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Let’s Go Exploring

Let’s Go Exploring published on 25 Comments on Let’s Go Exploring

Let’s Go Exploring

Thank you to every one of our readers, who made every moment of this worthwhile.

Thank you to our guest contributors, who allowed us to take breaks, and ensured we came back reinvigorated, by creating comics so good we felt we had to up our own game.

Thank you to anyone who ever shared our comic with a friend, or on social media, and helped spread the word.

Thank you to the readers that we had the pleasure of meeting – hopefully in the years to come, we will get to meet some more.

Thank you to everyone who ever left even a single comment. I feel like I say it all the time, but it’s true: comments are what connected us to our readers, and what kept us going, week to week. We will keep our social media, and this site, up and running so we can stay in touch, and let you all what we will be working on in the future. Please, always feel free to say hello and keep in touch with us. We still want to talk about board games with you all, so let us know what you are playing!

Thank you to all of our great friends that we get to play games with. You are a great bunch of people, and damned hilarious as well. Playing games with you all is what kept the comic going!

Lastly, I want to mention Semi Co-op. Their fantastic weekly webcomic is where you can still go to get your fix board game-related shenanigans. They are lovely people, and they are making a wonderful comic. They mentioned once to us that Tiny Wooden Pieces is part of what inspired them to make their own comic. That might just be the best thing that anyone has ever said about Tiny Wooden Pieces, and knowing that we had even a small part in getting someone else to do something like this is the best legacy I can think of.

They update every Monday, and while you are checking out their comic, know that we will be there with you.


Thank you for reading.

Panda-emic 5!

Panda-emic 5! published on 46 Comments on Panda-emic 5!

Fond Farewells

Today is a sad day for Tiny Wooden Pieces. Not only do we say goodbye to our friend Panda, but we are also announcing the end of Tiny Wooden Pieces. We are both truly very sorry to announce that next week will be our final comic. For over three years now we have enjoyed sharing this comic with you, but unfortunately, we have to now call it a day.

There are several reasons for this, but most of all, it is simply a matter of time. Or rather, time pressure. We both love making comics, and that is something we are both going to continue to do. But we no longer feel we are producing our best work on a weekly schedule. This is something we have been considering for a long time, and have talked at length about. As much as we love the comic, we do not want to continue with something that we feel we are not giving our best work to. Our next comic project will be something that we can spend a lot of time on before even announcing, let alone releasing.

More than even making our beloved comic (beloved to us, at least), we are going to miss the wonderful community that has been part of this site. What we will miss the most are the friendly, fun, funny, and inspiring comments from many people we now consider friends, even if we have never met you.

We will keep the website up, and maybe one day we will once again do something related to board games. I have been thinking about doing reviews, or something similar, and maybe this site is the place to host that. In the meantime, if anyone wants to send me board games for review as part of another site/project I would be fine with that 🙂

We will definitely keep our twitter and instagrams up. While there might not be much activity on them, at least we can still feel connected to the wonderful community of board gamers out there, that we are proud to call our friends.

We will return next week for one final comic, and I hope you will all join us then, one last time.

Panda-emic 4!

Panda-emic 4! published on 3 Comments on 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!

Panda-emic 3!

Panda-emic 3! published on 8 Comments on Panda-emic 3!

The Continuing Adventures of Panda

This week is part three of the adventures of poor lil’ panda. If you missed out, you can catch up with parts one and two.

That Carcassonne ‘lying down in the field’ joke is about as well worn as wood-for-sheep. We avoided it for years, but honestly, napping just felt like a very ‘panda’ thing to do. Next to eating bamboo, it’s his favourite activity. There are still a couple more weeks left in his adventures, so if you want to see how he takes to life as a farmer, tune in next week.

As I write this, I am flicking between tabs (of the several hundred I have open) and working on my first campaign for D&D. I ran a game for friends last night that went reasonably well (no-one fell asleep, the table went unflipped, and people are willing to play again) and so I am now working up something that can run over a few nights. I could, of course, pull from a great number of pre-written adventures, but there is a great appeal for me in world-building, and the construction of a living, breathing, story that can be interacted with.

For playing on an ongoing basis, we will need to use, which I hear works quite well. If anyone has any experience using the system, I’d love to hear about it. Or any good alternatives for playing D&D online, if such apps exist?

Panda-emic 2!

Panda-emic 2! published on 5 Comments on Panda-emic 2!

Panda Tales Part 2

This week’s comic is part two of the adventures of our friend Panda. Part one can be found here.

