Your Gaming Sidekick

Kickstarter roundup - Our picks for late August and early September

Kickstarter roundup - Our picks for late August and early September

It's been a great summer for gaming! While we're soon to say goodbye to summer, it's had some amazing gaming moments. Kingdomino winning the Spiel Des Jahres and GenCon 50 being two big highlights. As we head into the end of a board game summer 2017 and into early fall there are some fantastic quick play, card based, storytelling games funding on Kickstarter. Here are our picks that wrap up in the next week or so. And I know it's tough think about it now, but with the delivery dates planned for some, they might just be your new winter favorite board games!



Final Boss: The Card Game from Rafael Gonzalez
Ends August 27 – Funded - Why we love it: Quick play (~20 mins) - player options from solo up to 6 - win by victory points - play co-op or competitive - awesome video game theme - sharp card art - we expect it's hilarious. Core pledge is €21. 1-6 players, 15+, 20 mins. Campaign details here. 


Itchy feet the travel game kickstarter

Itchy Feet: The Travel Game from Malachi Ray Rempen
Ends August 30 – Funded - Why we love it: Unique design - designed for travelers - game cards are marked to double as playing cards - comes with postcards - sized for light travel - easy to learn, easy to share - Canadian co-designed. Core pledge $24USD ($5USD Print N Play). 2-6 players, 9+, 10-40 mins. Campaign details here.


Enchanters kickstarter board card game

Enchanters from Gindie-LudiBooster
Ends August 31 – Funded - Why we love it: Quests and crafting in one - build your own gear and upgrade character gameplay - we're a mage at heart - tons of depth without being complex - all the unlocked stretch goals (new cities) add a lot to the game. Core pledge is $39USD. 2-4 players, 14+, 30-60 mins. Campaign details here.


Dark Masts: A Dead Seas card game kickstarter

Dark Masts: A Dead Seas Card Game from Roger Ogre
Ends September 6 – 54% funded - Why we love it: Head-to-Head action - unique fantasy/high sea mix - heavy combat focus - centered on weakening and defeating your opponents base(ship) rather than their heroes - fast paced. Core pledge is $30USD. 2 player, 20-30 mins, unknown. Campaign details here.


Gauntlets and Goblins kickstarter storytelling game

Gauntlets & Goblins from Ian Gibson
Ends September 9 – 40% funded - Why we love it: Light and fun RPG - play with kids to help introduce the game style and concept - gives you all the tools to play out a great story - leaves the storytelling all up to you. Core pledge is $30USD ($15 Print N Play). Our guess: 2-5 players, 30 mins+, 6+. Campaign details here.

Kickstarter roundup - our picks for early August

Kickstarter roundup - our picks for early August

We love new board games and RPGs (role playing games), especially if it means supporting new game designers. We’ve been backing games for a while and thought it was time to share our picks each month. August is an exciting month with GenCon 50 is around the corner. Before it arrives there are some amazing new games already showcased, with Kickstarter campaigns ending this week! Here are our favorite Kickstarter board games and Kickstarter RPGs for early August 2017.

Star Scrappers cave-in Kickstarter board game

Star Scrappers: Cave-in from Hexy Studio
Ends August 8 – Funded - Why we love it: Sci-Fi theme with a unique story arc – amazing art and card graphics – win by victory points – accelerating pace as you play. Core pledge is $25 USD. 2-4 players, 12+, 60 mins. Campaign details here.


Out of the Woods Kickstarter card board game
Out of the Woods from American McGee
Ends August 17 – 80% Funded – Why we love it: Hauntingly beautiful yet dark art – brings a new take on classic storylines – horror themed game that plays in quick rounds. Core pledge is $25 USD. 2-4 players, age and time unknown. Campaign details here.


Firelight Kickstarter rpg one-shot rpg
Firelight: The Questing Card Game (RPG) from HobbyHorse Games, LLC
Ends August 8 – Funded – Why we love it: It makes RPGs more accessible – it packs great storytelling into a card based game – plays as a one-shot rpg in a 60 to 100 minute sitting. Core Pledge is $30 USD. 2-4 players, age unknown, 60-100 minutes. Campaign details here.

Sakura kickstarter board game a-games
Sakura from A-Games (publishers of Ave Roma)
Ends August 15 – Funded – Why we love it: Cool mechanic of paying supporter cards to change game play – easy to learn and play – gorgeous cherry blossom card art. Core Pledge is €20. 2-6 players, 10+, time unknown. Campaign details here.

Spire RPG Kickstarter rpg
Spire RPG from Grant Howitt
Ends August 15 – Funded – Why we love it: The theme – city-bound fantasy horror – tons of story and character depth – straightforward D10 system. Core pledge is £15. 3+ players, age and time unknown. Campaign details here.

