Sunday 30 April 2023

Wildermyth: Lizard Wizard

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Emboldened by their new dragon "savior", whom a lizard wizard used magic on to speed up the hatchery and growth process, the lizard folk restart their raids in earnest - this time taking treasure to add to the dragon's hoard. Jainlof and his axe guard of Raine, Les and his brother Even help in keeping them at bay, while Rick and company make their way to the Mythic Canyon where they face the dragon in person!

It is a short scuffle before the dragon takes flight and flees against Rick's cheating ways, leaving the lizard wizard that raised him to cover his escape by collapsing the canyon on top of them all - flattening Tymric and the lizard wizard in the process.

The angry dragon then begins burning the land in fire at which point Rick nopes the hell out of there with his family using his portal gun (game wise they all aged out/retired), but not before leaving the Cocks some venom Beth milked from Jerry's scorpion appendage to give them a fighting chance.

Wildermyth: Circus Freak

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Stuff like this happens all the time.

Having armed his family with inappropriate weapons like futuristic bows, an oversized sword, and a usable scorpion tail that somehow attaches to Jerry's butt, Rick and the Cocks chase the lizard raiders to the borders of the lizard lands where they then use superior numbers to force the Cocks to flee - but not before they learn that the circus freak was some sort of lizard prince who was now being used to unite the lizard tribes.

Knowing war would soon be upon them, Trynne rallied allies in Tymric the Bold (who quickly gets in on with Summer) and Levyel the were-wolf (one of Jaymriel's victims) to assist in fighting back the lizard forces who seem intent on enslaving villagers and making them dig for... something.

It would take some time but the squad faces and defeats prince circus freak twice, with Morty landing the killing blow on the monster on the second outing. Hyped up by the feat, he is encouraged by his grandpa Rick to go live it up with the local ladies as fame is a fleeting thing. The loss of their prince is a painful price to pay but the lizards retreat with an unearthed dragon egg in tow.

Friday 28 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Cocks

[Part of the Cursed story line]

"Thanks for bringing us this time Dad," said Beth as she sat on the bleachers next to Rick, flanked by her husband Jerry eagerly taking in all the sights of Fairday like a little kid.

"Yeah, yeah," muttered Rick, twisting the cap of his always ready flask as he spotted his grand kids Summer and Morty arriving late. "What the hell happened to you?" he asked Morty, noticing the largish bump on his head. "Single combat tournament," Summer answered for him, "And that's what he gets for leaving me on a virus infected planet to die!"

"Shhh, the show's about to start!" hushed Jerry, barely able to contain his excitement.

There on the stage was a captive lizardman, and after making a big show of how fierce their race is - the Fairmaster opened the cage to hold a clearly staged mock battle and to the shock of everyone the lizardman kills him for real! Chaos erupts as lizardman raiders arrive to break this circus attraction out and Rick can't help but blast a few before they ran off again. "WHOA -burp-! This is way more interactive than I thought it would be."

"You there," called Trynne nearby. "You are clearly skilled! Join the Cockatrices in hunting down these raiding knaves so that we may deliver justice upon them!"

"The Cockawha?" echoed Jerry while the children snickered. Beth looked pleadingly at her father who knew she was just aching for a good quest. "Fine," replied Rick folding his arms. "But only if you -officially- shorten your groups name to The Cocks."  

Trynne didn't have time to argue.

Thursday 27 April 2023

Bullet Train (Movie) and Snowpiercer (TV Series)

All aboard for murderville!

Bullet Train

Brad Pitt stars in this action comedy which involves numerous, highly skilled assassins all boarding the same bullet train in Japan. While the story is rather ridiculous, the action scenes and cinematography are very well done resulting in a very entertaining flick. Recommended for those who are ok to not just suspend their disbelief, but kick it out the window entirely for the duration of this film.

Snowpiercer (TV)

In the new ice age one of the last sanctuaries for mankind is the Snowpiercer, a perpetual motion engine train that keeps people warm and fed as it races all across the world on tracks that just continually worsen. Sounds like an engineering nightmare? That's what the show thought too, and so it instead focuses on the class differences on board - with the rich people who bought tickets up in first class and the stowaways in the tail forced to work as manual labor.

