Games We Play: Life Interrupts

I was planning on writing about Rise of the Runelords GOBLINS, Tanks, and our first foray into Warhammer 40k in two years, unfortunately life interrupts.

We did play another Rise of the Goblins scenario, Black Fang…and it went as well as most goblin oriented things tend to do which is funny and not as expected. We lost the scenario, we ran out of time. Why did we run out of time, because we kept playing Blessing of the Gobs and taking a blessing off the blessing deck, shortening our game by 4 turns.

Combine our short (ha) sighted planning with a run of bad luck and universal deck stalling, except for the goblins getting the tar beat out of them and you have how we lost. We came close to winning when Black Fang was revealed, defeated, revealed the next player’s turn, and then he ate a goblin…so close to winning in goblin terms.

This morning was supposed to be Tanks-our girl’s Tiger Force vs in her words “whateveryouthrowonthetable ” (said as one word) and a clash between a squad of space marines and genestealers in a return to Warhammer 40k.

Alas, our girl is sick. No Tanks and instead of playing Warhammer 40k our boy worked on building more of his Tyranid army while I finished painting a few more space marines.

Two or three years ago, being overindulgent parents and having a surplus of cash, we purchased a starter set of Warhammer 40k for our boy who expressed a HUGE interest in the game. Unfortunately, he was not interested in learning the following:

  • The rules
  • How to assemble his miniatures
  • How to paint his miniatures
  • How to play with his miniatures

Cue sad parents and 40k going on the shelf. At the time we lived on campus and I had no real way to set up for painting, which may have interested him.

Fast Forward two to three years, once again he expressed interest, once again I said yes, EXCEPT he had to read the rulebook AND his tyranid book cover to cover. He did or is in the process. Suffice to say he has done enough on his own that game on. ūüôā

In addition to reading the rules he has been learning how to paint his miniatures. Anyone who has painted an army knows that initially looking at all of the unpainted miniatures is intimidating. When painting for the first time, overwhelming. To ease his concerns, one squad at a time with plenty of assistance from me. He currently has three figures painted and is working on three more.

paintingWhile he read and learned to paint I started painting again (see photo). I have not painted (in this quantity or detail) in over five years. And like him I was not looking forward to painting all of the miniatures, however as I wrote before painting and writing are similar skill sets to me. Within a week I was painting and writing; write until I stop, then paint for a few, then back to writing. The combination is very good for the creative process and has gotten me closer to center than I have been in a long time.

Hopefully illness passes by without much more note and gaming resumes. ūüôā

Games We Play: Rise of the Goblins

Pathfinder goblins are fun, in their own self-destructive way. After the horrorshow of Wrath we needed a break before delving into Mummy’s Mask. Plus the kids wanted to start playing again. Awesome. What better way to take a break and get the kids involved than goblins?

That’s right there is no better way.

The hilarity began right off the bat, with our boy playing Ranzak, the pirate goblin (complete with peg leg and parrot). Because he is a goblin pirate scavenger he had to wait until we built our decks to get build his…on the leftovers which may explain why his number one weapon was a torch…at least he had fire.

Without much preamble or preramble…we started the introductory Perils of the Lost Coast scenarios. I expected all of us to die in very horrible ways and we all almost did…and then we won in a fiery explosion.

Here is what we learned playing goblins…

the goblin fortune teller, can only tell the future when someone else has been punched in the face AND they are at the same location…hmmm…not as useful as we thought

the goblin pirate can only run away from a fight if there are other people at his location

Blessing of the Gobs is the most awesome card ever and yes we used the power to take blessings from the blessing pile all of the time, we are goblins we cannot tell time nor do we care about how much time was left and…

goblins¬†cannot do “normal” math…goblin math example: make a ranged check…I roll a d12…your ranged is d10…yeah d10 + 2 means I roll this die…no, wait…

the pyromancer’s evil goat or ram Deliverance is useless; I didn’t find a use for it…oh well

the pyromancer’s ability to “help” other people at his location is awesome for injecting some unnecessary tension, witness…

All five goblins limped to the finish line, which was the villain as the last card. Along the way in addition to the above, we learned our goblin math wiz of a girl is a killing machine taking out most of the henchmen. However, for the final fight she was AWOL, she did offer to assist with every card in her hand, including her much beloved Potion of Fortitude.

