Wizard World Comic Con Austin!

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Wizard World TV

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!

Setup at Wizard World Comic Con

Wizard World Booth Ready

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.

Wizard World Khan
See more at http://bit.ly/2d4tefv

We also fell in love with/were terrified by this father and son Predator duo.

Wizard World Predators
Did you notice what he’s holding?

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.

Wizard World Shatner

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.

Signed Star Trek Panic

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!

Wizard World Signed Castle Panic

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?

Flash! A-aaaaah!

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?!

Wizard World TV

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!

The Dark Titan Launch Party!

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It’s official, The Dark Titan is now available everywhere! Last Saturday, we headed out to local Austin store, Wonko’s to celebrate the release of this highly-anticipated expansion to Castle Panic.

We started up our first few games and then took a brief break to slice up another one of our now famous cakes! Jarred once again went above and beyond by creating a fabulous cake featuring the Dark Titan himself, Agranok, looming out of a Castle-shaped base.  Agranok was chocolate-covered Rice Krispies, and the cake was chocolate with cherry filling. The towers were ice cream cones filled with cake, so the entire thing was edible. To top it off, Jarred placed two small containers in the cake that when filled with dry ice and water caused spooky smoke to flow out over the Castle, just like the cover of the game!

 

After being devoured in his delicious cake form, the Dark Titan came back for revenge in board game form! Game after game saw walls crushed and towers destroyed as players felt the wrath of Agranok!

 

Agranok was defeated in our first game and the Castle survived, but our next game wouldn’t fare so well. Once again our villain showed no mercy to children, as these excited young gamers were about to find out when he made his way into their Castle along with a few Heralds for backup.

 

As the afternoon went on, we started up new games to let players try their hand at the new expansion. Here, Anne-Marie gets a family up to speed before they dive in.

 

In between games, Justin and Anne-Marie signed copies of the base game as well as both expansions. Wonko’s could barely keep up with demand as they sold out of The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan was flying off the shelf! The day ended with many happy gamers going home with new games, promo cards, happy memories, and bellies full of cake. We wish all our fans out there the best of luck in taking on this newest challenge. Here’s to many more successful battles and saved Castles!

The Dark Titan Descends on San Angelo

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San Angelo is small town in West Texas that was founded in the 1800’s when the U.S. constructed Fort Concho in an attempt to defend frontier settlers from hostile attackers. It seems very fitting then that San Angelo would be the final stop of The Dark Titan Cometh tour. After all, here is where many brave defenders would make their stand against one very hostile, 8-point attacker and his army of monsters!

San Angelo also happens to be the home of Specialties Games, Toys, & Gifts, one of our favorite stores that we first visited back in 2013 during our West by Southwest tour. We arrived on Monday afternoon and were quickly greeted by owners George and Linda Bell and a crowd of enthusiastic players. After visiting for a short time, we set up a game of Castle Panic, The Wizard’s Tower, and The Dark Titan and the great battle began!

The first game got off to a terrifying start after losing the Wizard’s Tower to a boulder early in the game. Our players fought on through a roller coaster of last-minute saves and heroic comebacks, but in the end the ominous foreshadowing from earlier in the game came true as a Trebuchet knocked down the last tower right after our heroes had cleared monsters from the Castle ring. There was much sadness.

But not for long!

Our second group of players (and 1 returning player from the first game) took their places around the table and the battle with Agranok was begun again.

This time our players kept their wits and their walls up, and things went much better. At least for a while . . . Then the Wizard’s Tower was destroyed and the game took a turn for the worse. Agranok was destroyed shortly after entering the battle, but he brought back 3 of his Heralds before succumbing to our defenders blows. The sudden appearance of the Orc Warlord pushed 2 Heralds into the Castle ring, and despite the players best efforts, the final tower fell under attack from a Herald, and the land was cast into darkness.

That’s never something you want to see . . .

