Runeslinger and Inertia

Brandon here. If you have followed us for any amount of time you may know that I am a huge fan of Runeslinger (AKA Anthony Boyd). I love the way he talks about why people continue with the games they know and why some don’t in the video below. I also respect how he places no judgement on an individual’s choices, he simply states that there are reasons people have and that they work for those people. I may need to do a video riffing off this a bit. I feel there is a lot that can still be shared about time management and energy and effort from a personal perspective.

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Android: Netrunner, A Very Brandon Experience

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Tiny Sword Tactics

Brandon: Good morning! Is it morning? I can’t even tell anymore; with the student teaching and having to set our clocks back an hour, and the election for the President of the USA. Happy election day! Where was I? Coffee! No. I mean, yes. Of course yes. Because, well, coffee. Right?

But, no, because Tiny Sword Tactics. Tiny Swords Tactics is an interesting game and I’m not really sure how to classify it. Is it a tile laying game? Technically. You do lay tiles down. You also move these tiles. Is it a fighting game? Absolutely. Is it an elimination game? Yes! Unless you don’t really want it to be. Well, it is regardless, but you can still give those who are eliminated purpose….

Let’s back up. You start with a Heart Of the Fight tile and then everyone takes turns laying down tiles from their team that they chose until all their tiles are down. Hold on. Let me set this up for you.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

In this picture you can see how the game gets set up. You will notice that the tiles must touch sides. There’s no diagonal tile touching here! But now what? Hold on. Coffee. Mmmmmm, coffee.

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rock, paper, scissors

Now you take turns moving, flipping, or fighting. Why? To kick your friends off the table, defeat their team, and win! Moving allows your team to run away from someone who might defeat them or even allow you to push someone else’s tiles along or even out of the game. Flipping tiles can limit or expand a tile’s actions. Fighting, well, is fighting. You defeat a tile or you lose a fight. Fights are mostly simple affairs that play out as rock, paper, scissors. I say mostly, because there are also damage tokens that come in to play based on how the battle goes. A player wins by having the only remaining tiles.

That brings us to player elimination. You can play that way, but there is also a variant where eliminated players get to move the Heart Of The Fight Tile. It’s a great way to mess with everyone who destroyed your team.

What is it like to play this game? Hold on. More coffee.

OK, this game has a lot of strategy and a lot of making plans only to have them immediately thwarted. Think of four way chess. Now think of four way chess where the battles aren’t as easy as rook takes pawn. Now add in fun retro 16 bit graphics.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Tiny Sword Tactics is a lot of fun and has a great look. We really enjoyed playing. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, aren’t you. Go ahead and get your own cup of coffee. I’ll wait. Just know that it’s not so much a shoe as it is a flip flop.

Does this game look great? Is it fun? Is there good player interaction? YES! There is, however the issue of player elimination. Sure, you can use the variant where the eliminated player messes with those still in the game, but it’s not as long lasting in the fun dept. as one might hope.

I forgot to mention something fairly important. Tiny Sword Tactics is currently on Kickstarter. As of the publishing of this review they have 10 days to go. $30 gets you a full version of the game. It seems a little high, but this is a kickstarter and with the total amount they are looking for I get the sense they’re trying to actually kickstart a business and not just create pre-orders.

So, my two concerns are player elimination and the price. That being said I still play Axis and Allies (hello mega player elimination) and I really want this game to make it. Tiny Sword Tactics looks good and plays well. Definitely check it out!

Here’s a link for you: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/637771097/tiny-swords-tactics

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OMSI Mini Maker Fair

We were lucky enough to be invited by Game Lab Oregon to the Mini Maker Fair at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). We ran a table showing of some of the dice towers and dice trays we have made, but also sharing games from people we know. Well, that we know via the internets. We brought Verdun 1916, Dice Crawl, and Gem Packed Cards. We also wandered around a bit. Watch the video to learn more about Game Lab Oregon, indie game designers, and see us play a dice game with pirates!

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We need your help!

So far we have been able to fund operations for our site all by ourselves. We are currently in a bit of a transition. Brandon is in grad school. Thanks, Brandon! We need to renew the webhosting for Spaghetti and Meeples and need your help. Please visit the Go Gund Me we have set up and donate what you can and please share this. We are only asking for exactly what we need to keep the site up. Thank you for your time! The link is below.

https://www.gofundme.com/2pmvarus

 

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PWNs is Back!

