Seafarers Week 2, Madness, Charity

This week at Merlin’s Beard we’ve got week 2 of our Catan: Seafarers league, a Maddening kick-off to our October give away and some news on the charitable front.

October Madness!

They’re coming to take us away! HA HA! Merlin’s Beard and Gryphon Gaming will be giving away a free copy of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu on October 27th. There is no purchase necessary to enter the drawing but we are preparing an achievement list and throwing in a free sandwich for anyone that completes all the achievements by Sunday, October 30th!

Here is just a sampling of what we are planning:

  • Mansion of Madness (2e) demo on Thursday, October 13th.
  • Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu demos on Thursdays: October 7th, 21st, and 28th.
  • Merlin’s Maddening Month Achievement List
  • Halloween Party Weekend October 28th through 30th.
  • Hogwarts Party October 14th.

Catan: Seafarers Week 2

It’s a tight race after week 1 between rivals Beth (14 points) and Kevin (0 points)… wait… no its not. First, Mike is killing it, second, Kevin piddled his time away last Tuesday playing not-Catan. Its a strange strategy and we’re not sure how this is going to pan out. Join us on Tuesday, October 4th and find out!


Karmel Strong and GradSEA Fundraising Events

Merlin’s Beard was proud to host our first two fundraisers this weekend. First, on Friday, saw a crowd of graduate students in for an evening of beverages and games. Merlin’s is proud to be writing a check for $50 to that organization. The second, on Sunday, was for a friend and his family as they battle the onset and complications associated with cancer. We were able to raise $200 ourselves and an additional $75 in patron donations. If you have a fundraising idea, please feel free to come in and chat with me.

Martians, Explorers, and Wizards

Play Terraforming MarsTiny Epic Galaxies, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle now available in the Great Library at Merlin’s Beard!

Terraforming Mars

In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars, you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.

– Board Game Geek

Tiny Epic Galaxies

In Tiny Epic Galaxies each player controls a galactic empire, aiming to expand their influence by acquiring highly contested planets and increasing their cosmic armada. The game revolves around an innovative dice-rolling combo mechanic. The number of dice you roll is determined by the strength of your galaxy. Each die is engraved with symbols representing the various actions you can take, such as moving a spaceship, increasing your culture or energy resources, or advancing your political or economic influence over newly discovered planets.

– Board Game Geek

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

The forces of evil are threatening to overrun Hogwarts castle in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, a cooperative deck-building game, and it’s up to four students to ensure the safety of the school by defeating villains and consolidating their defenses. In the game, players take on the role of a Hogwarts student: Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville, each with their own personal deck of cards that’s used to acquire resources.

– Board Game Geek

Dwarves and Trains and Championships

League of Legends World Championships 2016

Merlin’s Beard is excited to try something new. Starting tomorrow night will will be airing the League of Legends World Championships at Merlin’s Beard*. This event is brought to you in part by the generous action of Adam Kowalski (spelling?) who spends all his free time at Merlin’s anyway and so moved in his TV. Thanks, Adam, we love you!

2016 League of Legends World Championships

League of Legends is a pretty big deal in the competitive video game world, and while I know little about it myself, Andrew and Ian talk about it all the time. So here’s to eSports, Adam, and new ventures at Merlin’s Beard!

* Player’s Fare does not apply to those coming in to watch LOL however we ask that you consider making a purchase while you attend. Should we reach capacity,  non-paying viewers will be asked to make room for paying board gamers, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

Ticket to Ride Leaves the Station

All aboard for Ticket to Ride Season 1! Join other travelers every Thursday at Merlin’s Beard for some fast playing, route blocking, set collecting action. League registration is $3 and you can choose to pay all 6 player fares up front for just $3/night ($21). Price is good through the end of the day tomorrow.


I’m still working the the rewards tiers, however we will maintain the rewards from Catan. That is the tier 1 reward is a free soft drink and  the tier 2 reward is a free sandwich. The overall winner will receive a $10 gift certificate and everyone competing will receive one free player’s fare at Merlin’s Beard at the conclusion of the league.

The Trudvang Chronicles and Great Library at Merlin’s Beard

Calling all role playing aficionados! Merlin’s is a working hard on our RPG library and we are especially interested in supporting interesting role playing systems. We have a tablet incoming that will be loaded with Pathfinder and 7th Sea PDFs, plus core rule books for Dungeons and Dragons (5e), 7th Sea (2e), and Pathfinder (coming soon), and legacy books for Shadow Run (2e), Middle Earth Role-Playing (MERP), Star Wars (WEG and WOTC), and D20 Modern.