The fight came down to the pirate who thought about running away, then decided to fight with his dogchopper and a lot of luck and assistance. Because there were four of us there, he got a ton of d4’s to roll. Not satisfied with his fist full of tiny dice and wanting to inject some unnecessary tension, I the pyromancer assisted, giving him 4 extra points while dealing 3 points of damage to everyone other than me.

He had to win otherwise everyone other than me and our girl died. Now that is tension, one roll to win or die, a fist full of d4’s (arguably the worst die ever), and a fiery +4 bonus. I maintain to this moment that my +4 and the possibility of instant death for three characters is what motivated him to roll awesome.

So while the goat was useless and we cant’ do math, we can stagger on fire past the finish line. More to come as we stagger our way through Rise of the Runelords GOBLINS.

Games We Play: Tem-Purr-A & TPK (Total Party Kill)

Perhaps. Just perhaps I should have waited to post yesterday, say roughly an hour. If I had waited an hour I might have saved myself sometime writing about the difficulty, rewards, army cards, and character issues we were (read WERE) having with the last Adventure Deck for Wrath of the Righteous.

What happened you may wonder? Did we quit? Did we put the game up for the night? Or…did something worse happen?

Something worse. Now this is where party composition really reared its ugly head. I knew with two ranged characters and a paladin our group was lacking. The two ranged characters had split good ranged weapons between them all along. I, as the paladin, had the best of everything because neither ranged player wanted melee weapons. If we had a dedicated cleric or wizard we might have been able to recover with access to high level spell, we did not, thus when we encountered the demon lord whose checks were 50 and then 50 and fail at either and DIE! Odds were no looking good.

Yet, we managed through dumb luck to corner the demon lord without too much hassle. The best chance for success, my character was facing him down while the other characters closed out the only remaining location. First roll, 42. DEAD. Without access to revive spells or items, I stayed dead. Then the hunter died. And last, but not least the reformed demon died.  Yep, Total Party Kill (TPK).

We broke Wrath down, vowed to return with new characters and better party composition. Then, instead of immediately turning our attention to Mummy’s Mask we decided to start a Rise of the Runelords Goblin game. As that unfolds you can read about it here, right now we are still arguing over which goblin is cooler. ūüôā

Tem-Purr-A

0004337_tem-purr-aTem-Purr-A by IELLO games is about cats at an eating contest. The goal, to make the other cats get indigestion, three times. Tem-Purr-A is a small box, quick to play, easy to learn, and fun game. Artwork of cats alone is worth the price of admission.

Game play is as follows: Play a card with a number, next player matches that number OR plays an action card OR plays two of the same different number card (top of the stack is a 5, you play one 6 to close out the stack and a second 6 to start a new stack). If a player cannot do any of those things, the player draws a number of cards equal to the total of the stack. They reveal the cards drawn, if an indigestion card has been drawn, the player gets an indigestion token and the round is over. Players keep their cards (I had a hand of 34 at one point), shuffles the stacks and indigestion cards with the deck, direction of play flips, and the player who got the indigestion card starts a new stack.

Took me longer to type that than learn it.

Our game from opening the box, punching out the counters, reading the rules, unwrapping the cards, shuffling, and starting play took around 20 minutes. If you are looking for a quick, easy to learn, and cute card game Tem-purr-a is a good choice.

Games We Play: Wrath of the Righteous

For me there is a tipping point between wanting to play, even desiring to play, and not wanting to play. Wrath of the Righteous is closing in on the not wanting to play. Between Rise of the Runelords, Skulls and Shackles, and Wrath of the Righteous, Rise of the Runelords has been the most fun. Skulls and Shackles was last (lack of interesting rules and usage of boats and a storyline that did not catch our collective interest), but now, near the very end, Wrath of the Righteous is getting on my nerves. A game that gets on my nerves, does not see a lot of play.

Part of the reason Wrath is getting on my nerves is because of our group, a paladin, a hunter, and a reformed demon. Sounds like a fun group and maybe in another set they are, but in Wrath there is a distinct lack of a certain weapon type in comparison to others, ranged weapons. Yes, there are ranged weapons, but GOOD ranged weapons are hard to find and when two characters are ranged weapon users splitting up the small pool of available weapons is problematic.

There are other problems with our group that are exacerbated by Wrath. We lack the ability to tackle challenges in several areas that Wrath seems to encourages, such as Intelligence and Knowledge checks. Overall, our group is not a good group for Wrath and that is a problem.

