Over the weekend my wife and I picked up Assault: 19xx, a diselpunk themed card game that is amazing. Go get it. Rich game play, electric art, strategic depth and a luck factor that does not always totally destroy a turn’s plan; it is a fun game. Even when my wife is ahead by 5 points and on the threshold of ultimate victory.
Card games have been our longest running shared interest. We met 12 years ago and started out with Tripoly or poker, and then when we both embraced our geekiness and were comfortable started playing Chez Geek with my roommate or occasionally try out Fluxx when sitting around. Eventually we were both secure enough in the relationship to play Munchkin together. Betrayal stings less when you’re pretty sure the back-stabbing player will one day be your wife. Being cursed repeatedly and then destroyed by a level 1 bat of some sort hurts forever though.
So we go about picking up card games from time to time. Time being dedicated to other, tinier, humans these days does hinder the amount of game time we have available. It’s a nice trade off, yes. I would very much prefer to run around the back yard with my sons than roll a 1 for the tenth straight time. When we do have time to shuffle cards and set up a game though, losing is extra special.
I do not know how she soundly defeats with every game we try. Her win/loss ratio in Magic is probably 7:1 now. And I taught her how to play that dang game. There might be some clairvoyance going about in her head, predicting my next move.
Picking up Assault: 19XX was exciting. It was a game within my genre’s scope, using mechanics that I was familiar with and just over flowing with a story element. I felt like the Cubs every off season, “this is my year!” The thing about the Cubs though…it’s never their year. She’s the Yankees and there’s nothing that can be done about that.
But we play. The point is not to win. Winning is secondary, tertiary, to the point of setting up a game. We play games to see each other. There are two little humans that require us at all hours of the day and it is exhausting. We play card games now to shut out everything else and just focus on each other. Yes, that focus when discussing Assault 19XX is all about finding the best card combo to deal maximum damage, but it is still all about hanging out.
So we pick up card games as a promise to each other that at the end of the day we are there for one another and we are going to spend our time figuring out new rules, new mechanics and generally having fun together. For that promise I will lose for 12 decades straight. Maybe at some point during all of that I will stop rolling ones. I should get a “Critical Fail” tattoo.
Seriously, go get Assault: 19xx. The game from above is even fun. My character was a mostly robotic former Prussian soldier named Shining Skull with an ally named Flying Dragon. It’s a tale of good and evil battling in a fictionalized 1930s and there’s enough randomization to the game I do not think we will ever play it the same way twice. Recommended for four players, it was just as easy and fun to do with two.