Cross Words

Cross Words

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Cross Words

“Truly, there is no sentence yet uttered that could not be made greater with the inclusion of a pun.”

– Woodrow ‘Wordplay’ Wilson, 28th President of the United States.

This week we are celebrating comic number 150. That’s over three years of weekly comics, and a very big deal for us. If you’re reading this, we want to thank you. You are why we do this. If you want to help us celebrate, there is no better way than to leave us a comment, and join the conversation. Tell us what you’re playing, what you think of the comic. Give us a Catan pun. If you are feeling particularly generous, tell your game-playing friends all about us! Like, share, tweet, etc. That’s always a big help, and makes a difference.


This week, after a long sabbatical, I have returned to playing my beloved X-Wing Miniatures Game. I got to play a few games during the week, and my love for the game has not diminished in the slightest. Its mix of fast-paced flying and serious tactical thinking made it my most played game of last year, and I think that might be the case again this year. I have played a lot of great games so far this year, but it would take something really special to knock X-Wing off the top spot for me.


Thanks again for sticking with us for 150 comics, and if you have just joined us recently, welcome to our own little corner of the board game internet. We hope you feel welcome, and we would love it if you said hello. We are all about making board games the most fun they can be. We truly believe board games are for everyone, and should never be taken too seriously. It’s a game, after all. If you’re not having fun with it then you are probably doing something wrong.

38 Comments on Cross Words
  • Paul Gillibrand

    Congratulations on 150! I must admit that I love a pun as well. In fact, a friend of mine posted a picture on her Facebook yesterday showing that she was having a pond in her garden removed. I replied with “I guess this you could say this is a ‘pond farewell’?”. An hour later, and with the help of 2 other friends, we had a thread of 30 awful puns below this.

    As for games… I’m playing a lot of Netrunner at the moment and still absolutely love it! So much variety, so much strategy. I also got to play Inis for the first time this week and really enjoyed that too – just the right level of simplicity but deep thinking and a great length too.

    • A whole pun thread! Nothing better. Netrunner is a game we never really got into properly. But we did play it a handful of times, and I found it fascinating. Incredible depth, it’s a game I could see myself really getting lost in.
      Inis I have also played, and that (along with Quadropolis) is on of my favourite recent-ish releases. Like you said, it strikes a great balance, and hardly feels like a traditional area control game at all.

  • Snarkastic Android

    Catan puns are Oreful…

    Loving the comic, it feels punchier down at 4 panels too. Have been playing a bit of Star Realms lately, and might be trying Game of Thrones at the end of month. Apparently I’ll be looking for a new game group in June…

    • Aw, thanks. And thanks for the pun as well. Glad to see you join the fun. We both love Star Realms here, too. It’s been our most-played two player game for a long time, and it would take something pretty spectacular to top it.

      • Snarkastic Android

        I played SellSwords by Level 99 on Friday, I think I prefer that as it has a bit less luck involved, though it doesn’t have the engine building aspect. Given the quality of that, BattleCon, Exceed (dodgy artwork aside) and Resistor, I’m really looking forward to the Level 99 Duelist library on Kickstarter

        • That’s a whole lot of games I have never even heard of! Time to do some digging on BGG!

          • Snarkastic Android

            Semi-Co-op have played BattleCon

            It’s a very clever design, though maybe a bit of a brain burner for some people as it uses a rock-paper-scissors(ish) mechanism. If you think your opponent has predicted your likely move, you might try to play the move that would counter their counter instead, but if they know you might try that they might go with the counter for that counter… The variety of characters is impressive (some are easier to use than others) and there is no randomness. I think it’ll remain a niche title, but I’m looking forward to the app version

  • Congratulations on 150 comics! I wouldn’t Trade this comic for anything.

    Recently I have been teaching or editing more games than playing. Over the past few weeks I have hosted a community game night, taught a game to an after school program, finished the semester teaching my first Writing & Editing for Gaming course, and been busy with lots of freelance editing an proofreading for various RPG and tabletop publishers. When I have played recently, Adrenaline has been the go to game. Great Euro style game with a heavy theme of a first person shooter so I can attract Euro and Ameritrash gamers, along with my video game friends who don’t normally like tabletop games.

