The Labyrinth: Fall Colours

Greetings and salutations gamers. Things have turned spooky at Minotaur and a chill breeze is in the air!

I hope you’ve all got your costumes for Halloween, but if you haven’t then swing on by the store and see what creepy or steampunk costumes we have in stock. We also have some makeup kits, blood packets, masks, hats, wigs, witch noses, elf ears, horns, the works. Hopefully there’s a little here for everyone to be creative and come up with a last second costume or to add just one last finishing touch to a well thought out one. We sadly don’t have any costumes for pets, or else I’d have bought something like this for my housemate’s cat :)

But that’s not all! We have a Kingston Makerspace Initiative event coming up on the weekend.

Halloween Hack!

Swing on by the store on Saturday, October 26th from 1-5pm at Minotaur for mask decorating, spiderweb weaving, creepy doll parts artwork, pumpkin carving and hacking! BYOP (Bring your own pumpkin!) And enjoy some Halloween candy for all. Hope to see everyone out and in the festive/creepy spirit.

2013 Zombie Walk

If the Halloween Hack turns out to be anything like last weeks zombie walk on the 19th it should be a blast! It was great to see herds of zombies lurching around down princess street. I must admit that I was infected and had to join in too! I will point out that we were very law abiding zombies. As we reached the corner where the old blockbuster was I gave a guttural cry of ‘Red meansss stop! Greeeeen means goooo!’ Which worked out quite well.

Eldritch Horror Weekend Preview

We’re hosting a preview for the upcoming release of the new Fantasy Flight game ’Eldritch Horror’ on the 22nd to 24th weekend, exact date + time to be announced. We will be doing pre-orders for the game as well and offering 20% discount on any copies ordered during the event.

D&D Minis

Come check out our glass cabinet chalked full of Dungeons and Dragons collectible miniatures. All of the minis are from sets from the old Wizards of the Coast lines which are long out of production so while not exactly cheap there are selections of all sorts of monsters and player character miniatures for those starting up a collection who want to splurge on something nicer than the cardboard cut-outs or the new line from pathfinder.

That`s all for now! Catch you next time.
I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!


The Labyrinth: The End….of things!

Hey there everyone! Just starting off September by going over some results from several ongoing leagues, covering past tournaments results, upcoming art shows, and how some of the fairs and Kingston events went.

In no particular order! (Whatever suited my fancy at the time :P )
Let’s start with the promenade.

Princess Street Promenade 2013

2013 The fourth year of the Princess Street Promenade, shown above! The main thoroughfare and every side street was crammed with Kingstonians out on the promenade and Minotaur was busy all day long thanks to the many wonderful people helping out!

We had the game designers from the card game Beguile at our booth, showing off their finished game. (I like to call them the Beguile Boyz)

We had facepainting and beadmaking for the kids :P Glad everyone had so much fun getting into the spirit of things!

We had a team-up too with Darn on the day! Pictures below! :P

It was another fantastic promenade, so thank you to everyone who helped us out on the day and thank you to all the wonderful people who ventured downtown for the festivities! We look forward to next year being just as fun.

Cribbage Tourney Comes to an End

So the league of cribbage comes to an end at Minotaur. But all things that draw to a close also lead to new beginnings! There will be a new year of the league starting up, so if you’ve never had the opportunity to be a part of the cribbing before or if you came into the league halfway through last season/year, then now is your chance. The next upcoming Cribbage tournament is going to be on Nov. 9th and will be the first round of a brand new league! Scores are reset and all players new and veteran are welcome. Players play 7 rounds of one-on-one round robin play and the winner at the end of the night is the one with the highest cumulative score. It costs $10.00 per player and the winner and runner up both bring home gift certificates at the end of the night based off the total number or participants. Here’s the winners from the last round of the tourney! We had fourteen players this time around.  First place (and tying the record score for a seven-game tourney) went to Corey C. (right),  second place to Paul M. (left) and (center) your 2013 overall champeen, Tony C.  Congrats gents!  Next tourney (the first of the 2014 season) will be held Saturday 09 November at 7pm.

Group Art Show

‘Mechanical’, the theme for our next group art show, marches steadily closer. It’s been mentioned before, but it’s worth noting that the submission deadline is Sept 24th so hurry and get those art pieces in fast! The show itself is the 27th as part of the Kingston Art After Dark tour and Canada’s Culture Days event. Submissions should be dropped off ready to hang with details such as title, medium, artist name, contact info, and price (if you intend to sell it). If you just wish to display a submission that you feel fits the theme Mechanical then that’s fine too, but those selling their submissions should factor in a 60/40 split in favor of the artist when determining your price. I’m still personally hoping to see a bunch of steampunk airships, but I may have to submit something along those lines if I want to be sure to have some present :P

 Great Canadian Board Game Blitz
Three of our Minotaur games night regulars were at the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz final tournament at FanExpo:  Darius Gorganzadeh (winner of this year’s Kingston Blitz), John Dupont (Grand Champion – GCBGB FanExpo Blitz) and Corey Campbell (a gamer to watch).  Way to go guys!
Photo: Great Canadian Board Game Blitz Championship Finals at Fan Expo Canada (TM) 2013!

As seen here we have ze-Doctor posing for his winner’s photo along with Vincent Lee (3rd place), Karen Hamilton (2nd place). Congrats to everyone who went and most of all to our local homeboiiiii!
Photo: Congrats to Vincent Lee (3rd place), Karen Hamilton (2nd place), and John Dupont (2013 Blitz Champion)!

Lego Mini Series Wave 11

They’re baaaaaaaaaack! The next installment of lego figures have arrived and are in store waiting for a good home to go to. Little figures ranging from Santa’s elves, yetis, a female scientist, to a pretzel maker, a gingerbread man, and a crazy cat lady! errr I mean…  a wonderful grandmother who just has one cat. Nothing crazy about just one :P Come check them out whenever you are next in the store!

(Here’s the complete set!)

