Month: June 2018

TableTopTakes: T.I.M.E. Stories Asylum

TableTopTakes: T.I.M.E. Stories Asylum

Do you want to make a different in the multiverse? Are you worried about time incursions changing your life? Don’t worry; Tachyon Insertion in Major Events is here to help. The T.I.M.E. organization is fully approved by world governments to stop events that would mess…

D&D Background: Noble

D&D Background: Noble

A lot of RPG characters and D&D characters seem to come from humble backgrounds and work their way up into a more favorable position by gaining money and fame from their adventuring. But what if it’s the other way? What if adventuring is a step…

Board Game Battle: Sushi Go! Party vs 7 Wonders

Board Game Battle: Sushi Go! Party vs 7 Wonders

Ding, ding, ding! The bell has sounded, and we’re on to round two of our board game battles.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

The Contenders:

First, why are these two battling right now? Both of them have a common mechanic between them, in that they are card-drafting games. You are passed a hand of cards, you select one, all players reveal cards at the same time, and then your hand of cards passes to the next person and the process is repeated. But one of the games is about picking out your meal at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, and the other is about building the seven wonders of the ancient world. So the themes are very different, but mechanically, there are a number of things that are similar about these games. Like I mentioned, they use card drafting, but there is also an aspect of set collection in each game.

7 Wonders

7 Wonders has you building one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. You build up a tableau in front of you and your wonder, getting resources, buying those you don’t have, getting goods, studying, building military might, and building up your wonder. There is a cornucopia of points in this game, as well; you score points at the end of the game based on the sets of buildings you have, different things you’ve studied, your military might (in fact that’s at the end of each age), and other things. The big upside of this is that you can focus in on a few different areas and have a chance of winning. However, you do need to diversify some; otherwise, you won’t be able to get quite enough points to win. But if you try to do everything at once, you likely won’t get large enough chunks of points to win.

Image Source: Gamewright

Sushi Go! Party

Sushi Go! is about putting together the best sushi meal you could possibly have. Maybe you want some maki, miso soup, and green tea ice cream — while you can get this combination of foods in this game, it might not give you the most points. The game is played in three rounds (similar to 7 Wonders’ three ages), in which you try to collect sets of different things to get the most points possible. If you have three sashimi, for example, you will score 10 points at the end of the round, but if you have only two, you get no points. Or if you have two tofu, they’re worth 5 points, but if you have more, all your tofu are worth 0 points. Desserts are scored after the meal, and are the only thing you keep between each round. It makes sense as a meal, since you eat your dessert at the very end.

Compare/Contrast

The card drafting is a huge similarity between these two games, but there are a few differences, too. In 7 Wonders, you are drafting from a new set of cards each round, whereas most of the cards in Sushi Go end up going back into the pool of cards to draft, and only the desserts see their numbers reduced as you go. In 7 Wonders, if you get off to a poor start, it is harder to catch up for that reason, and makes the card drafting a bit more tactical. There’s also the set collection aspect to both of them, as you are looking to collect a variety of buildings that can stack off of each other in 7 Wonders, as well as collecting the various studies and gaining military might. In Sushi Go!, there can be a bit more variety in the set collection because sometimes you don’t want a big set of cards. Having more than two eel cards isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t do you any good; you just want to have two eels for sure so that you don’t get negative points. Compare that to tofu, which I mentioned above, where you don’t want more than two of them, or they become worthless.

Another big difference is the variability in both games. In 7 Wonders, the variability from game to game comes in the number of players, using more cards with more players, and which wonders are being built. If you consistently are only playing with two people, the cards you are drafting from are going to be the same. In Sushi Go! Party, you have a wide variety of different rolls, appetizers, entrees, specials, and desserts to combine and choose from. While it isn’t endless and you can repeat stuff fairly quickly when building out which ones you are using, you have a very large number of combinations.

The Results

Who wins? Sushi Go! Party

While these are both great games, I’m giving the win to Sushi Go! Party. There are two big reasons for this — the first is that I think the variability in the game is higher. Now, if you are playing 7 Wonders with a varying number of players, you do get to see more cards, but if you buy it to just play in a group of four people, you will quickly learn what those cards are. Because of this, there are more defined strategies for every game of 7 Wonders than there are for Sushi Go! Party. The second reason is that I see Sushi Go! Party as more accessible for new players. There aren’t as many mechanically heavy bits, and the artwork is cute. It’s going to be easier to get to the table with a wider group of players. If you want something that is more mechanically challenging, I’d recommend 7 Wonders as a great other option for card drafting. I honestly don’t think there is a wrong choice for picking one or the other of these two games, though. Finally, I’ll leave you with one important thing as a comparison between the games — if you just get the basic Sushi Go! game, you lose all of the variability that is in Sushi Go! Party, and 7 Wonders immediately becomes the better game. However, Sushi Go! Party is a cheap game for what you get, so it is definitely worth the money.

Who is your winner?


