Tag Archives: Fantasy

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 8

The low-flying lord of longswords swings his blade around Eastern Europe ~

Lloyd Sabin, 27 November 2017

With the darkness and cold this time of year, I need some comfort food and some comfort gaming as well as beer. My ultimate comfort gaming series is Total War. It just makes me feel good. And one of the best Total War games is Medieval 2.

It just makes me feel good.

Combine one of my favorite series with one of my favorite installments of that series and it just doesn’t get much better…unless I add one of the best mods for a Total War game…Stainless Steel! I recently installed Stainless Steel v6.4 after having issues with it for years and settling for v6.3. It works like a charm now, runs extremely smooth and I haven’t had one CTD in about 15 hours of play. Not sure what finally clicked but I’ll take it.

If you have loved the Total War series even a little, you owe it to yourself to try Stainless Steel v6.4. If you enjoyed Medieval 2, run, don’t walk, and grab it right now. You’ll need a copy of the Kingdoms expansion as well. Here, have this link. It has everything you need to get started.

Arms & Ambition – Playtest Report

GrogHeads had a chance to check out a pre-release playtest of the new Arms & Ambition boardgame ~

Chris Caran, 15 November 2017

This weekend while attending the MACE convention in Charlotte, I had an opportunity to sit down with Brad Warren and play his new wargame, Arms and Ambition. The game is in development, but very polished so far – a beautiful vinyl mat, 3D printed pieces, and professionally printed cards. Only the rules and documentation are still in developmental mode.

In the game, you play one of eight noble families vying for the throne after the ruling dynasty collapses. Each family has starting territory and “family ambitions” – victory conditions specific to the player. The overall goal is to gain 100 victory points and declare yourself the new king. You have starting units and each territory you own (represented by a card) has an income value.

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What’s Gus Playing? Episode 7

Our very own half-pint hammerhead is back at war ~

Lloyd Sabin, 13 November 2017

If you’re keeping track of what I’m playing you really need a better hobby. That said, last week I covered my foray in to the first act of Shadow of War, and despite myself I found I kept coming back for 10-12 hours of pretty mindless orkish bloodletting. Now another week has passed and after moaning and wailing, I have arrived at the second act of Shadow War, just in time for army construction and that sweet, sweet siege warfare I have been screaming for. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I’ve developed a good head of steam and plowed directly in to the act…I have started to lose interest.

So I am some distance in to the second act of Shadow of War and feeling a little ‘meh’ about the whole thing.

I don’t dislike Shadow of War, but as noted last week, the entire first act is more of the same from Shadow of Mordor. Relatively speaking, that’s a good thing and the nemesis system is solid…I just wanted more NEWER FASTER!!! And I didn’t get to it quickly enough.

So I am some distance in to the second act of Shadow of War and feeling a little ‘meh’ about the whole thing. For a time I am going to shelve Shadow of War and move on, for my own sanity and yours. I will come back to it, and probably pretty soon, but right now my brain needs something else. An old favorite, a new take on an old formula, something totally out of left field…I’m not sure yet, put it that way. But whatever I start gaming in the next few days will make this little column here more interesting than my mewling about that sweet, sweet siege action. I know this.

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 6

The GrogHeads’ munchkin of malice is mauling in Mordor ~

Lloyd Sabin, 6 November 2017

There is a lot to learn and the game is rather wide open, but you can get your ass kicked very easily.

I pre-ordered Shadow of War 8 months ago when I saw some footage of the game’s siege mechanics and drooled all over the keyboard. I am a casual Tolkien and Lord of the Rings fan at best, which is probably a good thing since Shadow of War does NOT stick to canon…not even a little bit. Which has sent some hardcore fans in to a bit of a rage. Fortunately for you, reader, there are other things in the game that have enraged me. The most enraging is the repetitive gameplay…a lot of the missions in Shadow of War are very, very similar, and very similar to the missions in Shadow of Mordor. I am only in the first act out of four, however.

The gameplay can be a bit tough as well, but I have improved at it as I have progressed. Another item that kinda, sorta enrages me is how long it takes to get to the aforementioned siege battles. The developers are making me slog through the first act, which is like a mini Shadow of Mordor game. Maybe I am being impatient but I need that sweet siege action. Give it to me!!

What’s Gus Playing? Episode 5

GrogHeads’ Garden Gnome of Goodness goes granite ~

Lloyd Sabin, 30 October 2017

Yes I covered Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone just a couple of weeks ago but I am so, so, so in love with the game that I am still playing it. Plus, it’s very close to Halloween and this particular part of the Hearts of Stone DLC – taking place in the von Everec manor house – is extremely well done. It is plain old frightening in some spots and I have to say, unexpectedly well done…even for Witcher 3, which is consistently fantastic.

Plus there’s evil, fairly attractive demons, wraiths and ghosts that will make you question your sexuality

The player is sent to the von Everec manor pretty close to what appears to be the end of the main story line of Hearts of Stone, and you get to fill in some major backstory on Olgierd von Everec: how he became character you’re ‘not so sure about,’ where he came from and how his head and scalp got so badly damaged. Plus there’s evil, fairly attractive demons, wraiths and ghosts that will make you question your sexuality. See below for more!

Oh and how could I forget – if you choose the correct path through Hearts of Stone, you can get some, as is tradition in all Witcher games. In this particular case it is with an old love interest named Shani. You attend a wedding with her and it is up to you to decide how you want the evening to end, as long as you are a gentleman about it.