Sunday, July 22, 2007

Playtest Friday: Thrilling Tales of Adventure

Jason Lutes brought the prototype of his awesome pulp adventure board game Thrilling Tales of Adventure over for our playtest Friday session this week. This is the second time I've played this game, and it is surely awesome.

Thrilling Tales features a mechanic where you simultaneously play a globetrotting pulp hero solving plots for heroism points AND a nefarious villain, setting up plots and collecting villainy points for foiling the other players.

Specifically, this week we got to test what happens when one of the players makes a runaway villain victory. I almost immediately had 3 nefarious plots in play. This totally stalled the action of my own hero, but racked up villainy points for me so that after several rounds I was revealed as the arch villain.

I turned over my villain card to reveal that I was actually Malevola, the Queen of Mars. My War machines quickly levelled Los Angeles. Brandon, playing the Blue Falcon, Intrepid Aviatrix, tried to break into my Sky Ark in the jungles of East Asia, but a Martian spy probe stymied his attempt and I levelled Hong Kong.

Next, I relocated the Ark to England. The Reaper (Nocturnal Crime Fighter) and Sgt. Cody of the RCMP were held up by Time Pirates crossing the English Channel, and it looked like I would have London for the win. On the last turn, however, the Reaper and Cody got to England to deactivate my force field. The Blue Falcon used a combination of her plane and some train tickets to get to England and force a confrontation. Even so, the advantage was with me, until Brandon pulled the Queen of Venus out of his hand for a surprise K.O.

However, the best part of the afternoon was when Jason offered to leave his prototype with us! He is currently going to Vermont for a year, and has a new version almost complete. We will be playing this as many times as we can in the months to come.

This is the second time I've played this game, and even in prototype it plays a lot better than many big ticket American-style boardgames I've played. I'm looking forward to playing it again next week!

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