While the movie version of this is primary focused on the action of a violent revolt, this three (or four if it ever gets released) season drama is more of a slow burn as "tailee" and ex-detective Andre (Daveed Diggs) is tasked with finding a murderer on board. A job excellent at introducing all sorts of people up and down the train with a few interesting twists to boot. Alas, there is some character idiocy and plot contrivance present but it is still interesting enough to warrant a watch. Try out one episode, if it's too slow for you but you like the concept - watch the movie instead.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Wildermyth: Bury the Tower

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the Mothqueen finally in the tower Kaydo orders the team to run while he holds a magic duel against her, but they still have to protect from the other endless things him WHILE getting out. Everyone somehow makes it, and Kaydo seals himself in there with the Mothqueen forever. Disconnected from their matriarch goddess the remaining bugs mostly return to their own dimension (lol yep).

Soon after Captain Bear self detonates and Jaymriel goes full wolf form and runs rampant passing on lycanthropy to many innocents before she becomes enslaved by the gorgons. Unwilling to do the same Yoburt gets Sir Igwane to execute him while Kayruen takes root by a nearby stream and becomes a tree (Side note: the tree transformation sucks as you get slower and slower while only gaining toughness and melee skills).

The remaining survivors led by Lady Kamea then begin the arduous task of burying the entire tower so that no one will accidentally ever open it. Worst victory party ever.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Mothqueen

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Kayruen is rescued from the clutches of the bugs having only partially transformed into a bug herself, and reveals their god, the Mothqueen, is after her brother Kaydo. Desperate to stop the bug transformation Kayruen pierces herself with a splinter of a magic tree which works, but only because she is now slowly becoming a tree.

Kaydo devices a plan to use a magical prison tower to trap the Mothqueen forever (because you can't kill gods) and so sends the team to clear it out of the bugs currently in there - an easy job thanks to all the transformations going on - and then to lure the Mothqueen in by putting himself inside as bait.

This final battle is freaking epic and pretty tough as you must protect the bait from the endless bug swarm which at this point includes dragon bugs, but at the same time go forward to attack the Mothqueen which "irritates" her and forces her to move forward into the trap based on the damage dealt. Iris, mind controlled by the Mothqueen at one point, rams a spear through Baeloth - killing him.

Monday 24 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Revengers

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With news of the bugs attacking other villages, Kaydo leaves to become the seer of the forest but not before asking the Cockatrices to find his now missing sister Kayruen. Losing Kaydo is a little annoying, but the on the flip side he can auto-stop some incursions all by himself! Baeloth the bug talker fills his spot as replacement on the team.

Lady Kamea hires the outlander mercenaries, Malice, Glenda and Pump to help with the search but only Pump survives the gorgon ambush at a remote farm where Malice is gored by a boar rager and Glenda is eaten by a bogmoor. Meanwhile the wolf god manages to curse Jaymriel and Yoburt with lycanthropy and Captain Bear gets captured by some Deepists who leave him to rot in an underground cage along side a powered-down deadbot digger.

By cutting off his own arm, Captain Bear manages to power up the deadbot "Erklebits" who digs their way to freedom. Losing too much blood, Captain Bear then begs to the heavens for a second chance and is heard by a star spirit, who gives him a star arm which can shoot exploding stars as an AoE attack (and is frankly super OP). The star condition does slowly spread across his body though, and once it covers him entirely Captain Bear knows it is he himself that will go boom. Wanting to spend whatever time she can with him, Iris, the Captain's daughter, joins the Cockatrices.

Sunday 23 April 2023

Wildermyth: Bugging the People

[Part of the Cursed story line]

It is looking grim for the magical twins Kayuren and her brother Kaydo as the giant bugs surround them in some purple ruins - but at the last moment they are saved by the heroic entrance of Captain Bear and Jaymriel Jasper who escort them back to their village, which unsurprisingly is also being attacked by the bugs!

Once the foe is driven off, the remaining villagers realize that their young have been taken and Bear promises that the Cockatrices will rescue them. Hearing this the village ruler Lady Kamea and her bodyguards Yoburt and Sir Igwane join the quest, as do the twins.

It takes a bit of tracking but the party soon discovers the hive and rescue around fifty people, but lose those who were already transformed into pseudo-bugs that they had to put down. They're an interesting opponent group though as they apply more status effects and prevent more magicka than the previous enemies.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Wildermyth: Inside at Last

[Part of the Cursed story line]

"The Deepking, like most of his kind, probably keeps his treasures on the top floor of the place. Close to his heart...and far from his servants."

