Posted on


Today I wanted to bring up the topic of the “collector” and how this has now inspired some game titles.   We all know that one person who is an avid collector of something whether it be stamps,rocks, old Elvis paraphernalia, Superman, Star Trek or even Hello Kitty. The list could go on forever.

There are many theories as to why people do this and I really don’t want to get into the psychology of why here in this post but I just want to bring attention to the fact that if someone finds something that features a character, band, tv show etc. that they really like they will want that item even if it’s not something they normally use.

The idea of branding items with loved characters has been something that has fuelled retail for decades. No one ever “needed” that Chewbacca bobble head but he is really cool and if you like Chewbacca you just might buy it because it’s Chewbacca.

This concept has certainly spilled over into the table top game world too. I would love to mention our Classic Monopoly again. It was a major success and paved the way for table top games as we know it and it still sells today. Have a think for a minute about how many Monopoly sets there are. They are constantly re-released with a new theme, artwork and new figures based on a brand. I have seen everything from Super Mario Monopoly to Monopoly Bass Fishing Edition and yes of course there is an Elvis Monopoly Edition. The new pieces and art does not change how the core game plays at all it just is done to appeal to the individual who likes the theme.  It works people buy them and collect them and sometimes even play them.

Risk is also a great and classic game that has done this very successfully. There are some really good versions of Risk that have been cross branded and are a lot of fun. Risk:Star Wars Edition is a good example. This game lets players re-create the dramatic final moments of Star Wars Episode VI, players can determine the fate of the Star Wars universe through the three battles featured in the movie. Choose to play as either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, and use the classic Risk dice to control characters and ships. The object of the game is to defend or destroy the Death Star depending on which side you have chosen.

Sometimes though it seems that a game is just branded with a character to make a sale and it is a total let down because there is nothing about the game that seems to have anything to do with how the character would behave or the narrative of the story. This was not just true of tabletop games but also video games. I can recall an old Star Wars title from the early 90’s that was a run and gun platform game. In it you played Luke Skywalker who ran around attacking everything in his way with a light sabre including Jawas. Of course it sold based on it’s title and characters but it was not true to the morality and narrative that fans appreciated about the character of Luke Skywalker. That can be very disappointing to a fan.

When table top games use a brand to sell a game it is very enjoyable if the narrative allows the players to feel like they are part of the world or character they have grown to love. I wanted to talk about some really excellent games that are actually branded and allow fans to enjoy the narrative of the stories. Some of these may not be well known but if you happen to know a collector that is into any of these, they would love you for bringing it to their attention or gifting it to them.  They are good games so you will enjoy playing them too.

The first one is the Legenday Series. Legendary has managed to create a semi cooperative deck building game that is based on branded characters and the narrative is always true to the characters. It is challenging and a lot of fun and although there are many games in the Legendary series. They are all unique and true to their characters.  The original was set in the Marvel Universe with characters like the Hulk and Spiderman and many editions followed and they all stayed true to their characters.  Each one of them would really appeal to any fan of the featured characters. Legendary Buffy is a great example: There are many references in the game that refer directly to the TV series. The character cards do not do things that would have been out of character in the show. It allows the players to work together and slay the “big bad” before chaos comes to Sunnydale. This title belongs in the collection of any Buffy fan. Legendary has an Alien Edition, Predator Edition, Firefly Edition and more are being released including James Bond in 2019.

Jim Henson’s Labryinth: The Board Game. At the sight of this game you will be humming the songs we all know. “You remind me of the babe..” This game is a beautiful exploration of the movie for 1-5 players in which Sarah, Ludo, Sir Didymus and Hoggle must adventure through the labyrinth and make their way to the goblin city to save Toby from Jareth, the goblin king! The models in the box are very well cast and if you are a fan of the movie or know someone who is this game will be well loved and it has been written in such a way that it lends itself to a lot of replay ability. The art work in the game is very nice and features pictures of the movie. This is a must for any Labryrinth lover.

I should also mention Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: The Board Game is also a visually stunning rendition brought to us by the same makers of Labyrinth. Dark Horse Miniatures. If you know a Dark Crystal fan they will love it and want it immediately on sight.

