The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Allegory

An allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful Themes into your Tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden Moral throughout all of your Tales—but only the most concise Tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!

Allegory is a 2-6 player bidding and bluffing card game like no other. In this game every action has an equal opposite reaction, as you must bid to win cards, but the winning bid then goes onto rejected cards, allowing other players to collect more chips and win bids. It’s all about strategy and balance! Designed by Zach Weisman, with art by David Cornish, Allegory is perfect for poker fans, players who like a bit of take that, and people who enjoy truly stunning artwork in their games.

Allegory Rapid Rundown:

The goal of Allegory is to amass three sets of cards that represent three Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. You’ll do that by bidding Lore chips to win the card you want, but keep in mind those lore chips will then be assigned to other cards available, meaning the other players can then take a card and your lore. As you strategically bid and fold, concentrate on also collecting the cards that contain your hidden Moral; they’ll give you a bonus at the end of the game.

In a shocking twist, only your tale with the LOWEST total value will be the one you score at the end of the game. After all, brevity is a virtue. 

The card with the white back and no number value is the hidden Moral card. The card with the dark back and the number value are the Theme cards you bid to collect.

Finding Inspiration:

The game begins with all players receiving a Moral card; if you can collect Theme cards with that Moral into each of your sets, you’ll earn bonus points. Players then shuffle the Theme deck, and lay out as many cards as there are players (2 player games will have 3 cards laid out, but otherwise gameplay is the same).

Going clockwise, players then take turns bidding Lore chips to get first pick at the Theme cards available. When every player except one has folded, the winner gets to select which Theme card to put into their tableau. The winner then distributes the Lore chips used onto the other available cards, and this is the key to strategizing in Allegory. In following rounds, players who fold will also be able to pick up a card, but only the one with the most Lore chips on it! 

The next player to fold may take a card if they want, but it can only be the -2 card since it has the most lore chips. BUT they’ll get 3 more lore chips to bid with. Decisions…

So if there happens to be a negative card on the table, a winning bidder may want to stack more chips on that card to force another player to take a negative score. But someone else may want to fold and take that negative card so they have more Lore chips to bid with later on to win a higher value card. How will you choose to tell your story?

Weaving a Tale: 

As you collect Theme cards to build your three tales ,you’ll need to pay attention to both the moral and the value on the cards; only the lowest scoring tale will count at the end, but you must have at least one card in each Tale to even score at all! As you bid and play, keep in mind you’ll score bonus points for every set of three matching Theme cards you can collect (no matter what Tale they’re in) in addition to weaving your Moral theme into each of your three Tales. Wow, Rule of 3 is a big deal in storytelling, huh?

Don’t forget to pay attention to what the other players are up to. Sometimes it’s worth it to throw a wrench in someone else’s works. Or in this case, spill some ink on their parchment?

Closing the Book:

Once one player has collected their 10th theme card, the game ends and scoring begins. There are 3 aspects to scoring (there it is again! Rule of 3!)

1: Add up the scores of each of your Tales. Only count the score of the lowest of the 3 Tales.

2: Add any Theme bonuses: for every matching set of three Theme cards, you earn you 2 bonus points. The matching Theme cards may be in the same or different Tales. 

3: Apply your Moral bonus: You’ll get one point for each of your 3 Tales that has your hidden Moral in it, for up to 3 points. Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of the Allegory!

This player would earn 11 points: 4 for their lowest Tale (Nature), 4 for having 2 sets of 3 matching Theme cards (mask and butterfly), and 3 points for having the hidden Moral card (butterfly) in each of the three Tales.

—-

Allegory is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Allegory you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Enchanted Plumes

In Enchanted Plumes, players strive to complete magical Peacocks by assembling plumes in sparkling rows from top to bottom, using multiple colors of Feather cards while matching cards of the same color from row to row. The player with the most valuable plumes wins the game and is bestowed with the luck of the Peacock!

Designed by Brendan Hansen, Enchanted Plumes is one part set collection, one part press your luck, and a little bit of everything in between. Anyone walking by who sees this game on the table knows immediately what is happening: players are creating triangular rows of peacock plumes using like colors and trying to maximize the point values of the cards they play. But there is so much more to the game than that! 