(Minis here are not necessarily from the new set but from a personal collection used for the purposes of an epic window display :P )

Evarde’s Legacy 2nd Printing

So my people talked to some other people’s people and we decided that some other people wanted more books. And I’ve always said to myself ‘Henry, you’re a man of the people…’ or was that a dream I had that went a lot like a monty python skit? *shrugs* The end result of my ramblings is to let everyone know my book has had a second printing and is back in stock at Minotaur. So for those who wanted a copy, but were unable to get one before they sold out, you’re in luck! They are also being sold at 4color8bit, Nexus Gaming, and soon they should be over at Novel Idea as well. With amazing cover art by local artist, James Mathieu Chambers and flashy dialogue, by yours truly, it’s a great read for the fall <3 I’ve included some pics of Matt’s conception art when he was sketching out the four main characters :)
I secretly wish he’d submit something for the coming mechanical art show, but I fear he might be too busy with his new job.

That’s all for now gamers! Until next time. <3

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!


The Labyrinth: Occupy Princess Street!

So we aren’t actually ‘occupying’ Princess Street, but as most of you probably already know we are temporarily borrowing the main boulevard for pedestrians. That’s right, the Princess Street Promenade has arrived once more!

If you weren’t aware then let me be the first to tell you that downtown is somewhere you’re going to want to be on Saturday, August 3rd, 2013. Streets will be closed to traffic for the event. Stores, restaurants and other locations will spill out into the streets with free activities, entertainment, attractions, and sales tables!

In past years we’ve seen huge crowds! Bigger #’s than I even thought existed in Kingston. It was crazy to see a carpet of people from Division and Princess to the waterfront on the opening year. Let’s hope we see everyone coming out this year as well to see everything Kingston has to offer! Here’s a link to the facebook page to see what kind of events certain locations have listed so far.

This Year Minotaur’s line-up includes:
1. Beguile – a new chess variant. Meet the designers and try the game.
2. Face Painting – 2 excellent face painters from Y.A.K. camp
3. Free jewellery making for kids (necklace or bracelet)
4. Free colouring book pages courtesy of Nick Csernak – local colouring book artist.
5. Sale table

Photo: Minotaur's line-up includes:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
1. Beguile - a new chess variant.  Meet the designers and try the game.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
2. Face Painting - 2 excellent face painters from Y.A.K. camp<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
3. Free jewellery making for kids (necklace or bracelet)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
4. Free colouring book pages courtesy of Nick Csernak - local colouring book artist.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
5. Sale table
(Image of a beguile game in progress!)

(2012 Promenade)

In Other News… ART!

So we also have a date at last for the next art show. I know that everyone has been informed a couple times of the theme, but just to reiterate, the one for the upcoming show is mechanical / mechanized. As always, artists have full liberty to dream up something that fits literally or figuratively within that category.

The opening night for the Group Art Show is going to be Friday, September 27, 7-10pm and will be part of Culture Days as well as the Art after Dark tour. For those that want more info on Culture Days here is a link to their 2013 Ontario page with a search for what is going on in Kingston so far. Please be advised that there should be some more stuff going up for kingston in the near future.[]=2013-09-27&day[]=2013-09-28&day[]=2013-09-29&start_time=&end_time=&name=&organizer=&language=&wheelchair=0&type=&type[]=&category=&category[]=&keyword=&query=

Art should all be in by the 26th at the very latest and in condition to hang/display with all the regular info such as title, medium, artist name, cost (if the submission is for sale), and contact info. Here’s hoping we see a few steam punky submissions or giant walking robotic constructs! :P


So this one is a double whamey. Both announcing the upcoming Cribbage tournament that’s going to be hosted at the store on Sept 7th @ 7pm and to report the winner from the last cribbage tournament!

Here’s a photo of David B. after winning, clutching his gift certificate and giving a hearty gaffah! *shrugs* I was tempted to open this photo in paint and write all sorts of speech bubbles :P Great picture!

Photo: You July crib tourney winner... David B.!  He looks pretty happy about it...

Here’s the rundown for the next tournament for those who haven’t been involved before. Each player entering the cribbage tournament pays 10 dollars which goes towards the first and possibly second place gift certificates. Each player then plays 7 different round robin style one-on-one games, each against a different player. The winner at the end of the night is the player with the highest cumulative score. So winning isn’t necessarily as good as consistent play. Here’s hoping we see all you cribbers out there!

Blitz Wrap Up

So I never covered the results earlier, but the Board Game Blitz of 2013 has finally come to a close. We’ve seen some amazing battles, some brilliant comebacks, some neck and neck races, but in the end there could be only one victor.

The final round of gaming left one man above the rest…
All of Kingston lay hushed…
Waiting until the new king was crowned!

Darius Gorganzadeh has played his heart out over our six rounds of Blitzing and  toughed it out! His ‘season’ scorecard is littered with wins, defeats, and second places, but this man endured through all the highs and lows until the final round.

He stayed the course and lay poised to claim his reward, but he wouldn’t be handed the win easily…The defending champion, John Dupont targeted Darius early by opting into the same game with intent of beating him and getting a leg up. Darius emerged victorious and then had to contend with both John and the other close runner up, Corey Campbell, as they both gunned to bring him down. As the smoke cleared at the end of the day a gaming king passed on a legacy. *dramatic drumroll*

(The Champ being crowned)

(The Pair battle it out some more!)

We couldn’t get everrrrrrryone who participated in past Blitzs but here’s a healthy selection who came to the final day :P To all of these gamers and the others who came during earlier rounds, thank you! What a great series of tournaments this has been!

I think that’s all for now folks, but stay tuned for more updates as they come! As always-

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!

The Labyrinth: Events! Events! Moar Events!

July is on the way, but while June is still here, there are some events that need covering!!  Events that were, events that are, and some that have not yet come to pass… Galadriel quote! (More or less)

First the things that are coming soon that you might want to keep an eye out for!

Magic The Gathering: Modern Masters Auction

First up is an Auction we’ll be holding for a week-long period. Starting on Friday the 28th we’ll be taking bids for a sealed box of 24 Modern Masters Boosters. Bids will start at $200 and must increase in at least 5 dollar increments. If you head online most stores/online sources are selling the boxes for anywhere from 240 too 300+ dollars a box due to the value of the cards printed in the set.

For those of you wondering what MM Boosters actually are, it’s a set of older cards that have been reprinted in a super rare print run. Most stores have received a very limited allotment of boxes and since we only got one we decided to auction it as a lead up to our MTG draft that’s coming up. So if you’re a collector and want to try and get your hands on one of the cheapest box sets around then place a bid!