One of my personal favourites is the Walking Dead: All Out War! This one is based on the Comic Series rather than the TV show but still features all the well loved characters. This game is a tactical head-to-head game,which can be played co operatively or competitively, set in the walker-strewn Georgia countryside, a survival miniatures game from Mantic Games. Your group will be pitted against other groups in a bitter fight for supplies, but the Walkers react to your every move. In this game, everyone and everything is trying to kill you. In more detail, each player controls their own group of survivors made up of popular characters from The WalkingDead storyline, such as Rick, Shane, Michonne and many more. Each survivor is represented by a finely-detailed plastic miniature,which can be painted in your colour scheme of choice. It comes with a character card highlighting their game stats and unique abilities,and it can be upgraded with a selection of weapon and equipment cards. This game belongs in the collection of every Walking Dead fan whether they follow the comics, TV series or both.

Mantic games recently released The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan as a sequel to All Out War.  This game is a must for all Negan comic book fans. It gives players the opportunity to play through a portion of Negan’s background that’s never been seen before. Work together to clear the claustrophobic corridors of the abandoned factory, but that’s only part of the mission. You must also do whatever it takes to gain Negan’s respect and players “win” by earning the most Reputation Points. Impress Negan and reap the rewards. Fail and face Lucille’s wrath.  Here’s Negan is a co-operative yet competitive board game for up to five players as you will compete with your fellow Survivors to earn the most Reputation Points. The amount of Reputation accrued will determine a group’s success at the end of a mission, plus the player with the most Reputation Points will be declared Negan’s favourite! Twelve scenarios tell the story of how Negan cleared the “Sanctuary” and went on to become the tyrannical leader of the Saviours. In these scenarios, players will clear the Sanctuary and each scenario features its own unique map layout, special rules, and objectives.  It comes with 19incredibly detailed, pre-assembled plastic miniatures, 16double-sided game tiles, plus all the dice and tokens required to play.

Doctor Who: Exterminate! The Miniatures Game The first thing I want to talk about regarding this title is how great the miniatures are. I have had collectors buy up most of my stock who have no interest in playing the game but want all the miniatures. They are very well cast and could easily be used in other games or just as display pieces.  This is a skirmish game set in the Doctor Who universe, where you can play any of the currently released factions including Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon as well as the many incarnations of the Doctor and companions.  If you love Doctor Who this title and it’s miniatures belong in your collection!

 I am sure there are others I have missed in this article including The Expanse and some really great Star Wars titles. When it comes to buying a game just based on it’s branded character it really depends on if you are looking just to add it to a collection, never open it, keep it locked away and sell it on for way more than you paid for it 25 years later or if you are wanting to be part of a narrative and play out a great story in a world you already love. Maybe sometimes it’s best to buy 2 copies so you can do both those things. With the above titles buying 2 wouldn’t hurt.

Posted on

Christmas Games

Every Christmas there is a time that the Family Board Game is contemplated. Do we buy one as a present? Do we dust off the old ones in storage and sit around with the family and play yet another round of Monopoly? There was that time that Aunt Ethel had “Hotel Row” and with one roll of the dice and a “misplaced elbow” by cousin Dave the entire game board was on the floor and it ended badly. No one wants to repeat that again. How about Trivial Pursuit?  Would be great if our Uncle Ed hadn’t memorized all the cards and it does not work for the younger kids who get bored and decide it’s more fun to tease each other and convince the dog to chase the cat around the house, causing disruption and getting in trouble anyway.

Every family has some recollection of playing these games together and sometimes it really does not go well. There is lots to be said about the classics like Boggle, Monopoly, Scrabble, Jenga but when it comes to Christmas there are some games that should be considered instead of the classics and you may find yourself actually enjoying the table top board game world again.

There are some very popular and fun games that are quick to play, under 15 minutes and easy to learn and are not just a roll and move or trivia.

Dobble: a simple pattern recognition game where players race to identify two matching symbols on cards and collect the most cards. Not quite as easy as it sounds as they have made the symbols different sizes, or facing different directions. Each card will have at least one symbol in common with the other one. First to identify it claims the card and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner. Giggles will ensue and is suitable for all ages. For such a simple game it has seen these honours and awards :

  • 2013 Ludoteca Ideale Children’s Games Winner
  • 2012 Japan Boardgame Prize U-more Award Nominee
  • 2012 Hra roku Nominee
  • 2011 Gouden Ludo Nominee
  • 2010 Lys Enfant Finalist

Exploding Kittens: a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats. In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an exploding kitten, at which point they explode, they are Dead, and they are out of the game — unless that player has a defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the exploding kittens. Another game where giggles will ensue and it plays quickly and is a lot of fun.

Awards & Honors

  • 2015 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee

Love Letter: A game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire! For such a simple game it is loads of fun and has a very long list of accolades. There are other versions as well including Letters to Santa if you really want to get into the season.

