of Smersh has a couple of things going for it over this game, but the crazy stories that can happen when you play Tales of Arabian Nights gets me every time!

Tales of Arabian Nights: A games that creates wondrous stories as players move about the board getting into all manner of adventures (and mishaps).

Tales of Arabian Nights: A games that creates wondrous stories as players move about the board getting into all manner of adventures (and mishaps).

Second game (and last for this week) played was Ground Floor. This game puts the players as an owner of a small company looking to make it big in an ever-shifting economy. Each turn, players get income based on the number of employees they have (between paying $3 for 5 total employees to receiving $9 for 1 employee). The first employee (the CEO) gives players 4 time units (TUs) with each additional trained employee handing out three time units apiece (yep, you need to spend time training your employees). Next, players are able to hire employees based on the previous economic state (booming markets have less unemployed workers than recessions). Phase three has players using their time units to schedule business. Each player has a personal board that consists of six actions that they may take as well as a main board with an additional seven actions. Once players have used all their time units, it is onto the conduct business phase. This is where you resolve the actions on the main board in order from left to right (the actions taken on your personal board occur during the schedule business phase). Such actions as the consulting firm that gains you a vast amount of Info but it requires cash – and a second turn (Info is the last commodity in the game after money and time), the advertising agency (the most popular company goes first, gains marketing bonuses and will sell their products easier in the retail outlets) and the Construction Company (where you build additional floors to your business). The game ends after 9 turns or when someone builds to the 6th floor. The game has a lot of paths to victory depending on the economic outlook and what your competitors (the other players) are doing. The more I play this one, I more I enjoy the experience. I really hope to get this one back to the table soon.

Ground Floor: Do you have what is takes to become the most prestigious seller of “Bob Segar Bobble-head dolls” (we always make up what we are actually selling for this game)?

Ground Floor: Do you have what is takes to become the most prestigious seller of “Bob Segar Bobble-head dolls” (we always make up what we are actually selling for this game)?

The two games played this past week I have often thought about selling. They aren’t bad games and I personally like them, but I always feel that the other players were lackluster about the game experience. So, both of these games have been on the fence to sell off from time to time, but I’ve always made an excuse to keep them. Good thing too, since we had an absolute blast playing these! I mean, the stories that were created through the game of Tales of Arabian Nights had me close to tears I was laughing so hard. Perhaps it’s all about finding the right crowd for a game you like.

In other news:

Like Zombicide? Season 3 is on Kickstarter and ends on July 27, I recommend that one if you are looking for a zombie killin’ good time!

Also, Yomi: a fighting card game that I talked about earlier is on Kickstarter. This one has ten new characters and an update to the originals (better art and game play) and ends in a couple of days (July 17). This is a really good two player game that simulates the computer fighting games pretty well.

Until next time – Play a game!

Brendan Mayhugh


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