Friends of Five24 Series

An Interview with Dastardly Design Company

Before we dive in, I want to highlight one of their current contest entries and give our readers the chance to support you in real time!

Dastardly is currently entered in the BoardGameGeek 2018 Mint Tin Design Contest and voting just opened (as of 12PM CST)! Check out the info here and then read on to hear more about Dastardly!

The voting page is now online! I've left it open through Saturday Feb 02 so that people have the weekend to vote.

Mint Tin Contest page on the GDCR

Full voting instructions are found here:
Voting in the GDCR

Important: You are giving each game that you would like to vote for a rating, similar to the BGG rating. This is done a scale of 1 - 10.
A rating of 1 would indicate that the game was a failure in its particular category.
A rating of 10 is for games that excelled in the category.

You are not required to rate each game.


The votes in each category are independent of each other. Please rate each game according to the category it is entered in. For example, you could rate a game a 6 on Best Use of Theme but rate it a 9 for Best Rulebook.

If you feel that multiple games have earned the same rating, that is totally fine. For example, you may give multiple games a rating of 10 (or any other number).

Now let’s get to it and meet this amazing local design and development company here in Lincoln, whose secret weapons are cats, grandkids and a wonderdog!

What is your story?

We met while working at an insurance software company. We started a weekly board game group and also started going to science fiction/gaming conventions together. After working together for many years we ended up leaving that company, but continued to be friends and game together.

Mike: Board games and cards were at the core of our family’s together time. We started playing the classics like Pitch, Bridge, Monopoly, Sorry and Stratego. Then, my brother and I spent most of grade school playing all of the Avalon Hill games like Squad Leader, Midway, Twixt, Feudal, Battle of the Bulge etc. We created our own WWII game based upon HO scale miniatures. Now I play with several gaming groups, my wife, kids and grandkids.

Chris: I started playing board games at a young age, in fact it was one of the rare moments when my brother and I could get along. We’d fight and fight, but I have fond memories of Sorry and Stratego with him and Othello with my Dad.

In 2017, while at Gen Con, our ideas for a game solidified into Out of Line: Food Trucks. We created Dastardly Designs in 2018 and started to formalize several games. We also became active online, playtesting and reviewing games.


What are you playing?

Mike: My current favorite games are Century Spice Road, Tiny Epic Zombies, Dominion and Carcassonne. And we are part of an ongoing D&D 5e campaign group. Chris is currently the DM.

Chris: After a brief dry spell of buying games, I’m wading through a newly bought backlog of Teotihuacan, Spirit Island, Clans of Caledonia, Lowland and A Feast for Odin.

What game is a hidden gem?

Mike: Spoils of War. We found this at a sidewalk sale. It has quickly become a family favorite.

Chris: One of the greatest finds we had was a last minute purchase at SDCC. We picked up a copy of Atlas Games Lost in R’lyeh and played it for hours that week-end. Still a personal favorite.

Mike: I agree with Chris. Playing that game at Comic Con was a blast. I just can’t pronounce it.


What are you backing?

We back 20-30 games a year on Kickstarter.

Mike: I back mainly light to medium weight games... especially small box games. Patiently waiting to get Penny Lane and Fences. The grandkids helped playtest Fences while we are on vacation last year. The artwork and theme of Penny Lane instantly grabbed me.

Chris: Super excited for my expansion of Campy Creatures to arrive!!

What are you excited about?

Mike: I like helping playtest and review games. My grandkids and wife love to help also. The grandkids learn a ton from the process and like playing even a small role in bringing the games to life. It is neat to watch them increase their understanding of strategy and game mechanics. Pretty cool to hear an eleven year old say, “Oh this looks like a push your luck dice rolling game.”

Chris: New adventures and new friends, the board game family has been incredible to us so far and only think the best is yet to come.


What is your next project?

Chris: Working to step into a larger format than we’re used to in our previous designs but bringing our first larger board game prototype to a testing phase. We hope to have it ready for Beta testing at GenCon this year.

Mike: We are shopping several of our games to publishers and hope to land something in 2019.

What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?

Mike: Golf, family and winter travel to warm climates! And I recently started fishing.


Chris: Oh gosh, that’s a question that could be an article in itself. I’m a tinkerer, so if there’s a gadget or device to play with, I’ve probably somehow rationalized a use for it in my life. Currently having fun with my 3D printer, printing Wizard of Oz parts for my nieces’ Awana car.

What do you need help with?

Mike: Introductions. As with anything in life, relationships are key. We value introductions that help move us along our path.

