The Last Jedi Strikes Back

Today Dale and I had a chance to fit in a game or two of our addiction Star Wars: Destiny.

I played with my “The Last Jedi” deck of eLuke/Rey that I threw together that morning.

My “The Last Jedi” deck was up against  Dale’s latest eUnkar/eVeers deck. Dale is trying to get a Veers weapons deck to work. This interation of the deck was working a lot better. Dale was getting the AT-ST out, along with his Tie Fighter (I hate it’s special of removing shields). It definitely was working better. But compared to my deck very slow.

It was Dale’s turn to be on the receiving end of some action cheating. Which he admitted wasn’t much fun.

Our first games Dale was getting the cards and resources he needed. But I was also getting the stuff I wanted. I was able to keep a nice wall of shields up in front of Rey and Luke most games. Which must have been frustrating. But these games played slower than our later games.

Dale did like targetting Rey first, which was I suppose to try and stop any action cheating as quickly as possible. Whilst I targeted Unkar first to put a stop to the influx of resources from his ability and being able to keep high value cards in my hand. 

I had to take a photo of a couple of the dice rolls because they were just disgusting. This first one was from one of our early games.

This next photo was from our last game of the day. The last two or three games were very quick really. Unkar was dead on turn two. Then it was just hitting Veers hard enough before the AT-ST got to the table, or if it was out did any damage.

I had rolled in Rey, who had force speed and a vibroknife attached to her. The force speed had was showing its special, the vibroknife showed 1 melee damage, and Rey’s die was show +2 melee. Veers had taken 5 damage. I needed to find 1 more point of damage to finish him off. 

On my next action I resolved the special. First of my 2 actions, roll in Luke hoping to get that much needed point of damage. As you can see below I exceeded that by a little. I even had enough resources to pay for that 3 melee on Luke’s lightsaber. Good bye Veers.

I liked the improvements Dale did to his deck. But with the emphasis in Empire at War (the next set) on supports and particularly vehicles. I think this deck will only get stronger and harder to play against. It’s going to be interesting to see what has been added to the game to make this sort of deck viable.

Final score 8-1 to “The Last Jedi”.

FuNkar 2.0

Welcome to my latest deck list for Star Wars: Destiny and a new post graphic.

As regular readers of this badly written blog will know I had an initial version of this list, a 1.0 if you will, that I never put online. However a friend Chris Shaner (game designer, and Star Realms legend) very kindly shared a FuNkar list he was playing, and having a lot of success with. When I compared my list with Chris’s there was some common ground. I’d say around 70% or so was the same.

So what you have here is 90-95% of the list that was shared with me. The differences are down to me not having the cards, or in the case of the battlefield, me forgetting to make a note of the one on Chris’s list. So I’ve put an asterisk next to where I differ.


Battlefield: Starship Graveyard *

Events

  • Electroshock (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Flank (1 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 2
  • Friends in Low Places (0 cost,Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • He Doesn’t Like You (0 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • One-Quarter Portion (1 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 1
  • The Best Defense… (1 cost,Villain/Red) x 2

Upgrades

  • DT-29 Heavy Blaster Pistol (2 cost, Villain/Red) x 2 *
  • Flame Thrower (2 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Gaffi Stick (2 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Holdout Blaster (2 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 1 *
  • Rocket Launcher (3 cost,Neutral/Red) x 1
  • Vibroknife (2 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 2
  • Vibroknucklers (3 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Z6 Riot Control Baton (3 cost,Villain/Red) x 1 *

Supports

  • Backup Muscle (1 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Imperial Inspection (0 cost,Villain/Red) x 2
  • Salvage Stand (0 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2

My thinking behind the deck

Well I think this section of the post is defunct for me this time. It’s Chris’s deck.

Although as always I went with this deck because I had heard that FunKar was a good deck. Which is something that often influences my choice of Heroes/Villains. Some-one will say online somewhere that such and such is a good pairing. I make a mental note, often there isn’t any talk about cards in the deck, which is what I like. It allows me to make a deck around how I think the characters work together, based on the cards I have in my collection at that point in time.

