Seven Days: The Scoop on Penny Press

Penny Press logo.Seven Days writer Keith Morrill interviewed local designers Matt Golec and Robert Dijkman Dulkes about their forthcoming game Penny Press:

Two Upper Valley residents have managed to make a name for themselves in this land of plastic and cardboard. Matt Golec is a 45-year-old stay-at-home dad from Norwich; Robert Dijkman Dulkes, also 45, is a computer programmer from Lebanon, N.H. Last summer, they were two amateur game designers hoping to share their labor of love with a wider audience. Now they sit on the eve of their big debut as pro designers.

Their game, Penny Press, puts players at the helm of competing newspapers during the era of yellow journalism. Players attempt to outmaneuver one another, get the scoop on hot stories and print a superior paper, angling to become the most successful news baron in turn-of-the-century New York City. It’s almost enough to make you don a fedora with a press card tucked into the ribbon.

Naturally, such an experience includes playing Penny Press at Green Mountain Gamers’ recent Fall-loha event. Check out the article for details on the game, its design process and where you can try it out yourself — hint: at A Fistful of Carnage next weekend!

Board Game Monkey Shines in Derby Line

After their monthly get-together at the Derby Line village hall, Border Board Games updated their blog with a session report for the evening’s board game highlights. Titles that hit the table include: Battlestar Galactica: the Board Game, Spin Monkeys, Tammany Hall, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Dominion.

Here’s how Tammany Hall played out:

As was the case in our previous experience, Dennis and Homer quickly struck a devil’s bargain.  Slippery Dennis was elected the first Mayor of New York only to face slander from every direction over the corruption of the worst police chief the city has ever seen (Homer).  Tricky Dick served the next two terms as mayor despite a steadily eroding voter base, swinging a deal with Slandering Sue.

Once again, however, clean campaigning and skillful manipulation of immigrant populations helped the winner, Honest Tim, surge ahead at the polls and in the hearts of the Irish and Italians alike.  Clearly the protestants were not his power base.  despite having lingered in the back throughout much of the game both Tim and Sue rode waves of popularity to surge ahead of the embattled Tammany Hall veterans.  Sue’s surge fell just shy but did enable her to go from a distant fifth to second place behind Tim’s impressive victory.

Border Board Games hosts monthly Saturday game nights at the Derby Line village hall. Visit their website for information on upcoming dates and the ever-growing game library.

Companions of the Firmament’s Final Stretch Goals

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

With Geek Industrial Complex’s Companions of the Firmament in its final hours of fundraising, designer Neil Carr has created some interesting new stretch goals to round out the month-long campaign.

In particular, if the Kickstarter reaches 110 backers — it’s currently up to 96 at the time of writing — Geek Industrial Complex will make “an adventure that would use many different elements of CotF to help illustrate their use in play and inject players into a decidedly aerial environment” available to backers of the Wingmate level and higher, essentially everyone who receives a PDF or more as a reward. This goal comes from Neil’s analysis of previous kickstarted RPGs, where the median number of backers on a successful campaign is 110.

Companions of the Firmament is also very close to unlocking still more sheets for flying monsters, allowing GMs to more easily incorporate existing Pathfinder creatures into the supplement’s ruleset expansion.

Finally, Neil promises, “I’ll put out one last update at that final hour of the campaign (10:30 EDT) so keep a lookout for it. I want to add some drama to the last few moments of the campaign :)” Can’t wait to see what he’s got cooked up!

Carnage Noir Update from Carnagecast

This week on Carnagecast, the crew has the latest word on what’s in the works for Carnage, the annual gaming convention held in the Vermont side of the Upper Valley at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.

Topics of note include the looming deadline for people wishing to get their scheduled games listed in the convention book, what’s already on deck for board games, collectible card games, miniatures and role-playing games, and some discussion of this year’s noir theme and how GMs might take advantage of it.

Carnage Noir happens November 2nd through the 4th in Fairlee, Vermont. Carnagecast releases new episodes alternating Mondays.

Reminder: Carnage in Wonderland

Carnage comes to Vermont once more — Carnage the tabletop game convention that is. This Friday through Saturday, tabletop hobbyists from all over gather in Fairlee, Vermont for as much camaraderie and game-playing as they can pack into 72 hours. Your humble gaming correspondent will be there, of course, running games, helping around the registration desk and getting some new media action going.

In addition to the myriad board, role-playing, card and miniature games, Carnage hosts Dipcon 2011, the North American Diplomacy tournament. Every year, the convention hosts a Diplomacy tournament called the Carnage Accords, but this year the byzantine schemes step up a notch as some of the premier Diplomacy players on the continent vie for renown and control of western Europe.

Carnage Game Convention Seeks Submissions

Illustration by John Tenniel.

