Last Week’s Gaming – March 9th, 2020

Kung Fu Panda Feature

A week of weird milestones

Another game light week, and a lot of sleep required to get through it. But a lot of fun was still had, and that’s the main thing, right?

Enough of what I have had to do – on to what I have been playing!

Another Alpal Kickstarter, Kung Fu Panda surprised me in a lot of different ways.

The minis all come with a light wash on them. Not enough to say they are painted, but plenty to show off the amazing detail on all of the pieces. When I looked at the Kickstarter, I thought it would be a simplified Zombicide type of game.

I was kind of right, but wrong in all the best ways. Playing simultaneously, you progress through varioius missions and fight your way through hordes of enemies. It only took about 20-25 minutes to power through two missions, and was a blast to play.

When my games nights start soon, I hope to convince Alpal to bring this along and have a solid run through many missions.

Kung Fu Panda
Heaps of enemies, but incredibly fast and fun gameplay!

Alpal got a copy of this recently, and we had a great time. Dragon Market is a strange game to describe. Basically you have to collect three orders of different items. Sounds simple.

The catch is that the items are all on floating boats, and you need to move the boats in such a way to let you collect what you need.

The rules are very simple, and then you need to solve a shifting puzzle as you play. Dragon Market is engaging enough to keep you satisified gameplay wise, while not taking a long time to learn.

I hope to have a few more rounds of this so I can do a proper review soon.

Dragon Market
It's hard to quickly sum up Dragon Market, but if you like puzzles, this is a great game

Time to jump back into an old favourite. Alpal had even gotten an expansion that allows more options (for a cost) during your play.

And I got my butt handed to me again 🙂 I am just too kind with monster placement on Alpal’s map. I keep putting them against the sides, blocking penalties to her score.

Ah well, one day I will learn 🙂

One day I will grab a copy of Cartographers for my library and enjoy a few solo rounds, similar to One Deck Dungeon. But until then, the occasional thrashing from Alpal is always worth looking forwared to.

Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Played on the mat with the new expansion cards. So pretty!

Halo – Xbox

Finally got around to finishing this classic. Oh man, that last level drove me nuts!

The latest update came through this week, also allowing me to play the first Halo on PC! They did seem to fix my main complaint of the music being louder than the action, but that may be just the last level anyway.

Overall I enjoyed this bit of catch up to a past classic, but I have no real urge to play through it again. Not even for some achievements. I played it, and I am happy I did.

What else do I have to say about Halo? Well you will have to wait until Friday and my review 🙂

Halo
That's another game finished!

Halo 2 – Xbox

So I am not very far into the second chapter of the Halo series. Well, third if you consider Reach the first game, but I am playing them in release order.

I will tell you something though – the cutscenes in the Anniversery edition are amazing! Rabbit walked in and thought I was watching a movie!

The first update from Halo I am really enjoying is dual wielding weapons. A covenant weapon in one hand, SMG in the other, ripping through elites is awesome!

It might be a couple of weeks before I jump back into Halo 2. I am thinking of starting a bigger RPG again, and using Halo as a regular palette cleanse seems appropriate. Expect to hear more in spurts.

Halo 2
The cut scenes in the Master Chief Collection are amazing. But dual wielding wins!

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 tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Top 10 Board Games 2019 (I Wish I played!)

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The list of games I wish I had more time and/or money for

Today I am going to take you through the top 10 games I wish I had played in 2019. The ones that others talk about with that certain gleam that reminded me of a moment of excitement or gave a moment of envy.

Like any list of favourites and wishes, they are very personal and different for everyone. As I haven’t played any of these games, the list order should not be seen as “In my opinion, this game is better/worse than that game”.

This list is more “If I had all 10 in front of me, which one would I play first” style ranking. If I happen to own (or know someone that does) a specific game, it will probably have a higher position than one I would love to play more but have to track down.

Make sense? I hope so because we are going in!

It’s a Wolfgang Warsch game, so of course, I am interested. Like a lot of his games, it takes a bit of coaxing to get players excited initially.

The premise of Taverns? Compete against other players to build the most successful pub in your little valley. It has dice drafting and deck management.

By itself, it sounds a lot like so many games out there. But. Wolfgang Warsch has proven himself a designer that takes known mechanics and adds that magical X factor to make them work better than the originals. And for that alone, I wish I had been able to get a copy of The Taverns of Tiefenthal and play it last year.

The Taverns of Tiefenthal

2019’s Ridiculously Big Box Delivery Kickstarter Champion (if you see the boxes of all in pledges arriving, leaves CMON to shame!).

It’s not only the size of contents and boxes delivered that brings on comparisons to Gloomhaven. That really isn’t fair though, as Gloomhaven is more combat-based where Tainted Grail is more exploration-based. Tainter Grais is closer to (but still different from) The 7th Continent.

Either way, I missed the Kickstarter, and both Gloomhaven and The 7th Continent are on my shame shelf. If I am given a chance for go, I feel it will be 2-3 hours well spent 😀

Tainted Grail

Number 8 – Nemesis

So Alpal and I have a running laugh about Kickstarters I thought I backed but didn’t. Nemesis was one I could have sworn I backed, and I did. And then cancelled. I don’t remember why, and I am kicking myself.

