Galaxy Defenders – Mission 1: Close Encounters

Since I’d been having so much fun with Shadows of Brimstone, I went looking for other campaign co-op board games to try out. I read a lot of good things about Galaxy Defenders (plus, it was a sci-fi themed!) so I picked up a copy a few months ago. With the stay-at-home recommendations, I finally got a chance to bust it out and try it out last week.

I had a very good time playing it – it felt like a board game of X-com’s tactical battles.

Here’s a narration I sent my friends as I was playing solo as three agents, code-named Chromium the spec-ops solider, Thorium the medic, and heavy-weapons expert Titanium:

The agents are sent in the desert to investigate sightings of strange creatures. Once there, the agents are dazzled by strange unnatural lights that gradually change shape into alien figures previously only seen in Sci-fi movies…

“Alpha Agent to HQ, we have a problem! – Over”

“We are receiving the images, Alpha Agent. The Xenos are using teleporting devices… destroy them at all costs! We are sending you reinforcements.”

“AGENTS, your mission is to destroy the teleport points and come back alive! Over and out.”

Agent Chromium leads the effort, charging forth and blasting apart a Spine Critter with his GD4A1 battle rifle! But the intense full auto that plastered the bug has jammed his rifle!

The rifle shots also attracted the attention of the other spine critter which rushes forward before Chromium can clear the rifle. The marine resorts to his Eagle 1 sidearm and blasts it away before the acid dripping jaws can snap down on him (crit with the pistol!)

But the agents realize it is too early yet for celebration as a flash of an unnatural light to their far right begins to coalesce into the shape of another alien – they are teleporting in somehow! (Game uses a blip system until line of sight is established.)

Relaying this information to HQ, the order comes in for the destruction of the strange devices to stop the invasion – so Agent Titanium rushes forward and tosses incendiaries on the closest one…

The medic moves up to support, but a shotgun blast as the newly arrived Spine Critter only results in spurting acid blood as the critter charges forward.

And then MORE alien reinforcements show up in the distance!

Turns out the critters are just pets for the humanoid Xenos that unleash a hail of blaster fire, almost killing Chromium outright.

Then the critters attack – surprising the agents as the needle-sharp spines in their back launch out in a cloud, piercing through the agents’ armor.

Whew! I was reminded the medic had a medkit, which helps patch up the punctured and bleeding marine.

Agent Titanium then opens up with his squad assault weapon tearing apart two of the Xenos and severely wounding the third!

Titanium’s SAW continues to roar as it brings down the last of the xeno trio before he drops another incendiary on the second teleportation device.

Chromium used the rally to finally kill the spine critter with his own rifle, but its acid blood splashed onto the nearby agents, burning through armor to soft flesh underneath!

As the wounded agents try to keep the remaining spine critter’s jaws at bay, another xeno teleports in. It’s blaster tears large wounds into the medic, but at least Titanium is able to finish off the critter – with more acid splatter (fortunately, the medics back armor was intact and absorbed the brunt of it!)

Another xeno teleports in, forcing the medic to seek cover behind an outcropping of rocks.

So the two xenos focus their fire on Chromium instead… The last of their blaster shots rips through the battered armor and explodes out the front of his chest.

Even as their leader falls, the mission must go on! Titanium moves to provide cover for the medic to plant the incendiary on the third of the four teleport devices, but then HQ radios that the alien squad leader just appeared! (Not looking good…)

With few options available, Titanium charges forward to buy the medic time, and dumps the rest of his ammo on the trio of Xenos, but completely misses!! (Doh! Not one hit on his alpha strike!)

Titanium’s pristine armor fortunately absorbs the majority of the return fire, as they trio reposition to cover the remaining teleport devices – and give them better use of their ranged blasters.

Still, with the world at stake, the medic rushes forward from behind cover and plants the third incendiary…

And Titanium continues to charge onward towards his goal as yet another xeno teleports in. Dropping the now ammo-less SAW, he slices a vicious wound into the newly materialized and surprised xeno with his curved blade, and tossing another incendiary into the last teleport device with his offhand.

