Best moment in gaming

I was thinking last night about what I think is the best moment I’ve had in gaming and I was wondering whether other people had favourite moments.

During Covid lockdown we played a load of legacy games. We fininshed Jaws of the Lion and the Kings Dilemma and we also got to play Imperial Assault.

Spoiler warning about the final mission

We’re all massive Star Wars fans and we’d gone through the campaign and got to the final mission. It must have been near Christmas because we played it on a cold day and instead of being at the dining table, we played on the coffee table in the lounge with a fire going in the log burner.

Spoiler spoiler spoiler

We were going about our business and kicking some butt, when Darth Vader appeared in a long corridor. We had to get past him to get to our ship to escape. We had a few turns and managed to leg it, getting a few shots in but taking a fair amount of damage.

My wife and the boys were near the ship, but I was lagging behind and on my last legs. They could have come back to save me, but I was able to go full Obi Wan. I sacrificed myself to Vader so the others could get away. It was awesome and something that wouldn’t have happened without us being gamers. I’m not sure when or if we’ll play a full campaign game as a family again so this was a great way to end.

I like ‘moments’ in non campaign games as well, when someone does something and the whole table swears at them, or asks to check a power because it’s so crazy.

Has anyone else got memorable moments to share?


First game of Everdell, my partner is nervous about boardgames, we get to the last round and she plays The Fool into my last space - in one move a) stopping me completing the combo I’d been setting up for ages, and b) moving ahead on points to win by a tiny amount. You have never seen anyone happier to claim the “Winner” card and take a photo with it.


After I first introduced my family to Carcassonne it got played pretty regularly for quite a long time. I bought my parents a copy, my brother started buying them expansions for it, and every time the family got together at Mum & Dad’s we’d have a game. Good times!

What became my favourite thing about those games was the covert farming struggle which would inevitably take place between myself and my sister in law. I’m almost always trying to lay plans for future domination of farm land when I play Carcassonne, and she was the first person I’d played the game with who was doing exactly the same thing as me with as much forward-thinking focus on that goal as myself. So we both knew exactly what the other was doing, and all the plays which I would normally get away with as seemingly-innocuous were instead met with equally-innocuous counters, and I think that a lot of the time the other players were unaware that a pitched battle was taking place in their midst.

Neither of us was going to let on to anyone else that we were stealing all the farmland, of course; so we’d just eyeball each other every now and then in a kind of virtual silent shaking of the fist as one plan or another was foiled…

Inevitably it would go poorly for one of us, but it was so much fun.


Playing Swords and Sorcery, a parody of the hex wargame genre, and Greg Costikyan’s first published work. The map shows a Fantasyland divided into several realms, and there are a range of scenarios which define the victory points. After a few turns, giant killer penguins start moving down from the Frozen North destroying everything they randomly move over.

We were playing the six-player scenario and I was one of the teams in the extreme south. The other southern player and I consulted our victory points, and found we got them for inflicting losses on each other, and nothing else. That was straightforward, and we went at it happily, although his dinosaur-mounted lancers didn’t do too well against my airships. Yes this is a silly game.

Among the realms is that of the Dark Lord. He isn’t very powerful at the start, but has a special game mechanic: if another player “yields to him”, then they carry on playing, but each time they get a victory point, he gets one too. The idea is that he gets a player into enough trouble that they yield to him, and then he starts getting lots of victory points. Everyone could see that, and nobody was interested. The player was getting a little frustrated: “Will somebody, please, yield to me!” Lying on the floor helpless with laughter, I started to choke a little, “Aha! Even now, our dark powers are interfering with your breathing!” That made it even funnier, and I entirely ceased to be able to breathe. I recall feeling that I ought to be worried about this, but it was all too amusing to be concerned about. Fortunately, I snapped out of it and we resumed.

One of the players was Chris Potter. He’s a grandson of Stephen Potter, author of Gamesmanship, and has an uncanny ability to find the exploits in any system of rules. He tries not to exploit this talent too much, although he’s recently retired from being a partner in a very large accountancy firm. However, Swords & Sorcery is sufficiently strange that he was struggling badly. This is an unfamiliar experience for people who know him; normally in a competitive game, one can simply bet that he will win.

The last player, on the last turn, found himself with many options. He’s quite good at complicated things himself, and reduced it to two courses. “I can do this, and come third, or I can do that, and come fourth, but due to interlocking victory conditions, Chris will come last. Got to, really.”


