Angoel (angoel) wrote,

I've been somewhat tired recently; a combination of late nights doing fun stuff and somewhat less fun insomnia [1]. So when I say that I didn't enjoy attending the Hide-and-Seek Sandpit this evening as much as I normally have, this probably reflects more on my current state of mind than necessarily the quality of the games.

Certainly, the theme didn't particularly help my state of mind. 'Spies and Lies' is interesting as a premise, but in execution seemed to lead to lack of clarity in game direction. People tried to institute the thematic uncertainty and bluff of spying into the game mechanics and so it was harder to engage in the games. Or, indeed in some cases, work out where they were taking place. I never did get round to making my own mustache :/.

The lack of clarity was possibly not aided by my failing to register for the games properly, and thus ending up with games less suited to my style of playing. With Dossier, I suffered from knowing explicitly who some of the people were (the perils of knowing the organisers), and not standing a chance of working out who the remaining ones were. With Manila, the slightly confusing rules split into three sheets meant that I only caught on with what I was supposed to be doing ten minutes into the game, and this coupled with lack of energy meant that I dropped out at that point.

The interesting game of the evening was Border Guards. By interesting, I mean conceptually, but with some problems in the execution. A group of smugglers was tasked with the job of moving a set of items which were subject to interception by the boarder guards, of whom I was one. When I saw the game, I was instantly tempted to defect to the smuggling team, who seemed to have a far more interesting job; sadly my suspicions turned out correct. While not uninteresting, the border guard job did not feel as if one had any power to prevent the items being smuggled (the greatest sanction was to turn smuggler and item back), rather holding back a tide of inevitability.

It would have been considerably improved by having the ability to actually confiscate items which one caught in smugglers possessions, the automatic recruitment of caught smugglers to the boarder guard patrol, more careful choice in the items to be smuggled (each item should be in some way difficult to move undetected; a constantly ringing alarm clock, an overlong pole, a fish-tank full of water, etc.), by giving the guards some idea about what they were trying to stop, probably by having a choice of routes so that the guards couldn't just stand outside one doorway and see what the smugglers came up with next, and somewhat clearer instructions. I suggested some of the ideas to the organisers, so in the way of these things, we'll see what sticks.

By ten or so I was feeling very small and lacking in energy. I thus quietly snuck off home again. Notionally, this was to get an early night, although in practice it seems merely to have provided enough time to blog about the event. Oh, well - something vaguely productive has come out of it anyway.

[1] Although I admit that the evening in which I bounced out of bed full of energy at midnight and cooked dinner, jelly, and mango-and-mint-muffins was something special.
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