Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nostalgia Success

     Today my boys and I finally finished our first game of Revolt on Antares, a TSR minigame from 1982. I bought the game back in the early 80's but owing to my lack of a consistent gaming group, I had never actually played the game against another person. The 'sci-fi-ness" of the game's pieces intrigued me, particularly the artifact known as the "Sonic Imploder."
     I bought it again a few months ago from an online shop mostly for the nostalgia value of having it about. Then after having enjoyed playing some other games, like House Divided and Monopoly with my two boys, I figured, why not try Revolt on Antares
     I am glad to report that the game went pretty well. It is a simple enough game in concept and mechanics, but with some complexity in decision making - who should I attack and with how much?  Should I try to form an alliance?  Should I buy mercenaries or just use my own troops?  How should I employ the Artifacts (very powerful alien tech left over and appropriated by the warring factions), in particular the Devastator, which will destroy everything in a one-hex radius from itself. My younger son was considering using the Big D to break a siege of his fortress by my older son, until I pointed out how much of his own stuff he'd lose in the process. The siege was never lifted, but the older one did not ever take the fortress. He was so distracted by the siege that he did not notice my sneaking up on one of his fortresses until I had snatched it. I almost grabbed one of the younger boy's fortresses as well, but just didn't have quite enough firepower to do it.
     In the end my younger son won, owing in part to having more initial territory by luck of the draw. I think that we'll have to play it a few more times before they really see the tactical possibilities of the multi-player game, where the one holding the most territory at the end wins.
     Both as a game experience and as practice in being a good sport and 'playing by the rules', Revolt on Antares was good fun and a win all around. Some day, I expect them to figure out that they can gang up on their old dad. So far, though, I'm safe.


John Foster said...

I've started to regret getting my 10 year old daughter into gaming. It seems that whenever we get a game going, whether its Risk, Monopoly, Kingmaker or Munchkin, she gets everyone to band together and attack me.

Library Bob said...

I think that my boys are too much in the habit of fighting/competing with each other to consider the potential of ganging up on me. Maybe I'll give in some time to letting them play Axis & Allies with them on one side and me on the other. But that makes me think - is it better to just play a few particular games with them so that they can become proficient at those games, or play lots of different games for the broad experience?

John Foster said...

My philosophy has been to her to different things and see what she decides to focus on. I introduced her to chess a number of years ago and after it seemed she wasn't interested we moved on to something else. Then she started to play it at school and now wants to play it with me every once in awhile. She finally understands that by losing in chess you eventually get better (a lesson my father taught me).

We did the same with sports, school and other activities. So far it is working, she is finding what she likes best. Now we're working on understanding that natural ability isn't enough and that we need pratice and study if we want to get better.