This game I will be talking about is call Tales of Arabian Nights. in this game players must travel along the board and encounter a variety of people and obstacles and challenges. Once a player has encountered something they are given a choice or an action among the list depending on the encounter. the choices are all very simple but the conclusion of the turn can become a very interesting tale.
My friends and I played perhaps half of the game only to stop due to time constraints of the shop we needed to end the game prematurely. But the experience of the game is always memorable.
This game can play with 2 to 6 players. With 6 different characters from the many tale of the actual book of Tales of the Arabian nights, such as Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sindbad, Scheherazade, Zumurrud and Ma’aruf.
The objective of the (short) game is to obtain a certain amount of Story points and Destiny points. In the short game we have set the Story points and Destiny points at 5 each. In the full game (where it could take possibly 8+ hours to play) players have a choice to make their Destiny and Story points equal 20. For example Story points = 8 and Destiny points = 12. But unfortunately the full game takes forever and not everyone has 8+ hours to burn. You then need to choice 3 Skills (All skills are list below). Once a player has reached their goal of Destiny and Story points and return to Baghdad they win the game (I have only ever won the game once out of eleven games most of the time I am stuck in the desert or stuck on an insland imprisoned by whatever captured me).
- Acting & Disguise
- Bargaining & Evaluation
- Courtly Graces
- Enduring Hardship
- Quick Thinking
- Stealth & Stealing
- Weapon Use
- Wilderness Lore
Anyway in this game my friends Caps, Evil, Dean and I played a 3 hour game of arabian nights. We played a practise game of it for about 40 mins but my friends wanted a redo or mullegan as they were complaining about not knowing what were the best skills. The problem is most of the skills are not what you think they really are.
For example Magic is not for attacking, Weapon Use is not for attacking but Quick Thinking is used for attacking or defending? Luck isn’t in every encounter and Seamanship is not always useful out at sea. Yeah its really weird. But the origin of the game is from the original tales, so that could be one of the thematic reasons to it.
My friend Caps played Ali baba with Acting & Disguise, Quick Thinking and Luck. Evil was played Sindbad with Seamanship, Wilderness Lore and Weapon Use. Dean played Aladdin with Magic, Bguiling and Luck. I played Scheherazade (because her character colour is green) with Seduction, Wisdom and Beguilling. The game starts with everyone great a quest to push them into a destination to reap whatever the reward may be (even though most quests are never completed due to certain circumstances). I went first since I was the one who owned the game (we rolled dice and i rolled high). So my first move headed me towards my quest. heading towards rome as my friends thought it would be funny if I had to travel from both ends of the board to complete my quest (what a buch of trolls). Anyway my first encounter was with a “Friendly Efreet” my choices were to:
- Abduct or
So since it was friendly i decided to Honour it. The resulting story was told and i was asked if I had the required skill(s) to pass (gain a reward) or fail (gain my reward?/consequence maybe). i ofcourse did not have Wilderness Lore since it was just the start of the game and the Efreet was angered and I became Ensorcelled.
Ensorcelled “You have been put under a spell. Your feet seem to betray your wishes, as you find yourself traveling at another’s whim.” – Effect: Each turn another player of your choice decides where to move your (character) piece. To lose: A the end of your turn, you nad the player who moved your piece roll 1 die wach. If you roll higher, you lose the status. If you roll equal or lower the other player, you remain Ensorcelled.
With such a detrimental effect i never arrived at my quest area the entire game. I just wondered around the board doing random encounters. But Atfer my first turn, it was Evil’s turn (going clockwise around the table). Evil being Sinbad decided to travel to the sea. His encounter was with an elephant and on top of that elephant there was a Crafty Barber? His choices were:
And do you know what he chose? It was Rob. His story was told and you know what he also didn’t have the skill (Wisdom) required to pass the encounter for greater reward. His reward was a few story and destiny points and a treasure. I was like huh what the heck? and in my mind I was like ok maybe he was just lucky. Next turn should be different.
