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Home | Tag Archives: Plaid Hat Games

Tag Archives: Plaid Hat Games

Video: TNTM Comanauts by Plaid Hat Game Unboxing

Trevor opens up Comanauts to show us the contents. Comanauts is the second installment in Jerry Hawthorne’s Adventure Book system following Stuffed Fables.

This game of exploration and danger builds on the mechanisms first introduced in that earlier title, providing a new experience for more mature players. Comanauts is for 2 to 4 players and should take 90-120 minutes to play.

The locations in this game are based on the main characters mind and prove to be very interesting. The storybook style of cooperative play is also sure to be a hit on game night.


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TNTM: Top 5 Game Publishers

This episode Trevor and Danny discuss their Top 5 Lists of Game Publishers. If the company currently manufacturers games or has in the past, they qualify. Publishers differ from designers. Publishers are responsible for manufacturing and marketing the games for distribution.

What are some of your favorite game publishers? Let us know in the comments.

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Mice and Mystics game review

Mice and Mystics game review

Hey howdy hey, it’s time for another board game blog! Today we are going to take a look at one of my favorite games ever! Mice and Mystics by Jerry Hawthorne and Plaid Hat Games.

Mice and Mystics box

Mice and Mystics

The game plays 1 to 4 players. You play as one of six mice heroes. Each has a different class, stats, and starting items.

This is a story driven (literally) role-playing-game (RPG) in a box. You play through one of eleven chapters from the storybook. Each chapter has it’s own setup and special requirements. Important to note, this game does follow a contiguous story as you progress through each chapter. That doesn’t mean that you can’t play the chapters in the order you see fit.

Mice and Mystics cards

Hero Reference Cards

Mice and Mystics book

Storybook and Rule Book

You begin by selecting a chapter, setting up the board (from the eight double-sided tiles), picking a mouse hero (with their starting items, and hero reference cards), selecting an applicable ability card for your mouse, and setting up the first encounter (either through special setup dictated in the storybook, or by encounter card).

Mice and Mystics tiles

Board Tiles

Mice and Mystics tiles2

More Board Tiles

You then shuffle up the hero and villain initiative cards and place them on the right side of the clock shaped story tracker. Then place the hourglass marker on the left side of the clock on page 1, and “The End” marker on the space dictated by the storybook. You also place the encounter and search decks on their designated spaces on the clock as well.

Place your miniature (minis) hero figures on the starting space and the villains on their spaces (following either the special setup from the storybook, if noted, or on the minion spawning spaces, marked by little footprints).

Mice and Mystics initiative

Heroes and their Initiative Cards

Mice and Mystics clock

Story Tracker Clock

You then take turns according to initiative order following through each hero individually and villains as a group. You may move around the board, take one main action (in either order, but you cannot move, then take an action, and move again), and any number of minor actions on your turn.

Your movement is determined by your mouse’s movement ability (footprints on their reference sheet), modified by rolling a die (1-3 atMice and Mystics sample most, in the top left corner of the die), and adding the two numbers together (important to note, you must roll for movement before you do anything else on your turn).

Mice and Mystics dice


The major actions you may take are: Scurry (taking an extra move action), Battle (fighting minions), Search (for useful items, equipment, and tricks; can only be performed once per encounter if successful), Recover (from any status ailments like stun, webbed, etc…), and Explore (to a new tile, provided that the current encounter is finished).

The minor actions may be performed as many times as you like. They are: Share (cheese, equipment, and items with mice sharing a space with you, or adjacent to you), Equip/Unequip (the items you choose to wear or use from your pack), and Level Up (by spending 6 cheese to gain a new ability card).

Once per turn you may also choose to use only one of your current abilities by spending the appropriate amount of cheese (which is gained through battle).

Mice and Mystics character

Character Setup Example

Mice and Mystics search

Search Cards

The main thing you are going to be doing in the game is battling minions. You may use a melee attack if the targeted minion shares a space with or is adjacent to, your hero, you roll a number of dice dictated by your battle value (sword icon on your character sheet) plus any additional provided by your weapons and items.

The target then rolls dice for defense (shield icon on the minions initiative card). Every sword you roll equals one hit, minus one for each shield rolled by the minions.

You may also make a ranged attack on a target (provided you have a weapon with a bow icon, or a ranged spell ability) except that instead of sword icons you want to roll bows. Then the target rolls defense as usual. Again, each bow is a hit, minus one for each shield rolled in defense.

You can range attack any character that is not blocked by a wall. After the hits and blocks are totaled, you apply a number of wound tokens to the target.

Mice and Mystics encounter

Encounter Example

On their turn, minions (controlled by the players as well) will also try to move towards the nearest hero, and attack the mouse at the highest point in the initiative order and continuing down the line until each hero has been attacked. However, each minion may only attack once per turn per figure (3 rats, 3 separate attacks).

They roll a number of dice equal to their battle value as dictated on their initiative card. Swords hit on melee, bows on ranged. You then roll a number of dice equal to your defense value (shield icon on your character sheet), plus any dice for armor, shield, and helmet cards your hero may have equipped.

Each shield rolled, will subtract one damage. Then adding wound tokens as necessary. If ever you have a number of wounds equal to the number of hearts on your character sheet you are captured and removed from the board until the encounter is over. At which time the hourglass moves one page up the story track.

You and your foes may also acquire cheese from attacking and defending (if a cheese face is rolled), heroes add the cheese to their stash and may use it to level up (gaining new abilities) or use one ability on their turn.

Minions however, add the cheese to the “Minion Cheese Wheel” on the story tracker clock. When the clock fills up, a “surge” is triggered adding more minions to the encounter and moving the hourglass one page up the story track, making future encounters more difficult the further the hourglass is on the story track.

Mice and Mystics minion

Minion Wheel

Once the encounter is finished (by defeating all the minions) you may explore to a new tile and start a new encounter. But do so quickly, as each time you reach the end of the initiative order with no minions on the board you must add one more cheese to the wheel. This could trigger a surge adding more minions and moving the hourglass again!

As with most cooperative style games there are a number of ways to lose, but only one way to win. If the hourglass marker ever reaches “The End” marker, you lose. If all mice are ever captured in a single encounter, you lose. But, if you have reached your goal, and completed your objective as detailed at the beginning of the chapter you win! At which point you may choose to play the game in more of a campaign style, by keeping any unlocked abilities, and one search item (excluding starting gear) found in the chapter previous.

What first stands out, is the beautiful artwork by John Ariosa, from the characters, the villains, the cards, the boards, even the storybook is choc full of his gorgeous art. The game designer, Jerry Hawthorne, is no slouch in the writing department either. Each chapter will have you on the edge of your seat rooting for your heroes to complete their quest to victory! Plus the minis are AMAZING!!!

Mice and Mystics minis

Character Miniatures

The game comes with a ton of stuff (everything needed to start your adventures), including 22 minis (pictured above), and the 11 chapter “Sorrow & Remembrance” storybook. And if you have played through the story and find yourself clambering for more, there are two expansions available.

Mice and Mystics Glorm

Heart of Glorm Expansion

“Heart of Glorm” is the first and adds a new 6 chapter storybook, a new hero (with mini), new villain (with mini), new search cards, encounters, abilities, and more.

Mice and Mystics Downwood

Downwood Tales Expansion

“Downwood Tales” is the second and includes a new 12 chapter storybook, 23 minis, 3 new heroes, a bunch of new villains, 8 new double-sided tiles, 5 more dice, new search cards, encounters, abilities, and so much more…

I give it 3 out of 3 blind mice.

Until next time, keep playing games, and FLY YOU FOOLS!!!

-Trevor L. Cooper is an avid board gamer. When he is not gaming he can be found at Zia Comics, home of all things awesome.

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Dead of Winter Game Review

Howdy Y’all, Today we are going to be taking a look at “Dead of Winter” by Isaac Vega, Jon Gilmour, and Plaid Hat Games.
Dead of WinterDead of Winter is a cooperative game with a defector for 2-5 players. In which you play as a ragtag group of survivors trying to make it through a zombie infested winter.

Dead of Winter game board
The Game Board

Each player takes a reference card, some survivors, a corresponding number of dice (one for the player and one for each survivor), a number of starter items, and their secret objective card.

As is the usual for cooperative games, there are a number of ways to lose (if the morale maker reaches zero or if the round maker reaches zero before the main objective is completed), but only one way to win.

Your goal to win is dependent on the game’s main objective card, which is determined at the beginning of the game.

Dead of Winter player setup
Dead of Winter player setup

As stated earlier, each player also has a secret objective card that they are trying to complete as well (which also determines if you are loyal or a betrayer). Which, if met, means that you individually win as well.

secret objective cards
Secret Objective Cards

Dead of Winter plays over a number of rounds, at the beginning of which, is the “Player Turns Phase”. During this phase you reveal a new crisis card, roll your action dice, and then each player takes their turns (clockwise from the leader).

main objective cards
Main Objective Cards

On your turn you must use your action dice to do things like: search for useful items at the six different locations (the School, the Gas Station, etc…), kill zombies, build barricades, clean out waste (discard pile), and attract zombies. You do not use action dice to: play cards, add to the crisis, move, etc… However, when you move you must roll the dreaded “Exposure Die”. This die can give your survivors wounds, frostbite (wounds that continue to add more wounds each round), or even kill your survivor with a zombie bite!

exposure die
Exposure Die and Crossroad Cards

What sets the game apart is just how stunningly thematic it is with the help of “Crossroad Cards”, which are drawn at the beginning of each players turn. These cards can be very helpful or devastatingly awful (anything from adding more survivors or food to causing them to die or morale to drop). Usually dependent on a vote for one of two options.

After each player has had a turn, you end the round by taking the “Colony Phase”. During this phase you pay food (1 per every 2 survivors at the colony), check waste (losing 1 morale per every 10 cards in the discard pile), resolve the crisis (1 item per non-exiled player), add zombies (1 per every 2 survivors at the colony, and 1 per every survivor at a location), check the main objective for completion, move the round tracker, and pass the first player marker to the right. Then start a new round. Sound simple? It isn’t!

zombie horde
Hordes of Zombies

This game constantly keeps players on their toes and really captures the tension of what it might be like to try and survive a zombie apocalypse. This is achieved with all of the “flavor” dripping from everything in the game, from item cards, crossroads, even the characters themselves keep you on the edge of your seat. You are constantly hoping they don’t die, or worse become a shambling zombie spreading the infection to others. The artwork by Fernanda Suarez is pretty awesome too!

The Cast of Survivors

The game retails at $59.99 and you can even find cool promo characters like Geek & Sundry’s Felicia Day, Plaid Hat Game’s Kodiak Colby, and Mrs. Mall Santa, Roberta Plum.

I give it 9 walking dead out of 9!

Until next time, keep playing games, and get back inside Caarrrrrl!

-Trevor L. Cooper is an avid board gamer. When he is not gaming he can be found at Zia Comics, home of all things awesome.

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