Category Archives: General Gaming

Overlooked Gems in the board game world

By and large, the board game community at is quite accurate about what games are good and what games are not so good. I will begrudgingly acknowledge that even if I do not like the game that the game has deep strategy, a cool theme or what have you. But there are some overlooked gems at BGG. There are also some games which our group by and large ignore because of the Cult of the New. Here is a brief list of some overlooked gems.

1. Nautilus

Nautilius from Kosmos Games
Nautilus from Kosmos Games

Nautilus is a steam-punk Jules Verne inspired game. Players add onto an underwater city, adding research modules and habitation modules. Players will manage their money (which is quite scarce) in order to obtain the relics of Atlantis, the scoop on rare organisms and getting bonuses for having highly trained technicians in the city.

The game is a solid 7 by my reckoning with a possible nod to 8. Unfortunately I haven’t played the game since 2013. The Muskegon Area Gamers have been largely ignoring it for a year or two.

Nautilus is an overlooked gem by the masses as well. Despite its slightly above average rating of 6.43 on BGG, most critics panned the game as “too long” or “too much randomness”. This has not been my experience.

Nautilus pieces: modules
Nautilus pieces: modules

The game lasts about 1 hour, maybe an hour and

15 minutes. This is about right for a good, tight strategy game. And the randomness in the game is all subject to mitigation. Players can mitigate it or they can risk it, seeking high rewards for high risk. This is perfect for an exploration game.

Verdict: Overlooked and underplayed. Get it to the table STAT!



2. Gone Fishing!

Gone Fishing! from Rio Grande Games
Gone Fishing! from Rio Grande Games

I detest fishing. Always have. When I came across Michael Rieneck’s game “Gone Fishing!” I was certain it would be dull.

Boy was I wrong!

This little filler is a perfect two player asymmetrical game. One player takes on the role of the fishermen while the other player takes on the role of the fish. You cast your line, decide how long you will fish in that spot, then reel in the big one. After your fishermen have spent the day fishing, you swap sides. Whoever scored the biggest fish is declared the winner.

The game features some deduction and intuition along with hidden movement. This is true in much of Rieneck’s work. And it works quite well here. That is why I was surprised by the ill reception the game has received from BGG.

Gone Fishing! Board
Gone Fishing! Board

BGG rates Gone Fishing! at a frosty 5.33, below the average rating of 5.5 which games accrue automatically upon entering the database. How could this be?

Well, BGG’ers do not like memory games. And Gone Fishing! does have a memory component to it. And I will stipulate that the memory component is the least attractive part of the game. But that alone shouldn’t cost this game, should it?

This game can be added to any game collection that needs a 20 minute filler for two players. And it’s going for about $10 +  shipping so the price is right.

Verdict: Overlooked gem.

3. Entdecker

Entdecker from Mayfair Games
Entdecker from Mayfair Games

Klaus Teuber’s games always seem fun when you read the rules. But they have habitually left me disappointed. Settlers of Catan, Settlers the card game, Anno 1503 and Elasund come to mind. All of them seemed neat when I read the rules. All of them disappointed me when we played. They all seemed fun for the first 30 to 45 minutes. But the games lasted for an hour to an hour and half. That’s a problem.

Then I played Entdecker. It is the best Teuber game I’ve played. By far. Entdecker is a lot like Nautilus. Both are exploration games, both give players the ability to mitigate luck by spending resources and both require a tight pocketbook to be successful.

Entdecker board
Entdecker board

But Entdecker works completely differently than Nautilus mechanically. The outcome is very satisfying. I love the artwork. The tiles are drawings of island chains from flyover height. It helps sell the theme. You really feel like you are exploring the island chains of the New World.

The board game community has given it a decent 6.60 rating. I would give it a solid 8. Unfortunately I have not played Entdecker since 2010! A whopping five years ago!

Verdict: Overlooked gem. I need to rediscover America.




4. Martinique

Martinique by White Goblin Games
Martinique by White Goblin Games

In Emanuele Ornella’s “Martinique”, players take their band of pirates to the eponymous island in search of booty and trinkets. By moving pirates from space to space, you will pick up trinkets or a map with coordinates to the big treasure. The person who finds the big treasure is the winner. If no one finds the big treasure then the person who has collected the most valuable trinkets on Martinique is the winner.