    • Aw, what a lovely Catan word play. Thank you.
      Sounds like you have a fascinating career! I do freelance comic book editing part time. I love editing work, as story structure and composition fascinates me.
      Never played Adrenaline, but that’s a good recommendation, so I’ll keep an eye out.

  • Jonathan

    Congrats! I always look forward to Friday mornings to see what gaming shenanigans you are up to and whether anyone has been killed recently.

    The game that we’re playing most often these days is Takenoko so it was fun to see it featured recently. The game has grown on me considerably.

    Here’s to 150 more!

    • Thank you! And that reminds me, no-one has been killed in a while. Can’t have that, now can we?

      • Jonathan

        Wood you do that? I feel Wool-ish for asking, of cOres, but Wh-at better way to use this medium which is far more flexible, than say… Brick?

        See what you made me do? Terrible, just terrible.

        • All five resources in one terrible, terrible, sentence! Congratulations! You win comment of the week! (which I just made up)

  • Colleen MacNaughton

    Hooray for 150! Always look forward to your strips. Any thought towards some TWP merch – e.g. book, calendar, tshirt? We’ve been playing lots of Clank (including Underwater), as well as Scythe & just tried First Class. (I highly recommend doing drowning impressions if your friends are trapped in an underwater cavern…)

    • Clank I’m really interested to play. I’ve heard loads about it, and I really love deckbuilders, so I will probably enjoy it?
      We haven’t thought about TWP merchandise in a while, actually. Not sure we have the audience size to warrant it, but maybe we should give it a shot?

      • Colleen MacNaughton

        Clank is a nice little deck builder – the board provides nice context for why the cards matter – and a dash of humour 😉

  • Emily

    150 already! Awesome work guys, keep bringing me my fun Friday readings.

    • Thanks Emily, and thank you for all the comments! Really makes a difference to us!

  • wr00t

    Congrats! Last game i have played was real time cooperative no talking game Magic Maze. Really fun and hard not to talk and point fingers 😀

    • Oh! They were talking about that on The Dice Tower a couple of weeks back, and I absolutely loved the sound of it! The theme and mechanics really stood out. Jealous you got to play it, but happy you liked it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one for sure.

    • Update: Magic Maze was just nominated for the Spiel Des Jahres, now we REALLY have to get our hands on it.

      • wr00t

        Yeah, saw this today 🙂 Nice. But now i really want to get my hands on another nominee – Kingdomino 😀

        • Just discovered that a friend had pre-ordered Magic Maze, and should have it in a few days, I’m get to play it!

          • wr00t

            Now you can also be a cool kid 😉

  • Peter Schott

    My family has a long tradition of puns, though as the evening goes on the “puns” start to be more and more of a stretch. They’re usually too tickled with themselves by that time that they just lose it over almost anything. 🙂 Gotta love a good (bad) pun, though. I very much appreciate this week’s comic and hope I never get quite to that point of getting tossed out of a gaming group for punfighting.

    • I hope that never (actually) happens to me as well. Although I have to admit that there is a part of me that wonders how much it would take, and how far I could push it with the puns 🙂

  • Sarah Reed

    Congrats on #150!! And thanks so much for the weekly laughs! Very much enjoy what you’ve done and looking forward to years more!
    I’ve been playing Race for the Galaxy nonstop on my iPad. I first learned how to play the game on Board Game Arena, but didn’t fully get the game. The information wasn’t presented all that well. And sadly, due to all the iconography, it’s not a game I’d ever be able to play with Will so we’ve never played the physical version. But when the app came out a few weeks ago, I jumped on it and the game makes so much sense now! I’m actually playing well. The key – you can click on anything and it pops up with the full text explanation. It’s essentially what the physical game needed, full sentences. If you haven’t had a chance to play RftG, I highly recommend the app! It’s $7, I think, but totally worth it! I think the interface is even better than Lanterns, Star Realms or Ascension, which are my other favorite board game apps.
    But actually on the table, we’ve been playtesting Oaxaca a lot! It’s getting fine tuned and it’s so sleek now. Will and I had a really competitive game the other day, getting the highest scores we’d seen up to that point. You know when the designers are starting to play for fun while playtesting, the game is right where it needs to be. 😉

