Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

Another weekend is upon us, and it brings with it the first day of December. Why is that important? Because I’m going to be spreading holiday cheer on Stately Play starting tomorrow. I’m not even that big a fan of Xmas, but I think I need to do it just to get under OhBollox’s skin.

That’s tomorrow, however. Today we gaze into the crystal ball and see what we hope to play this weekend. Let us know what you have on your gaming plate for the weekend in the comments!

No Man’s Sky and Guild of Dungeoneering

I started playing No Man’s Sky and am completely hooked. I love games that are all about exploring a world or universe, surviving against predators, other people, and the elements, and learning to craft better and better stuff. No Man’s Sky hits all of these buttons well. Steam reviews scared me away for some time, but it seems like the devs have done a good job addressing a lot of the concerns as I don’t have any major gripes at about 30 hours in.

As for mobile I’m back to Guild of Dungeoneering as my morning coffee and general lounging game. I’m still working on unlocking all of the classes and really enjoy the variety of styles. Ranger is by far my favorite so far. It’s a well-designed game and great for anybody who likes simple but tactical card-based battles.

-Nick Vigdahl

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

I have but one target on my docket this weekend, friends.


i.e., Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

You know, as we at the Stately Spire gather to ponder the best of 2018, I keep getting blindsided by gems. Gems that reset the damn list, or at least jostle the contenders and continue to muster the furrowed brow. Mechanicus was ‘just another 40K potentiality’, in a sea of grimdark fare, but turns out it’s actually really good. Like, really good. Maybe partially due to a lack of caveat-free recommendations in recent years, but there’s something very fresh about this game. Not a Space Marine for miles. No Ork-ridden ennui. Just the machine spirits and the lime glow of C’tan. Tech priests going toe-to-toe with the Old Ones. Thank the God Emperor someone bothered to take such a punt.

If anything does fall upon my plate not part of this cybernetic milieu, it’ll be more of the old favourites. Your BSGs, your Halos, your Furious Angels.

-Alex Connolly

Battletech: Flashpoint, Tricky Towers, but, definitely not, Tales of Maj’Eyal (wink, wink)

So, I’m just back from the Betty Ford Clinic for Roguelike Rehabilitation. No, I’m not on the wagon, I escaped. I won’t tell you that I’m still playing ToME, just that the Anthoril and Sun Paladin classes are pretty sweet.

This weekend, Battletech is calling to me again, now that the Flashpoint expansion corrects the two greatest problems I had with the game: lack of use for my lighter mechs after the mid-game, and the critical absence of the Hatchetman. In a game that involves giant robots with missiles, lasers, and large-bore cannonry hitting and jumping on each other, the Hatchetman is the most gratuitous – I mean amazing – thing possible: a robot that carries around a giant metal hatchet. Not a Gundam-style laser sword, or a Progressive Knife, a giant metal hatchet.

Might also be playing some Tricky Towers with my 7 year-old.

-Tof Eklund

Diablo 3 (and nothing else)

What I should be playing:

I’d really like to wrap up some loose ends I have before the end of the year. The last few folks in Obra Dinn, about half of Marvel’s Spider-Man… Maybe I’ll squeeze some more Siralim 3 in while I’m out and about. I’ve also got to make some microgames in Warioware D.I.Y. for a little project I’m working on.

What I’ll end up playing:

Diablo III on Switch.

-Tanner Hendrickson

Space Miner: Space Ore Bust

Space Miner: Space Ore Bust is exactly what I want out of a mobile experience. You play as a little ship travelling around, shooting asteroids (and robots), getting resources, and cashing them out to upgrade your ship. It’s the type of game I’d like to accomplish 100% completion, as the game is separated into sectors. When you have killed every robot and mined every asteroid in a sector, a giant 100% medal shows up on the map. It sounds silly [Wreck-it-Ralph would disagree -ed.], but it is such a satisfying indicator of progress.

I love moving through games like this at a slow pace, finishing all I can before ending up at the next story objective. It’s almost hypnotic.

-Nick Houghtaling (aka, The Other Nick)

Acthung! Cthulhu Tactics, KeyForge, and My Little Pony RPG: Tails of Equestria

I finally have a PS4 game worth talking about here! I’m playing Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics this weekend, and hope to have a review soon. Initial impressions are quite positive; I’m particularly pleased to see that units have a facing. Can’t have scary things creeping around behind you if there’s no “behind you”.

My son has totally taken the KeyForge bait, and, now that we’ve found a good handicap for me when playing him (the built-in chain system is ideal for this), he has a better than even chance. I still feel like we’re exploring the game and our decks, and maybe my interest will wane with the novelty. But even my most recent game was still showing me new ways it could play out, so there’s enough novelty in it that I’m absolutely satisfied. Dixit has also resurfaced on our table—after an initial introduction when the kids were too young to enjoy it, they’ve rediscovered it and have been requesting it frequently.

