Tag Archives: board games


Finney: Whatcha playin there?

Brandon: Elementos, my dear Finney!


Brandon: What? At least I didn’t title this review “Elementos, my dear Watson”. Though, I still could…


Finney: How do you play?

Brandon: It takes only moments to learn, but a lifetime to master. You will think, at first, that you will be able to win easily. You will then assume that it’s like Tic Tac Toe and that the only winning move is not to play. Then you will realize that it is more challenging than chess, yet more fun than a family game night of Pit. Then..

Finney: Seriously, how do you play?

Brandon: Right. Sorry. It’s a two player game. Each player picks their color of these round elements pieces, black or white, and sets them up on their side of the board with three of each element showing.

Game set up

Finney: I see fire, water, and a tree. The wood element?

Brandon:  I guess. I hadn’t thought about it. 

Finney: What’s this?

Brandon: The wand! You place that in the center of your elements.

Finney: I bet the goal is to get your wand across to the other side of the board. And, the elements consume each other. Water consumes fire, fire consumes trees, trees drink the water! Hey, these are two sided. Can you flip them?

Brandon: Yes! And you can move the wand between your own pieces. Oh, and the piece with the wand in it can’t consume or be consumed. 

Finney: Let’s play!

A few games later…

Brandon: So, what do you think?

Finney: This is a fun game!

Brandon: What do you like about it?

Finney: It’s a great strategy game. It seems simple, and it can be if you want, but it’s also complex. The flipping of the pieces adds an extra layer of strategy.

Brandon: Yeah, I also found that flipping a piece over could really turn the tide of the game…

Finney: It’s also easy to pack and take with you. The box is the board! Other strategy games aren’t as portable.  And the art style on the game pieces and the box is straightforward and well executed. I don’t think it needs the exterior packaging.

Brandon: The little cardboard wrap?

Finney: Yep. 

Brandon: Yep. Also, we do have to talk about the one big problem. 

Finney: Oh yeah. I mean, they did address it in the instructions…

Brandon: They did, but still…

Finney: Still…

Brandon: Shall we delve into it?

Finney: Yeah, there might be a point where the players are just flipping the same two pieces over. Back and forth, back and forth. ‘My fire is now a tree!’

Brandon: ‘My water is now fire!’

Finney: The instructions say, basically, just don’t do that over and over and be reasonable. 

Brandon: That they do. 

Finney: I just wish there was a more specific rule about this. Maybe something like you can only flip the pieces 3 times when it’s clear that it’s just going to go back and forth like that. 

Brandon: Not much of a drawback though. Let’s go ahead and house rule that. Deal?

Finney: Deal.

Brandon: I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes light strategy games that offer deeper play should you want it. 

Finney: Me too! Let’s go again. 

You can buy Elementos at the Tyto website or at your Friendly Local Game Store.

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Spaghetti & Meeples Looks at Batallas Históricas Verdún 1916

Today we finally take a closer look at Batallas Históricas Verdún 1916 from Runica Art Games. It’s a light 2 player game about trench war fare. Closed captions in Spanish. Subtítulos cerrados en Español,


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We need your help!

So far we have been able to fund operations for our site all by ourselves. We are currently in a bit of a transition. Brandon is in grad school. Thanks, Brandon! We need to renew the webhosting for Spaghetti and Meeples and need your help. Please visit the Go Gund Me we have set up and donate what you can and please share this. We are only asking for exactly what we need to keep the site up. Thank you for your time! The link is below.


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Levi Schneidewent-Trollworks

Brandon: Today we are joined by Levi Schneidewent of Trollworks. If you missed my review of two of his dice towers that I purchased you can read that here and then read the following interview, or read this interview first and then read the dice tower review. Either way. Enjoy!

First, tell me about where the name Trollworks comes from?

Levi: When I was a kid my brother used to call me the little “Troll”. My workspace is in basement of a 1923 firehouse which happens to be a Fallout shelter; sort of a cave. It’s the home of Rockhead’s Comics and Games, it occupies the ground floor and the second story (9000 sq ft) (owned by my brother). When I was just starting the business my brother was kidding around and said, “Go to your cave little troll and get to work.”—Trollworks

How did you get started making game accessories?

Levi: I would like to tell you a happy story of how it all began, but I lost my job of 23 years due to the economy and I didn’t want to go back into daily grind; so, I took the opportunity to create a job just for myself.

What is your design process like? How do you come up with the pieces you make?

Levi: Many of my designs come from customer requests. If I feel the finished product is marketable I do a cost/time study, then a product offer.


What is your best seller?

Levi: The marketplace is flickered, at times I get lots of requests for Dice Towers or Movement Trays or Storage Systems. I don’t have enough market history yet to do any trend mapping. I sell a lot of dice towers during the Holidays, a lot of trays during Regional’s, and then storage system sales increase after the Holidays.

