Flight of Dracula

Writer_smallerCount and Games

A stake is the only way to kill a Gary, as conventional means have no lasting effect on him. Well, I say conventional, but the reality is that he has had some pretty unconventional deaths in his time.

Poor guy, he should really stop beating me at X-Wing.

We don’t actually own ‘Fury of Dracula’, but it’s pretty high on our want list. And now that Fantasy Flight Games will no longer be working with Games Workshop, it is a game that could become very difficult to get in the near future, as the game is a product of this licensing agreement. We have heard nothing but great things since the new edition came out, and in typical FF fashion, it looks gorgeous. Perhaps Christmas will be kind. By which I mean perhaps we will be kind to ourselves over Christmas, as we are grown-ups who Santa has long since abandoned.

The %$£*.

As I’ve mentioned before, some friends of ours are planning a pop-up board game cafe in December, as a proof of concept for an actual board game cafe. The success of the pop-up will help determine the viability of a cafe further down the line. Obviously, we’re more than a little excited about this, and we’re doing as much as we can to help out.

Right now, I’m working on a list of board games for inclusion in the cafe, and I am trying to make a list of games that would be considered ‘essential’ for a board game cafe. If you wanted to help, you can do so by leaving a comment listing 3-5 games (or more, if you’re inclined) that you would consider ‘essential’ for a board game cafe. Whether they are personal preference, games with wide appeal – whatever criteria you wish to apply.

All suggestions gratefully received!

26 Comments on Flight of Dracula

The great game

Writer_smallerWelcome return

And we’re back!

Firstly, I want to extend a really heartfelt thanks to the brilliant creators that kept Tiny Wooden Pieces going while we were away. Dave, Hayley & Joe did an exceptional job. Without such talented friends to fill in for us, we would really be stuck. I think the work they are doing is getting better each time, to the point where I’m really excited to see the ideas and comics come in from them.

While we were in Boston we got to spend an evening in Knight Moves Board Game Cafe in Brookline. We had extended an open invite for anyone to come along and say hi, and we met some really great people. So I want to thank Kevin, Ivy, Rose and Jennifer for coming out and playing some games with us. We had a blast, and you were all really great fun to game with. Which is probably the best thing we can possibly say about a person.  And one final thanks goes to Devon, the owner of Knight Moves. He’s running a fantastic establishment, and we hope to have the opportunity to visit again some time.

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Near/far away

Writer_smallerStereotypes

I do tend to overthink things in both life, and games. While it sometimes serves me well in games, it rarely does in life. As for thinking too much about Shia LaBeouf, I make no apologies.

This comic comes from a long conversation I had with a good friend about gender differences. The crux of the conversation was that, after so many years of dealing with men, they can still surprise and frustrate by, well, by acting like men. I could but apologise for my gender, while at the same time wonder if I could use the conversation for a comic. Which probably warrants another apology.

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Playing the long game

Writer_smallerIt was the policeman all along…

I am figuratively dying of a headcold right now, so this will be brief, and minus my usual sparkle. You all love my usual sparkle, right? … right guys … ?

Mysterium is amazing. If you’ve never heard of it/played it, the theme is cluedo, but the central mechanic is Dixit. One player is a ghost, sending surreal, abstract ‘visions’ to the other players to point them toward clues as to who was behind a decades old crime. The ghost is limited to visions, and can’t talk or otherwise communicate to the other players, or ‘psychics’ in game terms. There is a little more to it than that, but that’s the core idea. Haunted mansion. Solve the murder, free the ghost. We’ve all been there.

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Locked room mystery?

Writer_smallerLocked Room Mystery

It’s my birthday and we’re doing a Locked Room Game Mystery thing this week. Woohoo! Also there will be more board games, and time off work, so time to play them. It’s like a mini-Christmas! So many exclamation points! I’m pretty sure the Epic Card game Kickstarter landed as well, and Aileen has been hiding it as an additional ‘birthday present’. I hope?