The winner of the 2017 Spiel Des Jahres is Kingdomino, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. I love Kingdomino. It’s so perfectly simple I can’t believe no-one thought it up decades ago. Of course, it’s exactly that kind of simplicity that masks brilliant design. In the same way that a short story can be harder to write than a novel, I would guess designing a game with so few mechanics and rules can be much harder than a 4X space opera. With so few moving parts, every single one has to be in perfect harmony. Chris from Tabletop Cork introduced me to Kingdomino a couple of weeks back, and now I refuse to even meet him for coffee unless he brings it along.

My personal feeling aside, it is the perfect candidate for a Spiel Des Jahres winner. It’s simple tile-laying game in which players draft tiles to build a 5×5 grid in front of themselves. The aim is to build sections of similar type in your grid – forests, seas, plains, etc. The larger the section, the more it will potentially score at the end of the game (which takes maybe 15-20 minutes).

But there is one more factor in end-game scoring. Certain tiles have crowns printed on them, and the scoring for each section in your grid is multiplied by the number of crowns on it. So 4 forest tiles with a total of 2 crowns on them will score you 8 points. The more crowns the better, and in fact, if you fail to acquire any crowns, the section is worth nothing.

The tiles you draft each round will determine the order in which you get to draft next round. But a clever wrinkle in the mechanics means that generally it’s a choice between getting more crowns or going first.

It’s a wonderful small box game, and probably the closest I have ever seen to matching Star Realms regards value for money. If you can find a copy before the Spiel Des Jahres stampede sweeps them up and out of print, I highly recommend it.


Panda-emic! published on 14 Comments on Panda-emic!

Panda Tales Part 1

This week’s comic marks the start of something new and very different for us. It’s something we have spent a couple of weeks working very hard on, and we are very excited about it. We hope you enjoyed what is just week one of the adventures of Panda. Those familiar with ‘Lost Patrol’ should have an idea of what he is in for next week – suffice to say things won’t get any better for him right away.

More than ever, we would love your feedback. We have 4-6 weeks of comics planned in this style with our panda friend, so if you absolutely hate it, you’re probably just out of luck. Other than that, we hope you give it a chance, and would love to hear your thoughts. We had a lot of fun working on the series – developing the idea, setting up a little makeshift home studio, taking all the pictures, and then stitching them together in Photoshop. It’s a completely different approach to making comics for us, and we both felt it exercised our imaginations and talents in new ways. After three years (!) it’s good to take a break and try something different, and I think this story arc is the best the comic has been in a while.

Also, if you do like the comic, it would be great to get some reposts/likes and all that other good social media stuff, to highlight the story. Much thanks if you can spare the time for that.

Finally, of course, a mention must go to publishers Bombyx and Matagot for publishing Takenoko, which of course is where this week’s comic is set. Full credit to Antoine Bauza for designing such a great, adorable game. In fact, as Panda continues his adventures in the coming weeks, the games of Antoine Bauza will be cropping up again.

And of course, the game owes its beautiful design and aesthetics to illustrators Nicolas Fructus, Joel Van Aerde & Yuio. It was a pleasure to spend so much time photographing their gorgeous game (I probably took about 80-100 pictures for the comic, and enjoyed it the whole time).

If you have never played Takenoko, we strongly recommend it. It’s light, with a fair sprinkling of luck, but it is fun, beautiful, and just the right level of thinking for a gentle evening’s game with friends.

And it has a panda. I mean, how could you not love that guy? It is completely fair to say that the panda miniature in Takenoko is entirely responsible for the arc of our comic for at least the next month.

Me Time

Me Time published on 7 Comments on Me Time

Me Time

We’ve got something very special lined up for next week’s comic. We will be starting a storyline that will probably run for 4-6 weeks, and it will be in a whole new format, too. We’re pretty excited about it, and really hope you will join us next week.

The book Aileen is reading is Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’. The book’s subtitle is ‘The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’. You can probably tell by the title whether it’s a book you would enjoy or not. If you think it would be, you should check it out. She also has a TED talk.

Funnily enough, though, neither myself of Aileen are big on solo-gaming. The social aspect of gaming tends to be really important to us. Having said that,  Deep Space D6 is the only solo game we actually own, and honestly, it’s sitting unplayed on the Shelf of Shame. There are plenty of board game implementations I play on my phone, and that counts as solo gaming. Paperback, Onirim, Star Realms (single player). These are games that I have spent countless hours enjoying, so maybe I should look into solo games a bit more. Just because I would prefer to play games socially, doesn’t mean I always have to enjoy them socially. Then again, I already have several solitary hobbies I enjoy – reading, writing, painting miniatures. So maybe I’m good for ‘me’ time right now.