 

During all this medieval combat, we visited with our friend Rick Perez from Let’s Level Up as well as several other fans who we hadn’t seen since our 2013 visit. There were lots of games signed and cookies eaten as well. (Thanks to Linda for providing snacks!) It was a great afternoon and a fantastic way to finish off The Dark Titan Cometh Tour! We said our goodbyes, packed up the minivan, and headed out for a quick bite to eat before hitting the road for Austin and some well-earned rest.

With the tour ending, that means it’s your turn to finally face down Agranok! The Dark Titan will be officially available for sale on April 1st, and if you order it from our web store, you’ll receive the special promotional Level 6 version of Agranok that we’ve been handing out during the tour. This is an exclusive card that you won’t find anywhere else, so gather your friends and see if you can make your stand against the Dark Titan!

The Dark Titan Attacks Game Depot

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The second to last stop on The Dark Titan Cometh Tour was to one of our favorite stores, Game Depot in Tempe, Arizona. We first visited this great shop during our West by Southwest tour in 2013 and had a fantastic visit with a huge turnout, so we knew we were in for a good time. (Check out our blog post about that visit.) Sure enough, as we approached the store we could see our poster and postcards proudly displayed on the window and a huge crowd waiting for us inside.

 We can’t say enough about the owners, Patty and David. They have turned their store into a community and never miss the chance to turn an event into a celebration. Patty even wore her WXSW button from 2013 and made an amazing wizard’s tower out of our games!

As soon as we walked into the store we were seeing familiar faces from our visit 2 years ago. Some of our smaller fans had gotten bigger and were now ready for the new challenges of the expansions. After hugs and hellos, it was time to get to fightin’ monsters! We set up 2 games of Castle Panic with The Dark Titan and 1 game with Castle Panic, The Wizard’s Tower, and The Dark Titan and started filling seats.

One familiar face that we were glad to see again was our friend Noble Hess. He is our biggest fan in the area and acts as the Fireside Games unofficial ambassador at Game Depot. Just like back in 2013, he jumped right in and helped us out. We showed Noble how to play The Dark Titan, and he became our extra hand for the rest of the day, helping when we were too busy and answering questions that came up. Thanks again, Noble!

That’s Noble there in the middle on the right, working hard to keep that final Tower standing!

 Agranok showed up throughout the day, varying in strength from level 1 to level 4, and even the promo level 6 for one brave group of gamers. (That didn’t work out so good for them, but they came close!) Some Castles survived and others were crushed, including one painfully classic moment where a player drew Draw 3 Monsters, Draw 4 Monsters, and the Goblin King all in one turn.

 Through nail-biting victories and Castle-stomping defeats, everyone had a great time. It was nonstop Castle defending the entire day, with new games starting as soon as one game ended. We did have to pause every few minutes to sign a game or two for happy fans, which is always fun for us. It was great to see so many folks who enjoy our game come back years later to experience the next chapter in the story.

 As the day wound down, we had our final victory and said goodbye to all the fantastic people that came out for the event. We enjoyed a late dinner with Patty, Dave, and Noble and then headed off for a well deserved rest. If you’re in the Phoenix area, or just passing through, you really owe it to yourself to visit Game Depot and say hi to the gang.

We’re headed to Specialities Games, Toys & Gifts in San Angelo, Texas (another store we fell in love with on the WXSW tour!), for an event on Monday, March 30th, at 4:00 p.m. that will be the final stop of The Dark Titan Cometh Tour!

Get a look at the bustling event at Game Depot in this video:

The Dark Titan Cometh Tour Wraps Up Utah

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Thursday night was our last store visit in Utah, and we spent it at the Game Haven store in Tooele. (Pronounced “two-EL-uh” in case you aren’t from around here or haven’t spent weeks asking locals how to pronounce the names of their cities.)

We weren’t sure what to expect since Tooele is a smaller town outside of Salt Lake, but Riley, the store owner, did a great job promoting the event, and we were busy all night!

 

We had a fun group of fans show up who were excited to see the new expansion and meet The Dark Titan up close and personal. Our initial group included a first-timer, so we let them experience just Castle Panic with The Dark Titan to see what that is like.

