Board & Card Games at TheGameCrafter

Recently I uploaded three of my board/card games to The Game Crafter which allows for Print on Demand board and card games to be created. The only outstanding board/card game of mine that I haven’t yet uploaded is Lady Bexington’s Home for Wayward Zombies and that’s because the sales on this site – so far – don’t allow for it. I thought,though, it might be useful for people to get a look at what you get for your money and for me to offer a presentation both on the games themselves and on The Game Crafter as a site for offering POD board/card games through.

Steamed is my simple, fast game of steam-powered mecha duelling. The card quality is excellent, though the cutting is a little bit rough around the edges. The game board isn’t that thick but that’s not really a problem for this game. They offer larger boards for bigger games which look to be of greater thickness/quality. The cards are big and very well printed with excellent quality, though they are just a tiny bit thin for the card stands. Out of the box this isn’t a problem but later on with wearing you may find the cards sliding free of the holders. This version includes the Tactical Cards expansion, which are the little cards you see in the middle.

Steamed sells at TGC for $17.99 (Around £12.00, but shipping outside the US is a bitch).

Cthentacle is the successor game to Hentacle and, overall, much better executed. This version of the game includes every character and every card from every set, along with all the optional rules. That’s a shitload of cards. Again the print quality is excellent though the cards are just the slightest bit thin. The cutting issues show up a bit more on the black-edged cards but really don’t look that bad. I consider this to be the definitive and best edition of Cthentacle, though I’m under no illusions that most people buy it to actually play 😛

Cthentacle sells at TGC for $34.99 (Around £24.00 but, again, shipping outside the US is a bitch).

Final Straw is my game of highschool shooting satire. It was always going to be a controversial topic and I somewhat misjudged the American market. Europeans often find the whole US gun culture darkly amusing (gallows humour). The game is actually more about the aftermath and the blame game that goes on. In the Game Crafter edition the quality of the game comes through much better and the game pieces are excellent, though the little plastic round tokens are a little thin. The dice and the ‘meeple’ are great. Again the black border shows up the cutting issues, but these are minor. I would hope that the quality and value comes through in the hardcopy version.

Final Straw sells at TGC for $29.99 (Around £20.00 but, yet again, shipping outside the US is a bitch).

The Game Crafter is great for running off proofs but does not seem to have anything like the same through-traffic that sites like RPGNOW and Drivethru do. There are promotional tools but they seem to have limited impact. For POD the quality can’t be beaten and it is probably worth taking demo sets that you get printed off to proof the games to conventions and so on. The major sticking point for anyone outside the USA is that the shipping costs are exorbitant. To order Cthentacle on non-priority, non-tracked post via USPS to the UK is $25.00 (£17.00!).  By comparison, I could ship through a discount shipping service, such as MyHermes, from the UK to the US for £3-4 ($6.00 or so).

For people outside the US TGC is only really an option for proofs of games and the die-hard fan. They really need to find either:

a) Other shipping services.
b) A European print partner.

Continental Europe is nuts for card/board games, surely there must be someone out there who’d partner with TGC?

Meanwhile, please buy these. I have fun making card and board games and want to make more!

PURCHASE BOARD/CARD GAMES

 

Want More Board & Card Games?

I’d kind of like to do more board games but unless I can shift some it’s not really worth it. It’s costing me a fortune to proof and ship over from The Game Crafter and there aren’t a lot of other options available. It’s only the shipping that kills me, but that’s not so much of an issue for people in the US.

The problem with board games is that they’re not so established as a POD market in the same way RPGs are and it’s a lot harder to sell a board game on PDF as you’re very much limited by people’s printing options and paper sizes – not to mention the difference between A4 and Letter which can be an issue.

I’ve done some interesting things using book covers as boards and paper interior games but of late I’ve been having a lot more board/cardgame ideas. These cost more to source artwork for, more to make and running proofs at Game Crafter is going to cost a huge amount for me. It’s also harder to sell so anything beyond the kind of thing I’ve already done (cheeky sex card games that have non-game appeal or micro-games) is very difficult.