The theme of Martinique is completely pasted on. There is no high seas adventure here.

But mechanically the game works very well. Exceptionally well. The game is played over two stages. During the first stage, players move their pirates from space to space to pick up tiles. These tiles could have a map on them or a trinket. Trinkets are kept in order to score points. The map is used to find the big treasure.

Components for Martinique
Components for Martinique

After you have moved all of your pirates and can no longer move them, the game progresses to the second stage which is the guessing/deduction part.

At set up, two of the map tiles are removed from the board and used to determine the grid coordinates of the big treasure. At game’s end, players get four guesses as to where this treasure is. If you found some pieces of the map then you know some coordinates where the treasure isn’t and can make an informed guess.

This may not sound like a great idea but boy does it work well. You can hedge your bets by taking some map pieces. You can ignore that aspect of the game and collect trinkets. You can bluff during the guessing part of the game to trick your opponent. It’s got a lot going on for a 25 to 30 minute game.

Yet BGG gives is a lukewarm rating of 6.35. Because of this, copies are available for sale for $10 give or take. I would encourage you to pick up a copy if you don’t own one. It is a very good game.

Verdict: Overlooked gem.


5. Niagara

Niagara from Rio Grande Games
Niagara from Rio Grande Games

Navigating dangerous rapids and falls while collecting gems is the theme of Niagara. Players have two canoes they use to move to and fro. Players program their movements at the beginning of the round. Then reveal and execute them one by one. After all moves have been made, the river moves down stream a distance equal to the smallest programmed movement played that turn. This could mean that canoes are pushed off the river, costing you the gems you already harvested.

Niagara is a beautiful game. The artwork is good and the components are gorgeous. Similar to Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, you will use the game box itself as the game board. The elevated surface allows the canoes to literally fall of the edge.

Niagara game in progress
Niagara game in progress

One of the charms of Niagara is the fact that there is no randomness. All the variables in the game are controlled explicitly by the players. Throw the right movement into the game at the right time and your opponents will be hosed. Try to get cute and get the pink gems (the hardest in the game) and you could fall of the edge.

There are three victory conditions: collect one gem of each color (five total), collect four gems of one color or collect seven gems total. This allows you to change your strategy to the realities of the board.

Despite the game having tremendous visual flair and no randomness and even winning the Spiels des Jahres, the BGG community gives this game a stingy 6.4 rating. Sluggish sales means you can pick up a copy for around $30.

Verdict: Overlooked gem; haven’t played since last summer.





6. Want to play some overlooked gems with us?

Expensive lessons in building a game library

I began adding games to my personal library about 6 months after meeting Bruce, one of our regulars. His game library was quite daunting. And I hate being daunted. I made the promise to get an active library of 500 games. To this end have I been buying, trading and purging games from my collection. Purging, you ask? Because I want the right 500 games. This process of buying/trading/purging is ongoing. And expensive. Luckily I have a very supportive wife who understands that if I didn’t spend my money at Out of the Box Games, I would spend it at the bar. I thought I would share some of the more expensive lessons I learned along the way.


1. You loving a game ≠  Your group loving a game

Space Hulk 3rd Edition didn't go over well in Muskegon
Space Hulk 3rd Edition

Space Hulk 3rd Edition was the long awaited reimplementation of Games Workshop’s popular “man versus alien in desperate battle” franchise. The game came out in 2009 to strong critical and popular praise. I wanted a copy. I also wanted a copy that was fully painted. And I didn’t want to do the painting myself.

A week’s pay later: I had a copy. I got the game to table. I thought it was good.  A squad of heavily armed but heavily outnumbered Space Marines are clearing an ancient spaceship of a Tyranid infestation. Each corridor is teeming with genestealers lurking behind a corner.


But the group rejected it. The Muskegon Area Gamers did find it as charming as me.  An expensive lesson was learned.


2. Games that were fun when you were a kid are not necessarily fun now

Hotels board game
Hotels board game

Board game enthusiasts all have a touch of nostalgia. There are those games you remember having fun with when you were a kid.

