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TOPIC: Tales of the Arabian Nights: a Game that Plays You.

Tales of the Arabian Nights: a Game that Plays You. 04 Nov 2017 21:14 #257028

So I finally did drag out the game after eight years of owning it. My wife, our most regular gaming partner, and I played this afternoon. It's obvious that a lot of work went into this game, and even the first printing from 2009, which I have, has only minimal and minor errors--a major achievement, given the scope. That said, I can't say it went over particularly well. My wife ended up being Imprisoned for several turns, I kinda bebopped around ineffectually, our friend ran away with the game. Even though no one went into it expecting a strategic game, it still felt, well, kinda dull, and it's not the kind of game I see getting better with repeated plays, at least not for my wife and me. I contemplated just playing a two-player with with the wife, but when I asked her whether she'd ever prefer this to Above and Below, neither of us could honestly say yes. The "runaway" friend really likes these sort of games, though, and has interest in buying it, so I think I'll take him up on that. Again, I respect the effort and the game's importance in the hobby history, but it just wasn't our cup of tea, and we generally like Above and Below and storytelling-via-card games such as Eldritch Horror.
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Tales of the Arabian Nights: a Game that Plays You. 05 Nov 2017 06:07 #257040

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment but I love TotAN. It's like a paragraph roller coaster. When we have 4-5 players I'll even happily volunteer to be the reader, and handle all the looking-up-and-reading without even actually playing. The game moves much faster that way and I have almost as much fun just watching the wreckage unfold as I do being in the thick of it.

TotAN and Talisman are kind of personality-categorizing games for me. If you can have a lot of fun playing them we're going to get along great.

I think it's a little bit amazing the game even got published in an age before Kickstarter. Imagine someone came up to you with a game design that involved using a matrix to look up disjoint paragraphs in a book based on a decision matrix every single turn, and then told you that at least half of the things you'll encounter are just bad. Oh, and there's a big-ass map with a handful of points of interest. I don't know if that's how the discussion went, but I like to imagine it that way and that the person on the other end of the conversation said print it. That and by just happening to have finally created an account on F:AT which led to me having Loter's old copy, which came with pink plano boxes for the bits, amuses me more than it probably should.

Totally agree with setting a point total, day/night cycle every round, and max 3 conditions most of the time. Sometimes I like to play it by the book on a lazy day when time isn't a factor. Even those days I still cycle the day/night thing every 3rd round. It just seems a little more atmospheric that way.
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Tales of the Arabian Nights: a Game that Plays You. 06 Nov 2017 04:57 #257096

If anyone is looking for a copy of TotAN, I’ll sell my lightly played copy for 40+10 shipping.
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