Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Last Night on Earth

This past Friday night, with admirably little notice, a bunch of us gathered for games at Casa de Popo y Mila to celebrate the end of the working week by playing some boardgames. The night was cold enough to warrant a fire in the fireplace, and we lit a few candles to add to the general gemuetlicheit.

The evening's main feature was to be "Last Night on Earth"-- a 2007 release from Flying Frog Productions that has been so well received by the gaming public that it is already almost out of stock. I knew Fast Eddy was a zombie-movie officiando, and since I had read several rave reviews of LNoE the choice was obvious.

Big A, Eddy, LaToya, and Paulette showed up at the appointed time (give or take two hours) and we sat down to try out this new comedy-horror starlet for ourselves. Let me say, quite simply, that the game delivered big time. For over five hours, two non-gamers, one semi-serious gamer, and three neophyte gamers were totally captivated. I don't think I've ever heard so much laughing at any gaming session. No hyperbole! And only three of us had anything to drink!

Big A and Fast Eddy volunteered to take the zombie side while the rest of us randomly chose heroes to play: Nurse Becky, Father Josef, and a couple of high school kids. All we had to do was kill 15 zombies within a certain time limit. Team Zombie had to kill any two heroes or keep the heroes from achieving their victory conditions.

Brief synopsis: For the first ten turns (out of 15), the heroes totally sucked. We ran from point A to point B like the Keystone Cops and hardly killed any zombies. The one exception was Nurse Becky (Mila) who had scrounged up a shotgun and had blasted quite a few zombies off to their second demise. The rest of us, however, could only claim one single zombie between us. The situation changed quite suddenly, though, when we finally gathered our wits and began searching the buildings for weapons. Another shotgun and some ammuntion turned up. In the final few turns zombie parts went a flyin', and the hero team racked up 15 kills even before the time had run out. Hooray, Keystone Cops! More competent than a bunch of zombies!

The evening's first game had been a success.

I was just starting to get the next game "Shadow Over Camelot" set up when the group voted to play LNoE again instead. Eddy and 'A' opted for a reprise of their role as the zombies.

New scenario. This time the heroes had to find explosives and destroy three of the four zombie spawning pits that were scattered throughout the town. This scenario was quite fun and filled with dramatic moments--- but I'll spare the Gentle Reader unnecessary detail by skipping to the final turns. The heroes, having destroyed two of the three pits, find themselves holed up in the high school gymnasium. They need to heal up, find and/or redistribute equipment and, most importantly, hatch a plan to reach and obliterate the one remaining zombie spawning pit. outside, a veritable wall of zombies is shambling menacingly in their direction, but alas the heroes have a card they can throw at the latest possible extremity-- when the zombies finally reach the doors of the highschool, the party plans to use a "Squeeze out through the Windows" card to bypass the zombies and make a blitz to the third spawning pit.

Unfortunately, unwise table-talk amongst the hero players lets the zombie players know our plans. They now ring the building instead of concentrating near the doors.

And, unfortunately, the Sheriff's flare gun fails to blow a hole though the zombie besiegers. It misses altogether. Or maybe it hits an oak tree in the next county over.

And, unfortunately, Jack the Drifter, who has the all-important explosives, rolls a 1for his movement roll, so he cannot do an end run around the zombie siege lines.

And, unfortunately, once an opening is created, Jack once again rolls a 1.

And, unfortunately, as if Fate were rubbing our noses in the stink of our own defeat, Jack's last roll is a 6, which means he is just one space short of reaching the final pit. Just one space short!

No matter. We all had a blast and are eager to play this one again soon.

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