Speaking of Kickstarters, as I did last week as well, I saw the superlative mobile app/game Space Team (download now if you have never played it, it’s hilarious) is soon to be a card game, via Kickstarter. Not entirely sure how well the game will play as a physical item, but willing to hold judgement until I try it. All it needs to do to be a good implementation is to be funny, chaotic and make people shout at other people under the guise of “cooperating”.

However, one of the pledge levels for the game is a ‘NSFW’ deck. This I’m perfectly willing to pass judgement on. This adult humour gimmick is the worst legacy of ‘Cards Against Humanity’, and amounts to nothing more than an unfortunate trend that adds nothing of substance to games or game play. Hopefully it’s a trend that won’t last long. Cards Against Humanity is not as funny as Apples to Apples. Apples to Apples works because the humour comes from the players, not the cards. That’s what a game should aim for.

Rant over; see you next week!

If we make it out.

9 Comments on Locked room mystery?

Wasted youth

Writer_smallerMaths and alchemy

I love Alchemists. It’s clever, packed with theme and beautiful artwork, it plays really well and provides a real challenge. But I really struggle with that kind of maths. And by ‘that kind’ I mean any kind. Not what my brain was built for, and no amount of schoolin’ was ever going to fix that.

It wasn’t until many years after I left school that I came to realise just how unsuited the Irish formal education system was to me. Learning that the difficulties I had were more a matter of suitability than relative intelligence was a liberating revelation, but not one that should have come afterwards. Repetition and learning by rote really doesn’t work for me as a method of education, and that’s all that was on offer. All that remains on offer, actually, to people growing up.

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The case of the missing detective

Writer_smallerConsulting Detective

It’s fairly difficult to talk about Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective at any great length and avoid spoilers. (I will be avoiding them, before you throw yourself on your screen in a valiant effort to protect anyone else in the room from spoilers. It’s safe to read on.) The game trades in mysteries, and to unravel any of them would be to do a great disservice to anyone why has yet to play the game. For that reason, all the situations and characters to which the following post alludes to are fictional. Obviously, so are all the cases and characters in Sherlock Holmes, so I guess these are fictional-fictional characters to protect the identities of fictional characters.

Still with me? Good, let’s begin: It’s all about the motive. That’s what I think elevates Consulting Detective from a good to a great game, and it’s why I love the game so much; why I find it to be so immersive, exciting, and memorable.

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Love occupies all

Writer_smallerLove Letter

Love Letter! It’s been a while. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we played Love Letter, as well. But like an ex who finds a better looking, more successful partner the day after the break up, Love Letter has been getting on just fine without us. In fact, the little game that could now has six different editions (two of which are forthcoming). Including a Munchkin edition. In fact, it was probably from Munchkin that Love Letter picked up the idea of perennially re-theming for added shelf life – Munchkin now listing 16 different core sets on its website.

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Love Letter

Writer_smallerLove Letter

Some counters – they are just there to keep track of score. 4 reference cards – convenient, but far from essential. After that you have 16 cards and a lovely velvet-y pouch to carry them in. That’s it. 16 cards that manage to add up to a game that is easy to teach, quick to play, and a great balance of deduction and luck.  (more…)

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Resistance – Spies

Writer_smallerThe Resistance

The Resistance is a good game to talk about how we here at Tiny Wooden Pieces feel about boardgames. There is very little ‘game’ to it, in a manner of speaking. You get some cards and some tokens, and a small board to keep track of them during the game. That is it. The Resistance is all about player interaction.

Some of the most fun I have ever had playing games has been with The Resistance, and I have had some evenings where I’ve brought it to the table and it’s fallen almost embarrassingly, awkwardly flat. Where players just didn’t buy into it. It’s absolutely a game you can use to introduce non-gamer friends to the joys of boardgames, or just bring down the pub (sleeves recommended, here) or bring out at a family gathering. If people are willing to give it a try, to put themselves into the game, they will get a great evening out of it. If not, and you might as well be playing Connect 4.  (more…)

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