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. 🙂

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.

Games We Played: Simon’s Cat & Star Wars Destiny

Welcome back games, oh how we have missed you.

Do not ask me why games disappeared for so long, but they did and try as we might it took until this weekend to play some games. This weekend saw two new games, Simon’s Cat and Star Wars Destiny along with us trying to finally wrap up Wrath of the Righteous.

Wrath was disastrous. I do not like the army cards in Wrath. An army card affects all players; each player must choose a check for their character from a list and unless something is listed twice, each check can only be chosen once. Further, the list of checks rarely seems to be in the advantage of the skills of the players. Suffice to say, the army cards hit us hard and kept hitting us hard all the way to the end where we had given up 10 turns earlier. Nothing worse, gaming wise, than when the table of players quits before the game ends. 😦

Onto the new games…

Simon’s Cat

simons-catDo you like cats? Do you like cutesy art of cats, dogs, and other thing? Do you like variations on Uno? If you answered yes to all three then you will love Simon’s Cat. Upfront, I know nothing about Simon Tofield and his Simon’s Cat YouTube series. I know games. I also know that our daughter loves games with cats and that is how we ended up with Simon’s Cat.

Match the number or color of the top card of a stack. That is all there is to Simon’s Cat by Steve Jackson Games. If you cannot make a match you get the stack, called a mess in front of you. The player with the most messes at the end of the game gets a Simon card. The player with the most Simon Cards after a few rounds is the loser. Our children 8 and 11 were bored and done with Simon’s Cat after 1 round. The match mechanic and nothing else to spice up play wore out its welcome real quick.

Star Wars Destiny

star-wars-destinyStar Wars, oversized illustrated dice, and cards with Star Wars imagery what more could a person ask for? A game that plays as well as it looks. And Star Wars Destiny by Fantasy Flight games is a good game. Unfortunately and this is no fault of Fantasy Flight Games, the demand is high enough that around here I could only find one of each starter deck. Online prices are appalling and look to stay that way long enough to be problematic. That aside…

Using the two starters (individually around 15 each), players take turns rolling dice, playing cards, and resolving the effects until one player is out of characters or out of cards.

Play starts with two characters and their associated dice, one location (one of which will be discarded before play), a deck of 30 cards (knock against the starters as they only come with 20 cards), and a pile of counters (shields, damage, and resources). Character cards come with the amount of damage they can suffer before being knocked out, an illustration of the sides of the dice rolled, and an ability. Dice are oversized with illustrations matching those on the cards. Each side is a symbol and a number or blank. Symbols and numbers rolled determine potential actions or damage done/prevented.

A round begins with straightening cards, putting dice on the cards, gathering two resource tokens, and drawing up to 5 cards. Then each player takes an action, such as rolling the dice on a character putting those dice into the pool of available dice, playing a card, or using the results on the dice for other actions such as dealing damage. Players take actions until both players pass consecutively, then a new round occurs.

If we can find more Star Wars Destiny there will be more written about it, as we really enjoyed our games. Even though the starter decks are shy 10 cards of a full deck, there are options for play style and I can see how with some additional cards and dice it could be a very fun game to play regularly.

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.

 

The One Where The Inquisitor Became A Demon

Welcome to Wrath of the Righteous where a demon army is invading the land and you, the heroes, are out to save the world…yet again. Sometimes it sucks to be a hero. No such thing as a quiet lunch.

A long time ago, we tried to play through Wrath and failed. We quit and put it away content to play through Rise of the Runelords. Then we found a new player who played through Rise and Skulls and wanted to give Wrath a go. A FAQ later, and we are off and running. Two marathon sessions (weekends) later and our group is in the middle of Adventure Deck 3…things just got weird.

20160911_150926This is was our inquisitor. For the basic scenarios, Adventure Deck 1 and 2, our inquisitor was a good companion. Never standing out and never falling behind. Came close to dying a couple of times (who didn’t), but more often than not doing her share of the adventuring. Things started going sideways when she chose her mythic path of hierophant. For whatever reason the mythic path did not gist with the inquisitor. Worse, as the challenges became tougher, she performed worse, not what was happening with the other characters with mythic paths. The situation came to a head during the second scenario of Adventure Deck 3, where the inquisitor came close to dying…very close.

20160911_150947This is a demon. A demon who is looking to redeem herself and who is a playable character. However, only if the group wins the scenario and one of the players is willing to exchange their character for hers. We are not sure what happened in the other room, exactly, the demon is not being very forthright with the details. What we can gleam is that an inquisitor walked into the room and a demon walked out willing to run with our group. A demon I might add, who comes with an arsenal of goodies and a power that is hard to beat; display card next to a character that character gets a bonus to all checks with one attribute. The best the inquisitor could do was flash some coin and fix mistakes. That coin saw a lot of use.

Because we never got past Adventure Deck 2, we had no idea this could be a course of action. Let alone imagine that a character would be replaced without there being a death (that we know of). Wrath of the Righteous has been a lot of fun to play, which is totally the opposite of our first play…nobody has cursed the game designers or thrown out “bad dice” this time. The challenges are greater, tougher, and from time to time require us to get creative, but the rewards are better and the feeling of accomplishment is much higher. As it should be.