The wounded and startled Xeno retreats back to his leader while only giving ineffectual blaster shots at Titanium.

The medic’s shotgun roar at the aliens, puncturing small holes in their armor before retreating back for cover.

As the last teleporter is engulfed within the flames, the two remaining agents quickly retreat to reassess this alien threat…

Yay! Victory conditions met.

The game plays pretty quickly, and certainly had some tense moments. There’s a way to increase or decrease difficulty with a handful of options. I choose to play on the very hard level, which includes things like being unable to easily flee melee combat, line of sight includes facing, permanent death, and maximum number of defense dice being able to be rolled. All-in-all, quite enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to continuing play with Mission 2.

Campaign-style co-op board gaming

Over the past year and a half, life got hectic for our gaming group, and so we haven’t been able to easily and regularly get together for our RPG sessions. And so our games went on hiatus.

So we tried to fill in whatever game time we could with a few different board games, including the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth, and Gloomhaven. But they never quite managed to satisfy the RPG itch – that is, until we tried out Shadows of Brimstone. Now, I’d seen it over the years at GenCon, and one of our guys had started collecting it, but I didn’t really know what it was until he decided to try running it for us.

After that first mine adventure and then finding even more adventure traveling to a town, and IN the town, I was hooked! Here was a game that managed to capture the feel of an RPG session, without the need for a GM who needed to spend substantial preparation time (which was running short for all of us).

And so, it was then that I discovered the board game genre of campaign-style co-op games!

So for the past year, we’ve been playing Shadows of Brimstone when we can. The lack of time is also why I haven’t been posting on this blog (plus, we haven’t played an RPG in almost 2 years!)

But as things have started to calm down, I’ll see if I can put some of my thoughts down that may be able to help other Gamers With Limited Free Time. More to come – Game On!

Princes of the Apocalypse 4

  1. GM: Law
    1. Ari: Guldinyon Bent (Drow sorcerer/cleric w/ scale)
    2. AJ: Ajax (Human Fighter. Chainmail and greatsword)
    3. Andrew: (Jehssail Brighteyes. Aasimar bard)
    4. David: Tobius Carter (Human Fighter)
    5. Thor: Mollywong (Dragonborn paladin)
    6. Thorun: Dwarf ranger
    7. Apollo: Tiefling Warlock Hexblade
  2. Wamford: 1.5 day travel from Red Larch
    1. On way, we stop at Barge’s Right Inn, a woodened walled town, which is across from Womford
    2. Talking to Guard:
      1. Caravan from Mirabar that was supposed to arrive a week ago but has disappeared.
    3. Only stone building is the Barge Right
  3. Wamford doesn’t have any walls. People walking heading home for the evening
    1. Docks is shady, but that’s the place for where people buy and sell
    2. When we went onto the boat and asked about the dwarven books, the captain showed us another book and then pushed Guldinyon into the water. Combat with the sailors ensues! They are water cultists, and almost kill us.
      1. Found another two captives that were caravan guards.
      2. Also more books of dwarven geneology
      3. Some treasure and a map
        1. There’s symbol of likely hideout upstream – ~20 miles
      4. Captain was blue-tinged, and tried to flee, but a Magic Missile from Guldinyon killed him.
  4. Water keep
    1. We talked our way into the boat dock at the bottom of the keep.
    2. But was unsuccessful, as a group of 5 bugbears attacked us on the dock.
  5. Rewards:
    1. XP: 400 each x6


