Happy families

Writer_smallerGuest comics 1

Guest Comics are officially here!

In case you missed it, myself and Aileen are taking a few weeks off over Christmas, and we didn’t want to leave the site go without any updates. So we called in some help from some talented friends, and got them to make comics for us for three weeks.

This week was written by Dave McNally. Dave’s a friend from the local comic creator meet-up, and this is the first time I’ve worked with him. He’s more of a war gamer than a board gamer, but I was delighted to hear that reading through our archives left him lighter in pocket to the tune of several new board games. I really liked his ideas, and he has written two of the three ‘guest’ comics we will be running.

Artwork is by Damien Duncan, a local who I have worked with on quite a few stories for Grayhaven Comics and Turncoat Press. Damien’s work is brilliant, and I always find his storytelling and innovation makes my writing look better than it is.

Finally, colouring is by Chris O’ Halloran, who is a co-founder of Turncoat Press. A great selection of impressive work can be found here.

Lettering is still by me, more of my work can be found in the archives and this sentence you are reading. I’ve encouraged all the creators to hang around the comments, so say hello if you like. I’m really excited about the next few weeks of comics, as not only do I get to put my feet up, but I think bringing some new voices to the site makes for a great change. I will still be here and posting in the blog and comments over the next few weeks. Please do tell us what you think of the comics. Both myself and Aileen are genuinely excited about the idea of getting more talent and different styles on the site, and we would love to hear how people feel about this (we need to know if we can take a holiday next year).

Finally, and I speak for both myself and Aileen when I say this:


Happy nearly-star-wars everyone! Who wants to go Star Wars Carol-ing?

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One born every minute

Writer_smallerThe Farce Awakens

I believe satire to be an important function of comedy. In this way, and in many others, comedy, and comics, can be a vehicle for commentary, criticism and opinion on its subject matter, be that politics, society, religion, or – in our case – games.

While we will always shy away from being harsh or cutting for the sake of it, some healthy cynicism is, well, healthy, and the incoming avalanche of Star Wars merchandise, games and nonsense would seem a fairly appropriate target. But as fitting a target as it may be, Tiny Wooden Pieces will not be aiming at it. Because here at Tiny Wooden Towers, we freakin’ love Star Wars, and are genuinely super-excited at what looks to be a return to form for the franchise. Like Jawas at a scrapyard, we are eagerly picking up anything and everything in its wake, and basking in pure, unabashed, child-like joy. Star Wars is back. And it’s really back this time.

So in terms of commentary on the crass commercialisation it will bring with it, we are the very suckers that we should be skewering, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

RRRRAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHRRRRRR (that’s my excited Wookie roar)

I mentioned last week that we had a plan to keep the comic updated over Christmas while myself and Aileen took some time off to recharge and play games, and talked about it a little more in the comments. I’ve been feeling for a while that my writing has been hovering close to repetitive, and I haven’t been happy with it for a while, so I want the time off to re-focus and for us to come back better.

So our plan is for about three weeks worth of ‘guest’ comics, where we get some super-talented friends of ours to fill in for us. The comics will remain game-related, and having already seen the scripts we will be using, I promise you, the quality will not suffer in the least. In fact, I think the variety will improve things. This will begin a week or two into December, and I’m genuinely excited to share these comics with everyone. Further into the new year we plan to give the site itself a much-needed overhaul, but more on that closer to the time. Although, while I’m on the subject, if there is anything you would like to see on the site, or improvements you think we could make, let us know in the comments. We would love some feedback on it before we get into the serious planning stage.


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Premonition of peril


They’re called Warhammer stores now, which is new. No longer Games Workshop, as it was in my day. Or indeed, until very recently. Orks were my poison, back in the day. Legions of bloodthirsty boyz, red-striped bikes, gretchin swarming over everything, and oodles of colourful, inventive, backfiring artillery. These days, X-Wing is the furthest into miniatures territory I’m willing to tread. Small, pre-painted forces make for a game that doesn’t take an excess of time or money to get to the gaming table. And as much as I like the idea of large scale battles and turn-based strategy, I’m very happy to stick with X-Wing.

Speaking of which, the big news this week was Fantasy Flight Games announcing yet another incredible looking Star Wars board game. And, as ever, it was completely out of the blue, without even a ripple in the force to foreshadow its arrival. The game bills itself as an ‘epic conflict’, and epic it does seem to be, with 150 miniatures and a board taking in thirty-two systems from the Star Wars galaxy. Without a designer credit or much in the way of gameplay details, it’s obviously hard to tell exactly how good (or not) it’s going to be. On the other hand, you can control a Death Star, and if you wish, actually destroy planets with it. So I’m sold, one way or another. Perhaps mercifully though, the game is not out before Christmas, which means Aileen will be getting a Christmas present and not just an apology for the fact that I’ve blown all my money on a giant Star Wars game. It also means that Pandemic Legacy is still holding the top spot for our Christmas-present-game. Thanks for the feedback on that, everyone who commented a few weeks back.

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At twice the price

Writer_smallerAt twice the price

The first three panels in the comic, taken on their own, is a story you hear a lot. In fairness, it’s more joked about than seriously recounted, but it’s a joke I hear too often to not be supported by a strong scaffold of truth.

I don’t have this problem with Aileen, and Aileen doesn’t have this problem with me. Perhaps this is a problem in and of itself, of course. A not-insignificant pile of as yet unplayed games with several Kickstarters on the way would attest to this. That’s beside the point (at least it is in today’s blogpost; the point has, however, been filed away for future source material).


6 Comments on At twice the price

The cycle of success

Writer_smallerThe cycle of success

Thanks for bearing with us while we went a little Star Wars crazy these past few weeks. While we can’t promise we won’t ever go back to that most distant of galaxies, I can assure you of at least a few weeks of more grounded comics. We will be going back to the gaming board, so to speak.

The past few weeks have been very busy for myself and Aileen, and with things calming down a bit now, we will be getting back to the gaming table in a more literal sense as well. A handful of games of Cosmic Encounter, and some Space Hulk is all the gaming that I have managed in the past month, and as my time begins to free up, I’m finding myself thinking more and more about what we will get to play. Finishing our Risk: Legacy campaign and getting Imperial Assault out of the box is pretty high on that list, but there is a pile of games awaiting our attention on the floor behind me as I type. Literally on the floor. Getting some new shelving units to accommodate our growing collection is actually first on the to-do list, and navigating the tricky corridors, traps, lures and myriad dangers of the dungeons of IKEA is the first game we will be playing. Kitchen gadgets we will never use and more flat packs than our car can safely hold will be our treasure, and untold hours of struggle with diagrams, screws and drills our legacy. Perhaps it will be longer than I thought before we return to the gaming table. If I don’t accidentally affix said table to a wardrobe or TV stand, that is.


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Games night – A night to remember

Writer_smallerMagic: The Gathering

Please don’t get the wrong impression from the comic. I don’t begrudge Magic its popularity. I think it’s amazing. A phenomenon like that can only be good for hobby games of any sort, whether they are board, card, or war. It raises the profile, brings in profits, brings in players.

According to Wizards of the Coast, Magic has more than six million players. That is literally more people than the country I live in. Yes, Ireland is a small country, but that is still a ludicrous number of players, and a huge income for hobby stores. What helps gaming stores, helps everyone involved in the hobby. Not just that, though. I feel Magic: The Gathering is actually an important game, and not just for the bottom line of my local game stores.


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