What might take up the most time, if my daughter finishes making her second character, is the My Little Pony RPG, Tails of Equestria. My wife’s away this weekend, so it’s a perfect time to try this out with the kiddos. I’m planning an adventure in which they happen upon a small town—very small. Some magic went wrong and shrunk the whole thing. Then if they can figure out how to reverse the spell, they’ll have to deal with the random now-giant bugs that had wandered into town during its ensmallment.

-Kelsey Rinella


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Notable Replies

  1. I’ll probably be tied up with Let’s Go Pikachu. I love the mainline series and while this is more like a “my first Pokémon” game, I still have to catch them all…

    Really, though, I’ll be playing a game of “Don’t spend that $60 on anything I want because Smash Bros. comes out next Friday.”

  2. Mopping up the last of the DLC in Sniper Elite 4, including shooting Hitler in the testicle.

    Picked up Hitman 2, and oh my word is it good. I’m out there poisoning cocaine, pushing people off balconies, sniping guards into rivers, choking out the innocent and murdering the dodgy, hiding bodies and stealing everything I need.

    Got Mutant Year Zero pre-ordered because it looks excellent.

  3. @rinelk How old are your kids? I do think my 6yo might take to an RPG. Is this like a d20 style game? She is obsessed with MLP. Please report back on this!

    For the weekend:

    iOS - New Missions on Star Realms, add an alternate win condition, so a lot of SR. Also still playing Marvel Strike Force and Solgard, but mostly just doing dailies on those.

    Mac - Still working my way through Battlechasers: Nightwar. Did not get to play while traveling the past couple weeks. I also picked up Megaquarium, which seems fun so far, so will probably mess around with that a little when I don’t feel like anything that takes much thought.
    Tempted to pick up Parkitect, but will probably wait until it goes on sale.

  4. Sounds like you’re in the holiday spirit!

  5. Ditto on the RPG. I’d like to hear more, too!

  6. Making a hit list, checking it twice…

  7. Please tell me you’ve got a 50 50 chance of missing hitlers testicle, because as we all know - hitlers only got one ball…

  8. I’ve usually managed to hit it, profile shots are much safer for that reason. They’re also handy for landing the rare two-baller on normal Nazis.

  9. I appreciate Rebellion’s accuracy to monorchidism.

  10. I don’t know what I’m doing digitally this weekend (though probably more Darkest Dungeon), but I’m either going to be playing Clank in Space with the new expansion on Sunday or Terraforming Mars with the new Colonies expansion.

    One of those two will be done…

  11. Still playing Armajet, too. Thanks again, @athros! Took a break from the Longclaw to discover my love of the Blacktusk.

  12. athros says:

    I’m glad you’re still liking it! I dropped off again. The end of the last job, and the current job change are draining my energy.

  13. It’s the perfect bedtime story game, a couple of rounds here and there.

  14. rinelk says:

    It’s super stripped-down, so likely an ideal first RPG as soon as your children are cool with reading and writing. My kids are 9 and 10, which is a little older than I intended to get them started on it. Consequently, when I gave the book to my daughter open to the character creation section, she got back to me after reading the whole book. Which is awesome, except that she also read the adventure it comes with, so we won’t be using that. :slight_smile:

    It seems that availability for some of the products is sort of unreliable, which might affect your purchasing. But it seems like a cool system—not a ton to track and quick resolution, which leaves lots of opportunity for storytelling. Plus, despite the colors and voices like Pinkie Pies, the setting has a lot of elements familiar to D&D types. So if you want to go bust the heads of some trolls or explore lost tombs with a fighter and a magic-user, that’s pretty solidly in-universe.

  15. Mac: Slay the Spire and OOTP 19. Wasn’t gonna buy OOTP this year, but the new Perfect Team mode and the super cheap Thanksgiving sale price dragged me in.

    iOS: Invisible Inc and Ascension on the iPad. Keeping up with Solgard and diving back into Imbroglio on my phone. Also beta testing DUNKYPUNG, the next game from Missile Cards dev Nathan Meunier. Complete departure from his last name and not really SP fare, but it’s entertaining.

  16. My goal for the weekend is to get Solgard up to level 10 and join the Stately Play guild, if there is room. I finally got around to giving it a look after all the endorsements by Stately Players, and am enjoying it. No surprise that I’m once again late to the party. :grin:

  17. Hello @Falkenstein, yes we have a free slot, and i have lowered the minimum level requirement so that you can join anytime you want :blush:
    (tag: #LUNSS)

    things have calmed down but it is still fun, and all guild members are active.
    last update introduced a new improved Arena.