(These cards are in no way representative of the cards that will come in the MM sealed box for auction…if they were though that’d be epic)

Magic The Gathering: Ravnica Block Draft

Next up is that draft I just mentioned! On Saturday July 6th Minotaur is hosting its 2nd MTG Draft tourney. We’ll be doing a Rav Block Draft with four rounds starting at 12pm AKA noon! The three boosters players will be drafting from are x1 RTR x1 Gatecrash and x1 Dragon’s Maze. Normally these drafts are $10 per player and you’re playing for pick/choice of all the rares that are opened during the tournament. We’re having the draft cost $15.00 per player in order to have another prize in addition to pick order. First place will receive a Dragon’s Maze Fatpack: with 9 additional boosters, a full color art book with the set of Dragon’s Maze cards, a matching card box, x2 matching deck boxes, a 40 card landpack, and a spin down life counter.

Players will keep all the commons and uncommons they draft as per normal and will almost certainly be making a dual or tri colored deck! The draft turnout is mostly going to be relatively new players or players who haven’t played magic in a while so newcomers are welcome! We’ll explain all the how-to’s as you draft. Land will be provided in store and there will be other giveaways and minor prizes for runners up and a random player.

So as a recap-  The What:  Ravnica Block Draft
The Where:  Minotaur
The When:  July 6th Saturday Noon
The Price:  $15.00 each

Players who have bids in for the box of Modern Masters boosters should arrive early as the winner will be announced at 11:30 am just prior to the start of the draft!

Upcoming Art show

A quick reminder of the next round of our local Art Show with the theme “mechanical” or “mechanized”. It’s still pretty far off but it pays to remind people it’s coming along! It’s a great chance for steampunk artists to submit something really cool! For those who have been wondering ‘what is this steampunk you speak of?’ or who have never heard the term before now here’s a definition I stole off Wikipedia :D

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American, ‘Wild West’ in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.

So get creative people! Can’t wait to see all the submissions. The submission due date for art pieces is still a bit hazy TBH. Not sure if we have an exact date yet but it definitely wont be until the end of July / early August. So the exact date will follow as soon as I recall it or once I’m updated on the details! Until then… See Below. Ohhhh! Ahhhh!

(Steam Punk Vespa! Soooo Cool)


On July 6th at 7pm there is another round of our Cribbage Tournament League. Everyone is welcome! New players or old vets and players will play 7 2-player rounds of cribbage. $10 for each player participating with gift certificates as prizes to first and second place based off how many people sign up! It’s a great way to spend the evening so lets look forward to a lot of cribbing! Just don’t get skunked.  I hate when I play crib with my mum. I almost always lose to her pegging. Grrr.

Board Game Blitz Round 6 + Results from Round 5

So this one is both an upcoming event and the start of reporting past events! First up is round 6 which is approaching. This will be the final round of the Blitz and is the ’Intense Euro Strategy’ category. So come prepared! Everyone must be suitably INTENSE! I kid :P

The games for this final round are: Agricola, Caylus, Pillars of the Earth, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, and Tzolk’in. There will be three rounds of play and each player must play a different game each round. This round will also determine the final standings and we will be able to crown a victor for the Kingston Blitz!

Which leads us right into the results from the previous round 5 of the Blitz. The battling was close as always, but Corey Campbell came out on top! His 2nd Blitz round win. Darius Gorganzadeh came in a close second place. Darius has yet to win a round, but consistently finishes in 2nd to 4th place slots and his all around gameplay prowess has him sitting at the top of the standings. But John Dupont and Corey Campbell remain in striking distance! This looks like it’s become a three man race.

(Corey Campbell, Left.  Darius Gorganzadeh, Right)

But there shall still be gift certificates for 1st and 2nd place for this round, even if you are out of the running for overall Blitz champion it’s still anyone’s game to see who brings home the gold this round! Plus your wins/losses will dictate which of these players ultimately gets crowned King of the Blitz! Let’s try to have our biggest turn out for Intense Euro.

Think that’s all for now gamers! I’ll catch you next time here @ the store!

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!




The Labyrinth: In The Merry Month of May!

Spring is here!

Kingston sometimes doesn’t seem to know that and throws wonky cold days at us, but other times it’s been downright steamy outside and feeling more like summer than spring. But if you’ve been headed out and about to enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors then it’s worth mentioning we have more and more spring/summer stock arriving.

Wondering what to spend your hard earned coin on like our fluffy friend above? Want an ultimate frisbee or an aerobie disk to toss around? Looking to go out and fly a kite and look like a baus while you do it? Then swing on by and pick something summery up to enjoy around town :)

On to the events! There have been a bunch of tournaments and other in-store events that have wrapped up that need to be covered and then there’s always new stuff approaching too. Pics and results and what have you…So let’s get to it!

Minotaur Art Show / Art After Dark Studio Tour

Our gallery for the next month or two is up. Time is the theme and we had a great showing of artists and art lovers show up for its release/unveiling on the 23rd. If you missed it and didn’t get a chance to submit art, never fear! The next theme has been announced (officially now)


Just like any of our other art shows the theme is pretty loose and anything that relates to the word or somehow fits the broad concept is acceptable. *Cough STEAMPUNK cough cough* We expect to see everything from vehicles, to gears and working parts, to the more unusual elements of the word mechanical like giant robots. *Steam-cough-punk* =D Sorry I had something tickling my throat. I think it might have been pesky cog or two.

For those who haven’t submitted to our art shows before the details are simple. Drop off your art piece, one submission per artist, it may be any medium as long as it’s ready to hang/display. Include with it information like title/artist name/and a cost if you are trying to sell it. The store commission is a typical gallery split 60% of sales going to the artist and 40% to the store so factor that in when pricing. Artists who just want their work displayed are also welcome! Let’s see a big turn out for this! <3 Should be a great one.

Here’s one of my favorite artists Kekai Kotaki who used to be the lead concept artist for Guild Wars 2 and is now doing his own thing as a freelance artist. His stuff floors me. Breathtaking!