 

Before they had even finished their first turns, a double boulder combination took out 2 Towers and left them on the defensive. The pulled together quickly and drove off the next few waves, even slaying Agranok before he could cause too much damage. Things got hairy for a while, but in the end the last monster fell with a tower still standing, and our heroes erupted into a furious hurrah.

 

Before we could even say goodbye and set up the next games, we had new players lined up and waiting to get their games signed. It’s always a treat to meet fans and hear their stories, and we had no shortage of that at this event. Once the ink was dry, we had games of both Castle Panic with The Dark Titan as well as Castle Panic with The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan up and running.

Our group of Castle Panic players fought bravely, but in the end Agranok and his army proved to be too much. Meanwhile, our team of defenders in The Wizard’s Tower combo started losing Walls quickly and a few Towers followed soon after. Things went from bad to worse, to not so bad, to very bad and back again. It was a nail-biter as our teammates lost Walls as fast as they built them, but in the end the last Monster fell with 2 Towers still standing and victory was theirs.

There may have been screaming involved.

 

We wrapped up the night with a few more signings and some talk about design, new games, and future plans. All in all, it was a great way to wrap up our time here in Utah, and we want to thank all the fans who came out to all our events or supported us online.

The Dark Titan will be in stores on April 1st, and if you pre-order it from our website right now, you get the Level 6 Promo card of Agranok that we’ve been giving away during this tour for free!

We’re headed to the GAMA Trade Show, which happens in Las Vegas next week, and we’ll be making some super-cool announcements. So stay tuned to our blog, Twitter, or Facebook for more info!

Take a look inside the Game Haven – Tooele store in this video:

Agranok Invades the Dragon’s Keep

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A warm and sunny Saturday afternoon saw us headed to Provo, Utah. This time we brought The Dark Titan to Dragon’s Keep, not far from Brigham Young University.

 

With a great selection of games, comics, and all sorts of goodies, it’s no surprise that the place was hopping. We had gamers lined up and waiting for us, and it didn’t take long to get our first game of The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan fired up.

 

Our friend Matt who led his team to victory at Blakfyre Games came by to get his games signed by Justin and to take another stab at The Dark Titan. Sure enough, with some great teamwork, they were able to keep most of their Towers standing, even if it meant losing the Barbarian and Wizard’s Quake in the process of defeating Agranok.

 

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie got another group started on the base game with The Dark Titan. Here she is explaining how there are 5 levels of Agranok in the game.

 

Before long we had another pair of players show up and we added them to the game, giving our heroes some reinforcements.

 

They fought bravely, slaying Agranok and most of his minions, with only a few Towers out. But a devastating combination of the Healer and the Troll Mage late in the game proved to be too much to overcome, and the last 2 Towers fell as the Castle was destroyed from inside and out.

 

Not to be deterred, our players switched tables to see how The Dark Titan expansion changes Castle Panic when you include The Wizard’s Tower. Many Towers were destroyed in both games, but we actually had our first player victory over the promotional Level 6 Agranok! So the day ended on a high note!

 

Our next stop will be at the Dragon’s Keep in Lehi, Utah, Monday, March 9th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’ll be your second to last chance to catch us before we head off to the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas!

Want to see what the inside of the Dragon’s Keep looks like? Check out Anne-Marie’s video of our store visit:

Game Night Games Welcomes The Dark Titan

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The skies finally cleared over Salt Lake City as we made our way to Game Night Games for an evening of monstrous fun. Game Night Games not only features a great selection of games but they have a really nice gaming area in the back, which we promptly filled with players anxious to get a look at the newest addition to Castle Panic!

 

Faster than you could say “8-point Monster” We had our first game up and running. Our first group of fans wanted to try the base game with the new expansion, and they got off to a great start, clearing the board early and keeping the Monsters well under control.

 

While the first group fought on, Anne-Marie was busy giving overviews of the game to some interested gamers and a third game of just Castle Panic got underway to help some new players get a feel for the game before jumping into the expansion.

 

Before long, we had another game going and our teams fought on. The Cavalier was definitely the MVP of the night, and more than 1 player agreed that he may be their new favorite addition to Castle Panic.

 

And it’s a good thing our first group was using him a lot too. Take a look at this.

