• Andy Ross

Thoughts While Listening to Someone Explain the Rules of the Game

I’m excited. I’ve been wanting to try Catfish Warriors from Mars for quite some time. I hear it’s a very fun and challenging game. Wow, these playing pieces they’ve handed me look so cool! Look how detailed these sculptures are. I wonder how much this game cost? Looks like it must have been in the $70 range. Oh, OK. They’re gonna start explaining the rules. I better pay attention.

OK, if my warrior gets in the same space as a horse knight from Neptune, I’m out for two rounds and recovering in the recharge zone. Wait. What? “Recharge zone?” Who came up with the idea for this game? I wonder if they were baked at the time? I’ve seen bad sci-fi films from the 1950s with more coherent plots.

Personal dice? I thought those eight dice sitting near me were for everyone to use. Nope? We each get a set of eight dice to use during battle and to determine the strength of my warrior when it comes time for the final battle against Suckcromino, The Demon From the 7th Realm. But we may not get to the final battle if the power cells of laser litter go empty before round six. Huh? I missed that on my player sheet.

So are we about ready to start this or what? How far into the rulebook are they? Oh, hell. It’s been fifteen minutes and they’re just halfway through!? This is poor design, some of these games come with a cheat card to help you remember what to do on your turn. I wonder if that info is on my player sheet? How to look without making it seem like I’m looking? Nope. I don’t see a single thing on my sheet about what to do on my turn.

Well, this is just great. I tuned out five minutes ago and missed the whole section about my character's special power. Why wasn’t that on my sheet and why is it I can only use my power if the other warriors are in the same space as me? I get that these new games are supposed to provide a stimulating challenge, but moments like this make me miss the simplicity of Sorry. Pick a card, move. Pick a card, and send a player back home. Ahh, we bless the Parker Brothers.

OK, it’s been forty-five minutes and we’re finally ready to play! I get to go first! I rolled a 46 which means I move to Quadrate 4, section 6, then can go to either my left or right. I’ll go to my right. What!? I’ve been attacked by the Undead Chicken King? That means I’m out for three rounds!? Did I miss that part!? Did they read that part? I am so confused.

Right. I am back in the game, but now thanks to a spell cast I’ve been transported to the spaceship and have one shot to fire one missile. At what? Would someone please tell me at what? I am so confused, but I can’t tell them this. I don’t want to seem like I wasn’t paying attention or am an idiot. What if I just go to the center and yell “Jumanji!?” Does that work in some other games? Maybe it’ll end this and I can go home. I’m tired. It’s been 14 hours. See you next week