The war against the Deepists continues for many months while Garrett scouts a way to the Deepking's underground castle. Baeloth (of all people) joins the fight to aid the heroes, acting as some sort of conduit to for giant bugs that offer their aid in fighting the Deepists (possibly because they want those tunnels the Deepists live in).

Once Garrett makes it back, he assembles a squad consisting of Dranalla, Anythera, Milly and Trynne to assassinate the Deepking. Stealth goes out the window pretty quickly as the team must rush forward through Deepist guards while endless Deepist reinforcements come up their rear. It's a trap!

Luckily they reach the Deepking and his new Deepqueen Krisztian (side note: this game is very LGBTQ+ friendly) who put up a decent fight with all their AoE attacks but are unable to kill anyone before being slain themselves. Being shown the decapitated head of their monarch makes the remaining Deepists flee back into hiding where they continue to get massacred by the giant bugs that follow them there. It isn't long before the bugs decide to try do the same to the surface dwellers.

Friday 21 April 2023

Wildermyth: Turtling

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the loss of their fort, the Deepists go on the offensive - now led by priestesses and "fathers" and "mothers" to attack villages all across the land so Nyrissa hires her old acquaintance Garrett and his new squad of Anythera, Martvaer and Dranalla to assist while locals Este and Macius also volunteer to help fight this cult menace. Este in particular is effective at bashing their heads in with her mace.

Eventually the team is invited by the Deepking for a parlay truce in their subterranean tunnels that turns out to be more of a "you're pretty tough. join us to live forever or die now," speech. Krisztian, ironically the first Deepist victim the Cockatrices saved, is moved by this promise of immortality and accepts to join the cult much to the shock of his comrades. While the Deepking leashes and walks away with his new toy, his forces swarm the others who must fight their way to the exit.

Nyrissa's previous method of using plants to block their pursuers path is ineffective as a giant minotaur easily tramples over them and crushes Martvaer underfoot. With escape looking bleak she pleads to the universe for more power... and it answers in the form of a lonely turtle god that offers a trade: the strength for everyone left to make it out safetly in exchange for Nyrissa becoming his new turtle friend. She agrees, they escape, and she is transformed into a turtle before being whisked away.  

Can't tell which one is scarier...

Thursday 20 April 2023

Wildermyth: How deep is your Cult?

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Having been rescued from a Deepist cult cave by Runea and Nyrissa, Krisztian vows revenge and joins the Cockatrices after convincing them of their expanding threat. They also hire the outlander Kaelun to assist during their travels, encountering a few left over evil deadbots in the process. One village even lives happily with them now. Feeling that perhaps those were Misia and Hally's goodbots they are left in peace.

Eventually the party clears a Deepist fort guarded by their stronger minotaur-shifting members, as well as an actual massive minotaur who Nyrissa kills using her plant pull into Krisztian's rapier (teamwork!) but proving that humans are always the worst threat it is a trio of simple brigands unaffiliated with the Deepists that manage to kill Kaelun in a close quarter ambush.  

Wounded from a against a lizardman incursion, Runea contracts an "uncurable" disease which rots her from the inside but she and Krisztian find research that leads them to a rare, one use magical cure all which they get from an easily defeated gorgon. Runea opts to use it on a petrified adventurer nearby though, freeing the mystic Trynne Ocean who agrees to join the Cockatrices as thanks, along with her now same aged daughter Milly. Runea later  succumbs to her illness.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Wildermyth: Core of the Problem

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Defeating the Grand Matron only angers the robodead swarm as they begin bursting forth from another mountain. With their recent losses, the Cockatrices recruit Rue's daughter Jaymriel and farmer Jon to fill out the ranks. Rue also tries ask her ex who leads a mercenary group for aid, but only gets the cold shoulder. Luckily, Runea and Zefelle, two of the mercs, aren't as heartless and offer to join too.

While Gwynelia leads Jon and Runea to defend against incursions in the North, the rest continue sweeping the Southlands of all threats. In one deep cave Zefelle's greed results in a nameless statue shooting a gem into her left eye and turns her into the sight of that forgotten god. It also helps them pinpoint the source of the deadbots which is a tiny crack in a huge mountain.

After fighting through the guardians the team locate a trio of robotic cores that control the machine menace and with help from Hally and Misia's goodbot forces, some of which are destroyed in the battle, manage to destroy these with little issue. With this most of the deadbots return to being dead, ending their threat to the land while the goodbots try change the public's perception of them.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Evil Robodead

[Part of the Cursed story line]

At the dam the team discover Hally, now transformed into one of the robodead. She assures them that she's still herself, and explains that there are "good" robodead like the one she could partially repair and fused with who are being hunted by the armies of the "evil" robodead, and that there is an important "heart" located in this dam that she must reach.

Of course, the dam is heavily guarded by hostiles including a new type of grabber-bot which tear apart Gwynelia's robot ally Sommelier. Kesten also takes an arrow to the knee before the team get to the heart chamber where Hally now explains that if a willing soul permanently fuses with the heart, they can gain control over some of the hostile undead.

To the shock of everyone, Misia volunteers and willingly jumps into the meat grinder above the acid bath that fuses her to the mechanical heart. This lets her control the grabber-bots who follow Hally to the next chamber to battle the robodead Grand Matron. After much clanging and wrenching of metal only Hally is left standing of their robot allies.

Monday 17 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Woof and the Wardrobe

[Part of the Cursed story line]

An industrious "wardrobe" enemy that constructs the robodead turns out to be the cause of the incursion, but when the bots continue to appear after it is destroyed the team recruits Misia's apprentice, Rue Jasper, and Gwynelia the daughter of Kesten and Bouquet, to assist in finding their new source. Lady Jamandi Aldori also offers her aid.

Early on, Gwynelia is tempted by some Wolf God to gain some forsaken power but Lady Jamandi talks her out of it and makes fun of the "Woof God" - and so, it is Jamandi who is cursed instead to have a crow face and more crow features (talons, wings etc) as time goes on. This is actually beneficial in the short term as it makes her more powerful in combat, but eventually she turns into a full crow one night and ends up as the team's supper. If only Bouquet wasn't such a good shot...

They try to check in on Hally only to find her missing and a whole slew of new robodead to slay at the smithy. In the aftermath, Gwynelia shows off her tech skills by creating a robot ally Sommelier for herself. While doing so, Bouquet locates a coded letter that gives them another location to explore: a dam.

Sunday 16 April 2023

GTFO: ALT R1D1 - Deeper

And just like that we're now at the final mission of Rundown 1, this time we need to turn off a reactor. Is it that simple? Well, yeah but getting there can be a challenge! Our load out of this one was:

Me: Pistol/Revolver/Sniper Sentry/Spear
DL: DMR/Sniper Rifle/Burst Sentry/Hammer
Jim: Rifle/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer
[Bot]: Hel Revolver/Machinegun/Biotracker*/Hammer

*The [Bot] has some funny lines when he's using the Biotracker. :P

Again the general gist of this map is "go North until you hit the objective" with lots of long corridors to take advantage of sentry usage. First door will be a class IV alarm (sentries on long bridge) followed by a room with a scout, then a class V door (sentries in long hallway before big area) and a room with TWO scouts, and another class V Apex door (sentries facing open door / looks like a short distance).

The scouts are a decent threat but just remember you have all those long stretches you can setup turrets to help with the defense. Now as we were burning through ammo here we also decided to open the 0 alarm doors on the sides which holds lots of gear - but only after doing the alarmed doors if we could help it. Sleepers and giants hide out there so be smart and weigh your options as you don't want to spend more of a resource that you're trying to collect!

At the reactor (turrets facing the hall) the shut down command will turn off all the lights and trigger a class IV alarm that forces you to hold your ground followed by an endless extraction alarm as you run to the drop point but this time all your enemies are shadow strikers! Big flashlights help here - basically if you think you saw something move shoot at it! Once you reach the extract spot, put turrets down, hold and GTFO!

Wildermyth: What the Duck

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While the Cockatrices were dealing with the gorgon threat, they had come across evidence of hostile sentient robot things, which are more like corpses revived by clockwork machinery. Misia is tasked in investigating them and is joined by the couple Kesten Garess and Bouquet, and Suri the spider queen.

Suri's tenure is very short lived as during a solo exploration of an underground cave, she falls into a enchanted lake which turns her into a duck and is quickly set upon by an enamored male duck (the game specifically shows this isn't another person turned into a duck, its just an actual duck) to start a duck family, leaving her MIA forever.

It's a strange game.

The rest of the team eventually find these robodeads attacking a smithy and barely save elderly smith Hally who says the horde was chasing one of their own which took refuge in her house. Alas this targeted one was badly damaged so Hally opts to try fix it to gain some answers but in the meantime find it had scrawled a map as to the source of these mechanical invaders.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Wildermyth: It's Raining Frogs

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Angered by the loss of his artifact, Ulstryx casts a magical spell that makes it continuously storm. Deepists (people that live in the deep caverns who feel the impacts of the flood first) come to ask the Cockatrices for aid, revealing they know where Ulstryx is.

Joined by casters Jainlof, Ames, and the warrior Macko, the Cockatrices set about building bridges to higher ground and carving tunnels through mountains to reach Ulstryx, all while stopping an invasion of the Deepists (who were really getting desperate).

They eventually find the evil boss whose minions include bogmoors, giant frogs who thanks to their long and sticky tongues almost kill Macko and Nyrissa as they are pulled out of formation and into the enemy ranks. Captain Bear manages to slay Ulstryx just in time which causes the remaining foes to flee and the team return as heroes once more.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Wildermyth: Cavern Heist

[Part of the Cursed story line]

In the interim Little Pirate tries to join a different heroic band, but they turn out to be brigands. Luckily Barbara shows up to save him.

Back at the Cockatrice base, Nyrissa returns as a lich - revealing she didn't actually destroy that cursed dagger as Captain Bear had asked, but instead found that Ulstryx is quietly rallying his army of crazed beasts using a hidden artifact. Her son Karel (who is also Barbara's husband) joins the hunt for this and is gifted a spear made from one of his mother's rib bones.

The team quickly locates Ultstryx's artifact in a deep cavern and they steal it, with Nyrissa blocking the pursuing monsters using her plant summoning powers (which is one of the more overpowered ones, because then you can do more magic stuff with plants like entangle or pull) and the team escapes easily.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Wildermyth: Mindflayer Naga

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While clearing the tainted lands of these crazed mutants, Barbara gains a pet cat, Little Pirate gains a pet stone critter, and Captain Bear convinces Nyrissa to destroy a cursed knife she found at the old tower.

Eventually they find the source of these critters: a gorgon (who is more like a mindflayer naga with more tentacles) that has taken up residence in the next town over. It manages to grab and tentacle Barbara's ear to use as his microphone - warning them all not to stand in his master Ulstryx's way before Captain Bear throws a pitchfork into the monsters head, killing it.

Something like this!

Barbara survives but the tentacle goo on half of her face solidifies to remind everyone what happened to her. While the others take her back to the village, Nyrissa sets out alone to find where this Ulstryx is and how to defeat it.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Waiting for Duviri: The Tenth Tacticals

And now for a set of games that require planning (and maybe one that doesn't)!

Chess Ultra

Regular readers will know I'm bad at this game, but luckily there's a setting to make the AI so dumb that I can win. LOL. Obviously the opposite is true too as it is grand master approved and obviously there's the PvP option as well as spectating(?). I should probably use the tutorials provided to see if it can help my game. Visuals wise: the room, board and pieces can be customized and look really nice. That won't help you win though!

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game - Digital Edition

This competitive game has players running one of the Westeros Houses and are trying to dominate the map by either holding 7 castles for an instant win or the most castles after 10 rounds. Battles are simple where you just add up the unit values and add whatever your chosen leader card does (7 to pick from, can't reuse same one until you've used all the others). Alas, the rest of the game isn't simple: It's a mess. Boats act both as units and bridges, you need to spend a phase giving "orders" which are limited to 3 of the same, there's a phase where you just pull random events that can add or remove units or lock order types at a whim, and some houses have better starting spots than others. Not recommended.

Yellow and Yangtze (Digital)

This competitive area control game has players putting tiles down in one of five different colors. If you place a red tile on a connected tile set with your red tile leader, you get a red point. If its someone elses red leader, they get a red point. If there is no red leader then you look for the black (king) leader in the region and they get the point. Once there are no more tiles to draw the game ends and you score your LOWEST color of points.

If you try put your red leader in a set that already has a red leader, you must spend the appropriate tiles from your hand to try win your revolt and likewise if two tile sets join which would result in two leaders of the same color being in the joined state, then a war breaks out. Defenders win ties.

Super simple, but also super challenging! I was interested in getting the precursor to this, Tigris and Euphrates until I learned Yellow and Yangtze refined that game a bit. Now that I've tried the digital version - I'm probably not going to get the physical one because I am terrible at it. LOL!

Terraforming Mars (Digital)

Another competitive victory point collecting game where each player runs a company that is terraforming mars, with each company having different themes on what special things that they can do. You will mostly be dictated on options based on the random cards you draw which might be a deal breaker for you, however if you can roll with whatever comes your way you this might be for you. You also need to keep your eyes open on the first come first serve rewards you can nab, as well as the awards that you can fund (in hopes to award yourself) as those are a lot of victory points!

Turns get longer as the game goes by because everyone will have more resources later and turns only end when the player all players pass. On the flip side, if you warm the planet enough, put enough oceans and forests and basically terraform Mars, as per the title - you can activate an immediate game end sequence if you are confident you've got the points lined up to win. Pretty cool.

Warhammer 40K: Gladius - Relics of War

A strategy game where you can play as one of the various factions in the Warhammer 40k universe, where you must build a base and send your units to destroy the enemy bases, much like ye olde Dune and Warcraft / Starcraft, EXCEPT it is all turn based. And boy that makes it supremely boring. The poor tutorial doesn't help either. Skip it.

Evil Dead: the Game

The only non-board game based offering in this set - this four player co-op versus one monster player where in the four players (who most likely will be playing various incarnations of Ash Williams) need to locate the necronomicon and a magic knife to seal the evil portal within a time limit to win. The maps are pretty big, the fighting is quite decent, and having cars people can hop into together is great. The enemy player has interesting mechanics too, as they are usually just mist and must run around gaining power to be able to deploy traps, spawn bad guys and possibly possess said bad guys (or good guys, if they don't stay near the light).

As a bonus, there are AI modes that range from one player and every one else is AI, only the bad guys is AI so it's pure co-op, and single player missions to unlock stuff. Pretty cool game and one that I was ready to buy for my gaming group until I learned this is currently only available on Epic Games, which has NO METHOD OF GIFTING GAMES TO OTHERS. Pity, because that means I purchased something else (x3) instead from Steam.

Gloomhaven (Digital)

This is the cooperative "something else" I purchased (x3) for my gaming group instead of the Evil Dead, and I am pleased to say it plays very much like my physical copy of Jaws of the Lion where I've already covered most of the mechanics. Even better, this digital edition means you don't need to spend time setting up or running the monsters and just get straight into the action. We've only started the original campaign and its already pretty good, with the ability to have players drop in and out mid mission (host controls any unassigned mercs). Very good so far and recommended if you like thinking games!

Monday 10 April 2023

Wildermyth: The Cockatrices

[Part of the Cursed story line]

An attack from a crazed mutant doe on the village prompts Captain Bear and Little Pirate to check in on Nyrissa who was cataloging items in a nearby ruined tower. They arrive just in time to help her fend off more crazed critters with Nyrissa using magical infusion to explode the wooden furniture to finish them off. 

Beware angry bambi.

Aside: The magic system in this game is great, it's basically telekenisis+ where you can make tables explode, rocks fly around, force plants to entangle foes and set things on fire BUT an original thing has to be there for you to use. Can't set things on fire without a fire being lit somewhere for you to steal for example (until you get the upgrade that lets you make sparks, but only on things that can catch fire).

This new influx of critters inspires the trio to resume adventuring and collectively call themselves "the Cockatrices". Barbara, Nyrissa's daughter in law, overhears this decides to join too as she has grown bored of the farming life.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

GTFO: ALT R1C2 - Decode

It was really late after winning that last map when we decided to scout this one, and despite DL having connection issues midway we actually won first go! The objective this time is to find 10 decoders and head to the forward exit. This is what we brought:

Me: Hel Revolver/Revolver/Cfoam/Hammer
DL: DMR/Presicion Rifle/Mines/Hammer
Jim: Rifle/Machine Gun/Cfoam/Hammer
[Bot]: DMR/Hel Gun/*Sniper Sentry/Hammer

*Forgot to use - we were sleepy. :P

Chargers, the spiky black strikers, are introduced here and the only thing to remember with them is while they sleep to fully charged stealth strike them at their back - while ensuring your feet are pointing the same way their feet are pointing at. If you "angle" hit their back, but your feet aren't matching directions, you won't get the bonus damage and won't kill it in one hit.

