Architects Incan Ring found in Tokyo ends Skywalker Saga

When this goes up, I will have 4 workdays left before taking a break. Rabbit and I are sharing the long weekend, and then I have the rest of next week off. Followed by another long weekend! Rest and gaming are my two big priorities during my break.

Maybe I can get Return to Dark Tower on the table before next week as well. It’s supposed to be delivered just before the Easter weekend. Fingers crossed!

Playtime with Horizon Zero Dawn has taken a beating though. I don’t know if I will be putting a dent into my video game backlog at this rate! At least I am delaying it by playing other games, and not straight up too busy to play.

I am hoping SpookedShibe can get some time to play Tina Tina’s Wonderlands with me soon. Halo Infinite is finally supposed to be getting the coop campaign in May as well. Another game I wouldn’t mind playing coop with someone.

It’s a hard life when too many good games to play are your biggest problem!

7 Wonders: Architects

7 Wonders Architects. I enjoy this game so much, but playing with Alpal and Rabbit I have come to a realisation.

Board Game Arena believes that I am the Colossus of Rhodes. That is the only reason I can think of that I get assigned the Wonder more than half the time! 7 Wonders Architects has 7 Wonders – it would be nice to play all of them!

20220411 - 7 Wonders Architects - Not the Colossus again
5 games in a row, and 3 today, I played the Colossus of Rhodes. Variety, please!

Playing with Alpal and Rabbit means I enjoy 7 Wonders Architects no matter what. The game goes quickly, especially being a digital implementation. The gameplay is light enough fun table talk takes priority over long strategies.

No strategy in 7 Wonders Architects has a true advantage over any of the others. But the bias for Rhodes is military, and I would like to do something different once in a while!

I get that random assignment of Wonders is in the rules, but at home or even at a table with people, you can ask to swap. Other players will generally be sympathetic to wanting to do something different. Always demanding to be a specific Wonder is different, and is the situation that the random rule stops.

20220411 - 7 Wonders Architects - Always a fun game
Now even though I have a different Wonder, I find myself looping back to Military thinking

I wish for non-ranked games at the very least that you had the option of picking your Wonder. Then in situations having the same Wonder first 3 games, I could switch out. I don’t know if BGA can put this in place as it’s effectively a 7 Wonders Architects house rule.

Will this stop me from playing 7 Wonders Architects again? Never! But that doesn’t mean I can’t wish for the feature!

Incan Gold / Diamant

What better way to start a low brain game day than Incan Gold. Explore or go back, that’s all you have to do.

OK sure, if you want to get technical you can try and remember what people got in previous rounds. Hidden scores until the end of the game and all that. Card counting and draw odds can be a part of it. But only if you want it to. Incan Gold is just a fun game.

There were two distinct events that happened today that put a smile on my face. One was I got away with two artifacts on a single turn, and Rabbit and Alpal both got trapped by rock pushing on. Not unique on its own, but rare that two artifacts are on the table and we don’t mess with each other.

20220411 - Incan Gold - Great timing for me
Two artifacts the turn before was too much. I went back to camp. The timing ended up being perfect!

The other I will remember for some time to come. Alpal did her normal push strategy and had a huge early lead. Alpal has two scoring modes in Incan Gold – Huge or Nothing.

I figured Rabbit and I would be fighting for second place, as is usual in such situations. But then in one run, Alpal and Rabbit just kept going deeper into the temple. So deep, that Alpal pulled out before Rabbit did. This on its own would make the round memorable.

But then Rabbit kept going.

20220411 - Incan Gold - Rabbits golden run
Rabbit had an amazing run here – 34 points in a single run!

Rabbit ended up with an amazing 34 gems in a single run and managed to bank them in. This was also the last run of the game. This huge effort not only tied Rabbit and Alpal on points, but Rabbit came out on top having more artifacts. It was the first time I ever got to see Incan Gold’s tiebreaker in action!

If we ever get back to having people over regularly, I may look to add a physical copy of Incan Gold to the collection. But I need to make some holes in the current collection first.

King of Tokyo

I wanted to try King of Tokyo as an add-on was added where you could get an extra die. And not just any die – the Berserk die!

Activated when you roll 4 or more claws, you get the power of the Berserk die! This lets you roll an extra die with one or two power, one to two claws, or a skull. You don’t want to roll a skull, because then you lose health!

20220411 - King of Tokyo - The Berserker Dice could be interesting
The Berserk die looked fun. Maybe one day I can roll one!

It looked pretty fun and I am a fan of anything that gives you more dice to roll. I say it looked pretty fun because in both games we played I ended the game as I activated the Berserk die – I never got to use it!

You can only lose the Berserk die by healing, so if you are in Tokyo you have a very small chance of losing it. This changes the dynamic of King of Tokyo slightly, as if you can hit well you have the chance of hitting even more!

Even if you don’t hit more, you can also potentially buy more powers as well. This can be very handy.

20220411 - King of Tokyo - Flamethrower for the Win
A well-timed purchase secured victory

I got to win the second game with a lucky roll that took Alpal down to one health. Rabbit was already on one health. The Flamethrower caused 2 points of damage to everyone quickly finished their monsters. A timely purchase!

King of Tokyo was a fun end to a fun gaming day. Without the curse randomness from the last game, it was a lot easier to keep track of what was happening.

Maybe next time I will get to roll the Berserk die for myself! There is a larger game night happening, maybe I can suggest King of Tokyo with more players. It can go up to 6 after all…

Elden Ring

Saturday morning I got to put in a pretty good two-hour session with Elden Ring. I say pretty good – I got to play distraction-free and straight after a sleep. There were mistakes made gameplay-wise. That wasn’t as good!

