Lots of worthwhile notes are taken at a business meeting, and I have a good go at Monty Python Fluxx and the Battlestar Galactica board game.

Taking notes

This afternoons meeting with Christine Products was a big success. I arrived prepared by good advice from the Scriptnotes podcast about writing down such things even if you may disagree with them, because it demonstrates that you’re taking things seriously. With pad on hand in a clip folder (not iPad, but  real dead-tree material), we went through details and issues that they were having with things, which had me grateful that I’d brought along the pad, because taking notes on an iPad is an activity that is more difficult to be taken seriously.

Things progressed with a positive tone, and those notes will be written up and sent back as confirmation and clarification of what they want done, from where I can then start working in earnest on helping with with issues that they have.

Board games

Tonight we were over at Luke & Lydia’s in Halswell where we started off with Monty Python Fluxx and then moved on to Battlestar Galactica.

Monty Python Fluxx

While we were waiting for a few others to arrive to this evening’s event, we got things started with Monty Python Fluxx, which is a light-hearted game where the act of playing it tends to be more enjoyable than actually winning. It’s a card game that starts simply with 3 cards in your hand and to draw 1 card, play 1 card – but these rules change quickly.

There are three main types of cards – new rules, goals, and actions.

The New Rule cards change one aspect of the rules, which could be to instead draw 4, or to impose a hand limit, or even to play all of your cards.

Goals are what define the winning conditions of the game, which involve Keeper and Creeper cards which are played in front of you. A goal may be for example to have Sir Robin and Sir Robin’s Minstrels. Keepers are characters and items within the game that are used as winning conditions for the goals, and Creepers tend to be cards that prevent you from being able to win the game.

Action cards are the last type which can be any type of action imaginable. It may be to remove Creepers, or move them to other players, or to draw three more cards and immediately play them, to speak in an outrageous accent for bonus cards, or to swap cards (or entire hands) with other players, etc.

It’s a game with a high random factor to it, which can be picked up and put down at any time, or other players can join in right away, so it makes for an excellent one to bring out when waiting for others to arrive.

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica is one of the best themed games that I’ve come across. It’s a semi-cooperative game where players are trying to get the fleet home by performing several faster-than-light (FTL) jumps to get to Kobol before any resources empty out, and be free of the Cylons.

Each player chooses their character for the game from a range of pilots, political and military leaders, and engineers with which to crew the ship, and each player also gets a secret loyalty card that tells them whether they are or are not a cylon.

Your turn consists of three types of actions, acquiring skill cards, a move/action phase, and dealing with a crisis card.

Each character has a certain set of special skills ranging from politics, leadership, tactics, piloting, and engineering. These skill cards can be either used to help out in certain ways, or the number in their top corner is used when all players attempt to help out with a skills check from a crisis card.

Next up comes the move/action phase. Battlestar Galactica has several locations, each of which achieve different tasks. You may for example go to the Command to launch two vipers out to help with defense, to the armory to attack a Centurion boarding party, or to the research lab to draw an engineering and tactics skill card.

This is followed by playing and resolving a crisis card which may be a skills check, a Cylon attack, or an event. If it is a Cylon attack of an event then it’s as easy as following what is written on the card. The skills check though involve the rest of the players. This is a decision that the group makes about whether to try and succeed against the crisis, or to live with its consequences.

After deciding, each player in turn anonymously adds their cards for the skills check, and with two more skills cards from a destiny deck, the results are mixed and tallied. Cards that match the required types of skills count as plusses, and those that don’t match become minuses. If the total amount is less than the crisis card requirement, that crisis is lost and some resources are commonly affected. These resources are fuel, food, morale, and population. If any of them ever reach 0 then the Cylons have won.

Regardless of the outcome, certain other events may also occur, such as Cylon ships activating, or Battlestar Galactica getting one step closer to FTL readiness.

There’s a lot more to this game, and for anyone that’s interested in reading further there’s a good teaching script that provides a good run-down of other aspects of the game too.