How I Play This Deck

I’m looking for one or two of the two cost weapon upgrades naturally in my starting hand, along with maybe Imperial Inspection or Salvage Stand, plus a die removal card.

Ideally I want those supports out early so that they can start working in conjunction with Unkar and his die. Unkar and these support with their control really do provide a big thorn in the side for the other player. On top of that it’s really all about using FN and his ability to do as much damage as possible. Getting FN up to two, ideally three weapon upgrades and using his ability is key here. As is making sure that there are weapons on him with redeploy before he gets knocked out. Usually when I know FN is going down I load him up with those redeploy weapons and hold off exhausting the other characters. So usually my first action of that turn is exhaust FN, which forces the other player to take out FN. Any damage I can get out before FN goes is a bonus.

If possible I use the First Order Stormtrooper (FOS) to take any damage that would go to FN otherwise. By this I mean when I get to decide how the damage is allocated then it’s the FOS before FN.

How’d the deck do?

I played this against Dale’s eRey/Maz/Snap and out of four games, won 3, lost 1. Taken from a previous post on the match up…

” I was playing FN-2199 much better than the previous time I played this deck. The two supports Imperial Inspection and Salvage Stand made a huge once I started using them. I had singles before and never played them! The new deck plays 2 of each, and having them out and in play made a big difference. Stripping resources, sending upgrades back into hand. The other tweaks had an impact too“.

Where next?

I may not change the list. Considering that I differ on so few cards.

Tiny Epic Afternoon

Yesterday was billed as a Tiny Epic Learning session. With the aim of playing learning games of Tiny Epic Quest (TEQ), and Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG)  with the new expansion Beyond the Black (BtB). However long suffering readers will know I managed to get TEQ to the table a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. So it wasn’t strictly a learning session for that game.

This game of TEQ was the first with the new play mat. But I’ll talk about this at the end of the post. It was also Diego’s first time playing the game. Although he was roughly familiar with the rules having read the ones in his recently received copy.

I did it. I finally did it. I finally won a game of TEQ. Third time lucky and all that.

I had a massive last round scoring ten points, by killing two goblins and jumping a couple of levels on the magic track.

I still haven’t played this with more than two players. It’s lucky that the game plays well with two. 

Our second game of the afternoon was TEG plus BtB. It was almost all in, however we didn’t use either of the micro expansions.

Just like TEQ this was the first time Diego had played the game. The learning bit for me was the BtB side.

I picked up early in the game a pilot that when I harvested resources gave me two instead of one for that pilots ship. Which meant I was rarely running out of energy or culture. My secret mission was a fairly simple one to complete. All I had to do was have no ships in my home galaxy at the end of the game. Which ended up being the case. In fact on Diego’s final go of the game I had enough culture that I was able to follow two of his advance dice to claim another planet, and then follow a move to send my returned ship back out to full fill my secret mission. Both Diego and I went off exploring into the Black. It was just every time Diego did it he drew red cards with negative effects for him but lots of symbols. Whilst I drew green cards that gave me resources, but had less symbols. During the end game scoring Diego got an extra six points in total from having three of the majorities. The fourth we drew and got nothing for. In the end after triggering the end of the game I had won 26 points to 21. It was those follows during Diego’s last go that gave me the victory. Otherwise we would have drawn.

What did I think of the BtB expansion? It was ok. It didn’t wow me. The pilots and their abilities are interesting. But very dependent on which ones come out. I was lucky getting the one I did. The exploring part was ok, it has its push your luck element, which we didn’t really experience. The symbols on the bottom of the pilot and explore cards adds an interesting scoring element that could be enough for some-one to steal the victory. I do like having the more open score track. It makes keeping track of who is where and how close to the game ending you are. I’d most likely play with this expansion in future games. 

I have the play mats for all my Tiny Epic games. You certainly don’t need them. However you should get them. Gamelyn certainly know how to make great play mats for their games. They help with setup, especially the TEG and BtB ones with hints for how many cards go out for the different player counts. Naturally they don’t fit into the boxes. But they aren’t much extra to carry around really. They are of what seems a good quality. Plus they help protect the game while playing.

Thanks Diego for a great afternoons gaming.

Curses

It was release day on Netflix for the latest instalment of the MCU, The Defenders.

