Friday, July 19, 2019

Bobbo #1

“Thanks for coming over,” Bobbo said as he let Max and Brooke in. “I got this really cool new board game and I can’t wait to play it. It is a strategy-based game where we pit our wits and armies against each other.” Bobbo showed his friends the box to Forest of Gamelon. It was a huge box with a beautifully painted cover.

Max was skeptical. “Can’t we just play Sorry?”

“Come on, just give it a try,” Bobbo flopped down to the floor and opened the box, pulling out a huge plastic board with, like the box, a beautifully painted forest with a creek, a variety of trees, and spaces cordoned off to place your army, a castle, several obstacles like dragons and an ogre. The board took up as much space on the floor as 20 regular board games. “See? You pick a side—Borlands, Westerlands, Mikros, or Hattan—setup your army, you have 20 fighters, 8 knights, 2 cannons, a wizard, and a king and queen.”

“Are we playing a board game or chess?” Max asked.

“Chess doesn’t have cannons or wizards,” Brooke corrected.

“Cannons would chess better,” Max snarked.

“The castle goes in the middle,” Bobbo sat the castle in the middle of the board. “You set up large dragons and the ogre on random spots and you stack the cards near the castle. You roll the dice…”

“Cards and dice?” Max exclaimed. “I think I hear my mom calling me,” he started to get up.

“You live two blocks over and we’re inside a house, Max,” Bobbo said. “Now, you roll the dice to see how many cards you draw—one through six. Now, you can either play those cards to attack the other armies or one of the dragons or the ogre if you are near them. If you don’t play a card then you can advance your army. You can move as much of the army as you can within the number you roll. So if you roll a five, you can move two fighters, the wizard, and a knight twice.”

“What?” Brooke asked.

“It’s easy. I’ll show you. Now, what army do you want to be?”

They had been playing thirty minutes and had barely advanced on the castle. Max got trapped by a dragon and hadn’t rolled enough to defeat the dragon with the card he drew. Bobbo was trapped at a river, picking the side of the river without a bridge, and unable to cross because he couldn’t purchase enough wood or conjure enough magic for the wizard to build a bridge or boat. He also hadn’t rolled enough for a fighter to cross. Max was doing a protest version of the game and using his cards and rolls to mess up his ability to win the game.

“Why can’t I roll a six?” Brooke shrieked after she rolled a two. She moved a couple of fighters which got her closer to the one bridge across the river.

“Can’t we play Sorry?” Max complained again.

“It’s our first time playing. We just need to use our brains and have a plan to get past the obstacles the next time we play,” Bobbo said.

“Next time we play? I don’t think we can be friends anymore,” Max said.

“Whatever,” Bobbo chuckled and rolled. “Yes! I’m able to conjure a bridge,” he moved his wizard to the middle of the river. He rolled again and got a six and advanced two fighters across the river. Max rolled then opted to play a card.

“Animal control. I move this dragon directly in front of your army,” he moved a dragon directly in front of the two fighters Bobbo just moved.

“I don’t think we can be friends anymore,” Bobbo said.

“All right,” Brooke took the die and rolled. “Ooh, I rolled a five. I’m going to use my freeze card to freeze the dragon and the remaining two moves to approach the castle.”

“You got to the castle,” Bobbo gasped.

Brooke looked at the board. “Oh. Yeah, I guess I did.”

“You won the game,” Bobbo said.

“You mean, we’re done?” Max looked back and forth between Bobbo and Brooke. “We can go home?”

“You won the game,” Bobbo said again.

“Yeah, I did. If the game was better maybe I’d feel more excited about winning,” Brooke shrugged and stood up, doing a big stretch.

“You didn’t like it?” Bobbo asked.

“Not to be rude but no. No, we didn’t,” Max said. “It was too complicated, too long, and was just a bunch of rolling dice and drawing cards.”

“So’s Monopoly when you think about it,” Bobbo smiled and nodded.

“Yeah, but Monopoly is actually fun,” Brooke said. “To be honest, laying on the ground and finding shapes in the clouds is more fun than this game.”

“I was run over by someone on a bike and that was more fun than this,” Max said.

“Ah, come on. I invite you over to play a game with me and all you do is crap all over it,” Bobbo complained.

“Because the game is crap,” Max argued back. “We aren’t crapping on it, it crapped on us.”

“Nice one,” Brooke said.

“Thanks,” Max answered. “Look, we’re gonna go. We’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Bobbo sighed. “I’m sorry the game wasn’t fun. I thought it looked fun.”

“It wasn’t. See you tomorrow,” Brooke said. She and Max left Bobbo.

Bobbo looked down at The Forest of Gamelon. The cards strewn around the playing area, playing pieces scattered around. “Mm. I should’ve had them help me clean this up.”