When you become an adult you might feel the temptation to buy some of these games to add to your library. The lesson here is: don’t. Those games are not necessarily still good.

Asmodee made a wonderful reimplementation of Milton Bradley’s “Hotels”. The components are top notch (just what you would expect from Asmodee). The game is faithful to its predecessor.

But its predecessor is not good. Do not buy Hotels. Or rather, do not let nostalgia dictate how you add games to your library.





3. To Kickstart or Not to Kickstart; that is the question

Ogre Deluxe Edition
Ogre Deluxe Edition

Kickstarter is really hit-and-miss. There are plenty crappy games being kickstarted. But every now and again there is a real gem. And it’s difficult to tell the difference.

Steve Jackson released the deluxe edition of his Ogre franchise on kickstarter. It’s a 35 lb. box of board gaming madness. And I passed on it. Now the price is much higher.

SJG's Ogre
SJG’s Ogre

Should I have paid $125 for the Deluxe edition when it was on kickstarter? Yes, if the alternative is paying >$125 now.

But kickstarter produces lots of crap (I’m looking at you Exile Sun!). How is a game collector to know the difference?

The thing about kickstarter is that tons of crappy games that genuine publishers won’t touch are being funded. But there are occasional gems that you can get really cheap if you can tell the difference.



 4. Being a completest can be poisonous to a game collector

Valar Morghulis
Valar Morghulis

The logic goes like this: I like a game therefore more of that game must make it better. In practice, this is as often false as it is true.

Take A Game of Thrones: the living card game. We played the heck out of this at Jeremy Pyne’s. Then we got word that the 2nd edition (which is incompatible) was coming out. All our cards are now obsolete. And we are going to start from ground zero.

It is difficult to be a game collector without being a completest–the two go hand in hand. But you must guard against being compulsive when being a completest.

Now we have several sets of AGOT:LCG cards that are obsolete.


5. Trading games = High Shipping Costs

Muskegon Heights Post Office
Muskegon Heights Post Office

Board game geek has a wonderful game trade feature. It is great for connecting to gamers who have the game you want and who also want the game you have. One problem: shipping costs eat away all the savings.

Boxes and padding are expensive. I can get it free at work because there is stuff laying around. But the cost of postage is >$10 or more a game. And there is little savings to be made by bulk trading.

A few gamers tried to sidestep this by shipping their games to me with “media mail”. Media mail is for, well, media. Magazines, CD’s, books, non-advertising printouts, etc. And the USPS busts open boxes that are labeled media mail just to make sure they are in fact media mail. Then they return the boxes to the sender. Lesson: do not use media mail to mail a board game.

The best way to trade games cheaply is via no-ship trades. But there haven’t been any in the Muskegon/Holland/Grand Rapids area in a few years. We need the fellas from GrandCon to step up. Now that I am on the topic, maybe me or Rocky will have to tell Brian Lenz to have a math trade at this year’s GrandCon.


6. Buying a game that is out print…six months later they reprint it

Martin Wallace's A Study in Emerald
Martin Wallace’s A Study in Emerald

This one hasn’t happened to me yet. But I know it will bug the ever living shit out of me when it does happen. What am I talking about? Paying $100+ for an out of print game. And then the publisher reprints it six months later. If I had just waited, I could have gotten for $70 less.

A Study in Emerald is a good example of this. Many people (luckily not me) were vying for a copy on eBay and on BGG. The going price is $200 for what is essentially a card game. The game was super popular but Martin Wallace’s Tree Frog Games couldn’t justify another print run.

And then they finally COULD justify it. And the 2nd printing is slated for later this year. I know Kevin (a Muskegon Area Gamer) is excited. I am really interested in trying it out too.

Adding games to your game library and then having this happen to you can make you discouraged. I don’t know any solution to it other than keeping up with the news to see if there are rumors of a reprint.



7. Buying an expensive game…20 minutes later you realize it sucks

Rex: Last Days of an Empire
Rex: Last Days of an Empire

For us, the game was Rex: Final days of an Empire. We love Twilight Imperium. We love the Frank Herbert franchise “Dune”. When Fantasy Flight was reimplementing the classic board game “Dune” with their Twilight Imperium races, of course the Muskegon Area Gamers would be on board.