Nemesis is a semi-cooperative survival horror game. You all need to work together to survive, but you also have your own objectives to complete. Sometimes at the cost of other players, and hopefully not at your characters!

I have Lifeform for solo ‘Alienesque’ board games, and a few one-vs-many games, so I have options. The reception to Nemesis has been so positive I am really kicking myself for cancelling my pledge.

Nemesis

Number 7 – Cthulhu: Death May Die

Summing up Cthulhu: Death May Die as ‘Cthulhu Zombicide’ is both a quick summary and an unfair comparison, like so many games in our hobby.

Cthulhu: Death May Die is a CMON game with beautiful minis and lots of ‘stuff’. Zombicide. Where it differs is Death May Die is split into specific chapters and closer to a strategic mini-game than a fun ‘dice-chucker’.

And did I mention this is a collaboration between Eric Lang and Rob Daviau? Why didn’t I back it! Well, the cost, but we won’t dwell on that.

I already have heaps of exploration/survival games on my shelves of shame, so I don’t think I will try and track down Cthulhu: Death May Die. But I would love to play a chapter/episode to see if it is as good as I think it will be.

Cthulhu Death May Die

I really love the Roll Player universe. The original Roll Player made character creation into a dice worker placement game. Lockup became a bluffing area control game. And now Cartographers brings Roll and Write to the series.

I generally try not to be one of those people that says games need to stay in a specific genre. If there are alternate ways to bring people into the lore, go for it. And that is precisely what is happening with the Roll Player universe.

On its own, the gameplay description isn’t unique. Roll dice, create your map and try and group things to earn more points than your competitors. But everything so far in the Roll Player universe has appealed to me, so I would love to give Cartographers a play or five.

Cartographers A Roll Player Tale

Number 5 – Marvel Champions

When I first heard about Marvel Champions, I was pretty meh about it. I still need to get through my Arkham Horror LCG (Living Card Game) packs, and I didn’t want another retheme of the same core mechanics.

Well, I guessed wrong apparently. Marvel Champions is being praised as a story-driven, yet casual friendly, LCG. I cannot say that Arham Horror is exactly casual friendly, hence the rarity of getting it to the table.

A casual-friendly story-driven version with a streamlined ruleset, where I can mix in only the packs I want going forward? Yep, I am interested.

Marvel Champions

Number 4 – Wingspan

Well, this has been an interesting release. Demand far outstripped the initial supply, and there seems to be a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ mentality on the net. It’s rare for me to hear an “It’s fine” opinion about Wingspan.

I was a little upset initially that almost everything I heard about Wingspan was about everything but the game. Supply issues are unfortunate, but they happen. It also made me laugh that the US was complaining so much that the game didn’t have enough releases to go around. Try buying initial runs in Australia :p

I don’t have an overwhelming urge to add Wingspan to my collection, but I would love to have a game and see where it falls for me. Competitive without being cutthroat and a unique theme have my curiosity well and truly piqued.

Wingspan

Number 3 – Star Wars: Outer Rim

I love Firefly. A universe that has (had?) so much promise, cut short just as it had begun to make its mark.

I am not as big a fan of Firefly: The Game. Essentially a hand management/pick up and deliver game, it was overly complicated admin wise and needed streamlining. Also, it was huge – a single-player game took up more space than my 8 person poker table provided!

Star Wars: Outer Rim is being described as a streamlined version of this, and in the Star Wars universe which fits thematically. So I really want to play this. Alpal and I have this in a shared library, I just need to be able to play it!

Star Wars Outer Rim

I have had Detective: City of Angels for ages. I backed it on Kickstarter, I was so excited, but I haven’t had the chance to get it to the table yet. Boo!

If you think of Detective: City of Angels as “L.A. Noire the Board Game”, you won’t be too far off the mark. An actual interrogation/threaten system instead of other deduction “Here is all I say” mechanics intrigues me. And I can play it solo then help others play game night.

I really need to get this played over the coming weeks so I can make that happen.

Detective City of Angels

So you may know I am a fan of Penny Arcade. This was the one game I was praying would be available at PAX Aus 2019, and it wasn’t so I didn’t get to play it though.

I did get my hands on a copy just before Christmas, so yes this will be one of 2 Legacy games I will be running this year. The other? Betrayal Legacy 😀

Clank! is a popular push your luck/hand management series, of which I own Clank! In! Space! (Yes, you have to pronounce it like that :p). Adding the silliness of the Acquisitions Inc. world by having your group starting their own franchise is appealing. You also get to build up your own world similar to Charterstone, a mechanic I appreciated. Still, as a game, I felt Charterstone missed the mark. By all accounts, Clank! Legacy nails it.

My plan is to run a couple of Clank! In! Space! sessions once the regular games night resume, then find players for the campaign. Expect to hear more of Clank! Legacy from me later this year.

Clank! Legacy Acquisitions Incorporated

What do you think? Are there any games you wish you could have played in 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD