Tiny Epic Mechs: You killed my Mech. Prepare to possibly die.

Oh Yeah! I’m loaded and ready to win!

Game: Tiny Epic Mechs

  • Publisher: Gamelyn Games
  • Designed by: Scott Almes
  • Illustrated by: Roland MacDonald
  • 1-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • Ages 14+
All of this fits in that tiny box.

Collect. Deploy. Collect. Deploy. These were the choices I had planned. Then she came in. I knew that our opposing views on football were not going to be the only conflict this day. This Cleveland guy was about to get wrecked by his Pittsburgh-loving wife… She started off with a pulse pistol. Health was running low. I returned fire with my grenade launcher but it was too late. She knocked me out. It was the same old story: Boy wants mech, boy gets mech, and boy loses mech.

The floor tiles are randomized. This changes up the strategy for collecting and deploying.

So it’s the Year 3030. E-Sports and Virtual Reality are no longer exciting for the masses. What does excite them is that raw energy of man and machine battling against each other in the arena. People are plugging in so they can see the chaos ensue. This is Tiny Epic Mechs from Gamelyn Games.

In Tiny Epic Mechs you are in the arena facing your opponents while deploying mines and turrents. This game is considered a programming style of game. What that means is that you will pick your actions and hide them, revealing them one at a time. Each action may lead to disaster as you don’t know your enemies turns until they reveal theirs. This can lead to chaos on the battlefield.

Beth is deploying mines and turrets. Each area you control gains more resources when collecting. They also will help out in point scoring.

This isn’t just about battling in the arena. This game features area control. Everytime you place a turret or mine, you have the chance to move up in points. During the six rounds you play, your turrets and mines will score. You will score these on the second, forth and sixth round.

The scoring tokens and round tracker. Having the Mighty Mech at the scoring round gains an additional 3 points.

The battle map is randomized as each two to four player experience will be different. There are different set-ups for each which has you place your arena cards down in different location as well as the base for each player.

Only one of us is going to get that Mighty Mech…and I plan on it being me!

As for the Mechs, you have a chance to jump into one as you power up by paying five credits. You will start with one basic weapon, but you can use your credits and energy collected to purchase advanced weapons. Weapons will vary from Ranged, Area and Melee. These weapons can counter and give an extra boost to an attack. Think of it as Rock, Paper, Scissors. As each attack does damage, the players score goes up. Whoever has the most victory points by the end of the sixth round wins!

Components

Lets start with the Meeples. The customization of them is unique and something we would expect from Gamelyn. Each Meeple can hold a maximum of two basic weapons, the mech with two basic and two advanced, and the Mighty Mech with four advanced weapons. The advanced weapons are varied and no two are the same.

Each playable character has two sides, one for the mech and one when out of the mech, as well as special abilities.

This player cards are a great reference and the playable characters have a nice two sided look with each player going into their new mech. Then there are the wooden pieces. These have a nice little detail that makes this game just above and beyond. The mines have numbering on them and the heart for your life even has a little heartbeat. These are nice touches.

Our family’s thoughts on Tiny Epic Mechs

Abigail, 12: The one thing I like is the characters. Wasp is my favorite. I like how each has a separate ability and how they look cool. Something I don’t like is how long it is. Six Rounds is too long. If people are slow, it’s not the games fault, but six rounds is too long. One part of me doesn’t like it that you don’t know what other people will move when you choose your own moves, because it can mess up your whole plan. Another part of me likes it because it is unpredictable and can make for an interesting game. The weapons. I like how you start off the basic, but all the other ones (advanced) are completely different and something nobody else has. I like that you can damage someone if you set a mine or turret where someone else has planned to move, then you don’t even need to go in their area. I also like that you can put a mine in an area that could knock them out in one move. Four Rounds would be better. Recommendation: Try it.

Beth: I don’t like attaching all the weapons as I think it is cumbersome. I get why some would enjoy it though. I liked the unpredictability of the moves in relation to the other players. It added some excitement to it. I liked having to strategize what weapons to choose based on what others may use against me, that only certain weapons can counter others. I think the mines and turrets are generally there for points, as players can avoid risking them. Recommendation: Try it.

