Category: Board and Card Games

Thunderbirds Are Go!

With only five days left to run I thought I really should do a small plug for the Thunderbirds Boardgame Kickstarter being run by Modiphius Entertainment.  This is an Officially Licensed Thunderbirds Co-operative family friendly boardgame of International Rescue designed by Matt Leacock, the “Brains” behind hit games such as Pandemic, Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island.

The game was an immediate hit upon launching on Kickstarter, blatantly hitting the spot with fans of the show the world over. I was fortunate enough to have a little inside knowledge (more on that later) and had been keenly awaiting the launch of the Kickstarter, even so I was relatively slow off the mark and there were already 112 backers when I entered my pledge, but such was the immediate popularity, that I was the 140th backer by time I clicked done.  The project was funded in under two hours and tore through the first two stretch goals by tea-time on day one.

I mentioned above that I had a little inside knowledge, that came from being invited to join the team from G*M*S Magazine when they filmed a playtest for an episode of their Dice & Slice series – you should check it out here (as well as the boardgame there are great recipes and look out for the Millenium falcon brownie!).

The game I played was obviously still in development, but I was struck by a couple of things.  Firstly, it is genuinely loyal to the TV series, artwork, cards, events, themes, plots all very evocative of the episodes and if you are a fan there are lots of things that will make you remember your favourite bits.  Secondly it is truly cooperative, (no surprise given Matt Leacock’s Pandemic pedigree), but I could see myself playing it with friends and family and indeed across a range of ages.  Make no mistake this will be a cracking family game.  The cooperative element of the game is also incredibly fitting of the subject, the Tracy family working together to carry out complex rescues, save lives and thwart the evil machinations of “The Hood”.  Finally I was lucky enough to see some of the original (early) model sculpts and the detail was brilliant.

There is loads of info on the Kickstarter, page and there are a few days to get your pledge in.  On a practical note the basic pledge for the core boardgame will  cost you £40 plus shipping and it contains some great artwork and models of the fantastic Thunderbirds, for another £25 you can have the expansions that have been unlocked adding many more models, playable characters and an upgrade to allow you to add an extra player to “Play The Hood” adding another level and introducing a competitive, adversarial element.

In a last twist, and one that I am very excited about, there is a £20 add on which adds the rules and components to turn the boardgame into a full roleplaying experience.

It all looks and sounds F.A.B to me.

Regards,

Derek.

G*M*S Magazine

I don’t often mention other peoples websites, blogs etc and to be fair I’m not sure why.  Todays interactive communities are a big part of the board game and RPG scene.  Hardly anyone I know today will buy a game without first checking it out online for reviews, unboxings, and to get good look at what people are actually saying about it before parting with their hard earned cash.  For quite a while now there has been a link over there on the right of my pages to one such site, one where I know I will get a good honest and unbiased view – G*M*S Magazine.

I’m also a big fan of G*M*S Magazine as a result of their Kickstarter for their webshow Dice & Slice.  A show which combines my favorite things, games and food.  Dice & Slice may actually help get us off of the Doritos and Haribo, (other crispy and gooey snacks are available), and get us preparing some slightly more wholesome food to have with our games.  I did a plug for Dice & Slice when the Kickstarter was up and running (you can find it here – watch the video, its good!)  and as a result of backing that Kickstarter I got the chance to go and meet up with Paco and Martin from G*M*S Magazine and to film a game unboxing or two.  It was great fun, I learnt a lot about what it takes to make a professional looking video (and what the clapboard is really for) and I got to run my hands over a number of really good games.

The first of those games was “Odins Table” from Mindwarrior Games – “Odin’s Table” is a strategic board game where two players, (assisted by the ancient Viking gods), try to move their game pieces to the enemies fortress in order to win in a quite strategic game of tactics and bluff.  Take a look at the unboxing video and see what you think – I quite like it!

 

 

If you enjoyed the video then make sure to visit G*M*S Magazine and subscribe to their updates – you’ll get some great impartial views on games and be sure to look out for Dice & Slice, I’ve tasted one of the upcoming recipes and I’m looking forward to making it myself.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.

I need a smarter set of card sleeves…

We’re sure that you’ve noticed that at miskatonic.co.uk, we’ve been keeping a keen eye on the up-and-coming gaming entrepreneurs that have been spawned by sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

The latest such gem to capture our imagination comes from a young entrepreneurial gamer called George Youens who has come up with a really great twist on the simple concept of card protectors or “sleeves”.  You can find his kickstarter here, but below is a bit more detail in his own words…

Card sleeves

Protect your cards, and look good while you do it! Tough, durable card sleeves with the art of your choice on the back!

Currently there is no way to buy custom sleeves in small quantities – companies in China can do vast shipments for shops, but this is out of reach for the average consumer. This I would like to remedy. My sleeves are designed to be more durable than regular card sleeves, and more eye-catching. The best way to make a product appeal to an individual is to let that individual be a part of the creation process – in this case, they get to choose what art goes on the back of the card sleeve and the cardboard case the sleeves come in. 

The sleeves will come in sensible unit sizes. With packs of 80, people have enough for a standard deck with sideboard, and have 5 spares in case any are lost or damaged. In comparison, Ultra Pro sells their Magic card sleeves in packs of 50 – one packet is not enough for a deck, and two packets is too many. For a run-of-the-mill product (card sleeve or not) you could make more profit by forcing people to buy too many; however, I believe that for a quality product, the best ethos you can have is to please the customer in as many ways as possible.

Currently, prototype sleeves have been made. If the Kickstarter is successful, I will have raised the money to produce these sleeves in far larger quantities and at a higher quality. My last batch of prototypes meet my strength and rigidity standards, and I am perfectly happy storing expensive cards inside them. The one flaw is the hand-finished edges. If the funding is successful, then the edges will be sealed by machine, not hand, ensuring a much neater finish.

