On an otherwise quiet Friday night on the LCCC campus, is usually spent doing homework, Antony Andrikopoulus and Shawn Smith found themselves trying to survive in a world overcome by zombies.
The LCCC Tabletop Gaming club, which started rolling in early September, introduced their first role-playing game event on Oct. 11th with “Last Night on Earth,” a board game where humans fought to survive against zombies.
“I absolutely love storytelling games,” said Andrikopoulus, a student at LCCC, who attended the gaming club for the first time. “I love to play video games that have a story that you play through and must complete, and I prefer to play those types of games rather than an online multiplayer game.” Former president Art Cantu started the club back in 2018 as a way to decompress on stress. The club currently has 10 members. Nick Colsch, instructor on economics/public policy and Frank Cook, an instructor for music, are the advisors. Any games are welcome, and students themselves can bring games.
“We usually vote on which games we’ll play on any given week,” Colsch said. There are no electronic games as the focus is to gear away from electronics. The games help the students by giving them the ability to be leaders and to function as a team.
“Co-operative games really bring out who are leaders and supporters in a given group,” Colsch said. “Most of the games we play allow for communication between players, so the members have had ample time to figure each other out, get comfortable, and feel like they belong to the group.”
Dylan Lesher, who is in his third semester at LCCC and a veteran of the club, enjoys board games like chess and found out about the club through Colsch. His favorite part of the club is how hectic the board games can get. During a session of “Dungeons and Dragons,” for instance, Lesher fought monsters and had to battle his way around them.
Eyon Palmer has been a member since September. Palmer was the dungeon master, whose goal and purpose was to stay objective, tell the story and the events to come, such as a monster they had to fight.The player would then roll the dice, and Palmer would try to help them get out of the predicament.
The advantages of D&D’s “storytelling” help the student in the ability to think of good escapes or battles with the monsters or people they run into in their quests. This places a student in a spot where they have to “act” but be fun and even help their colleagues as well.
This was true of “Last Night on Earth” as well, with the singular goal of survival.
Together the players’ goal was to destroy all the zombie spawning areas on the board. On every player’s turn he or she had two choices: Either “search” from the card deck for any weapons or useful cards they might need or roll the dice for the option to move. Each character had different skills and abilities. Smith’s character, “Sally,” always ended up in trouble and never really seemed to have the ability to fend off the zombies well and tragically her life ended in death or zombie form.
But she did help rescue a priest, The Father, who was surrounded by zombies and low on healing cards. Smith and Andrikopoulos rushed to his aid by rolling the dice to move to the same location and helped their comrade by giving advice in playing the “Faith” cards that counteracted the zombie’s attack.
Alas, both Smith and Andrikopoulos died, but that wasn’t the point. “I enjoyed how you needed to be strategic throughout the game and had to make smart decisions,” Andrikopoulos said, “as well as work as a team.”
The zombie’s may have won the game but they lost in the growth of relationships.
The club meets every Tuesday from 2:00-4:00 in the BT building, room 106 and is open for anyone to come and play and is free.