This level is a good test of your stealth skills actually as we snuck past giants we didn't need to kill, silently bopped the regulars guys we did need to kill, and probably most importantly didn't stealth ANY scout. We were too sleepy to attempt, so we'd just clear what we can and DL would snipe them. Lock melters are also handy to get decoders in lock boxes if you don't want to wake the room. Alternatively shooting then shutting a door with minor ice and a mine helps clear "loud" rooms (like a scout in a room with sleeping giants, you need to nail that scout).

We also skipped the first class IV alarm door because we goofed and lost an ice able door (it would have been a tough hold anyway with 4+ entries), instead following the path East and going through all the 0 alarm ones we could find. There is a class IV alarm with a single door at one point, which is an easy hold against chargers if you put a mine facing the iced door and have someone to do c-foam duty.

Eventually you'll reach a crossroads type room and after opening one of the class III on the wings to load up on gear and decoders, we did the Apex class IV alarm next (but not opened the door - don't give enemies more places to spawn from) followed by the other side class III (we needed one more decoder). Icing the doorways just before DL's mines is a good idea to buy time (or you know, bring sentries instead). While the class IIIs were your usual striker / shooter combo the class IV is all chargers. Keeping in mind you can't out run them (unless you parkour) take them down as best as you can while doing circles. C-foam grenades are around to help you out (aim at the floor they will pass through, not at them directly).

Once you have 10 decoders (there are more than 10 available) head to the forward extraction zone which is a fast / no alarm team scan to GTFO. 

Tuesday 4 April 2023

GTFO: ALT R1C1 - Reconnect

Some major load out changes for this first C level which is basically a long tunnel North with 0 alarm security doors followed by an 8 wave reactor sequence! This is what we brought for our winning run:

Jim: Rifle/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer
DL: DMR/Hel Gun/Burst Sentry/Hammer
Me: SMG/Burst Cannon/Burst Sentry/Hammer
[Bot]: DMR/Hel Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer

To save some time, don't bother stealthing. Shoot everything on the way to the reactor as there's a lot of gear around. Most important is prior to starting the reactor, move all kits that are 4+ closer to the reactor and max out on the 3- use kits. If all maxed the low use kits should be the furthest from you in setup. While you'll never make it back to the first chamber for supplies during the hold, the next "furthest" room will be reachable in the interims at around wave 5 onwards.

Our defense setup was on the bridge next to a cart (where DL stationed himself). Two sniper sentries near the big hole FACING towards us and the reactor (to shoot things in the back), two burst sentries on the bridge at the rear of the cart where enemies have to funnel. Jim, the [Bot] and myself stationed behind those guns.

REACTOR_STARTUP gets the thing going after a team scan (you have enough time to get to position) but after each wave someone has to run back and type in REACTOR_VERIFY XXXX where XXXX is the four letter word on your screen before time runs out (in our group that was me). I'd hold off until 10 seconds left to give time for everyone else to grab and restock using the kits. Hybrids (spike heads) will show up in the later rounds and if anyone is in the cart they'd better have a medkit as there is no cover from their barrage.

Once all waves are done, return to the drop point together as things will be spawning to get you. Hold at extraction for a little bit (yes you will need to shoot stuff) and GTFO!

Monday 3 April 2023

Waiting for Duviri: The Ninth Nuggets

Yeah, I am aware my titles are getting sillier. Today's set is another random group of games!

Hood - Outlaws & Legends

A four player cooperative medieval heist game where archer Robin, ninja Marianne, hammer warrior John, and mace wielding mystic Tooke (in any combination so you can have 4 Robins) are out to steal the treasure of the state and/or against another thieving team of their own doppelgangers (pvp). First you need to pick pocket the key from the sheriff, an unkillable knight tank who can one shot execute any of you, then use it to open the vault some where on the level, take the heavy treasure chest from within and walk it down to the docks to hoist it (in a long defense sequence) onto the ship - all while not alerting (yeah right) or fighting through the soldiers coming after you. I found this to be really cool, but at the same time not being able to start a solo mission, long downtime if you are killed and a low player count makes it a hard one to suggest.