Legendary, the Marvel deck building game is my husband’s and my most played game. Players work together to fight villains with the ultimate goal of defeating the main mastermind villain of the game by hitting the mastermind four times during the game. This particular time, we were one hit on the mastermind away from winning, but also at the end of the deck that acts as a game timer so would lose on the next player’s turn if we didn’t hit the mastermind. I don’t even remember whose turn it was, but whichever of us didn’t have enough attack power to defeat the mastermind. Rather than just saying we’d lost and ending the game, the player used a little of their attack power to fight a minor villain who had a defeat effect of allowing the player to rescue a bystander. The bystander the player drew from the deck turned out to be the special Stan Lee bystander card that has a power to let the player name a hero, reveal three cards from their own deck, and draw a card of the named hero from among the three cards. Stan Lee pulled a card from the player’s deck that gave enough attack power to defeat the mastermind and win us the game. We always talk about the game of Legendary won by Stan Lee.


King Arthur’s Knights, an early Greg Stafford boardgame. The moment during familiarisation when all of us round the table simultaneously realised that the dangerousness of challenges increased along the scale monsters → wizards → women.


Three memorable moments immediately come to mind: two from my gaming days in the late 1980s and one from last New Year’s Eve.

First was an epic game of The Fury of Dracula (1st Edition) while playing as Van Helsing. Dracula was getting cocky, we hunters were struggling to find him and the Count decided to hunt me down near the Eastern/Western European border. He forced a fight at night and knew I only had two item chits. First Round: Dracula won initiative, and used Strength to steal the Stake I tried to use. Second Round: the Count went in for a Bite to turn Van Helsing, but I won initiative - and skewered him with the second Stake in my possession. Game over!

Second was an astonishing game of Statis Pro Football against my friend Joe in a 5-team mini-league fixture, with me playing the 1985 Denver Broncos against his 1985 Houston Oilers. The Oilers were utterly dominant during the first 28 minutes of each half - outscoring the Broncos 28-3. However, somehow, with the flukiest of luck from long touchdowns, quarterback scrambles, broken tackles, interceptions and onside kick recoveries, Denver scored 2 touchdowns in the last two minutes of each half, and scrapped out a 31-28 win. Unbelievable game for those of us who witnessed it.

Most recently, from a six player game of Cards Against Humanity. Details obscured for anyone easily offended. The punchline (was something like): “Tonight on Channel 5: Pro-Celebrity …”. My answer: “Coat Hook Abortions”. Sorry but not sorry; we all fell apart laughing and the group still remember that line above any others we played that night or since.


That is absolutely true to Arthurian myth, yes.
(Ask me about how badly Morgana got an unfair reputation compared to her original version).


Indeed, I think most of us there instantly recognised how appropriate that was.

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28-3, the score that makes Atlanta Falcons fans cry.

I love these stories, please keep them coming


Every game I play with my wife is usually really good (she’s a great player and we play well together), but a recent one:

You all know that in late-June/early July, we were in the hospital, where she got her cancer diagnosis. While there, we set up a 5-player game of Pandemic. Kicking some disease butt with our beloved pets seemed like a good idea. Before we started, she sorta asked for a sign that things were gonna be okay…

My dudes, we have NEVER destroyed that game as much as we’ve destroyed it on that occasion. I almost felt sorry for the poor game. Perfect game of every disease cured and eradicated, no outbreaks whatsoever, and we even managed to make it so we all finished in the same city (Paris, for the record). All of that at around the HALF-WAY POINT OF THE DECK.

Afterwards, we were sitting there kinda stunned and I said “Well, I mean, you asked for a sign”… Happy tears were shed.

Game moments don’t necessarily stick in my mind, but the moments around the game, those do.


There was the time my husband and I won the zombie survival game Dead of Winter in one round. We won the co-op portion in the first move of the game and the rest of the round was making sure we each had our individual objectives and didn’t screw up the overall objective.

I took a photo at the time of the scenario we were playing and the random event that let it happen.


For me it would have to be the finale of our first Arkham Horror: The Card Game - The Dunwich Legacy campaign.

In the scenario, Lost in Time and Space, the map locations are within the encounter deck and pop in to existence when they are drawn and have a condition which makes them be discarded, dropping the investigators back at the starting location.

Zoey, the team’s fighter, and Daisy, the team’s clue-gatherer, were doing a decent job of navigating the locations to get to where they needed to be. For the scenario’s last act, the investigators must navigate to a Tear Through Time, seal a breach in reality that Yog-Sothoth is trying to get through, and exit back to Dunwich Village.

Everything looked nicely set up, Daisy and Zoey both had the clues they needed, Daisy was at the Tear ready to go while Zoey was just behind. Then, disaster: Zoey fails the skill test to leave her location, falling off the Steps of Y’hagharl (one of only two locations which connects to the Tear), discarding them and landing back at the starting location next to Yog-Sothoth. She then manages to immediately find the one other location that can take her back to the Tear, only to draw a Wormhole during the Mythos phase which sucked her to within striking distance of the great old one. At this point Daisy drew an enemy, which she was completely unequipped to deal with and legged it, saving the world and sacrificing Zoey in the process.