I’m on holiday, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe, and the Netflix handling of the characters they have been given. Naturally a large chunk of my Friday was given over to binge watching the eight episodes that make up season one of The Defenders.

On Thursday I had already laid the ground for an undisturbed viewing by issuing a decree/warning that if Mum came round and interrupted my watching if the series she would be put “to the pain”.

The Defenders was only eight episodes, easily binged in a day. 

***SPOILER ALERT*** 

I loved it. Apparently some online are complaining it takes them to long to meet up. But I liked the pacing, and the time spent catching up with where the heroes were in their respective lives, and moving them towards that moment they start working together.

Ok the ending although emotional, lost a bit of the “did he survive?”, and then the reveal, because I knew there was a third season for the character (which has been teased months ago on Netflix).

I liked the interaction between the characters. Jessica Jones and her trolling of the others with her quips is fun. Signourney Weaver is great as the main big bad. 

I look forward to seeing the fallout and new big bads in the next respective series of the characters. Plus I’d like to think we will get a second series of The Defenders.

In the evening Jonathan and I met up for FEG@WL. 

First to the table was my newly arrived Kickstarter backed copy of The 7th Continent

Jonathan and I started our “learning” adventure within the 7th Continent by trying to remove “The Voracious Goddess” curse (as recommended by the rule book). We were adventuring using the “normal” mode! But because I had mixed in all the expansions, it meant we could see devourers (from the Fear the Devourers expansion) and extreme weather conditions  (from the Facing the Elements expansion). The other expansions were curses so unless we selected them to remove we shouldn’t see them.

Jonathan and I both back in our younger days played/read the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books. Jonathan I think is a much bigger fan than me. But we both have fond memories of them. I’m not going to waste time explaining what these books are, if you don’t know, then click this LINK to find out.

At a basic level The 7th Continent is these choose your own adventure books as a tabletop game. Unlike the books which are a solo experience, The 7th Continent plays solo or upto four players. The difficulty of the game can be changed, it’s possible to save a game, you can add in stuff like weather and the devourers to add more variety. Plus playing the same curse will not be exactly the same each time. Oh and players can drift in and out of solving a curse. Which is fantastic for a group playing the game. A member goes on holiday, you remove their character and their skill cards (there is a couple of other things to do as well with their items and skills), when they return you add the character and their skills back in.

I liked this a lot. I loved the social side of working through the curse together, discussing actions and who takes them etc. Jonathan I think sees this as more a game he’ll play solo. Which is something I will do.  But I want that group, shared experience. So will try and get a group of hardy adventurers together.

The expandability of this game is nearly limitless. I think you’d be more likely to get bored with the system first.

In this “learning” game, we got one of the weather effects as an event. We came across a baby devourer. Which we killed, failed a test, and while fighting it’s much much bigger mother, ran out our action deck and drew a curse from the discard pile instantly losing. Before that Jonathan and I narrowly failed to swim across to the next terrain tile. I think there are many many more memorable moments like this ahead. 

You will be banishing cards from the game. So decisions will have an impact later on. It’s almost legacy like, but without the card destruction. Which means you can reset at any time. I like that the best of both worlds. 

The save game ability actually has to be used! The designer recommends game sessions should be between one to two hours. Saving will allow hunted animals to return/restock for example.

I keep wanting to compare this with Portal Games Robinson Crusoe. Which is a game I like. But I think this is a more elegant design that does similar things but without the complication, and I’d say more accessible. 

I’ve only scratched the surface of this game. There is a lot of depth here. Oh production quality is really high. I’d like the minis to have been a little bigger, but they are I guess the right size for the cards/tiles.

I think The 7th Continent could potentially be this years Gloomhaven! Although it doesn’t seem to getting as much buzz online at the moment. However there is enough demand that they are running another Kickstarter in September for those that missed this one that has just concluded. There will also be as part of that new Kickstarter some new expansions. So I’ll pick them up, along with a shed load of card sleeves.

Just get this when the next Kickstarter starts up. You won’t regret it. 

