2017 Gaming Resolutions

Happy new year everyone and welcome to 2017, Year 2 of The Crafty Players blog and podcast. We’re going to do a small review of our first year, and where we hope to go from here, in episode 9 of the podcast. But for now, Emmet and Paddy have made some gaming resolutions for 2017. Let’s see what they are! Continue reading

12 Games of Christmas – Part 2

Ding dong indeed! So here we are with only a few short days (today being the shortest!) until it’s Christmas. Huzzah! Let’s celebrate by finding the best games to backstab and murder your family and friends without actually doing so and thereby avoiding Christmas prison (which is reserved for murderers and those who riffle shuffle my cards).

Continuing with our 12 Games of Christmas, below are my (Emmet) choices for the best games to play with your family and friends over the holidays. The last few years pur families have created a little tradition of meeting up on Christmas Eve, ordering a takeaway, and playing some games. As my nieces have gotten older we’ve been able to introduce more complex games to our game nights, but even so the games here are very approachable and easy to pick up and play. These games will work with anyone from the age of 7 and up I’d say so they’re perfect for a family night tucked up with hot chocolate and mince pies.

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12 Games of Christmas – Part 1

It’s that time of year, Christmas, holidays, season of joy and generosity! That magical few days of the year when we go and spend time with family and loved ones, sharing our stories, dreams and hopes. Sometimes though, you don’t want to do any of that and instead just play some games. So here we are, sharing our 12 Games of Christmas, 6 games each which Paddy and Emmet feel could be brought out with the family at any time, that are easy enough to pick up, that everyone can enjoy. One or two might surprise, one or two probably won’t, but read on and see what you think!

We were originally going to do these lists in a podcast, but illness, busy work schedules and the inevitable overloading of pre-Christmas events have made recording a podcast nearly impossible. So here we are in written format!

Without further ado, here are Paddy’s 6 games! Continue reading

Live To Board

Board games have given me a lot. These simple objects made of cardboard, wood and plastic have given me a way to regularly engage with my oldest, dearest friends in a new way. They’ve helped make me some new friends. Through this blog and through trying my hand at design, board games have also given me a creative outlet, something I’ve felt was missing in my life. Yes, board games have given me a lot. But could they give me more? Continue reading

First Impressions: Above and Below

The straps of your pack dig into your skin uncomfortably as you shuffle ever forward into the unknown. The darkness flees from the glow of your lantern, cowering just at the edge of the halo of pale orange light. Above and around you, the weight of the stone pervades your every thought, and the air is stifling and stale. Up ahead the path splits, leading further into the heart of the cave system. You hold your lantern aloft to try to get a better look, the light glinting off sheer stone, but providing no answers. Before you can decide what to do, a heavy thump of a footfall draws your attention from the left hand tunnel. Then another. And another. Closer and closer they come. Your heart pounds in your chest as a hulking silhouette lurches forth from the shadows. What do you do?

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Rhino Hero

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in details or the minutiae of games. You spend 30 minutes talking in circles about why mechanics should come before theme. You write 1,500 words on dice, expressing your frustrations but also in the end trying to work in some praise. Then you scrap that piece because something comes along that reminds you that games are meant to be fun. This time it was a small yellow box, that cost the princely sum of £6 on Amazon. Continue reading

Fury of Dracula – Become the Bat


Normally the second Wednesday of every month is when we release our podcast, but due to scheduling problems the podcast will go up next Wednesday. Until then you’ll have to imagine my (Emmet) sexy voice while you read about my experiences playing a caring eastern European count who happens to have a taste for blood. We also chatted about Fury of Dracula on Episode 6 of the podcast if you want to check that out too.

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My head is in my hands. I’m looking down, wondering how this has happened. Age finally caught up with me. Years piled on years, and the decline that comes with it. I wonder what I could have done better, the missed opportunities… And then I pick up the deck and start a new game. I’m playing Friday, a solo card game about survival on a desert island. I linger over the cards that represent the aging of Robinson Crusoe, the negatives that they bring to your game, and curse them once again. Continue reading

Reflections on Build A Board Game

Phew! What a fantastic day. Last Saturday, September 3rd, we held our first ever board game design jam in Pulse College Dublin, and we called it Build A Board Game. You may remember we talked about this in a previous post and on the podcast. We had about 36 people turn up on the day, and spend about 6 hours designing games using components and a theme we provided. Continue reading

X-Wing Miniature Game

What you see below is a real world, non-staged example, of how I arrange games of X-Wing Miniatures. “Pew pew” is a phrase that gets used a lot in our games, as we direct our ships to zoom around the table, try get in a good position and “pew pew” the enemy ships out of the sky. But is the game any good? How does it feel to actually play? Read on dear friend, and you shall find out.

The Crafty Players X Wing TIE Fighter WhatsApp Continue reading