Players are swapping cards in and out of a shared pool called the Train, possibly giving their opponents a chance at a vital card. They need to be mindful of what color plumes other players are using in case they run out of that color for their own peacocks. And then there’s the strategy involved in building the triangular rows! The first row you make will count negatively towards your score no matter how long you choose to make it; but the bigger the first row, the more subsequent rows of positive points you can make. You can make as many peacocks as you’d like, and you can make the rows as big or as small as you’d like. So many choices!

Enchanted Plumes Rapid Rundown:

Enchanted Plumes plays with 2-6 players in about 30 minutes. Your goal is to attract the attention of the Peahen by having the most sparkling and enchanting plumes of all the Peacocks in the land. To do that, you’ll need the most victory points. To do that, you’ll need to be strategic as you play plume cards triangularly. 

Setup:

Players begin by setting aside the Peahen card, and then shuffling and dealing 9 cards to each player. Each player will choose the 6 cards they would like to start with, and return the discarded 3 to the deck. The deck is reshuffled, and players will shuffle the Peahen card into the last eight cards of the game; once the Peahen appears the game is over, and scoring begins. The number of cards you use in the game will vary depending on player count (removing the 7’s, 8’s, and/or 9’s for lower player numbers).

Flip and place the top five cards of the deck in a line extending to the right of the deck; this lineup is called the Train. 

Playing the Game: 

On your turn you will do two actions: 

1. Play one or two cards either to start a new plume or add to one of your existing plumes; the cards may be used together in the same plume or split up among different plumes.

2. Replenish your hand in one of three ways:
(a) Draw two cards from the Feather deck
(b) Swap two cards from your hand with two cards from the Train
(c) In either order, draw one card from the Feather deck and swap one card from your hand with one card from the Train 

Building Plumes:

Every turn as you play your one or two cards, you’ll be building rows of plumes. Cards that are placed on the top row will be scored as negative points, while cards played in lower rows will count positively. As you descend down the rows you can only use colors that have been previously used. So if a row has three cards: the blue, yellow, and red feathers, the next row will only have 2 cards, and they may only contain those colors. Once a lower row of cards is started in a plume, Feather cards can no longer be added to higher rows in that plume. You can always begin a new set of plumes before finishing a current one, and you can have as many sets as you like. 

Once you get down to the final row, which will hold only one card, you will play that card face down. This obscures your point value of that card, allows you to collect bonus points at the end of the game, and creates a beautiful peacock! The final card does have to follow the color constraints of your plumes.

Attracting the Peahen:

When a player draws the Peahen from within the final 8 cards of the deck, play immediately ends and scoring begins. The top row of each set scores negative points, and all subsequent rows score positive points. If you have completed any peacocks, flip over the last card and add it to your score. Completed peacocks also score 1 bonus point for each card used to build them. Incomplete Peacocks do not score bonus points. 

The player with the highest score is the most enchanting peacock of them all, and is allowed to strut around as they please. 


Enchanted Plumes is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Enchanted Plumes you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Mass Transit

It’s quittin’ time in the Big City, and rush hour is about to begin! It’s up to you and your team of urban planners to get all these Commuters home to their families. You will need to skillfully work together to construct transit routes out to the Suburbs, but City Hall bureaucracy limits how much you can help each other! If you can manage the red tape, and your team works like a well-oiled machine in getting everyone home, you will ALL succeed at Mass Transit!


Designed by Chris Leder (who also designed Roll for It!) and Kevin Rodgers, Mass Transit is a limited communication, lightweight cooperative game in which you are working together to expand various commuter lines (bus, train, and ferry), to get 6 meeples from their jobs in the Big City to their homes in the suburbs, while having to contend with traffic stops and dead ends. It’s quaint, it’s charming, it’s addicting.

Mass Transit is a lot of firsts for Calliope Games: our first cooperative game, our first game with a solo mode, and, believe it or not, our very first game with traditional meeple tokens! Can you believe that? I almost didn’t, and had to go through the components of each of my game boxes to confirm. But yes, indeed! (And when you back the Kickstarter you’ll receive stickers to customize your meeples!)