Jonathan taught me his latest game and Kickstarter backed game, Go nuts for Donuts. Which Jonathan likes more than Sushi Go. Jonathan described it to me as like Sushi Go, but without the drafting. Drafting isn’t one of Jonathan’s favourite mechanics. I did troll Jonathan at the end when discussing the game with that the designer like the designer of Barenpark took an existing game and removed the fun! But it’s not too far from the truth I suppose. I do like drafting. However the replacement mechanic of placing a number card to select the card you want isn’t a bad replacement. Drafting light?

Go nuts for Donuts is ok. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. Two players isn’t the best showcase for the game I think. It definitely didn’t excite me like Sushi Go did when I first played it. But then my first plays of Sushi Go were as a four player game. Would I have felt the same if it had been just two players? Most likely not.

I would give this another shot with the higher player count. It’s definitely not been shown in its best light as a two player game. I love Love Letter, but like Go Nuts for Donuts it’s not a great two player game. So maybe after playing at a higher player count I’d be more positive about the game. 

After we finished playing we chewed the fat for a while, righting the wrongs of the gaming world. We then ended the evening the traditional way with “meat”, salad and chilli sauce.

UPDATE: kindly provide by Jonathan

Died in Winter – Again!

27 volumes of the Walking Dead graphic novels are sitting on my shelf. Which will be joined by a 28th in October. That’s a lot of zombies and people dying over the years.   And I have to be honest I nearly did stop reading the series until they did something that added a breathe of fresh air to the story. So it’s safe to say I’m a fan.

When it comes to the franchise appearing on the table I’ve only been tempted by the reskin of Bang! the Dice Game that was done. That was mainly because I thought it would appeal theme wise to my students. The other attempts at bringing it to the table haven’t grabbed me. I think mainly because other zombie games actually capture the feeling of the show much better.

For instance Zombicide captures nicely that feeling of your group of survivors fighting the zombie horde onslaught whilst trying to achieve some mission, like finding food. Then Dead of Winter also does a great job of capturing the feel of the show, especially with the traitor element. Whilst Zombicide is more about combat. Dead of Winter is more making sure your colony survives by scavenging for resources, and stopping crises happening. All the time not knowing if one of your group is trying to sabotage things. When the second expansion comes out later in the year you will have the colonies of both the Dead of Winter games competing against each other. Just like the colonies/factions warring in The Walking Dead.

Edmund, Justin, Jason and myself took on the bleak hopeless challenge of surviving the zombie apocalypse in Dead of Winter.

We’d started so well. First two rounds we had gained a morale, recruited a crap load of additional survivors. In fact out of the handful of times I’ve played the game, I can’t remember a game with such a great start. Definitely never had so many survivors. Every search seemed to throw up more survivors. I think we had over 10 extra ones!

Then the third round seemed to be going the same way. Disaster struck. Justin failed an exposure roll. A survivor got bitten. Justin had the lowest ranked character, so decided he would try and save his character. Sadly that roll failed. Two morale gone. Another character moved between locations, another bite. I tried saving two of my characters but they died from zombie bites. Within two player turns we had lost six survivors, the colony morale was devasted. Reeling from shock we failed to feed the colony, and failed the crisis. We were down to one morale.

Unsurprisingly we didn’t survive the next round. We weren’t able to complete the crisis and lost our final morale point.

We may have got decimated. Failed spectacularly. But we had a blast.

Looking forward to our next attempt at surviving the zombie apocalypse.

There’s gold in them there Dice!

Yesterday Dale and I played surprise surprise, some Star Wars:Destiny. 

It was his new eJango/eVeers deck against my new eVader/Raider deck.

The stats will show my deck won 6-2.

Early on it hit me that with two Vader dice out on the table, plus a force speed, force choke, two vibro knives, and two Sith Holocrons, that’s a lot of money sitting there. Depending on current prices and where you buy from, you are not going to work away with much change if any from £100. In fact I think it’s more than £100 easy. That’s a frightening amount to have sitting there in the table. If I go to a store tournament I’m hoping Dale can make it also. I want some-one trustworthy watching my stuff while I go to answer a call of nature. If Dale can’t make it I may just have to buy one of those card quivers. Which I have to admit I do like the look of. That way I’ll be able to easily carry my prized dice and cards with me.


