Author Archives: Craig

About Craig

I'm a former American Baptist turned Agnostic turned Lutheran. I have a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. I write for Simul Iustus et Peccator and Unsettled Christianity.

FFG Updates

Fantasy Flight Games recently announced The Unspeakable Oath, the second Mythos Pack for the Path to Carcosa Cycle of Arkham Horror: The Card Game. This looks really cool!

If you’re playing AH: TCG, you may want to take a look at the recent FAQ.

Finally, FFG announced Genesys, a narrative RPG for all settings. This looks like it has a lot of potential. I’ve used the FFG dice system before for their Star Wars RPG systems and I really like it.  This has the potential to open FFG up to more RPGs (Netrunner, Legend of the 5 Rings, potentially even Arkham Files, but they’d have to go up against the Call of Cthulhu system).


New Arkham Horror LCG Mythos Pack Announced

Echoes of the Past, the first Mythos Pack for the Path to Carcosa Cycle has been announced for Arkham Horror: The Card Game (AH:TCG). I’m really excited about this. AH:TCG is currently one of my favorite games. New mechanics will be introduced to AH: TCG in the Path to Carcosa Cycle. If you can get a hold of a copy of the base set, PICK THIS GAME UP!

For more information and tips for beginners, listen to Episode 15 and Episode 16 of Mythos Busters.

You can also check out this video by Team Covenant:

And this one:

Upcoming Project

I’m pretty much done updating the blog and have been doing a lot of thinking about some next steps for the blog. One thing that I have been thinking about doing is posting play thrus of some of my games. As I play Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Elder Sign, Mansion of Madness, and Betrayal at House on the Hill, I will post a write up of the game.  There is a pretty good chance that I will be posting spoilers as well. Unless otherwise noted, I will be playing the games solo, with the exception of Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Rituals and Unseen Connections @InnRoads

I just finished listening to the latest episode of Bard & Bible. Mike Perna had posted a few questions in The Tavern Facebook group about ritual. I responded to Mike’s questions and Mike used my responses in his podcast. One thing that stood out to me was Mike made a connection in my responses that I missed: the connection between the focus and intentionality in tai chi and and the focus of using icons! Mike is correct that tai chi is a series of focused and controlled movements. Mike also points out how using icons can help one focus on Christ and the gospel. When I was responding to Mike’s questions, I was treating them as two separate questions. Mike saw the connection in my answers and pointed it out in the podcast.

And for the record, Mike did pronounce my last name correctly. 😉

Review: Night of the Grand Octopus @IelloUSA @IelloGames

night-of-the-grand-octopusI picked this game up a few months ago because it looked like something I could teach my then six year old to play.  I had to laugh after I unboxed the game, got everything ready and we played our first game because it took me longer to get everything ready that it did for us to play our first game.

The average game last 15-20 minutes, which makes this an ideal game to play multiple times in one sitting. It’s also a pretty easy game to pick up and teach to someone. My six year old was playing like a pro in no time.

So the gist of the game is this: you are playing as one of the Elect, trying to gain power for your cult to raise the Grand Octopus through the Ritual of Appeal. To complete the ritual, you must move into a room to gain an item. If there are no cultists or Offspring in that location, you gain the item. If another cultist is there, you need to negotiate for the item or the cults lose power. If another Offspring is in the same room as a cultist, the cults lose power.

That said, there’s a big elephant in the room that could pose a problem for some Christians: there are cults. Now, I get past this when teaching it to kids by referring to the pieces generally: your little guy and the big octopus. I also don’t go into the back story when I break this out at a church game night. This game is not story driven, so the backstory doesn’t necessarily matter when explaining the game to a bunch of 6-10 year olds. It may not even matter to adults.


  • The game is super easy to learn. My daughter picked it up in no time.
  • There’s something for everyone. My daughter just moves around trying to grab the necessary items to win the game. I’m constantly trying to strategize to figure out what move someone is going to make while being able to grab the items myself.
  • The game is pretty short. It takes roughly 15-20 minutes to play one game.
  • Great game to play with kids. It introduces them to strategy, but does so in a fun, easy to understand way.


  • This is not a game to play with adults only.
  • This game is light on strategy.

Overall, this I love this game because it is one I can play with my wife and daughter and I’m looking forward to teaching my son to play when he’s old enough. I like that it’s simple enough for a six year old to play and is short enough to hold their attention for the entire game. If you can find a copy and are looking to introduce your kids to tabletop gaming, pick this game up.

Update for 5/27/17

I’m in the process of updating a bunch of things and addressing some of the errors (Twitter!) on the page. Please bear with me over the next few days while I make some updates to the page, blogroll, menus, etc. I hope to have it done by the end of the week, so I can start another project I’ve been wanting to do!

Review: Mansion of Madness 2nd Edition

pic3118622_mdIt’s no secret that I LOVE Fantasy Flight Games. They are probably my favorite company for board games (I play several games from FFG and have several more on my wishlist). It’s also no secret that I love Lovecraftian horror. So, when I saw a copy of Mansion of Madness in the wild, I jumped at the chance to get it.

Mansion of Madness 2nd Edition, is a cooperative game in which you assume the role of an investigator looking in to strange occurrences. The game utilizes a companion app that controls the flow of the game. The app provides the story, tells you what rooms to place, spawns monsters and provides random events.

Game play is divided into two phases: the Investigator Phase and the Mythos Phase. During the Investigator Phase, players explore the mansion, search for clues and items and fight monsters. During the Mythos Phase, the app take over and controls monster movement and attacks, monster spawns and the random events.

Investigators take damage or horror depending on what monster they are fighting or how the monster attacks. The random events can even cause an investigator to take damage or horror. Once the limit for damage or horror is reached the first time, the investigator is wounded (for damage) or insane (for horror). It is possible to be both wounded and insane at the same time. But, take enough damage or horror a second time and it’s game over.

My wife and I have played twice and both times we lost to the app. But, we did better the second play through. The is quickly becoming a go to game when we want to play a horror survival game, but don’t have enough people to play Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Mansion of Madness 2nd Edition supports 1-5 players and can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours depending on the scenario.


  • I love the app integration. It’s basically the players vs the app. No one needs to be the bad guy driving the story.
  • The game is highly repayable: the two games my wife and I played, while basically the same story, utilized a different layout. So replaying the same scenario multiple times retains some freshness.
  • Expansions! My wife thinks expansion are the biggest racket in board gaming…well,  next to sleeves (Apparently she’s not familiar with DLC in video games). At this time, there is one expansion as well as two tile & monster sets that bring the tiles and monsters from the 1st edition to the 2nd edition.
  • Already have the 1st edition and want the 2nd edition? No problem. The 2nd edition comes with a conversion kit. Just buy the base set for the 2nd edition and integrate your existing components from the 1st edition and follow the instructions to convert the 1st edition to the 2nd edition.


  • My biggest complaint is the bases for the monster miniatures. They are big, unwieldy, and the miniatures are constantly falling off. I wish I did not pace the monster cards into the bases and only used the monster cards for the game. I would have been so much better. But some of them are tight in the base and the artwork is scratched.
  • The tiles don’t connect together so tiles are constantly sliding on the table.

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