If you’re hoping to learn a little more about Mass Transit then look no further! Well, okay, you can look further on this page. That’s where the information is. But you don’t have to go further than that!


Mass Transit Rapid Rundown:

Mass Transit plays with 1-6 players in about 20 minutes. Players will set up the Big City board and place the 6 commuter meeples at the 6 starting locations. Everyone then draws 4 cards. Each round, players will take turns playing at least 2 (but more if you would like) cards to either extend a route, or discard a card to move a meeple to the next station.

Extending a route: 

Six transit routes lead out of the Big City toward the Suburbs. When you first play a card to start a route, place it to extend the road, canal, and rail lines on one edge of the Big City board. You can then play later cards next to either the Big City (to begin a new route) or an existing route (to continue it). The colors of the cards don’t need to match and most likely won’t! The focus is on getting the meeples further along the track via the stations on the cards.

Moving meeples: 

In order to move your commuter meeples towards home, you must first discard a green walk card to have a meeple walk from the big city to the first station. After that, you can discard a card in your hand that matches the color of the route you want to take. So if you want your meeple to head home via train, you will need to discard one red train card to move your meeple from one station to the next. If there are cards in between with no stations to stop on, it looks like that train is going express!

Traffic, Dead End, and Urgent Cards: 

Of course commuting is never as easy as hopping on a train and going home! You’ll be facing Traffic Stops that require you to stop along the route before you reach the next station, requiring you to discard another card to get moving again; Dead End cards that force you to walk to a different method of transportation; and Urgent cards that must be played before your turn is over (unless you’re able to get your last meeple home). How your team handles these cards can be the key to your success. 

Getting home: 

Suburbs cards are the ending points for your commuters. Each Suburbs card shows a number (3 or 4) just above the house icon; this number represents the minimum number of cards that must be placed between the Big City and that Suburbs card. Once your team has played that many cards, you can play a Suburbs card to end that commuter line. You will still have to discard a card to move the meeple home. If you can get all 6 meeples home, congratulations! You win the game!

Limited Communication: 

Bureaucracy is a real pain! Even though you are all working together, you may NOT tell other players exactly what is in your hand or where you will play on your next turn. You can discuss the current map on the table and say vague things like, “This could be a great express route” or “I can’t wait to ride the train!” to get around the red tape; however, you can never suggest what actual cards to play or what the next move should be. How well do you and your team really know each other?


Mass Transit is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Mass Transit you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

Introducing the Calliope Game Night Extravaganza!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/calliopegamenight/the-calliope-game-night-extravaganza

Calliope Games is thrilled to announce The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza!  A Trio of games that takes you by feather, rail, and epic tale! Celebrate an evening packed with excitement and fun challenges for all!  During your game night, you’ll build peacock plumes of vivid colors!  You’ll cooperate to construct a transit system and deliver commuters home.  And in tales of epic lore, you’ll bid to win, but may lose if you do!

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! launches on November 10th and includes three amazing new card games: AllegoryEnchanted Plumes, and Mass Transit.  Each game is small enough to take anywhere! Bidding, set collection, cooperation, and hidden objectives! There is something for everyone – and every game night – in the Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! 

HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • A Whole Game Night In One Bundle!  All the games take less than an hour to play.
  • Easy To Teach And Play! The games entertain from one to six players ages 8 and up.
  • Unique New Card Games! Bidding, set collection, cooperation… there’s something for everyone!
  • Unbelievable Value! Get Allegory, Mass Transit, and Enchanted Plumes for only $40 USD when you pledge for all three games.

  • Unique twist on auction/ bidding games
  • Rich and striking artwork
  • 2-6 players, 30-50 minutes

An allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful Themes into your Tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden Moral throughout all of your Tales—but only the most concise Tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!


  • Collect and play cards to build peacock plumes
  • Skillful decisions lead to big scores
  • 2-6 players, 30 minutes

In Enchanted Plumes, players strive to complete magical Peacocks by assembling plumes in sparkling rows from top to bottom, using multiple colors of Feather cards while matching cards of the same color from row to row. The player with the most valuable plumes wins the game and is bestowed with the luck of the Peacock!