(*Clicketh for awesome up close details*)

Cribbage Tourney

News here for the last tournament and the upcoming one as well.This past Saturday saw a mix of regulars and newcomers to our cribbage tables. As always the play was extremely close and came down to little more than a dozen points, but in the end Randy Scott was victorious. Not only did he come in first place, but he also beat out any previously held top score from other tournaments! Second place, Cory Campell, was a new cribbage player and likewise beat all previously set high scores, giving you an idea of how close/exceptional everyone’s play was.   Both these guys were on their game, but in the end there could be only one winner :) Great job everyone!

The next cribbage tournament is scheduled for Saturday July 6th at 7pm here at the store. Like other tourneys it will be $10.00 per person entering and play will involve seven one-on-one matches. The winner at the end will be the player with the highest cumulative score from all their games. The winner and second place will bring home gift certificates based off how many people entered. So get your cribbage game faces on and get practicing! Hope to see everyone there.

Blitz Round 4 Results and Upcoming Round 5

Another round is behind us and a new set of challenges approaches on the horizon! As a refresher for those just getting up to speed with the blitz or for those who have forgotten, this past round was Military Strategy. Every month or so we’re having a themed game tournament and at the end of the ‘series’ an overall Blitz champion will be crowned.

A familiar name managed to squeak out a win over Erik Hutten and Darius Gorganzadeh. You guessed it, our 2nd place finisher from cribbage Corey Campbell brought home the gold for this round of the Blitz. Here he is below holding his gift certificate.

While there was no second place gift certificate this time the other two players who won their initial rounds scored 20 points towards the overall standing of the Blitz. These perfect scores means it will be a tight pack going into the next round. With only two rounds left to go, this is going to come right down to the wire. The next Blitz round’s theme is Dice/Bidding Games.

When: June 15th is the day
Where: Here @ the store
Cost: $10.00 per player!

We also have the game list of the titles that will be featuring. Games to chose between will include-

Dice: Kingsburg, Quarriors, Alien Frontiers, Macao, and Seasons.
Bidding: Princes of Florence, Ra, Medici, El Grande, and Tinner’s Trail.

Format: There will be four rounds total, alternating between dice and bidding games, so each player will have to play two of each style. Good luck to everyone and here’s hoping you bring home the gold!

Standings going into Round 5 

Darius Gorganzadeh  62
John Dupont               60
Jody Steele                 52
Cory Campell              52
Adrew Hoyte               46
Erik Hutton                  44
Abi Scott                     43

The rest of the pack are in the mid 30′s or high 20′s, but there’s still such a tight pack four blitz rounds in. It’s anyone’s game and the final round of Intense Euro is still to come! Keep at it boys and girls and lets see who’ll be the King/Queen of this round.

New Game Titles

We have a pair of brand spanking new games in the store, both card games. I’ve gone over the rules and have a vague idea how to play them both, but soon they’ll get a full play-test and may feature on a game spotlight!

The first is called Voodoo Mania. A speed card game involving symbol matching. Players will go through their cards hunting for the correct symbol and color missing from the current card face up in play. It seems to have a set/jungle speed/anomia flavor to it with quick reactions and visual puzzle solving!

The second game is called Nox! This card game features players trying to lay down sets of three types of colored value cards. Players must collect all three colors to be eligible to score in a round and a round ends as soon as someone has 6 cards on the table in front of them. You can play high cards in front of yourself or low cards on your opponents stacks. Any duplicates of a particular card/color stacks and reduces the number of cards they can have in their kitty of 6. The winner is the first to reach 150 with points carrying over from round to round.

D+D Next Games

Early in June Minotaur will be hosting D&D Next (5th edition) games in the store. Most likely on Thursdays during game nights. We have a few people who have already left their name and #’s who might be interested so once we have another player or two who can make it out and would like to be on the cutting edge of the D&D scene we can start rolling up characters. Players will be able to make their own characters from scratch and the store has material to support 1st through 20th level play. This would not be like encounters with resetting levels it would be an ongoing living breathing sandbox campaign with players free to make their own decisions and go where they like and watch their characters evolve and grow. Hope to see everyone in store soon! *dons his goblin shaman hat* :D

That’s all for now folks! See you next time.

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!



The Labyrinth: Game Spotlight!

Settlers of Catan: Explorers and Pirates!

Hello game fans! If you’re here checking out what’s new on the Minotaur Blogspot you’re in for a special edition of the game spotlight! It’s where we put games, new or old, under the searing hot light of the spotlight and figure out what makes them tick! We shall spare no bits or meeples, no board shall stay unflipped, good or bad, we will give the game an honest review. (well at least my opinion from the peanut gallery)

The first up for the spotlight is the brand new expansion for Settlers. Now some of you might have moved beyond Settlers to new and exciting Euro games, but it continues to be a favorite of mine, MINUS expansions. So typically I prefer to just play good ole Catan with no added bits and tag alongs and normally I prefer to play with the magic number of four. IE: three player games feel a bit hollow or empty and 5to6 has that odd rule where you can build on other people’s turns. That said, Explorers and Pirates is one expansion that I’d actually prefer to play with.

If you know me from the store then you might already know I’m the one staff member that will always pitch Seafarers over the other Catan expansions. I’d say it’s safe to say that MOST other customers/staff enjoy Cities and Knights more as it’s arguably the expansion that’s done the most to give the game more ‘meat’. But my reason for liking Seafarers over C+K is that I enjoy Catan because it’s simple and straight forward and because Seafarers felt like all it really offered but with cool new ways to set up the board and obviously with a maritime feel. So the reason why I’d say Explorers and Pirates is my new FAVORITE expansion is because it takes my favorite scenario from seafarers that features a fog of war effect of face down tiles that you need to discover with boats and takes it to a whole new level of epic! =P

So let’s break it down!

Gameplay: The base rules that you know and love haven’t changed. The bulk of what you already know from Catan will come into play with the new expansion. I’d say the only huge changes are that when a 7 gets rolled there is no longer a robber that moves about to steal resources. Instead, (assuming it’s a scenario with pirate ships) a 7 means that the player who rolled it can instead use their pirate ship to rob sea lanes to steal cards / gold. What is gold you say? In this expansion if a number is rolled and you don’t get any resources off that roll you instead get a gold token. (similar to the mechanic from Traders and Barbarians) These gold tokens can be traded in at a 2:1 rate for any commodity that you’d like. This is a HUGE plus for me. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting there for 6, 7, even 10 turns where not a single one of your numbers gets rolled. This way you still get resources and have things to do each turn.