What is your favorite accessory that you make?

Levi: Design is what I like to do best; so my favorite accessory is coming up with new projects. In fact, that’s a weakness of mine. I have designed and built many more projects where only one gets built.

Do you do custom work or take requests for something to stock?

Levi: Yes, I do custom skins on many of my products (dice-towers, movement trays, storage units, movement markers, dice) and I also do custom scratch work. My rates are driven by the usual factors such as design time, material cost, amd product time, but I give discounts on the marketability of the project.

I make an FMTG storage case that was a customer request. The project should have been close to $100, but it had marketability, so I did the project for $50.00. I currently set said item for $50 on my Etsy shop.

How often do you design and add new items?

Levi: As needed/requested or when orders are slow. I build everything on demand, my turn around time is 3-5 order to ship


What tools and equipment do you use?

Levi: I am currently running 2 Universal Lasers, but I have a large compliment of support equipment (woodworking, paint booth, sandblaster, 3d printer). I have invested a lot into my equipment.

What games have you been playing lately?

Levi: Since I work in a game shop and live over a game shop I have plenty of opportunity for gaming:

RPG– Deadlands, D&D 5th ed, Shadowrun, Hackmaster online w20d

Miniature– 40K, Flames of War, Airdrome 1.0, D&D, Imperial Assault

BoardGames– we have 1200 library games.

Electronic– Civilization, Galactic Civilization, X-Com, Windward

What do you do when you aren’t making amazing dice towers?

Levi: I’m a lone wolf, coupled with the fact that I’m the boss/owner; I can come and go as I please. So, I travel in my Kia Soul conversion camper (kayak, bicycle, 5’8’” bed, attached canopy, off grid solar power, 12v refrigerator, lights, fans, low voltage charging station). So, travel, camping, cycling, and kayaking.

Levi is currently on a well deserved break after hitting GenCon, but can be foundCthulhu at this fine location:

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Kaiju Conquest Update

Spaghetti & Meeples was able to play test Kaiju Conquest awhile back. It was just standees and home printed materials back then. Warren is looking to step things up so he can get review copies into the hot little fists of board game taste makers. Take a look at his Go Fund Me and see if you might want to help. The early stages of the game had some issues, but Warren has made changes and we are excited to see what’s next!

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Runica Games: Historical Battles Verdun 1916

portada verkamiWhy did you make Verdun 1916?

From The beginning the intention was to create a tribute to the 100 year commemoration of this battle. Also, it is a great theme to start a our Historical series of games. Verdun truly is a very important battle, so we decided it was the first of this series.

What is your design process?

Honestly, it was a very big problem because we were trying to design the game using photographs, but that didn’t work out. Then we illustrated them one by one, and  that presented it’s own challenge because of the amount of illustrations needed, and some of the small lettering on the cards presented a printing issue, but researching the design of the newspapers of the time, we were able to reach the final design of the cards and successfully distribute it to many people here in Colombia. The result was incredible.  We had to learn how to do sculpting to get the design of the ammunition tokens. We got the molds and produced all the tokens for the first edition, and we have the new mold for the second edition since the first sample is a little more complicated to produce and is the best that is the same material.


What are the challenges in marketing your own game?

The First is arranging payment for the games, internally in Colombia it is easy, but at the level of foreign countries it’s a very big problem because currently we can only use PayPal and to withdraw money is a big problem with banks.
The Second big problem is sending the games. Although it’s relatively inexpensive, it presents many problems with the arrival time. One game has taken longer than 70 days to get to one customer. That one still hasn’t been delivered.
(editor’s note: this was the copy Brandon purchased for Spaghetti & Meeples. Currently our copy is languishing in customs in Florida with neither the USPS nor US Customs able to locate the package. Runica Games has offered to replace our copy at no additional charge.)

What experience do you want players to have when they play Verdun 1916?

Like me, I want people to enjoy the game, just as they would any other game, but like everything in the world is always going to get good reviews and bad, constructive or destructive.

Where can one buy their own copy of Verdun 1916?

Only through mail order: runicaartgames@gmail.com. Some people message us on Facebook as well.

imagen de los componentes

What was your best experience in developing Verdun 1916?

The best was the first test of Verdun 1916, because I tried it with my 9 year old nephew. He crushed me and all my troops in seconds, lol, and the best part is there is video on our page of that game.

What do you like about gaming?

What strikes me is the way people care about different games.

What is the gaming community like in Bogota?

In general the Bogotana community is growing and it is thanks to people like Daniel Zarama and Juan Carlos Goyes who have generated spaces and who help grow the hobby. They meet weekly in various areas and have gatherings of about 100 people per week in all these places.

Will you have other games coming out?

