Actual photo of me teaching my 15 year-old how to drive.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

So much for getting this posted on Friday night/Saturday morning. If you weren’t yet convinced I’m nothing but a procrastinating bum, I hope this late posting has changed your opinion for the worse. Best part is, I don’t even have a good excuse. So, enjoy a look back at what our writers played this weekend in what might be the latest scrying ever.

Field of Glory II and Warhammer 40K: Gladius Relics of War

Statelies!

I’m all about two things this weekend. My continued Field of Glory II Cannae PBEM throwdown — Hannibal Go Home! — and the new Proxy Studios’ Warhammer 40K wargame, Gladius – Relics of War.

Field of Glory II is just magic. Don’t be like me and sleep on this tight, tidy digital tabletop. So far, I’ve held on as the Roman Republic against those Carthaginian curs, but my forces are beginning to feel the burn of holding the line. My velites, those useless bastards, need constant reinforcement by the proximity of commanders. I’d hand them over to Hannibal himself, but I daresay he’d find the act utterly insulting. But whatever the outcome, now ten or so turns deep, this game is a riot and I feel this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Unless you’re a velite, to which you can keep on running, bucko.

The other is indeed Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War. Billed as a 4x, but at heart, it’s a wargame. And I’m fine with that. If there’s one bit of fluff that would be utterly misrepresented in the grimdark future, it’s a tête-à-tête between the righteous forces of the God-Emperor, and putrid malefactors of the unholy Xenos. There is, as advertised, only war in this future. That might work for some, and it does so far for me.

If you played Proxy Studios’ Pandora: First Contact, the rightful successor to Alpha Centauri in many ways, you’d have an inkling of what to expect in Gladius. A violently reactive indigenous menagerie that does as much to cancel your territorial claim as the factions you’re fighting. Pared back and focused solely on terrain modifiers, a painfully straightforward tech tree and putting the hurt on your many enemies, Gladius is, thus far, no-fuss tactics. I’ll have a Shortcut hopefully next week to help those on the fence.

Have a wonderful weekend, and stay hydrated. For my countrymen in the Southern Hemisphere, spare a slice of winter?

-Alex Connolly

Terraria, Six Ages, and Make-believe

It’s school holidays here in NZ, and I’m taking time off to coincide. Between it being winter in this hemisphere and a pandemic of the sniffles, we’ve been stuck inside rather more than I’d hoped. I’ve been playing a lot of confined-to-the apartment hide and seek, and had multiple scavenger hunts (both intended as such and desperate searches for Joycons). My 4yo has been really into doctor, superheroes, princesses, and other forms of free play: I’ve been a fish doctor, a Lego monster, various characters from My Little Pony, and Bartleby from True and the Rainbow Kingdom (look it up), among others.

My 7yo and I have been playing Terraria again, which is still a great game except for the moments when the villagers’ nominal banter swerves abruptly into sexist BS. It’s a tiny but deeply discordant part of a game that is otherwise almost pure survival/crafting and building silliness.

In the occasional moment I’ve had to myself, I’ve been dragged deeper and deeper into Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind. You’ll get the full tale of the Golden Herd tribe and their struggle to live up to their namesake, Busenari the Cow Mother and her daughters, soon enough. So far, my only disappointment with the game is that I haven’t found any duck people… yet.

-Tof Eklund

Card Quest

[Nick was too busy playing Card Quest to actually write a post this week, but he’ll be back next week with a new scrying, most likely singing the praises of Card Quest. -ed.]

-Nick Vigdahl

Gaslands (and other tabletop gems)

Well, it ain’t Desert Bus, but I’ll be driving for about 9 hours on Saturday while listening to the second half of the audiobook of The Westing Game, so I’ve pre-emptively rewarded myself by ordering Golan ‘73 and most of the Arkham Horror LCG I didn’t already have. But the big gaming news in my life appears to be Gaslands, largely because the kids were in need of a craft project to keep them from each others’ throats.  So we’ll soon be racing Hot Wheels upgraded with implements of destruction (I should get a red VW microbus!) using homemade templates and child-decorated tokens.

-Kelsey Rinella

 

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Notable Replies

  1. Don't think you'll regret Golan. I got a dented copy for a song and it's very nice.

    Slay the Spire, SEAL Team Flix (I may do an AAR if I can stop laughing), Democracy under Siege, and Secret Weapons of the Third Reich. And Dragon Castle if I must.

  2. I grow increasingly dispirited by the Iron Horse clan's total inability to win any battle whatsoever.

  3. Jurassic Park Evolution, which I wrote a bit about in the “What are you playing?” board.

    I also bought Octopath Traveller for Switch, but haven’t gotten to play more than 20 minutes. It’s billed as he spiritual successor to FFVI, and so far it is beautiful and interesting.

  4. Discovered had Shadowrun Returns from a Humble Bundle long ago and never tried it. So I put it on my Android tablet and been having a good time with it. I really like the Xcom-like Battles. Slow moving though... Maybe it will pick up.

    Also in Avernum 2 as well. I'm in the midst of leveling up before continuing the story.

  5. I liked the Shadowrun games and wish they got a little better treatment on iOS. The setting was certainly a refreshing change from the typical generic fantasy.

  6. I played the original Sega Genesis game back in the day. That was more complicated than this version. But, yes, I really like the setting -- a mix of fantasy and Neuromancer (a novel you should read if you haven't).

  7. Haven't had much free time, but I've used it all on Slay the Spire this weekend. Loving the variety the daily climb brings--finally won my first one today.

  8. Played Shadowrun over lunch today... Yeah it's picked up.

  9. Man, SEAL Team Flix looks awesome!

  10. As if it was made just for me.

  11. Is it anything like Dan Verssen's Warfighter? Another game I wish didn't come with outrageous P&H prices.

  12. It's got overall similarities. You pick your character and kit, but then STF is different in that it's got tactical maps with cover that's randomly generated each time you play, and in game you have certain set enemies that are always there (sentries), but some objectives are randomly determined, and patrols are rolled for based on how loud you are, so the number of enemies can spike if you aren't careful.


    Shooting, throwing grenades etc is all done by flicking discs, as the maps have tile sets to represent walls and doors, so this lets you bounce discs off them to nail enemies behind cover, or you can straight up destroy cover with some weapons and stun the enemies behind it. Different weapons have different disc sizes and numbers, e.g. burst fire means more discs, shotguns let you stack discs when firing upon entry so the top disc will go over the door, representing breaching, and there are different sideboards for each specialty. Sniping, bomb defusing, lock bypass and so on all have their own minigame, also based on flicking. It's a proper little tactical game, weapons can have different attachments, you need to use corners and cover properly, enemies are alarmed if they spot you and move to cover, there's a branching campaign depending upon mission success...
  13. Dexterity Doorkickers.

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