Ships aren’t like roads in Seafarers they are built for a sheep and a wood but move around during your turn. So there is still the roll of the dice, trading, building, but there is also a moving phase now. Each of your boats can move 4 spaces and can move an additional 2 spaces if you sacrifice a wool for extra sails. If your ship reaches an undiscovered hex you must end your movement and discover it. If it’s a terrain like a forest of a wheat you get one free resource of that type. If it’s anything else you get gold. This gives the game a feel of actually sailing around and finding the new world so thematically I find it way more immersive than Seafarers already. Each of your ships has a ‘hold’ or a cargo area and you can load these up with settlers which can form a settlement the minute you find an appropriate spot you’d like to colonize at. The holds can also hold fish and crew and spice which will come up later. If you don’t have a ship to load your settlers, crew, etc into you can instead build them in the hold of a port city like in the picture below and there it can wait until a ship comes to pick it up.

So I mentioned scenarios earlier. There are in fact 5 total.
The five scenarios included in Catan: Explorers & Pirates are:

Land Ho! Explore the seas of Catan and discover two new islands to expand your settlements. Once you’ve discovered an island, you must use ships to ferry settlers from one island to another and colonize distant lands. (Introductory scenario)

Pirate Lairs! In this scenario, pirates prowl the seas along with your trading vessels. Pay tribute to the pirates or drive them off, then find and capture their lairs to earn gold and VPs! (One mission scenario)

Fish for Catan! The people of Catan are short of food, so it’s time to take to the ocean to fish for meals. These are deep water fish, though, so first you must find their shoals before you can catch them! The Council of Catan will reward players with VPs for returning fish to the island, as well as for capturing pirate lairs. Just watch out for roaming pirates, as not only will they demand gold for tribute, they might also get to the fish before you do! (Two mission scenario)

Spices for Catan! In this scenario, the Council of Catan wants you to find fish and spices for the people of Catan! As before, they reward the most industrious merchant captains with VPs. Obtaining spice will require you to become friends with the mysterious inhabitants of the Spice Islands, but in return they will not only trade you spices but teach you their knowledge of sailing or even pirate fighting techniques! (Two mission scenario)

Explorers and Pirates! This lengthy and challenging scenario brings everything from the previous scenarios together! Explore new lands, capture pirate lairs, find fish, and befriend the inhabitants of the spice isles! (Three mission scenario)

( Introductary scenario ↑ )           ( Scenario 5 with all game elements ↑ )

So here’s what I think everyone should take away from those blurbs about scenarios as they are taken directly off the online descriptions. Scenario 1 introduces you to the new elements of the game like moving ships around and exploring the new islands one by one and then each ’scenario’ of 2 through 4 each introduces one of the new mission type aspects of E+P. #2 coaxs you into the idea of how to fight pirate coves by dropping your crew onto the hexes!

Then #3 helps you understand how to work the fishing tiles, #4 explains spices and then by the time you reach #5 you are playing with all of them. So I think that these ‘scenarios’ are actually more like a step by step introduction of the new game elements so it doesn’t leave some players reeling with 18 new things to learn and remember. But scenario 5 is how I would say the game is meant to be played or scenario 1 if you want a fast down and dirty fog of war tile exploration match. It’s worth noting that scenario one features a fixed starting set up for it. The island is premade and the players start positions are already determined. So if you have that group of newish Catan players and want to just kick right off with a balanced start it might be the way to go!

Analysis: But Henry, what does it all meeeaaaaaan? Let’s do Henry’s pro’s and Cons to see what we think about it. Pros 1st!

Pros:- This expansion isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything since it’s still all the things we love about Catan, but it really does have a host of wicked cool game elements like fighting pirates, racing to get fish first, and discovering new lands and native tribes that gives this a really fresh and brand new feel.
- It offers even more cool naval exploration with how the ships work and allows players to man their pirate ships and don silly pirate hats :P
- You get so much bang for your buck! It’s one of the heaviest expansions to date and it’s worth every penny. The bits are gorgeous as always with mayfair products and the unique new design of the boats / harbors is really neat. I’ve seen the European versions and apparantly some of theirs are done in plastic instead of the nice wooden ones o.O So glad ours weren’t done that way.
- In settlers, short of robbing or maybe blocking someone off with a road, there hasn’t been this feel of a you vs me. There aren’t tons of options to actively ‘attack’ or struggle against one another. If someone is clearly winning people might refrain from trading with them or robber them frequently but that’s not really the same. THIS expansion allows players  (for the first time in my opinion) to all struggle to beat one another to objectives. Players will all be on the same mission and collecting VP’s from who has the most Pirate Coves destroyed or who’s collected the most fishing hauls. It makes each tile that still lies undiscovered a race.
- It’s still shorter than Cities and Nights. The game will be a little longer than base, but still be no where near as long as the the other expansions.

Cons:- The Border. I’ll be up front. I HATE putting those stupid borders together. But that’s the same with ANY catan game/expansion. I wish there was a solution short of just playing without them, but the good news is the border for this expansion doesn’t matter the way it does in the base game. There aren’t ports to trade to, so if need be you can just play without the stupid border.
- Catan is a classic but many players have moved on to other Euro games. While this expansion has brought a whole bunch of cool new features and a ton of flavor, let’s be honest. It’s still Catan. If you wouldn’t play base Catan then you won’t want to play this. Plain and simple. But this is a cut above base in my opinion.
- The scenarios for me seem less like ‘different’ scenarios like in Seafarers and more like a step by step ‘how-to’ guide of how to incorperate all three major game elements of pirates/fish/spices. I wish there were additional scenarios of how to set up the board, but I guess at the end of the day you can always homebrew up something if needbe.

Rating: So for me the pros way outwiegh the cons for this game and there’s so much good to be said for it that I’m going to have to rate this pretty high. If it had just a few more options for set up it’d be pretty darn close to a 10 for me. It also loses points just for being an expansion instead of a brand new game but overall for me I rank Explorers and Pirates a 9 out of 10

Hope some of this helps if you’ve been wondering what the new expansion is all about and hope to see some of you down @ the store on games night to play it!