I think I’ve said this before, but I like repeating myself, but with the two sets there are already more cards you’d like in your deck than there is space. This is only going to get worse with the next set. But it’s a delicious position to be in. It’s means there will be even more variety in decks. So yes you know the characters you are up against, and might have an idea of the “core” cards they might be playing, but after that it will be a pleasant surprise. 

I think I know after yesterday which cards I’m going to drop and replace with other cards I like the look of. That’s the nice thing about sessions like yesterday. I think you need to play a deck a few times to get a feel for how it plays, get an idea of where it’s weak, remove the bad dice rolls and card draw (if you can ever do that completely). Ideally playing it against several different decks is something I’d like to do. But I don’t have a deck library at the moment (something I may look into doing – especially if I start to take the tournament scene seriously).

Dale’s deck didn’t work for me at all. It was a vehicle deck, they weren’t really getting out, most of the time if they did it was late game. I don’t think Veers is a good match up with Jango. Jango is on my list of characters to build a deck round. I’m thinking I’d pair him with FN-2199 or Royal Guard. Veers might come into his own with the next sets emphasis on vehicles. If I was intent on playing Veers I’d pair him with Unkar maybe so I’d have the resources to pay for the vehicles. 

On the other news front, The 7th Continent arrived. I didn’t do an unboxing video, despite pressure from Jonathan to do so.

Instead I did an unboxing photos stream on Instagram.

Now all I’ve got to do is unpack the cards and file them away, read the rules, and finally get it to the table!

Micro Update 12/8/17

This is just a short and sweet post. “Thank god” I hear you say, after that big sigh of relief.

Thursday saw the “band of brothers” for want of a better name to call our band of happy go lucky adventurers, complete the first scenario/mission of the Descent app. 

We are still making the odd rule/play mistake but who cares? Learning as we go!

Naturally we spent our hard earned gold and experience in the nearby town. I got a better axe, and leather armour for my berserker dwarf. 

Then before going out separate ways selected to do a side quest, which will be saving some spiders! Found the tiles needed so we can jump straight in at the start of our next session.

Last night saw Edmund and myself playing Tiny Epic Quest. Seemed to get more done in the five rounds this time. I completed three quests, killed three goblins, got my legendary sword, and got to level 6 with my magic. But still I lost by two points to Edmund. So two plays and two loses. Yet I still love the game and had a great time.

Today we had the second league play event for our Amonkhet Magic the Gathering League. Which was once again well attended, and everyone had a good time. Even I did despite winning only two games out of the seven I played. I hope I do better at Destiny when Dale and I attend our first store event in September. 

Our next league play is the 9/9/17. But we are going to try and get a mid week game in before then.

Well I hope you enjoyed this short round up of my gaming over the last day or so. Normal long winded ramblings will resume in the next post I’m sure.

Monthly Meetup August 17

It was the time of month once again when those Fenland Gamers with nothing better to do, couldn’t think up a convincing excuse, or not imprisoned by their toaster partner, turned up to play games mid week.

6 is an odd number! Not many games play that many that don’t take an age to play. So we split into two groups for the evening.

Jeff and I played a learning game of my newest arrival, hot off the Kickstarter fulfilment wagon, Tiny Epic Quest. Whilst the other group played Five Tribes and Kingdomino.

I think most gamers (here I’m using the term to describe those that play video games) will have a fond memory or two of playing at least one of the Zelda games. Mine goes way back into the distance mists of time to the GameBoy, 1988/89 and The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening.

I loved the game. Since then I’ve played all the Nintendo hand held versions of Zelda. Plus some of the main console versions. I know Nath loves the games too. The latest Zelda offering on the Switch is one of the main reasons I want a Switch over the other current gen consoles.

But what has all this got to do with Tiny Epic Quest? 

Well for starters more than one owner of the game online has refered to it as Tiny Epic Zelda.

The art of the game although lovely and bright, definitely evokes the look of Zelda. Plus there is a game variant included called Gloomfall that flips over the map tiles to a darker looking art style. Mimicking the dark world of A Link To The Past. 

You complete quests that give you magical items to equip your heroes with. There is even a boomerang! 