Must mentions
A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game from CMON
Ends August 14 – Funded – With a popular publisher and popular theme it was going to be a hit. Classic style tabletop wargaming with unit formations and massive armies. Campaign details here.

A song of Ice & Fire tabletop miniature wargame cmon game of thrones got

Star Realms: Frontiers by Robert Dougherty (White Wizard Games)
Ends August 9 – Funded – Another really popular title and publisher, Frontiers is both a stand alone game and expansion for Star Realms. Backers get access to tons of add-ons from the other White Wizard titles too. Campaign details here.

Star Realms Frontiers Kickstarter card game expansion


When we weren't gaming in July

When we weren't gaming in July

What's new with us?

Well, we're finally dry! We had a rainy July in Toronto and this is our first clear weekend of the season. While we love to get outside in the summer, all that rain was pretty relaxing. And who doesn't love some rainy day board games? We played a few rounds of Hero Realms and A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. The kids go to was Candy Land.

July did see us gaming a fair bit. We also got some downtime to keep enhancing our store and find new features for you. We're really excited to share our new look with you. The new store layout (coming this week) offers quicker access into our collections, games with Kickstarter bonuses, Pre-Orders, and Guild Ball; while keeping highlights of new arrivals on our homepage. We also added a restock notification. You can request a restock email directly from the game's page and be the first to know when it's back in our store.

As we start planning our fall collections we've also got some great end of summer (yes it's almost back to school) and flash sales planned in August. We'll give you a heads up a few days before they go live if you're signed up to our newsletter or following our social feeds. Which reminds us - THANK YOU! We're building an amazing community together. Thank you to all our great followers for your engagement and welcome to all our new friends. Together our community is over 700 strong on Twitter, over 300 on Instagram and 200 followers on Facebook.

So what have we been playing?

We mentioned we did fair bit of gaming in July. We're BIG Game of Thrones fans (have you been watching?). In anticipation of the final season this summer we broke out A Game of Thrones: The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games. We like how game play was built off the main theme of the of the books (and show) - vying for power; and there are multiple ways to acquire it and win. Our full review is up on our blog from last week

We didn't get to Guild Ball as much as we had hoped. However there's no shortage of great reads through the Steamforged forums and reddit. We've been looking at the different guilds and tried some of the models in mini games (3v3) using the print and play content from Steamforged. We're leaning towards the Alchemist Guild with a couple of Union Guild ringers, but need a few more play-throughs. The experience inspired us to try out some Kickstarter board game print and plays. We'll post pics on our social feeds and let you know what we think. If we get in enough play-throughs with those we'll get a reviews up too. 

Keep having an amazing gaming summer and watch for our upcoming end of summer sales in a few weeks.

your gaming sidekick


Seven Hells! Our tabletop taken over by A Game of Thrones the card game!

Seven Hells! Our tabletop taken over by A Game of Thrones the card game!

Thankfully we’re still mid-summer and it means lots of warm nights gaming. We’re huge GoT fans so to warm up for the latest and final season of the show we’ve been playing Game of Thrones the Card Game (2nd Ed) from Fantasy Flight Games.  This was our first Living Card Game so we were keen to see how the play style was compared to a TCG (trading card game).


There’s beauty in Winter but you might think it has come on your first play through

We loved the cards. A set for all the major houses and factions (such as the Night’s Watch). Beautiful looking banner cards plus our favorite (and love-to-loathe) characters. A Game of Thrones the card game is a deck builder. Players build a deck based around their house of choice and then alternate through turns bring new cards into play (called marshalling), attacking each other through challenges and collecting victory points in the form of power tokens. The game seemed a little too complex off the hop - include a 16 page learn to play guide and a full rules reference book. After a first play through it got easier and turns flowed more naturally.


Game play follows a series of actions each turn. Players collect gold, buy cards and then issue challenges. This is where house selection really comes into play as the types of challenges you can issue, and also defend, depend on your characters. As you might expect the Lannisters seem to have more intrigue challenges with the Starks and The Nights Watch heavily military challenge focused. The third type is a power challenge that seems to be common across all houses. Our experience is that the Martell’s are the most balanced house between all the challenge types. Of course all the house characters can be buffed or have challenge types added to them through attachments (item cards), but that part of the game play felt a lot more secondary than how you play items in a typical TCG.

game of thrones GoT Living Card Game board game review yourgamingsidekick ironbeangame

Everyone is plotting something when you’re in the Great Game

 A unique element we experienced for the first time were the plot cards. Plots cards are secondary decks assigned to each player. Plot cards influence the entire round. When played they represent gold the players earn to marshal (play) new cards, which player wins initiative and the claim bonus for winning a challenge. Each round starts with players selecting and the simultaneously revealing their chosen plot card. Selecting plot cards and building your play around them is key to the game play. Do you want a round where you get a lot of gold to bring as many cards into play as possible? You might build an unstoppable force or you might bring through a ton of cards. Do you want to ensure initiative and get an extra claim for winning our challenges? You might finish the round with a lot of power tokens only to have them stolen or they might be the extra you need to close out a win.