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!

The Labyrinth: Blitz Round 4 Military Strategy Games + Other upcoming events

Hey all, it’s that time again. Ze blog calls!
There have been a slew of things popping up that need to be brought to everyone’s attention and I have so little room to do it in XD

I’ll have an overall recap of upcoming events and then in a few days time I want to throw out a detailed review/explanation of the brand new Expansion for Settlers called Explorers and Pirates. It’s been a while since I did a game feature on the blog, but it shall have to take a back seat to all the many events that have recently finished up or are about to take place.

So let’s get to it folks!
In no particular order…

Cribbage Tourney: We are hosting the next round in Minotaurs ongoing cribbage ‘league’ on Saturday May 25th! New players and vets welcome! Players pay $10.00 each to enter the tourney and play 7 games, each against a different opponent. The winner will be the player with the highest cumulative score at the end. The play will commence at 7pm and prizes for first and second place will be gift certificates. The amounts are purely based off how many players participate so bring your friends!

Last tourney’s winners were a father/son Duo coming in 1st and second. Tony and Kyle Cadogan! They’ve already signed up for the one coming in May so let’s see how this dynamic duo fares in tournaments to come! They may be the ‘new kids on the block to beat!’ *picture to follow*

The Blitz: The 3rd round of Kingston’s Board Game Blitz has come to an end. We have a winner for card games!

The fighting was furious and the games varied, but in the end there could be only one victor. Robert Armstrong! The player ‘strong-armed’ his was to a slew of 2nd places and one win, leaving him with a score of 17 which was enough to secure him the victory! Speaking of 2nd places, David Edwards managed his second 2nd place finish of the Blitz so far. He was a single point behind Robert, but take heart, David! Player’s scores all carry forward and count towards the overall blitz winner. He doesn’t walk away empty handed for his close place finish either. Here they both are below holding their gift certificates!

Round 4 of the Blitz is already scheduled! It’s going to be on May 18th @ the store and the round theme is Military Strategy. There is a wide range of military strats to chose from, but due to the length of the games there will be only one round of play. Each table will have 1 winner and those winners will break the multi-way tie by having a deciding game of Smallworld. The full 4 hour+ games for the main round are: Age of Conan, Game of Thrones, Ikusa (Formerly known as Shogun), Eclipse, Chaos in the Old World, and Civilization!

As always, it’s $10.00 to register for the event and it will begin at noon on the 18th and run until a king or queen stands atop a pile of defeated competitors! So if military gaming is your thing or you want to try your hand at learning a bunch, then come on down to the store on Saturday!

Current Standings / Leader Board for the Blitz
(Updated for your convenience)

Andrew Hoyt 46
John Dupont 44
Jody Steele 44
Darius Gorganzadeh 42
Abi Scott 35
David Edwards 34
Corey Campell 32
Sarah Simmons 31

And then a slew of players all in the mid to high 20′s! It’s still a very tight pack! One good round separates anyone from victory! I’m calling it right now, as long as someone new continues to win overall and no previous leaders win, it’s going to come down to the very final round.

Book Launch for Evarde’s Legacy:

 (Click for a close up)
I write the blog and all for the store, but it’s not very often I get to promote myself or my own work! But here is one of those rare chances. If you haven’t heard already, I’ve written a book! A fantasy / epic novel. Publishing a book was something I’ve wanted to tackle for years. In fact, probably most of my life.  I’ve always been an avid reader of all genres and I adore writing short stories, poetry, or full length novels. But I’d never tried to take it a step further. That all changed for me in 2011 with a very rough draft of EL that was the end result of a Nanowrimo challenge.(National Novel Writer’s Month) which is a challenge to write 50,000 words or more in a single month. I’ve spent the last year and a half rewriting, editing, and improving the writing. With wonderful support from fellow authors/critiquers from Critique Circle the book is finally at a stage I can be proud of. It might be a bit cliche to say ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ went into the making of this, but the saying fits. I’m so happy to be able to share this with you.

(My editors were tough on me)

The launch is going to be @ Minotaur 7pm on April 27th. I’ll be hosting and available to sign copies, talk about the book, and generally mix + mingle! Books are $10.00 but I’ll have to do sales in cash for the event. There will be plenty of snacks to be had and I’m thinking of heading out for drinks somewhere local afterwards if people are game. Everyone is welcome! Please support me and come on down to the store. Much love to all who manage to make it out and for those who can’t the books will be available through Minotaur after the 27th or on in print copy or ebook format. <3

Yarn / BIke Bell Sale: We are having a big 20% sale on all yarn at the store so if you’ve been looking for a chance to stock up or are missing a few balls to complete that project on the go, then swing on by the store and see what you can pick up.

SALE: Our few remaining epidemic613 bike bells from 2012 are now on sale for $15 each!  When Barb Danielewski brings in her 2013 they be back at their regular price ($25 each)

Settlers of Catan Explorers and Pirates:

I wont go into ALL the details here, since a full blog post will follow as a ‘Game Spotlight’ edition, but just spreading the news that a brand new expansion of everyone’s favorite game is out!

It’s been set up at the store and was played by some of the games nighters this past Sunday. It got two thumbs up from those who played it! So if you have someone you know who is a huge Catan and want to get the coolest and newest addition to the collection then swing by the store and we’ll get you/them hooked up!

That’s all there is for now, but here’s hoping you stay tuned for more info on Explorers and Pirates and here’s also hoping you can make it out on the 27th for my book launch =D

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!


The Labyrinth: Blitz Round 3 + Events

Hey all! Hope everyone’s March went well!.
Things have stayed busy here at the store during spring and there are tons of fresh upcoming events, tournaments, and contests to announce! So without further ado, let’s start talking about what’s going on!

But before I do, don’t forget that we have a facebook site as well where our upcoming events get posted along with reminders for dates/times.!/groups/89235835082/
So feel free to sign up and see what’s coming up next!