Trudvang Chronicles Gamemasters Guide
Trudvang Chronicles Gamemasters Guide

We very much would like to add 6 volumes of the award winning Trudvang Chronicles to our library. The cost is $90 with shipping through Kickstarter, bringing the system to English for the first time. If you are interested in helping us out, bring a few dollars in and contribute to the Trudvang Support Fund at Merlin’s Beard. I plan on learning the rules via PDF as soon as they are released to us and then I will host a training day for everyone involved. More information can be found here.

If there are other RPG systems you are interested in, Merlin’s is willing to help you find and acquire them through group funding similar to what we are doing with Trudvang. We will observe the following rules when building the library in this manner:

Donation rules

  1. We are only raising the money necessary to fund and ship the book(s).
  2. Cash only.
  3. Merlin’s will chip in $10 once funded.
  4. If we exceed the total cost we will start to refund money (after the kickstarter) to the largest donors first down until everyone is on equal footing.
  5. Anyone who contributes shall have their name written on the inside front cover of all the books we receive.
  6. There will be a record kept on the Looking for Group board at Merlin’s Beard.
  7. Donors do not have to pay a player’s fare when reviewing the books. Their groups pay $2.50/person to play the game at Merlin’s.
  8. Donors may purchase fountain sodas at the refill price (~at cost to Merlin’s) while reviewing or playing the game.


Seafarers kicks off!

Catan: Seafarers League Sets Sail

Come out to Merlin’s Beard on Tuesday to set sail with the Seafarers and compete to earn rewards in our league format. Earn a free soda at 30VP, a free sandwich at 60VP, and the winner receives a $10 gift certificate to Merlin’s Beard! Participants will also receive a guest pass sometime next week (I just ordered them).

Ticket to Ride, All Aboard

On Thursday our Ticket to Ride league leaves the station. The reward structure will remain similar to Catan’s, so expect opportunities to earn sodas, sandwiches, and our riders will also receive a guest pass when they come in.

League Pricing

  • $3 admission to the league, does not include player’s fare.
  • $21 preregistration includes 6 discounted player fares for league nights.

*image from Wikipedia entry on Catan Seafarers.

On Sale 2016-09-22

The Gameman Commeth!

Bearing new temptations for the girls and boys that frequent The Beard, Keving Manning stocks the shelves with many wonderful new games.


New for purchase are a wealth of deck builders in the DC and Tolkien universes.


We’ve also got new content featuring Terry Pratchett’s ubiquitous witching crew and the latest offering in the Munchkin lineup, now with added Marvel-ousness.


Dying to build some flowers? Try Lotus. Empires of Zidal is another offering by a local designer.

Worker Wednesday Continues!


Our celebration of worker placement games continues unabashed this evening! Join us for Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age or any of our gazillions (200?) other games.

Congratulations! Catan Season 1 has a champion!

Beth (Bethany?… We are confused now…) Bekas has taken the title from fierce competitor Kevin Gilam in a no holds barred duel of the fates just last night!


Here you see the dramatic pair in a moment of serene clarity. Hey… Why is that glass empty? I’m going to have to talk to the barkeep….

FYI… Catan Season 2: Seafarers is in need of some loaned copies of the aforementioned expansion. Donors receive free admission to the league.

Season 2 kicks off next Tuesday.

Ticket to Ride Season 1

Don’t forget to get your ticket for season 1 of that ubiquitous train game, Ticket to Ride. Warm ups continue tomorrow and the league pulls away from the station next Thursday.

New Site! Catan!

New Website

I’ve decided to do away with the original site and maintain one as a blog. So here it is! I’ll update the graphics in my spare time and add features after I finish working on my Mars Lander and take the dog for a walk.

Catan League
Catan! It’s a punch in the face!

Catan League Finishing!

What a long strange trip it’s been! Our first league wraps this week in a horse race between arch-rivals Kevin Gilmer and Beth Bekas! Thanks to all of our loyal players that have rolled in along the way.

Catan League Starting!

Why stop a good thing? We are plunging forward with a second Catan league starting next Tuesday, September 27th and ending Tuesday, November 1st!
Entrance fee is $21 ($3 for members current through 11/1)
Rewards @ 30VP and 60VP. $10 gift certificate to winner.

We are looking for individuals willing to loan the Seafarers expansion to Merlin’s for this league. Anyone doing so receives free admission to the league.


Carl is a cool guy. Carl is launching a new game. It’s called ZORP and it’s at Merlin’s Beard on September 20th. Which is totally tomorrow! How cool is it that he chose Merlin’s to launch his game!

Come to Merlin’s! Play Catan! Check out Zorp! It’ll be fantastic!