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D&D Backgrounds: Hermit

D&D Backgrounds: Hermit

This is an interesting background to look at. Generally, as a player, I’d steer clear of it, unless you wrap your head around a strong concept of why your character isn’t a hermit anymore? The most common way that people use this background that I…

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 10: So Where are We Again?

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 10: So Where are We Again?

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons. After making some shocking discoveries deep in the underground, our adventurers begin to wonder if they actually know there way back out of there. If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to…

D&D Backgrounds: Guild Artisan

D&D Backgrounds: Guild Artisan

It’s been a bit, but I wanted to come back and finish off the players handbook backgrounds.The first one that we come back to is the Guild Artisan.

Image Source: Wizards

The Guild Artisan is an adventurer that has had a profession. They are or have been part of the cartographers guild, the blacksmith guild, or any other skilled trade that they might choose. This doesn’t include things like being a wilderness guild as the artisan guilds all focus on some sort of end product. Even if you are just doing calligraphy work, the people who are commissioning the work.

This background is also one of the few backgrounds that encourages you to have down time. Technically, to stay in good standing with the guild, you need to be paying in your guild dues, which aren’t cheap, and while you might make that back in your adventuring, you’re probably better off actually using your guild skill in some down time to use your trade and make more money that way. Because you are paying your dues, you end up getting the benefit of having connections in a lot of spots and a spot to stay with your guild. This is pretty standard for every class, they always have a spot to rest your head if you are willing to look for it, but with the Guild Artisan there is a chance that it can be taken away from you.

So how could you make interesting characters with this?

Image Source: D&D Beyond

In your small coastal town you had a nice little shop. You wrote up the papers for the various shipping merchants that came through and kept track of the payments and which ships had come in. Life was peaceful until a new crew came into town. You got suspicious when their manifests for their shipments didn’t seem to match-up with what you would see in the warehouses. You decided that it was in your best interest to keep an eye on what they were doing and you started snooping around, however, they caught you looking at something you shouldn’t be. They gave you an option, act like nothing happened and help them create forged documents or swim with the fishes. You didn’t want to help them, but that was better than being killed, so you decided to help them. They brought you aboard their ship and you spent the next six years of your life sailing with them and creating documents for them as well and creating their actual business documents. Once they started to trust you, you were able to pick up some skills with the sword and when they had drunk too much at port one time, you took the Captain hostage and brought him to the guards. That got you your freedom, but now you have a black mark on your name. If you can crack a legendary code that hangs in the head quarters of your guild, you might be able to get back in their good graces and make a real living again. Fortunately you have a clue.

Class: Rogue – Swashbuckler
Alignment: Neutral Good


Ting, ting, ting, that was your life for a long time. You were known as one of the best armor makers in your clan, and in the city of Shinholm. You had grown to be quite well known and you had a ton of money, a nice house, and a happy life. Things were going well for you. Then one day the guards knocked down your door and dragged you out into the street. A grieving widow stood in the street and was screaming how you had killed her husband and it was your fault because of your shoddy armor that he had died.There was a trial, but the man had been a popular up and coming noble and while you could tell that the armor he had died in was a forgery of your own, you quickly realized that there were other things going on behind the scenes and that fact didn’t matter. You resigned yourself to your fate, and realized that the gods were looking down on you still when you weren’t hanged like you had suspected but instead were sent to fight on the front lines. There you made a name for yourself when you improved your shoddy armor and you got noticed by an Elven lord. However, you wanted to get back into the good graces of your own lands, you have a shot if you can catch the person who forged your armor as  you’ve started to see forgeries floating around in the elven lords lands now. You just need help since you can be the muscle, but the finer details should be left to someone else.

Class: Fighter
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Image Source: Geek & Sundry

Your leather work was known throughout the lands, the quality of the work that you did was always some of the best. But you had a secret, you didn’t love the work that you did, you just were good at it. Instead of making things with the leather and exotic hides that were brought in, you preferred to get those hides yourself. One day a woman came in looking to sell you some hides and with a story of a mythical beast whose hide would make the greatest leather armor ever. You became obsessed with this and looked up everything you could about it. Now you have a clue as to where this beast might be, but you know you need to hone your hunting skills before you’ll be able to take it on.

Class: Ranger
Alignment: Any


Filthy, stinking, rich, that is your goal in life, to become filthy stinking rich. You’ve done a pretty good job of getting some wealth, but it isn’t enough. You want more, and while your beer and wines are getting better, you needed to learn how to make even better wine and beer. There was a monastery up on the Higlanch Mountain range that was known for the greatest beers in the world, and that was your goal, to study under them, take what you learned, and then get filthy stinking rich. However, it wouldn’t be that easy, the monks only take in the best, and they can tell that you’re there for the money. They give you a way to prove yourself, and they expect you to train in their ways while you do. Now you’re using the rest of your money to get others to help you complete these quests from the monk, so that you can focus on your training and not end up dead, before you get, you know, filthy stinking rich.