We played the game. And Jeremy Pyne won on the first turn. We played it a second time. Jeremy Pyne won on the first turn. The next day I traded it (the game, not Jeremy Pyne).

The game, by all rights, should have been a strong addition to our group. But it was terrible. There are some games you really should play before you pull the trigger and make a blind buy.



Exciting upcoming game releases!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my board game wishes. And I don’t believe I’ve had an all-video blog post before so I thought I would make one. Some new games have whet my gaming appetite. Here is a list of a few of them.

1. Flick ’em Up!

If you know my gaming tastes, you know I dislike dexterity components in my game mechanics. Flick ’em Up! is nothing more than a series of dexterity components wrapped in bacon. And I love bacon.

The dexterity component is so well executed in this game I cannot help but be intrigued. You flick a disc to move your cowboy. You flick a bullet to kill our opponents. You have shootouts. It looks like it’s a lot of FUN!

Interest level: A-

2. War of Kings

I’ve been on the outs with A Game of Thrones: the Board Game. It’s not that great of a game. I used to like it a lot. Now I think it’s pretty good but has several flaws. I’m looking for a game that will scratch that itch.

War of Kings just might fit that bill. Action cards, trading, expansion, development…we’ve finally got a medieval fantasy 4X game!

Now if I can talk Nate into buying it, reading the rules and teaching me the game, I’ll be all set.

Interest level: A+


3. Port Royal

I’m a sucker for push-your-luck games. It’s a hard game mechanic to implement well. And if it is implemented well, I usually like the game. I came across Port Royal on And I think I found a good entry into the push-your-luck field.

I’m also intrigued by the card drafting mechanic. It seems Port Royal has solved the four player solitaire quandary so many other games nowadays seem to be stuck in.

Interest level: B+


4. A Study of Emerald

Neil Gaiman’s book “A Study in Emerald” is a cult classic. Martin Wallace is a game designer extraordinaire. When he published the board game of A Study in Emerald, it sold out quickly. Copies of it went for $200. Consumers beseeched Wallace to publish more copies.

And he has promised to do so.

The 2nd Edition looks awesome. Now if I can get Kevin to buy a copy, read the rules and teach me the game–I’ll be all set.

Interest level: A-


5. Spheres of Influence

I’ve been intrigued by the 80’s game “Supremacy”, a combination of Monopoly and Risk. A game about the Cold War to the War on Terror is a welcome addition to my collection.

Then I saw Spheres of Influence. It looks like a streamlined version of Supremacy. This MAY be a good thing. I’m intrigued by Spheres of Influence but I have some reservations still. The combat looks like it could be swingy. And I suspect the game could have runaway leader problems.

Interest level: B


6. Forbidden Stars

Jon and I played StarCraft: The Board Game back in the Club Sternberg days. The game didn’t go over well. Then Jon traded for El Grande, Junta and Perikles. Now he wishes he hadn’t made that trade.

Then Fantasy Flight decided to reskin StarCraft with a 40K theme. And I am very excited. This looks like it could be quite good. Tech upgrades, landing invasions, space combat. This could scratch my TI3 itch when we have fewer than 5 players. Now if I can get Dusty to buy the game, read the rules and then teach me the game–I’ll be all set.

Interest level: A+


Which games to add to the library at The Gaming Annex

Out of the Box Games is having their membership drive in a couple of weeks. Their membership has a yearly fee of $20 that is waived if you buy $150 worth of games (which you receive at a discount because of your membership). As it stands, I am the #1 customer in lifetime purchases at Out of the Box. I always make it a point to hit their store during the membership drive–it’s like another Black Friday. I finished paying off my Prius yesterday. That frees up approximately $450 a month. My wife didn’t actually specify that I needed to start spending my Prius money on mundanities like utilities or house payments. Unless told differently, I foresee a large game purchase in my near future. Here are some of the games that have been keeping me awake at night.


1. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Star Wars Imperial Assault will hit the gaming table a lot in Muskegon
Star Wars Imperial Assault

I’ve been pussyfooting around Star Wars: Imperial Assault for about six months now. It’s time for me to crap or get off the can. And that’s about as far as I am going to go with that metaphor.

So I’ll probably be buying Star Wars: Imperial Assault.

And it’ll probably be awesome.

I think this will be a Thursday night fixture. Our Thursday night crew will probably be most receptive to this game. We could probably hammer out two scenarios a night.

Now, are there any painters in the area? I want my set to be pro painted.






2. Shadows Over Brimstone

Flying Frog Productions has finally released their flagship game. And by all measures, it appears epic. Shadows Over Brimstone is an Old West meets Cthulhu game. There is character development and advancement. There is dungeon delving. And it’s a coop.

The components look amazing. Lots of minis, lots of bits. And the price is a staggering $100 MSRP. I couldn’t justify this unless I paid off my car.


3. Star Wars: Armada

Muskegon eagerly anticipates the release of Star Wars: Armada
Star Wars: Armada

In a previous blog post I asked facetiously: will Fantasy Flight let me direct deposit my paychecks into their account? With my recent car payoff and the imminent release of Star Wars: Armada, my question is less facetious and more prescient.

Certainly I will be be the biggest fanboy of Star Wars: Armada in the 49441. The real question is how much of my future am I willing to mortgage in order to prove this?










4. Dead of Winter

Muskegon suffers through the dead of winter by playing Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter from Plaid Hat Games

I’m not a big fan of zombie games. Nor am I a big fan of cooperatives. But Dead of Winter really strikes a chord with me.

Players work together to keep the zombies at bay during the harsh winter. Players move around picking up supplies and fending off zombie attacks.

What is really interesting bout Dead of Winter are the secret betrayal objectives. Players have a couple ways of winning. You can work together overtly or you can sabotage everyone covertly. But if people exile you from the colony you could be hosed.

I’ve had this on my radar for a while now. It may be time to lock, load and pull the trigger finally.


Our (already) bloated library

Board games 1976 W. Sherman Blvd 49441
The Gaming Annex

I know what you’re thinking. I already have 500 games, many still in shrink wrap. I’ve been streamlining my collection lately. And the games above fill a needed niche. I really REALLY need them.

If anyone wants to come to The Gaming Annex in Muskegon and try these (or any other) games out, feel free to reply. Our lines are open.


I’m infatuated with Cthulhu Wars

The cult of the new has stricken me. I’m rather taken by a game called Cthulhu Wars. Evidently this was heavily supported through kickstarter and I missed the boat on it. Whoa is me. Anyway, here is a brief look at a game that I plan on adding to the library at The Gaming Annex sooner rather than later.


1. Tom Vassel’s review

I saw watched this review the other day. The game hasn’t left my mind since. 🙂

2. Plasticky Goodness

Muskegon loves HP Lovecraft's Mythos.
Mi-Go from Cthulhu Wars

Seen here is a Mi-Go from Lovecraft’s Mythos.

The figures in this game are extravagant.










Cthulhu Wars is a perfect fit for Muskegon.
Cthulhu Wars

I’m disappointed the figures are actually life sized. I guess I’ll have to make due with 8″ minis.










Cthulhu Wars will fit in perfectly at The Gaming Annex.
Close up of Cthulhu Wars

The game play is said to be a streamlined version of Chaos in the Old World. This is a strong recommendation for Cthulhu Wars.









Board games 1976 W. Sherman Blvd 49441
The Gaming Annex

Am I the only one infatuated with this game? Is it too extravagant? Does the Gaming Annex need a copy of this game? Don’t be shy! Reply here!

-Chris on behalf of the Muskegon Area Gamers


The Case for Board Games

I’ve always been a gamer. I’ve played all the different game genres: roleplaying games, miniature war games, CCG’s, PC games and console games. And despite it all, I love board games more than any other genre. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say board games as a genre are objectively better than the other genres. Let’s look at the different genres and see why.


1. RPG’s (roleplaying games)

Muskegon loves Dungeons & Dragons. Best game of the 80's!
TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons

I bought my first D&D book in 1987. I went to Three Wishes in the Muskegon Mall and bought the the “expert” companion to the red book seen here.