Blitz Round 2 Results

The word game/social gaming round had a larger turnout that round one! We got to see players tearing it up with great games like Bannanagrams, Dixit, Quiddler, and many more! As always the competition was fierce! Creationary (A lego version of pictionary) was a much sought after choice for many of the competitors!
But ultimately there could be only one winner. (Pictures of our winner and runner up to follow)

Jody Steele brought home the gold! He excelled at both genres of gaming, despite his protests before the tournament that he sucked at both. Was this a cunning ploy? Who can tell, but it’s worth noticing  and for his efforts earned a $90.00 gift certificate. Second place was a tie between Byrant Tong and Corey Campbell, but rather than play one final round of word games to determine a winner the pair decided to split the second place prize and both end up with a $20.00 gift certificate a piece! I’m always impressed by these gamers for their competitiveness to win, but also by their eagerness to share. Great work you two!

Blitz Round 3: Card Games

Yeah, yeah, Henry. That’s nice…but what about the NEXT tournament of the blitz? That’s what we really want to know about! Well, I hear you.

Saturday April 20th is going to be the next Blitz Tournament.
It will be $10.00 a head to enter, just like previous rounds, and will commence at Noon and finish up around 6pm.

The Card Games that will be featured in the tournament are:

7Wonders, Dominion, Tichu, Bohnanza, Condotierre, and Race for the Galaxy.

The scores from each round carry on from one to the next for the overall standings so winners and runner ups will win gift certificates on the day, but everyone’s scores will be counted towards the overall King or Queen of the Blitz!

Current Standings: Here are some of the top leaders! I chose to just post the top 5 so far. There are plenty in the ‘pack’ trailing a few points behind, and plenty of newcomers that had exceptional scores of but a single round, so it’s still anyone’s to take!

Jody Steele 35
Andrew Hoyte 34
John Dupont 29
Darius Gorganzadeh 29
Ryan D’Eon 26

Art Gallery Submissions / New Subject

The Into the Woods Art show was a blast! I haven’t seen this many submissions for an art show since Under the Sea. I continue to be floored by the range, scope, and variety of art we keep getting from all of Kingston’s wonderful artists!

If you weren’t at the opening night to hear, or if you’re a new artist wondering how you can get art into the store to be part of the Gallery exhibitions here’s the rundown and the next theme!

‘Time’ Each artist can submit one art piece as long as it connects in some way with the theme. With a broad subject like Time there should be tons of scope for different interpretations and concepts. Just make sure it fits the theme enough, or our top notch staff will have to crack down on you!

The submissions may be any medium as long as it’s ready to hang / display. You can chose to try and sell your submission or just have it showing for the duration of the show. It’s a 60/40 split %wise for sucessful sales in favor of the artist, so please factor that into prices.

Artists should submit their work with a Title (if any), Artist’s Name, Medium, Price (if any), and a contact number or email to let you know when to come pick up your art at the end of the show. The galleries usually run for a month and a half to two months.

The submission due date for ‘Time’ is May 22nd, the day before opening night which will be May 23rd as part of the Art After Dark Kingston galleries tour. We hope to see just as many or even more submissions this time! Tell your friends to all submit! Whether you consider your works Van Goh’s or you’re the Boss of Stick Figures all art is welcome!

Cribbage Tourny!

You guessed it, it’s that time again! Crib warsssss dum dum dum! Well…just plain cribbage. Not crib wars the game.. *gets back on track*

We have a cribbage tourney coming up for April 6th at 7pm. Players will play 7 round robin 1v1 games of cribbage. The winner at the end of the night will be the player with the highest cumulative score. It’ll be $10.00 per person to enter and winners/runners up will take home gift certificates based of the number of participating players.

The last Cribbage winners were Genevieve and Kyle in February. Seen below holding their gift certificates!
Genevieve and Kyle, your February cribbage tournament winners.  Next tournament is this Saturday, April 6th at 7pm sharp... wear your pegging pants!
So get your game faces on and let’s crib!

Tabletop Day

Whil Wheatonnnnnn! *shakes fist* :P

So I’m sure many of ye olde followers of Tabletop and, by extension the channel Geek & Sundry,  are already well aware of this, but for those who haven’t heard March 30th is officially Tabletop day.

So here’s what we’ve decided to do. If on March you come in and either play or buy a game featured on Tabletop it will make you eligible to answer a trivia based question in order to win some free swag! We have free games to give away, limited edition game expansions for Gloom + 7wonders, extra card decks for Gloom, posters, bookmarks, dice, and much much more! Questions will vary in difficulty so players should at least be able to pick a catagory to answer within.

DisLoyalty Card!

So a bunch of awesome local stores have banded together! United! Allied against all evil! Really though what we’ve done is made a Loyalty card with a twist.

If you spend more than $20.00 at any of the participating locations (or every ticket purchase at the Screening Room) you get a stamp on your card. After your card is filled up with nine stamps, from a minimum of two participating stores, you can redeem your card at any location for 20% off a purchase of $20 or more (or obtain a free Screen Room Ticket)

Participating stores include: Novel Idea, 4 Color 8 Bit, The Screening Room, Minotaur Games + Gifts, Get Funky, and Bombshell.

So that’s all for now everyone! Should be a lot to chew on *gnaws away at it!* More to come early in April with updates and more events to come! Till next time.

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!


The Labyrinth: Round 2 Blitz + Events

Hello gamers, and welcome to another exciiiiiiiiting edition of The Labyrinth!! So, maybe I’m just a little overexcited, but we DO have some great news to pass on to those interested in the board game blitz and other upcoming store events!

Our phones are ringing off the hook with people asking us about how round one went! We will get back to you as soon as we can :P

But for those of you here, let’s get to ze news!

Blitz Round 1 Classic Euro Games: So, despite the pelting snow the day prior, and the mounds of snow on either side of princess street, (what i liked to refer to as the twin Everests of downtown) we still had a really decent turn out for players. The fighting was fierce and blood was shed!

Not like…real blood or anything, metaphorical bleeding, but things did get pretty heated. (we toyed with the idea of full contact Catan, but couldn’t get the details all sorted. Next time!)  There were several older Blitz regulars and a handful of new gamers to round out the tourney, but in the end the reigning champion maintained his crown.

