2018.10.21

X-Wing

Heroes of the Aturi cluster scenario space station

The Brogue Squadron finished the Heroes of Eturi campaign, winning three victory points to one with one VP mission to spare. The final few scenarios included some cool variations like a space station and ground station.

XWing miniatures fighters

Of course we played the final mission as a victory lap, adding some modifiers:
Despite our tricked out builds (low agility ships with lots of mod slots + character slots), it was pretty well balanced. The chief difficulty came from avoiding asteroids, TIE bomber squadrons, and large ships - there was often just no place to maneuver without a collision.

The transport made it out with some luck, and the final turn came down to something unlikely like killing three bombers between the four of us. In a move that echoed a previous mission where we scraped out an unlikely gamble, we managed to achieve our modified victory condition.

Now begins Gloomhaven, the legacy RPG...
Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven character sheet Mindthief Ratcliffe

The Unnatural Ones (our squad name) are into our fourth scenario, some synopsis/thoughts...

There are quite a few character classes that have their own action decks and play very different. So good replay value from a legacy game? Of course, you transition between characters throughout the campaign, so you get the play variety baked in.

Gloomhaven dungeon map hexes

There's a large overworld that seems to be mostly thematic. You draw town and road events from decks as you hop from location to location. Each location hosts a predefined scenario that describes what happens and how to build the hex map out of an assortment of cardboard templates.

Gloomhaven whiteboard accomplishments log not much to look at

Our few road/town encounters have been pretty tropey/straightforward. Small sample size, but it's from a shuffled deck so it's not like we're getting the starter ones. But they've been things like "save a cat (yes)", "talk guards out of hauling a child to prison (duh)", "reason with bandits instead of fighting them (I don't see why not)". It seems pretty biased toward doing the straightforward, right thing.

Gloomhaven city event young boy dressed in rags


Chris
I say let him be hardened in prison. He will join our merry band later. With Ghost powers.
The kid helped us out before. Isn't there some unwritten code we gotta help him out?
Chase

This isn't going to happen (here or with anything else) because it's a fixed deck, in contrast to, for example, Fallout where event resolutions add new ones to the stack.

Gloomhaven tactics ChocolateWafer poison damage tweet

Combat is pretty RPGey. Attack value, occasional shield value, draw cards from a deck (fair/random) for attack modifier. Range attacks and AOEs are a thing, and there are a dozen or so conditions like poison (take more damage), immobilize, etc.

The action deck is the cool and tactical mechanic that is the backbone of gameplay. You get ~10 cards for the entire scenario and play them, two per round, so you slowly lose options. Once you don't have two cards in hand, you have to do a rest action where you take back your discard pile but lose one card for the rest of the scenario. This sets the upper limit on rounds because once you're out of cards, you're done. E.g. a 10-card deck will give you, at most, 24 turns.

Enemy AI is pretty good though somewhat complicated. The movement/target rules work, although with a bit more experience we may find some semi-hacks. Enemies have a deck of actions that determine if the move, attack, block, do specials, etc. All enemies of the same class do the same actions, so it doesn't get too clumsy, although a more intense mode might assign a card to each enemy.

Actions are chosen all at once, so you don't know what the enemies will do. Round progression goes by initiative value, so at times it's a gamble for how to anticipate their actions. You could plan to attack a baddie, but find out they're playing a retaliate or a nasty attack if you end up adjacent. But you can always audible and choose the opposite actions depicted on your card.
Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity Original Sin screenshot cosmic place

At the same time, J and I have started Divinity: Original Sin, our first CRPG adventure.

Divinity Original Sin screenshot combat Jahan

The story is deep, the combat is deep, but all along the lines of familiar experiences. Player options are so various and open-ended you can play encounters in many different ways. It's a slow paced but rewarding play experience.

Divinity Original Sin screenshot inventory holy hand grenade

Similarly there is a large but staightforward inventory/crafting system.
Vegas

RV next to semi truck

The work dudes and I did a weekend in Vegas. Since Craig has a decent collection of toys, we trailered up to the Oasis Resort on the (deep south end of) the strip.

Hard Rock Las Vegas Nickelback display hopefully ironic

We bounced between NY/Luxor/Tropicana and Hofbrauhaus/Hard Rock. Fun weekend.
Friendsgiving


We did Friendsgiving at the delta this year.


The house was pretty cool and included a paddleboat that was almost as fast as the pull of the tide.


We bookended Friendsgiving with nights at Rob's in Oakland.

Xwing miniatures depth of field TIE fighters

There was some programming and some xwing.


We walked around Merritt, of course.

SpaceX launch

And even saw the SpaceX launch.
Back home

Chat fridge full of La Croix

Of course the fridge remains stocked with millennial juice.

Broadway San Diego show tickets Aladdin Cats Charlie Miss Saigon Book of Mormon

The new season of broadway tickets came in.

Dog weimaraner inverted watching Jack Ryan

Kafka and I powered through Jack Ryan. It was okay, but somewhat disappointing.
Chat EV owners booting oil burner

(Most of) the crew is going full electric.

Funny translations microblogging crazy raw noodles

The place next to hot pot.

Cuddling dog weimaraner girl couch cozy
Gentleman's Beer Exploration Society

Axe throwing BattleAxeSD

The exploration society did some axe throwing.