So far this Christmas my gaming has been limited, with even my presents haul steering clear of that particular hobby and focusing on photography, Lego and frocks instead. In addition we have been occupied with family visits and preparing for the departure of our son to his new home and job.
However this afternoon we visited our friends for an afternoon of boardgames and nibbles. We started off with a game new to most of them and unfamiliar to us, as we hadn't played it in years - Chrononauts. In this game each player plays a time-traveller from one of a number of possible futures, moving around a particular section of our history and trying to alter it in order to create the time-stream that they come from. 'History' is represented by a grid of cards, and altering one event causes ripples into the future, causing other events not to take place. This causes temporal instabilities which have to be patched because too many of the cause the who time-stream to collapse, ending the game with everyone the loser.
Here's the grid, in the early part of the game:
Each player's ID, and therefore the future they are trying to create, is kept secret, so that you are not sure what conditions the another players are trying to achieve Each player also has a mission, involving the collection of a umber of historical artifacts (such as dinosaurs, a videotape of the creation of the universe or the Ark of the Covenant). Again, this mission is kept secret so no player knows exactly which artifacts the others are after.
A popular historical Linchpin was the opening of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which can be altered to be the assassination of Hitler instead. This causes all kinds of ripples in the time-line, not all of which are beneficial to the players. For example, in the first game I needed Hitler alive, because part of my time-stream involved the creation of the State of Israel, an event dependent on his existence. Yes, it's that kind of game - a later series of events has the Columbine High School Massacre being prevented because John Lennon wasn't murdered; you need to go to the game designer's website to find out the chain of events there.
At this point in the game Hitler was very dead, but came back to life and died a couple of times afterwards. It was all very confusing.
Maya won the first game fairly swiftly after other players patched a series of temporal paradoxes in WW1 and inadvertently set up her time-stream for her. The second game took longer, although the time-stream came close to collapse at one point. JFK lived and died a few times, although Hitler stayed mostly dead in that one. In the end I was able to prevent the Hindenburg disaster and cause WWIII to break out as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis thus creating the post-apocalyptic future my mutant cockroach needed in order to win.
We then switched to Cosmic Encounter - just the one game. We played a full six-player game, but the result was a bit of a foregone conclusion, with Eric as Virus being difficult to stop with the other powers in play. I played Philanthropist, Maya played Chimera, Marco played Predator, Catherine and Cei played Chosen, and Jon and Claudia played Clone. In fact three of us were on four of the five bases needed to win by the end, but Virus is hard to defeat if the cards are unkind.
We should be playing more games on New Year's Eve. Stay tuned ...
Update: I also forgot the two games of Uno we played. We. Played. Uno. I won one of them.
Another Update: At some point yesterday this blog quietly slipped past the 500,000 views mark.