Chris: Feedback, feedback feedback. I LOVE talking about games and game designs. Every game and play session holds a lesson you can learn from.

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?

Don’t be afraid of good enough. The idea that you can even perfect a design or a prototype just delays the feedback loop that every game needs. - Chris

Chris: Don’t be afraid of good enough. The idea that you can even perfect a design or a prototype just delays the feedback loop that every game needs.

Mike: How helpful the board game community is. Initially, we tried doing everything ourselves. Now we are active in the community doing reviews, playtesting and helping spread the word on campaigns and new games. We get similar support back from the community.

What is one of your goals for 2019?

Mike: Have one of our games published.

Chris: While I agree with Mike, I’d put some of expectations on myself of finalizing our current in-flight prototypes and getting them ready for partners, while finishing 1 or 2 of the many new ideas we have.

What cons will I find you at?

San Diego Comic Con
Gen Con
Great Plains Game Fest
Geekway to the West
Midwest Gamefest
Kansas City Comic-Con
Wizard World Des Moines

Need to add list of other/local Cons

Where can I find you online?


An Interview with MeepleGamers - a board game review website

We’ve been meeting the coolest people lately! We want to introduce you to them as well!

MeepleGamers has several writers on staff in addition to founder Josh Hale. I caught up with a few of them and here’s what they said!

What are you playing?
Raids from Iello - Josh

Eight Minute Empire: Legends from Red Raven and Stuffed Fables of Plaid Hat - Ben

Betrayal Legacy, Gloomhaven & Innovation - Steve

Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats - Matthew

Imperial Assault, Star Wars Destiny and Scythe - Scott

Potion Explosion and Dice Forge - Ally

Istanbul Dice Game, the Splendor Expansions, Castles of Burgundy (it’s new to us and we love it!) and DC deck-building. - Mary

Too Many Bones: Undertow - Kevin

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle - Erin

Ally’s hidden gem is this mining game!

Ally’s hidden gem is this mining game!

What are you backing?
A laptop stand - Josh

Land of Yeld (RPG) and Super Dungeon Explore (sadly) - Steve

Nocturion - Matthew

The Power Rangers board game - Scott

Just a few things from last year….lol - Starcadia Quest, the Alhambra expansion, Black Rose Wars, Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Cthulhu: Death May Die. Because of last year’s backings, this year may not have any, but I am very tempted to back Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. Also, I despise the game Munchkin, but Munchkin Dungeon has caught my eye. - Mary

Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon, Awkward Guests: Who Murdered Mr. Walton - Kevin

I’ve never backed a game before. I’d spend too much money! - Erin

I’ve never backed a game before. I’d spend too much money!
— Erin

What are you excited about?
Tsuro: Phoenix Rising - Josh

The Dice Forge & Bunny Kingdom expansions - Ben

Gen 7, Street Fighter and Comanauts - Steve
Expansions for Firefly Adventures and what’s next with 7th Sea - Matthew

Fantasy Flight Worlds Event and the new releases for Destiny - Scott

Deadwood - Ally

My Kickstarter backings and finally getting to play my Christmas present, Between Two Castles - Mary

Nemesis, D-Day Dice and starting a Kingdom Death: Monster campaign - Kevin

Learning to play the Game of Thrones LCG that I got for Christmas - Erin

Mary’s mini’s look great!

Mary’s mini’s look great!

What do you need help with?
Social media, duh… - Josh

My two boys. They’re so full of energy. - Ben

Getting the word out - Steve

Keeping up with my hobbies and getting away from work - Matthew

Believing in myself - Ally

Getting back on a routine and organizing my life. Sometimes I push myself too much and I need to learn to say “no.” - Mary

We had our third child, so we will need to switch from man to zone this year. - Kevin

Sometimes I push myself too much and I need to learn to say “no.”
— Mary

What tip do you wish you knew when you started?
How positive so many people in the hobby are, and an understanding of those that are not. - Josh

Don’t buy all the games! Your shelf of shame fills up fast when you do that. Take your time and enjoy each game. - Ben

Fast food is not really that great of an idea. Moderation, and it’s okay to not own every game you think you’ll like - Steve

Don’t wait, jump in, you *can* do it. - Matthew

For painting - pay attention to 2-dimensional artists and how they interpret light - Scott

Take your time with the games you have and enjoy them. Play the ones you love more. - Ally

You don’t HAVE to have all the games. I think my group has reached a slight stagnant stage because we have so many games. It takes us like half a day to decide on one! - Mary