Class: Monk
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
I debated for half a second if this character was evil, but I don’t think they are. They are certainly not good, but they are mainly focused on their single goal. But they aren’t trying to steal the recipe of the beer from the monks, they are just trying to find an easier way for themselves to get the recipe by having other people do the work for them. I feel like they would be the proud leader type of the group while not actually being able to lead.


Have you played a Guild Artisan before? What sort of trade did you have in your background, and did it come up in the game?


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Board Game Battles: Unlock vs Exit

Board Game Battles: Unlock vs Exit

Ladies and Gentlemen, the following match is scheduled for one fall, introducing first weighing in at 13 oz’s Exit! And his challenger Unlock. This looks like it should be a real doozy of a match. So what’s the crazy Peder talking about? Board Game Battles…

TelevisionTalks: Assassination Classroom

TelevisionTalks: Assassination Classroom

Back with some Anime fun, this time it’s the crazy anime Assassination Classroom. This is a weird one that I just randomly found on my own, and I’m very glad that I did. For a title like it has, it’s actually way less violent and considerably  more…

Gloomhaven Characters: Soothsinger (SPOILERS)

Gloomhaven Characters: Soothsinger (SPOILERS)

This is my second character, so I’ve only played him a couple of times thus far. But I feel like I have a decent grasp on what this character can do.

Soothsinger

Image Source: Across the Board Cafe

The Soothsinger is an interesting character, I picked my original retirement objective because of the symbol that was for the soothsinger. It is musical notes, so in most other systems it probably would be considered a bard. In Dungeons and Dragons, a bard is a capable fighter because of their spells, and while I likely could make the Soothsinger into a capable fighter by my card selection, it really shines as a support character.

The main focus of the Soothsinger is a mechanic known as “songs”. These are cards that you put in play and leave in play until you switch the song you are playing. It’s a bonus for your allies most often, though can be a negative to the enemies depending on how you want to play it. I’m only a level four character so I haven’t unlocked the most powerful songs, but there are a lot of interesting cards. Normally I’ve found that I don’t switch the song that I’m playing all that often, because depending on the creatures, certain cards are better than others. For example, in the last combat, we were dealing with a fair amount of poison. Normally I have a card that adds additional damage to an attack out, but because players were getting poisoned each round, I instead I used a song that allowed them to heal 1 point at the start of each round and would remove the poison for them. This kept the damage down because otherwise we might have had characters get exhausted in the scenario. There are other songs that wound opponents when they are attacked, give extra speed or range, and give opponents disadvantage. There are songs that can be swapped in any time really that will help out your allies, and you don’t need to be in the middle of the fray.

Another big thing about the Soothsinger is that they are very fast. They would probably rival the Scoundrel in terms of speed, and that is key. While our Soothsinger and Scoundrel never were in the party together, having the Soothsinger go so quickly means that I can adjust the battlefield for the other players. I have cards that strengthen allies, stun all enemies in a certain range, or even cards that allow my allies to either move or attack. This going out of order allowed us to complete a task one turn earlier than we would be able to otherwise. While that might not have changed the outcome of the scenario, it was very useful. I also hand out a lot of blessings for my allies and curses for my enemies. This means that my allies can deal out a whole lot more damage. And the biggest help I’ve found in these support cards that I can play has been a card that allows me to strengthen my allies. The combination of blessings and strengthen, which gives you advantage, means that you are basically always modifying your damage higher.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

Now, having flipped through the cards, it is possible to play a much more aggressive Soothsinger than I am. You’d still use songs, as they give you XP at the start of each round, but you could have a limited number of them and instead focus on your own attacks. There are a number of area affect attack cards that I could slot into my deck without losing much speed, but I would drop a lot of my support ability. However, playing support isn’t for everyone, and it might be that it won’t be for me the whole time I play the Soothsinger. The songs are always going to be a strong component in your deck, but adding in that damage and attacking ability could be fun as well. However, the Soothsinger has low health and not that many cards, so being more in the fray is dangerous. Right now, I think I have two attack cards that do damage in a way different the normal damage you can do no a card. One allows me to do basically a normal attack but then curse the monster and bless an adjacent ally. And I don’t remember what the other one does exactly, because in three scenarios, I’ve used it once. It does a base 1 damage, but I believe that it stuns as well.

The Soothsinger is a very fun character to play. I feel like it is not extremely complex, however. Once you have figured out the right song for a scenario, that song is generally the one that you’re always playing, so you’re trying to piece together cards other wise since the top half of your cards aren’t useful anymore. This, I guess, does add some challenge to the character, though it isn’t all that complex. You just need to figure out the balance of support cards and songs so that you always have something available to do.

Complexity: Low
Combat: Low
Support: High

Would you want to play a character that is support heavy? When you play other games, have you played a bard of cleric that is focused only on aiding others?


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Concept: Culling the Nerd

Concept: Culling the Nerd

Let’s start by what I mean by the title “Culling the Nerd“. It sounds ominous, but I don’t mean actually culling nerds out of your life, I’m talking tips, tricks, strategies for decluttering your nerd life when your collections grow to a hoard, and you…