The Dark Titan expansion introduces a new mechanic called Banishing that removes cards from the game. Slay cards that are used against Agranok only cause 4 points of damage to him and are Banished. There are other ways you can have cards Banished, and the first group ended up losing all the cards shown here during the game.

Imagine having to fight off the Monsters without using any of these cards!

Thanks to some REALLY lucky draws and carefully planned moves, our team did more than fight off the Monsters. They stomped them flat, losing only 1 Tower when the dust settled.

 

After the second group survived their game, we started up a combined game with The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan. This time our heroes would lose all but their last 2 Towers (including a rebuilt Wizard’s Tower), but still claim victory.

We signed some games while we chatted with our players, and then spent some time talking with Mike, the store manager. It’s always great to talk some business as we get to know all the great stores that help spread the love of our hobby.

Our next stop on The Dark Titan Cometh Tour will be an afternoon event this Saturday, March 7th, at Dragon’s Keep in Provo from noon to 4 p.m.

Check out how nicely laid out this store is! It is well-arranged for customers to easily find exactly the right game to take home.

The Dark Titan’s Icy Victory in Bountiful

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Our store visit to the Game Haven in Bountiful, Utah, just happened to coincide with one of the bigger Winter Storm Warnings we’ve seen on this trip. The rules for The Dark Titan don’t say that Agranok has any weather-control abilities, but we’re starting to have our doubts. We loaded our gear into the store as the snow began to fall and dried off before getting set up.

 

 

It turned out to be a quiet evening because of the storm with only 1 full demo played, but we got to meet several fans and even make a few new ones while we were at the store. The Game Haven in Bountiful is a pretty cool shop with tons of tables for playing, a demo game library that is literally overflowing with games to try, and even a full coffee bar that sells food. The coffee shop is named Battle Grounds, which we found quite amusing. Check out the video Anne-Marie shot for a cool tour of the place.

When players did arrive we were able to get a full game of 6 players started, and they jumped right in to The Wizard’s TowerThe Dark Titan combo game. Things started out good with a few quick slays and lots of wounding, but before too long a lucky boulder took out the Wizard’s Tower itself. Our heroes were left with just a few Wizard cards in hand and no chance of rebuilding the Tower. Still, our group was unphased.

 

“We’re not scared! Well, maybe just a little.”

 

They made great use of the Cavalier and even managed to use the Phoenix to light a ton of other Monsters on fire. Arrows flew and swords clashed, but when a Level 4 Agranok, the Dark Sorceress, and the Necromancer all appeared at once, it was too much for our heroes. The last Tower fell under the thundering assault.

A well fought battle, but the enemy is triumphant.

 

We stuck around and talked with several other customers after the game wrapped up. Justin even signed a few copies of Castle Panic for fans both new and old. It made for a fun evening before braving the snow and heading home. Special thanks to Charity for making us feel so welcome during our visit!

Your next chance to catch The Dark Titan Cometh Tour will be Wednesday, March 4th, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Game Night Games in Salt Lake City!

Game Haven Isn’t Safe From the Dark Titan!

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It was a cold, snowy Saturday evening when we arrived at Game Haven in West Jordan. We wondered if the dark weather would be an omen for what was to come during our demo games that night. As soon as we were set up for our event, we jumped into a game of both The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan with 2 excited fans.

We put up a good fight, dropping several big threats early on, but then a combination of Mega Boss Monsters, a wave of Imps, and an early showing of Agranok had us on the ropes.

I’m sure this will all work out just fine.

This is one of the more impressive uses of the Wall of Force Wizard card we’ve seen in a while. It definitely bought some time, but even that wasn’t enough to save the Castle. In a few turns, it was all over.

Hooray for Wall of Force!

Luckily, that meant we had lots of time left for new games! We reset The Wizard’s TowerDark Titan combo for a new group and started a game of Castle Panic with one of Anne-Marie’s friends from college and her family. They had never played before, and it wasn’t long before they were engrossed in trying to keep their Towers standing.

 

Sadly, the Monsters proved too much for our friends, but that just made them excited for their next chance to try again. We reset the game to include The Dark Titan for a new group that was made up of both experienced fans and first-time players.

Never a dull moment when you’re about to be crushed by rampaging monsters!

Some expert coaching and a few lucky rolls kept them in the fight as the new players got familiar with the game and before long they were a monster-fighting machine!

Meanwhile, the group that had been battling with The Wizard’s TowerDark Titan combo weathered wave after wave and despite losing the Wizard’s Tower, they eventually slayed the last Monster with 1 Tower still standing. Luckily, that’s all it takes and that gave Game Haven its first victory of the night!

Our last game of the night would see the team fresh off their win in Castle Panic with The Dark Titan jumping in to the dual-expansion combo. They were confident as the first Monsters came out of the forest, but once the Chimera and a Flaming Boulder showed up, things began to look bad.

That is entirely too much fire.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, after the fires were extinguished, Agranok showed up at Level 5 and proceeded to cause even more chaos as he drove other Monsters forward. The Cavalier was bravely sacrificed to finish off Agranok, and Wizard’s Quake had to be used to give our heroes some room to breathe. In the end, the Wizard’s Tower would even be destroyed and rebuilt in order to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but their efforts paid off in a nail-biting win!

This could be bad . . .

We stayed around for a while after the event, talking about game design, playtesting, and all sorts of fun things before we packed up and said goodnight. It was another great time, and we’re already looking forward to our next one on Monday, March 2nd, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Game Haven in Bountiful. As always, don’t forget that you can check out our calendar to see where we’re headed next!

The Dark Titan at Blakfyre

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Blakfyre Games in Pleasant Grove was our first stop in Utah during The Dark Titan Cometh Tour, and it was a great one! The store owner, Gary Taylor, let us take over the prime tables right up front, and after chatting with Gary and some customers, we set up the games and dived right in.

Our first group was a mix of first-timers and veterans, and with some quick instruction from Justin, they eagerly began a game of Castle Panic with The Dark Titan expansion. With some excellent use of the Cavalier and some very lucky rolls, they fought off wave after wave of attacking Monsters. When Agranok was finally revealed to be only a mere Level 1, the team banded together to quickly dispatch the Dark Titan and fight their way through the remainder of his army.

In the end, they not only survived the assault without losing a single tower but were able to rebuild almost every wall for one of the best victories against Agranok we’ve seen on the tour! “If we could have had one more turn, we would have rebuilt every wall!” said veteran player Mike.

Just 1 Wall missing!

During this time we had the chance to meet some local fans who had come out to the event to see the new expansion and meet the designer, not to mention grab a promo card while they were here!

As the night continued, we introduced some fans to a combined game featuring both The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan. At the same time, Mike’s group decided to try the base game and expansion again, this time choosing to face off against Agranok at Level 5!

The strongest version of the Dark Titan proved to be a bigger challenge, and the castle took more of a beating this time. When Agranok appeared, the team threw everything they had at him and even though it took rebuilding the Wall in arc 2 more than 4 times and sacrificing the Cavalier every time he was in play, they managed to survive with 2 Towers still standing! It was a great end to an epic battle.

In the game with The Wizard’s Tower, things were going smoothly until a rush of imps and a simultaneous attack by 2 Mega Boss Monsters forced the players to use Wizard’s Quake and destroy one of their own Towers to ensure the safety of the Castle. When a Level 2 Agranok attacked, things got a bit tense. This time, the Dark Titan wasn’t defeated without losing a few more Towers. In the end, some well-played Wizard cards and quick Wall-building kept the Monsters at bay long enough to survive with 2 Towers left, including the all-important Wizard’s Tower!

It was another great night and a really fun chance to show off the expansion and meet fans of our games. We want to thank Gary for inviting us out to Blakfyre Games and all the folks that came out to make it such a fun event.

Our next appearance in Salt Lake City will be at Game Haven in West Jordan from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday, February 28. See you there!

Want to see the intensity in action? Check out this video we took during gameplay.

The Dark Titan Attacks Adventurer’s Quarter!

