Sunday, March 23, 2014

GZG ECC 17 Part 1 – Friday

Why yes, we have once again partaken of that most joyous of times, the GZG-ECC. This year was number 17 and my 12th.

Despite krimso and I got getting a late start, we still made it to Owego just before 6. We checked in to the motel and then stopped down at the Con room to say “hi” to the usual suspects. A group of 8 was quickly pulled together for a dash to Las Chicas Taqueria for Mexican food. Las Chicas has become a GZG tradition for krimso and I, and this year it was just as good as I remembered.  Had the chicken chimichangas, a side of Spanish rice, and a Mexican coke. Yum! Hope the first timers that were with us enjoyed it as much as I.

Los Chicos at Las Chicas

We quickly zipped back to the Con for our first games. I played a game run by Jerry Accord that was based on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

Night Vale is a little town in the American southwest where every conspiracy theory seems to be in effect. It's X-Files meets A Prairie Home Companion. I'd known nothing about the show, I just knew Jerry puts on a good game. I've since started listening and I must say I am hooked!

Jerry used FMA Skirmish, or at least the Jerry variant of it. FMA Skirmish is an interesting beast - a set of rules started by Jon Tuffley (Mr.Ground Zero Games) using some of the mechanics from StarGrunt. It started as a fantasy skirmish rule set, evolved to an SF skirmish, and then Jon sort of put it on the shelf while he focused on building his miniature business. There are many flavors played at the GZG-ECC, taken from various stages of play testing, some times with further enhancements made after playtesting stopped. So you can't point to a specific rule set (and I don't have one to give you so don't ask). The regular themes are individual activation of figures, two actions to a figure, and each has a chit with their motivation number which is used for morale, ability to command, etc. Two wounds and you're out.

The Bowling Alley Militia
I played the Bowling Alley Militia, sworn protectors of Night Vale. They carry bowling balls and bowling pins which they can hurl with deadly effect.  The basic premise was that a large number of items disappeared from the Museum of Forbidden Technology and some of us were tasked with recovering items.

The Militia Leader recovers his first item - Grey Goo -
not what we were looking for.
They were represented by chits spread around the board. Figures would spend an action to pick up the item and determine what it was  - various colored goos, bits of useful technology, or bits of nasty such as:

Nasty creatures killing the bowler on the right

Nasty technology synthetic creatures killing StrexCorp employees

Nasty um...err...spaghetti things killing the City Council
You get the idea. Mix this festival of things killing you with other factions you were not always on the best of terms with. Factions such as the Town Council, or StrexCorp,  or A Vague, Yet Mrnacing, Government Agency. I was tasked with retrieving two items for the Museum, one of which was a shrinkray that I actually managed to recover.

The bowler on the right has the shrink ray. Our leader on the
left has more goo (black this time) and a de-evolution band
that turns him into a gorilla. Really!
The second item was an earthquake generator which sadly the City Council had off and on - they were fighting "The Librarian" pretty much the whole game and trading the generator back-and-forth (when they weren't being eaten by the spaghetti thing).

Two City Council members searching out chits,
and that's the Librarian back by the D10
I did shrink one of the City Council in an attempt to get the Earthquake generator, to no avail. In the end the City Council player won the game (curse you Clambo!) by getting one of his needed items and activating a dimensional gate in the museum.

I know this must sound like the craziest AAR you've ever read. It was crazy. I didn't always get what was going on - or why. But I was always having fun and really hope Jerry runs another Night Vale scenario next year now that I am a regular Night Vale listener.

You can read Clambo's take on the game on his blog Daddy's Little Men

Next GZG-ECC chapter: Clambo takes on Ghost in The Shell

Goodnight Night Vale, goodnight.

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