Spooky Halloween Special

Writer_smallerWe had a great pick up in site views last week, thanks to a mention from Stonemaier games on the Scythe Kickstarter page, and some love from the Geekdad website too. Thanks guys! And if you’re new to the site, welcome aboard! Do say hello in the comments below, after I’m doing jumping semi-coherently from one topic to the next.

Many, many years ago, I used to love a show called 2 Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. What should have been a standard, run-rate sitcom was elevated by several factors: its goofy, oddball sense of humour, Ryan Reynolds in a leading role, and also Nathan Fillion’s first major TV appearance. But other than being hilarious and seeding some serious man-crushes, every year for Halloween it threw the sitcom template out the window and did crazy specials that involved axe-murdering doppelgängers, mad scientists and body swaps. The very next week things would return to normal, and no-one would ever mention the laboratory they found in the basement or the body count. I loved those Halloween specials, and want to make it a Tiny Wooden Pieces tradition. To have a little fun and maybe even indulge in a little axe-murdering. ‘Tis the season, after all.

We also did a horror-themed comic last year, based on Arkham Horror. It’s a two-parter, and It starts here, and you can find our Elder Sign comic here. And if you’re the kind of monster whose lust for blood and terror isn’t satiated by all those comics, we also covered Dead of Winter here and here.

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Random encounter

Writer_smallerRandom Encounter

Betrayal at House on the Hill, besides having maybe the most awkward title of any board game ever, is really, really great fun. The box describes it as a strategy game, and while I love strategy games, this is not why I love Betrayal.

First things first: the box is a lie. Betrayal is not remotely a strategy game. Its gameplay is too simple for that. In Betrayal, the players are exploring a spooky mansion (I’m sure there’s a really good reason why), working as a team to uncover its secrets, while surviving its creaky dangers and uncanny encounters. Each player has four stats, which are tested against the tiles they uncover -make a speed test to dodge the collapsing floor, stamina test to avoid the old man dressed as a ghost to scare the kids out of the abandoned fairground, etc. As the tiles are uncovered, the mansion grows on the table, and encounters and items boost the player’s stats and abilities. Everyone is working together, allowing for sharing of items. And that’s pretty much it. These basic systems are what govern the game play, making for a very straightforward move, uncover and roll system. The game looks great, and the tiles and encounters are fun, varied and thematic, but ultimately all worked out in the same way.

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