  • Cooperative transportation game
  • Limited communication provides fun strategy
  • 1-6 players, 20 minutes

It’s quittin’ time in the Big City, and rush hour is about to begin! It’s up to you and your team of urban planners to get all these Commuters home to their families. You will need to skillfully work together to construct transit routes out to the Suburbs, but City Hall bureaucracy limits how much you can help each other! If you can manage the red tape, and your team works like a well-oiled machine in getting everyone home, you will ALL succeed at Mass Transit!


The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza will be going live on Kickstarter on November 10th, 2020. Be sure to click to get notified when it goes live: https://bit.ly/CalliopeGameNightKSPage

And if you would like to be included in the Kickstarter email list for first looks and early access, you can sign up here: https://bit.ly/CalliopeKickstarterSignup

Gamers Engaged With Food Lifeline

On Sunday August 9th, 2020, Calliope Games is participating in an incredible event with Gamers Engaged, the giving arm of Card Kingdom and Mox Boarding House, where we will be streaming and playing games from 10am-10pm PST to raise money for Food Lifeline.

Food Lifeline provides the equivalent of 134,000 meals every day, and every dollar we raise provides 5 meals. Our team goal was to raise $1,000, and thanks to your generosity we have already smashed that goal!! Along with an incredible donation was a challenge: “$1000 as a goal is too low. Aim high! We love each other!” So we’ve DOUBLED our goal! Now we want to raise $2,000, or 10,000 meals for Food Lifeline.

All throughout the day we will be playing your favorite Calliope games in a multitude of ways; from Zoom calls to good ol’ fashioned round-the-table gameplay. We are also thrilled to announce that Ruel Gaviola (whom you may remember from the Accommodations for Colorblind Players article) will be playing ShipShape with his family as our special guest. There also may be a super secret playthrough of an upcoming Calliope game that hasn’t even hit Kickstarter yet! If you want to know when it’s live, make sure you’re following us on social media, or sign up for the Kickstarter Preview newsletter in our sidebar –>

And just to sweeten the pot, every person who follows us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), signs up for that Kickstarter newsletter, or donates, is entered in a raffle to win some con-exclusive Calliope swag! We want to give our thanks to you all for joining us for this incredible event. We literally cannot do it without you.

We hope you’ll join us on Sunday, and that you’ll watch, comment, share, enjoy, and if your wallets can afford it, that you give back and make a donation. Remember, $1 provides 5 meals, so truly every little bit helps.

Stay Safe. Stay Kind. Play Games.

-Team Calliope

Making Board Games Accessible for Color Blind Players

It is estimated that over 300 million people worldwide live with some form of color blindness. There are various forms, from the most common deuteranomaly and protanomaly (commonly known as red-green color blindness) to tritanomaly, which makes blue shades less distinguishable. As we all are aware, color makes up a huge part of board game mechanics. If we want color blind players to enjoy playing games, it’s up to designers and publishers to make sure they are accessible.

I had a chat with Ruel Gaviola about his personal experiences playing board games while color blind, and it was a truly lovely and enlightening conversation. I thought my experience working colorblind accommodations into my classroom gave me a pretty strong foundation, which it did, but there is nothing quite like personal experience, and I was once again reminded of just how important it is to seek out that expertise.

We didn’t just talk about accommodations both common and uncommon, but also about favorite games, favorite gaming moments, and games that surprised him by being a lot more accessible than expected. Here are some fundamental insights:

Some basic accommodations that most games already use:

-Match each color with a symbol

This one is pretty straightforward: if you divide something by color, each color will have a corresponding symbol. As this is arguably the most popular accommodation, you can see this in tons of games, including Ticket to RideLanterns, and Calliope games such as Everyone Loves a Parade and Ancestree. For games light on theming, or games that incorporate this accommodation directly into their game mechanics, it’s barely noticeable for those who don’t need it, but highly appreciated by those who do. It is a simple but highly beneficial adjustment that ensures no matter how similar your colors are, all players will be able to tell the difference between sets. 

-Make the meeples/pieces different shapes

Similar to the color/symbol accommodation, if you have physical components that are different colors and need to be distinguishable, make them different shapes! You can see this in Tsuro Phoenix Rising with the three lantern colors: each color has a different design both in the drawings and the pieces that go on the board. The Mansky Caper has player standees that have distinct artwork and strike different poses, allowing players to locate their piece with more ease than colored pawns of the same shape.