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Our last store visit in Colorado was to Adventurer’s Quarter in Arvada, a fun town with a variety of shops and “small town” feel to it. After stopping at the Grandview Tavern and Grill for some pre-game fuel, we headed down the street to Adventurer’s Quarter to get setup for the big demo.

Within minutes we had our first game up and running. Veterans of the base game were eager to dive in and see what all the fuss was about!

Surviving the initial wave of Monsters is always key and though they lost a few walls, they held fast and hunkered down for the next wave. Agranok made an early appearance and quickly made his way to the Castle, smashing Towers to dust as he advanced.

Things were getting tense, when a well-played “Drive Him Back” saved the last few towers and gave the players a chance to finish the Dark Titan off with a slew of Archers, Knights, and Swordsmen. Battered, but not beaten, our heroes fought on finally bringing down the last Monster with 2 Towers still standing, for a rousing victory!

The next group was waiting in the wings and gathered at the table for what would be the most nail-biting game of the night. This time, in addition to new players, we even had a few familiar faces from our demo at the Haunted Game Cafe join in to help! Despite a strong start, things soon went bad as Agranok arrived with a rush of Monsters and pushed to crush the Castle.

Danger draws near!

Agranok was wounded and then hit with a Nice Shot card, and finally finished off by a suicidal charge from the brave Cavalier, but not before he had smashed our player’s defenses to splinters. A lone Monster worked his way into the broken Castle and was 1 space away from the final tower.

The last player drew up to his full hand, desperate for a card that would work in the Castle ring . . . no luck, he discarded a useless card and drew . . . the Barbarian! The entire store rang with the cheers from our table as we lived to fight another day! There were several more close calls before the game was over, but in the end the final Monster fell and the lone surviving Tower stood as a symbol of victory!

You only need 1 Tower left to win!!!

 

We had one more game that night with a fan who arrived late and that ended in a close, well fought victory as well. In the end, the gamers of Adventurer’s Quarter were all victorious and sent the Dark Titan crawling back to where he came!

Our thanks to the crew at AQ for helping us put on a great event! The next appearance is an unscheduled stop at Genghis Con XXXVI! Thanks to our friends at The Wizard’s Chest, Justin will be at a table outside the vendor hall this Saturday from 10 to 6! Come by the Radisson in Aurora to check out all the great events, vendors, and maybe try your hand at taking on the Dark Titan yourself!

The Dark Titan Terrorizes the Haunted Game Cafe!

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It may have looked like a bright, sunny day in Fort Collins, Colorado, but inside the Haunted Game Cafe shadows fell as huge monsters wreaked havoc on brave defenders!

We arrived at the second stop on The Dark Titan Cometh Tour, The Haunted Game Cafe, late in the afternoon. This awesome coffee shop and game store combo is dripping with ghostly ambiance, from the ghosts and spiders hanging on the walls to the appropriately named drinks like the Zombie Elvis and Vampire’s Kiss. We met with the owner, Gary Sproul, and started setting up on a few of the many gaming tables available.

Before we unleashed Agranok upon the masses, Justin took a few minutes to talk with Mark and Randy of The Boardgame Corner. We talked about The Dark Titan Cometh Tour and some of the awesome new elements in the expansion. Look for that interview to be posted on The Boardgame Corner’s website soon.

Once we unpacked our gear, it was time to slay some Monsters! We had quite a crowd that was eager to make their stand, and we quickly had 3 games up and running. The first game was Castle Panic with The Dark Titan expansion, and our team started strong, with the defenders keeping the Monsters at bay early.

The first game of the night is setup and ready to begin!

That changed when a series of Elite Monsters all arrived in the same arc and a rush of Heralds brought a level 4 Agranok onto the field. There are 5 levels of Agranok in the game, with level 1 being the least powerful and level 5 being the most dangerous, so once the level 4 was revealed, the team knew what they were in for. They made short work of the Elites, but Agranok stomped his way into the Castle, and before our heroes could drive him back, he was able to destroy their final tower.

“Don’t worry guys, it’s just an 8pt Monster and his friend charging toward our broken Castle. What could go wrong?”

