Recently in our group, we have tackled some well known Cooperative Games, including finishing Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, after playing for well over a year, The Lost Expedition from Osprey Games for the first time, Dark Souls from Steamforged Games and Nemo’s War from Victory Point Games. So for today’s version of the Love/Hate Relationship, let’s take a look at Cooperative Games.
Who doesn’t love a good challenge? One of the things that I love most about Cooperative Games is that, more often than not, they are designed as a challenge. In fact, we often say in our group, a good Co-Op must be difficult and if it is too easy then it is not a good one. You see if you win too easily or even on the very first play, the mystique of the game is shattered and you don’t necessarily fear or respect the game as much as you did. Also, its kind of like winning the Super Bowl. Once you have climbed that mountain, the desire and urgency to do it again lessens and your effort and desire suffers. I love this aspect of Co-Ops.
I am a leader in my chosen profession. I typically am the guy who is out front directing the effort and making things happen. It is a part of my personality and makeup and in games I often take this same approach. In Cooperative Games, this is typically referred to as the armchair quarterback syndrome. You know what I mean, that one person who is very boisterous, chatty, and likes to tell everyone what they should do on their turn. Well, our group hasn’t necessarily succumbed to this and have not allowed me to run everything, which is cool with me, as when we lose I can always say “I told you so!”. But this is something I hate about Co-Ops and sometimes gaming in general. The great thing about Co-Ops is the discussion and the different viewpoints about what is best for a certain situation. With a strong willed player, who just won’t listen or even allow others to share their opinions, this can really take away the fun of the game and then players will simply clam up and let the QB run it all, mainly so that the game can and will come to a rapid close so they won’t have to be bossed around anymore.
Cooperative games are great, if they are a challenge and if you have the right group. But if not, I will pass!