Legacy Problems

Legacy Problems published on 1 Comment on Legacy Problems

Legacy Problems

Paula is our dear friend and faithful Pandemic Legacy companion. Faithful until she had to move to the other side of the country for work. Granted, we live on a pretty small island, but a six-hour journey is still a bit much for a board game. Even one as good as Pandemic Legacy.

If you haven’t yet played it and are wondering does it live up to the hype, the short but definite answer is yes. Not six-hour commute good, but close.

The good news is, Paula is back home for a few weeks next month, so we will basically be setting up a camp bed for her in the games room. We are only in August, so have a lot of game to get through.

Our year of Pandemic has not been the total washout that the comic makes it out to be, but there have been times when we have felt less like we were playing the game, and more like the game was simply toying with us, biding its time until crushing us in the last moments. Waiting for us to feel secure in victory, certain of a win.

In Pandemic Legacy, hubris is the greatest danger. You can never, ever, get cocky, or let your guard down. That’s what it wants the most.

In the meantime, we are continuing our journey into D&D, playing some more games, and learning more of the system, and how the game works. We’ve got the books now, and I’ve started planning a small introductory adventure for another group of our friends. I’ve had a lot of people point me towards a lot of great resources, but the best by far is Matthew Colville’s Youtube series on running a D&D campaign. His videos are pitched at beginners, entertaining, and cover everything from character creation to world-building.

Bin Liner Demons

Bin Liner Demons published on 11 Comments on Bin Liner Demons

Bin Liner Demons

I submitted a pitch to a monster-themed anthology a couple of weeks back. The pitch wasn’t accepted, but I liked the idea enough to boil it down to four panels for inclusion here. I think it has the character and humour to slot into Tiny Wooden Pieces, even if it’s not actually about board games. It does have one in it, though. So there.

Not much gaming going on the last week or so (another reason this week’s comic is off-theme). But we have a game of D ‘n D lined up for the weekend, which I’m very excited about. We’re still new to RPGs, and my goal now is to gather enough experience to run a campaign myself amongst friends.

I’m particularly excited about the idea of building a story, complete with world and characters, which players can interact with, shape, and discover as they play. It’s something that strongly appeals to the writer in me. To start with, I will probably pick an existing campaign to help me learn the ropes, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to resist tinkering with it, and adding my own flavour.

Despite not having an opportunity to play any games all week, we still couldn’t resist adding to our collection by backing Oaxaca on Kickstarter. Oaxaca is co-designed by Sarah Reed, a friend, and long-time supporter of the comic. But we didn’t back Oaxaca as a favour, we did so on the strength of her previous game Project Dreamscape, which I have mentioned before as one of our favourite two-player games. It’s a quick, clever, engaging, and beautiful card game that is the perfect weight for its play time.

Oaxaca is similarly beautiful, with arresting and colourful artwork to match its theme. It’s about crafting goods for a market stall – such markets being what the city of Oaxaca is best known for. Mechanically, it’s a mix of dice rolling, engine building, and card selection – which is to say it could have been designed with me as the target market. The KS has already passed its funding goal, and is now ticking off stretch goals, which I’m very happy to say seem to be focused solely on improving the quality of the game. It’s worth checking out, certainly if you like games that lean towards creating and crafting, rather than attacking and destroying (not that there’s anything wrong that).

Destroy It Yourself

Destroy It Yourself published on 15 Comments on Destroy It Yourself

Destroy It Yourself

One of the (many) wonderful things about board games is how it brings out the inner crafter. It certainly has brought out mine. Assembling and painting miniatures, printing and cutting PNP games, customer storage for card and miniature games. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of completing a project, be it anything from Lego, to a Kallax, to homemade dice tray. And board gaming provides plenty of opportunity for crafting projects of all stripes.

Prime amongst this is probably storage solutions or inserts. While you can buy amazing solutions online, I always prefer to at least give it a go myself. Not least because shipping to Ireland is a continual thorn in the side of our hobby – everything from Kickstarters to accessories – that’s what we get for living on a tiny island.

I recently tackled FFG’s Arkham Horror CCG. While the box will fit everything plus expansions, sorting the cards is a serious issue. There are far too many categories of cards for each deck and scenario, which meant every time we wanted to play we had to pull everything out and sort through it. The time spent on a box where we could divide the cards into categories with ease was worth it.

Next up, I intend to tackle Eclipse. Again, the game has plenty of room in the box, but there are literally hundreds of tokens and counters, and set-up is sanity-sapping and fiddly. If there is any game in our collection that I would love to see hit the table more often, it’s Eclipse. So if there is anything I can do to help that I will.

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