Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Weekend of Gaming, Booze, and Meat

I may have mentioned my buddy Hoyce is getting married the week before Historicon.  His bachelor party was this weekend and I was one of the lucky nine who got to celebrate with him.  

One of Hoyce's groomsmen went ahead and rented a house around Lake Ariel in the Poconos.  It had two full baths, slept nine in relative comfort, and a huge ass bar/game room in the basement.   The intent was to kidnap Hoyce, game heavily, imbibe even more, and eat copious amounts of grilled meat to sustain us and soak up the alcohol. 

On Friday I bid the family adieu and drove off to the house.  

Needless to say, there were minor issues with the house, and some guest interactions with each other, but it was a fantastic weekend.

Part of the deal was that we needed to provide a bottle of liquor for his wife to be, so she could tolerate him all day.   Because his wife was going to be a lush, we gave Hoyce a pile of boardgames to keep himself occupied.

Hoyce managed to get in around 9:30 and was completely surprised and taken aback.   I do believe that this normally surly man was touched by our gesture of friendship.  He was even more touched when we brought him down to the bar/gameroom.

The only booty during the party
It took him a few moments to realize that all the games were still in the shrinkwrap and that they were all for him.   While I can not say he got close to choking up, he was quiet for a few moments before getting super excited.
  • Diplomacy
  • Airlines Europe
  • Spartacus
  • Arkham Horror
  • Advanced Squad Leader (from me)
  • Axis and Allies 1941
  • Risk Legacy
I also got him a 1904 copy of a young men's book involving the brave souls defending Louisbourg, the subject of Hoyce's Masters thesis.

On top of that, I handed him a folded up set up papers which he read aloud.

1st Page:                             Your name is Eric Bowsfield (his real name)

2nd Page:                            In a few weeks you are getting married
                                           Tonight starts your bachelor party

3rd Page:                             The year is 1924.

I then called dibs on the first day of the weekend (Call of Cthulhu).  Subsequent pages gave out a character backstory and sheet for the 1924 CoC version of Hoyce:  Dr. Eric Bowsfield, Professor of History, Miskatonic University.  All these years, we've used Dr Bowsfield as an NPC for or normal campaign, now he could be played as a PC, with special guest appearances by Doc Millheim, Steven O'Hara, and Smitty!

Most of the group was completely surprised to find out that after almost 15 years of gaming with him, I had never played CoC with Hoyce.  Another item is crossed off the bucket list.

The game ended around 2am, festivities continued till 4:30, and I woke up the house at 7:30 by trying to make coffee.

Only one of us did not provide a game for Hoyce.  Our friend Nate took up all food duties, providing sandwiches Friday night, eggs and bacon Saturday morning, burgers and dogs in the afternoon, and bacon wrapped steak and potatoes that night.  Everything was delicious, only becoming legendary Sunday morning, when the bacon-wrapped bacon made an appearance.   We probably should have eaten more to absorb the alcohol, but everything we did eat was awesome.

After a longer than anticipated recovery phase into the afternoon, we finally got to breaking shrinkwrap and learning rules.  Half of us took half the ping-pong table and tried to decipher the English translated to Chinese translated to Russian translated to Sanskrit translated back to English rules which were Airlines Europe.   It read like a bad part of the tax code; Even if you understood completely, it made your head spin.  In the end it was fun, I managed to eek out a victory, and I will be anticipating a call from Hoyce when they decide to play in Boston.

The other four took to Spartacus.  For a licensed game, using the basic fast play rules, the four player version took SIX HOURS, ultimately resulting in the very rare four player tie.  Regardless, Hoyce loved it and that was all that mattered.

While the Spartacus debacle was ending, we broke out someone's personal copy of Formula De and had a go, until it was time for potato peeling, bacon wrapped steak, and watching The Big Lebowski.  After that (1:30 am) we convened downstairs for some more Formula De on one side of the table, and Risk Legacy on the other. 
Risk: Legacy - Blippy, Hoyce, and Henry Pictured
Again, passed out around 4am, up at 7:30 for a shower and coffee, and unfortunately a morning of cleaning and packing up.

While the guys stayed a bit longer, I had to bid farewell and bolt to make it to East Stroudsburg to play in the "real" Call of Cthulhu game.
How we all felt by noon Saturday, much less 4:30am when this picture was taken.
Congrats Hoyce! May your wedding day go smoothly and the only deep ones that show up are family (They are getting married mere miles away from the fictional placement of Innsmouth).


  1. I like how our Sunday CoC game was labelled as "real". Then I considered what occurred and that was an accurate label of the session.

  2. Considering one of our players would attempt to assemble a horde of hobos, or fumble a molotov cocktail in real life, it is an apt description.