If you want to see more card/board games from me, you need to buy them and you need to let other people know to buy them. I don’t expect my European audience to pay the ludicrous shipping charges, but there’s plenty of people in the US who love my games who shouldn’t have that issue.

Get to it!

Here’s some of the ideas for new board/card games that I have in note/idea form.

Route ’45: A cross-country game of highway adventure based on the ’45 world. Car Wars meets 50s Science Fiction in a card game form. You’d have cars, crews and road encounters in the race across the radioactive USA.

Rink Rash: Again set in the ’45 universe, roller derby with a more violent edge (Rollerball) and a 40s/50s pinup aesthetic. This one’d be a board game with a bunch of teams. I’d be looking for something with a similar sort of aesthetic/feel as the original Blood Bowl.

1000 Ninjas: Like a bizarre combo of Chainsaw Warrior,  Big Trouble in Little China and snakes and ladders. This would be a one-player game where you take on the role of an escaping John Woo style two-pistol gunman, fighting your way to the top to get revenge on the criminal genius who imprisoned you.

Ziege: A two player card game that would play out a bit like Chaos Marauders, a bit like Netrunner and a bit like a Tower Defence game. It would all be about tactically playing out defences to protect your survivors or organising your marching herd of zombies to tear through to get at all those delicious, nommy fleshy things.

STEAMED Hardcopy now available!

You can buy it HERE.

Again, I can’t recommend this source for non US purchasers as the shipping in particular is prohibitively expensive.

This just leaves Lady Bexington’s Home for Wayward Zombies to convert, though I have a ton of ideas for other board and card games that TGC makes possible, albeit to a limited audience.

STEAMED: A Playthrough

Grim & Steve are playing a game of STEAMED.

Grim rolls 6 and Steve rolls 10. Steve gets to pick which mech he wants first.

After a large amount of consideration of the various merits of the various mecha, taking so long as to be annoying, Steve chooses the Iron Hunter piloted by Oberst Thule.

A stickler for tradition and always making decisions for reasons other than statistics, Grim choose The Brunel, piloted by Carston McBride.

It’s going to be a nobility Vs working class grudge match!

Secretly they each choose a modification.

Steve chooses High Explosive Mortar. Grim chooses Reinforced Boiler.

 

 

Turn One

Grim rolls 6 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 9 for Reaction (the Iron Hunter gets a +1)

Steve goes first.

The two mechs are placed on opposite sides of the Target Board.

Steve knows that range is his big advantage in this fight and his mortar has sufficient range to attack the Brunel. He stays put and fires a mortar shell. He now has five mortar shots left. Rolling 3d6 he gets 5, 5, 6, a devastating blow! That’s six damage on his first shot. It hits the Brunel in the left arm and after taking the armour (1) away from the damage that still leaves five. That arm is hanging by a thread!

Grim knows that he has to close range to have any chance at all, so he uses his speed of 2 to close the distance, reaching the centre of the target. The reinforced boiler means he takes no damage from ‘More Coal’ so he piles it on, hoping to get another movement point. He gets a 4 and fails. Nothing he has, has the range to hit the Iron Hunter, it’s still three spaces away, so his go is over.

Turn Two

Grim rolls 6 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 8 for Reaction.

Steve goes first.

Steve can’t get any further away at the moment and the mortar is still the most effective weapon at this range, so he lets fly with another shell. He only have four shots left now. Rolling his dice he gets 2, 6, 1. That’s one hit but with the mortar that does 2 damage. The Brunel is hit in the right arm this time but only for two points of damage. Once you account for armour it’s barely scratched, having 5 damage left.

Grim closes the distance by another 2 spaces to a range of 1, inside the range of the mortar, and also makes a ‘More Coal’ check, because… hey, why not? It fails again, leaving him one space away. Since the left arm is nearly off, he may as well use the grabber while he has it and lunges, reaching for the Iron Hunter. The grabber gets 6d6 and rolls 3, 4, 5, 4, 2, 4. Only one damage. It hits the Iron Hunter in the left leg but that has armour one, so it just pings off and the grabber’s special effect doesn’t work.