Carnage, Vermont’s very own game convention, seeks the brave and the bold in the New England tabletop game community to run events at their upcoming November convention, themed after Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Hosting events from all across the spectrum of hobby games — board games, card games (collectible and otherwise), miniatures, role-playing and even LARP — Carnage is a great chance to sample whatever grabs one’s fancy. As for game moderators, or GMs, it allows them to show off games they want to teach to others. There’s no feeling quite like demonstrating a game to a newcomer, only to watch them immediately rush off to the dealer’s room afterward to purchase a copy of their own.

Submissions received by the end of July get in the convention book, which is mailed out to previous attendees and circulated among regional game stores. If you’re interested in sharing your favorite game or exercising your adventure-running muscles, this is your moment to do so and meet fellow hobbyists from all over New England.

P.S. As a Carnage staffer I’ll be there all weekend. Would any Geek Mountain State readers be interested in a meet-up?

Tabletop Gaming Around Vermont

Andrew does a fine job rounding up the day’s geekiness every morning. Now and again, tabletop gaming deserves a chance to shine on its own.


The Gamers Grotto supplies games and a space to play them. Their online calendar shows miniatures, Magic: The Gathering and role-playing games happening on a weekly basis.

Also, Der Chelonian Mobile chronicles the mishaps of a Spelljammer role-playing game based out of a local Bennington pub.


The center of the public tabletop scene in Burlington is Quarterstaff Games, Vermont’s oldest friendly local game store. Open seven days a week, Quarterstaff hosts in-store gaming every one of those days. Survey their Google calendar for the full spread.

Online, in addition to Quarterstaff’s own forums, Pathfinder fans will do well to check out the Northern Vermont Pathfinder Society group, as well.

Derby Line

Border Board Games hosts a monthly Saturday game night at the Derby Line village hall. Further, they’re also currently hosting two — two — role-playing campaigns: Dungeons & Dragons and Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.


Infrequent, yet assuredly periodic is Carnage, a weekend game convention held at the Lake Morey Resort in the Upper Valley.


Hosted in a private home, but open to comers via is Waterbury Board Games. Euro board games are their preferred choice: Settlers of Catan, Power Grid and that sort.

Vermont in General

Gamers in Vermont have a couple general resources, as well. Northern New England Gamers is a Yahoo! mailing list that includes a healthy number of members residing in Vermont. Green Mountain Gamers is a social network as well as the entity behind quarterly game days all over the state.

Outside Vermont

Albany, New York

Zombie Planet hosts weekly in-store gaming, as well as the biannual Albany Gamedays.

Schenectady, New York

The Schenectady Wargamers Association‘s monthly gameathons host role-playing and all board games, not just the wargame variety. The SWA also puts on the Columbus Day weekend game convention Council of Five Nations.

West Lebanon, New Hampshire

Serving the upper Connecticut River valley is Triple Play, a game and comic shop in West Lebanon. They have events most nights of the week, with regular board games on Wednesday nights and the first Sunday going to “Ameritrash.”

Reminder: Summer Game ‘n Grill

This weekend is the big summer game day in Norwich. Just down the road from the Montshire Museum of Science, in the local grange hall, Green Mountain Gamers hosts their second annual summer event, bringing ” two great things — meat and games — together in a fiery conflagration.”

It promises to be a good time. I’ll be there, role-playing it up with InSpectres at least, and probably some other fun games, of which there are bound to be a plethora. And that’s in addition to the Race for the Galaxy tournament, game garage sale, raffle to benefit the Hartwell family, game swap and more.

The fun goes down on June 18th at the grange hall in Norwich, Vermont, from 10am to 10pm. Read more about the Game ‘n Grill over on the Green Mountain Gamers website.

Green Mountain Gamers Present the 2011 Summer Game ‘n Grill

After a few months off, the Green Mountain Gamers return to host their summer event, the Game ‘n Grill, in Norwich, Vermont. This is the fifth in their ongoing series of quarterly game days.

Game days provide an opportunity for casual geeks to learn more about the tabletop game hobby from some of its ardent enthusiasts, as well as game-players from different communities come together and establish face-to-face relationships.

In addition to open play of all sorts of games and a Race for the Galaxy tournament with prize sponsorship from Triple Play, Green Mountain Gamers will host a raffle to benefit an area gamer’s family beset with medical expenses. That’s a prime example of geeks reaching out to help their own.

The Game ‘n Grill runs from 10am to 10pm on June 18th at the grange hall in Norwich. Directions and programming information can be found at their website. And yes, there will be a grill on site.

Spring Meltdown

The question that plagues all Battlestar Galactica players: who's a Cylon?

The question that plagues all Battlestar Galactica players: who's a Cylon?

Chuck of the Green Mountain Gamers tells us about the fun had at their recent Spring Meltdown game day. Tabletop game-players of all ages and types converged on the Ilsley Library in Middlebury on Saturday the 19th for a full day of fun. Dungeons & Dragons, Ticket to Ride, and many more games hit the table. Participants embarked on adventures, maximized economic efficiency and strove to achieve victory conditions.