January 2024

Welcome to the Indie Tabletop Newsletter, hear from independent tabletop games designers about their current and upcoming projects. Take a look at the games we’ve already self-published and our upcoming Kickstarters, maybe even get yourself a free print n play game. Learn more about this newsletter here.

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Safe and Hound is a game of 18 cards full of clever combinations for scoring and play for 1 or 2 players. Players arrange the cards in the shape of a triangle and each turn will rescue one of the cards from the triangle which represents the mountain. Each card features a skier in one of five colors, one of six trees, and one of three tools. The unused cards each game are used for the scoring area which affects both players.

In this game of Alpine rescue dogs, players will have to cleverly select a card each turn that helps their chances of winning or keeps their opponent from scoring. Additionally, the turn order changes depending on the time value of the card selected. Sometimes a player will want the higher time value as it has a color skier or tool they need, but doing so opens them up to going second on the following round if their opponent takes a lower time value. As each card is rescued from the mountain, the selection of cards shrinks.

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Taking certain cards opens up other cards which may help an opponent or it may hinder their path. Each choice of card presents a path down the mountain.

But which of the mountain rescue dogs will be the winner? Will it be the rookie, Beethoven and his slobbery jaws or will it be Barry, the veteran who has lead the team over many winters?

Safe and Hound is played over 3 rounds and presents over 800 different scoring combinations! Players will find plenty of fun in this small card game that packs a lot of strategy.

Backers may instead be interested in receiving a physical copy of the game instead of a file, then please visit The Game Crafter to order a copy of the physical game with a hook box that has the rules printed on the inside.

Kickstarter link

Well, it’s the end of one year and the start of another, and so its probably a good time to look back over 2023 and forward to 2024. 2023 was a really good year for us, our most recent Kickstarter SSO: Classis Caetera was one of our most successful so far, we’ve been lucky to have fans come back to SSO over and over and I’m really looking forwards already to our next SSO campaign, SSO: Travellers, coming late in 2024.

It’s been a great year for writing, Pukeapocalypse got signed by Exalted Funeral and should be hitting the market in the first half of 2024, I’m really thrilled to see it coming to its final form and Exalted Funeral have done an amazing job with the production. I’m working on a couple of minis games for 2024, one I hope to be releasing with a publisher and the other, Boarders and Black Flags, I intend to bring to Kickstarter late in 2024.

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Meanwhile, we’re working away on a hundred projects in the background, many of which I hope you’ll all be seeing next year. Not least of which is our YouTube channel on designing miniatures games which is going from strength to strength.

It’s been a great year, and we’re looking forward to an even better one, hope to see you all there!

Rule of Carnage on YouTube

Hello everyone! My name is Ty McDonald, and my company is called Sentient Games LLC. Our slogan is pretty sweet… “More than the sum of their parts,” because don’t all the best games feel that way?

My current project is a sci-fi themed game called The Last Command, an epic dual deck building game about 2 starships locked in a broadsides battle.

The game takes creative inspiration from a video game called FTL (Faster Than Light) as well as other deck builders like Star Realms. Like FTL, power management and crew placement are key, with players earning epic combos for having the right crew and ship system cards together in the same place. The other main hook is that the game is very uniquely a DUAL deck builder. What this means is that both players manage 2 decks, one containing their crewmembers (which provide power to different ship systems), and one containing ship system cards (which usually spend power provided to their systems by the crew). Every time a player draws a card, they get to choose which deck they draw from, and therefore control the speed at which each deck is used up and refreshed with new crew and system cards.

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We just brought the game to Pax Unplugged where it did VERY well. So well in fact that we are moving full steam ahead with plans for a mid-April Kickstarter (exact day not set yet)!

If it sounds interesting, please click the link to check out the game and sign up for the mailing list!

Website/sign-ups here!