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Spiel des Jahres Recommended
  • 2014 Origins Awards Best Traditional Card Game Winner
  • 2014 Origins Awards Best Traditional Card Game Nominee
  • 2014 Lys Grand Public Finalist
  • 2014 Guldbrikken Best Family Game Winner
  • 2014 Guldbrikken Best Family Game Nominee
  • 2014 Fairplay À la carte Winner
  • 2013 Origins Awards Best Family, Party or Children’s Game Nominee
  • 2013 Hra roku Nominee
  • 2013 Gouden Ludo Nominee
  • 2013 Golden Geek Most Innovative Board Game Winner
  • 2013 Golden Geek Most Innovative Board Game Nominee
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Winner
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Winner
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Card Game Winner
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee
  • 2013 Fairplay À la carte Winner
  • 2013 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming Nominee
  • 2012 Meeples’ Choice Nominee
  • 2012 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters’ Selection Winner

This next set of games take a little more time to play but are unique and still play in under an hour:

Forbidden Island: a visually stunning cooperative board game. Instead of winning by competing with other players like most games, everyone must work together to win the game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the ‘island’, which is built by arranging the many beautifully screen-printed tiles before play begins. As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking, while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult- sacrifices must be made. All players must get off the island in order to win.

This one also has a long list of awards including from MENSA

Awards & Honors

  • 2011/2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee
  • 2011 Vuoden Peli Family Game of the Year Winner
  • 2011 Vuoden Peli Family Game of the Year Nominee
  • 2011 Spiel des Jahres Nominee
  • 2011 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee
  • 2011 Juego del Año Winner
  • 2011 Juego del Año Finalist
  • 2011 JoTa Best Light Board Game Nominee
  • 2011 Deutscher Lernspielpreis “9 years and up” Nominee
  • 2010 UK Games Expo Best Family/Children’s Game Winner
  • 2010 Mensa Select Winner
  • 2010 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2010 Golden Geek Best Children’s Board Game Winner
  • 2010 Golden Geek Best Children’s Board Game Nominee
  • 2010 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee

Munchkin: Another oldie but who can resist a game where the plot is go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Munchkin is humorous and fun as long as you don’t take it all too seriously and the art work doesn’t let you do that anyway. Written by Steve Jackson and originally released in 2001 the series has been so successful that it has many expansions and different editions, including a holiday edition. Certainly worth adding to the family collection.

Muchkin boasts: 2001 Origins Awards Best Traditional Card Game Winner

If you do have a family of Dungeon Loving heroes you can not go wrong with Mantic Games release of the Epic Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King’s Quest: Embark on a fantasy adventure for up to five players with highly detailed game-pieces and learn-as-you-play rules, this set contains everything you need to transform your tabletop into a deep and immersive world of heroes and monsters. Play a single game in just 30 minutes, or combine the carefully composed adventures for countless hours of classic quest gameplay. When the fate of the world hangs in the balance, which part will you play in the epic Dungeon Saga?

If your family is not quite into exploring dungeons and fighting monsters then certainly consider Takenoko/ This game is completely unique to any other I have ever played and appeals to both seasoned “gamers” and “non-gamers” alike. It is set a long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring of the animal by tending to his bamboo garden., the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.  Another great game with a long list of awards:

  • 2013 Ludoteca Ideale Official Selection Winner
  • 2013 Games Magazine Best New Family Game Winner
  • 2012 Tric Trac Nominee
  • 2012 Spiel der Spiele Hit für Familien Recommended
  • 2012 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee
  • 2012 Lys Grand Public Winner
  • 2012 Le Lys Grand Public Finalist
  • 2012 JoTa Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2012 Hra roku Nominee
  • 2012 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2012 Golden Geek Best Children’s Board Game Nominee
  • 2012 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Winner
  • 2012 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee
  • 2012 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Winner
  • 2012 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Nominee
  • 2011/2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee

Another great co operative play game (age 8+ lots of reading) that takes around an hour and has increased in popularity is Pandemic: Each player will have a role in trying to control and stop several virulent diseases which have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the “normal” spread of the infections. You must work together on this and carefully discuss strategy with your team to be successful and win.  This game has won multiple awards:

  • 2015 Hungarian Board Game Award Nominee
  • 2011 Ludoteca Ideale Official Selection Winner
  • 2010 Australian Games Association Game of the Year
  • 2009 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Nominee
  • 2009 Spiel des Jahres Nominee
  • 2009 Spiel der Spiele Hit für Experten Recommended
  • 2009 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee
  • 2009 Lys Passioné Finalist
  • 2009 JoTa Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2009 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters’ Selection Nominee
  • 2009 Hra roku Nominee
  • 2009 Gouden Ludo Winner
  • 2009 Gouden Ludo Nominee
  • 2009 Golden Geek Most Innovative Board Game Nominee
  • 2009 Golden Geek Best Gamers’ Board Game Nominee
  • 2009 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Winner
  • 2009 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2009 Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee
  • 2009 Games Magazine Best New Family Game Winner
  • 2009 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game 3rd Place
  • 2009 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Winner
  • 2009 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee
  • 2009 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Nominee
  • 2008 Tric Trac Nominee
  • 2008 Tric Trac d’Argent
  • 2008 Meeples’ Choice Award
  • 2008 JoTa Best Cooperative Board Game Winner
  • 2008 JoTa Best Cooperative Board Game Nominee
  • 2008 International Gamers Awards – General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee
  • 2008 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee
  • 2008 Golden Geek Best Gamer’s Board Game Nominee
  • 2008 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
  • 2008 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee
  • 2008 Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee

If you have older kids or no kids and want to use the holidays to get some more involved and really fun table top games going these titles should certainly be on your list of considerations.  Zombicide Black Plague:takes the zombie apocalypse into a fantastical medieval setting! The arcane powers of the Necromancers have unleashed a zombie invasion in the age of swords and sorcery, and it’s up to your group of straggling survivors to not only stay alive during these dark times, but to take back the realm and punish those responsible for the apocalypse! You play characters who work together to defeat the zombies and the necromancers. Equip your survivor with equipment like chainmail armour or shields to defend against the undead, pick up spell books to perform fantastic enchantments, or light up a pool of dragon bile to create an all-consuming inferno of dragon fire! This game can be played solo or co-operatively. There are many different missions so you never have the same game twice. Excellent addition for the Zombie lover on your Christmas list.

Awards & Honors

  • 2015 Golden Geek Best Solo Board Game Nominee

Terraforming Mars: Set in the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. You play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things. There is so much to do in this game that it takes place over generations. When the three global parameters (temperature, oxygen, ocean) have all reached their goal, the terraforming is complete, and the game ends after that generation. This game also boasts an impressive number of awards:

  • 2018 Guldbrikken Best Expert Game Winner
  • 2018 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Expert Winner
  • 2018 As d’Or – Jeu de l’Année Expert Nominee
  • 2017 Kennerspiel des Jahres Nominee
  • 2017 Jogo do Ano Nominee
  • 2017 International Gamers Award – General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee
  • 2017 Gouden Ludo Best Expert Game Nominee
  • 2017 Goblin Magnifico Nominee
  • 2017 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming Nominee
  • 2017 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner
  • 2017 Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Swiss Gamers Award Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Solo Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Cardboard Republic Architect Laurel Winner
  • 2016 Cardboard Republic Architect Laurel Nominee

Star Wars Rebellion: is a board game of epic conflict between the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance for two to four players!Experience the Galactic Civil War like never before. You control the entire Galactic Empire or the fledgling Rebel Alliance. You must command starships, account for troop movements, and rally systems to your cause. Given the differences between the Empire and Rebel Alliance, each side has different win conditions, and you’ll need to adjust your play style depending on who you represent.Rebellion is intensely personal, cinematic, and heroic. As much as your success depends upon the strength of your starships, vehicles, and troops, it depends upon the individual efforts of such notable characters as Leia Organa, Mon Mothma, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Emperor Palpatine. As civil war spreads throughout the galaxy, these leaders are invaluable to your efforts, and the secret missions they attempt will evoke many of the most inspiring moments from the classic trilogy. You might send Luke Skywalker to receive Jedi training on Dagobah or have Darth Vader spring a trap that freezes Han Solo in carbonite! This game will not disappoint any Star Wars Fan. It also has a long list of awards:

  • 2017 Goblin Magnifico Nominee
  • 2016 UK Games Expo Best Boardgame with Miniatures Winner
  • 2016 Tric Trac Nominee
  • 2016 International Gamers Award – General Strategy: Two-players Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Thematic Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork & Presentation Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game Winner
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee
  • 2016 Cardboard Republic Immersionist Laurel Nominee
  • 2016 Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game Nominee

There are so many great boardgames out there now and the industry has moved far beyond the roll and move mechanics of classic games. There are many I didn’t even mention that would certainly go over well with families at Christmas. If you have time have a look at Welcome to the Dungeon, Once Upon a Time, Camel Up, Killer Bunnies, Civilization: A New Dawn, Star Trek Ascendancy, and Star Wars: Imperial Assault.

