[SR] GSG 08/28: Bridge Troll, Tales of the Arabian Nights
- ATTENDEES: Anthony, Phil, Bob, Mark, James, Ken
GAMES PLAYED: Bridge Troll, Tales of the Arabian Nights
Anthony hosted at his place in Cumberland. Melissa joined us for a
little while and played a few turns of Bridge Troll. But she left
when Ken arrived, as she had go do some reading (or was it raiding?)
in World of Warcraft. Thank you for hosting, Anthony!
BRIDGE TROLL: Phil, Mark, Ken, Anthony, James, Bob
We were all new to this game. Each player is a troll trying to
attract travelers to cross their bridge, with the goal being to
enhance the bridge through improvements. It takes a combination of
tolls and food to make the improvements, and travelers can either be
eaten or fleeced of their wealth. Trolls compete for the travelers by
bidding like-colored boulders (wooden cubes), with the highest bidder
getting first choice of travelers. Most travelers are slotted to
either food or tolls, but some go into your hand and are played later
for a special affect, after which they become food. Note that some
travelers are evil and do nasty things, like steal food or tolls, or,
in the case of the Billy Goats Gruff, potentially steal points. As
this is a mostly closed system, the lowest bidder then gets first
choice at recovering any players' boulder bid. You may also close
your bridge and instead gain boulders from the supply in an amount
equal to the number of players who opened their bridge this turn.
Players then have the opportunity to convert food and tolls into
bridge points. Play continues until the traveler deck is exhausted,
and the player with the most bridge points wins.
The game is slow at first, but picks up steam as players gain traveler
cards. As start player rotates, tied bids are resolved by lowest (?)
cube count (which we failed to do!) and then by turn order. There is
also a weather die that is rolled each turn which determines the
number of travelers that are present. Sometimes, it was advantageous
to bid a lot for a choice traveler, and sometimes it was advantageous
to bid a single cube in the hopes of going last, and thereby take the
All of us managed to make at least one improvement to our bridge. Bob
seemed to lag behind, as he always seemed to encounter bandits and
knights, who "rescued" other travelers from his clutches. Meanwhile I
managed to defeat 2 or 3 Billy Goats, one of which gave me 7 bridge
points! Mark and Anthony each made around 3 or 4 improvements to
their bridges, but in the end the points I got from the Billy Goats
was more than they could amass. Final scores were: 24, 22, 19, 16,
TALES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS: Mark, Phil, Bob, Anthony, Ken, James
Everyone but Anthony and Ken were new to this game of adventure and
story making. This game is reminiscient of those solo adventure
booklets, particularly the Death Test modules for the old Metagaming
Melee/Wizard, which have you selecting different paragraphs to tell a
story depending on the actions taken. However, TotAN is much more
sophisticated, as it has different actions for different sections and
locations, and the story will change based on the skills you start
with and obtain throughout the tale.
Everyone starts with a quest and three skills, along with markers on
wealth, destiny, and story tracks. Your overall goal is to increase
your story and destiny levels to some pre-determined amounts as chosen
by each player at the beginning of the game. The combined total is 20
points. In this game, I chose as my goals to obtain 10 story and 10
destiny points. These points are gained (and sometimes lost) as the
result of encounters. On a turn, a player moves a certain number of
spaces on the map (as governed by their current wealth), and then
rolls a die, applies modifiers, and is presented with a scenario (as
read by the player to his left). The player then has to decide which
action (usually there are 10 choices) to take. This leads to a
numbered paragraph, which may further be modified if the player
possesses appropriate skills. Points are sometimes awarded, as are
status cards (which may be helpful or a hindrance). If a quest is
completed, then other status cards are taken, and a new quest is
chosen. Play continues until someone achieves their victory
James visited Alexandria on his first turn, and was foiled in a
thievery attempt and immediately imprisoned. His attempts to bribe or
fight or sweetalk his way out of prison were thwarted. Finally, due
to his acting skills, he was able to escape jail on his 4th turn. Bob
was Ali Baba, and had to go on a pilgrimage to Amaninople (sp?) and
then to Mecca, which he eventually completed. Anthony was Sinbad, Ken
was Aladdin, and Mark was some chick in a green veiled dress. I was
Ma'aruf, and my initial quest was to seek my true love. I succeeded
in this quest during the 5th or 6th turn, which granted me the status
of being married and being a vizier. Mark was kind to a beggar, who
turned out to be the Sultan's son, and so he got a large reward. He
also gained the Robe of Honor, but we could not locate the card for
that status (it is a status, and not a treasure). Anthony was stabbed
once while defending someone's honor, and Ken visited the sex-change
fountain (but did not drink from it).