-Don’t require color distinction in the first place 

This of course won’t work with every game out there, but for certain types of games, particularly party or word-heavy games like Hive Mind, or games that don’t require color grouping/distinguishing like Double Double Dominoes, the easiest accommodation is to make it so one simply isn’t necessary! For ShipShape, the different pieces you can collect (contraband, cannons, treasure) all have different symbols to indicate them, and while they are different colors, that’s simply because cannons are black, treasure is gold etc. You’re not trying to collect a certain amount of red cannons versus green cannons. 

These considerations carry a bonus: they are useful not just for players who are colorblind, but also for players of varying ages, language skills, and learning styles. Everyone benefits from having multiple methods of component distinction. For instance, I play games with my partner all the time, and we are VERY different players. He is a visual learner and immediately looks for pictures and symbols, while I read quickly so I look for words. We both do well with Spymaster because each type of card (Surveillance, Blueprint, Espionage, Dossier) have a corresponding color and symbol (which work for him), and the full card type written on them (which works for me). So what is an effective accommodation for colorblind players is actually a successful type of accommodation for multiple types of players. As game designers and creators, we want to make sure we have the highest amount of accessibility possible. There’s no downside to making these changes.

During my chat with Ruel, he gave three recommendations that were succinct and measurable:

1. Start Early. 

If you’re designing a new board game, it is 1000 times easier to work colorblind adjustments into the design than it is to put them in later. This is especially important when it comes to theming: if you know your game’s theme is going to result in a lot of similar colors, then you’re already aware you will need to do something to incorporate symbols or shapes to help distinguish those colors, and you can make those shapes theme-appropriate as well. 

2. Get Playtesters who are Colorblind.

Even if you’ve worked colorblind considerations into your game, sometimes you miss something, especially if you are not personally colorblind, or have only thought about one specific type of colorblindness. There are apps, websites, and lenses you can use to simulate it, but at the end of the day the people with the most experience are the people who live their lives this way. 

3. Think of it as a Challenge.

This was my favorite piece of advice Ruel had. He told me a story about chatting with a game designer friend of his and saying he basically dared him to put as much colorblind inclusion into the game as possible. Extra points if they feel truly integrated. He said the friend leapt at the challenge. It’s such a great idea! Designers love puzzles, and they love making their minds work! When he told me that, my heart swelled. What a smart idea.

There’s a lot of work to be done as a game designer. But thinking of creating colorblind accessibility as just another task to check off, same as “how does a play win?” and “how do different player numbers affect gameplay?” means that it’s not an extra task. It’s not something to be thought of as, “great if we get to it but if we don’t, that’s fine”. It’s important that we consider accessibility as something vital to gameplay. In order for everyone to feel welcome at the table, we must make everyone feel comfortable at the table.


Ruel Gaviola is a writer, podcaster, live streamer, and voiceover narrator for all things board game related. His name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. You can check out his blog and his board game geek profile.

Why Everyone Loves A Parade

This is a guest article submitted by Matt Molandes. As Pride Month draws to a close, Calliope would like to extend our thoughts and love to our LGBTQ friends, and our thanks to Matt for so eloquently putting into words why we still march.

Imagine it.  You’re 8 years old, you can see your breath as it escapes your mouth in excitement. The sweat on your palms builds up as the anticipation for the parade grows. And then… the sirens begin. You peek out past the rope and see a cavalcade of beautiful colors and floats moving in the wind. You can faintly hear music as it inches closer to where you’re standing. 

This is it. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

Now imagine, you’re 22 years old. You can feel the nerves getting closer. A distant but direct voice announces, “5 minutes to places,” and you can feel the sweat build as you put your costume on. You’re breathing heavy but with each step you find your stride to the upbeat music, and with a loud applause, people are cheering for you as you wave to them with modified sight. You dance to the beat and wave to the kids as you travel down the route pacing your breath. 

This is it. You can accomplish anything.