When you are moving your heroes around the map it feels like you are wandering round an overworld map.

This sandbox style game, feels so much like a Zelda style boardgame. I think this is going to be the closest we get to one without the Zelda name attached to it. 

I love the ITEMeeples, and being able to attach the items you are able to earn through completing quests. Having legendary weapons that you get by completing temples, and “regular” items from quest cards. Is a great idea. The fact that players have to complete different temples in different order is a nice touch. And how awesome do the ITEMeeples look holding equipment?

When I was reading the rule book earlier in the day, I thought is this going to be one of those games that finishes too earlier? Where  you want the game to go on for one or two turns more so you can do everything you wanted to. After playing it. Yep it is. 5 turns is not enough. Jeff is right you could house rule a longer game. But I’d love to have seen something like Xia where you can decide how long a game you want to play. How you complete 10 quests or kill 10 goblins I don’t know in 5 turns to get maximum points on those tracks.

I love the push your luck element of the night phase. Rolling those dice on your turn. Hoping for the right sides. But it carries over to the rolls of the other players still adventuring. Being able to use the symbols that allow you to attack, or explore temples not only on your roll but on the other players rolls, love it. It’s the only way to complete temples or kill goblins. But it carries that risk you will take damage and get exhausted and lose all progress that turn.

There is a lot of replayability from the random map tile positioning, to the quests and which ones come out. Which dictates what items you can equip with. 

I like the taking turns selecting a movement action, with other players having the choice  of following it or idling and gaining a health or power back if they have a hero in a castle.

Like the other Tiny Epic games, the only tiny thing about the game is the box size. Once set up this takes up a large space on the table.

I think this might be my favourite Tiny Epic game pushing Tiny Epic Galaxies into second place. It played really well with two players. I’m keen to try it with the higher player counts. I think the night phase will be even more riskier, because it will be longer before you are able to rest. But you might be able to complete more also. I’m glad I ordered the playmat for this now (pictured below, and link HERE to get it). It looks amazing doesn’t it? Gamelyn really do a nice job on the playmat side for their games. 


Let’s finish off this post with a nice photo of me taken by Jonathan.

Duelling Dice 

Yesterday Dale and I met up at our almost ghost like work place to play some Star Wars: Destiny. I had to go there anyway to pick up my folding table for Saturdays MtG league play for The Fenland Gamers. Yes I have a folding 6ft table. Yes I use it at work for gaming and marking students work.

I started off with a FunKar deck. It was modified from my initial effort. I had a deck list shared with me by Chris Shaner. Our decks were not too dissimilar. I didn’t have all of the cards that Chris had in his deck (mainly second copies of some of the weapon upgrades), so I infilled. I’d guess this was 90% the list he shared.

Dale played his action cheating eRey/Maz/Snap (I think that’s the right elite character). It’s his broken action cheating deck that apparently according to FFG isn’t a problem! 

How’d I do against this nasty deck? Out of 4 games, FunKar won 3, lost 1. I was playing FN-2199 much better than the previous time I played this deck. The two supports Imperial Inspection and Salvage Stand made a huge once I started using them. I had singles before and never played them! The new deck plays 2 of each, and having them out and in play made a big difference. Stripping resources, sending upgrades back into hand. The other tweaks had an impact too.

Emokids that is such a great name for this pairing. Whoever came up with it deserves a pat on the back.

I had tweaked the deck with some newly arrived cards that allowed me to improve my chances of drawing the card I wanted, or replaced some cards I wasn’t using.

The emokids were up against Dale’s new deck eBaze/eLeia. It’s an aggro deck. Dale it the perfect roll at one point, or near as with 11 points of damage sitting there ready to hit me. 

How did the emokids do? Out of 7 games Dale won 5-2. One or two of them were very very close games. It was nice to win a couple of games with this pairing at last. The only weapon upgrade I play is the Vibroknife. All other upgrades are abilities I can swap in using the Sith Holocron special.    

So adding up those scores Dale took the honours for the day 6-5. We have a rematch next week.

I’ll put deck lists up in the next week or so. Also I’ve changed my collection page to a page of cards I’m after (it’s a shorter list).