Next up was Caps playing Ali Baba, he encountered a “Lovestruck Hag” and his choices were:
- Buy (slave)
He chose to Punish the Hag. Unlike Evil, Caps was successful in the required skill (Quick Thinking). I was like this is so BS. But once the rest of the story and “reward” was dished out all of us around the table were laughing so hard. Caps was awarded with only a few story points and was now also being “Pursued” by the one he Punished.
Pursued “Due to your great fortune or other wonderful attributes, you have a jealous foe who would like nothing so much as to see you hurled to the bottom of a well” – Effect: When you gain the Pursued status, you will be told the name of the being which pursues you. (If no name is given it is the same as the being which you encountered that lead to becoming Pursued.) On any subsequent turn, before you have an encounter, roll 1 die. On a roll of 1 or 2, instead of a regular encounter, you are found by your Pursuer. You encounter him or her on the Pusuing line of Matrix H. To Lose: Your encounter with the pursuer will inform you if you lose the Pursued status.
We all had our laugh when this happened and I didn’t much care for my situation. Then Dean had his turn. It started out very interesting by meeting a “Dark Prince” and having a set of choices like these:
- Cry Out
He chose to Drink. So in essence he was having a drink with a Dark Prince. The story was also interesting but the reqard or consequence was boring compared to anyone elses. He was awarded 1 Story point. The story was somewhat anticlimatic.
It was my turn again and i had Dean move me thinking that I had a higher chance to rid myself of Ensorcelled. He ofcourse moved me the opposite direction to double my efforts. I then encountered more efreets and again i was given my reward. This time it was aleast a few story and destiny points but at the cost of my freedom. As part of the consequence/reward was that I beame Imprisoned. you might be thinking wow this game is brutal and kind of harsh and why would you play such a game if all that happens is bad stuff one after another. Well I thought about that too while i played a game where i did not advance and my friends where moving on and going to places and gaining fabulous treasures and interesting encounters. The reason why I continued to play with a smile on my face was that their journey was just so funny i just enjoyed the experience.
I could talk more about what happened in the game but there is alot to remember and i dont think it would be wise to write all of it down. So i will just tell you a short Summary of our game (Unless you really want to know???).
My Story as Scheherazade, journeying to seek adventure i encounter many magical beings called efreet. They are a variety of them from friendly to evil. I am Ensorcelled, Scorned, Imprisoned, Wounded and made Insane. Once I escape most of those effects I journeyed on only to be lost out at sea, trying to find my way back to Baghdad.
Caps’ story as Ali Baba was about a search for love (Ironically). He was chased all over the map of Europa and Africa by a Lovestruck Hag (It took him 2 hours to lose her). As he travelled he encountered strange and mystical sights such as a volcano in the middle of a swamp and getting teleported to the Cave of wonders only to be Imprisoned, Poisoned, Crippled and transformed into his Beast Form (a Monkey). He struggle to return to Baghdad due to an urge to go On Pilgrimage to Mecca.
Evil’s Story as Sindbad had the best start but with all that forture and glory he was cursed by an Enchantress to be Grief Stricken due to not being about to identify which end of a sword was sharp and killed a princess. He was then Married off by one of the many Sultans he encountered. With this he needed to return home to his new found Wife to tell his tales every time he visited a city. On one return journey he encountered a Terrible sand storm and was Lost for days on end (He was Lost for about 1 hour of the game). Once out of the storm he managed to arrive back home only to be turned into a slave. He never got out of slavery and was unable to return to Baghdad.
Dean’s Story as Aladdin was the most successful. He encountered many treasures big and small. Only encountered a few bad stuff like Beggars and Thieves and a few Efreets. But with his Luck and Determination he was Blessed by Allah for selling a merman out at sea and reaping the wealth. This allowed him to be the only one to complete his quest (The story of stories) and successfully return to Baghdad. Although he did not return unscaved as he was an Insane Outlaw who was also a Vizier who had an encounter with the sex-change spring and turned to the opposite gender. But he did still win the game.
I may sound like a loser trying to salvage myself from not winning but I personally think that anyone who has a good laugh with this game has already won.