The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design has just announced the nominees for the 2018 Origins Awards and we are incredibly excited to say that Hotshots has been nominated in the Family Games category!
It’s an honor to have our game recognized and we couldn’t be more proud of those brave, little, cardboard, firefighting heroes! They’re in some good company too. It turns out several of our games have also been nominated for the Origins Award including: Castle Panic, Bears!, The Wizard’s Tower, and The Dark Titan (which won the fan favorite award in 2016!)
We’ll see how it all works out at the Origins Game Fair coming up in June, and don’t forget, attendees to the show can vote for their Fan Favorite in each category!
Congratulations to all the nominees! You can see all of them in every category here.
We’re taking to the road on our Smash and Burn Tour! Join us in person or through social media as we visit 16 stores in the Midwest. We’ll be demoing our new releases, Hotshots and Kaiju Crush, and giving out promos. It’ll be a great opportunity to meet Justin De Witt, designer of Castle Panic, Hotshots, and more. Bring in your favorite Fireside Games, and he’ll be happy to sign them. You might also make it into our store videos!
For more information on the games, check out these links:
Join Steve Jackson Games and Munchkin Panic designers Justin and Anne-Marie De Witt from Fireside Games on Facebook Live this Thursday, 5/4, at 5:30 p.m. Central time for a Q&A about the game! We’ll also be giving out a copy of Munchkin Panic, signed by Steve Jackson!
Here’s your chance to ask us all those burning Munchkin Panic questions you’ve been storing up! You have been storing your burning questions haven’t you? Ask your questions with the tag #AskFireside and we’ll pick the best to answer on stream! Tune in to the SJ Games Facebook page for the live stream!
Last weekend was Wizard World Comic Con Austin, and it was a great show!
We arrived on Thursday to set up our booth and were immediately put in a good mood. The Austin Convention Center is what’s known as a “Drive-On” show, which means they allow vendors to drive their vehicles right onto the show floor to load and unload. Since we usually have to transport all of our booth materials into a show from parking lots that are far away, we really appreciate this. Boy does being able to park the van right next to the booth make setup easy!
The show started on Friday afternoon, and we immediately got to work showing people all the fun to be had with cats, airships, and spaceships. Comic Cons are known for lots of amazing costumes, cosplay, and crazy creatures, and Austin was no exception. The aisles were filled with bow-tied Doctors, Harley Quinns, Stormtroopers, and more. We managed to grab a few photos of some of our favorites, including this amazing rendition of Khan.
We also fell in love with/were terrified by this father and son Predator duo.
Of course, another big draw to a Comic Con is the chance to meet all sorts of celebrities from movies, TV, books, and all corners of the geek universe. This show featured Sebastian Shaw (The Winter Solider), Bruce Campbell, and tons of other famous faces. We’ll admit you don’t get into the board game hobby without being a bit of a geek yourself, and we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to meet some of our favorites. Since we just happened to have Star Trek Panic with us, and William Shatner was at the show (coincidence?), we had to get a photo taken of all of us.
He was super nice, and it was great to meet the man behind the Captain in person after all these years!
He even autographed a copy of the game.
There were two more guests that I was especially excited to see. If you saw the TableTop episode featuring Castle Panic, you might remember Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt being pretty darn entertaining. Well, they were at the show this weekend, and I can confirm that they are also pretty darn nice people! Not only did they happily sign my copy of Castle Panic, but we chatted for a few minutes. I learned they still play the game at home, and I even got to hug Yuri. It was pretty awesome!
I now have signatures from 3 of the 4 players on the Castle Panic TableTop episode on 1 cover. All I need is Andre the Black Nerd, and I’ll have the complete set!
I took a side trip to get my album cover to the original Flash Gordon soundtrack signed by Flash Gordon himself, Sam Jones! Hey, it can’t ALL be about work, right?
It turns out that we even made a (very) short appearance on the local morning news show when they did a feature on the convention. How cool is that?!
We met tons of great people at the show and had a blast introducing people to our hobby. If it sounds like something you’d like to experience for yourself, there is probably a Comic Con coming to a city near you. Check out their complete schedule here, and let your geek flag fly. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Final preparations are underway for Gen Con 2016, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ll have free demos, promos, events, and all kinds of fun!
Free Demos in Booth #743: Want to check out the latest games from Fireside? This is the best way to make sure you’re taught the rules correctly with friendly people who want to make sure your experience is great. We’ll be demoing Star Trek Panic, Here, Kitty, Kitty!, Dastardly Dirigibles, and Bears! in booth #743.
Promos for Demos: We’ll also be giving demoers these hard- to-find promos for checking out the games.
• Star Trek Panic: Vulcan Mind-Meld
• Here, Kitty, Kitty!: Milkshake
• Dastardly Dirigibles: Smoke Bomb
• Bears!: Alarm Clock
Extras: Dastardly Dirigibles winners can pose with the dapper Heir-on-a-Stick to show their win to the world. And purchasers of Star Trek Panic receive a spare U.S.S. Enterprise! It’ll look great on your desk. That is, until you need to replace the one in your game after all of that damage!
Events: This year, Fireside Games is hosting events for the first time! We sold out of our original events within 3 days and opened up more. Just 4 seats remain open. One for Dead Panic, and three for The Village Crone. Click here to sign up. After you click on the link, select the Board Game category to find our events. Hope to see you there!
The splendiferous day has arrived! Dastardly Dirigibles, our steampunk airship building card game, is now available everywhere!
Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, famed airship builder, is retiring and you are an engineer competing to inherit the Hornswoggle factory!
Each airship is made of seven cards, each representing a different part of the airship, such as the nose cone or lift engine.
Whenever a player adds a part to their airship, ALL players MUST add the SAME part, even if it means replacing an existing part. The first player to play all seven parts and complete their airship ends the round, but there’s a catch. Players only score the suit they used the most in building their airship!
Normally when a new ship is launched it’s tradition to break a bottle of champagne over the bow of the vessel. As much as we’d love to celebrate in that way, nobody likes a wet, sticky card game. Instead we encourage you to visit your local game store or head over to our shop and pick up a copy. And right now, if you get your game from our online shop, or a participating retail store, you’ll get the exclusive Smoke Bomb promo card free with your purchase!
So strap on your goggles and start twirling your moustache, it’s time to become the master of those Dastardly Dirigibles!
Origins Game Fair was last week and it was a blast! We had a booth in the Main Exhibit Hall and ran demos of Here, Kitty, Kitty!, Dastardly Dirigibles (releasing July 6), and Star TrekTMPanic® (available now!). Our booth was so busy and we got to see so many familiar faces and make some new friends.
We had the designer of Here, Kitty, Kitty! in the booth playing with attendees and the artist, Tony Steele, was back in the art area drawing cats on boxes for anyone who picked up a copy and asked nicely.
Star TrekTMPanic® received lots of attention and we had demo after demo of excited gamers devouring the latest variation in the Panic Line.
Saturday of the show happened to coincide with International Panic Day and it was fun to see Social Media explode with posts from Friendly Local Game Stores around the country hosting events in-store to celebrate the day, while we played the latest variation with attendees at the show.
The biggest thrill of the show was at the Origins Awards ceremony Saturday night when it was revealed The Dark Titan, the second expansion to Castle Panic®, was the winner of the Fan Favorite award for the Gaming Accessory category! Thanks fans!
Anne-Marie De Witt, our CEO, accepted the award on behalf of Fireside Games because Justin De Witt, the designer and Chief Creative Officer for the company, was back at home in Texas working on the THIRD expansion. You can expect more news on that game to be coming VERY SOON!
Castle Panic and the first expansion, The Wizard’s Tower, were both Origins Awards Nominees in their respective release years, so you know the whole line is good. Fans really love the toughness of Agranok in The Dark Titan and we appreciate all the support and dedication to this line you, the fans, bring every time you see us at a show or a local game store.
Thanks to all of you for making Origins Game Fair 2016 such a success and so much fun. We’ll see you there next year. And remember… Just PANIC and Play Games!
If you are a fan of Orphan Black, you may have recognized a few familiar “faces” in the new Season 4 set location, Rabbit Hole Comics.
In episode 2, “Transgressive Border Crossing,” formerly separated clones Sarah and Cosima are reunited in a secret lab in the basement of a Comic shop. When Sarah and Mrs. S enter the shop we get a good little “geek out” when they pan the shop and there is an eye-catching display of our favorite games.
We caught this quick picture to show off a little. Forgive our proud little hearts. :)
Happy Birthday, Jules Verne! In honor of a man whose imagination and fantastical inventions on the page have inspired amazing technologies to be born in the real world, we are excited to announce another new release coming your way in 2016! Dastardly Dirigibles are coming to airspace near you this summer.
Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, famed airship builder, is retiring and you are an engineer competing to inherit the Hornswoggle factory!
Build your airship from different parts of 9 beautiful suits. Each time a part is added, ALL players MUST add the SAME part–which may replace an existing one.
Use Special cards to your advantage or to thwart your opponents. The round ends when the first airship is complete. But you score only the suit used most in your airship. The player with the highest score after 3 rounds wins!
Dastardly Dirigibles is a game full of surprises and visual delights. The tarot-sized cards feature gorgeous Steampunk artwork. You will have a hard time choosing a favorite airship suit! This card game will hit stores in July 2016. It plays in an hour, accommodates 2–5 players, ages 8 and up, and has an MSRP of $19.95.
Dastardly Dirigibles joins Bears! and Here, Kitty, Kitty! as part of our line of fun, friendly competitive games priced $25 and under.
Share our official press release with your favorite mad scientist or engineer!
Witches aren’t just for Halloween anymore! Find out why YOU should be playing The Village Crone through recommendations from gamers like you in this Review Roundup for our newest game (released September 30).
Dave Banks at Geek Dad flatters us with his comments on the components and gameplay quality, “I really appreciate Fireside’s devotion to quality, both in gameplay and components. Everything looks and feels top-notch, making for a great gaming experience… …I think Fireside is great at coming up with little twists that affect gameplay positively…”
“The game is easy to learn and play, but offers enough depth to keep players interested,” according to Mike N. over at Nerds of a Feather in his recap of the best games at GenCon.
Caylie Sadin from Nerdy But Flirty fell in love with The Village Crone when she first saw it at GenCon 2015, “The game is really fun to play, the art is beautiful, and the theme is awesome.”
She really likes the thematic use of spell-casting in this one: “One of the mechanics that makes the game super enjoyable is that every time you cast a spell, you have to say the incantation too. It helps players get into the spirit of the game.”
“The interaction is great, the board is constantly shifting, and there’s a lot of guessing who’s doing what and trying to block them, or at least trying to stop other players from moving the pieces you need out of the ares in which you need them. You’re right, it is very much puzzle-like. And I like that a lot!”
The praise for this game is summed up nicely by Ryan Morgenegg over at Deseret News, “The Village Crone has a great theme and beautiful components.”
There you have it, folks! The Village Crone is a worker placement, resource management game with a puzzle-like quality and continually shifting landscape. Learn more about The Village Croneon our information page and pick up a copy at your Friendly Local Game Store today!
In this crazy cat-collecting game your neighborhood has a cat problem. The problem is they don’t all belong to YOU! Everyone in the neighborhood wants to claim those adorable kitties for themselves.
Outwit your fellow feline fiends as you lure cats onto your property, move cats into your house, and steal cats from your neighbors. All is fair in love and cat-collecting!
Here, Kitty, Kitty! will include 40 covetable cat miniatures. You will have a hard time picking a favorite! The game retails for $24.95, accommodates 3-6 players, and plays in approximately 30 minutes.
Designed by Kris McCardel Ware, a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady,” this game is full of thematic jokes and cat puns. There are no blenders or explosions in this game, but if you use your “Catlike Reflexes” and avoid “Stray Dogs” and “Hairballs,” you might just “Land on Your Feet!”
Get ready for some feline fever this coming Spring with Here, Kitty, Kitty!
This week we’re at the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Trade Show in Las Vegas. We’re really excited to take this opportunity to officially announce our 2015 product releases!
We have three new products scheduled to hit store shelves this year.
Our first release this year is The Dark Titan, the second expansion to our popular cooperative game Castle Panic. The Dark Titan features new Monsters, new cards, and new support tokens. The main threat is Agranok, the Dark Titan who has escaped exile and returned to exact his revenge on your Castle. The Dark Titan requires Castle Panic (2009)to play and takes approximately 1 hour. The game supports 1 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, and retails for $14.95. It is also compatible with The Wizard’s Tower (2011) for an even greater challenge. The Dark Titan releases April 1 and is currently available for pre-order.
Keep calm and roll on this summer when our fast and furious dice game Bears! (2011) gets its own expansion. Bears!: Trail Mix’d gives you 6 new rules for the original game to really mix things up. This expansion features a die that is rolled before each round, changing up the rules that affect pairing and scoring for even more versatility and unexpected results. It accommodates 2 or more players, is recommended for ages 7 and up, and retails for $4.95. Bears!: Trail Mix’d is available in June 2015.
This autumn you’ll fall under the spell of our brand new game, The Village Crone. Immerse yourself in the medieval village of Wickersby as you vie with other witches for the venerable title of Village Crone. Worker placement and resource management are key as you use your familiars to gather ingredients and cast spells on the villagers to achieve goals and score victory points. The Village Crone features a modular game board for a new experience every time. It retails for $49.95, accommodates up to 6 players, ages 13 and up, and features a solo play option as well.
We hope you’re as excited about these titles as we are. We’ll be updating the product information pages as we get closer to release dates for each. Stay tuned for more gameplay information, including component images, unboxing and how to play videos, and more!
It looks like the world at large is catching on to what we’ve all known for years. Games are fun. And places you can go to play games are fun places.
Aside from our go-to places to play games with friends and strangers, such as libraries, hobby game stores, and our friend’s house for game night, there is a new growing trend with Game Cafes. Take the coffee shop idea and add board and card games to the mix and you get a place you can meet friends for a sandwich or cup of joe AND a game of Castle Panic. And you don’t even have to bring your own copy.
The Atlantic recently shared an article about the spread of Board Game Cafes around the world and spoke to the possible reason for their growing popularity: “the rapid proliferation speaks to something deeper: the need to connect with people in a public/private space, the need to have a meaningful interaction that doesn’t use emoticons, and perhaps the need, in an increasingly complex world, to work with friends and family toward a clear goal.”
Fireside’s CEO, Anne-Marie, was just discussing this same topic (why board games are drawing in new fans) on her podcast interview with The Gaming Careers‘s resident interviewer Steven Ruduski. She cited smartphones as a possible trigger for the recent increase in board game popularity.
“I actually think it’s because of smartphones. People are turned back on to gaming again because games are so easy to find and play on their phones and it has kind of really reminded people of how fun games are to play. I think the nice thing about table top games is they are significantly more social than playing an app on your phone. So I think that has really reminded adults that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy games.”
Ruduski seconds that sentiment saying, “It’s that social aspect.” He goes on to explain that he is a big RPG fan, but as an adult it is hard to get a group of friends together who have 12 hours for a campaign. “But a board game, you capture a lot of that same social interaction with predefined times, a time packet of 40 minutes, 90 minutes, and then you get to go home.”
The idea that modern tech has spurred a resurgence in good old-fashioned hanging out is echoed by Devon Trevelyan in a recent article by The Daily Free Press. “Online gaming has taken such a turn, [to the point] where you can communicate with people across the world. I like that, but I think there is a real quality about face-to-face interaction and laughing with your friends when they’re in your presence.”
Trevelyan runs Knight Moves, a gaming cafe in Boston, MA, that champions the casual, comfortable feel of European cafes and strives to pair it with the social community that gaming imparts.
What do you think? Is there is a connectedness people have been missing with all the tech in their lives? Do boardgames help fill that need?
We’d love to hear about game cafes in your neighborhood! Tell us your favorite place to hang out and play games in the comments below.
At BGG.Con 2014, Anne-Marie & Justin sat down with Phoebe Wild from The Cardboard Vault to discuss Munchkin Panic and the just-announced Castle Panic expansion The Dark Titan.
Phoebe catches Justin in a sharing mood and gets him to reveal some secrets about The Dark Titan.
In the video interview Justin gives more detail on how the new Support Tokens work and what some of the new Monsters bring to the game. He also shares some info on how Agranok’s adjustable levels of difficulty work, giving you control over how hard you have to play.
Attention then turned to Munchkin Panic. Anne-Marie explains how Munchkin Panic upends the expectations of Castle Panic players, adding Treasure and Backstabbing to the familiar cooperative style of play.
She goes over how a turn plays out and some of the variations in how you slay Monsters by using Treasure cards and how you use Curses to boost your advantage over the other players. You’ll want to watch this video if you still aren’t quite clear on how the games differ as it gets to the heart of why Munchkin Panic is such fun and how it offers you a new play experience.
Steve Ruduski over at The Company Bard recently interviewed Anne-Marie for his Gaming Careers Podcast. They covered origins stories for Fireside Games and how we grew from a part-time, when-we-have-time venture into a thriving and quickly-growing small company.
They also get into the nitty gritty of what it means to be a designer/publisher of boardgames and how the business side of things works. It isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes you have to knuckle down and do the boring (but very necessary) tasks required to run the business. You have to weigh your decisions carefully and balance your goals with your cash flow. And, yes, sometimes you have to take that leap and hope you will sprout wings. Continue reading Anne-Marie Talks the Business Side of Games on The Gaming Careers Podcast