Get ready for an incredible year for Tin Star Games releases! Last year we brought you the completely unique storytelling card game THE SCORE and this year we’ll be bringing it to you on a digital platform thanks to the folks at Ludio. Our signature big-book RPG Relics will be expanded with a series of adventures building an epic campaign that will shake the very pillars of creation! And this month the core book and early supplements will be part of the Humble Bundle, allowing you to grab all those digital assets dirt cheap and support charity at the same time! Then there’s our bestselling game Partners, the rpg of two bickering detectives. It already has fourteen supplements and we still have more to come. In other words, there’s more of all our stuff. More of what you love, for the games you love!

Find all our games here

Happy New Year! – I hope you have all had a wonderful festive season and your 2024 is going well. My December was truly wonderful, making custom orders most days, knowing many of them will end up under Christmas Trees, it’s a really beautiful end to the year for me and I think… possibly… my favourite part of my job, it’s certainly one of the things I have the most energy for.

This month’s newsletter is all about my plans for 2024, want to hear more about them? All right then, let’s do this thing!

YouTube – The Atikin Games YouTube channel is currently a storage space for my Kickstarter videos and I would like to do more with it. I have a plan for a first video, something fun that I want to do and would be relaxing for me to put together. Hopefully people will like the videos I make and this will be the start of something wonderful but either way I’m going to try and make it fun for me if not anyone else.

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Subscription Box – Towards the end of last year I made polls on various social media platforms asking if Patreon was for me and whether anyone would be interested in a subscription service, receiving board games and board game related accessories each month (made by me). The overall consensus was something along the lines of: “why not? Give it a go!”, as such, rather than creating a Patreon I’ve decided to go ahead with a subscription service from my website. I’d love to know if anyone is interested and I’ll be offering an incentive for those who sign up in the first month, stay tuned!

Malum: Hortus – Malum: Hortus is the big focus for this year. After the time off for holiday sales I’m throwing myself back in to the artwork with gusto. I’m also writing a lot more story for the game; I’m planning to write far more than I need and have them whittled down by Malum: Hortus fans, leaving just the most interesting and compelling story lines in. Perhaps the stories not included will end up in the ‘Malum: Hortus Art & Lore’ book, or be improved upon for future Malum games.

2024 Products – You know that I like to make things right? Well, it probably won’t be a surprise that I’ve made a lot more board game accessories than I have listed for sale online. I definitely spend more time crafting than photographing, writing and listing products. Part of that is why a subscription service would be wonderful for me, I can send out items I’ve made that month that no one has ever seen before! How exciting!

I do want to address the balance and spend more time making listings full of beautiful photography and perhaps videos of what I make. This year you can expect dice rosette hair accessories and pin badges, mini dice tins, hats and scarves (just to name a few things that I have made already, sitting in a box waiting to get my attention).

Atikin Games shop

Welcome to the Frozen Maze Mansion New Years eve party! (With a capital THE). We have Champagne, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We have hors d’oeuvres the size of your fist! I’m sure the serving staff will bring you some shortly. Come on let’s go to the library where we can talk properly.

What a year eh? Yeah, you know, you were there for the most part. We’re all grateful that you joined us in our weird and zany adventures to assemble Perilous Pond, get it to reviewers, get the Kickstarter campaign online and then closing it!

“How it went”? Oh my, you didn’t hear? We actually hit our goal with some margin. It was a struggle and I almost had to get the boxing gloves off of the wall for the end. But it all worked out. Afterwards we were a bit tuckered out, but we’ve rested and gotten back in.

Yeah, for sure. We’re now checking prototypes and after this party we’ll start ordering parts for the exclusive mini-expansions and will start creating the resources for final production. Oh, you liked the Crocodile? Yeah, that’s a favorite of mine as well. Total chaos, but more choice! What a mix!

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On a serious note though, thank you (yes you reading this newsletter) and everyone helping out! We’re so happy to have all of you as friends and remember the doors to our mansion will always be open to you.

Ah, here’s our drinks and a tray of hors d’oeuvres. Let’s drink to 2024 a year of production and fun new games!

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