Our group issues noted, the primary increase in challenge for Wrath seems to come from higher numbers. Makes sense, but there are other creative ways to challenge characters. The last few adventures have felt like practice for a math test and not like a game.

This might¬†not be such an issue except that after all of the math, the rewards, especially in the last Adventure Deck have been less than stellar. If I defeat a demon lord, I¬†want awesome loot. Something that says, “I defeated Bob Demon Lord of Cheesy Chicken Strips.”

Most of the rewards either go back in the box because a reward from an earlier Adventure Deck is better or are character improvement boxes. Unfortunately, by Adventure Deck 6, the character improvement boxes are not that interesting because I used earlier character improvement rewards to check off all of the useful boxes. Meaning, for defeating the demon lord, I get to add +1 to a check or look at a second card.

I understand the design philosophy of making sure any character can play in any set. I wonder though, since Wrath is supposed to represent truly higher level of play is alternate versions of the character sheets could be made where there are still interesting character choices to make near the end of the game and rewards that stand out.

Will Wrath see more play. Definitely, the storyline is catchy and we have lots of character combos to try.

Open Driveway Events

Taking a break for a long weekend of gaming, hopefully finishing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Wrath of the Righteous and starting Mummy’s Mask, I put the writing down and am working on cleaning up and setting up. To tide you over until the next Puddles and Whiskers or Games We Play, something I have been posting daily on my Facebook page/wall/whatever.

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Good news, there is still a small fee for towels, and access to a phone, and Open Driveway Events now has a licensed pharmacist to address any RASHES you may have. We at Open Driveway Events are not liable for rashes acquired while at any of our open events.

Speaking of events, Al Roker our favorite go to weatherman has indicated that snow may fall soon. With snow comes our 1st Annual Open Driveway Ski U.

While the fog remains, stop by, if you can find us, for our 1st Annual Jack The Ripper in London Fog Hide and Seek Scavenger Hunt. Try to survive on almost two acres dodging our associate Ripper (you pay employee Rippers) while searching for items on a list hidden on almost two acres. Shovel recommended.

For a small fee access to towels, phone, and a shovel. Still not responsible for interactions with vehicles or rashes acquired while attending any Annual or other event.

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Open Driveway Events is proud to announce our 1st annual (I hope someone is keeping count for next year) Slip n’ Slide in the Slush Event. How many of you have fond memories of throwing your body with abandon onto a wet garbage bag and the hard ground to slide a few feet, that feeling of flight without the airborne component?

If you do or you want to experience something akin to that (no garbage bags here) swing on by while the temperatures are high enough to allow for snow to fall and slush to accumulate.

Pick a spot anywhere on our spacious event space, run, throw yourself on the ground, and slide like a penguin. LIKE A PENGUIN. What could be better? Don’t answer that.

Open Driveway Events is not responsible for injuries sustained from impact with the ground, tree, large or small rocks, frozen gophers, gopher holes, or anything else.

Today and today only, free towels after 10 Slip n’ Slide Slush Runs. For a small fee bento lunches, hot chocolate (limited amount as the container is about half full), and access to a phone. Really not responsible for interactions between sliders and vehicles: remember slide away from the road.

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Enjoy throwing things at other people for fun? Want to build large fortifications out of snow? Do you relish the feeling of snow down the back of your coat, shirt, pants, or in your boots?

Of course you do. That is why you will swing on by to Open Driveway Events 2nd Annual (associates took care of the 1st Annual earlier this year) Snow Fort Snow Ball Fight.

Alone or with a team, build a fort, build some balls, and start throwing them. With almost two acres to wage war on, there is plenty of room and snow for you. (start with the snow in our ample driveway).

For those build oriented, but not throw oriented, Open Driveway Events is hosting the 1st Annual Build Something Other Than A Fort Contest. Show off your snow building skills for anyone to see, especially all of the people driving by. First prize, free use of a warm towel.

Free snow. For a small fee access to towels, bento lunches, phone. For a slightly larger small fee access to warm towels, hot chocolate (still some left over). Open Driveway Events is not responsible for interactions with vehicles and snow related injuries.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Character Tents The Solution You Didn’t Know You Needed

I like to have an organized gaming space, years of being a gamemaster taught me the value of being organized and having an organized space to play. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game challenges those concepts for me.