Have a great Christmas, enjoy gaming with your family and friends this Holiday season. 

Posted on

Bringing “The Walking Dead” to Life

One of the core products of Mountain Gremlin Games has been ‘The Walking Dead: All Out War‘ from Mantic Games.  At the time of writing the game has been out for just over two years.  The release of ‘Here’s Negan‘ being next week, I thought it would be great time to talk about this exiting product range.


‘The Walking Dead: All Out War’ is a multi-faceted board game.  There are many ways to play this game including single player, co-operative and of course adversarial all following a narrative theme.  The easy to learn rules and custom character creation make this game highly adaptive to any number of scenarios outside that of the published material.  The format of the standard game makes running tournaments easy while still providing surprises by introducing a narrative theme or two.


The miniatures are of a high quality.  Each depicting a survivor or a walker.  The most notable feature of them being that each model is an individual – even the walkers.   Many figure painters are used to painting large armies of models wearing the same uniform/armour and carrying similar if not the same gear.  These figures are not only individual but most of them are wearing civilian clothing, and not everyone carries a weapon.   For a figure painter such as myself this presented it’s own challenge and reward.

A note on the scenery needs to be mentioned. While many games provide you with great figures to play with many companies overlook the terrain.  The scenery box for ‘The Walking Dead’ includes a number of supplies, vehicles and barricades.  Great value for money and can be used in a variety of games.

I was lucky enough to receive a demo copy of ‘Here’s Negan’ and spent the previous night to writing this playing it and having a great time.


‘Here’s Negan’ is a stand alone board game set in the same world as the previous game but takes place in the sanctuary.  You control a group of survivors under the command of Negan trying to accomplish a series of set missions.  It’s mainly co-operative as each player needs to work together to complete their goals, however each survivor is trying to impress Negan.  Therefore there is a competitive element, which adds an interesting dynamic to an already  challenging set of scenarios.

The great thing about this game is it keeps many of the same game components and mechanics of ‘All Out War’.  This means that it’s easy for a player of one game to jump into either system without relearning too many rules.   Again the figures are of the same high quality and fully compatible with ‘All Out War’.  Therefore there is some logic in owning both games as ‘Here’s Negan’ acts as an expansion in many ways to ‘All Out War’.

The game ships from next week.

Contains stock images from Mantic Entertainment

figures painted by the store







Posted on

Future Steel

At the time of writing I have a Deadzone Demo in two weeks.  Therefore I had to paint a number of strike forces.  I have completed my Enforcers some time ago, and have planned on painting the Forge Fathers models too, but had no colour scheme.


My original idea was that they were a group of volcanic world ore miners and started making lava bases.  Since it is the Forge Fathers who made the Enforcer armour and the squads are called Steel Warriors, I thought it would make sense for the armour to be a similar colour.  Going for an old school sci-fi vibe I thought the silver would be well off set by a deep red.


Last minute however I changed my mind regarding the lava bases.  A recent game of Deadzone using the Exham IV mat, combined with the fact they are supposed to be demo-miniatures meant that the bases are now Martian, with toxic sludge.


I must say that Mantic has made some great miniatures here.  The box comes with enough extra weapons to create either a standard Steel Warrior or Stormrage Veteran squad with heavy weapons and Huscarl ( Forge Father officer) upgrades.    They were a pleasure to paint and I look forward to returning to this army when I expand it for Warpath.



Miniatures by Mantic

Scenery by LCA


Posted on

Halloween Games

Seeing as this year Halloween is on a Wednesday night and many people will have to work in the morning here are some of our quick family game night suggestions.  I’m sure we would like to have the kids do more than just disappear into their rooms with a sack of candy.  Halloween will be a good excuse to get everyone around a table together, noses out of screens and some actual human interaction we can keep in theme with the Holiday.

Younger kids Age 6 + up

Exploding Kittens : a quick fun card game simple rules (similar to UNO) not really scary (unless you are the cat) or Halloween based but fun the same for all ages.

Welcome to the Dungeon Nothing says family like a attacking a dungeon together.  This one is quick, usually under 30 min. Simple rules kind of a game of dungeon “chicken”.  The art work is more cartoonish and not frightening. A lot of fun.

Dobble: A visual perception game for age 6 and up where players race each other to match identical symbols between cards. The images may be different sizes and on different places on the cards making them difficult to spot. A quick, easy and fun game for all ages.

