While video games take up a majority of my play time, I do make and play card and board games. They’re fun, they’re challenging, and require a lot of player interaction. In fact, at least once a month, a few friends and I get together for a game night. Our game of choice? Munchkin.
If you haven’t heard of Munchkin, it’s a card/board game where players are given a character. Said character can be upgraded with cards that act as a character class, race, weapons, and more. Each card either gives you abilities or increases your combat power. Using your combat power, in combination with your level, you’re tasked with being the first player to reach level 10 by defeating monsters you encounter in dungeons.
The best part about this whole process is that you can team up with other players to defeat a monster or screw them over by increase the difficulty of a monster they are already facing. Sometimes you are forced to negotiate deals to receive help and avoid being destroyed by the monster. Suffice to say, arguments ensue.
The Curious Case of Marvel Munchkin
With complex boards games comes fairly in depth rule set. Munchkin alone is five pages long with 19 different sections to flesh out its basic concept. Unlike videos games, analog games are more than left up to interpretation. Munchkin even encourages loud arguing if there is a dispute between the rules, and very often there is. Enter Marvel Munchkin, a spinoff of the classic game.
Marvel Munchkin has been our newest obsession. It changes up the rules by switching out some of the mechanics of vanilla Munchkin. Players are instead affiliated with either the Avengers, Inhumans, or Spider-Friends. They are also given powers and ally to help them in battle.
During our recent playthrough, we encountered a troublesome situation. As I attempted to aid another player, several others tried to make it more and more difficult for us to defeat the monster. Using one of my cards, I attempted to boost my partner’s card. All hell broke loss after that. You see, nowhere in the rules does it say that I cannot use my card’s ability to boost the card of someone I am helping. In that case, I interpreted the card as it is written. However, others felt that since
You see, nowhere in the rules does it say that I cannot use my card’s ability to boost the card of someone I am helping. In that case, I interpreted the card as it is written. However, others felt that since the rules had no explanation for it, it cannot be done. This lead to over 30 minutes of arguing, and us never finishing the game.
Interpretation of Rules
This is what makes board games so complex. The rules are left to be understood as they are written. I was taught that if a game does not say that you cannot do something, then you can. However, other didn’t feel the same way. A dilemma that led us to leave the game without a winner. It’s an interesting experience that leaves us wanting to understand how the state of play works.
If you play card or board games, how do you settle arguments like this? Do you read the rules as written or do you try to go beyond what the rules state you can and cannot do?