We looked at PWNs originally here. Their first Kickstarter didn’t fund, but they are back and ready to move forward. It was a game that Brandon didn’t really want to like at first, but he wound up really enjoying it. Take a look at their new Kickstarter.

 

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Casting Shadows/Runeslinger

Brandon: We’ve linked to Runeslinger before in our review of Leviathans. He covers a lot about RPGs and also does some unboxing videos. One of the things I like most about his videos is that he is incredibly thoughtful and finds ways to talk about our relationships to each other and how games facilitate and enhance, or change, those relationships. Below is one of the more recent videos that impressed me. I am also including the link to his blog.

https://castingshadowsblog.com/

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Freakonomics: Jane Austen, Game Theorist

Brandon: I turned on OPB as I was headed to pick up my wallet that I had left at a friend’s house two nights before. I was treated to this great piece about Jane Austin and Game Theory. Fun and informative, and it talks about why Game Theory never actually became the big deal we were all told it would be.

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Unboxing Runica Art Games Package

So glad that this package finally made it to our loving home. The first one went on quite the adventure.

 

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Levi Schneidewent-Trollworks

Brandon: Today we are joined by Levi Schneidewent of Trollworks. If you missed my review of two of his dice towers that I purchased you can read that here and then read the following interview, or read this interview first and then read the dice tower review. Either way. Enjoy!


First, tell me about where the name Trollworks comes from?

Levi: When I was a kid my brother used to call me the little “Troll”. My workspace is in basement of a 1923 firehouse which happens to be a Fallout shelter; sort of a cave. It’s the home of Rockhead’s Comics and Games, it occupies the ground floor and the second story (9000 sq ft) (owned by my brother). When I was just starting the business my brother was kidding around and said, “Go to your cave little troll and get to work.”—Trollworks

How did you get started making game accessories?

Levi: I would like to tell you a happy story of how it all began, but I lost my job of 23 years due to the economy and I didn’t want to go back into daily grind; so, I took the opportunity to create a job just for myself.

What is your design process like? How do you come up with the pieces you make?

Levi: Many of my designs come from customer requests. If I feel the finished product is marketable I do a cost/time study, then a product offer.

DiceMasters

What is your best seller?

Levi: The marketplace is flickered, at times I get lots of requests for Dice Towers or Movement Trays or Storage Systems. I don’t have enough market history yet to do any trend mapping. I sell a lot of dice towers during the Holidays, a lot of trays during Regional’s, and then storage system sales increase after the Holidays.

What is your favorite accessory that you make?

Levi: Design is what I like to do best; so my favorite accessory is coming up with new projects. In fact, that’s a weakness of mine. I have designed and built many more projects where only one gets built.

Do you do custom work or take requests for something to stock?

Levi: Yes, I do custom skins on many of my products (dice-towers, movement trays, storage units, movement markers, dice) and I also do custom scratch work. My rates are driven by the usual factors such as design time, material cost, amd product time, but I give discounts on the marketability of the project.

I make an FMTG storage case that was a customer request. The project should have been close to $100, but it had marketability, so I did the project for $50.00. I currently set said item for $50 on my Etsy shop.

How often do you design and add new items?

Levi: As needed/requested or when orders are slow. I build everything on demand, my turn around time is 3-5 order to ship

PaintStorage

What tools and equipment do you use?

Levi: I am currently running 2 Universal Lasers, but I have a large compliment of support equipment (woodworking, paint booth, sandblaster, 3d printer). I have invested a lot into my equipment.

What games have you been playing lately?

Levi: Since I work in a game shop and live over a game shop I have plenty of opportunity for gaming:

RPG– Deadlands, D&D 5th ed, Shadowrun, Hackmaster online w20d

Miniature– 40K, Flames of War, Airdrome 1.0, D&D, Imperial Assault

BoardGames– we have 1200 library games.

Electronic– Civilization, Galactic Civilization, X-Com, Windward

What do you do when you aren’t making amazing dice towers?

Levi: I’m a lone wolf, coupled with the fact that I’m the boss/owner; I can come and go as I please. So, I travel in my Kia Soul conversion camper (kayak, bicycle, 5’8’” bed, attached canopy, off grid solar power, 12v refrigerator, lights, fans, low voltage charging station). So, travel, camping, cycling, and kayaking.


Levi is currently on a well deserved break after hitting GenCon, but can be foundCthulhu at this fine location:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Trollmanufacturing

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