Dungeons & Dragons, much like the broader RPG genre, can be very enthralling. You create a character. You develop the character. You tell a story. You have fantastic adventures. You eventually retire the character.

The pros of RPG’s The settings (and thus the possible narratives) available in an RPG were only limited to the GM and his players. Did you just read The Hobbit? Well there’s plenty of medieval fantasy RPG’s. Did a viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean get your creative juices flowing? There’s plenty of RPG material about naval/pirate adventures. Spacefaring RPG’s? Yep. Wild West adventures? You bet. Cthulhu RPG’s? Absolutely.

The cons of RPG’s: RPG’s require several sessions in order to get your money’s worth. Going to the trouble of developing an in-depth world with which your PC’s can interact doesn’t give you the payoff until you’ve played three or more sessions. And getting the same group of players to show up regularly in order to make this happen proves problematic. Having even one of the PC’s absent means you are gaming without one of the main characters. Yes, the GM can “wing it”. But the other game genres do not require “winging”.

2. Miniature Wargaming

Muskegon is a 40K Mecca
Ultramarines from Warhammer 40K

I used to play Warhammer 40K. I had a Space Marine Templars army and a Dark Eldar army. Both were in the 1,500 point range. I left the game because of Games Workshop’s sleazy behavior.

I also left the entire mini wargaming genre behind as well. Not because of Games Workshop but because I saw the cons much more clearly than the pros.

The pros of miniature wargaming The biggest reason to play a miniature wargame is because you love the visual flair. You’ve spent hours painting your miniatures. They are a unique creation that you can be proud of (hopefully). In addition to the visual flair, most hobby stores cater to a couple different minis games. This means you can usually find opponents.

The cons of miniature wargaming  Miniature wargaming is intimidating. There are not many women who are interested in playing these types of games. Miniature wargaming is expensive. A realistic estimate of the cost to field a WH40K army is over $1,000 (including books, storage solutions, etc.) Unlike RPG’s, miniature wargaming is much more limited in narrative. You cannot really play a pirate themed miniature wargame unless you actually have the minis and the rules for said theme.


3. PC and Console Games

Heroes of Might & Magic 3 was played by Muskegon.
Heroes of Might & Magic 3

PC games and console games are technically two different entries but for the purpose of this blog, we will consider them together.

PC/console gaming was a godsend for gamers in the 80’s and 90’s. Finding gamers with whom to play miniature/RPG’s/board games often proved impossible. PC’s and consoles solved this dilemma. Gamers could have a satisfying narrative and/or tactical experience when they were unable to find other gamers.

The pros of PC/console gaming PC and console gaming solved the problem of needing a game group. PC’s and game consoles also had (typically) good graphics and a  strong narrative. Plus the price point was much better than miniature wargaming (once you had the PC or console).

The cons of PC/console gaming: The biggest benefit of PC/console gaming is also its biggest fault. PC’s and consoles do not require a game group and therefore are really designed around solo play. One of the funnest parts of gaming is the camaraderie of the group. And even with a loyal WoW guild, the PC/console camaraderie is less than that of any other genre.

4. Strategy board games

Muskegon's favorite civilization game: Clash of Cultures
Clash of Cultures

Strategy board games have historically not had the same visual flair as miniature wargames or PC/console games. Strategy board games have not historically had the same breadth of theme/narrative choices of RPG’s.

But things have changed.

Modern board games have drastically improved in the past 15 years. The days of games having unmounted, paper game boards are larger over. It used to be the case that you would buy an Avalon Hill game because you wanted a 4+ player game that offered high strategy albeit with less than stellar components. Now games have excellent components. Star Wars: Imperial Assault anyone?

It was the case that strategy board games had only a few different themes, and those were generally war or historically based. But with the modern era of board gaming, you can find games about any theme you could imagine. Steam Punk? Check. Medieval fantasy? Check. Civ building? Check. Space empires? Checkmate. The need to augment your game group with the occasional RPG session has diminished.