Another table saw both expansions combined for a Wizard’s TowerDark Titan extravaganza. This was an experienced team that used their Wizard cards wisely to keep the monsters under control. There were several moments of panic when walls were falling faster than they could rebuild them, but some clever cardplay and tough choices meant that when a level 3 Agranok finally arrived, they were ready. Agranok charged the Castle but was defeated by a flurry of magic spells and steel weapons. Huzzah!

Mixing both The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan makes for some great battles.

Over on another table, the gang from The Boardgame Corner was getting their chance to try out the expansion added to the base game. A rush of Elite Monsters proved to be no problem for this crew as they knocked down wave after wave of attackers. Some bad rolls and even worse draws saw the Castle damaged, but not defeated. When the Heralds finally summoned Agranok, our heroes whittled him down to his last few points. They were poised to finish him off with a brave charge from the Cavalier, but a Monsters Move token took the Dark Titan out of their reach and their last Tower crumbled under his claws. “We were SO close!” Mark laughed, with a huge grin.

Mark and Randy from the Boardgame Corner try out The Dark Titan

We played more games and then had an informal Q&A session, where Justin talked about his design process and even teased some ideas for future Castle Panic expansions. The Boardgame Corner filmed a short segment that gives a closer look at some of the components in The Dark Titan, so be sure to check that out once it airs.

We wrapped up a great evening with a short interview with Gary, and filmed a look at his amazing hangout. Watch our video, and we’ll see you at the next stop on The Dark Titan Cometh Tour, at Adventurer’s Quarter in Arvada, CO, on Tuesday, February 10th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.!

The Dark Titan Cometh Tour Begins!

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The preview event for The Dark Titan, the next expansion to Castle Panic, has begun! We arrived in Denver late Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon we headed over to Shep’s Games in Aurora to start the tour.

Shep’s Games in Aurora, CO. The start of The Dark Titan Cometh Tour!

After talking with Shep, we set up our new banners and dove right into the first demo of The Dark Titan. The crowd was small but enthusiastic about seeing the new game! First up was the basic version of Castle Panic combined with The Dark Titan.

The table is ready, the banners are up, let’s play some games! Notice the free promo cards up front!

Things were going well until the Elite monsters arrived all at once, in the same arc. Shortly after that, Agranok himself appeared and our brave crew of Castle defenders began to wonder if they would be able to survive the onslaught.

The Elite Goblin, Elite Orc, and Elite Troll all showing up in the same arc at the same time, what could go wrong?

Giant Boulders rained down on the Castle and many brave Swordsmen and Knights were used to defend the walls from the incoming tide of Monsters. Thanks to some clever cardplay, Agranok met his end and the battle raged on. Our heroes rallied for a final turn, bringing out the Cavalier to charge into battle, but the Dark Sorceress appeared and her ability to reduce everyone’s hand size proved too much and the last Tower fell to the monstrous horde.

The Cavalier stands alone in the wreckage of the once proud Castle.

Clamoring for revenge, our heroes started up a second game. This time, we tried it using the Alternate Rule “A Man’s Home Is His Castle,” in which each player chooses a Tower to represent him/her in the game. Despite our heroes best efforts, the tension to protect their own Tower proved too much and once again the Monsters trampled the Castle to dust.

A third game saw Anne-Marie jumping in to help provide backup for the team and new players taking on the challenge.

Anne-Marie jumps in to help out our brave defenders!

Many Monsters were destroyed, and the players rebuilt damaged Walls as fast as they were knocked down. The Dark Sorceress fell to some powerful card combinations and at one point in the game, the Cavalier helped to clear all the Monsters from the board.

The Cavalier has taken care of business! And business is slaying Monsters.

Sadly, it would turn out to be too little help as a rush of new Monsters, including Agranok, brought serious damage upon the Castle, ending with the Dark Titan himself breaching the Walls and destroying the last Tower.

The Dark Titan himself made it inside the Castle. Not sure if that Tar token is going to save us . . .