Turn Three

Grim rolls 6 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 12 for Reaction – the bastard.

Steve goes first, again.

Steve cannot back away and it would be risky to try and move through the Brunel, so he swaps from his mortar to his blunderbuss. This does 4d6 -1 for each point of range after the first. At range one that’s all four dice. He rolls 4, 1, 1, 6. One point of damage to the Brunel’s right arm. It pings off the armour.

Grim grins evilly as he closes in to range zero. None of the Iron Hunter’s weapons can work at this range but the Brunel’s are super effective. Grim gives him a smack with the grabber which does 7d6 at range 0. 2, 3, 4, 6, 3, 4, 3 are the rolls. Which is pathetic. The blow strikes the Iron Hunter in the left arm, reducing its damage to 3.

Turn Four

Grim rolls 9 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 13 for Reaction, crushing Grim’s hopes of getting a double-blow in.

Steve needs range and needs it fast. He uses his move of one to move past the Brunel and then tries to push it with ‘More Coal’. He fails and takes damage to each leg and to his torso. Ow. That reduces them to five and seven respectively. He’s only managed one pace away so the mortar is out of the question. It’s going to have to be the blunderbuss. He rolls 1,5,4,4. One hit to the left leg which just ricochets off.

Grim smells potential victory and closes in with the grabber. 5,3, 2, 6, 1, 2, 3. Two damage. It strikes Iron Hunter’s right arm reducing its damage to 2.

Turn Five

Grim rolls 6 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 8 for Reaction.

Steve still desperately needs range and tries to power away. He moves one and fails again on his ‘More Coal’ roll. His legs are now at four damage and his torso six. He has to use the blunderbuss again and only scores one damage to the torso. That’s not going to get through the armour.

Grim remains in pursuit, keeping the range close, and once again employs the grabber (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). 4, 4, 1, 5, 2, 6, 3. Two damage. This time it hits the torso of the Iron Hunter and is reduced to one damage. Given the torso is already damaged that takes it down to five hits.

Turn Six

Grim rolls 5 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 8 for Reaction.

Steve’s plan is still the same. Run. He figures he can still afford the risk at the moment. He moves another space away and piles on the coal. It fails again reduced to three damage on each leg and four on the torso. He can’t keep this up for much longer. He fires the blunderbuss for no damage at all. Epic fail.

Grim closes the gap once more and smashes with the grabber. 5, 1, 6, 3, 3, 3, 5. Three damage, a tremendous hit to the torso. The armour there drops it to two damage but that drops the torso’s damage to 2. Things are looking dicey for the Iron Hunter.

Turn Seven

Grim rolls 9 for Reaction. Can he possibly get to go first?

Steve rolls 8 for Reaction. Yes he can!

Grim stays put and attempts to finish off the Iron Hunter with his grabber. 1, 5, 5, 2, 2, 1, 2. Two damage to the torso, minus the armour takes it to one hit.

Steve is desperate, it’s time for an all-or nothing try to win. Desperately he piles on ‘More Coal’ and hopes he can actually get some damn luck. Finally! He rolls a 5 and that means his mech doesn’t shake itself to pieces. He moves two spaces and lets off the mortar which is just barely in range. It gets one hit which does two damage to the Brunel’s left leg reducing it to                four damage.

Turn Eight

Grim rolls 9 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 7 for Reaction.

Grim needs to keep Steve in range to finish him off and closes the gap with his Speed 2. That grabber’s still working and probably has the best chance to do the deed so he lashes out with it. 1, 4, 5, 5, 3, 6, 4. That’s three damage to the Iron Hunter’s left leg, two after armour. That leg’s down to two damage.

Steve backs away but daren’t risk another ‘More Coal’ so he just blasts away with the blunderbuss. 5, 2, 4,4. That’s not enough to harm the arm and bounces off harmlessly.

Turn Nine

Grim rolls 3 for Reaction.

Steve rolls 8 for Reaction.

Steve moves another space away and can fire off another mortar round. Fingers crossed he rolls 1, 5, 1. Two damage to the Brunel’s left leg. It’s down to three damage.