This may not end well…

Chris: I’m impressed with how much game comes in a small box. The meeples customization and the randomness of the board can change the way you play. I also enjoy that the player character I choose has a skill that may help me in battle or take less damage from mines/turrets. Recommendation: Buy It!

Daniel, 11: I like deploying mechs and turrets and that you can purchase weapons. It’s fun that you can upgrade into a giant mech. Recommendation: Buy It!

Elijah, 8: I like putting the weapons on the meeples and the Mech suits. Like the Kitty card, because it’s named Kitty. Daddy helped me with getting the Giant Mech Suit. Liked the turrets and powerups.  (He had a hard time focusing and thinking the steps ahead of time.) Recommendation: Try it.

My Little Scythe: Friendship is Magic

All the members of My Little Scythe, except for Morty the Eagle. He sadly fell to the Wild Tiger Kingdom…

Game: My Little Scythe

  • Designed by: Hoby Chou and Vienna Chou
  • Illustrated by: Katie Khau
  • 1-6 players
  • 45-60 minutes
  • Ages 6+

Seven Animal Kingdoms vie for trophies as war rages on the battlefield. Alliances are made and broken, pies laying waste to a great expanse of white, gray, green, yellow, red and blue. Apples and gems have been stolen. The time for war or friendship is at hand!

Okay, that got dark. I may have watched too many episodes of Game of Thrones.

My Little Scythe is a family game for 1-6 players created by Hoby Chou and his daughter Vienna Chou. In this game, you are one of the seven Animal Kingdoms of Pomme. This competitive game puts you in the role of the Seekers, two animals of your Kingdom, sent to prove your worth by achieving four trophies. These trophies can be earned from collecting gems and apples, improving your player mat, collecting magic spell cards, making pies, completing quests, earning friendship and winning a pie fight. There are eight different paths for players to choose from to achieve their four trophies.

Each kingdom is ready. Let the games begin!

Each player will have their seekers on the outer edges of Pomme. On their turn, they will decide what they will do on their player mat. They can choose to:

  • Move: Move their Seekers, possibly collecting goodies along the way or encountering quests and possible battle.
  • Seek: Rolling the dice to gain gems and apples, or to boost friendship, put the goods in locations that their opponents may be in.
  • Make: Use your resources collected to move up in pies, magic or even power up your player mat with one of the Move/Make power up cards.
Carrying goods can lead to trophies: one for apples, another for gems. Quests can bring victory if you accomplish two.
Magic Cards can be beneficial two ways. They can be used for pie fights or you can collect 3 to achieve a trophy.

Once a player has placed all their trophies, everyone else gets a chance to try to catch up. If there is a tie, the player with the highest friendship wins. If they are tied in friendship, the winner is the one with the most gems and apples.

Eight possible trophies. You only need to place four of the eight for the chance to win.
COMPONENTS

The artwork is beautiful. Each region has beautiful details of color on the board. Katie Khau did amazing work with the Kingdom of Pomme. As for the gems and apples, they are well made and are well done for a family game. The dice are well made and for a family game, this was made with love. The miniatures sculpted by Marchen Atelier bring a cartoonish and adorable look. They add to the experience, especially the little backstories and the painting guide.

These are solid components and the insert is well made.
Daniel’s Great Monkey Kingdom collecting goods as it moves through Pomme.
Our Family’s Thoughts on My Little Scythe

Abigail, 12: Artwork is pretty cool. I kind of like that you have more than 4 trophy choices and that you don’t have to do them all. I don’t usually do many pie fights. Usually I go for the quests, making stuff, friendship and then whatever is most convenient. Recommendation: Try it.

Beth: I don’t like that it has a selfish motive for giving items to other people, because it is to earn points to win. Like the detail in the characters and the backstories of the animals and the kingdoms they are coming from. It’s just generally fun to play, with pie fights instead of anything violent. We are left with more laughing than any cutthroat remarks. I like that there are several different ways to earn trophies, so are different paths to take to win. Recommendation: Buy It!

