Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chaos, I say, plain chaos! (Space Alert)

Yesterday I had a chance to play Space Alert, which was a completely new experience for me.

Being a complete newbie in the game I don't know which expansion, if any, were used and things like that.

Anyway, you're a crew member in a starship that explores the final frontier, searching for new life forms. Well. They're all kinda hostile in the game.

What makes the game so different is that it uses audio tracks. You hear what's happening (and when) from the CD, and then you plan your actions accordingly. Once you have your actions set, you can't change them and you just roll with any and all mistakes you have made. Because, really, there were five players and the mission plays for 15 minutes. You have actions for, what, 12 steps? That's a bit over a minute to decide each of your actions, all the while keeping track of what happens where and trying to figure out who does what and most importantly, that all players coordinate their actions.


Mistakes are bound to happen.

We played three times, and first game was a complete disaster. Nothing worked out, we didn't manage to kill even a single threat. But if I remember right it was the mission number 8. Maybe a poor choice for a group of five players where two had zero or near zero experience about the game.

Second game went a bit better. Though it involved a lot of shooting at imaginary targets and trying to shoot with unloaded weapons. We scored 15 points with most of red and blue zone almost completely destroyed, but hey, we survived. It was mission 1 this time, though. Maybe it was a bit easier than the later missions.

We still had time for a third game, and since it was such a great fun, we played second mission too. We won the mission again, but mostly because the mistakes all the players did somehow play together a lot better than the players itself... Also, a special mention goes to our captain, who at least in my imagination just sat in the control room, looking out of the big window and smoking cigars, doing some "visual confirmation" on destroyed targets. But because of that visual confirmation we managed to beat our last missions score. This time we got 19.

Anyway. It's an awesome game of chaos where you just have to try to do something and hope you won't screw anyone others plans. Sure you can and must negotiate with other players what to do, but... a bit over a minute for each action you take and five people discussing and tracking happenings...

I had fun, yeah.

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