    • I’ve actually heard a few people say similar things about RftG! One of those rare apps that seems to supersede the game itself. It’s a game I’ve always wanted to play, so maybe I will just go straight for the app.
      The Oaxaca KS must be pretty soon now? I saw the pics you put up, and those custom dice look gorgeous!
      Oh, and I actually spent some time yesterday printing, cutting & gluing so now we will get to play Reaching Angel’s Nest. Reading over the rules it seems like a really interesting system. I don’t think I’ve played a game like it before!

      • Sarah Reed

        Well, basically for RftG, learning the icons is like learning a new language – that’s tough! Playing it on BGA was a bit better as there were some tooltips that would pop up to give further information, but the app just takes it to the next level. So yes, if you have any interest in the game, get the app. At least this way, if you don’t end up liking it, you didn’t waste too much money. Or borrow someone’s device that has it installed. 😉
        Thank you! We are hoping to launch Oaxaca mid June. As soon as we have it confirmed, I will be telling the world!
        Oh I am so excited to hear your feedback on Reaching Angel’s Nest! It is still very raw, so please break the game as much as you can and let us know all the things wrong with it. Having said that, I do feel confident that it has a good base and just needs sculpting into shape. I know our rules are not so good, so please send me a message if you have any questions on the rules. Twitter is probably the fastest way to get a hold of me. The puzzle aspect is probably closest to Patchwork, except you don’t continually move your pieces around in that one. So yeah, I can’t think of any game that has a puzzle board like that. Oh wait, Fantasy Frontier had a map puzzle aspect but that was changing the landscape to match a secret card.

        • Patchwork did come to mind, but it seems so very different from that. Hard to say until we actually play it though! Hopefully this week. After getting a glimpse of what it might be like from the rules, I can honestly say I’m very excited to play it!

          • Sarah Reed

            Yes, it’s only vaguely similar in the puzzle aspect of laying pieces down, but I have yet to see a game that continues having you move pieces. I am very excited to hear what you think of it!

  • Dexter Ó Thuithear

    We need to get you a game of Armada. As much as I love X-wing (and it’s reasonably clear that I do at this stage), Armada takes all of the tactics of X-wing and ramps right the way up. It’s a slower pace in some ways, but you really don’t see that extra time pass because there’s so much more to control, but in a good way. You get really immersed, really quickly. Plus, Star Destroyers. Who doesn’t like Star Destroyers?
    It’s starting to pick up a community here lately, too. Since I branched into it, I’ve converted a few of the X-wingers over that were looking for something meatier in the same theme. I’m not sure it’d knock X-wing off the top spot for you, but I reckon it’d give a good run at top 3 for you.

    • You’re right, it is about time I gave Armada a shot. I pretty much know that I am going to like it. Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of, another miniatures game to spend money on …
      But I will try it next time I have the chance, I promise. If I can make it to Limerick anytime I’ll let you know, I don’t think anyone is playing it locally here yet.

      • Dexter Ó Thuithear

        Oh I know that feel. It’s part of the reason I resisted it for so long. If it makes you feel any better, it seems a lot more expensive than it is. The core, and each expansion, are pretty pricey compared to X-wing, but you need far fewer of everything to play, and the meta is actually very open. It’s a game that isn’t necessarily won and lost in the list building, as long as you learn how to create an advantage somehow.
        For me, it’s a casual game to go alongside X-wing, but it’s often a refreshing change. X-wing meta players can become very stale competition…

  • “I need 4 wood”
    “Yes, we need to go four-ward” in this game”.
    “I got 2 wood”.
    “What is this – golf?”

    • I am 100% stealing that golf one for the next time I play Catan. Thank you, sir!

  • Jacob

    Long time reader, first time poster. (I read TWP in batches every couple/few weeks, so I’m a little late to the 150 party.) Thanks for all the comics, and keep up the great work!

    I’ve been playing quite a bit of both Cry Havoc and Guilds of London lately.