Princes of the Apocalypse 3

  1. GM: Law
    1. Ari: Guldinyon Bent (Drow w/ scale)
    2. AJ: Ajax: Human Fighter. Chainmail and greatsword
    3. Andrew: Jehssail Brighteyes. Aasimar
    4. Apollo:
    5. David: Tobius Carter, human fighter
  2. Crossed river at bottom of the canyon (~100 ft), back to same side as tower by climbing up stone arch, and then back down.
    1. Attacked as Guldinyon and Ajax climbed back down
      1. 4 Gnolls and a hyena
    2. Further west of the canyon, a plateau 20′ up. Cave there with the carcasss of one of our hippogriffs at the entrance. A pair of griffins fly by…
      1. Find 2 eggs
    3. Further west, came across group of 4 gnolls that are tougher
    4. At far west end, meet Karokai – a humanoid bird. Call themselves Aacockra
      1. I informed them that tower is now known as Brighteye Tower
  3. Back to Red Larch
    1. At inn (Helm at Highsat), hear that dwarf merchant is at Valevos Sundries
    2. At Valevos’, we ask about any art. Bought from a peddler
      1. Shown a book. Comp language shows it is a list of geneology of dwarven clans of Mirabar
      2. Tell merchant that is Dwarven erotic poetry
      3. Said he bought it from a shady keel-boat skipper in Womford. Came across other similar books.
    3. We found 3 boats. One of them showed us a similar book, and when Guldinyon reached out for it, got pushed into the water.
  4. Rewards (for 2 sessions):
    1. XP: 1,700

Princes of the Apocalypse 2

  1. GM: Law
    1. Ari: Guldinyon Bent (Drow sorcerer/cleric w/ scale)
    2. AJ: Ajax (Human Fighter. Chainmail and greatsword)
    3. Andrew: (Jehssail Brighteyes. Aasimar bard)
    4. David: Tobius Carter (Human Fighter)
    5. Thor: Mollywong (Dragonborn paladin)
  2. Tower:
    1. Went to look for the fleeing leaders
  3. Canyon

Princes of the Apocalypse 1

  1. [We first played this mod a few years ago when it first came out, but stopped after just a session or two. We decided to return to it after playing some D&D Adventurer’s League, but couldn’t remember most of our characters, so created new ones.]
  2. GM: Law
    1. Ari: Guldinyon Bent (Drow w/ scale)
    2. AJ: Ajax: Human Fighter. Chainmail and greatsword
    3. Andrew: Jehssail Brighteyes. Aasimar
    4. David: Tobius Carter, human fighter
  3. Red Larch, 8 days south of Neverwinter, few days north of Waterdeep
    1. Journeyed there from a few places.
    2. Sinkhole in the road.
    3. Inn: Helm of Highsat. Met other PCs
  4. Delegation from Mirabar has been missing for 1 month.
    1. Harpers want us to find Brodenthar, part of the delegation.
    2. Brother Irdin: Follower of Lathander:
      1. Delegation was in Beliard 2-tenday ago
    3. A shepherd says he saw new graves in the hills!
  5. To the hills
    1. Four graves, one, a dwarf with good artisinal clothes
  6. Feathergill Spire: Knights from Waterdeep house here
    1. Hippogriff decorations
    2. Joined a Manticore hunt
    3. At night, almost murdered by humans dressed as servants! (con’t next day 2018 Oct 16)
      1. Captured one alive, but all he would do is hiss at us.
    4. Found a caravan guard, bound. He said they were attacked on the river but “stone people”, who then got attacked by “feathered people”, which brought them to the tower. Brodenthar was in the caravan.
    5. Proceeded up the tower, and more servants attack.
    6. Savah came running up the stairs asking what is going on.
    7. We went to top to inform the leader, and then they ALL turned on us. We killed Savah and a monk, but fighter, as well as two guards on vultures got away.
    8. We were very wounded, but on the way out, three more knights blocked our way. I released an eagle battering ram, and took one down, but we were very damaged. Had to flee, but Tobi captured again.
  7. We rested very quickly, and then came back and rescued Tobi.
    1. Searching the tower, we found a parchment.

GenCon picture 8 – Adventurer’s League

D&D Adventuer’s League at GenCon.

Trouble stirs in the Moonshae Islands, as the tensions between the Ffolk and the Northmen are highlighted with the appearance of a massive army of gnolls led by fiends…

Tracking the source of the magic to the Giant Druid.