  18. Thanks, @JammaTal! I see you lowered it to 8, but I’m currently level 5 so I still have work to do this weekend. :slight_smile:

  19. rinelk says:

    Our first session started only about half an hour before bedtime, so it was brief, but the ponies were given their community service duty for past misdeeds: go stop the Pegasus who’s started painting the cliffs on nearby Roc Mountain. On the way through the foothills, they discovered a tiny town which had been shrunken and transported out of the path of a mudslide by a benevolent but not entirely competent Owlicorn.

    The hook is set, and the objections to bedtime were louder even than usual.

  20. Thanks, @JammaTal, I’m in! I did make it to level 7, figured today I would endeavor to push higher. :sunglasses:

    Now I just need you to go back to Dungeon Boss and start a Stately Play guild there … they’ve continued to grow the game in the three years it’s been out, having picked it back up it’s now my current mobile favorite. :slight_smile:

  21. rinelk says:

    The first thing my daughter said to me this morning was “RPG! RPG! RPG!” So, positive feedback there (though it made me wish I drank coffee).

    I should say, the introduction of the owlicorn went as exactly as I hoped, with it initially being misheard as “allicorn”. The party had to get a tome from Twilight Sparkle, who helped them find the right spell but then determined that they’d need an ankh to power it. That led to a discovery that the ancient Sky People used ankhs a lot, and there might be one (or more) in the ruins atop Roc Mountain. So, on the way, they stopped to talk to the painting pegasus, who turned out to be in mourning for her dead mother, buried nearby, and wanted to give her a picture of a sunrise to make her grave cheery. They solved that problem using my son’s cutie mark talent, which was teaching animals to play musical instruments (his idea)—rather than a giant painting, they contented the mourner with a badly-played rendition of her mother’s favorite song played by a bird (he didn’t roll so well).

    Atop the mountain, they had trouble finding what they were seeking, caused a bit of a collapse of some rubble, but eventually picked up an ankh and skedaddled under the watchful eye of a recently-returned roc. Back to Ponyville for the spell, back to the town to use it, and everything basically went okay except that one of the ponies was missing and there was a centipede in town when it grew back to normal size. The stun ray attempt failed, but scared it off, and the ponies were able to retrieve the missing tiny pony and get her returned to (slightly larger than) usual size.

    Overall, I think the presence of food in the inventory section was a distraction, so we decided that, in the future, they’ll be reasonably provisioned and needn’t worry about it. There were also a lot of opportunities for side quests they didn’t explore or follow up on, so I need to make those choices more salient. It’s not terrible; I did enough secret rolling with no announced effect that I think they got the experience of a world pregnant with unseen possibilities. But I think they’d enjoy even more if they had clearer choices laid at their feet, at least for now. I do like that the world now includes some known but little-explored ruins, a rampant giant centipede that’s their fault, a grateful town adapting to its new location, a disappointed and glum pegasus still dealing with grief from an attempt at a challenge which was just barely adequate, and a slightly bumbling owlicorn.

    Also, I erroneously assumed that inventing NPC names on the fly would be easy. Need to prep that more; not every pony can be glitterhoof.

  22. If you Google bakes of my little ponies you can get a list of dozens, if not hundreds, to use as your NPC…er, a friend told me…

  23. rinelk says:

    Well, NOW I want cupcakes. :slight_smile:
    Good thought!

  24. Ugh, silly autocorrect. But I’m sure Cupcakes is a pony name.

  25. Ugh, resisted to by Battletech:Flashpoint since the basegame STILL kills my PC for whatever reason I wait for Flashpoint to get some postlaunch love - maybe a bit of optimization would be nice.

    *thats the nice stately reason - the true reason is they STILL haven’t released any unseen mechs gimme my Warhammer and Archer dangit!

    Tried a bit of Adeptus Mechanicus. I am not fond of the faction but at least the production values and lore is decent and true to its surce…also Necrons! How long since a Wh40k game NOT fetured the stupid greenskins as the safe antagonist-choice?
    Will wait a bit for post-launch support as well…the game is a bit too easy atm and a rebalancing patch was promised

    Currently playing (Legend of Heroes) Trails in the Sky…my constant craze for Open World 3rd Person Games needs a bit of oldschool isometric turnbased jRPG flavouring to maintain a healthy balance…and since I heard good things about the worldbuilding and characterization in this game and it has more lines than any half-decent novel I was intrigiued for a long time…

    Also really slooooooooow ahem patiently paced start of the game. 11 hours in and no war was decleared, surprise coup d’etat, protagonist’s mother/spouse/kid killed of or any noteworthy princess-in-distress kidnapped…so yay?

    100 (hundred!) save slots and 10 auto-save slots…this game is prepared for all eventualities it seems.

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