The last game of the afternoon was a full combination of Castle Panic, The Wizard’s Tower, and The Dark Titan. Magic spells were furiously cast, and the Monster horde advanced tirelessly. The Dragon, Basilisk, and Necromancer did their best to destroy the Castle, but thanks to a last-minute casting of Wizard Quake the game ended with 2 Towers still standing. VICTORY!

It was a great ending to a great day, and the perfect beginning to our demo tour! Thanks to everyone who came out to Shep’s Games to get their promo card and help us fight off The Dark Titan.

For all our Colorado fans, be sure to come see us at our next store event at The Haunted Game Café in Fort Collins on Saturday, February 7th, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.! Check out the full tour schedule to see where else we’ll be in the coming weeks.

Munchkin Panic Launch Party!

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Munchkin Panic officially hit store shelves October 8th, but parties are more fun on the weekend, so we threw our official launch party on Saturday!

We invaded Wonko’s and took over the tables in their main store with swag, demo games, and of course, CAKE!

The first 3 demo games were filled instantly, so we added another game. And then another game. We ended up with 6 games of Munchkin Panic in play with every seat filled. This was our highest attended launch event with over 50 people coming by during the night!

The night also featured some very special guests, with Steve Jackson himself, and Andrew Hackard, the Munchkin Tzar, joining our event.

Steve Jackson and Anne-Marie during one of the games at the launch party.

Jarred outdid himself again with a main cake featuring Spyke, the Munchkin mascot, as well as sugar cookie versions of our Monster tokens and a special side cake of the Duck of Doom! As always, the treats were completely edible. Continue reading Munchkin Panic Launch Party!

Birthday Party Extravaganza!

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Last Saturday was the official party for Castle Panic’s 5th Birthday. We’ve been planning this event for most of the year, and we were super excited that the big celebration went so well!

 

We started things out with our Google Hangout, where Justin sang Happy Birthday (lounge style, of course) to Castle Panic, then showed some early versions of Castle Panic, talked about the making of the game, and answered a bunch of questions about everything from game design to how he and Anne-Marie can never play Pente again. One of the highlights of the Hangout was Justin showing off pieces and line drawings from the next expansion, The Dark Titan!

If you missed the Hangout, don’t worry, you can still catch it! The entire video is now available through our YouTube channel, and you can watch it right here:

If you don’t have 2 hours to watch the whole thing, here are timestamps from the event so you can jump to the parts you’re most interested in:

0:06:45  History of Castle Panic and the first prototypes

0:29:30  Alternate rules for Castle Panic

0:36:40  Overview of The Dark Titan expansion

0:45:30  Castle Panic and Tabletop

0:50:35  The Master Slayer belt

0:54:50  Art from The Dark Titan

1:02:20  Fireside Games’ schedule of appearances for 2014

1:14:35  The Kickstarter situation

1:21:50  Justin’s favorite games

1:25:20  Giant Castle Panic

1:26:20  Game design and IP

1:28:30  Self Publishing pros and cons

1:35:55  Possible Bears! expansion

1:38:50  The Pente story

1:44:25  A fan story from the tour

1:50:10  What’s up with the unicorn?

1:54:15  Future expansions

 

Later that evening, we headed out to Emerald Tavern Games and Café where we setup for the event and had a blast running demos of Castle Panic, giving out free stuff, and meeting with tons of fans. As always, there was awesome cake from our friend Jarred.

Now that’s a cake!
Check out the shimmering water and wood texture on the door!

Not only did we have the different flavors for different colored parts of the cake, but the tower was made of Rice Krispies and covered in party decorations like banners, balloons, a Troll piñata, and a “Pin the Tooth on the Basilisk” game. Of course the whole thing was delicious and only crumbs were left at the end of the night.

The Troll pinata did not come with a bat, but Justin ate him later anyway.
One of the great hidden details on the back of the cake.
The party gets started!

We also held a special drawing in which people who entered could win either a copy of Castle Panic, The Wizard’s Tower, or one of three signed prints of line art from The Dark Titan expansion. We had a great time with both events, and we want to thank all of our fans for your support over these last 5 years. It’s been a great ride so far, and we’ve got a lot more fun things planned for the future!