Last night was another meeting of Scimitar Wargames Group. Since this is the Wednesday closest to Halloween, we traditionally play games with a ‘horror’ focus.
I got to play Ghost Stories, which is a co-operative game which was released last year to rave reviews – and after playing it I can see why.
The players are a group of Taoist monks, defending a village from an invasion of ghosts – led by the dreaded Wu-Feng, Lord of the Nine Hells, who has come to the village to reclaim his ashes, rise from the dead and plunge the world into eternal darkness – you know the sort of thing.
This game (even played a the easiest level, which we did) had all the classic elements of co-op. Everything appeared fine, we commented on how easy things seemed (although I was somewhat suspicious, given the games’ reputation)…and then we all died very quickly!
A post-mortem discussed revealed several ‘lightbulb’ moments – the classic one being that when we started the game, we didn’t ‘click’ about ghost placement…always put the weak ghosts on the corners so you get the chance to defeat two at once. And other things…like actually using the Buddha tokens early in the game, when you’re not overrun and too busy rushing from one ghost to the next to think about them.
In short, a really good game, and I can’t wait to play this again. It’s theme and gameplay appeals to me much more than something like Pandemic, and it has all the classic co-op issues – things get worse every turn, and you always have a really hard choice of what to do from several different options. The variation of player powers, plus the different manifestations of Wu-Feng lead to some great replayability, and that’s before you up-the-ante to Nightmare and Hell levels.
Another one on the shopping list!