Next weekend, a smaller marathon, but looking forward to seeing how the demon does. I will miss the inquisitor’s stylish red hat and coin, but I have a feeling the demon will do much better in a land overrun by demons than an unlucky fellow in a red hat.

After Nap and Storm, We Game and Cook

I woke up early. How early? Roughly three hours after I went to bed. I went to bed very late. It was a great evening. It was not such a great morning.

Wrath of the Righteous is going much better than our previous game. We are still being challenged and there was a close call, but in the end we triumphed and felt pretty good about how we performed. A slight mistake with the Knights of Kenebres card, we choose Wisdom as our first medal, thinking that we should focus on a weakness of the group. The mistake, the die bonus only applied to barriers with the army trait and none of us had any Wisdom centered checks to use to defeat the Undead Army. On the upside, in a few more scenarios we will all get a nice bump to our Wisdom. At that point it will have been a good choice.

Waking up early, gave me time to think about food. Lots of food. So much thinking about food that I went out to the grocery store while everyone was asleep to get a big roast and some wings. No, they don’t really have anything to do with each other than, I want to grill them. By the middle of the day, my list of things to cook included:

steak, roast, wings, jalapeno poppers, fried garlic, crab rangoon, and so on…

I did get the steak and roast marinating before the storm rolled through. Weatherdude indicated today was supposed to be all storms. Not that far off, the rain only recently stopped, bringing blue skies. The blue skies are unexpected and welcome, because at the height of the storm the rain was sideways and dreams of grilling were being washed away.

To cope with my dreams being washed away and the fact I had been up for a long time with no sleep, I took a nap. Nap successful, blue skies in sight, we set up for more Wrath of the Righteous. Yes, that step seems backwards given marinating steak and blue skies, but honestly I and others wanted to get back to gaming as soon as possible. As possible includes eating. Eating means I need to get cooking.

Enjoy your weekend, I know we are. 🙂

 

Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer

Up front, I did not get this for free, I had to pay for it. That being said, if someone at Broken Token wants to send me one for free, I am all for that.

Disclaimer out of the way, what is the Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer and why do you need one (small caveat on need in a few)?

Let me start with a few questions:

Do you play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game more than once in a while…say like us, roughly weekend long marathon games?

20160909_143623Do you find the plastic insert provided with each base set slightly to more than slightly annoying for the following reasons:

  • rounded corners that bend card sleeves
  • not enough space for cards the further along a campaign proceeds
  • definitely not enough space for cards when you add cards from one or more Character Decks
  • no extra storage, if used as designed

Admittedly these are very minor gripes.

20160909_143651Have you found  yourself desiring a better way to store Pathfinder Adventure Card Game cards? Such as, when removing cards due to Adventure Deck progress, where do you store yours or for other reasons cards are removed?

If these things are issues for you, continue reading on. If not, good for you that you figured out a solution to those issues and please share for others.

For us card storage was an issue from day one; cards needed to be removed because they were not being used and cards needed to be added because a new Adventure Deck was in session. There never seemed to be enough room. Then after a campaign ended Adventure Decks needed to be stored, in sleeves.

Solution 1, put each Adventure Deck in a separate deck box. This meant we had 7 boxes for our PACG games: Base set + 6 Adventure Decks. This was not very efficient.

Solution 2, obtain a large card box, make dividers for each Adventure Deck and store them in there. Thus when a new deck was needed, pull from large card box and when cards, say Basics, needed to go away, put them into the large box.

Solution 2 was working until Wrath of the Righteous and two character decks. Solution 2 was not a great solution, switching decks and keeping them organized was annoying, but it worked. While setting up for Adventure Deck 2, I found myself with five spots with too many cards in them based on the space allocated for them. One of the best design elements of PACG, is once you learn where the cards in the box grabbing them or putting them away is instinctive. What could be a major slow down does not affect play at all…unless you have to rearrange the box so that cards fit, which I did. This DID NOT WORK.

20160909_143607Solution 3, search Amazon I found this listing: Broken Token PACG Box Organizer. It looks neat. Reviews are good, but the price..ick. Still, we had a problem which really did slow down our games, so I broke down and bought one.

  • Laser cut wood. Awesome.
  • Easy to follow instructions.
  • Assembles well and is solid, only tape needed on corners, which is suggested in the instructions.
  • Best part, fits in box and as you can see from the photo, EVERYTHING fits in the box now (Base Set, Add-On Deck, all 6 Adventure Decks, 3 characters in progress, promotional cards, and figures). Instead of two or more boxes for a game, we need one. When a new Adventure Deck is needed, there is spot for it right there.
  • The Box Organizer worked so well and impressed all us so much that I ordered two more for Rise of the Runelords and Skulls and Shackles. I will order a fourth for sure when Mummy’s Mask is released.

If you play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game as much as we do, I highly recommend the Broken Token Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Box Organizer. If you have other games that are need of organization hit up their website.