Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Excellent Start.

"We got through two rounds," said Darren, surprised -- and not in a bad way. Considering when we started up 2 players hadn't made characters, there were rule changes to adapt to, one had left his character at home and had to remake his all over. After swarming me about the rules changes and any other question, we sort of got them focused enough to sit down. We had to stop them from constantly raiding the lego buckets and the premade minifigs I had put together (which came in really handy when someone wanted to play a sword and shield Warrior, had a couple good to go.) The tricky part was getting them to understand that Scholars didn't get to use spears and wear helmets, and to get them to (sort of) uniformly make their class and team identifiable in their minifigs.
We finally got initiative sorted by 4:15. Getting initiative sorted was a bit of a challenge with 16 participants, many of them never having played before, ever. One participant, who doesn't speak much on account of just moving from a totally French speaking area, didn't even get himself into the initiative, and hadn't put a minifig together and on the table. Luckily a lot of my organization let me field his mini in seconds.
Some really interesting tactics. A spectacularly bold move from one of the guys was to, instead of heading to base to protect the flag, jump over the king's banquet table. His move didn't go so well so he ended up pinned by the other team right on the table. Luckily he only took one hit, albeit from a sheathed Greatsword... As silly as it seemed to go, it provided a key distraction for his teams power character to go for his biggest asset -- his horse. We weren't too keen on him trampling everyone so we encouraged the idea of playing fair and using the mount only for movement, dismounting for combat and meeting his opponents (not really enemies, but fellow tournament participants) on foot.
These smart and silly moves aside, my biggest kudos goes to one participant who held her action to 'wait and see' and then declared to help pull her table dancing comrade out if he went down. Turned out when he jumped off the table he critically failed and face planted right on her character, luckily the held action then triggered and she used her turn to get them on their feet. On the ground they could have been pounded into hamburger.
What is interesting is that they are starting to get the idea that LISTENING is to their benefit, that INTERRUPTING detracts from other peoples' turns and stops them from getting to THEIR TURN. Aside from the imagining and creativity and excitement playing games like this generates, it is these simple lessons about manners that stand out for me.

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