Last Week’s Gaming – September 2nd, 2019

It was cold in New Zealand!

So finally back in nice warm Queensland, but while Queenstown was gorgeous it was so cold. The only thing that hurt was it was apparently warming up last week.

But travel and a work conference couldn’t stop me from getting some gaming in. On to the games!

When travelling, there is limited space to take some solo gaming. I would love to travel with Arkham Horror the Card Game or some Tiny Epic games, but size and weight are a factor.

Deep Space D-6 has a bit of size to the box, but not much weight. In the suitcase it went!

I have started branching out with other ships. This was probably the right move, as I had my rear handed to me every game. It just shows how replayable Deep Space D-6 is – same base rules, different conditions make for a unique experience when changing things up.

Every hotel room I stay in has a table. Nothing else needed!

I really enjoy playing Quacks, but I have yet to progress to the advanced rules. I need to fix that sometime.

But while I welcome a game anytime, the arrival of the Geek Bits from the BGG store prompted a game ASAP. Possibly two games 🙂

Alpal had a slow start in the first game, mainly becuase it took me a couple of turns to realise she was adding up all the potions for an explosion rather than just the blossoms. She kicked my butt the second game though 😀

A bit of fun, Quacks of Quedlinburg was a welcome session. And now it looks prettier 😀

Same classic game, but with a touch of bling!

So Alpal nabbed this game in the Roll Player universe that I didn’t even realise was a thing. And as usual, she steered me towards a real winner.

While Lockup is set in the world of Roll Player, that just means it’s set in a fairly generic fantasy setting. Lockup is specifically set in a prison, where you need to use cunning and force to set yourself up as top dog.

The amount of elements in the game are amazing, especially for a game so simple to play. There is worker placement, a small amount of hidden information, set collection and resource management all wrapped into a simple streamlined experience.

Expect to see more about Lockup in the future.

Worker placement, card counting, set collection and bluffing - Lockup is a lot of fun

Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Switch)

Way back in the before years (2015), I backed an Australian development company bringing Fighting Fantasy back in a new way. Tin Man games did something new with the genre – actual turn based tactical combat within the set story.

I played it for a few minutes when it was in pre-release for backers, then left it alone. Because that is what happens when you don’t have much time.

Then I used my Nintendo gold to buy it on Switch, and I have finally started playing it again. It transitions well to the handheld, and all going well I will have a complete review in a few weeks.

I kickstarted this years ago. Time I finally play it, since I bought it twice!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

I finally started the latest installment of this gem of a series. I was tucked up warm in the hotel room, my switch connected to the TV, and off I went.

Did the first encounter, the tutorial if you will. Setup a few things then began the main thrust of the game.

And got Persona flashbacks. This isn’t a bad thing – Persona is a great series, it’s just one that takes 100+ hours to ‘finish’. No idea if Three Houses is like that, and I might start again with Rabbit watching. She likes watching me play games, and there is enough story being setup it could be fun.

6-7 hours in, I am enjoying it. But like all huge RPGs, I am waiting to actually start the game ‘properly’.

Luckily, power up animation doesn't take as long as Dragon Ball Z :p

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,


Last Week’s Gaming – June 24th, 2019

I saw the Quacks about Blitz Ball

This time of year takes its toll on me in a number of ways, and as usual, gaming is the first casualty.

I was lucky this weekend in that I got to basically flomp on the couch and just stop. I haven’t been able to do that during an end of financial year for a long, long time. I didn’t get much tabletop in, but I played the hell out of Final Fantasy X on the Switch!

I got to play this finally with Rabbit during the week, and it was a lot of fun as usual. The high luck factor meant rules and thinking were low, but it was still an enjoyable time overall.

That said, I think I am about ready to sit and start on the more advanced potion sets. This is where Quacks really shines – many games say they can be moulded into the game you want to play, but not many can pull it off properly.

I think Quacks can, but only time will tell. I need to wait a couple of weeks, but I will find out soon!

Finally got to play a couple of rounds with Rabbit. I think I am getting ready for the 'advanced' versions

Final Fantasy X

So I basically spent the weekend playing Final Fantasy X, which was great in many ways. Saturday I tried for about an hour to win the first game of Blitz Ball. I failed, and then spent most of the afternoon just playing Blitz. Tournaments were won, and I was ahead in the league. Probably about 5 hours spent in blissful zen.

Then on Sunday, I woke up very early and thought I would try the first match again. Thank you save slots. And after the pummeling I got Saturday, wouldn’t you know it first try and I win the Luca tournament!

Why spend so much time winning the cup? I ask why not 🙂

Game-wise, what does this give me? A strength sphere, a prop change and a couple of set dialogue changes. But did it feel good? You bet it did!

So then I continued off this save, completely overwriting all the Blitz progress I had made Saturday. I am now much further into the story as I have made it past that first save sphere, and I hope I can play some more during the week.

But this is one of the things I love about Final Fantasy X and Blitz Ball – Blitz is fairly optional, and even if you ‘have’ to do it for some of the benefits, you don’t have to do much in it.

Want to just relax the day away with your brain in neutral though? Go for it 😀

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,


Last Week’s Gaming – June 10th, 2019

The Quacks of Istanbul are a Stack of Rocks.