I was getting slightly worried that at 5 hours I hadn’t unlocked any achievements. The first couple of hours, I didn’t make too much progress. The second couple of hours were starting to explore the game. Looking at it this way, I haven’t started ‘playing’ Elden Ring yet.

While I haven’t looked up any guides, I have seen some gameplay on YouTube and Twitch. I know the first ‘proper’ boss to beat is Margit, The Fell Omen. The Tree Sentinal has whomped me a few times, and I got flattened by a dragon pretty quick. Anyone following Elden Ring will know about the lake campfire party.

I started making my way south from where you begin. There were some challenging groups, but I could see I was working my way towards a castle of some kind. I thought I was on the right track when I saw an arrow the size of a spear almost hit me!

20220211 - Elden Ring - Yay glowing weak points
Years of video games have helped me identify the weak points of this huge archer

Surprisingly, I took out the archer doorman (there is most likely a proper name, I haven’t looked it up) on my first try. This made me feel pretty good. I must be getting the hang of Elden Ring. New area, not stomped out of existence immediately – I must be getting there. Things are coming together.

No. What I did do was fall headfirst into the FromSoftware trap. “Come here adventurer” whispers Elden Ring. “See what treasures we have in store for you. You can beat the enemies here. See how far you have come!”.

And then Elden Ring sits back in its chair, smiles, fingers steepled. That classic DM pose we all love to watch when we aren’t playing. But it’s too late.

20220211 - Elden Ring - It was at that moment he knew
Calling inner Morgan Freeman: “It was at that point he knew, he messed up”

So what do you do in Elden Ring when you hit a wall? Keep running into it headfirst of course! I tried to clear that area about 15 times. I would get close once or twice, then get flattened immediately other times.

But you don’t give up in Elden Ring. Can’t beat this area? Go explore somewhere else! There are plenty of secrets to explore and enemies to beat. You can always grind up some levels to make life easier. There can also be items and equipment just around an unexplored corner.

So I took off North, and I did come across Margit. I have met the first story boss!

20220211 - Elden Ring - Hello Margit
You know a boss is important when they have a cut scene

I didn’t do well against the first story boss, but I have started. In the first fight, I got splatted. The second fight, I got him down to about 1/4 health? I called it quits on the third fight. I got him down to about 2/3 health, but I knew I had begun making impatient mistakes.

Again, I am not a fan of the description Soulsborne. I can’t deny that as a description it is a good one when used correctly. Elden Ring is the latest Soulsborne type of game, with all the pros and cons that go with it.

FromSoftware has a great balance of making games incredibly challenging, but not impossible. The gameplay is fair. People say that, but until you experience it yourself it can be hard to get your head around.

20220211 - Elden Ring - Best decision is to just stand here
Roll away? Why? I will start drinking a health potion I think

That last fight with Margit. I wasn’t beaten because the boss is ‘cheap’ or Elden Ring is ‘broken’. There are elements of truth to both statements, but neither is why I was losing. I knew without a shadow of a doubt I mistimed almost every dodge and potion swig, making me easy prey.

It’s this ability to know instantly that you got hit/died because of something you could have avoided. Even my first joking picture where I am dying due to overwhelming odds. I know why I died, and to combat it I will come back later when better prepared.

I am looking forward on my break to a good chance of Elden Ring in the mornings, and Skywalker Saga in the evenings. A nice way to balance game days!

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

I have wanted to love the LEGO games for years. I tried starting a few, but I would get distracted and stop playing before making any real headway. Watching others play or hearing about friends has always kept me interested though.

Well last week, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga came out. I have been enjoying the trailers building up to the release. The humour has kept me going a couple of mornings. I am also excited about the new open-world options, with more of the world and space itself explorable.

My biggest decision wasn’t if I get The Skywalker Saga. It was simply if I would play through in episode order, or the movie release order?

20220411 - Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga - Space combat is a lot of fun
There is so much to look forward to in the new LEGO Star Wars

In the end, playing in Episode order won out. The Skywalker Saga lets you pick the start of any trilogy (episodes 1, 4 or 7) and the rest unlock when you complete the story.

The Skywalker Saga holds the player’s hand a lot more than any other LEGO game I remember. You always know where you are headed, as the waypoint appears only a short distance away. Following the marks creates a path that lets you power through the story.

20220411 - Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga - Dont continue without collecting every piece
First room of the game equals 5 minutes searching for loot

I did spend a fair amount of time exploring to start with. As I said, I hadn’t made much headway in any other LEGO game, so it took me a while to work out what seems a common theme. Power through the story first, then come back in Free Play mode to explore as much as you like!

Playing on PlayStation 5, there was one major glitch that threw me. Following Jar Jar a lake, I assumed that a cut scene showing the Jedi heading to the Gungan home would start. Well, the screen went black, and I could hear gurgling music.

In the end, I had to shut down the game and reload a save. Not the end of the world, but it did pull me out of my immersion for a little bit. The other gripe I have is the strange camera behaviour, but maybe I need to get used to this.

20220411 - Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga - The only bug I found was here and a cutscene not starting
Who would have thought following Jar Jar would be the wrong move?

I am hoping every couple of nights to be able to sit down and power through an episode of The Skywalker Saga. This should see me through the main story pretty quickly, and unlock the basics of the game.

Fingers crossed that come my break after Easter, I will then be able to explore the galaxy in Free Play mode. Then I will see what The Skywalker ruly has to offer!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD