A vicious circle

Writer_smallerA vicious circle

My blog post is a little scattered this week, for a more coherent, and relevant-to-the-comic piece of writing, skip to Aileen’s post below.

Still with me? How generous.  Have some kind thoughts, free of charge, and don’t act like I didn’t warn you when I skip from talking about games to maybe that should read “writing about” rather than “talking about.”

Anyway.

At the time of posting, there will only be a few hours left in the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund auction. Tiny Wooden Pieces is auctioning a chance to appear in our comic, and to receive a colour, signed print of this comic. Bid here, and learn about the charity here. Please do support this any way you can. But be warned, some crazy person has already bid more than $200 on it. If this is too rich for your blood, or you have no interest in being made fun of on an internet comic about board games (sorry people-who-already-bid, no take-backsies) then there are plenty of actual board games you can bid on as well.

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(Dead of ) Winter is coming

Writer_smallerDead of winter

She arrived at the colony early on, when everyone was still happy to have another pair of hands to help out, and less worried about another mouth to feed. She was a doctor, of course, which helped a lot. So much so that no-one minded that she brought baggage. But I mean, she was a doctor, so even if her companion was sick, that was fine. She could help out with everyone. I mean, who wouldn’t want a doctor around in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, in the dead of winter?

If she demanded everyone kill more zombies so she would have samples to work on, to help cure the zombie plague? Sure, I mean, no-one was going to say no to that, to some small sliver of hope that there might be a cure, a way out of hell. In those days, hope was worth more than food, or even medicine. In those days they didn’t know how hungry they could get.

It was when her companion started to get really sick, to blister and bleed, that was the sign they should have seen. Not the bleeding, or even the pus. But the fact that she decided to kick him out, to simply throw him to the wolves rather than keep trying to save him. But they all voted, so maybe they didn’t want to think too hard about what they had been complicit in. Maybe they needed to keep moving. It was easier to think about the food shortages, the barricades that needed to be erected to keep the undead out. What was one sacrifice compared to that? If the barricades weren’t maintained, no-one would survive. Keep moving, keep working, and not think about how bad things were getting.

If their humanity was being eroded, like toes to frostbite, well, that wasn’t the only sacrifice they would have to make. And she was looking for a cure, right? I mean, they all saw her, tinkering in the shed. They didn’t understand it, but they knew science and medicine when they saw it being practiced.

Maybe those were all good enough reasons. Maybe not. Maybe they only had themselves to blame. Maybe not.

I mean, they weren’t entirely wrong. She was experimenting. It just wasn’t the zombies that were the subject of the experiment. And when she told them all what she had done, that she had made a smarter zombie, a better zombie, and once they were all infected, they would have just enough of their minds left to obey her completely? Well, she had already poisoned the colony’s water supply. The deed was done, and blame was yesterday’s problem. They had kept the zombies outside the door, sure. They just let something far, far worse in, and now it was too late. The colony was lost. Everything was lost. Now there was just hunger.

But not like they had known it before.

That was our first playthrough of Dead of Winter. That is exactly how it played out, how the betrayer crept in and ended it for everyone. I’m not filling in blanks, joining dots, making parts up. That’s the game we played, that’s the story we told.

Who was to blame really was up for question. I’m not sure our game of the year is anymore though.

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MDM – Investigative journalism

Writer_smallerMarvel Dice Masters

‘The big retailers got all the copies’.

‘They are purposefully short-shipping to create demand’.

People love a conspiracy, or any kind of story. The simple fact is that Marvel Dice Masters is a product that meets at an almost unique crossroads of demand right now. Gaming is going through a boom, so there’s that.  It’s a collectible game, those are particularly big right now. As though that wasn’t enough, it’s based around Marvel superheroes. How big are they right now? Have you been to the cinema lately? And finally, just to ensure no-one escapses, the booster packs are a Dollar. Just one. One Dollar! Who’s not gonna walk into a games store and not pick up one booster. Or two, or three, or more. I mean, c’mon. They’re a Dollar.

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Elder Sign – Not enough hours in the day

Writer_smallerElder Sign

Sometimes comics are difficult to write; with ideas forming only after hours of play and conversation on a game. But sometimes the ideas are easier to come by. Sometimes they are right there in the rulebook, waving a flag and jumping off the page. For those unfamiliar with the game, there is a clock mechanic (a really good one) in Elder Sign. It gives a great sense of pace and impending Lovecraftian doom to the game. Every time the clock strikes midnight, bad things happen. But to quote the rulebook:

Each time the clock reaches “XII”, midnight strikes. There is no “noon” in Elder Sign, as the investigators have to sleep sometime and leave the museum during its business hours.

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