This weekend I attended the annual Gamer’s Weekend gathering (affectionately known as “Dork Weekend”) a friend of mine hosts at his house. I’ve gone the last couple years and it’s been quite the experience- twenty to thirty people getting together for non-stop gaming (and drinking) goodness. Thanks to these magnificent dorks I’ve been exposed to some of my current favorite games, like Dominion, Werewolf and Munchkin, kickstarting my current board game obsession.
This year I went for Saturday night, usually the most well-attended night. I entered to find four games going on already- Dixit, Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, Small World and Fluxx. Saying hello to a few friends I jumped into the next round of Zombie Fluxx, which turned out to be just as entertaining as I’d heard.
Fluxx is a series of card games that starts with the absolute simplest rules you can image. You each draw three cards from the deck and place the rest in the middle of the table. The rules at the start are simply “Draw One, Play One”. There are a few types of cards you can play: Keepers, which are handy items which are placed in front of you, Creepers, which can prevent you from winning the game (zombies in this version), Action cards which allow you to do things like take cards from other players, Goals and Rules.
Rules? Yep. See, every played card can change the rules of the game drastically, from increasing how many cards you draw, how many cards you can have in your hand, and even how you can win the game. Only by playing Goal cards do you even have a way to win the game, in fact. This can be something like They Fear Fire, which lets you win if you have the Gasoline Can and Lumber cards in front of you, or my personal favorite Zombie Baseball Team, which lets you win if you have nine Zombie cards and a Baseball Bat.
The nature of the game being what it is, though, you can work towards one goal only to have someone simply change it by playing another card. The Zombie version changes up the basic Fluxx game by allowing the Zombies to win, and the rest of you to lose. Something to watch out for!
The constantly changing rules can get tricky to keep track of but it really only adds to the hilarity. It’s a really fast-paced game, easy to pick up and playable in 15-30 minutes, and of course I have to pick up my own copy now. Fluxx comes in multiple varieties- regular Fluxx, EcoFluxx, Stoner Fluxx even (gasp) Monty Python Fluxx. Pirate Fluxx comes out in a week.
After a few games of Fluxx we went into a six-player Space Munchkin game, which wasn’t a good idea. The game’s entertaining as hell, especially since it encourages you screwing over your friends, but I’ve found that with over four people it becomes interminable. The two hour plus game confirmed that.
Afterwards it was time for lots and lots of Ultimate Werewolf.
Known to most folks as Mafia, the party game is pretty simple- you’re a group of villagers with a werewolf problem. Every night the werewolves silently decide who they’re going to maul and eat while the villagers sleep (close their eyes). When everyone opens their eyes and awakes and finds out who is dead, the rest of the remaining villagers have to figure out who the werewolf is, and lynch someone. This means that there’s lots of accusing and yelling and people examining everyone’s behavior intently for any tells. For a big group of people, this is easily the best game there is. The Ultimate Werewolf version comes with different cards that give the villagers more to do, like a Bodyguard who can choose to protect a different person from death each night, or a Seer who can point at a person and find out if they’re a werewolf or not. It keep people a lot more involved, although when you’re dead you’re out of the game. Easily the best time of the night.
Afterwards, winding down from many hours of games, I noticed a gigantic box sitting under the table and asked the host if it really was what I thought it was.
After a game of constantly getting smashed by fireballs, I managed to sneak past a friend, nab the gem from him and escape to the boat.
Yes, we played Fireball Island at 5:30 in the morning before heading home, a group of men in their late twenties and early thirties, just barely getting into my house before the sunlight hit.
What a night.