Future plans

Should the funding be successful, I will be looking at turning this project into a business. As previously stated, I wish to appeal to individual customers as well as businesses – and with a run of just 40 sleeves being feasible, I believe I will be able to. Just as people recognise popular Magic teams – Channel Fireball, Star City Games – by the shirts worn at Magic events, I want people to be able to spot my sleeves easily when they play the game.

Should I move on to make this into a business, I will develop a system that will let people submit their artwork when buying online. Also, I will look into developing a “standard” range of sleeves – the same high quality product, but with artwork that I own the rights to – so people can spend a little less to get quality, attractive sleeves.

Should the Kickstarter be a success, I am also planning on making a range of chainmail and leather dice pouches, as well as looking into creating other gaming accessories, such as life counters. I already have experience with making items from chainmail and leather.

George Youens is a 21 year-old student at Oxford Brookes University. He has always enjoyed making things (from jewellery to suits of armour) and is trying to turn that passion into a business. He professes to be a gaming enthusiast – from table-top RPGs, to card gaming, to participating in LARP scenarios – but we have it on good authority that he also quite likes cooking.

When it comes to games we like supporting new and innovative ideas, we wish George all the best of luck with his campaign and his future adventures in the gaming industry.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek and all the little cultists here at miskatonic.co.uk.

Teachg Your Kids To Game – Day 7

Well its the end of the week and at miskatonic.co.uk we have really enjoyed sifting through games for kids and looking at the challenges of taking roleplay gaming to the next generation.  We are going to finish up by looking at two products that are not just roleplay games, the first Fuzzy Heroes is really a tabletop miniatures game (with RPG elements) and the second, Dread House is more a board game.

Fuzzy HeroesFuzzy Heroes from Inner City Game Designs is; “a family fun game of combat and adventure for toys and stuffed animals.  It teaches basic miniatures, role playing, and tactics as well as providing wacky fun for even the most veteran gaming enthusiast.  Death and gore free, but with plenty of action, Fuzzy Heroes is a great gateway game for introducing new players to the hobby, while still providing enough depth, thrills, and laughs to provide even the veteran miniatures or role-playing game player with new worlds to conquer”.

Set in the land of Frolichaven where stuffed toys come from and ruled over by Good King Swineheart, keeping it safe for all. But, the Renegade Eye King has other plans and wants to conquer Frolichaven and rule over all toys. So it is up to you, a Fuzzy Hero, to keep Frolichaven safe from the Renegades under the rule of The Eye King.

Players each command one or more fuzzy animals. Each toy’s statistics are derived from its measurements, predominant color, and visible equipment. The basic rules allow toys to move and fight, but the advanced rules add leadership, fortifications, special abilities, new weapons, and fatigue. Honestly if you have, as most of us seem to, a house full of plush toys you  would be mad to pass this up, from  my shelves I took Dilbert, Dangermouse, Pooky Bear and Cthulhu and frankly they are unstoppable characters and bags of fun.

Now published in a second edition and with a bunch of available supplements kids from 7 up are going to love this, its relatively simple, visual and engaging and it is one of my favourite finds in this week of looking at games for kids.  The PDF is available from DriveThruRPG, normally priced at $19.95, but currently just $10 as a part of the kids promotion. – Worth every cent/penny/euro….

The second title, Dread House from Dig a 1000 Holes Publishing is a horror game for “spooky children and brave adults”. It is a role-playing board game in which you play kids who haveDread House dared each other to spend the night in Dread House.  You know, Dread House, the one that sits high upon a lonely hill, at the end of a dark and gloomy street a looming mansion that has been abandoned for years and from which, late at night, things can be heard stirring…

As the players explore the house, they draw cards and describe to each other spooky things they see and useful things they discover. Each players character has special abilities that can help them explore and help each other stand up to the Monsters that lurk in the house. The characters will be scared by many things they encounter in the house and when that happens the players pull blocks from a Tower (Jenga Set – not supplied)  to see if their character stays in the Dread House or if he/she runs home to Mummy.  If the Tower falls when someone pulls, then that person gets to play a Monster in the house which is  a nice touch and keeps everyone involved. If half the kids get scared away, then the Monsters win and the teens have to try another time to prove their bravery. But if the card for the Sunrise is found while enough kids are still in the house, they have made it through the night!

The PDF version of Dread House, available from DriveThruRPG comes with: The Rule Book, Six Character Sheets, Six Monster Sheets, Six Monster Cards, A deck of 22 Spooky Events, A deck of 22 Useful Items and a map of Dread House (printable in three parts).  It is all nicely formatted and ready to print, easily assembled and very importantly, you’ll have to supply your own Jenga set to be able to play!

This is a lovely game, I may even try to get my hands on a proper physical copy rather than the PDF, it is very playable – not just by kids and we can’t recommend it enough.

Hev fun with your kids,

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.

Teach Your Kids To Game – Day 6

Ok so this ones a bit poor – I’ve suddenly realised that I forgot to put up todays post…  I know I’m a bad man.  Given that this is ostensibly a Lovecraftian, Cthulhu inspired RPG site I’m going to share one of the few Fearless Imagination products suitable for people of any age (not that they will necessarily understand it unless you’ve been reading the Dunwich Horror to them since the age of three).   Find attached our very popular and still free – Cthulhian charades and taboo cards. Ideal for playing with a group of friends, I recommend a group of five or six, and also a few beers maybe to get the thinking muscles nicely relaxed.

The attached PDF file contains 100 clue cards, instruction booklet for both Cthulhian charades and taboo as well as a single page of card backs with a nice tentacle design and of course our web address!

Enjoy!

CTHULHUIAN CHARADES AND TABOO

 

FREE DOWNLOAD

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.