PAX South 2017 (tbc)

PAX is short for the Penny Arcade Expo, it is a convention that is solely about games, video games, card games, board games, role playing games etc., there are gaming tournaments, sneak peeks of upcoming releases, nerd core bands, and panels hosted by some of the internets gaming celebrities, whether they review games, stream their gaming sessions live, or make ‘Let’s Play’ videos for YouTube.

PAX = Games, y’all.

To read more about the history of PAX, click here

We’ve wanted to go to a PAX for years but we’ve never had the funds and opportunity coincide, so when tickets for PAX South 2017 went on sale last year I snapped up a couple, and then we promptly forgot about them! So, it was a lovely surprise to get an email at the beginning of January telling us that our badges were on the way!

Sorry folks J3 is crying for Mummy, so for now you should read up on PAX and the Penny Arcade team in general, and I’ll leave you with this super cute picture.

 

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J2 will LOVE looking back at baby pictures when he’s older!

Until next time,
Laura x

 

 

Our Favorite Tabletop Games for Two Players (Part 1)

We love games.

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Most of our tabletop game collection.

So, I’ve just counted them all up, and I think we have 64 different table top games. They range from 1 player (we only have a couple) to 10 or more players! This post, however, will be focused on games that can be played with 2 people.

Oh, did I mention that Josh is helping me with this one? He is my opposition in these 2 player games, after all. The competitive ones that is.

Out of all of our games, at least half of them can be played with two or more players, and here are five of our favorites…

  • Ascension – Card – Deck building
    You use your deck to fight cultists and monsters, and to attract heroes to your cause, all with the aim of earning shiny crystals! The person who has the most crystals at the end of the game is the winner!
    We like this game because everyone starts off on an even footing, everyone has access to the same cards and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – Collectible miniatures – Combat
    This base game comes with two tie-fighters and one x-wing miniature,  to build up your fleets will require some investment, but if you love Star Wars, miniatures and games, then it’s worth it. You choose which fleet you want to command, Republic or Empire, Bounty Hunter ships are also available separately, and then you fight it out!
    Josh likes this game because it’s the best depiction of a ‘dog-fight’ in a board game that he’s seen, and they did a great job at making it feel like an authentic Star Wars experience.
  • Sushi Go! – Card – Set collection
    Sushi Go! is so cute! Every card has an illustration of a sushi staple, from dumplings to nigiri, to chopsticks! Everyone gets dealt a hand, from which you choose one card to keep, then everyone passes their deck to the person on their left, and you choose another card from your new hand, you keep passing and choosing until there are no cards left. Using the cards you decide to keep you build sets, and your sets are scored at the end of each round. The winner is the person with the most points at the end of the game.
    We like this game because it’s portable, easy to learn, and can accommodate up to 5 people, perfect for when you’re waiting for your food at a restaurant!
  • Ticket to Ride – Board – Network building
    We have TtR: Europe, it has some different mechanics from the original TtR, but we think that makes it better. The aim of this game is to spread your train network over the map, whether it’s the US, Europe, Asia or any other version they’ve published! To do this you use different cards to allow you access to possible routes, you can focus on collecting resources for yourself, or collecting resources you know your opponent needs.
    We like this because we love the tactile nature of the individual train cars, the strategy in planning which routes to go for first, and the knowledge that you’ve just blocked your opponent from completing one of their routes!
  • PandemicBoard – Co-operative
    Yes, that’s right, while playing this game you work as a team.
    Four deadly diseases have started to spread over the world and it’s up to you, members of the World Health Organization (WHO), to stop it. You must treat the cities where infection has spread, cure the diseases completely then eradicate them! Well, to win all you need to do is cure them, but I like complete victories.
    This game is hard. It’s supposed to be hard. You will lose more often than you win. But that’s okay because you’re playing games with someone you like, maybe even love, and that’s the most important thing.
    We like Pandemic because of the feeling of having a team mate; it requires a lot of forward thinking and strategy; and when you do win you feel great!

That’s just 5 of our top favorite games for two people, stay tuned for Part 2.

Until next time,
Laura x

This post contains affiliate links.

D&D – How to Build a Character. 

*This post contains affiliate links.

We love Dungeons & Dragons, if we weren’t so busy, and each session didn’t run around four hours long, we would play way more often. As it is, we’ve only played twice in the past three months!

During the first few sessions the things that take up the most time are character building and explaining to the players how the world works, and their characters place in it.

I love this part.

