Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Mission to the Moon : Our Best Last Hope

02/06/2013
The Mission to the Moon
Our Best Last Hope

To say we were afraid was an understatement.  We were excited.  We were hopeful.  But we were definitely terrified.  We had never done this before.  And we most likely would never have the chance to do this again.

This, my dear readers, is another Indigo Entertainment game night.  Yes, our workplace has tabletop gaming nights.  Don't you wish you worked here already?

Had a blast with six other friends when we got our chance to play Our Best Last Hope for the very first time.  If you want to know my thoughts on the game, you can check out the review over here.   While Urim, Theo and J.P. have played in a role-playing game with me in the past, Karlo, Jess, and J.P.'s friend Jeehoon were about to try a table-top game for the very first time.   In many ways, I feel very happy that their first experience will be with one of the more innovative new games to come out of the indie side of things.

The Crisis we opted for was one based in outer space, and the one we rolled was "The Moon was crashing towards the Earth" and "Time Was Running Out".  So quickly, we thought of The Plan and came out with "Use Experimental Wyrmhole Generator to Pull Moon Back To Original Place."  That sounded sci-fi enough for this disaster movie role-playing game, and so the story had begun.

Jess was Lieutenant Major Jess, a Solider tasked to ensure the safety of the team.  She brought with her a memorable Bullet Pendant from her parents, and left behind her Star Wars novels.  She was Afraid of Heights and secretly had a heart condition.  She had the Death Card: Die When Least Expected.

Dr. Karlo, Dr. Theo, Lt.Mj. Jess, Lt. Tobie, Dr. Urim
and The Dr. Blondie Jones
Karlo was Professor Karlo, a Scientist who had with him his Research Papers and left behind his Prized Plaque.  He was deeply afraid of losing face, and secretly had allowed people to die in the past.  I don't recall what Death Card he had, which is apt given how the game ended.

Tio was Doctor Tio, a Doctor who brought with him his lucky bracelet and left behind his Pride and Glory.  He secretly stepped on people to get famous and feared suffocating in space.  His death card was Dying to Show He Cared.

J.P. was Doctor Blondie Jones, a Doctor who brought her mother's necklace and left her dying mother behind.  She feared small, tight spaces and secretly was a nymphomaniac.  I forget his Dying Card too.

Urim was Doctor Urim, an Engineer who brought his picture of his Baby, and left the child behind.  He was afraid of Doctors, and secretly had faked his degree.  He was to Die by Disobeying a Direct Order.

I was Lieutenant Tobie, a Solider who was to fly the ship.  I was Captain and brought with me my "wedding ring" having left behind my partner Rocky whom I never got to marry.  I was afraid of heights, just like Lt. Major Jess and secretly was dying of cancer.  I had the Death Card:  Die by my Own Hand.

And finally, Jeehoon was the Supply Manager, a role which we had not really planned for him to take (since he showed up to wait for J.P. but ended up seeing him handle as he quickly nominated himself to handle the giving out of Story Points!)

Our Assets were Unmanned Robots, Wyrmhole Generator, Very Maneuverable Space Ship, Highly Fortified Well Defended Space Station, Weapons Cache and Self Sustaining Space Suits.

The story opened with me, the Captain, informing the crew that an alternate route was necessary given the route of the HAXE-1 was miscalculated.   I quickly checked with the others if that was a viable choice, but before anything else could be decided upon, we realized that MIMIC was having issues.  In many scenes that were to follow, MIMIC had malfunctions, shut down oxygen supplies, communications shutting down and at one point even disabled the radiation shielding of the ship.   Many times, we were forced to help each other out, with me and Doctor Karlo getting quite hurt.  Amusingly, as we started to trade in Story Cards to grab more Story Points, it became apparent VERY quickly that a majority of the Crazy Cards were directed toward Blondie Jones!  The Black Dice kept rattling in, with us reaching twelve Black dice while having only four White Dice after a long round.

Alien invasions started happening as Threats, with the first "death" happening as Aliens materialized inside the medical bay where Dr. Blondie Jones was.  The dice was rolled and sadly, it resulted in the Black equaling White, meaning a second Threat activated that moment!  The Blast Doors locked up keeping me and the others from arriving in time to help her.  As Blondie faced certain death (the last roll slapped four levels of Harm upon her), she raised the Death Card to delay her death.

Very quickly things escalated with Act I ending with Black Dice in a huge lead.

Act II Begins with us discovering MIMIC had forgotten to bring our Space Suits with us.   And very quickly, flashbacks started to get played as characters started to die.  Lt. Maj. Jess dies suddenly as her heart condition strikes at the worst possible moment.  Dr. Theo saves us as he commands the defenses to shoot down a meteor storm from the moon itself.  But the debris smack into the section of the ship he is in, killing him just as he Shows Us He Cares!   Dr. Jones finds herself infected with a reddish alien virus, and she begs me to shoot her before she contaminates the rest of the crew, Dying At The Hands Of Another.  As I stumble to the cockpit where Dr. Urim is, I discover to my dismay that he too has been affected by the virus!   He grapples me to the wall, choking me, but then he plays his Death Card, Dying By Disobeying Orders, and he chooses to disobey the virus long enough to shoot himself in the head.

Finally, I realize the window to use the Wyrmhole Generator is closing, and without the suits, it has to be turned on manually.  I contact Dr. Karlo, tell him as a soldier it is my duty to ensure the mission succeeds, and begs him to tell my partner that if given the chance, I would have married before I left.   I step out of the protected area, will myself to reach the device, and switch it on.

Each Death Card played added three white dice in the final pool, so all those deaths added TWELVE White Dice to the pool (plus two more for Dr. Jones' earlier play) giving us a wonderful amount of dice to win in the end!  As the wyrm hole erupts, I see the HAXE-1 stretch into a blur, and stare at the planet Earth one last time for a seemingly immortal moment.   Then the HAXE-1 explodes, throwing Dr. Karlo in the escape pod back towards Earth.




Epilogue:

Dr. Karlo gives a speech in memory of all who have died in the mission to save the Earth.   And statues are erected in our honor.   The world is saved.

*

The game was absolutely a blast!  Granted there were some rule hiccups (we removed one Black Die from the threat every difference of four in a roll, when it should be five.  And I totally made the mistake of not rewarding two Story Points each time a black Six was added to the Event Pool.    But all in all the game was an absolute riot of a good time.  And given three people who never gamed before had a blast, I definitely recommend this game for people interested in trying something new.

I can't wait to try and save the world again!
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