Last Week’s Gaming

Phoenix Wright vs the Draftosaurus against Jaws of the Lion

My favourite part of last week was the board gaming group got back together. I enjoy video games, but catching up with friends while gaming is always a great time!

We even finally started Jaws of the Lion! Even though we were playing the most straightforward rules, it sent my head spinning. Only goes to show how much I need a full-on holiday. Counting down for that one!

But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself – let’s jump into Last Week’s Gaming!

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Board Game Geek Link – Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Oh, I have been looking forward to this. Clank Legacy was fun, but I have wanted to get my teeth stuck into Gloomhaven for a while. Time (always an enemy of gaming) has stopped me, and when Jaws of the Lion was announced, I thought it was made for me.

What is Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion? It is a prequel and, on some levels, almost a tutorial for the ‘full’ Gloomhaven game. Rather than having to learn the bulk of the Gloomhaven Mechanics upfront, Jaws of the Lion shows you the basics and expands upon them as you progress through the campaign.

The board is more campaign progress than a traditional game board. But there are plenty more tokens and such to contend with!

Yes, campaign. As Jaws of the Lion is set before Gloomhaven, no previous information is necessary. Even though we were playing ‘basic’ rules, it was still a lot to try and convey. Gloomhaven is not a casual game by any stretch of the imagination.

But Alpal, Simon, Rabbit and I had a fun time clearing an area of enemies. As a scenario, it was more beat-em-up than a dungeon crawl, but we should have the basics down now. We could have started the second scenario, but I couldn’t get my head around explaining the next section.

I didn’t expect to play within the scenario book. Other games have done it, and it allows a lot of variety.

My favourite take on the game was from Rabbit. The Jaws of the Lion refers to the elite mercenary group you play as. After finishing the first mission, you go up to Level 1. Game logic!

Expect to hear more about Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion over the next few weeks, assuming no surprise lockdowns get in the way!

Draftosaurus / Draftosaurus: Marina / Draftosaurus: Aerial Show

Board Game Geek Link – Draftosaurus
Board Game Geek Link – Draftosaurus: Marine
Board Game Geek Link – Draftosaurus: Aerial Show

After the rules dump of Gloomhaven, it was time for a more relaxing game. And Alpal has been waiting patiently to show us the expansions for Draftosaurus. More cute dinosaur placement? Who wouldn’t want to play!

Technically, we played Draftosaurus, then Draftosaurus Marina, and finally added Draftosaurus Aerial Show. We ended up with a ‘super Draftosaurus’ configuration, but you can choose which (if any) expansions to use. The choice is entirely up to you!

The common addition in either expansion is a new type of dinosaur. This sounds straightforward, but I love that this completely messes with the ‘card counting’ aspect of Draftosaurus. No more working how much of a dino is left on turn 2!

The two expansion boards are all slightly different, giving players different goals but the same scoring opportunities. And it doesn’t add much complexity, only different opportunities.

In Draftosaurus Marine, you gain Plesiosauruses and a new expansion board for the bottom of your main play area. The idea is simple – you put Plesiosauruses in the river. When you place a specific type of dinosaur later during play, you can move the Plesiosauruses down the river.

This changes the strategy in getting Plesiosauruses early to move groups of them later in the game. Depending on where the Plesiosauruses are placed at the end of the game, you get points for each one.

Each expansion board is slightly different, meaning players will need to place different meeples for higher scores. One player can’t have a total monopoly.

Draftosaurus Marine was a fun expansion that changed the scoring strategy by increasing the random factor on tactical placement.

Each board has different ‘base’ dinosaurs on the bridges. When you play the meeple on the bridge, you can move into that area for higher end game scoring.

Similar to Draftosaurus Marine, Aerial Show adds the mighty Pterodactyls to the mix! Placed high up on the mountain top, Pterodactyls can give you new ways to score or play with the rules.

My favourite rule is completely overpowered – IGNORE THE DICE ROLLS! It’s not easy to get, and there is a lot of luck involved, but being able to place meeples wherever for the rest of the game was amazing!

At the start of the game, you also place two random meeples in eggs on the mountain top. This allows you to ‘hatch’ them later in the game and position them where you need them.

The Pterodactyls are the only meeple that can’t stand up properly. And if that is your biggest complaint, it can’t be a bad expansion

Each Draftosaurus expansion brings something new to the mix. Still, if you were interested in one, I would suggest trying to nab both. Especially if there was a bundle sale or the like.

Neither expansion is necessary to enjoy Draftosaurus, but it’s hard to go back once you play an expansion. And the different ways you can mix and match gives you incredible variety.

If you would like to see previous thoughts on Draftosaurus, you can see all the times I have talked about it here.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Played on – PlayStation 5

The Phoenix Wright Trilogy has been a nice fallback for me on work nights. Visual novels let you play in that valley where you are too tired for twitch reflexes but want to enjoy a game.

I am a little behind on where I thought I would be. I am on the last case in the Justice For All series (the second of the trilogy), and I looked ahead at trophies. I will need to play this one twice for the trophy, so the final series might begin next week.

Needing to find a particular entry for each lock takes longer than I thought

One thing I underestimated was the psyche-locks. It sounds complicated but boils down to interrogating people away from the stand. It’s more Phoenix Wright, but you need to spend more time investigating and trying out things.

I caught myself early in the week thinking that psyche-locks were padding. The new mechanics weren’t designed for people playing the series back to back; of course, the last case is more intricate.

Keeping this in mind, I will see how I feel after finishing Justice for All. I might finally get back to some Outer Worlds for a bit before tackling Trials and Tribulations. Or maybe another smaller game in the middle.

I never thought I would miss Edgeworth as an opponent

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of jumping straight into The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Considering this will be even more involved in gameplay, a solid break will be a great idea to enjoy the newer game fully.

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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