Author: Charlie Theel

Nyctophobia – A Narrative of the Dark

It’s the third day of Gen Con. This means I’m half-dead, my brain numb from extended wars in the Imperium and ancient Japan, my consciousness slightly adrift as I struggle to remember the resulting peace from a full night’s sleep.  But it’s the third day of Gen Con – sleep is for the buzzards circling…

The Curious Case of Curio: The Lost Temple

I love a quality escape room tabletop experience. Unlock, Exit, Escape Room: The Game – bring ’em all on. The main conceit of all of these designs is that you can’t replay them. You finish a scenario, possibly shredding the components, and you toss it out in the garbage like a dream you’ve forgotten before…

Atari’s Missile Command – An Analog Review

“That it’s, I’m melting your people’s faces off.” I reach for the little facsimile of Fat Boy, nestled in a cluster of seemingly harmless wooden shapes. Then I grab a green cube from the pile. Aaron always plays with green. Except this isn’t just a cube – it’s really a missile. “See this little Spongebob-shaped square?…

Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 – A Review From the Mason-Dixon Line

There’s something about Mark Herman that consistently draws me to his designs. He’s a master at linking a fascinating historical narrative to a compelling framework of mechanisms. While an outsider could describe wargames as dry and uniform, Mark’s work tends to push outside the genre’s boundaries and establish unique story-driven personalities. Games like Churchill, Pericles,…

Be Amused by Dȗhr: The Lesser Houses

It’s become tradition to lead off a review of a Jim Felli design by mentioning how weird it is. The man’s become a P.T. Barnum of sorts, feeding his collection of misshapen performers their next cardboard meal and we can’t eat it up quick enough. It may then come as a surprise that this is…

Find Hungry Samurai – A Starship Samurai Review

Starship Samurai is one of those games that take your breath away. Giant samurai space mechs engaging in a ballet of carnage? Sign me up yesterday. And it’s absolutely beautiful. The miniatures are top-notch in the board game realm, the illustrations are gorgeous, and the entire thing has this aura of precision about it that only…

Making Up: X-Wing Heroes of the Aturi Cluster

X-Wing. Even a mention of that weird ship and my heart twists in knots. X-Wing. It’s more than a ship. It’s one of the best releases of Fantasy Flight Games’ 23 years of existence. But, like the embers of Alderaan floating through the void, its fire has been dwindling. A game that lit up our…

The Mad Genius of Wiz-War

Gather round children, for today we talk about something special. Today we talk about Wiz-War. This is literature emblazoned upon cardboard, the classic tale of hermits caught in a labyrinth and forced to battle to the death because that’s what the magicks are for. Wandering a maze like rats wielding switchblades and fireballs – there’s nothing…

The Reveille

I’m sitting at a table in our living room. My mother, my brother, and I are huddled around a curiously small coffee table, its diminutive stature emphasized by the sprawling map of our world. It sits awkwardly positioned with one edge just barely hanging off in suspended gravity, horsemen and artillery ready to plummet into…