This Italian detective horror game has a really nice art style, intentionally cramped spaces, really bright matches, a party system and a somewhat scary though very noisy monster. What kills it for me are logic loops like this: to turn on lights in the mine I need to flip a switch at the dam but that's locked and the key is in the boarded up town hall which needs tools from the (still dark) mine to open. Huh? Why do horror games always turn into stupid fetch quests...

Geneforge I Mutagen

This RPG game lets you play as a "shaper" (or shaper adjacent), magicians who can make things come to life (commonly raptor type dinos), and plays a little like Ultima Online but switches to a turn based mode (without changing the view) if you get into battle. While it is dated, my main problem here is how tiny the graphics are - with no option to zoom. When your character is the size of your little fingernail on the screen, you can imagine how small the loot graphic is. Maybe one I'd put more effort in if there weren't more modern things for me to play.


This point and click detective game has a decent interface, a unique skill system where you spend personality traits you gain from talking to buy said skills, and some nice art. In it you are a VR detective, going into games to find people who either have gone missing or are wanting to hide. Your available skills actually determine what you can solve though, and the initial quest hook is weak at best.


A side scrolling beat em up like Golden Axe, only set in the Amazon with cute, hand drawn graphics. Definitely designed for cooperative play but ultimately its just a button masher with or without friends. Controller recommended.

The Silent Age

This point and click adventure has you working as a janitor at some fancy R&D company where you rather quickly get involved in time travel ridiculousness. While the puzzles are pretty straight forward and the game itself isn't very long, finding the items or the spots to click on can be the challenge - especially since most rooms exist in two states: the present and the future. 

Sunday 2 April 2023

Waiting for Duviri: The Eigth Ebb

This time it's all ship and ocean themed games!

Call of the Sea

How can a Lovecraft inspired game not be horror? This first person puzzler certainly rocks that boat, and is pretty good to boot. Decent voice acting and gorgeous colored art helps usher you along from one puzzle to the next as the story takes you along for the ride. I have to say this has one of the strongest starting quest hooks I've come across in awhile but it lost me once I reached the trial and error puzzles.

Submerged: Hidden Depths

A pair of siblings work to "save" a flooded city being claimed by black tentacles, by making the tentacles ... not black? Despite the premise and the watery wasteland setting this is a very chillaxed exploration game with no chance of failure. Even the Assassin's Creed level of parkouring that takes place is all automatically handled by your regular controls which is a good change of pace. A little annoying that completing the main goal of an area returns you to the main hub though, meaning you might have to repeat it for any missed collectibles.


In this game you are a shark out to eat stuff to get bigger and cause chaos in general. Nice graphics, decent controls and a cool mechanism that eating things both heals you and nets you a type of currency to evolve and become a stronger shark are quickly overshadowed by the annoyingly large grind present in this single player game. Since you start out small you need to be careful around the bigger carnivores in the water but gaining mass to challenge said enemies takes a long while. Quests can help, but when the quest is kill x catfish, but specifically catfish in this area and not the other catfish all over the place, that kinda pisses me off. Not recommended.

World of Warships

This popular multiplayer game is all about collecting and upgrading all manner of ships from around the world's history and then pitting them in missions against others which includes team elimination or area control. Small, fast maneuverable ships have less turrets and less hitpoints while the lumbering battleships bring lots of firepower and HP. There is no respawn when you die. You can either continue to watch as an observer or return to your dock and play another ship out to battle (as your destroyed one is locked for the duration of the match I think). Despite a mode of coop vs AI, the game quickly pushes you into the direction of PvP which is not something I'm interested in. The cash shop messages are also annoying.

Kerbal Space Program

On to ships of the space faring variety - this highly rated game failed immediately for me because as one can imagine, running a space program isn't all fun and games if you want to get anywhere. There's a heavy dose of reading, an unfriendly but functional interface (that might be by design) and my nemesis: math! The steep learning curve is to the moon! Blergh.

The Captain

This is the best old school point and click adventure game I've come across. In it, you must captain your space ship to find special macguffins and make it back to Earth in time to use said macguffins to win a war. Yes there is a timer, and you definitely start in a galaxy FAR FAR away with many potential stops on the way. And that is the beauty of it - everything is optional with each stop even having multiple potential outcomes. I basically sacrificed everything and everyone for the mission, and it let me. Best of all the puzzles are easy, even with the "future tech" terms. The weakest part of the game is the combat, but you don't need to fight a single thing to win the game. Highly recommended!