Thursday, June 19, 2008

So many friends to backstab, so little time

The Usual Suspects and I gathered together last night to try out White Wolf's excursion into board games, Vampire: Prince of the City. It's a fun game, though the conditions for victory seem a little arbitrary to me -- whoever has the highest score when time runs out (meaning, the prearranged number of turns expires) becomes Prince and wins the game. It works, but it feels a tad strange. I guess, though, it's to prevent games from stretching into infinity, as there's no way to actually defeat any of your opponents for any considerable length of time.

This setup, in fact, makes the final turn an interesting one, as those out of contention for victory can simply choose who they'd like to win. Last night, Brandon and I decided -- with very little debate -- that FRINAN should win. As so he did, as the two of us helped him gang up on René and secure an easy victory. Why did we do this? Well, for Brandon, it was pure, raw spite, I imagine.

Prince of the City captures the shady, untrustworthy nature of the World of Darkness perfectly -- does it better, in fact, than a lot of the White Wolf material itself. The opportunities for alliance and betrayal are plentiful, and add a dimension you almost never see in board games. It mirrors the self-nature of the vampires we're supposed to be portraying. (Yes, we're supposed to be vampires and such. Thankfully, we didn't take that element too far -- I didn't embarrass myself.)

So, if you've got a group of friends who enjoying screwing each other over rampantly, particularly in pursuit of a victory in something as pointless and arbitrary as a board game, Vampire: Prince of the City is excellent.

There are times I'm not grateful enough for the friends I have.

Now playing: Bill Withers - Use Me
via FoxyTunes

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