GWJ Strategy Gaming Group: Final voting for summer 2022 game

Stele wrote:

Just FYI, Fell Seal is up for vote in the JRPG quarterly thread for another day or so. Think it's leading right now.

LastSurprise wrote:

It is leading right now! Is it time for a cross-club game?!

Well it did win. So yeah maybe cross club madness? Or maybe don't vote for it here and play it in the other club this quarter? If you can handle two clubs and 2 pile games... Heh

I voted for Fell Seal in the JRPG group, so I'll be joining in playing it. I'm open to doing a cross club or seeing what else wins here. If my nomination for Phoenix Point wins it would be easier for me to manage, as I've already started it. Otherwise, I'd be looking for something short and on the lighter side.

I’ve just looked up Fell Seal. It almost looks like one for the cRPG club as well as the jRPG club and this one. Maybe we should have a mass playthrough!

Sorbicol wrote:

I’ve just looked up Fell Seal. It almost looks like one for the cRPG club as well as the jRPG club and this one. Maybe we should have a mass playthrough!

An $8 game that ticks 3 clubs! Most folks seem to have a little less gaming time over summer, so having 1 game to bind them all sounds like a summer treat

Gem Wizards Tactics
Old World
Phoenix Point

Unless the CRPG club picks Fell Seal, in which case:
Fell Seal
Fell Seal
Fell Seal

Battle Brothers

Pavlov's House - an area-movement abstraction game of fighting in a critical area of Stalingrad, with resource allocation. Solitaire. Plays in, I guess, between one and two hours. Lots of fun, inexpensive highly replayable.

Lock'n'Load Tactical Digital - One or two player game of tactical warfare in WW2 and later settings. Starts with a base game plus 4 scenarios for 1 or 2 players. Currently on sale for 99 cents in the US Steam store. 17 DLCs, including a scenario generator, available for purchase, mostly at $6 on sale from $10.

Sorbicol wrote:

I’ve just looked up Fell Seal. It almost looks like one for the cRPG club as well as the jRPG club and this one. Maybe we should have a mass playthrough!

It would absolutely fit in the cRPG Club!

Hi all!

Thanks for the votes so far! I’m open to a cross club play through but would still like to do an official vote. Also, I agree with the ruling that nominated games need to be over a year old. If any of you nominated a newer game like Dune, feel free to add a replacement in the comments.

Lock'n'Load's year anniversary is July 8, I think... That's the oldest update I see. Is that good enough?

I didn't realize about the 1 year old rule. Sorry 'bout that.

So: Phoenix Point

Moggy wrote:

I didn't realize about the 1 year old rule. Sorry 'bout that.

So: Phoenix Point

No worries Moggy! I’m pretty laid back on some of the rules but one of the reasons for this club is to help clear the backlog or enjoy older gems.

@ Robear - I’m ok with counting Lock and Load as meeting the year rule.

Robear wrote:

I've started Battle Brothers a few times. Get a group together, outfit them, then head out. Search a ruin, find 13 ghosts, get killed. Try again. 8 experienced outlaws. Get killed. Rinse and repeat.

What's the secret to getting started in this game without all the slaughter?

There's a lot of interlocking systems which makes it hard to master or indeed grasp the basics. As the game is highly stat driven, with recruits rolling varying stats based on their backgrounds, every playthrough will be different.

Key stats to get to mid-late game are melee attack (matk), melee defence (mdef), followed by health, resolve, fatigue and initiative.

Not all brothers from the same background (eg militia) will be equal; nor does coming from a more illustrious background automatically yield a superpower brother (a farmer with good stat rolls can outperform a noble adventurer). Aside from random events tied to specific backgrounds all a background does is determine the range of stats a recruit may roll, with more illustrious backgrounds statistically having a higher (but not necessarily guaranteed) chance to roll with good stats.

Also, every brother has a role they can play even if they don't roll optimum stats. A trash brother can be used as a (crap) meat shield / AI magnet to kite a few enemies while you thin out the enemy ranks and so on.

Assuming you are playing vanilla - don't pick the tutorial start and use the other starting background - it gives you a strong ranged attack brother, a strong 2H axe brother and a solid 1H brother. Try to keep them alive as they tend to roll good enough stats to keep into the late game. Set all the options to beginner and pick the nobles war as the endgame crisis.

