Sunday, 11 October 2015

Don’t take it Persiannaly

This Saturday marked, quite by chance, the fifth anniversary of the first post on GNN. Joe hosted Sam and I for a little light refreshments and tactical exercise. Except that tonight, we put aside our wooden cubes and dreams of end-of-game bonuses and instead went for the story-telling giant that is Tales of the Arabian Nights.

A map with no cubes or railways on it? How can this be?

Joe’s tale most involved meeting ‘efreets. He met five in total during his travels. An evil ‘efreet cursed him, a vengeful ‘efreet stole his money and left him in a dirty alley somewhere. On the plus side, another ‘efreet gave him a magic ring and when he saved a fourth one from a house fire, it gave him access to anywhere on the board. Finally, he charmed the fifth ‘efreet with his stories and was made Sultan in reward.

My tale was all about social climbing.I found the lair of horrible creatures and became Respected. I helped a Noble Wizard kill an elusive beast and got a Robe Of Honour and became rich. I got two treasures, a Celestial Planisphere and a magic bead. Finally, I prayed for a maiden to save her from a dark serpent. She was so grateful that she became my wife.

Sam’s tale is about strength through adversity. He began the game lost in Pan Pan. Then a Mad Captain chased him, thinking he’d slept with one of his family, finally catching him and cutting his throat. Sam survived but was now Lost and Crippled and so unable to move. His social skills were lacking, as he tried to honour a beautiful princess who rebuffed him, and he spoke to an imprisoned prince but just made him angry. He also had to endure a week-long haircut.

In the end, Sam won. Despite his lowly beginnings, he completed his quest and then gained access to the Underwater Kingdom where he became friends with the king who let Sam sit in for him as king while he went on holiday. Sam returned to Baghdad as a Sultan and fabulously wealthy. He met a love sick maid and tried to woo her but, still in mourning for her loved one, she rebuffed him. Oh well.

Then Sam went home (I mean he really went home. This isn’t still part of the Arabian Nights) so Joe and I played a game of Manoeuvre, the war game of almost infinite possibilities. And an excellent chance to use Joe's hand-made dice tower.

Joe was the British and I was the French. It was pretty even at first, and then Joe found two of his units isolated far from the main skirmish so although he had more units on the board, mine were better placed.

But then my plan to attack the Dutch Belgians went awry. They survived, re-grouped and my Guard Cavalry found itself surrounded. After that, the battle was lost. Joe was able to march into my half of the board and pick up points.

Joe 7
Andrew 1

My final hand. Hmm, I suppose I'd better attack with the 8th Light Regiment.

And so, with the clock nearing midnight, we called it an evening, and I set off into the night. I saw no disguised beggars or enchantresses on my way home, but quite a lot of parked cars with the headlights and hazards lights on. Oh, Bristol.


  1. Really enjoyed Arabian Nights, even if I'm not sure it qualifies as a game in the traditional sense. It's more a collection of vignettes, "with hilarious consequences". At least my long haircut improved my appearance...

    Thanks guys

  2. Yes it's a very unique experience - I can't for the life of me work out how the designer put it together - a bit like Dobble. It's Dobble, basically. No it's not.
    I like the sense of story arc - and we accidentally played a full game, which made me realise that the full 20 points isn't quite the slog you'd think. As the game progresses the Story and Destiny points awards get bigger (by completing quests, and city bonuses), so I'd be less wary of playing the official end fame rules another time.

    It's the sort of game that might come out once a year, and only when all involved do a collective "Yeah!" at the mention of it. That sort of game.

    Manoeuvre is just brilliant. Neither of us was really on our game, as the nightfall victory attests perhaps, but there were great moments. Andrew rolled boxcars twice! Though once was to choose starting player. And probably one of the few games I've played as GB where the Dutch Belgians played an active role - despite my best efforts to discard their cards. Thanks chaps for a lovely evening - didn't realise it was the actual five year anniversary!

  3. The first part of this report reads like a James Joyce novel..... What the heck...

  4. And none of us made it to the homosexual lake...