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.
Of course we played the final mission
as a victory lap, adding some modifiers:
- We maxed out everyone's pilot skill and required builds that were not campaign-standard ships.
- We added the Decimator we weren't able to kill during the campaign.
- And we set the victory condition at successfully escorting the transport (standard) and then killing everything (new).
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...
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
At the same time, J and I have started Divinity: Original Sin
, our first CRPG adventure.
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
Similarly there is a large but staightforward inventory/crafting system.
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.
We bounced between NY/Luxor/Tropicana and Hofbrauhaus/Hard Rock. Fun weekend.
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.
There was some programming and some xwing.
We walked around Merritt, of course.
And even saw the SpaceX launch.
Of course the fridge remains stocked with millennial juice.
The new season of broadway tickets came in.
and I powered through Jack Ryan
. It was okay, but somewhat disappointing.
- They went way too far to shoehorn action (with the main character) into every episode. There's nothing wrong with an ensemble cast nowadays, or at least a cerebral episode or two. In the books/movies, action finds Jack Ryan on occasion, here it's a weekly thing.
- A terrorism plot, seriously? Is it 2005?
- The bad guy plot is fairly Clancy-esque, but they fall into way more Hollywood tropes than you'd hope from an original series from a streaming service.
- Someone decided that Jack speaking out at meetings is something good that should be repeated. Again and again. Yeah, dude would not be in any of those meetings after the first one.
(Most of) the crew is going full electric.
The place next to hot pot.
Gentleman's Beer Exploration Society
The exploration society did some axe throwing.