GM: Jason Morningstar
Players: John Aegard, Karen Twelves, Kevan Forms, Adam Koebel, and Sean Nittner
System: Last Train out of Warsaw ( based on Archipelago)
At the end of Big Bad Con, after most of the tables were broken down and all official events were over, a small group gathered to play Jason’s Last Train out of Warsaw.
Last Train is a focused (and GM’ed) game of Archipelago that depicts, as the name describes, the last train leaving Warsaw before the German invasion. Jason is great as taking historical events and providing just enough color that folks who know nothing about them (folks like me) feel capable and comfortable playing through our own retelling of history. This game is no exception.
We told the story of a few individuals on this train, trying to make it to some place safe, or in some of our cases, trying to secure the future of Poland. We all failed at all of these things.
Thoughts on the Game
Adam played a very intense quiet man. Quick to violence when he believed it would achieve his ends, but also not emotionally or mentally prepared for the task. We watched his stoic facade crack and eventually shatter.
Kevin’s engineer was never going to make it to Romania (that we knew) but that loved his train and hated the Germans with a particular kind of passion.
Karen and I should have swapped the areas that we governed. She played the fireman and governed the train. I played the pretty girl and governed the people. This put us in predicaments where we had to create our own opposition, and sometimes resolve the out come of our actions with that opposition, which never works. Something to watch out for.
Jason’s helping hands offered urgency, panic, and towards the end just the right dose of hopelessness.
Having John enter the game late, playing the conductor, did involve smoothing over some ripples in the shared fiction, but once he was it, it was a great addition to the game. When the pretty girl finally realized he betrayed all of them to the Russians, she took advantage of his injury (and helplessness) to suffocate him with the bandages that should have been wrapped around his wound.
This game was great. Grim as hell. And great.