For years there has been a gamer…His legend and renown growing with each passing day like William Wallace or Achilles

He swoops in like a bird of prey, his mighty cries shaking the cards and gaming pieces, destined to play for the gold. His name? It is whispered from the lips of fellow gamers…in awe or in abject terror.

Dr. John Dupont! Dumm dummm dummmmm. (I think Dr. makes him sound extra sinister/impressive) For his win he brings home a gift certificate for $80.00 He has won the blitz before, that much we know, but can the former king be decrowned? Does he have an Achilles heel? Can we don British garb and lure him into a cunning trap?

John Dupont (Left)   David Edwards (Right)

The scores were extremely tight. Second place, David Edwards, was but two points behind him and earned himself a $40.00 gift certificate. 3rd and 4th place were again only a few points behind him, so this was anyone’s tournament to win.

This new format for the blitz has new types of games that will test every gaming catagory and push gamers to their limits!

We’ve chosen the next round…

Round 2 Blitz Revealed:   The When: Sat. March 23rd 12-6pm
The Cost:  $10.00 per contestant
The Where: Well….here. @ Minotaur.

Word & Social Gaming.
This is a pair of gaming genres that haven’t featured before at the blitz! The games list is up too, so start preparing/training!

Bananagrams, Boggle, Quiddler, Scattagories, Scrabble, Upwards.
Social: Anomia, Apples to Apples, Balderdash, Dixit, Things in a Box, and a mystery Trivia game. (The last one we are purposely keeping secret so as to keep the questions secure :P )
Format: There shall be 4 rounds of play and each gamer will need to play 2 Word and 2 Social games to test their skills.

Pandemic New Printing: So the board game Pandemic is back! Some of you might already have it in your collection or just weren’t aware that it had ‘dropped’ off the shelves, but there’s been a lengthy hiatus where the game’s distribution was being handed off from Z-man to Filosofia. Now, the co-operative game that will have your friends and family working alongside you to cure the world of four deadly strands of a disease, is back.

We had copies in the store and have already blown through them all. Hopefully we can order a few more while our distributors still have some in stock, but it is a ‘brand new’ title, so no guarantees. We’re hoping to have more back in on Thursday. *fingers crossed* In the meantime I hope everyone who picked up their copy is struggling away to beat it on its hardest difficulty!

Art Show: Meanwhile, like a stealth bomber, flying beneath the radar, there is the steadily advancing deadline for the next Minotaur Kingston Group Art Show. Into the Woods is the theme. As long as your art relates in some way to the theme’s title then your art could be part of the show!

March 5th is the deadline for submissions and all art must be ready-to-hang.The opening night soiree will be the following day, Wednesday March 6th from 6pm to 9pm. We hope to see everyone out for the party, regardless if you have a picture in the show or not.

D&D Next and Minis: When is D&D Next (or 5th ed) coming out? That’s what I want to know. *grumbles* I want to run around with my fantasy garb on and the sooner the new edition comes out the quicker we can get to rping and slaying dragons.

I’ve been toying with pathfinder and my old 3.5 books and 4th ed stuff get occasional use, but I really want to try the new stuff beyond the beta and test material :)

That said, I’ve taken the down time to sort minis. If you have any of the old D&D or pathfinder pre-painted minis and either want to sell off or trade part of your collection, let me know. We have plenty of minis for sale in our cabinet, but I’ll also have a catalog up in a few days with all the minis i have/quantities etc. So if you’re a collector and want more/rare minis or have a bunch that you can’t or won’t be using anymore come in and trade them in!

That’s all for now. See you next time!

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!

The Labyrinth: February And Round 1 Of The Blitz

Hope everyone had a fun weekend watching Superbowl XLVII or doing things out and about! I know for my part I was happy to be inside out of the cold relaxing!

The need for new and exciting gaming events is ever present and so with February upon us we can all celebrate a return of one of our favorite Minotaur Tournaments. Kingston’s Board Game Blitz!

It’s been a gaming event that we’ve held for several years in order to crown a King or Queen as the BEST all around gamer of 2013! In past years, the Blitz was a full day-long affair with as many hours of gaming crammed in as possible, but this year we thought we’d try things a little differently.

This year, each ’round’ of the blitz will be a shorter single day event focusing on just one type of gaming. The overall winner of The Blitz will be whoever scores the best at the end of all 6 catagories. Each month a new tournament will be announced for people to prep for! But before I get ahead of myself, here are the need-to-knows for all ye olde gamers, like what the categories will be and what game titles to expect. Starting with the 1st round coming up this Saturday.

Round 1 is on Saturday Feb. 9th from Noon-6pm
Format: 4rounds of play. So each player will play 4/6 of  the selected games.

  • Classic Euro: Carcasonne + (Traders&Builders), Catan + (Seafarers), Ticket To Ride Europe, Kingdom Builder, Thurn and Taxis, St. Petersburg.

We have roughly 24 slots for round 1. A sign up sheet is in store at the front desk, and it will cost $10.00 per contestant. Hurry in to reserve your place. We’ve already had 11 people signed up, so the spots are going fast!

For the other upcoming rounds we don’t have an exact order of what will come 2nd-6th for the other catagories, but we do know the themes and several games that we know will be featuring :)

  • Intense Euro: Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Caylus, Pillars of the Earth, Endeavor, Dungeon Lords.
  • Card Games: 7Wonders, Dominion, Tichu, Bohnanza, Condotierre, San Juan.
  • Dice/Bidding: Princes of Florence, Goa, Ra, El Grande, Cyclades, Medici, Kingsburg, Quarriors, Alien Frontier, Macao, Seasons.
  • Word/Social: Boggle, Scrabble, Scattergories, Balderdash, Apples to Apples, What?, Dixit, Creationary, Bananagrams
  • Military Strat: Game of Thrones, Risk 2210, Risk Godstorm, Shogun/Ikusa, Chaos in the Old World, Small world.

So the idea will be the winner of each tournament or round will win a gift certificate with an amount that will be based on how many people we have sign up. The final overall winner will not only be crowned and awarded the title of best gamer in Kingston for 2013 but will also get a free trip to Fan Expo! :P

So get out your dice, put on your game faces, and come on out to compete! It’s going to be a blast. I’ll see you guys there :)

That’s all for now! Catch you all next time.

I’m Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!