I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained this, but we play on a different night each week to accommodate Steve. More specifically, to accommodate his wife’s work schedule, but regardless, Steve is the one with the difficult calendar. Leon will occasionally have a conflict with one of his kids, and Workman and I hardly ever can’t do game night. Typically what happens is this:
Me (I’m the unofficial planner): “Steve, what nights you got next week?” Steve: “Wednesday and Thursday.” Leon: “I can’t do Wednesday, do Thursday.” And life is good, we have a Thursday game night, Workman wins something, and you wonderful people read about it the next day.
But every now and then, this happens: Me (Still the unofficial planner, they really don’t appreciate me): “Steve, what nights you got next week?” Steve: “Just Wednesday.” Leon: “I can’t do Wednesday.”
And then there’s this awkward silence because Workman and I know, like sad children caught up in an unfortunate divorce, we have to choose between mom and dad. Who do we play with? Steve? Or Leon?
This time, we chose Leon. I’m not saying we felt good about it. Just like life, sometimes game night is cruel and unfair. But it must go on. (Actually, that’s not true at all. We could just cancel and spare someone’s feelings. But where’s the fun in that?)
So left with a 3P game night, we went the co-op route again. I’d been wanting to play Ghost Stories for YEARS now.
Ok, true confession. While it’s true I have wanted to try Ghost Stories for a long time, I REALLY wanted to play Root again. I tried to call an audible over dinner. I had it in the car. I even had the expansion. Also in the car. We could play with three. People do it all the time. I want to play it again so badly. We won’t play it next week, Workman’s already picked Millennium Blades. Who knows when we’ll play again. I even offered to write a fake blog so Steve wouldn’t find out (he made a passionate plea for us not to play again without him. Selfish bastard.) (Although, for all you know, this is a fake blog and we did play Root. Damn, that’s meta.)
But we stuck with Ghost Stories. For some reason. (Despite my bold bravado in my posts, I’m not really all that assertive. I should work on that.)
Leon had never played Ghost Stories either, and while I usually over-prepare for game night, I had only watched part of a play-through (a couple of weeks ago) and had tried to read the rules but just couldn’t get through them. Workman hadn’t played in a while, so the first part of the game was spent reading the rulebook.
Our intrepid monks, innocently starting out.
I say “the first part of the game”......I should actually say “the entirety of the first game.” We got waxed pretty hard pretty quick.
Workman’s dead monk body. His death was best part of the first game.
Game one was over so fast, Workman wanted to play again. (Which pretty much sealed the deal on me not getting to play Root but who’s bitter?) So we re-built the deck and re-tiled the tiles and got busy. (Not got busy like in the sexual sense, just like literally got busy. Literally. Busy.)
Game two went much better. We did a much better job of placing Buddhas and using powers and exchanging powers and managing Tao tokens....we were practically professional ghost fighting monks (which is an actual thing I’m sure). By the time we got around to fighting our boss monster (“Bone Cracker” - not kidding) we were feeling pretty confident.
But Bone Cracker was crazy hard. (The “That’s what she said” jokes mostly wrote themselves there at the end.) He was a four red ghost and the bastard took our Tao tokens. So not cool. On my last turn, I could move to Leon’s square, share his last remaining red token, and roll three dice. I would need to roll three red or three white (or some combination of red and white) to win. Leon and I thought that’s what I should do. After all, Leon would lose the red token on his turn. It was our last chance to use it.
But Workman talked us out of it. Don’t waste your time, he said. You’ll never make the roll, he said. I don’t even remember what I did instead, but I remember what I rolled:
Leon took his turn and we lost our last Tao token. But then Workman took his turn and he exorcised the boss monster and he rolled acceptably well:
I can’t remember now why Workman only needed the three red (maybe he had a token?) but whatevs. We won.
Except kind of we didn’t. We missed an errata and misplayed the “enfeebled” power. We passed that power around the whole game. Incorrectly it seems. (And speaking of passing powers around, Antoine Bauza took that mechanic and built his whole other ridiculously hard co-op Samurai Spirit around that one thing. I’ve played that game a lot, and probably like it better than Ghost Stories if I’m honest. It doesn’t get enough love.)
But back to not really winning. We didn’t really. Win. But it was fun. It was no Root. But it was fun.
Keeping with the monk theme, we played Biblios after. Leon announced that he “effing hates this game” midway through. And then (shockingly) didn’t win. Didn’t even have points! So he demanded we play again (which seemed to be the theme of the evening - bitter replays. Also monks.) And he lost that game as well. Workman won both games with 8 points each (despite some hilariously poor bidding). I think I had 6 points in both games. Leon managed to get some points (4?) in the second game but didn’t manage to stop hating it. Ah well. I still love you, Biblios.
And that, as they say, was game night. It was fun times. Not Root fun times, but fun times.
Be sure to tune in next week when we also don’t play Root. But until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!