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Subject: We didn't have a ghost of a chance rss

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John Mellby
United States
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Sorry, but someone had to say it.

I happened today to help Derk, Aldie, and Jeff put pack the library
for BGG 2008. Yes - I was at the famous hidden "Hanger".
Sworn never to divulge its location. To enforce my secrecy,
Aldie is keeping a vial of my blood. I'm not sure what happens,
but if I talk, Derk will perform some secret blood sacrifice,
the results of which must be terrible - something about
turning me into an Ameritrash zombie. I think the phrase
was "Barnesifying".

We also got in a game of Ghost Stories. This is a terrifying
cooperative game for 1-4 people by Antoine Bauze and Asmodee/Repos.
About 60 minutes long - or shorter if you lose, which you will.

The game art is beautiful, including the village squares and
ghost cards. The only problem is the box art, which is the
worst art in the game.

You have a 3x3 square of village tiles, surrounded by
player boards holding up to 3 ghosts each.

At the start of your turn, existing ghost may cause problems,
but most common being haunting the village. When a "Haunting Ghost"
appears, each turn its "Haunt Figure" moves forward. On its
second step it Haunts a Village Square and the figure moves back
to start over. A Haunted square is flipped over and its power cannot
be used. Plus, if any 3 squares are haunted, you lose.

The goal is to keep the Ghosts at bay until the Incarnation appears.
This master ghost is placed 10 cards from the end of the Ghost Deck.
When it appears, you have to defeat it before the Ghost Deck runs out.

In most cases each turn another ghost appears and the player either
uses a village space power or tries to eliminate a ghost.
An ordinary ghost has a power of 1-4 points of its color (red,
yellow, green, blue, or black). To eliminate it the player rolls
3 dice and must get enough colored points to match the ghosts power.
Players can also spend Tao markers of the right color to add to
their dice roll.

The problem is, every turn a ghost appears, and the player can
usually only eliminate one. But this doesn't alway succeed and
the player cannot always reach the ghost. So the number of ghosts
on the board keeps growing. This can be bad because if a player's
board is full of ghosts (3) they will lose a life point (Qi)
at the beginning of the turn.

So the ghosts are coming, the players are fighting them off,
setting traps (magic Buddha's) for the ghosts, recovering like/Qi
points, and gaining Tao tokens to help them fight.

In our game, after a brief rundown on the rules by Aldie we began
with a bunch of weak ghosts (1-2 points of power). These were
easily dispatched, and Derk kept saying "This game is easy!"
(This shortly changed to "This game is Impossible!")

Ghosts were ganging up on Aldie and Jeff, but we fought them off
until a power-3 ghost appeared. While dealing with that, I got
two 3-power haunters on my board, and Aldie got stuck for
three turns using a village space power to fund off the haunts.
While that happened, Derk's board got quickly filled with
ghosts of power 3, 4, and 4.

By then on we were all down to 1-2 Qi points and fighting to stay
alive and keep the 4th village square from being haunted.
Derk and I fought off our ghosts only to see them returned.

Derk was the first to die. Aldie managed to restore him to life
on the cemetery just in time to a pair of ghosts appear.
This revealed the next ghost in the deck to be the Incarnation,
but the last ghosts Haunted the 4th village, losing our game.

Despite the seeming hopelessness of our fight this is still
an excellent game that I'll pick up as soon as its available.
The game has definitely souled me.

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