Kids a bit older? Age 10+up

King of New York:  Be the movie monster!  Battle other monsters and try to become famous, but watch out for the military!  Great game, has won many awards. Plays in under an hour.

Boss Monster: Be the dungeon Boss, slay the hero, keep your treasure.  All art based on classic video game characters.  Deck building game where you are the bad guy, compete to lure would be heroes to your dungeon and the first one to defeat 10 heroes with your traps and dungeon rooms wins.  Great game for the family.

Kids age 12+ up.  “The family that plays together stays together”.  I really like these games for family play based on their co operative game play.  No fighting or blaming eachother or starting silly squabbles around the table.  You all work together as a team and the game is the enemy. Great Halloween games.

Betrayal at House on the Hill:  Build and explore a haunted house and work together to escape.  Secretly one of the team members betrays the other players and the team must work together to defeat the traitor. 3-6 players great group game.

The Walking Dead: All out War!! : This is a tactical game based on the Walking Dead comic series. The simple rules of this game lend itself to narrative style play.  This game allows a variety of ways to play. It can be played completely co operative, everyone for themselves or group vs group!  However you choose to play this game; it moves quickly and every turn shows each player that everything is out to get them.  Zombies are plenty and they are also not the only enemy. Can you and your group survive another day?!!

Zombicide: Black Plague This game combines the Zombie Apocalypse with medieval times.  Your group’s objective is to stop the necromancer who is summoning the Zombies and defeat the abominations he unleashes as well as the Zombies. This is an excellent co operative play game and everyone must work together to survive. This game is tense and full of non stop action from the first roll. This game can be played 1-6 players and each mission never plays out the same way twice.

Dungeon Saga: Gather your group of up to 5 heroes and take on the Necromancer and his undead minions to save the world in this co-operative game.  The well written and simple rules allow players to learn to play as they go. Each character has it’s own strengths and role and working together is a must.  It plays in about a half hour and can be expanded for more difficult, longer and in depth game play within an epic story.

Mansions of Madness: A fully co operative board game for 1-5 players that is set in the same universe as Eldritch Horror and Eldritch Sign.  This game is app driven and the app guides you through the veiled streets of Innsmouth and the haunted corridors of Arkham’s cursed mansions as you search for answers and respite. You will have to solve complex puzzles, collect weapons, tools and information all while battling monsters, insanity and death. A longer game with a run time of 2-3 hours but it plays smoothly and has won many awards and continues to be praised in gaming communities.

A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game:  Another great game that heroes can choose to play competitively or cooperatively. Set in the dawn of the 19th century; an age of science, superstition, and witchcraft. Howling fills the night as a full moon rises over the small, secluded village of Shadowbrook. Gruesome murders have become a daily occurrence and terror haunts the streets at night. An evil creature has taken up residence here and the countryside is engulfed by a tide of darkness. Only by investigating the town and building your Hero’s strength can you hope to hunt down the Supernatural Villain to his Lair and defeat him in an epic Showdown. Plays in 90 minutes. For 1-6 players.

Why not get the family together slaying some Zombies, Monsters and the Undead this Halloween?!

What about your family?  Do you have a Halloween favourite? Start the kids enjoying board games at an early age to create a life time of involvement and reap the social and educational benefits table top board gaming provides.

Don’t forget that all these titles are 10% off on with your coupon code


I would love to hear more about what you will be playing this Halloween.  Let us know.

Posted on

Store Log Special – That Guy!

Welcome to Store Log! An irreverent look at gaming from the point of view of a fictional games store owner.  This special looks at the phenomena of “That Guy” and is a list of behaviours compiled from the experiences of “semi-ficticious” store owners, reality challenged customers and of course  special appearances from “That Guy” himself.

How to be “That Guy” in a games store. 

  1. Talk to everyone about a game nobody has heard of. Not just any game this game has to be obscure, not stocked by the store, out of print, and few people including yourself even play it. Make sure you derail each conversation into talk about this game, it’s history, anecdotes about it’s background. If anyone tries to get you to play it – never do!

  2. Be rude to staff members.

  3. Turn up to an in store games event with no intention of joining in. Try to distract the players and event organisers. Use any means unnecessary such as useful painting tips, offer unsolicited advice, make crude & racist jokes, talk about old games you have played. This works better if you have no idea of how the game works.

  4. Use the stores rubbish bin or recycling bins for games wrappers and other products that you have NOT purchased in store.

  5. Interrupt sales in progress. Try as best you can to disrupt this process. Offer unsolicited advice, talk loudly about how you know the system better than anyone, try to get the customer to buy something else, better still try to sell them something you own. It helps if there are more than one of you doing this.