Playing with just one opponent was ok, but became predictable and the challenge types (attacking and defending) felt more limited. Playing with at least 3 added the dynamic to really open up the game.


The tl;dr

play at least 2 games with new players, one to learn and one to actually play; best played with 3 or 4 players; plots cards add an awesome element of strategy to each round and keep games fresh; just like in the television series, houses can rise or fall quickly based on a few key decisions/moves and a combined force of multiple characters; we’re really excited for Game of Thrones season seven #GoTS7!


Let us know if you’ve played A Game of Thrones the card game or Living Card Games and which is your favorite!


your gaming sidekick


When we weren't gaming in May or June...

When we weren't gaming in May or June...

What’s new with us?

Wow – the last two months have been busy! First, thank you for support, ideas and feedback.

Along with a little gaming, most of our time has been sourcing and adding games, plus building our newest collections - Nostalgia, full of classic board games and Glamping, full of games perfect for a glamping trip or to take to the cottage. Watch for a full review of our glamping collection on the blog soon.

If you're looking for what's new and restocked you can find new arrivals posted regularly on our Facebook page. Over the summer we’re most excited to expand and play games from our Elementary Age family collection full of easy to learn and quick to play games. We also recently launched our Youtube channel with a short unboxing video of Guild Ball: Kick Off! A new Miniatures game Scott will be playing and painting!

A few of you have asked us about local pick up – so we’re now offering it if you’re in Toronto - and it means you get to meet us!

We love to hear from you in our social feeds too. We're so grateful to all our fans for following us and together we hit some amazing milestones. Just recently we crossed the 500 Twitter, 250 Instagram and 100 Facebook follower marks!


So what have we been playing?

Machi Koro – the card and dice based city building game from IDW. We’ve had it on a table a number of times with new players. It’s easy to learn, quick to play and the card artwork keeps the game light and fun. Winning is part luck with the randomness of the dice. Once you’ve played it, your own card strategy emerges to help mitigate the randomness. We’re planning to try out the 10 card variant rule too. We heard you can make it even more dynamic by playing this rule from the Harbour expansion (you don’t need the expansion, just apply the rule to your setup pf the game). If you’ve got Machi Koro, here are the Harbor Rules.

Playing Machi Koro #yourgamingsidekick #ironbeangames

Up next as our tabletop regular is A Game of Thrones the card game. We'll share our thoughts and lots of pics in the next few weeks.


Have a great long weekend and Happy Canada Day!




It's Free RPG Day 2017 - We've Got Games for you!!

It's Free RPG Day 2017 - We've Got Games for you!!

It’s Free RPG Day!!


Today is Free RPG Day, and it’s the 10th Anniversary!

What is Free RPG Day you ask? Free RPG (Role Playing Game) Day is similar to Free Comic Book Day – visit your local game store and they’ll likely have some free RPG swag and content for you. The day is meant to celebrate the hobby and offer great ways for newcomers to get introduced or veterans to try out new settings or systems.

How is Iron Bean Games participating? We know it can be tough to get into a store on a specific day, so we’ve curated a list of some amazing quickstart and adventure guides you can access online for free. From sci-fi to modern day to thematic cartoon, our list offers a fun RPG for everyone.

We’d love to hear what you think of these games and any other great finds we should share!

Happy Free RPG Day! Let die rolls be forever in your favor.



Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rule

Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft

The Great Old Ones ruled the earth aeons before the rise of humankind. Originally they came from the gulfs of space and were cast down by even greater beings. Remains of their cyclopean cities and forbidden knowledge can still be found on remote islands in the Pacific, buried amid the shifting sands of vast deserts, and in the frigid recesses of the polar extremes. Now they sleep — some deep within the enveloping earth and others beneath the eternal sea, in the drowned city of R'lyeh, preserved in the waters by the spells of mighty Cthulhu. When the stars are right they will rise, and once again walk this Earth.

