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Subject: Session Report rss

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Steve Willson
United States
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Last night I played Ebola Monkey Hunt for the first time since I bought the game a couple of years ago. Sniper, Justice, and I played a three player session (the minimum), which lasted about an hour and a half. In a Cheapass fashion the game requires each player to have a pawn and five or six tokens of some kind. We each chose a few glass counters and a tile from Wizard Kings to use as a pawn (the game calls for pawns to have an obvious front and Columbia Games's wood tiles worked well)

The first few turns were pretty civil which is rare, even when we're learning a new game. We each headed out of the "Cool Zone," or starting space, in a different direction - towards the check points where those evil Ebola-ridden simians could be caught. Movement seemed easy enough to start with: roll 1d6 and that's the number of spaces you have to move; you can start your pawn facing any direction but you must travel at least one space in that direction before you can make a 90° turn and then move forward etc.; you can't go backwards. The trick comes when you want to get somewhere... To catch a monkey you have to land on one of the four checkpoints with a monkey face at the end of your movement. When you are only one space from a monkey in a one-space-wide hallway and you roll a six it can get tricky to land where you want. Justice mastered movement first and I followed suit; we were both back to the Cool Zone with our first monkeys on the third or fourth turn while Sniper was still running in a circle trying to get a hold of one of the far off flee-bags.

As we headed out of the Cool Zone Justice triggered an event. Whenever a player rolls a 1 or 2 they slow down to grab equipment or check something out, translation: draw a card. When you draw a card either an event happens or the card goes in your hand. It just so happened that Justice noticed the Ebola mutating into an air born virus. This was bad news for Sniper, because I felt it was time to end the peace and was on my way to introduce him to my shiny new tranquilizer gun. Sniper was on his way back to the Cool Zone with "Cheeky Little Monkey" in tow. When you've caught a monkey you draw a monkey ID card (different deck than the previously mentioned Option cards) randomly and from then on you have to check your hold on the bugger every turn before you move, if you fail your check (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) the ape gets out of your arms and attacks you.

I was in luck; Cheeky was getting friendly with Sniper's leg, so he couldn't move for the turn. You have the option to shoot at an opponent before or after your movement, so while Sniper struggled with his monkey I moved into clear view (my pawn facing his) of him and shot him. I was right next to him so the shot was a sure thing; had I been farther away I'd have had to roll greater than or equal to the number of spaces between us. He went unconscious and lost his next turn, also he caught the Ebola virus tanks to the ventilation job I pulled on his Bio-Suit. I used my next turn to run over his slumbering body and steal his monkey. Unfortunately for me I didn't get very far away and on his next turn Sniper lived up to his nickname and returned my errant tranq. dart.

I woke up after missing a turn to find myself ailing from Ebola, Sniper wasn't sick any more (he must have had a med-kit in his hand) but he was again out on the floor and monkey-less. Further away Justice was dragging Cheeky into the Cool Zone to score her third monkey. One more and she'd win! I guess that's why after that turn she started camping near the entrance of the Cool Zone; she also turned on the lab's ventilation system (used card) to clear out the air born virus... don't ask me where it went, I'm just here to catch the monkeys. It was too little too late anyways; I died (three turns of infection) attempting to get some medical aid.

Respawning in the cool zone after missing a turn I went out into the lab one last time to slow Justice down but she was already coming back with monkey four and got past me before I could line up a shot.

My Humble Opinion

From reading this you might think there's a lot of down time in the game and there is, once everyone starts getting competitive and slinging darts everywhere; however, it never feels like a lot of time out of the game -especially once everyone has a feel for the game. Recovering from losing a turn is usually pretty easy and even if you don't make it to a place to get your Bio-Suit patched up, you'll still respawn with out losing any points.

I have a feeling that our game was pretty easy-going due to the fact that that no one new the rules or strategies well to begin with and that it was the smallest number of players. Now that we have a feel for the game, I'm sure we'll be having some fast and violent games with the other Doom Crows.
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