  6. Throw things at customers, staff members and at passers by.

  7. Pretend you are a demonstrator for a games company. Convince the store owner to run a games event for said games company, entice the store owner to purchase products and promotional merchandise for this game. At the last minute tell everyone it’s cancelled.

  8. Ask for discounts on everything especially small items or on items already on sale. If have convinced the owner to give a discount, back out at the last minute.

  9. If a member of staff is serving at the till. Call out to them and tell them it’s their turn. If necessary follow them round the store holding out dice or cards. Make sure everyone knows they are holding up the game.

  10. If you are enrolled in an event or tournament. Don’t read the rulebook or online PDF with the particulars of the event. Turn up late, insist everyone waits for you, while you hand write an army list. Play with the wrong figures bonus if they are unpainted. During the games make sure you argue about the rules whenever possible – especially about obvious things like dice facings even after you have been proved wrong by a Tournament Organiser with a rulebook in hand.

  11. Talk loudly about details of your personal life. This can include details of your health such as upcoming operations, particulars of an upset stomach, affairs you may be having, any impeding restraining orders taken out against you, your bowel movements,

  12. Be rude to the store owners family.

  13. Discuss particular parts of anatomy displayed on games pieces or in games literature in front of young children or better yet elderly people.

  14. Threaten the store owner with physical violence or steal something – then run away.

  15. If you witness to an illegal event such as the above or a theft, claim you were “ present but cannot recall what happened” when questioned by police.

  16. If you have been barred from entry to the store. Pretend you have no idea why this happened Play the victim to everyone who will listen. Bonus if the reason you were barred resembles anything on this list.

  17. If there is a toilet for customer use try NOT to leave it as you would wish it to be found.

  18. The store is a great place to bring up your opinions about equality in the workplace. By your opinions regarding equality I mean Hitler’s.

  19. Always critique the work of others. If anyone paints or builds a model well, spent a lot of money and time on making it look great but doesn’t necessarily follow the box instructions, shout HERESY! Point out flaws in the work, using your skewed and narrow views on history and the imaginary background of other fantasy & sci-fi games. The store social media is a great place to do this.

  20. If someone enters the store who is not a regular – harass them! Particularly if they are starting the gaming hobby from fresh. Use every opportunity to get in their face. Bonus points if the person is NOT a white, able bodied, heterosexual, cisgendered, adult male from your own country.



Disclaimer: Store Log is a work of satirical fiction.  The characters and events depicted in “Store Log” are purely fictitious and are meant as a satirical and irreverent view of gaming.  They do not represent any religious, gender, political or any other bias.



Posted on 1 Comment

Why you need to play Kings of War

Kings of War is the best fantasy war game ever!

It’s quick

Kings of Wars simple and intuitive system is fast. The rules are incredibly easy to learn and the stats of the armies are self-explanatory. More fantastic elements such as magic, artillery or flying troops are incorporated into Mantic’s streamlined rules. So their inclusion adds to the flavour of the game while maintaining the flow. You can play 2000 points in an evening comfortably – including setup time, tea breaks and interruptions.

It’s balanced

The rules reward use of placement of troops and out manoeuvring your opponent . Winning a game is down to how you use your army. Each armies strengths and weaknesses have been balanced against each other by the rules committee.

The main rulebook has eleven armies inside. They were written at the same time, and they all use the same rules in the book.

It’s very smartly priced

Just take a look at the army deal boxes.  No Really check them out

You already have the figures

Chances are if you are reading this you may own a number of fantasy figures. You can use them in this game with a minimum of fuss. You can even mix your Mantic figures with those of other companies in your regiments and armies.

Its well supported

There are a number of Tournaments and campaigns happening everywhere. The Summer 2017 saw the global Edge of the Abyss campaign with long lasting effects for the future of the world of Mantica.

Mantic has a number of supplements for this game. A full campaign book including rules for the characters from scenarios for Dungeon Saga Here! Mantic’s dungeon crawler game set in the same world.

Uncharted Empires contains army lists for nine more armies. Contains some of the more esoteric armies such as alternate takes on existing human kingdoms, Beastmen, that Halfling army you wanted, Ratmen, ancient themed undead, nightmare legions and many more…

Kings of War historical, the game rules even work for ancient, dark ages and medieval armies. Fight historic battles or blend the two to fight some interesting battles like Romans vs Orcs or Spartans vs Elves

Don’t take my word – try it today!

