On the Skids in Eldritch Horror

A painted miniature of a male in a peacoat and cap, standing on a game board designed to resemble an archaic map of the world.
Last week, I carved out time to play the new Eldritch Horror expansion, Signs of Carcosa, with Alex, Rachel and Tom. Tom kindly hosted, meaning we got to enjoy his game table, previously seen here and now fully mounted on wonderfully sturdy legs. We also swapped out the cardboard standees for painted miniatures. Above is the figure I used for Skids O’Toole.

Seeing as he is the star of this new expansion, we played against Hastur. With two mysteries to win and a starting doom of 11, he seemed like he was meant to be a relatively short game, one way or another. The first mystery we solved fairly readily, and were well on our way to completing the second when we fell into that magical zone of the game taking away the one last thing we needed to win, over and over again.

I don’t know how Eldritch Horror manages it, but that game is really, really good at targeting just the right resource to make the players scramble and come up with a new strategy for getting their ducks lined up. In the end, it came down to the wire between solving the second mystery and doom advancing to zero. We shuffled some assets around to satisfy the mystery’s requirements and held our breath all the way through the mythos phase, waiting for that one last thing to snatch victory from our grasp again. Amazingly, the investigators managed to hold back the darkness a little while longer.

Decked! #32: Mars Attacks!

It’s a core set classic this week with Sentinels of the Multiverse‘s one-shot. Haka, Absolute Zero, Bunker, Redeemer Fanatic and the Wraith team up against Omnitron to save Wagner Mars Base from being overrun by drones.

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Paying the Price of Freedom

A screencap showing the pop-up notification for unlocking the Wraith: Price of Freedom. The Wraith, a female superhero dressed in black, takes a defensive stance, holding a knife and club in her hands.

Price of Freedom Wraith was the last of the Freedom Six variants I had to unlock in Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game. I left her until the end because frankly, playing against the Chairman is a pain even when you’re not playing to a particular win condition. So on this occasion, Ray and I played together over Steam

It took two games to make the unlock happen. The first crashed and burned because Prison Break unleashed a torrent of underbosses and thugs. By the time they were done, the Fence had restored Chairman and Operative both to their starting HP, thanks to all the constructs getting wiped out.

The second game, we subbed the Visionary is for the Scholar, in order to get some more control over the Chairman’s deck and trash. The final line-up was Wraith, Tachyon, Haka, Captain Cosmic and the Visionary. Playing Brain Burn on the first turn removed a lot of the Chairman’s bite, as suddenly there were no thugs to pull from the trash and we could focus on underbosses. Savage Mana appeared almost immediately, and we stashed all the underbosses underneath it until we got the Operative out of the way. And Captain Cosmic granting out of turn power uses is always helpful. In fact, Wraith dealt the final blow to the Chairman on the Visionary’s turn, after she dinged a Dynamic Siphon with a Mind Spike.

At this point, it won’t surprise anyone that I took the opportunity to experiment more with OBS. This time was more a stress test, seeing how well it could record the gameplay and stream to YouTube at the same time. While it worked pretty well — OBS’ CPU usage hovered around 15% and the bandwidth stayed on target — there was one major hiccup: there was a network traffic issue that caused YouTube to report it wasn’t getting any data at all for a couple minutes. I wasn’t able to monitor what that would look like to live viewers, but apparently the data kept flowing, as YouTube’s recording plays back without interruption, after it had some time to process. I would like to see what that kind of interruption looks like to viewers. Does the player pick the stream back up as soon as it can, or do they need to press play again?

The local recording looks good throughout, though, so that’s a plus. The one thing to keep in mind is that when OBS is set to use the stream encoder settings for a recording, that also means video resolution, which is scaled from 1920×1080 to 1280×720 for YouTube. D’oh.

I also want to tinker with the audio settings. There are instances of peaking and crackling in the recording. I’m curious whether that’s to do with levels — which never hit the red in OBS, from what I saw[1] — or sampling, because OBS defaults to sampling everything at 44.1 kHz.

[1]Harkening back to

Decked! #31: The Gong Show

We’re serving up an extra helping of cheese with Decked! this week. The recent weekly one-shot of Sentinels of the Multiverse pits the heroes against Wager Master this week, a villain with a deck full of rule-bending effects and alternate victory and defeat conditions. When word got around there is the possibility of a one turn win for the heroes, a possibility that some people said they stumbled onto inadvertently, I decided to see if I could find it myself.

Mea culpa: while playing the game, I got pretty turned around trying to describe and then play appropriately to take advantage of Wager Master’s Losing to the Odds, namely the timing of when that victory condition is checked among all the other things happening on Wager Master’s turn. I also made a poor tactical decision during one of the hero turns that could potentially have ruined everything. See if you can spot it!

This episode was another opportunity to refine my recording techniques with OBS, namely mixing vocal audio with the background music and sound effects from the game. I’d still prefer to be able to keep audio tracks separate until the post-production stage, but I’m not quite there yet in figuring out how to make the best use of the resources I have available.

Also of concern to me that OBS doesn’t have an option to monitor recording levels, beyond a simple visual meter. I prefer to monitor audio live with a pair of headphones, which in this case means listening to the outboard mixer’s output, which OBS captures via USB. Best practice is to monitor the last link in the recording chain, but in this case, that last link is OBS and the software doesn’t currently have a way to allow the user to hear the audio being recorded or sent out to a stream.