Tagged: card games

Dice & Slice, Season One

I want to draw your attention to a slightly different games related Kickstarter, with some very curious backer rewards. I have several reasons for doing so but possibly the best of which being that I really like the idea and just wish that I a) had thought of it myself and b) had the time and the talent to follow through on it.  So… Feast, (literally), your eyes on G*M*S Magazine’s “Dice & Slice” Season One.

The basic idea is that the good folks at G*M*S Magazine – there’s a link in the sidebar – want to do a new kind of  webshow about gamers, gaming and of course food. The basic premise is that each of the 15 episodes will look at a game (board game/RPG etc) but will also throw in a recipe or two for the players to munch on while they get to it.  Maybe its partly because I’m advancing in years, but this really appeals to me – I love cooking, I love eating with friends and I really love playing games…  Dammit, they are onto a winning formula.  Here before we say anything else – checkout a muffin recipe.

Now at the top of the page I said that the Kickstarter offered some curious backer rewards, and it does.  Ultimately the show will be about the gamers; the pledge levels and rewards reflect that and give backers a big say in how the show will be run. As backers you can help decide what games are played and possibly more importantly what recipes are cooked.


There are also opportunities to participate in playing the games with with the guys from G*M*S Magazine, or to join them to record an unboxing video.  If you are a game designer/publisher then you could even back at a level to get your game featured in one of the shows.  As far as Kickstarters go this is something different, its by someone who is clearly passionate about the games industry and G*M*S Magazine is a great site that will only be further enhanced by the addition of Dice & Slice.  I for one can’t wait to see the web shows when they launch.  The guys have already reached their minimum funding target (and first stretch goal), so this is something that is really going to happen.  Throw them a few gold coins and help them hit their stretch goals, and help shape the shows – take a look at the Kickstarter and if nothing else try the muffin recipe (I’d suggest for my gaming group the addition of some very thinly sliced red and green chilis, candied in sugar sprinkled on the top of each muffin – but then we are a pretty hardcore bunch).

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.

Cthulhu 500 – Mythos Motorsport Madness!

Cthulhu 500 boasts that it will put you in the driver’s seat for a frenzied race that mixes the madness of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and the insanity of motor sports. Well having played it more than a few times now I feel up to giving it a bit of a review.

I guess the best place to start would be by trying to describe the games premise, well, it’s a motor race with a Cthulian plot twist. it is probably best described as Call of Cthulhu meets wacky races. The game is a relatively simple card game for 3 to 8 players of ages 8 and up. Game play takes 30 to 60 minutes, although once everyone is in the swing of things this can come down to around 25-50 minutes.

The Game

The set comes with 110 cards well printed on a medium-weight, glossy(ish) card stock with rounded corners. The artwork is exceptional, all computer generated artwork by Scott Reeves who captures both the Cthulian and Motorsport themes in a humorous way. In addition there is a simple rules sheet folded and printed in black and white. Most people will find it easy enough to follow through, although the sheet doesn?t make it easy for anyone to look things up during play. This said the only ‘complex’ rule you will have to worry about is to do with “Taking Additional Damage” which will probably have you referring back to the sheet repeatedly for the first dozen or so games it is a pity they didn’t print it on a couple of cards, or splash out on a slightly larger rulebook with proper pages.

The Cards

There are sixteen car cards, that is two for each vehicle in the game, one to act as a “pack marker”, which is used to show how a car is doing, and the other is a “schematic” which the driver keeps in front of him and includes a couple of extra statistics needed in play. There are eighty four cards that then make up the main deck for play, including actions, reactions, modifications, tyres and crew. All of the cards are clearly labelled and colour coded and there are plenty of Cthulian puns throughout, starting with the ‘Car of Cthulhu’ through the ‘Yellow Signpost’ and the ‘Fungi from Daytona’ to many, many others which will raise a smile or chuckle.

Gameplay

The objective of the ‘race’ is simple, be the car at the head of the pack when the chequered flag is played. Play is fairly simple turn based with each player able to take two actions during his turn (you can add Pit Crew, make a Pit Stop, make a Passing Attempt, or play an Action card). Most cards are self explanatory and you keep up to five in your hand drawing to refresh as necessary. After you’ve been through the deck once, you put a special chequered flag card into the deck when you reshuffle. Then, when the chequered flag is drawn, the race immediately ends.

Overall

Cthulhu 500 is a novel and well designed card game. It needs a good number of players, (we found five to be about the smallest number that maintained a good game). In terms of its design, as mentioned earlier, the artwork is great and the overall theme of the game is well presented and maintained.

The game, like most card games, is a great one to ‘pop in your pocket’, easy to take to friends and will make for a good beer and pretzels game session – we all got far to enthusiastic and there are already plans in place for a ten race championship session (see the download at the end of this article). There is scope for players to really bring tactics to play, its not all about the like of the cards or the roll of a dice you have to think carefully about when to do your pit stops, when to repair your car, when to try and pass and so on.

Conclusion

If you’re an H.P. Lovecraft or Call of Cthulhu fan, this card game of Cthulian Car racing mayhem is well worth the money. It is well designed, easy to play, good fun and has real novelty value as well.

THE (UNOFFICIAL) CTHULHU 500 CHAMPIONSHIP RULES.