Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exploring deep fear (Mall of Horror, RoboRally, Funny Friends)

For our halloween session of WAGS, I was able to choose the games. I felt it was a good opportunity to explore a serious phobia many of us have... the fear of being TRAPPED.

1) You are trapped in a strange place, and hideous monsters are trying to kill you. Mall of Horror.
2) You are trapped in a deadly factory, and surrounded by insane machinery and robots programmed by buffoons. RoboRally.
3) You are trapped in a life that is going from bad to worse, and that's on a good day. Funny Friends.

Okay, so the game choices were a bit tongue in cheek, but whatever.

Mall of Horror

Luch took control of the parking lot early on and held it with an iron grasp. He accumulated enough weaponry to take out all the zombies that came along. Meanwhile, the rest of us jockeyed for safe haven as the zombies accumulated ominously at the doors of the shops. Shemp, in a disastrous turn halfway through, lost all his characters and played the rest of the game as the designated zombie placer. When it was down to four survivors, Kozure and Luch tied because their hot chicks survived. Luch had, of course, more cards in hand and won on the tie-breaker.

Side note: Bharmer announced that he got married recently (and, apparently, very stealthily). Luch gave him an equipment card he drew from the parking lot as a wedding present. Just wanted to point out that that present came from ALL of us.


We played the scenario called "Ball Lightning". It's a relatively short 1 board/ 4 flag scenario but the trick is that all cards MUST be programmed within 30 seconds (one turn of the sand timer) or cards are programmed at random. That's a very short period of time to plan, and everyone's execution suffered for it. Of course, RoboRally is funniest when plans don't go as they should, so I enjoyed myself as usual. The only problem is that I had specifically chosen it because it was listed as "short" in the scenario book, but unfortunately it took 1.5 hours. Going where you needed to go with so little time to plan was quite difficult, never mind the inherent chaos created by having 5 robots on the same playing field.

I laboriously made it to the first flag and then barely made it to the second flag before 10pm hit (in the real world) and we decided to pack up so we could play our last game. By then, it was clear that Luch was going to win... he was two spaces away from his fourth and final flag. Shemp just barely made it to 1. It was chaotic, hellish and funny. Exactly as I had hoped.

Funny Friends

It's been a long time since we've played this at WAGS. JayWowzer joined us to make it a sixsome(?) and we set about leading really pathetic lives together. For those keeping score. Luch, Chris and I where men; Shemp, Bharmer and JayWowzer were women.

I started out finding the church and becoming sad nobody loved me. Then, I fell in love on a school trip and I promptly cheated on her. The poetry I started writing led me to become an Elvis impersonator. Some may argue that that was the high point of my miserable life, because the later part saw one of my condoms break leading me into fatherhood and a relationship with Shemp that I tried REPEATEDLY to get out of (I cheated through a one night stand with Bharmer, turned to drugs, consented when Bharmer wanted me once again and eventually turned to drugs because alcohol wasn't enough to dull the pain of being in a secure marriage with Shemp.

When Kozure ended the game, I had just started a cult.

Other lives lead:

Kozure was a drinker, an eater, a frequenter of roadhouses and a workaholic. All that changed when he had a vision of St. Mary, joined the loser club and became an alcoholic. Lucky for him, he caught a bridal bouquet, met "Kevin" at a drive-in movie and became happily married, and a freak. (Is it obvious he won the game?)

Bharmer was a freak in puberty and had no friends. He eventually discovered BSW (online gaming site), became so fat he resorted to liposuction and then became a game designer (obviously, that was when I swooned and consented to sleep with him).

JayWowzer was in an accident as a youth, and turned to drugs, drinking, religion and crash diets to deal with the pain. Despite becoming a certified addict, his parties and church meetings allowed him to establish the large circle of friends he always dreamed of.

Luch's life was rather incoherent. He dabbled in the black market, bullied and got a girl pregnant before selling his body to science, getting into fights and being a male sperm raider(!). All this allowed him to quit smoking, write his memoirs and become a millionaire.

Some may say that Shemp's life was defined by him (her) starting a commune and checking into a looney bin, but I would argue he (she) existed primarily to keep me married and use me for sex in order to first achieve the common goal of being a sex maniac.


I'll be the first to admit that Funny Friends doesn't really work as well as it could mechanically, but it's not bad and we all laughed a lot while playing. Other groups I've played this with have loved it, so even though it's not full of strategery I still am happy to play it once in a while.

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