This game was quite enjoyable, and certainly different from any other
games we normally play. We particularly liked how the paragraph book
and the event chart were rotated each turn to either side of the
active player, as this kept everyone involved in the game. We stopped
after 2 hours, as it was getting kinda late. Mark was the furthest
along both tracks (Destiny=8, Story=9), so he was declared the winner.
I can see myself playing this with my family, so I placed an order
for it as soon as I got home.
I don't know who will be hosting next week (4-Aug), but Mark will be
on vacation, and yBob and Gary will be away at WBC.
Eastern MA Gaming
"But how do you plan for a bank full of nuns?"
"When playing a game the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is
important, not the winning."
- Reiner Knizia
- I have been very curious about Tales of the Arabian Nights. I have read some reviews and the game rules....but I have not had a chance to play.
I wanted to ask -- is it a game? Does a person have any control over the events they encounter or it this more of an experience?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
- Hi Todd,
Definitely more of an experience than a game. There are
decisions to be made, choosing your starting skills, your victory
conditions and your reactions to each encounter. So you do have
input as a player. If one of my skills is "use weapons" I might be
more inclined to resort to the more aggressive reaction choices in
encounters. Those choices definitely do effect outcomes. By how
much, that I don't really know. I've only played once and it all
seemed pretty random. But again, I've only played once.
As an experience it was a good bit of fun as you watch each
individual's adventure unfold. I bought it as soon as I got home as
I think my kids would really enjoy it and it's a good beer and
pretzels game for when you don't want to think too hard.
At 10:32 PM 7/29/2009, tddcutrona wrote:
>"Logan... you renewed!"
>I have been very curious about Tales of the Arabian Nights. I have
>read some reviews and the game rules....but I have not had a chance to play.
>I wanted to ask -- is it a game? Does a person have any control over
>the events they encounter or it this more of an experience?
>Any thoughts would be appreciated.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- The game mechanics themselves are pretty dry. The whole point of it
is roleplaying and storytelling. Played with a proper crowd, it's a
great deal of fun. Played with a crowd that just wants to read out of
the encounter book and roll dice, well, it's not very gratifying.
On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:53 PM, Mark J.
> Hi Todd,
> Definitely more of an experience than a game. There are
> decisions to be made, choosing your starting skills, your victory
> conditions and your reactions to each encounter. So you do have
> input as a player. If one of my skills is "use weapons" I might be
> more inclined to resort to the more aggressive reaction choices in
> encounters. Those choices definitely do effect outcomes. By how
> much, that I don't really know. I've only played once and it all
> seemed pretty random. But again, I've only played once.
> As an experience it was a good bit of fun as you watch each
> individual's adventure unfold. I bought it as soon as I got home as
> I think my kids would really enjoy it and it's a good beer and
> pretzels game for when you don't want to think too hard.
> At 10:32 PM 7/29/2009, tddcutrona wrote:
>>I have been very curious about Tales of the Arabian Nights. I have
>>read some reviews and the game rules....but I have not had a chance to
>>I wanted to ask -- is it a game? Does a person have any control over
>>the events they encounter or it this more of an experience?
>>Any thoughts would be appreciated.
> "Logan... you renewed!"
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]