I’m so happy you all could make it to board game night! We’re going to have a blast. OK, so, what do we want to play? What’d you bring?

Clue? Ok.

Monopoly? Hmm.

Those are all good options, but we could also play this new game that I just picked up. It’s called The Secret of the Golden Tomb. It’s really fun, and it’s super easy to learn.

Sorry, did I say, “super easy?” I meant needlessly complicated.

We can start by setting up the board. See that stack of 750 tiles? Each one goes into its own unique space, like a jigsaw puzzle, but it’s way worse because any sense of accomplishment is drowned out by the fact that this is just the beginning of what will be a multi-hour process.

Oh, also, I’m missing a few of the tiles, so we’ll just have to imagine that they’re there. It probably won’t be a big issue, but then again, it almost certainly will.

To move around the board, all you have to do is roll a die. Well, actually 32 separate dice, rolled one at a time. The goal here is to have each roll be higher than the last one. If it isn’t, you have to start over. You may be be wondering, “Die only have 6 sides. How can there be 32 ascending numbers?” Exactly! It’s a challenging game!

You’ll notice that the board is divided up into different areas. Specifically, there are four quadrants. Also, there are seventy different sectors. Also, there are an ever-shifting and, often indeterminate, number of cosmo-zones. Once a player controls at least two quadrants, 23 sectors, the square root of a negative number of cosmo-zones, and correctly answers a series of trivia questions about the 1973 Cincinnati Reds, we move into the next phase of the game. This is where it gets a little tricky, but you’ll catch on.

We’ll total up the number of everyone’s power cubes, and convert them into resource tokens using an algorithm that’s roughly based on the math that powers the bitcoin blockchain. After this conversion (which could take up to a week, depending on how slow my computer is), the player who was winning may still be winning. Or maybe, the player who was losing will be winning. Or maybe, another player, whom we haven’t met yet, will be winning!

That brings us to Elijah’s cup. Go ahead and grab that chalice out of the box. That’s for the prophet Elijah, who may or may not join the game. We’ll cover what to do if that happens — but it probably won’t happen. He’s only appeared like three times, and one of those times, he just wanted to watch us play and eat our snacks.

This next section of the rules is on how to build and maintain your fortresses. It’s not really necessary, so we’ll just skip it, but rest assured, I will use an obscure rule from this section to win later on, and you’ll have no idea what I just did.

Quick question — is anyone here left-handed? Marjorie, you are? OK, you can’t play.

This is an important rule, so pay attention — if you reach “the ranch” you become the Sheriff. This part of the rule book explains what happens when you become the Sheriff… but it’s written in Greek. I could translate, but you’ll grasp the nuances of the game better if you read the rules in the original Greek. While you all are learning Greek, maybe I can go get everyone some spanakopita? That’s spinach pie. See, you’re picking it up already!

Oh, I almost forgot to ask, does anyone want to play with the expansion pack? We don’t have to, but it will make the game marginally more fun, and infinitely more confusing. You know what, I’ll just go grab it.

Now, you’re probably asking — why is there a loaded revolver in the box? Honestly, it’s never come up… but that’s the great thing about this game, it totally could.

And of course, there’s the big question: how do you win the game? Have you read Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra? That’s basically what you’re trying to do.

Oh, one last thing to remember, if you have anything you’re confused about, ask now — because once the game starts, we have to burn the rule book. But don’t worry, if you have any questions, I’ll be sure to explain the answer to you in an extraordinarily patronizing manner.

Ready? Let’s play.