There are great games you can never play and you are none the worse for wear. - Kevin

Board gaming can devour your soul - Erin

What con will you attend?
Adepticon in Chicago to compete in Imperial Assault Worlds - Scott

What cons will I find you at?
Yes. - Josh

Probably none this year, I have lots of business travel scheduled for 2019 - Ben

Money and health make attending a con unlikely - Steve

GenCon - Matthew

Adepticon in Chicago to compete in Imperial Assault Worlds - Scott

None this year. Traveling and 3 kids don’t go well together. - Ally

Dice Tower Con - Mary

Origins and GenCon for sure, maybe PAX Unplugged and some other local cons in Ohio - Kevin

I’ve only been to one so far (GenCon 2018). Crowds aren’t my thing. - Erin

Josh at Essen

Josh at Essen

Right now, I’m playing Too Many Bones: Undertow
— Kevin

What game is a hidden gem?
Críss Cross by Grail Games - Josh

Shifting Realms from Soaring Rhino - Ben

Parade from Z-Man Games - Steve

Anything by Genius Games - Matthew

Aljubarrota. I don’t know if you can get it in the states, but its a great Portuguese game. - Scott

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves Gem Mining Game (and not because you said gem in your question…lol) - Ally

Far by Z-Man Games - Mary

Harvest Dice, Joraku, Palm Island - Kevin

Dark Legacy: The Rising - Erin

Ben is a main contributing writer.

Ben is a main contributing writer.

What is your next project?
Checking out the 8bitbox - Josh

I created a new process for building acoustic guitars. My first prototypes should be ready soon. I’m excited to see if it worked. - Ben

I’m working on a collection of short Christmas stories I’m hoping to publish for the end of the year - Steve

Besides taxes? I need to put up a collage of pictures from trips I’ve taken with my wife. - Matthew

Finding a new game to incorporate into the painting series - Scott

Probably something in the house, painting a bathroom, reorganizing a room, or trying a new craft - Ally

Trying to start the casual painting videos Josh suggested months ago, along with finishing my Essen articles! I’m so behind! - Mary

I would like to get my miniatures work back on track - Kevin

Um… cleaning my living room - Erin

For my next project, I’m checking out the 8bitbox!
— Josh

What are your hobbies outside of board gaming?
Live music and festivals! My favorite was the Oregon Country Fair. It is a ball. - Josh

Running, reading and music - Ben

Miniature painting (I make cake toppers for friends’ weddings), cooking - Steve

Reading, movies, traveling, fishing and writing - Matthew

Roleplaying, video games, riding horses and skiing - Scott

I like to be creative and attempt vinyl and farmhouse signage. I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and going to Zumba. I also enjoy organizing. - Ally

Miniature painting, music/singing, a little roleplaying - Mary

Miniatures, Streaming on Twitch, Music - Kevin

Writing poetry, reading, video games, and playing with my kids - Erin

Looks like Kevin is excited to attend GenCon!

Looks like Kevin is excited to attend GenCon!

My goal for 2019 is 1,000,000 pageviews for MeepleGamers.
— Josh

What is one of your goals for 2019?
1,000,000 annual pageviews for MeepleGamers - Josh

Grow my local gaming guild and get people into heavier games. - Ben

Mostly just do a little bit better than 2018 - Steve

Finalize design for a game - Matthew

Finish painting my entire board game collection - Scott

I’m a sugar-aholic. I love candy. This year I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake. - Ally

Finish painting Arcadia Quest! I’m so slow! - Mary

Shift the slider from chaos back toward order - Kevin

Get some nice shelves and reorganize my board game collection. Right now, they’re EVERYWHERE - Erin

I have a lot of short stories up over at Multiverse of Fiction on Facebook, or you can find years of stuff at
— Steve

Where can I find you online?
MeepleGamers - on just about everything - Josh

@flatearthgames on Instagram - Ben

I have a lot of short stories up over at Multiverse of Fiction on Facebook, or you can find years of stuff at - Steve

MeepleGamers and a PbP (Play By Post - Tabletop RPG thru online posting) site that has been going for 15 years - Matthew

MeepleGamers or Patreon - Scott

@the_gamer_babe on Instagram and on Pinterest looking for new craft ideas - Ally

Instagram: @marysgameroom Twitter: @marysgameroom Facebook: Mary’s Game Room - Mary

@alegacyofgaming on Twitter, Instagram and Twitch - Kevin

Twitter & Instagram @erinnrichardson - Erin