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Thunder Alley

Plays: 3Px1. The Game Thunder Alley from GMT Games is a team racing game based on NASCAR racing. Each player manages a team of cars, and the number of cars per team depends on how many are playing. The game comes with different race tracks, and the number of laps to complete differs by track. Show More Summary

Barrier to Entry 

When I first started gaming, not quite at the dawn of time but definitely a ways back, I was in awe of Game Masters. Whether or they were good or not was beside the point, they were the masters of the game. They knew the rules backwards...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Using the Grid for Social Encounters

As I run almost exclusively in the d20 fantasy sphere of games — Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, d20 Modern — one of the tools that gets used often is a combat grid, whether it is a published or dry-erase footmat, HirstArts tiles of my construction or printed cardstock tiles. Show More Summary

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

And I don't mean a jam doughnut. Actually, I'm not a Berliner at all. But I am in Berlin. My fourth trip to Germany (after a couple of trips to Spiel in Essen in 2008 and 2009 with Reiver Games, and a trip to Tübingen last year for work)...Show More Summary

boardgaming in photos: China, Samurai Spirit, Agricola, Through the Ages

27 Feb 2015. China is my favourite Michael Schacht game. I have played its predecessor Web of Power, but only once or twice, on the internet, and I don't remember what I thought about it. My copy of China is the version published by Uberplay, which I like a lot, especially the box cover. Show More Summary

Getting your Sea Legs

I recently started running a Night’s Black Agents game, after coming off of running both Fate and Savage Worlds. This was my first time running anything with the Gumshoe system, and I found myself, for the first time in quite some time, having to get use to running a new system. Show More Summary

Dadventures: The Great Owlid Hunt

It’s time for another short adventure. This one has an old-school feel with a lazily named hybrid monster, the owlid (part owl, part squid). It’s a mix of combat and social encounters for your group and is also a classically styled shaggy-dog story, cementing it firmly in dadventure territory. Show More Summary

Abandoned Characters

The real world is a rough place. People move, take new jobs, go back to school, have family or health issues. (And sometimes they get mad at you, or you at them. But let’s not go negative here). When a player leaves your group for whatever reason, there are two effects. Show More Summary

Impromptu Holiday

The good news is that on Thursday evening, after Games Night, The Wife and I decided to take a long weekend away, so we were in a little cottage in rural Northumberland enjoying an impromptu short break for the last few days - hence the late blog post. Show More Summary

Hot Button: Mechanical Transparency

During my last session one of my players was trying to pick between two powers to use against a foe and, in the process of debating, asked me what he needed to hit. Without thinking I blurted out the number. I was caught off-guard; normally...Show More Summary

birthday outing

For elder daughter Shee Yun's 10th birthday, I organised an outing to Meeples Cafe. I asked her to invite some friends along, but unfortunately most could not make it. She brought along one friend - Joey. That's okay, we could do different types of games with a smaller group. Show More Summary

Groups emerging from play

I recently completed a few months of public play that went far better than I’d imagined. On Wednesdays last fall, we played D&D Encounters. At my table, I had a drop-in-group of 4 or 5 pretty consistent players, with several more who showed up for a session or two. Show More Summary

Canon vs. Original

Many of the games we play are set in worlds created specifically for those games (or universal enough for player created worlds), but there are plenty of games out there designed to immerse your players in a setting from movies, television, books, comics, and so on. Show More Summary

Some Lessons from a Noob GM

Today’s guest article is by Gnome Stew reader Garrison Benson, and it’s about something every GM is familiar with: figuring out how to GM, what works for you, and what doesn’t. Thanks, Garrison! –Martin Most folks get into role-playing through friends and family. Show More Summary

The Message: Emissary Crisis

I thought I have played The Message: Emissary Crisis many times, but when I checked my records, I realised that I have only played three sessions. I did play quite a few games at each session. Just one game was never enough. My copy was a review copy. Show More Summary

They Tried and Failed?

... They tried and died. That quote seems somehow appropriate this week. It's been another busy week. Monday I was travelling for work with Ian again, so there was iPad gaming on the train (complete with another game of Galaxy Trucker,...Show More Summary

Kickstarter Game Review – Galactic Arena

I have all but quit doing Kickstarter reviews. Most of […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Characters for a Thematic Game

Depending on the experience level of the players gathered around your game table, one thing to keep in mind is that the array of class, race and faction choices available to them can be overwhelming — paralyzing, even.   Even in a standard...Show More Summary

Quick Game Review – Agent Hunter

Spies are tricky bastards. They hide out in safe houses […]

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