My love for character creation is what led to Josh running a campaign for just me, but I was playing four characters. They were all female, were different races, classes and came from different backgrounds, but had all come together to form The Happy Huntress Guild. They were the only all-female hunting guild and were just starting out; the bigger, older guilds didn’t like the new competition and were constantly trying to thwart our missions.

This story came about because I wanted to try playing as a different class to my usual Bard, but I didn’t want to commit to just one, if I’m experimenting then why not go all out?

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So, there are a few ways start to thinking about a character:

  • You know what race you want them to be, or,
  • You know what class you want them to be, or,
  • You know what they’re like, generally, as a person, or,
  • Any combination of the above.

Each race has it’s positives and negatives, Dwarves are resistant to poison and can see in the dark, but they are also slower than other races.
Dragonborn have bonuses to their strength and charisma, but due to their appearance and heritage they are more likely to be met with caution and distrust.
Humans, on the other hand, don’t have any outstanding positive traits, but neither do they have negative ones.
There a new playable races being trialed and published all of the time, but in the Player’s Handbook*, published in 2014, there are nine detailed races to choose from.

As I said earlier, I usually pick the Bard class, owing to my love for music, and getting inspiration from Sam Riegel and Critical Role.
Josh leans towards the Cleric and a couple of friends of ours always pick the Ranger and Rogue.
These choices, I feel, are more personal. I love music, Josh likes helping people, our friends love to go hunting, using bows, and being stealthy while doing it.
As with the races, there are new playable classes being trialed and published all of the time, but in the Player’s Handbook*, there are 12 classes to choose from, and there’s always the option of multiclassing!

As far as the moral character of my character goes, I like to play chaotic good, meaning that I might not always do the lawful thing, but I do it for the right reasons

  • chaotic evil – most monsters
  • chaotic neutral – wild animals
  • chaotic good
  • lawful evil
  • lawful neutral –
  • lawful good – Clerics, Paladins, Priests etc.

All of the different combinations of the above choices come to 648! That makes for a lot of variety, which can be even more varied when you create your characters backstory.

You could be a lawful good, elven, paladin who is an orphan and was raised in a temple to fight the good fight, or a lawful good, elven, paladin from a rich family who only became a paladin because it’s a family tradition.

Honestly, that’s what I love most about D&D, every game is different, even if almost everything is the same.

D&D for life, yo.

Until next time,
Laura x

Steampunk Rally

Sorry for the poor quality photos, I took them late in the evening,
using my phone, by the light of a single lamp.

Josh got $50 in Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas, and last week we spent that and a little bit more to add to our board game collection.

The first and most definite purchase we picked up was Widow’s Walk, an expansion to one of our favorite games, Betrayal at House on the Hill. A review will be coming soon, and I will link to it here.

Then we took a chance on a game we’d never heard of before, Steampunk Rally.
I am a fan of the steampunk community and the arts and fashions that come out of it, so any steampunk themed game always piques my interest.

The aim of this game is to build a ship/craft/machine that will take you through the course and across the finish line fastest. However, while tackling the track your ship also takes damage, if it takes too much damage it starts to fall apart, and could eventually explode!

img_0056We love games with bits, lot of bits, the more bits the better, and Steampunk Rally does not disappoint!

There are dozens of dice, hundreds of machine parts and 16 inventors to choose from, each with their own unique, and ‘fictionally / historically’ accurate abilities.

Every round is split into four phases:

  1. The Draft – You can choose to either add new parts to your ship or trade them in for resources.
  2. Venting – This is like a reset or cool down of individual parts.
  3. The Race! – You roll all the dice you’ve collected and place them onto your machine to activate the parts and trigger their abilities.
  4. Damage – If at the end of the race phase you are showing a negative number on your damage wheel, then you have to remove the same number of parts from your craft.

As I said before, you want to get across the finish line fastest, but that doesn’t end the game, it just signifies the start of the final round. Everyone gets one more chance to get as far as they can past the finish line, if there is a tie for first place, the winner is the person with the largest machine.

Although there are lots of bits, and at times, lots of moving parts, but it is really easy to get used to the rules and then the game just flows to the end.

I really like this game, and not just because I’ve won 2 out of the 3 times we’ve played. It has a great mixture of game mechanics from deck building, to strategy, to frantic dice rolling that make sure it’s never boring.

So, would I recommend Steampunk Rally? Yes.

Until next time,
Laura x

 

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Josh’s losing machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words with Friends

Josh and I frequently play WwF, we are currently playing a quick game before bed, as I type he is lying next to me getting frustrated at the lack of two letter word options. I’ll let you know how the game turns out.