Yeah, that one was reaching, but it’s been one of those weeks. At least I managed to get in some great play time this week!

Not mentioned below, I am finally up to the part of Final Fantasy X when I can just go and play Blitzball. Yay! But.

It’s been ages since I played FFX properly, but I lost the opening tournament 1-0. There seemed to be some harsh ‘randomisation’ happening, but still. I have won it before. Maybe I will reload the save and play it again to win? Find out what I do next week!

On to what Alpal and I did get to play this week 😀

Trivia games. One of the problems with them is you usually need a few people. But what if you could play alone?

It’s a simple premise – there are a bunch of questions, and the answers can only be 0, 1 or 2. Read the question, lock in your answer, shake the box of rocks for its answer, then see who is right.

First to three wins. Simple, right? And yet, somehow, I only won after a tiebreaker. That’s not embarrassing at all. But it was a bunch of fun 😀

It's a simple premise, and should be easy. But it came to a tie-breaker!

Dexterity games. I seem to have a love-hate relationship with this genre. But I will always come back for more!

Maki Stack is kind of a sushi themed Junk Art? In its most basic form, build a stack as outlined on the cards from the sushi wooden components. The catch? You have to use one finger from each hand as your ‘chopsticks’!

Then, you can play in teams of two, and you each use one finger each to build the stack. Finally, you can play in teams but blindfold one team member for maximum ridiculousness!

Maki Stack was a quick bit of fun and another on the list that without Alpal I would never know about.

If Junk Art makes you hungry, don't play Maki Stack! :p

Three players this time, and it was just as fun as the original game!

Playing with a brand new player that admittedly only had half a rules explanation, we settled in for a fun round of push your luck/card counting fun.

Our scores were not as high as the first game, but even with an on the fly rules explanation and no concept of end game scoring, Annabelle took the win by 1 point!

It’s one of the things I love about this 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner – while there are layers of the game there waiting to be explored, played at it’s simplest it’s an amazingly fun time!

The rubber band scoring works so well in this game!

Ended games day with an old favourite – Instanbul the dice game 😀

Alpal managed to do the sneaky ‘I went from 4-6 rubies and you don’t get another turn’ win, which is one of the feelings the dice game captures from the board game so perfectly!

I do have an annoying habit from another player of trying to call the rubies red diamonds though :p

Always a welcome addition to the game night, I stand by my 9/10 review of Istanbul the Dice Game.

20190415 Istanbul Dice Game
Roll your dice, and try to get more rubies than your opponents

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,


Last Week’s Gaming – May 27th, 2019

The Clever Quacks win the Tournament and Throne

Big new game week this week – including a game I have been trying to get a hold on for a while now.

The move is still happening (still have a few boxes left to unpack and then sorting games wise), so does real life Tetris count as a game? I think I should start thinking of it that way!

Anyway, what I have been playing this week:

Quacks of Quedlinburg

I have been trying to play this for a year, and I finally have a copy of it!

Take the randomness of Potion Explosion and the combo building of That’s Pretty Clever, and you have Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018 winner Quacks of Quedlinburg.

Alpal and I had a game, and as expected it was a heap of fun. It can be a light push your luck or a deep card counting quest, but either way, I can see many people enjoying it!

Expect to hear more about Quacks of Quedlinburg over the coming weeks.

Take the randomness of Potion Explosion and the combos of That's Pretty Clever, and you have Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018 winner Quacks of Quedlinburg

Tournament of Towers

Another Alpal special that I would probably not look twice at, Tournament of Towers was a heap of fun to play.

Anyone that has played Junk Art will feel at home.  You have to make the best possible tower and score the most points to win – simple, right?

But mash in the card drafting of 7 Wonders and the random downside element of any Arkham Mythos Effect, and you have a game that just cannot be played the same way twice.

Oh, and full disclosure – the amazing tower I built and photographed doesn’t count.  I built it after I had thoroughly knocked everything down 😀

My tower was doing OK in the first round. Second round and randomness soon saw an end to that!

Dice Throne: Season 2

I have heard bits of pieces about Dice Throne, including grumblings that Season 2 wasn’t anything special.

Well, Alpal grabbed a hero pack (specifically the Samurai and Gunslinger) and taught it to me last week.

I don’t think it deserves any real grumblings.

Essentially combat Yahtzee, with standard TCG/LCG mechanics like abilities and instants. Coming from the back of Netrunner and Arkham Horror, I thought Dice Throne was a fun two player mix and a great way to introduce players to the TCG/LCG format.

I’m going to grab more hero packs, so expect a review in the future 🙂

Take the Yahtzee roll mechanic and mix it with Magic combat and variable player powers

Ganz Schon Clever/That’s Pretty Clever

I have been hearing a lot about Ganz Shon Clever/That’s Pretty Clever over the last couple of months, and I finally got a physical copy just before the move began.

I still haven’t really given the physical copy a good workout yet, but the app and website have been given a thrashing over the last couple of weeks, and now I am ready to review it!

For today, know that if you enjoy building combos from dice combinations this is a great game for you, but come back Friday for the full review!

To date, my best game. That may have changed come the review - it's a very addictive game

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,