Don’t get me wrong the game is organized in the box and with the Broken Token insert organized even better: everything for one campaign fits into one box now, cannot beat that. However, as a player things are not as organized as I would like or able to keep. Maybe that is the crux, as I am able to keep.

The giant playmat needs an update. When the playmat was released there was no need for extra spaces on the mat. Then came ships in Skulls and Shackles. Wrath added spots for servitor demons, redemption card, army cards, and so on. Who knows what Mummy’s Mask will add. The gist being, there are many times when play areas are cluttered with cards needed for a scenario that have no spot on the mat…not that we haven’t created spots, but sometimes there are more cards than empty spaces.

20161001_135331My personal space starts out clean; playmat in center, character sheet to one side, deck and character card in their right spots, and then my hand of cards. We play with open hands, makes teaching the game easier, makes reminding people of cards they have easier, and in general makes the game more social. A few hours into playing and my space is a cluttered disaster as dice migrate into my area, cards get shuffled around.

By the end of a session I am using Post-It-Notes to keep track of my character’s stats because the character sheet is buried. If there was only a way to save some space. We tried a few things, as you can see our character sheets are folded in half and in sheet protectors. Still, laying there takes up space and if we fail to get crafty when our character’s get roles we have to flip the page back and forth. Totally, minor annoyance.

20161001_135356Then…[drum roll]…I stumbled upon a forum post where people were raving about character tents a person created. Sure sure I thought, a standee for my character how cool, but not needed. Then I did some further reading and hit the link for ESG Labs Pathfinder Support page and [holy sounding music] found the solution to some of my problems.

It’s not a character standee, it is a tri-fold with all of the relevant character information on one side: Skills, Powers, Card List, Favorite Cards, and Role should you be at that point. There are multiple versions per character-the base version and one for each role. Awesome. The flip side is character illustration, name, and so on.

Even better, Parody (forum screen name-link to forum post), has created versions for each of the boxed sets, character decks, and promotional characters. All for free. Now, as you can see, I take up less space. Leaving more space for card and dice creep and should my side become too fouled with cards and dice, my character tent remains visible.

Play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, highly recommend.

 

And Then That Happened

My apologies for the very late post.

Allow me to share my weekend with you…

I ate some pizza Barb brought home and woke up positive I was going to puke. Then my stomach leveled out long enough for me to get just hopeful enough that I would have a great evening only to stab me in the proverbial back and literal gut. Strange but true element of the this story, a beer, an ill advised beer, normalized out my stomach. I have no explanation and I make no recommendation for those with brought home pizza stomach funk.

While my stomach was tricking me and before the ill advised, yet ultimately best for the event beer, we played Wrath of the Righteous. Due to a late start, in part due to my stomach, we were not able to finish Adventure Deck 3 and start Adventure Deck 4. Overall, I continue to be amazed at the work put into Wrath of the Righteous. The challenges continue to escalate in a please, not frustrating manner, that tell me that the designers understand that there is a difference between upping the challenge to the player instead adding more bad guys to fight…looking at you hard mode of most video games, adding more people for me to kill does not make it hard, just longer.

Around stomach, singular beer, and Wrath of the Righteous came Destiny. I enjoy Destiny. I took a break when things were getting stale, which was more my fault than anything Bungie or Destiny did or did not do, came back and rediscovered the joy and fun. All of my talk with our boy about Destiny intrigued a friend who had never played. Which is how we found ourselves in a marathon session of Destiny.

At first, I used a high level character, not on purpose, just that is what I had loaded, but then I made a new character to match the friend’s new character. Holy crap, what fun. Having to learn a new class, teach Destiny skills, go through missions with a friend really does change things; very similar to how playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game with a character from a class deck or different sets of characters changes the game.

Feeling better and wrapping up the last of Adventure Deck 3, I decided to cook on the grill. If there was a theme to this weekend, it was despite something going wrong or off, something good came out of it. Grilling was no different. My idea was to put foil over the grill to cook chicken thighs. The hope that I could get crispy skin slathered (poor word) in teriyaki sauce. What happened was some crispy skin, a grease fire, and a broke handle to the grill. I kid you not, I thought I had accounted for the grease from the thighs, but nope not enough accounting. Grease fire away! However, once the fire burned down, the vegetables were cooked on the remaining fire, the chicken turned out better than expected. I have no explanation. Just is.