The more I play games, the less I like winning and losing.
It’s weird: ‘success’ versus ‘failure’ was the cornerstone of our group growing up, as I’m sure it was for many others.
Maybe it’s my recent exposure to story games, or perhaps the change of heart has a spiritual or political dimension. Maybe I’ve regressed, or grown old.
Our Mighty Empires campaign this week saw the Empire and the Lizardmen – the so-called ‘Forces of Order’ – decimate the ranks of the Undead and Chaos through espionage: agents of change, spies in disguise and several well-placed assassins. That Greater Demon of Slaanesh in the Chaos capital I was so worried about? Gone now. Bye-eee…
There are all kinds of justifications for this: it suits the fiction of the game, it’s part of the rules on which we’ve agreed, I myself lost 1200pts of heroes to the Dark Elves last time round. This time though, it’s different: I’m the one dealing out the beats.
Boys are supposed to enjoy this sort of thing; and I do, sort of, but mainly for the nostalgia. We’ve had some great times playing Mighty Empires over the years.
I’m going to have another go at convincing the guys to introduce a more collaborative element during the world-building piece of our campaign – something like Matthijs Holter’s wonderful game Archipelago.
They’ve been resistant so far: they just want to keep on keeping on. But you have to grow sometime, right? And the better the coming together, the more meaningful the falling apart.