Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fun with table top gaming - Pandemic

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a few gaming sessions and play Pandemic. It's been out for a few years but I have not had a chance to play table top games with actual humans for a long time. In the distant past I've spent many an evening playing Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. I love that stuff, and it was fun to learn a new table top game. 

Pandemic isn't a really role playing game, but the players work together in a collaborative effort to cure diseases before they wipe out humanity. It's actually rather difficult to save the world, and we were only playing on the medium level. I think it's critical that one of the players draw the Medic card or the Quarantine Specialist. The Dispatcher is very helpful too. 

The way the game play is structured things can get out of hand very easily, as in disease spreads rapidly and beyond our capability to halt outbreaks. Especially devastating is that the same cities often get hit by infections over and over because those cards are put back on TOP of the infection deck, per the rules. 

I won't go into describing all the rules, but it did not take too long to grasp the major concepts. The best strategies were developed by learning how to put all of our various talents together for the best effect. Or, depending on our luck, sometimes we did not have much talent to draw upon. Then everyone dies of nasty disease.

Table top gaming has old fashioned appeal. Everyone is so connected by their little devices with screens and awesome video game graphics, but it's nice to sit together at a table and play on a board and draw cards and move little pieces. It really is. Despite all our wonderfully addictive technology, people still crave actual socialization over virtual socialization. I plan to include more table top games in my future. I'm especially looking forward to when my sons are old enough to give them a try. I can't wait to see how their imaginations navigate a dungeon.

Comment if you've played Pandemic or want to recommend a table top game.