Grim closes in once more, scenting a possible kill and lashes out with the grabber: 3, 3, 6, 3, 6, 5, 4. Three damage to the torso. Even with armour that’s enough to rupture the Iron Hunter’s boiler and it falls to pieces.

Victory for Grim!

NB: To speed up games you can make a 5 do 1 damage and a 6 do 2 damage. With the mortar you can count that as 2 and 3.

STEAMED: RELEASED!

STEAMED is a simple (very simple) fast-paced board game of Steampunk mecha-duelling action. Take to one of four distinct mecha and try to beat the bolts out of each other.

Up to four players

Requires several six sided dice.

ADA – The advanced, and shapely, mech of genius clacker Lady Emmeline Whitmore.

Brunel – The devastatingly brutal construction mech of Carston McBride

Haido Tian – The rocket-assisted robot of the notorious airpirate Hong Meifeng.

Iron Hunter – The frontline military robot of Prussian noble Oberst Klein Von Thule.

You can buy it on PDF HERE

Hardcopy HERE

If you buy TODAY in hardcopy you can get a 20% discount with the code CHASEUK – so now’s a good time to pick up my other books too!

It will be appearing at your other preferred outlets over the next few days.

STEAMED: Preview

All being well I may have this game out by the end of the day. It’s a quick/simple board game of mech-smashing action based on some rules I found while tidying up some notepads. I’d made a game based on Robot Jox (1989! Crotch chainsaw!). Of course, it now has much more of a Steampunk twist.

Here’s a taster in the meantime. The construction mech, The Brunel.

Lady Bexington’s Home for Wayward Zombies – RELEASED!

Download it HERE

Buy a physical copy HERE

Lady Bexington’s Home for Wayward Zombies

A cooperative, self-constructed boardgame of zombie herding in Victorian Society.

Can you recapture the flesh-hungry fiends, protect Old London Town AND maintain a proper sense of Victorian decorum, all at the same time?

1-6 players.

It was a strange and beautiful event when, in the mid eighteen-hundreds, the Earth passed through a strange and luminous cloud. For several nights the atmosphere from pole to pole and east to west shone like the Northern Lights with a strange, pinkish pallor to the illuminations. 

Scientists were at a loss, postulating that we were passing through some band of particles or radiation though none of our Earth-bound devices could tell us much about it. Photographic equipment would not function correctly, images coming out covered in blotches or completely white. All we have are memories, paintings and speculation. 

The lights lasted for a week. A short enough time to remain remarkable. A long enough time that people stopped standing in the street, mouths agape, looking into the sky until all hours. A short enough time that it didn’t lose its wonder. Then, it abruptly stopped. 

People continued to speculate. Scientists with various ideas took the sudden cessation as absolute confirmation of their theories and things got back to normal. At least for a while. 

Three nights after the glowing ceased, the Earth burst open and the dead poured forth. Anyone and everyone who had died on or before that night arose from their grave, sepulchre and mortuary and assaulted the living. It was chaos. In many parts of the world cowardice and poor sense led to the living being overwhelmed. In others, such as London, the army made short work of the dead, destroying most of them, capturing others. 

Soon, at least within the bounds of the Empire, the crisis was over. The dead – unless killed by one of the walking dead – rose no longer and the overwhelming majority had been destroyed. Those that remained were kept as experiments, destroyed or – in rare sentimental cases – placed within charitable institutions or private sanctuaries retained by the great and the good who had the money, or standing, to put the government in its place. 

One such charitable institution is Lady Bexington’s Home for Wayward Zombies, a privately funded charity (much of it via Lady Bexington’s inheritance) which takes in those zombies that don’t have someone to look after them and would otherwise be destroyed. 

Lady Bexington cares for them, feeds them, grooms them. They even seem to have come to know and recognise her somehow. She’s absolutely potty, gone in the head, when it comes to zombies. Poor girl. 

It doesn’t help that there are scandalous rumours about what she feeds them and that, on occasion, it is said that they escape…