Tiny Trainwrecks is OUT! YOU CAN PLAY IT!

Oh no! The train is out of control! The only thing you and your fellow engineers can do is take all this spare track that’s in the back of the locomotive for some reason and lay it as fast as you can!

Tiny Trainwrecks is a frantic co-op game of hand management where you and 1-4 of your friends maneuver a runaway train around an obstacle course you make yourself with everyday things. It’s the perfect game to play while:

  • Waiting for your food at a restaurant
  • Some of your friends are playing a long game and you want to annoy them by moving a little train around on their board
  • On a train (obviously)

And now: You can buy it, right here!

Logo and game art by Jennilee Truong!

Logo and game art by Jennilee Truong!

Tiny Trainwrecks: The Only Game About Trains Ever Made And If You Disagree Fight Me IRL

Happy Daggers, Part 2: Dramatic Tension and Irony

Welcome back! If you haven’t read Part 1 of how to play Happy Daggers, you should go ahead and do that now. Otherwise, this part is going to get really confusing!

So remember last time when I said there were five Attack and five Defense cards? That’s not quite true. Each player also gets two SP cards, Trip and Vault.

vault b

Vault is the ultimate Defense card for getting out of sticky situations. If you’re pushed into the corner, you can play this and switch places with the attacker before they get a chance to corner you. It isn’t perfect – a defense value of 4 means it’s likely you’re going to get pushed this turn – but it can save you from taking a lot of damage.

You may notice the last line there: “Costs 1 Irony to use”. Irony is a resource that you gain from taking damage that can be spent on SP cards. To learn more about how you get it, let’s take a gander at one of the character cards!

Art by Ian Jay. Nobody likes playing board games with Hamlet because he always takes hours to do anything.

Art by Ian Jay. Nobody likes playing board games with Hamlet because he always takes hours to do anything.

Each character card has a Damage track that goes from 0 to “I am slain!” at 8, and an Irony track that goes from 0 to 4. Both players start with 0 damage and 1 Irony. Whenever your damage counter lands on or passes a blue number on your damage track, you gain 1 Irony.

As you can see, Irony is a scarce resource. So what could Trip possibly be that you would spend Irony on it over Vault?

Trip b

How does taking another turn on the attack sound?

Trip only works against three particular cards, which means you aren’t guaranteed the extra turn. However, it works against Vault, and you’ll probably know when your opponent is going to use it: When they’re backed into a dead end and you’re on the offense. Perfect for taking away their newfound advantage!

But wait, “without a Dramatic Tension bonus”? What does that mean?

Dramatic Tension is something that builds over the course of the game and increases  the distance both players can push each other. At the end of every turn, you move the Dramatic Tension counter up one space on this track:

dt-track preview

If this image looks cropped, it’s because it’s only part of the mat: The other part is a list of all the Attack and Defense cards in the game for both players to reference. (I can’t give away all of the game’s secrets in these blog posts!)

As you can guess, the different levels of the Dramatic Tension track provide a bonus to either player whenever they push their opponent. For example, if the track is at +2 Historical, and you would push an opponent 3 squares, you instead push them 5 squares.

Whenever a player is cornered, the Dramatic Tension counter lowers until it reaches a space right above a sword. This means that if you can corner your opponent, you’ll be at less risk of being pushed a large distance on the next turn!

That’s about it for how to play Happy Daggers! Keep watching our Twitter for an exciting announcement about Tiny Trainwrecks in the near future!


Happy Daggers, Part 1: The Basics

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen the boxart for Happy Daggers! It’ll be out on The Game Crafter within a few weeks, and our first convention appearance with it in tow will be at GX3 in December.

“But wait, Jeremy, what is Happy Daggers even about? How do I play it?” Glad you asked! In a nutshell, Happy Daggers is meant to simulate the kind of dramatic swordfight you see onstage or in the movies. The two fighters leap around the stage, trading attacks one at a time, until one of them inevitably runs out of room to maneuver and gets stabbed in the way that generates the most pathos.

The key mechanic of Happy Daggers is the repertoire – a group of sword moves that you select at the start of the game. There are five Attack cards (red) and five Defense cards (blue), each of which has its own strengths and disadvantages. You get to choose three of each, and can’t switch them out. Let’s look at a few!

Flourish b      Thrust b

dodge b      Guard b

Each turn, players switch between being on the attack (and playing an Attack card) and being on the defense (and playing a Defense card). Both players play cards face-down and reveal them simultaneously, with the exception of Flourish, which gets revealed first.

Before we go any further, let’s look at a stage!

graveyard revised

Art by Ian Jay. The Capulet graves are kept in pristine condition for swordfighting.

The Capulet Tomb is the simplest stage in the game. The most important thing to notice is all the dead ends – these are going to be the main way you’ll deal damage to your opponent. Incidentally, the sword and shield cards are where the player who attacks first and the player who defend first start, respectively.

After applying your cards’ effects, if the attack card has a higher value (the big number in the center) than the defense card, the attacker pushes the defender away from them a number of squares equal to the difference, plus a bonus that I’ll talk about in the next update. However, if there aren’t enough squares to push the defender, they’re cornered and take 2 damage! Each player can take 8 damage before they expire.

Here’s some more fun facts about attack and defense cards:

  1. Attack cards’ values range from 2 to 7, while Defense cards’ values range from 1 to 5. This means that, on average, the defender will get pushed at least a few squares. This doesn’t mean that defending with high value cards is necessarily useless, though! If you can limit your opponent to moving you a square or two, you can gradually force them into the corner.
  2. The lower a card’s value, the more powerful its effect. In fact, the most powerful Attack and Defense cards will deal damage to you. Thrust, above, is one of them.

Join me tomorrow for an explanation of Dramatic Tension, Irony, and a peek at one of the dramatis personae!