[The Gentleman Nerd is a weekly column written by Jason McMaster and is dedicated to the more discerning tastes of the refined dork. Due to Jason's extreme nature, most of his columns will be subtitled 'Why I Love...' or 'Why I Hate...' - in case you were wondering.]

There’s no such thing as a good drunken strategy, especially if that drunk involves making mixed drinks with something that resembles varnish. That’s why I don’t use strategies. I strive to provide a more entertaining experience for all of those involved or who are following along at home, and if it requires me to get drunk as hell and converse with giants or terribly clichéd game nerds, then so be it.

When it comes to board games, everyone wants a nice girl, but sometimes only a woman of ill repute will do. These are the games that you play when you don’t want any heavy thinking; the games that you take out for a good time. In this case, the painted lady to which I refer is HeroQuest.

HeroQuestOur game night started out in the usual way. Brian came over and brought Nick with him. Scott came over shortly after, and the game began. So did the drinking. What happened next was surprising to everyone involved: we won. I don’t know if I can really explain why, but we actually finished the dungeon and got out alive. Well, we almost finished it.

You see, HeroQuest, though not very difficult to grasp, isn’t exactly the most forgiving of games. One false move and you can kill yourself and all of your friends. This is the story of one of those mistakes that didn’t end in tragedy. This is the story of how Scott became “Johnny Go-Open-Doors.”

For those of you who have never played HeroQuest, there are a couple of unwritten rules. Rule number one is that you never search for treasure when your group is engaged with monsters in the other room. Rule number two, which is the most important rule, is that you never open a door until all the other rooms are cleared and checked. Rule number two is what earned Scott his new nickname. Thus the saga begins.

It was a perilous trip, one that most men would shy away from, like a close-talker in the men’s room or a drunken dwarf with a penchant for buggery. Once in the dungeon, we started frantically searching for treasure, much like a drunken dwarf searching for, well, you know. After turning up a few gold coins we headed out into the halls to see what was shaking. We happened upon a door and opened it up. There, inside, standing next to a very sensible, walnut-colored desk, was a goblin.

HeroQuestI noticed the desk first because it struck me as curious that they have pseudo-nice furniture. You know, when I think of dungeons, Ikea isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I imagine shackles and bats. You know, the regular. So, admittedly I was shocked by the inclusion of such quality shelving and storage units. That’s when the goblin kicked me in the head.

I jumped to my feet and took a swing at the goblin, knocking him backwards. My elf friend stabbed him and he was down, but that just cleared the way for the other two who were waiting in the room. Suddenly, we heard the foot steps. The barbarian had run down the hallway and rounded a corner. That’s when we heard the sound of a door opening and awkward silence.

See, when you open a door in HeroQuest, anything that you can see from the hall in that room is activated. So, during the middle of our first fight, JGOD as we’ll call him, ran and opened a door down the hall. This let out a seriously angry guy, who then decided to run up our asses at full speed.

Luckily for us, we survived the fight, but not without injury. The rest of the game ended up being us sneaking around the dungeon slowly, holding back JGOD and making sure I didn’t steal any furniture. Finally we made it to the door outside of the boss’ lair. After taking a quick tally of our injuries, we decided to not try the fight. However, we did want to see what he was. It was time for JGOD to shine. He booted open the door and we all started running. Now THAT’S how you leave a dungeon.

So, the moral of the story is this: even drunk dudes know that it’s better to run away and keep some gold then to get stabbed in the head repeatedly by an unspeakably violent monster.

[Jason McMaster is a freelance writer who has written for Gamasutra, GameSpy and several other publications. He’s currently working on a few small projects and updating his blog, Lamethrower, as often as he can.]