I spent the last four days with a group of 11 other guys in a house in the mountains. During that time, I learned a lot about myself, and my circle of friends, who are among the best group of guys anyone could hope to associate with.
I’m adding this first one as number 11, because it’s the one I want people to read first. It’s probably the thing I’m most struck by on this Mancation, so perhaps it should have been zero if we’re ranking these in importance.
11. I have a lot of respect for a guy who can get beaten in every challenge and get back up with a smile on his face and try again the next time. It would have been easy to get a defeated attitude, especially when you’ve challenging everyone to the things their best at. No one is a master of all things. No one could have won every challenge. But you won my respect by giving each one your best, you did better than I could have done in most of the events.
10. Bacon does indeed make everything better. We had bacon several times each day, I think at least twenty pounds of bacon was cooked over the course of the long weekend. It was a thing of glory. Songs will be sung about how twelve men conquered a refrigerator full of bacon.
9. Xbox multi-link never ever works. No one I know has ever gotten multi-link to work without some significant headache. They had half a dozen 360’s in the house, and getting a 4 machine game of Gears was a two and a half hour endeavor. Even when it was all finally working (two hours and ten minutes into the attempt) one machine still had some kind of glitch. I was busy playing Lord of the Rings during the fiasco, so I’m not privy to many of the details. Something about Nate’s fat xbox.
8. I love card games. I’m not talking poker (Which I like), I’m talking about deck building games. Legacy, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Lord of the Rings, every card game I played this weekend I loved. And want to play again. I specifically like cooperative games against a deck like the above mentioned games, rather than player vs player decks like Magic.
7. Board games are not all like Monopoly. There are some seriously amazing board games out there. I played a gun game called (I think) Survive Atlantis, where the island is sinking and you have to get all your players off before they drown or get eaten by sharks. I played a game called King of Tokyo, a quick, fun little game that takes like 10 minutes and pits your monster (I chose The Kracken) vs. other monsters.
6. Did I mention that Bacon makes everything better? Bacon Manhattans are delicious.
5. When the nearest gas station is 20 minutes away, AND you didn’t drive to an event, bring more bacon, cigarettes, booze, and beer than you think you’ll need. Because someone else will have less than they need.
4. When heading to a house in the mountains with your male friends, expect a significant amount of jealousy from the ladies of the group. I heard lots of stories about how they all want to plan a chickation, vagcation, hen party, whatever… It’ll never work.
3. An RPG with three paragraphs of rules and 27 pages of weapons can be fun. You don’t need 18 volumes of books to have fun role playing, but you do need 18 volumes of guides in order to make any money SELLING an RPG. Thusly, an idea was born in my brain-meat. Stay tuned for more on that.
2. GI Joe-knockoff RPG is fantastically fun. See #3. “Striker” (NOT GI Joe!) was a great little game, each character had 3 stats, half a dozen proficiencies, and a fantastic Joe-Esque (but NOT GI Joe) name. I played Pitch, a demolitions expert. And yes, I did blow up the support structure of a missile silo with a live nuke in it and lived to tell about it. My CO was tragically lost in the escape, I’m pretty sure he was dead, but I do feel a little bad about losing his corpse. At least I was able to grab his dog-tags as his corpse fell off the snow-tiger.