We’ve had some other great moments with the game:

  • Daisy’s last action win of The Essex County Express, getting the Engine Car running after Zoey had been sucked off the back of the train into a portal.
  • Lola passing a clutch evasion test on the last turn of The Unspeakable Oath, which had it failed would have resulted in both her and Jenny being incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.
  • The whole of Black Stars Rise scenario, which is just incredible game design.

For non-Arkham Horror moments, I think it would have to be one of these from Pandemic Legacy: Season 1:

  • The “this disease cannot be cured” instruction,
  • Opening the door containing The Nuclear Option upgrade,
  • Being betrayed by our Quarantine Specialist.

Not really a “moment” as I have no particular narrative thread to relate and I can’t even remember any of the specifics, but the one time I got to play Galaxy Trucker with a heap of expansion content and two people who knew the game better than I did was frantic and so much fun.

  1. The only time I have been present for an actual, physical, real-world table flip. An old family friend (Gabe) and his younger brother and I (and one other player) were playing Diplomacy and Gabe’s younger brother basically betrayed and eliminated him in the first two turns. Gabe literally flipped the table and stormed off.

Gabe is no longer welcome for general gaming days. But it was breathtaking to witness.

  1. A game of Monikers where we were on the 4th round, using just hands past the frame of the door. My buddy Graham sticks his hands out and claps three times and we all shout out “Rasputin!” (Rah rah Rasputine…). Still makes me chuckle.

  2. During a game of Saboteur my buddy Nick is doing very obvious Saboteur things but saying “You guys don’t understand.”
    “Come on man, you’re obviously the traitor.”
    “No, no, you don’t understand…” (plays a very obviously evil card) “… they have my daughter.”

  3. A game of Deep Sea Adventure where we all lost all three rounds and Mike won the game because he returned to the sub in the last round without any treasure but was the only player who returned at all.


I do love games that create running jokes. For reasons I can’t fully understand one of the artists from Modern Art (Daniel Melim) will forever be a serial killer.


I am both horrified and delighted that this game is STILL doing this to people after 60 years.

I played it at school aged around 15, got given Germany with its many borders, got betrayed by everybody.


Specifically, regarding Statis Pro Football, I remember details of several games we played during 5 or so years of my later school life:

  • When a friend playing as the 1985 New York Giants realised an exploit with running back Tony Galbreath who, despite limited endurance, had a minimum rushing gain of three yards per carry. During the course of that whole league, only once did a team manage to force him to lose yards on a carry.
  • Playing a game as the 1988 New Orleans Saints against the 1988 Philadelphia Eagles - two teams with great defenses but terrible offenses - and abandoning the game in the third quarter with the score at 3-0.
  • Playing a mini-league game as the 1988 Buffalo Bills against the 1988 Minnesota Vikings, and totally neutralising their feared and potent pass rush with loads of quick and screen passes, many of which broke for long gains.

I think the very best moment I remember is the mind-meldy thing that happend that one New Year’s Eve where we gave our friend Dixit and proceeded to play until almost Midnight. It was glorious. Probably explains my fondness for all games with Dixit cards.

That moment that has been mentioned in Pandemic Legacy 1… isn’t it wonderful that a game can deliver this across various groups that play? More or less on purpose?

We had some crazy cool games of Arkham Horror back in the day and (with that same group) one particularly wild game of Shadows over Camelot where our friend behaved like he was the traitor and kept pissing off everyone, only to not be the traitor. Good times. I am not quite clear on this as it was more than 15 years ago, but it was legendary.

PS: forgot an important one. I once played a 15 hour game of Leaving Earth with my partner (across 3 nights) and he managed to pull off the Voyager mission…

PPS: we played Concept and either me or my partner put a cube on the color red and the other just said Ferrari… (he’s a bit of a car nerd).


Probably my favourite ever gaming moment was a game of Arkham Horror (second edition) played at Continuum in Leicester sometime in the late 2000s. I was playing with a group of strangers but the magic happened and we all got very into the characters and the story, and the cheer that arose when we finally defeated the Old One (I think it was Yig, but memory fails me) made everyone in the room wish we were playing our game. Great fun and I’ll always have a soft spot for the game, clunky and large though it is.

My second favourite gaming moment was probably at Tekeli-con this year, during a game of Shamans, when my pathetic attempts to be evil we’re dwarfed by my girlfriend’s, when she killed all the good players and won the game for us in a single climactic orgy of violence. Third ‘favourite’ (or at least funniest) was during a game of… I think it’s called Pirate 21… when I realised I was going to win in my last turn and no one could stop me. I got very excited and started bouncing up and down laughing ‘I’ve won! I’ve won’, whereupon I realised it was actually my penultimate turn and the rest of the group (I’m looking at you @RogerBW ) immediately saw to it that I wouldn’t. The bastards. Actually, forget it, that’s my least favourite moment.