Posted on

Ultramarines! Or Why did I sell these again ..? Part 2

Welcome to the conclusion of an old project I sold ages ago..  This project was a great test for Deco Art paints and I had got into a great rhythm painting the Ultramarines.  I choose to continue the colour scheme into a new project.

Oldhammer is what many players are calling the 80s period of the hobby.  For this project I wanted to get into some classic models.  That last thing I had painted for the previous project army was Terminators so I decided to continue..

One of the things I like about these models is the concept has not changed much over the years.  They are still very recognisable.  Once I started the squad I quickly added a classic Terminator Captain to the production line.  Again I added designs and detail to the officers.  Though this wasn’t too hard.  The knee pad had an embossed skull & Iron cross onto a quartered background which was copied onto the shoulder pad and belt buckle.

For sergeant and assault cannon I didn’t do anything too fancy.  Sometimes completing a project is better than being too ambitious and not completing it.  It can be seen that The Inquisition has favoured both those brothers and they proudly display the accolade.

After completing both projects they went into my eBay shop.  The RT Terminator squad lead to a further commission of more terminators from the original release.  The client was going to use them all for Space Hulk and had special bases prepared so I left the bases blank.

I really enjoyed this commission a great excuse to paint more models.  Perhaps one day I will revisit my painting roots.  Though there are excellent models being released all the time, it’s important to remember the classic models from yesteryear.

Paints – Deco Art Crafter’s Acrylic

Models – Citadel

Varnish – Vallejo

Posted on

Ultramarines! Or Why did I sell these again..? Part1

Before I opened the store, I had recently recovered from a painting hiatus.  Like a number of gamers I was buying figures from eBay and trade shows.  This can be a good way to get cheaper and out of production models – though you can never be sure of what is available.  Among the figures I ended up with was a number of Space Marines with an embossed symbol on their armour.  I had painted a squad for a commission years ago and thought that it would be good to revisit the familiar colour scheme.  Combined with a number of older figures in my collection the decision was made.  I was going to  paint an Ultramarines Army.


The last time I had painted Ultramarines was over 10 years ago.  The principles hadn’t changed though one big thing had.  I was using an entirely new paint set: Crafter’s Acrylic from Deco Art.

My first to paint was the tactical squad  now named Squad V.  Composed mainly of  starter set, many of them have chapter and tactical symbols moulded onto the armour already making painting them really easy.    To complete the squad I needed a heavy weapon and another marine.


These two were from my existing collection the 1998 tactical marines and the 2004 plastic devastators. I chose the heavy plasma gun to be different from the usual missile launcher squad weapon load out. The final marine was completed with an arm from an earlier version of space marines.  Which brings me to Squad III all the way from 1993.


OK so a few are from the 1998 version of MK7 armour.  Though if you look closely all of the backpacks, arms are from the early nineties and most of the weapons are too.  By now I had got into a rhythm of production line painting ultramarines.  So I needed to change things up.  It was time for Terminators


These older figures were pinned onto larger bases than they shipped with, and they certainly look more comfortable on them. The Codex Astartes is a great resource for Space Marine colour schemes, even if it is fictional.  It certainly helps to be accurate on things like helmet colours and sergeant markings especially with Ultramarines.  Shields on the other hand are for personalisation…


I filled in a few quarters though I left the last one blank for future honours.  This marine was being prepared for promotion to a command position.

To be continued…


Models by citadel miniatures

Paints used are Deco Art from Crafter’s Acrylics

Citadel Varnish

Posted on

The Future …

A new game has happened here over the summer.  OK maybe it’s not a new game, but its new enough.  Deadzone from Mantic games is a sci-fi skirmish game that is fast and fun.  The miniatures are great and the scenery actually makes sense with the rules.  Best of all it’s played on a 2′ x 2′ board so a large number of games can be played here.

One of the factions you get in the box are called Enforcers.  In the background of the game they are above the local corporate interests and are the one who ‘enforce’ the councils will.  That is they are the ones who makes sure everyone in the Deadzones are dead and that no-one gets in or out.   These men and women are enhanced psycho’s with the best armour and equipment available.

My take on them..  In the background book to Warpath, another great game (actually two) set in the same universe.  There is a passage about failed and past experiments of the enforcer program, what caught my eye was the passage about re-routing troopers personality to never stray from the preservation of the GCPS.  Also the fact that they hacked their own masters computers and tried to  eliminate a council member.   So my seeds for a store army are in said “failed experiment” and it’s re-structuring for use in patrolling Deadzones and limited law enforcement…

So guess what film I was watching the night before painting…