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.

An Interview with David Seim

” I wanted to help, to do my part. So I said well, let’s do something!” 

-David Seim, Founder of Meeple-a-thon

David Seim spoke with me on August 22nd about Meeple-a-thon, a charity event to help the homeless youth in Kansas City, MO. Meeple-a-thon is in its third year.

David (Center) with his team for this year’s Meeple-a-thon

TheCharityBoardGamer: David, thank you so much for meeting with me today. Tell us about yourself and what brought you into the board game hobby.

David Seim: Thank you for reaching out today, Chris. It truly is my pleasure. I was a huge video game player. World of Warcaft, and Playstations and such. I had a buddy who invited me to one of his friends board game nights. He chose Battlestar Galactica, explained the rules, and I was mesmerized at how complex and simple the game was. I’m a huge sci fi nerd, so it just hit all of the chords with me. Working together knowing that someone was a Cylon..or many people were, it was awesome! So my buddies and I bought that game, I introduced them to it, and then we just kept going. Star Wars Imperial Assault was next, then Time Stories, Unlocks and all sorts of genres and games. We just enjoyed hanging out and being together while having a great adventure together. We all unplugged and sat around the table to enjoy each others company face to face. It was awesome!

TheCharityBoardGamer: How long have you been in the hobby?

David: We have been getting together for 5 or 6 years now. Seems longer than that though. Lol.

TheCharityBoardGamer: What is your favorite game currently?

David: I normally would have immediately said Gloomhaven. I love Co-op games. However, I just played Wingspan for the first time last Friday. That game was amazing. We had a 4-player game and the winner had 76 points (not me). Two of us had 75 points (me), and last place had 74. That was incredible! I cant wait to play it again. So I will say Wingspan.

TheCharityBoardGamer: Tell me about Meeple-a-thon. How did it get started?

David: So I work for a 501C3 organization called Hillcrest Transitional Housing. Three years ago, we were asked to change some of our housing into dormatory like houses, as there was an overwhelming need for housing for homeless youth.

It really struck me that:

  • There was such a need for homeless youth.
  • That there wasn’t enough help for it.

As soon as we opened our facilities, we were full and needed to start looking into expanding, knowing that it would cost substantial amounts of money to expand and perhaps purchase new facilities. I wanted to help, to do my part. So I said well, let’s do something! 

Meeple-a-thon 2017

Meeple-a-thon was created ! A 24-hour board game marathon to help raise money for the homeless youth in Kansas City! In a couple weeks I put together a very small event, we held it in the Thrift Shop I work at and we raised 700 or so dollars. I was pleased, but knew I could do better. Last year I started 8 months out, hit up local FLGS shops, asked for donations, emailed and Facebook messaged companies asking for donations for our raffle we were going to hold. We were able to raise $5,616.00 last year. I was beyond amazed at what was accomplished. After last year I was completely burned out though. So I asked for help, I created a roundtable of people willing to help me. The team this year has put in so much work helping to grow our event and it is my hope that we will hit our goal of raising $10,000.00 this year!

Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: When is this year’s Meeple-a-thon?

David: Meeple-a-thon 2019 is September 20th starting at 6pm and goes straight through to the 21st ending at 6pm. Now keep in mind, I set up last year all day Friday… didn’t sleep a wink the night before so for me…its like 48 hours of sleep deprived awesomeness!

Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: What are some of the events you have lined up for this year?

David: Oh Chris, I am so excited for what we have on tap. We have:

  • Mini-painting contests for adults and kiddos
  • Ticket to Ride Tournament
  • War Cry Demonstration
  • Keyforge Tournament
  • Dinosaur Tea Party
  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Catan Tournament
  • Kill Team Tournament
  • Connect Four Tournament
  • Free Pizza from Sarpinos on Friday Night
  • Free Artisan Waffles from Cardboard Corner on Saturday Morning
  • Free Game Library to check out games
  • Something for EVERYONE!!!!
Enjoying some Sarpinos at Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: That’s Great! Where can people go to learn more and contribute to the charity?

David: Last year, at peak, we had over 150 people in the same room. I am hoping for a couple things: to double that, and to outgrow the space we are in. It’s a great problem to have. The best way to see all the events and sign up for them is on our Facebook page. It is wethemeeple, but also follow us on Instagram @meeple_a_thon, or our website meepleathon.com! Also, anyone can make a donation by texting ‘MEEPLE’ to 44321.

TheCharityBoardGamer: This is awesome! David, thank you again for your time and I hope you have a successful event!

David: Thank you, Chris, for your time and inquiries. I really appreciate you taking the time!

This Year’s Poster for Meeple-a-thon

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.