Now imagine, you’re 28 years old. You can feel the sweat drip on the back of your neck, it’s hot, and although there’s no shade in sight you continue to stand defiantly and quiet. Your other half squeezes your hand as you stare across at the other people standing. It’s silent and solemn and you see a cop car in the distance with sirens but no sound. Suddenly, 49 people with fabric wings flood the street and your heart sinks as you remember all too well just what this parade was for. And just like that, Pride becomes so much more important than before.

This is it. This is why parades matter.

The purpose of my writing is to highlight my time playing Everyone Loves a Parade by Mike Mulvihill, but before I do, I think it’s important for you all to understand why as a board game enthusiast I feel games have the ability to impact and reach people’s memories in ways not necessarily intended. So many emotions came back while playing this positively charismatic board game that to not mention my connection with the event would do its time at my table injustice. 

At the heart of Everyone Loves a Parade is a reminder to let go while still moving forward. It’s a bold stance to take that a game about balloons and streamers could invoke complexity, but don’t let it fool you. There are plenty of opportunities for strategy and heavy scoring, even if at times sometimes the best move is to just let what happens, happen. The game itself is paced perfectly and with each round, just like waiting for a parade, the anticipation builds to take riskier moves in order to score the most points. And appropriately, as the game progresses so does the parade that’s now filled with floats and decorations that stretches as far as the eye can see.

And just like a parade, this game is quickly over and serves as the perfect reminder to cherish those moments with those around the table and remember that everyone truly does love a parade.


Matt Molandes is a board game enthusiast and collector living in Orlando, FL with his fiancé Jon. He has worked in entertainment (including parades) for Walt Disney World, and is currently an escape room designer and store manager for Dare 2 Escape in Kissimmee, FL. You can find him on Instagram @lostmymeeples.

Roll it Forward

Hello Friends,

So, I guess Gen Con is cancelled.  At this point it kind of feels like just another cancellation in the long string of an empty con season. I don’t want to get sad here, and I don’t want you all to get sad either. But I think we’ll all agree this is very disappointing. So many of us live for con season, and even if we know we’re doing this for a good reason, it still stings. Understanding all those truths, it is absolutely the right thing for Gen Con to do. 

Lately we’ve seen a lot of focus on small businesses, and rightfully so. Small businesses have been hit particularly hard by this pandemic, and small businesses make up so very much of our industry. From publishers, to game stores, to independent authors, artists, and more, our entire way of life has been affected. I know it seems hard to believe, but Gen Con is also a small business. This entire event, well known around the globe as “the best 4 days in gaming,” is all organized and orchestrated by a very small group of dedicated individuals. This wonderful organization, and industry leader, without its’ primary source of income is surely in for an uphill battle planning for Gen Con 2021.

We have seen so many of you pay it forward. You #backthecomeback by shouting out and supporting your Favorite Local Game Store. You’ve backed Kickstarters even with limited income. You find the good and bring people together through online cons. You are all amazing and awe-inspiring! This situation we are all in is tough… really tough. However, if you can afford it, we highly recommend that you request Gen Con to roll your deposits for your booths/badges/etc. to next year. If you can’t, they’ll understand… But if you can, we know they will GREATLY appreciate it. 

We’re a fantastic team when we work together. Let’s keep that going and #rollitforward all the way to Gen Con 2021!

Thank you –

Ray Wehrs – Owner
and
Team Calliope

5 Board Games to Pair with Movie Night!

You’ve got board game night. You’ve got movie night. Classic. Both are fun ways to get off your phones and spend time with family. So why not combine them into a Board Game and Movie Night? You can create a fully themed night from the dinner choice, the game, the movie, you can even dress up if you are so inclined! 

I’d like to offer you 5 Calliope games for game night, and a movie (or several) you can watch after/while you play.

1. ShipShape:

Pirates sailing the high seas, stealing treasure and enjoying some casual bidding? What better movie than the original Pirates of the Caribbean! The art on the character cards look like missing characters from the movie, and nothing gets you more pumped up than hearing that iconic soundtrack. I’ve definitely found myself shouting “Stop blowing holes in my ship!” while I’ve played ShipShape. As a bonus alternative if you’re a 90’s kid like me, might I recommend the 1996 classic, Muppet Treasure Island? It’s fun, it’s goofy, and I think we all have a little bit of cabin fever right now. Time to do some sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing! Or you can try the 1995 Geena Davis classic: Cutthroat Island. Just don’t get too competitive!