The biggest limitation to board gaming is the need for a robust game group. We are in a board gaming renaissance. New game groups are springing up all over the place. While this reduces the constraint of board gaming, it doesn’t eliminate it completely. This is why PC/console gaming is not going to go away. But if you have the right game group, it is so much more satisfying to play board games with them than it is to play PC games alone.

If you would like to learn more about our local gaming group (the Muskegon Area Gamers), check us out here:

Muskegon Area Gamers

Muskegon, MI
87 Muskegon Area Gamers

This group is for anyone interested in playing board games, card games or any table top game. This group learns and teachs new games all the time. We welcome fresh players. We…

Next Meetup

Thursday Night Games

Thursday, Oct 1, 2015, 6:00 PM
4 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

The very best board game accessories

When I first got into gaming in the 80’s there were not very many suppliers of gaming accessories. Nowadays there are tons of gaming accessory companies. Below are my favorites. These companies are highly reputable and sell THE BEST merchandise. Check out their stuff!

1. Dwarven Forge

Muskegon loves Dwarven Forge's products.
Dwarven Forge

Dwarven Forge makes the best miniature dungeons. They are high quality resin and gorgeously painted. Their products are compatible with 1″ bases like most d20 figures from D&D and Pathfinder. I’ve owned several sets of DF’s products several years ago. If I had the cash and the time, I would sink another $500 into their coffers.

They sell many different products. Dungeons, ogre dens, catacombs, etc. And they are compatible with one another. So the different pieces fit together almost seamlessly.




2. Miniature Building Authority

Miniature Building Authority is a favorite of the Muskegon Area Gamers.
Miniature Building Authority

I’ve owned over twenty buildings from the Miniature Building Authority at one time. Their buildings are pre-painted and very detailed. What set them apart was the fact that their roofs come off so you can put your dudes inside.

This picture shows some of their 28mm buildings from their Euro Village line.




3. Terranscapes

The Muskegon Area Gamers believe Terranscapes makes the best wargame terrain.

Terranscapes is to terrain what Dwarven Forge is to catacombs and dungeons. Simply the best around. I’ve bought several items from them over the years. Each piece is custom made. They even will make pieces to order. One of the custom pieces I needed ended up becoming a catalog item too!

The set seen here is a modular board with a river running through it. I owned some pieces similar to this several years ago. It was beautiful.

Unfortunately, Terranscapes only has one technician that works there. And his work is so magnificent that he often has a backlog. I still highly recommend his work.


4. Campaign Coins

Muskegon appreciates Campaign Coins from King of the Castle Games
Campaign Coins from King of the Castle Games

Campaign Coins from King of the Castle Games are for roleplaying adventurers who are not content with character sheets as financial ledgers. Their coins are real metal and have phenomenal details. They offer a huge selection of coins in various “precious metals”.



If anyone has any other reputable companies they would like to add, please comment. Sometimes these awesome companies struggle to get the word out and struggle to survive. Let’s give them a hand!


Muskegon Area Gamers

Muskegon, MI
87 Muskegon Area Gamers

This group is for anyone interested in playing board games, card games or any table top game. This group learns and teachs new games all the time. We welcome fresh players. We…

Next Meetup

Thursday Night Games

Thursday, Oct 1, 2015, 6:00 PM
4 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →



New Column Ideas for the Blog

I really like the idea of the Muskegon Area Gamers writing columns. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with new columns for the blog that would justify semi-monthly installments. Here is my work in process.


Muskegon doesn't play Monopoly

1. The Need for Theme

A column that deals with theme: what works, what doesn’t, what games have it, what games don’t (but need it). The Need for Theme would discuss the form and function of what themes are fun, what themes are popular along with anything that is theme related.


2. Strategy Corner

This column would be a monthly installment about, well, strategy. Our columnists would pick one of their favorite games and discuss strategies. Opening strategies, managing your hand of cards, resource curves, luck mitigation, deck construction, etc would make fine discussion points for the Strategy Corner.


3. Musings from the Misanthropes

A column that looks at the more humorous topics about our hobby, Musings from the Misanthropes would field a broad range of topics.


4. The Rules Lawyer

The Rules Lawyer would look at corner cases, FAQ entries and overlooked rules from our favorite games.


Are there any other topics that would make good  monthly columns?