Panda-emic 4!

New Adventures of the Panda

Panda has been on his quest to find home for some weeks now, so if you need to catch up, you can start with chapter one.

As I write this, I have just finished taking the pictures for Panda’s final adventure. I was honestly a little sad as I took apart the set and dismantled my little home-made studio (bedside lamps, green felt backdrop, double-sided tape, thumbtacks, etc) and said goodbye to Panda. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making comics in a new way. Panda wraps up his adventures next week, so I hope you join us then in seeing him off.

In the meantime, we are hoping to finally get back to our Arkham Horror LCG campaign. We got our hands on the first two standalone expansions weeks ago, but still haven’t even finished the campaign from the base box. We’ve heard such good things about the expansions that at this stage I just want to get the base game done and move on.

I will also be spending the next week preparing for Dublin Comic Con, which I will be attending as part of Turncoat Press. If you’re there, come say hi! I will also be looking for new clients to work with in my capacity as a freelance comic book editor. This is something I have been doing for a while now, and I have some free slots available in the coming months. So, if you are working on, developing, or looking to publish a comic, contact me through my website. I specialise in story editing, so if you are just looking for some script notes, edits, or guidance, let me know.

See you all next week!

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Not the real Ghostbusters

Writer_smallerExorcising ghosts

More than a few villages have fallen to haunt, damnation, and ruin thanks to our inexpert fumblings and rookie mistakes in Ghost Stories. Yet on we troop, promising deliverance to the unsuspecting villagers that put their salvation in our amateur hands. Night after night, time after time. I think Ghost Stories might actually be more difficult than Pandemic, and not just because of the random factor that is introduced by the inclusion of dice. It’s just a damn hard game.

Love it, though. It’s a tense co-op that forces the players to think ahead and work closely together from the very first turn. And as I mentioned before, the unusual theme and gorgeous artwork mean it’s a game that I will always be happy to play (and probably lose).

Unusually for a game I love so much, though, I don’t have that much of an interest in the expansions. I’m curious, sure, but I don’t see how the game would benefit from them. They seem to throw so many additional elements into the mix, and it just doesn’t need that. There is always enough going on to engage everyone at the table. Maybe once I feel I’ve mastered the challenge of the base game they will seem a more exciting prospect, but that could be a long time coming…

The comic this week is, I think, the best work Aileen has done in a while. Post-holiday, we have some more time to play board games, and work on comics, which is exactly what we both want to be doing. The extra time will allow us to have more fun with the comics, too, taking in some silly, outlandish settings and stories. Over the course of Tiny Wooden Pieces, Aileen’s artwork has improved dramatically, and I’m delighted she is actually getting to show that off now. So here’s to a nice, long, uninterrupted run of comics from us for a while. As long as her college dissertation, moving house, lingering jetlag, global warming, ghosts, the awful economic landscape of modern Ireland, and/or goats don’t interfere with our holy work.

It doesn’t make the news very often, but you’d be surprised at what a constant problem goat attacks are over here.

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The haunting of Tiny Wooden Towers

Writer_smallerGhost Stories

The first two nights we played Ghost Stories, the combined length of both games probably didn’t add up to an half an hour. It beat us mercilessly, and I loved it for it.

The third time we played it, Aileen found a great rules reference online, and, more to the point, found some mistakes we were making. That time we won. It’s a tricky game, just not that tricky. I am now looking forward to trying it on the harder difficulty settings, and finding a level where it’s seriously challenging again. Winning is fun, but only if you have to work for it. The comic is exactly how the first game played out, by the way. Except for the ghost. He’s actually been in the house a lot longer.

The other delight I found in Ghost Stories was a co-op game that rewards players working together. In fact, I’m pretty sure the harder difficulty settings render any other style of play unworkable. By which I mean unwinnable.

If you don’t want to hear any more about Ghost Stories, here’s where I lose you. Because here’s the final trick the game has up its spooky sleeve; here’s what’s really clever about it: Theme.

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