Ardwulf Plays: The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43

I said I was going to bring board wargaming to this blog, and here I have finally done so!

Kommandant Otto Falkenhayn takes U-440 out for its maiden patrol on the high seas around the British Isles in September 1939, just after the war has begun. After completing its minelaying mission, U-440 encounters a British convoy. Surfacing at night in the very midst of the Allied ships, she launches a salvo of torpedoes and sinks one of the vessels. Diving to avoid the convoy’s escorts, Falkenhayn’s boat endures a barrage of depth charges, not without damage. But he slips away into the dark waters of the North Atlantic, only to follow the convoy and engage it again later.

3In the second engagement, U-440 sinks two more Allied ships, including the massive 42,300-ton <i>Empress of Britain</i>. Again, Falkenhayn eludes the convoy escorts without sustaining further damage to his boat. Back at port, there will be bier and schnitzel to celebrate while the boat is in refit!

Meanwhile, Ardwulf, in his first game of The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 from Consim Press, messes up a bunch of rules, only some of which get removed in post.

The Week in Dragon Age: Origins

This week in my Dragon Age: Origins a great deal was accomplished. We finished the first part of the Soldier’s Peak DLC — far enough to get the party chest, although I think there is more there to do. We also started, and completed, the Nature of the Beast questline to gain the assistance of the Dalish Elves, and started the quest to retake Redcliffe and cure its Arl, whose help we also need. And we completed Morrigan’s personal quest along the way.

More videos are in the pipeline, of course. And you’ll be seeing the Let’s Play of The Wolf Among Us, starting tomorrow.

What’s Playing… and What’s Up Next!

As things have evolved over the last few weeks I’ve been making adjustments to my plans for the blog and the channel. I have been reliably posting a new video every day in my Dragon Age: Origins playthrough; additional series will follow the same posting schedule. Meaning that each series will get a new video each day on the YouTube channel.

But I’m not going to try to do a blog post for every vid. That would be doable for a single series, but I plan to have two or three running at any given time, and that makes it impractical. And, to be honest, the <Dragon Age games in particular are involved enough that to do them justice I feel like I’d basically need to write them up as novels, and that’s not going to happen. So I’m going to do a weekly recap post for each series instead, with videos embedded. The first of these should appear around the weekend.

The Dragon Age game is going splendidly, as long as you don’t mind me watching me bungle my way through its sprawling storyline. There are 26 episodes up already and plenty more on the way. After fiddling with each of its two sequels, however, I’ve decided to hold off on them for now in favor of playing them in order. So Origins will be followed by its expansion Awakening, then by Dragon Age II and finishing up with Inquisition, with decisions imported along the way. In order to get this moving I may speed up the pace of posting, but I don’t think it’s going to take me anything like the reported 80 hours to play through the first game. I have no doubt that one could put that amount of time into a single playthrough, especially with the DLC, but while I’m doing side quests I’m not trying to be exhaustive about it. If anything I may dither longest in the roomier Inquisition.

Early next week you will also see a new series. It was my thought to do a Mass Effect 1-3 megaplay along the same lines, but I figure that a single months-long multi-game replay is all I’d like to be doing at any given time, and at this point I am fully committed to Dragon Age. So I’ve chosen (by request!) a much more digestible title: Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us. This will be the first of their game that I’ve played, so it should be illuminating.

Once the giant Dragon Age project is complete, Mass Effect is back on the table, but my current thinking is that I’m more likely to do something standalone, like Deus Ex: Human Revolution or the first Assassin’s Creed. The Wolf Among Us should only take maybe two weeks to finish; after that you are likely to see something from Paradox: Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV or Hearts of Iron III.

Remember to subscribe to the YouTube channel to keep abreast on all this stuff.

Ardwulf Plays: Dragon Age Origins 15 – Into the Fade

In Episode 15 or our playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, we return to the Fade and encounter more of its challenges and mysteries.

Stay tuned for episode 16!

What’s Next

The Ardwulf clan bought me a shiny new copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition for Christmas, and I’ve spent about an hour playing it so far. Coming directly from Dragon Age: Origins it’s a significant shift; the controls are just different enough to create confusion in the easily confused (i.e. me.) But it has jumping, which I appreciate.

From the various holiday sales I also acquired Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3, so there may be LPs of those coming. I’ve fooled about a bit with DAII so far and like it quite a bit. I would also like to pick up Banner Saga if it comes up for a Daily Deal on Steam before the sale ends; otherwise I don’t have quite enough in my Steam wallet to afford it. I’d also like to grab the latest Crusader Kings II expansion, Way of Life,” which is new enough that it almost certainly will not be discounted.

The Dragon Age: Origins will continue, of course. The candidates for the next Let’s Play that are already in my library are:

  • Crusader Kings II, up through the Charlemagne expansion.
  • Dragon Age; Inquisition, if I can get the fucking video to come out.
  • Europa Universalis IV, with all expansions enabled.
  • Mass Effect Trilogy, a mega-LP of all three games with the same Commander Shepard.
  • If you have an opinion on which of these you would like to see, speak up in the comments!

    Comments Off on What’s Next Posted in Commentary

    Ardwulf Plays: Dragon Age Origins 14 – Cursed Magic

    In Episode 14 of our Dragon Age: Origins Let’s Play, we continue ascending the Circle Tower. On the Circle Tower. Nearing the summit, we encounter our old friend, the Sloth Demon, who sends us back into the Fade.

    Stay tuned for episode 15, due tomorrow!

    Ardwulf Plays: Dragon Age Origins Episode 13 – Climbing the Tower

    Merry Christmas! Today we have Episode 13 of our Dragon Age: Origins Let’s Play, in which we venture onto the third floor of the Circle Tower, continuing to clear the various Darkspawn, Blood Magi and abominations from the place.

    Stay tuned in for Episode 13, up tomorrow!