Sunday, December 02, 2007

Games That Make You Go FUCK! Part 2: "Six Stress Stimulators"

In my first column by the similar name I explained the thought process behind Games That Make You Go Fuck! Granted that first one was written from a negative slant but this one will be games that I do thoroughly enjoy but never the less make you go...Fuck!

Six Stress Stimulators are those games that even during the damnable setup of the game you are thinking to yourself "Dear God what have I got myself into?" or "Damn I hope I can manage to achieve X scenario before Joe-Bob" or even "Wasn't that colonoscopy I had done the other day less painful than this game?"

Yes these are games that I do adore and for some bizarre reason want to play again and again even though I'm pretty certain that either before or during the early rounds of these games I've been known to grumble "I hate this fucking game." Isn't that the mark of a good game though? Make those brain cells burn! Those gut wrenching decisions that you are not sure will pan out exactly like you wanted them to. Ahhhhhh yes sit down, play the game and go FUCK!

Die Macher. Certainly the inspiration for this list. The legend itself. The fabled game entry #1 on BGG and for a long time in the top 10 games on BGG. Yes a serious four hour tromp through the world of Germanic Politics at it's finest. What can I say about this game that has not already been said somewhere? I suppose I could say that playing Die Macher can be compared to taking a fine ground pesto paste, adding Tabasco sauce to it, smearing it on your gentiles and letting a goat lick it clean. In that I mean it's a bit scary to even to begin with, is a bit painful in the execution but somewhere along the line has a strong element of excitement and if the goat works it just right has a big pay off at the end. I could say and feel pretty good that nothing like that has ever been said in reference to this game to date. Yes I could say that but as I don't own a goat I have no real point of reference for that statement.

Die Macher is one of the few games that I've played that managed to squirm it's weasley ass into the coveted "Rank 10" spot on my BGG profile. Yes the game is that engaging. You get so sucked into this game that you do not feel the 4 hours slip past you like 4 hours of watching bum fights. You can't just say you have a tough decision to make right have to consider how this decision is going to impact what you have decided to already decide in the next 3 or 4 phases of this turn not to mention the entire next turn of the fucking game. Damn I'm tired just thinking about a game turn...but I do want to play it.

Diplomacy. Ahhhhhh the grand daddy of the of the "Who's the biggest asshole" games. I mean really people. There is nothing quite like spending 5-6 hours of your pitiful life huddled around a table, getting up to go talk to this backstabber that wants you to screw that guy, come back and that guy wants to talk to you about backstabbing the original backstabber meanwhile 4 other people keep getting and going off to talk and you know it's about them all backstabbing you when you finally come to a conclusion as to what you are going to do and deals are made and you think everything is equitable the turn starts and that guy and the original backstabber both plunge their knives deep into your spine. NOW that's gaming. NOW that's stress filled gaming.

Yes a World War II game with no real battles. I invade, but we bounce, the game is after all called Diplomacy. So it's all about your ability to negotiate with irrational son's of bitches and try your damndest to not get ass raped by someone who last turn was your bestest buddy in the whole wide world. FUCK! Oh yes this is a good game and to think people play this online...why for all that is sweet and innocent...why would you ever play this online. This is a face to face game if ever one was crafted.

Crokinole. The Ultimate is top notch Canadian know how all wrapped up into a simple on the table top piece of furniture...uhhh I mean game. Who else could have brought us the imbecilic "One ass cheek on the chair at all times" rule other than those wacky Canadians? "SO! I'm gonna pick up one of my pucks eh, and i'mma gonna hafta knock one of your pucks the heck outta there eh." Yes a game that truly does feel it was invited on the floor of some isolated cabin during a 38 day blizzard when the fun of group masturbation had wore off (along with certain anatomy skin) and dinner was currently consisting of the group's 2nd pet dog.

I do like some dexterity games! No doubt about that and Crokinole is my favorite of the bunch. Think flicking those cursed little wooden pucks around isn't stressful? Try creating a league. Put together 8 to 10 teams of 2 people. Play a season of games where each team plays the other twice a season for point. Whittle the field down to half teams and start the playoffs...maybe single game elimination or if you are feeling really saucy make it best of 3. Then play the finals. The smack talk, the eyes upon you and the pressure of needing to get this one puck in the 20 know what's coming by now don't you?.....FUCK!

Voc. Do you even know what game this is? Voc! is Splotter Spielen's game about the found of the Dutch Indies company. Now doesn't that just sound ever bit as thrilling as a game about running for a chair in German politics? Well at least this one isn't 4 hours of endurance. No instead here the big deal mechanic is using a dry erase marker you must navigate your ship....with your eyes closed. So this leaves you wonder where to draw the line so you don’t crash into continents. No worries you faithful shipmates will help you navigate. Trick is they can only speak one word and usually the get to speak one word 2 maybe 3 times per sail. Throw in that chances are good you’ll end up on a boat with someone who doesn’t get which direction North/South/East/West is or better doesn’t know LEFT from RIGHT and gives you the wrong command plunging your boat into the murky depths of the ocean.

For those who haven’t played Voc yet it’s surprising how fast and hard your heart beats when you close those eyes and are hoping you are making a turn at just the right time. What happens when the idiots…I mean shipmates run out of words? Well you are still sailing they just can’t help you anymore…do you press on and hope for the best or stop and pick up next turn from this place? Why the for shits sake he is starting to laugh? Am I doing something good or bad? Am I still on target or did I drag the pen too far to the left wait is that my left or right? Ahhhhhhhhhh FUCK!

Antiquity. Another game by Splotter and so why not lump both these douche bag games right here together then? Here’s a game that let’s you build your civilization, pollute the world, kill off your people all in the name of furthering yourself. Awesome! Now if you are really working it you can even manage to get to a point where you start polluting in other players areas via the water ways so yes you get to destroy the natural habitat that way too. This game kicks so much ass in that sense it’s frigging amazing.

But that does leave you sitting there wondering…who’s gonna be polluting in your back yard and when? Did he manage to man his dump this turn? Cause I really need to dump my pollution in his area cause I don’t have the ability to anywhere around me I’m so damned full up from last turn. Oh but building is done secret so who knows what people have manned. Not to mention other players are not the biggest threat to your existence in this game…YOU are. That’s right Antiquity has built in self kill mechanism so each and every turn is based around calculating if you’ll be able to manage to keep your in the game. Forget playing for victory conditions dammit I’m playing to stay alive. Have I even thought about victory conditions yet? Well I don’t have a cathedral built yet to tell me what my conditions will be. Maybe I should look into…wait a second he just filled in those last two areas of my open space next to my 2nd city! I needed that for my pollution…FUCK!

Well there you go. Those are my picks of damned good games, game that I love to play and want to play again right now but none the less make you go “FUCK.”

What’s that? It’s only five games and I said six in the title? Well yeah that’s right but back off jack off. I was just using a bit of ultra cool alliteration and couldn’t make FIVE work. Does it really make sense to have a list of 6 some things when it’s common to use 5 as a mid/stopping point? Yeah, I don’t think so either. So that’s my reasoning anyway.

Could there be a sixth for me? Hell yeah and it seems to me if I were to extend a few brain cells to think on it the ones that now quickly pop into mind are the card driven two player games like; Twilight Struggle, Hammer of the Scots, Crusader Rex, and of course Hannibal: Rome Vs. Carthage. Still I’m not going to talk about those here and now cause I’m pretty damn sick of this entry already so thanks for sticking with it and getting this far.

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