Ok with that said, head to your nearest town and recruit some cheap brothers. Farmers, fishermen, caravan hands, miners, brawlers and militia are pretty good backgrounds to pick from. Buy shields and 1-2 spears. Spears get innate + accuracy and shields increase mdef making your men harder to hit. The 2H axe is useless early game as you won't have the gear or stats to pull off the build. Ranged attack is similarly unreliable early game but can become versatile and powerful mid to late game.

Take missions with priority on those that involve hunting brigands or delivering packages or escorting a caravan. Avoid undead and beast slaying missions at the start as you'll often lose more men and equipment than the rewards. Brigands are your ticket to the mid-game because equipment is so expensive you mostly loot it.

Turning to tactics - don't rush forward and let yourself get surrounded or fight the enemy having high ground - both you and your enemies get 5-10% chance to hit per flanking unit. Thus you can position your brothers to increase their chances to hit, wait until everyone is in position, then attack with any remaining action points. Ganging up on enemies while not being ganged up on is the trick - and if unavoidable, use your tankiest brothers playing defensively (equip shields and use shield wall) to hold a position while you crush an enemy flank and rotate back to help them out.

This takes me to the next point re farming equipment efficiently - surround your target and equip daggers and use the Puncture weapon skill - it bypasses armor and chances to loot gear is higher with less armor damage inflicted on the target. Or if you don't care about getting new helms - use flails and go for the head shots which hopefully leave the body armor intact.

As you get more funds and recruit brothers with good stats - buy them polearms (it can start with the humble farmer's pitchfork, moving to billets, pikes and billhooks) and put them in your second row. They hit hard but are generally vulnerable engaging adjacent targets. Thus you use your experienced men to raise a new recruit in the rear row and once they're powerful enough you can equip them to become front rowers.

There's a lot more to the game than that, including perk selection based on brother stat rolls and builds but that's more of an intermediate to advanced consideration. If you make it past the early game (eg you have survived long enough to field 8-12 men) then more attention should be paid into how you level up your recruits.

Hope this helps! There's so many things to keep track of in Battle Brothers but that's part of the charm; often modern games oversimplify mechanics to the point everything becomes generic.

Thank you! That's a huge help!

Ok here are our nominees. Please choose your top three votes from this list by Thursday midnight PST. We'll then progress to final round and have a new game picked by next Monday before the Steam sale ends.

Battle Brothers
Cliff Empires
Company of Heroes 2
Dungeons 3
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Gem Wizards Tactics
Gladius: Relics of War
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Invisible Inc
Iron Harvest
Lock 'n Load Tactical Digital
Northgard 
Old World
Pavlov's house
Phoenix Point
Slipways
Stars in Shadow
Steel Division 2
Tooth and Tail
War for the Overworld
Wargroove

FYI I'm seeing a lot of excitement for a cross-club game, so we could always do Fell Seal for summer and then pick an additional game for fall.

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Company of Heroes 2
Slipways

That's some list

Fell Seal
Old World
Northgard

Fell Seal club crossover event
Stars in Shadow
Slipways

Fell Seal
Pavlov’s House
Lock’n’Load

Battle Brothers
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Fell Seal
Old World
Invisible Inc

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Phoenix Point
War for the Overworld

Dungeons III
Company of Heroes 2
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Hmm, a lot of good games in this poll. Tough choice!

I'll vote for:

Old World
Stars in Shadow
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Phoenix Point
Old World
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Phoenix Point
Old World
Fell Seal

Ok calling votes for the semifinals. I will tabulate and post a list of finalists at lunch. Fell Seal seems an early favorite but not universal so we’ll have a last round.

On the off chance this hasn't been mentioned, Fell Seal is free through Amazon Prime Gaming right now.

Thanks for your patience all - my new video card arrived yesterday and had my PC down. I recognize it might be a formality, but here are the final top 5 games. Please vote for your top game by Monday at 3 PM PST. I'll then announce the winner before heading off to a family BBQ and we'll have time to get the winner on the Steam Sale.

Fell Seal: 7 votes
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak: 5 votes
Old World: 5 votes
Phoenix Point: 3 votes
Company of Heroes 2: 3 votes

Fell Seal
Old World
Phoenix Point

jdzappa wrote:

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

feeling like some RTS