2. The Mansky Caper:

There are a couple of different ways you could go with this fun press-your-luck game. You can lean into that heist aspect and go for any of the Ocean’s 11 movies or The Italian Job, or you could focus on that mob boss 1920s/30s feel with something like Dick Tracy. If you don’t mind playing a game while watching a movie about a different game, I recommend Clue. Personally, with the rulebook being styled like a comic book I always think of Batman: The Animated Series; specifically the episodes “It’s Never Too Late,” “The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy,” and “Almost Got ‘Im”. Yes, I’m already breaking my own rule of choosing movies, but I could absolutely see The Mansky Caper as an episode of this show, so it’s worth it.

3. Spymaster:

Similar to ShipShape and Pirates of the Caribbean, having a rocking soundtrack while playing a board game is just the best, and for Spymaster you obviously have to go with Mission: Impossible. This game can definitely make you feel like Ethan Hunt. Other fun spy movies to get you in the mood include Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyThe Flight of the Condor; and Red. Depending on the ages of the players, you could also go with movies like Kingsman for adults, or Spy Kids for families.

4. Tsuro of the Seas:

 

Is it too obvious with this one to say Pacific Rim? Yeah, probably, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a fun popcorn flick that I highly recommend having on in the background while you’re playing to add some more suspense as you roll those dice. If you happen to be playing this back-to-back with ShipShape might I suggest Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest? Daikaiju, Kraken, sounds like a bunch of stuff you want to avoid in the ocean. Choose your path carefully!

5. Dicey Peaks:

This is another one where you can drastically change the theme depending on if you’re playing with adults or kids. If you want to lean into the mountain climbing and you don’t plan on personally climbing Everest any time soon, there’s no shortage of wintery disaster movies like K12127 Hours, and Everest. For more kid-friendly, yeti themes we recommend Abominable, Missing Link, or Small Foot. Or you can just go basic “cold” with Ice Age or Frozen.

Bonus!

Hive Mind:

 

Bee Movie. Sorry not sorry, I just had to. 

What do you think? Do any of these combinations get you more excited to play? Do you have any good dinner recommendations to pair with a particular board game and movie? Or would you like that to be the next blog post?

All Aboard! Announcing Station Master on Kickstarter!

We are excited to announce the sensational return of the beloved train game Station Master, now boarding on Kickstarter until December 12th! Station Master is a classic card game for 2-6 players ages 8+ that plays in 30-60 minutes.  During the game, players attach railcars to vintage steam locomotives, assign passengers to trains, and play action cards to send things off the rails!

Designed by Chris Baylis (designer of Dark Blades), Station Master is getting a luxurious revival from Calliope Games, publisher of hit family-weight games such as Tsuro – The Game of the Path, Roll For It!, and Hive Mind!

Every morning, the train station is bustling with passengers looking to depart for their destinations on time. As Station Master, your job is to keep passengers happy by guiding them to the right coaches and sending the trains out of the station on time, earning you points for efficiency. When completed trains leave, players with passengers aboard the train score Efficiency points. Station Master is loaded with railcars of positive and negative values, so you’ll need to plan carefully when sending trains off, as you’ll be affecting other players’ scores when you do! More fun is added to the mix when Action cards are played that alter the rules with special one-time benefits. The game ends once all trains have left the station, and the player with the most Efficiency points is declared the winner and triumphant Station Master!

Created with GIMP

Station Master is now live on Kickstarter, offering an exclusive Executive Class version only available during the campaign. This deluxe edition includes such special features as a flip-top magnetic-close box with opulent flocked insert, unique alternate Passenger pawns, and breathtaking Locomotive postcards that will be revealed throughout the campaign.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast, a fan of betting and bluffing, or just someone who enjoys great games, you’ll definitely want to check this game out! Will you manage to board your passengers before another player sends your train out of the station? Prove you are the most efficiently at boarding passengers and building trains in Station Master! Pledge today to get your copy!