Of course, at this moment we are working on Dead Road, a survival game set in a zombie apocalypse and we are also working on Empyrean, a space battles game.

What are your hopes for  Verdun 1916?

Right now we are creating the crowdfunding project for Verdun 1916 on Verkami, and we hope that it will succeed so that we can keep living our dreams!

Do you have a website, Facebook, or other places on the internet that people can keep up with Runica Arts?

Of course, you can follow us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RunicaArtGames
Page: http://runicaartgames.wix.com/rags
BoardGameGeek: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/183019/historic-battles-verdun-1916
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Spaghetti & Meeples looks at PWNs

Due to Brandon currently being neck deep in Student Teaching we were unable to do a video review as we intended. Instead, please enjoy this old timey textual teleplay script and do your own reader’s theater at home!

Gaze up the game box for PWNs

Gaze up the game box for PWNs

Brandon: You probably shouldn’t be playing Pawns.

Tarehna: PWNs.

Brandon: Pawns is a game wherein you control cute, but disgusting, little military men and try to destroy your opponent by farting on them or vomiting on them, only not really.

Tarehna: It’s pronounced “PONES” you dilettante!

Brandon: What?

Tarehna: P-W-N-S is pronounced “pones”. Like “to be pwnd”.

Brandon: Like your mom’s friend, Pone?

Tarehna: Sure.

Brandon: That doesn’t make a lot of sense. You see I have these military men and they are like under my control and stuff. That makes them my pawns.

Tarehna: Whatever.

Brandon: Anyway, you have this board. Do we have a picture? And then you have these terrain tile thingies you put on the board, and then you place your pawns..

We have a picture!

We have a picture!

Tarehna: Ugh!

Brandon: …pawns on the terrain tiles. Not in the water though. You can’t really swim and if you get pushed in the water it hurts. Like you fell from a great height or had the wind knocked out of you, but then you got back up. Go ahead and put your Pawn…

Tarehna: PWN!

Brandon: Whichever.

Tarehna: Whatever!

Brandon:  Exactly! Put your…military men on grass, dry grass, dirt, ice and fire. No! Not the fire. Fire bad! Then you have these cards you can play to attack or defend or heal. All this kind of stuff. Like, you can use a dead rabbit slingshot, or a dead rat slingshot, or a smelly bag of smells. It’s kind of a lot of gross stuff. One pawn…

Tarehna: PWN!!!!!

Brandon: That bit keeps on being funny. One of the…dudes…is named Queasy. There’s this whole potty humor component, but it doesn’t run all the way through. There’s one card that’s just called “Reflector”, not potty humor at all.

Tarehna: Your point?

Brandon: Other than this review has gone on for awhile without saying much? This game was kind of blah. The components are nice and the look, feel, and theme are all solid and work together but it’s just kinda…

Look at these cards and Queasy!

Look at these cards and Queasy!

Tarehna: Awesome? Yes. I know! This game has “Leaky Bag of Leftovers” and “Scary Mask” and is 2-4 players. You’re not just moving your pieces and playing cards and having some sort of board game version of magic. There’s strategy; especially when you have four players. Sure you could just attack and hurt an opponent, or you could use the aforementioned “Scary Mask” and knock an opponent into water, fire, or even into the path of yet another opponent and start a fight between them. Did I mention that the terrain tiles allow for you to use different setups so you don’t all fall into the same ruts of attack and defend this way or that on this specific part of the board?

Brandon: I think you just did.

Tarehna: Go me! And, as you mentioned, the theme is  cohesive and solidly put together. So, given all that, why do you think people shouldn’t play it?

Brandon: Oh I do. I had a lot of fun with this game. So did our friends. But Awry Games should really redo that instruction manual. How some things resolve was a little unclear and visually it’s a lot of boxes. Also, I’d prefer if the different characters had special abilities. I don’t get naming all of them if it’s just for flavor text.

Tarehna: Like King of Tokyo?

Brandon: Totally like King of Tokyo.

Peep the plethora of boxes!

Peep the plethora of boxes!

Tarehna: But other than those minor things you liked it and would play it again and would recommend that other people check it out.

Brandon: Tots.

Tarehna: You mean “totes”.

Brandon: Yes.

Tarehna: So if you like it then what’s with all of that rambling you did up above?

Brandon: Cheap literary device! You’ve been pawned!

Tarehna: PWND!!!!

Brandon: Always funny.

Learn more at:


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March of the Ants: Minions of the Meadow expansion



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Our GameStorm 18 wrap-up is finally here!

The Restaurant: http://www.tigersgarden.net/
The Network: http://pncn.rocks
The Place: http://www.gamestorm.org/
Game Lab: http://www.gamestorm.org/explore/game-lab/
Game Con has been cancelled 🙁FacebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Pathological Nerdcasters Network podcast panel at GameStorm 18

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