We may have gone overboard with Seeking. Elijah has a monopoly because of a healthy competition between me and Abigail.

Chris: I enjoyed this one. This is one of the games that if someone asks to play it, there is no groaning. One thing that I like is that the turns aren’t too long and that you can benefit by helping others. I notice that there becomes a competition with Abigail as we both act “nice” with each other with our friendship, but then the cards are off the table as soon as we get our friendship trophy. Another thing that I like is that every player starts with a card to help them with trophies. These cards make it easier for me to meet certain conditions in order to gain trophies. Recommendation: Buy It!

Daniel, 11: I like the portals and that they make it easier to travel around and gain gems and apples, also that you can make better options and do quests. Recommendation: Buy It!

Monkeys, Tigers and Bears. Oh My!

Elijah, 8: I just like it, but I don’t like the pie fights because you lose friendship. I like it because of the little foxes (Kingdom of the Wolves) and the cards that get you stuff (power-ups), the one where after your turn you can give as many things as you want (apples and gems) to your partner. Recommendation: Try it.

Final Verdict
This one is worthy of a purchase.

My love for games and charity

Building a tower of fun with Rhino Hero Super Battle at Causeacon, a convention where the proceeds go to charity.

“The games are nothing without the people at the table.”

Back in High School, I remember the joy I had playing ridiculously long games of Monopoly with my friends on a Saturday afternoon. When college came, I left board games and the hobby, not knowing instead the industry had more to offer than just Clue, Monopoly and Scrabble.

Things get a little Wonky at our Extra Life Event on ITTD

Eighteen years later, I was invited to a board game night at a local church. I was given the chance to play One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This reminded me of playing Mafia when I played in the orchestra, going to events and killing random people in the name of fun. The next game was my first cooperative game. It was Pandemic and it was great. I had never played a game where I wasn’t trying to dominate and win against another person. Last was Catan. My wife had mentioned playing this before, but I had not played it. It was official. I was hooked to the board game hobby.

Ziler Hawkins, one of the children supported by Extra Life and Children’s Miracle Network, playing a game of Fibber.

Months later, I started an Instagram and was approached by Non-Zero Sum Games. Patrick invited me to be a part of his Extra Life team. I did my first year and was invested. I loved the fact that I could be a part of something that benefitted others and enjoy the games I played. Also at this time I joined Envoy and started demonstrating games for them and publishers. This helped me become more involved with the community.

Some of the most amazing people in the Board Game Community at Origins 2019

A year later and the board game community has been amazing. I have had the chance to help different charity events, meet fellow Instagrammers, work with publishers and raise money for great causes.

Grandfather and Grandson playing Drop it at Causeacon

So now I am working on this site to show the love for the games with my family, the journey through it all and highlight the good that our board game community can do. Once a week you will see an interview about a member of the board game community and the charity they believe in. If you like the charity, you will be able to go to the link to contribute. Together, we can do great things!

Welcome to The Charity Boardgamer Page

Board Game Blogs, Family Reviews and Charity Interviews

Aren’t there enough Blogs and reviewers out there in the board game community already?” was the question I asked when I decided to get involved. I asked it a lot. People had asked if I was going to go this route and I thought, “No,” but then we thought about the charity side of what our community can do, we decided to look further into this. Well, with the encouragement of my family and friends in the board game community, we are jumping in the water.

So what will you see on this site?

  • Thoughts on board games from not one, but all five of us. We will be putting up a review with thoughts from Abigail, 13, Beth, Chris(me), Daniel, 11, and Elijah, 8. The games are only as good as those you play with, and we play with them a lot.
  • There will be blogs on upcoming games, thoughts about moments and the board game culture.
  • The focus is to show the good of our community and what we can do if we work together. If we can come together at a table for a game, we can do the same for a good cause.

Enjoy the site and we look forward to sharing our family’s thoughts on board games and the good we can do together.