Welcome to Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules, a booklet that collects the essential rules for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and presents them in abbreviated form. Use this booklet to play  Call of Cthulhu immediately, and to discover the improvements to the system. Games rules, an updated character sheet, and a classic adventure are included

Check out the main game here -



My Little Pony: Tales of Equestria – The Gift Horse Mini-Adventure and Pony Character Sheets

Mini-Adventure -

Pony Sheet -

My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria is a storytelling pen and paper game for 2 to 6 players. Players create and role-play as pony heroes who explore and seek adventure in the various lands of Equestria. Guided by a Game Master (GM), players adventure together and use the magic of friendship to overcome obstacles as they learn more about each other and the world around them.

The Gift Horse is a mini-adventure that has been written so a Game Master can use it as a scene within a main adventure or as a great way to kick off the introduction to the game. If you plan to take part in this adventure as a pony character pass the link on to your GM.

Check out the main game here -



Shadows Over Sol: Quick Start

Two hundred years from now what should be the shining beacon of the future is instead cloaked in conspiracy and horror. Humankind has expanded throughout the solar system, and there discovered mysteries older than humanity. The culture has shattered into myriad subcultures; nation-states are the hollow shells of what they once were. Corporations and other groups wage small-scale wars in the streets or in space. Bioengineered horrors left over from these conflicts stalk the hulls of ruined stations and abandoned colonies. But for an enterprising team willing to brave the horrors, there’s always a profit to be made.

The Shadows Over Sol: Quick-Start provides all the rules necessary for new players to dive into a science-fiction horror future. Features of the quick-start include:

  • A brief overview of the Shadows Over Sol setting.
  • Memories, a complete sci-fi horror scenario designed for a single evening’s play.
  • Four pre-generated player characters, including all stats and background information.
  • All of the game rules necessary to play the included scenario, as well as to give players a taste for the Saga Machine system.

Check out the main game here -





Plan our Summer Collections with us!

Plan our Summer Collections with us!

Summer is fast approaching. Warm evenings, later sunsets and inviting patios are hallmark traits of summer. They also create great opportunities for a game night! To celebrate the season we'll introduce some new collections in June. We'd love your feedback on games to include and even ideas on other collections we should consider. 

Here are our current working ideas. Share yours with us in the comments below!

The Glamping Collection - Games that are easily portable for a weekend away and easily accessible for any level of gamer. Ideas include Anomia, Codenames, Race for the Galaxy, Warehouse 51, maybe Catan?

The Nostalgia Collection - Games everyone knows and loves, Games played at lots of family tables and tucked away with love to be rediscovered. Ideas include Clue, Game of Life, Candyland, Snake and Ladders and Risk.

The Artistic Collection - Visually stunning games where boards and cards are works of art. Ideas include Lotus, Honshu, Kana Gawa and Lanterns

Let us know what other games we should add to these, or your great idea for another collection!



Small Shelf - Quick plays and a great entry point

Small Shelf - Quick plays and a great entry point

Read more →

Let us take you deeper into gaming!

Let us take you deeper into gaming!


Welcome to IRON BEAN Games. Thank you for visiting our store. 


Over the last few years board games have seen an amazing growth in the depth of title and styles available. Some of this stems from wanting to disconnect from the pervasive screens in our lives. It is also catalyzed by the accessibility of crowdfunding such as Kickstarter.

That's what got us so excited about sharing games with you!

We grew up playing Clue, Monopoly and Risk. Now young gamers can get introduced with junior versions of new classics like Catan, or easy to pick up games like Love Letter and Machi Koro.

Seasoned gamers and those getting back into it have access to an ever growing library of more imaginative games, games that introduce new mechanics and games that begin to blend genres.

Games like Arcadia Quest and Cry Havoc that introduce armies of miniatures onto the board. The play style and feel can be like a board game, with the experience of a miniature game. Players looking to make their experience truly unique can customize and paint the miniatures too, just as if they came out of a Warmachines or Guild Ball box.

It's not just board games that are evolving in this way. Fantasy Flight Games created a category - the Living Card Game with games such as Netrunner and Star Wars the card game. These are games with a base set and numerous expansion and add-on packs, just like other mainstream collectible or trading card games. With one key differentiator. Rather than buying blind packs to expand your deck or game, each pack is a fully contained universal expansion. Everyone who picks it up gets exactly the same cards. In this way, the collectible card game is transforming into a perfect blend of collectible card game and board game.

Our collections have been crafted with this feeling. We want to look at the game experience you're looking for, from great two players games that are easy to pick up, to deeply engaging board games with miniatures to games of nostalgia you want to share.

We plan to keep growing and evolving these collections and would love your input. Let us know your amazing idea for a collection and what games you'd like to see in ours. Comment below or send us a note directly.