Last Week’s Gaming

Bravely tackling the Draftosaurus Quacks in Games of Life

Wow, this week flew by! It’s been an interesting week for me. Work-wise, things were going nicely. Then a few issues with web routing and last-second ‘inspirations’ took up most of my time.

In good news, my new CPU arrived! I have finished building my new PC and now just need to sit down and dial in a few more bits and pieces. It has already made my life easier with the issues this week, so yay for that!

Even better, I got to play some classic board games with Alpal and Simon. As tired and mentally bleah as I was, it was great to sit down at the table with some friends and have a fun afternoon.

What did we play? Well, that’s what I am here to tell you!


Board Game Geek Link – Draftosaurus

Alpal taught us this little gem a while ago, but it has been a while since we last played. The idea is simple – place your dinosaurs in a way to maximise patterns and combinations for your score.

There is a random element to the placement, though. Each turn, a die is rolled. Everyone but the dice roller has to follow the placement rule. It may be on one side of the board, where there aren’t other dinosaurs, things like that.

I made some wrong choices, but the park still looked pretty

I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should for scoring, but it was still a great time. We played three games in a row, changing boards and chatting the entire time.

Alpal also added a new twist. Nothing gameplay-wise, but in how we played. She has some treasure chests, and instead of handing over handfuls of dinos, we could just pass the closed chest. It was a small change, but it was fun and closing the chest definitely showed when you ended your turn!

Not nexessary, but a lot of fun playing with the chests

Alpal is keen to play the expansions, and I am with her on that. They aren’t available yet, but Draftosaurus is such a fast and enjoyable game I really should look at adding it to my own collection beforehand.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Board Game Geek Link – The Quacks of Quedlinburg

It’s been over a year since I played The Quacks of Quedlinburg. It was good to come back to a game and introduce a new player to it as well!

While I haven’t reviewed it formally, it did manage to be my third favourite game of 2019. If that doesn’t speak for the high regard I have for this game, I don’t know what does!

So many pieces can put off newcomers, but the game is played almost entirely on your own board

The Quacks of Quedlinburg looks complicated from the outside but is actually very straightforward and easy to follow. You draw ingredients (tokens) from your bag to mix in your potion. The more you can get in there, you can get a higher score and better the ingredients.

Careful because if you add too much of a particular type, your potion explodes! This limits you somehow, but it isn’t a crippling setback like in other luck-based games.

Yes, you have to choose between score or buying components. You miss out on a small random bonus. That’s it. So while you don’t want to explode your potion, playing it safe isn’t the best route either.

I managed a nice win, but Alpal who busted almost every time wasn't far behind score wise

As well as smaller penalties that you can choose between, there are also some great mechanics to help those falling behind. It works similar to the rubber banding in Mario Kart – if you are in last place, you get a lot of help to catch up. If you are in second, you have a small hand.

The further ahead the leader is, the more help you get. You still need to do work yourself to catch up, but it’s not an insurmountable goal.

There are many good reasons why Quacks of Quedlinburg won the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres. If you haven’t played it yet, give it a try. Chances are you will enjoy as much as most of us have!

The Game of Life 2

Played on – PC (Steam)
Board Game Geek Link – The Game of Life

I will probably move on from my ‘safe’ game sessions of Game of Life 2. As I mentioned before, The Game of Life is a childhood favourite of mine. It’s miles from being the most fantastic game of all time, but I still find it a bit of fun, especially when I don’t want to think at night.

In the last few weeks, I have probably played more Game of Life than I have in the previous decade. Is the gameplay simple? Yes. That, coupled with the ease of the digital implementation, is why I have been firing it up when I just want to chill.

But is it easy? No. I am not sure if Rabbit heard my shout of frustration as I came third by a point. A POINT. I thought I had second in the bag! There may have been another game straight away to show the computer who was boss. It didn’t work. I think I lost by about 900 points the next round.

How did they magically get 1 point to beat me?!?

Bravely Default 2

Played on – Switch

I didn’t play too much this week, maybe a couple of hours max. This week I made a concerted effort to use the exploration mode more than play the actual game.

This week I will probably do the same thing. I am concentrating more on building up some job mastery and levelling up that way. So just running around and doing random battles rather than pushing the story forward.

Even when not playing, I can use exploration bonuses to boost my characters

This is the part of an RPG that is the most dangerous. Having an easier time with the boss battles thrown my way, opening up my options is how I am dealing with the new challenges. Options mean level grinding.

This is how I am playing the game, and it’s not the most time-efficient method. My opinion is this method that really shows how good the game is. If I am running around doing the same thing over and over, does it keep me interested?

And when I do have time to relax, I can build my characters the old fashioned way

This is what I mean by ‘dangerous’. In a couple of weeks, will I be ready to move the story forward, or just be over Bravely Default 2 and move on to another game? Time will tell!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

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