The seven wonders of the Nerd Kingdom! What are they and where do we find them? My personal favorites may change from week to week, but I wanted to take a quick moment to spotlight some current highlights!
For some background into the list below, I count myself as a casual board game player, a lover of storytelling and art, a player of Pathfinder, and a novice hobby painter. My adventures in these realms have led me on forays to find lots of niche nerd knowledge, as well as inspiration and tools. The below list is just the beginning of what I have to share….
What it is. A quick to set up and easy transportable game for 2-4 players. Card-based, where each player takes on the role of the boss monster and “builds” a dungeon with cards from the deck, in hopes of eliminating pesky adventuring heroes. (Listen to our interview with the designer of Boss Monster.)
Why you might like it. I love this game as it can be learned quickly, is fairly fast-paced, there are many combinations and ways to build your dungeons and it has that bit of a quick twist, where you get to create devious and conniving traps! If I’m not mistaken – Boss Monster also has a few expansion packs now?
Editor’s Note: Yes, there are!
Where you can find it. Anyone interested should be able to pick this up at your FLGS, or a quick search online will lead you to the behemoth online store of Amazon.
What it is. Maybe I just have some nostalgia for this game, or maybe my taste is a bit unrefined. But I am not going to lie when I say Pictionary is one of my favorite board games.
Why you might like it. The premise hasn’t changed much over the years – Draw a card, read the word of the appropriate subject, and try to draw quickly and accurately enough that your teammates can guess what your archaic cave symbols mean. No verbal communication allowed – but just try and see if you can get through without flailing and gesturing wildly as encouragement.
Where you can find it. Pictionary is easy to find just about anywhere online – second hand used versions, eBay, Target, etc… you might struggle to find a copy at an FLGS, because it’s just that nerdy.
The Kingkiller Chronicles
What it is. The current series of books only amounts to two, out of a promised trilogy, but I still can’t find a reason to avoid picking this series up and starting them pronto! Patrick Rothfuss has a beautiful talent for weaving words together and painting a picture that just keeps expanding. Some of my favorite books.
Why you might like it. For those who love high fantasy, risk, struggle, far off lands, adventure, intrigue, and tangled relationships – give these books a try. When you’re left wanting more, you can pick up some of Rothfuss’ other works – The Slow Regard of Silent Things, or possibly his children’s book for adults, The Adventures of the Princes and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed.
Where you can find it. I am always a proponent of shopping at second-hand bookshops, so make an adventure of it and head out to a locally owned bookstore before going straight to an online seller. If you have to buy online, head to World Builders’ website: A non-profit started by Rothfuss, where the mission is to bring together the geek community to help fund “education, opportunity, and sustainable self-sufficiency for families and communities worldwide.”
What it is. Are you ready to play a beautiful game? Piggybacking off my above Rothfuss post, I would like to introduce Tak. A board game of simple proportions and pieces that originated from the storyline of The Kingkiller Chronicles.
Why you might like it. You can play on a standard board of squares laid out in a 5×5 grid, or upgrade and play off of even larger boards with more pieces. There is a beginning set of rules and also modifications to increase gameplay and strategy as you get comfortable. You use flat stone pieces and capstone pieces, the basic premise is to connect one side of the board to another and build a “road” before your opponent does. Simple in concept and simple in rules, but complex in strategy and the number of ways this game can play out.
Where you can find it. If you’re interested in buying this game, I would direct you to explore options from World Builders again!
(Read about an ancient Viking equivalent.)
What it is. Moving into a more technical vein, I thought I would share one of my favorite tools for mini painting. To get all the minute details just right on a small miniature figure, I use a free-standing magnifying lens with built-in LED light.
Why you might like it. It helps shine some light in all the right places and relieves eye strain so you can really craft a perfect expression on a tiny face. I am often working on minis in the evening, and a dining room overhead lamp doesn’t always provide the best quality light, so I turn to my trusty magnifying lamp to help out with the heavy lifting.
Where you can find it. These lamps can range from extremely inexpensive to ridiculously absurd, so I chose a middle ground and did some online ordering through Amazon for a model like this: Brighttech magnifying lamp.
What it is. Once you’ve got the final paint layers on your minis, you may feel like there is something missing. I know I sure did! At GenCon earlier this year, a fellow attendee turned me on to using Citadel’s Shades.
Being a new hobby painter, I am learning things all the time. Investing in Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil has been a game changer! (Our beginner’s guide to painting.)
Why you might like it. These two products help create more shadow, depth, and shading! A little goes a long way, but you are really able to add in some lowlights and make that mini look so realistic it can jump off the page. I felt that adding these to my paint toolkit was a huge help and would suggest to anyone just starting out on their journey into hobby painting.
Where to find it. Check your FLGS first, to see what is in their selection as far as hobby painting supplies. If they don’t carry these shades or Citadel brands, you can order online from these shops: Amazon, War Store Citadel Paints and Brushes or Games Workshop Citadel Shade Paints.
What it is. Last, but not least- once those minis are all dry you’re going to want to cart them with you from game to game- or just be able to store them until you’re ready to show them off. I’ve chosen to organize all my minis in a Feldherr Mini Case, for 32 standard minis.
Why you might like it. What I love about Feldherr are their multiple different options. They have cases ranging from storage for 16 minis, all the way up to backpacks designed for Warhammer aficionados who need to haul entire armies of minis from location to location. Their foam inserts can be purchased for monsters, tanks, minis, and more! Its high-density foam can withstand a lot of wear and tear and it’s overall great quality.
Where you can find it. You can browse and purchases a Feldherr case from their website or from Amazon.
There ya go, my top 7 nerdy wonders for this week! Some potentially a bit more high brow than others, but they all bring me joy. I hope you find a few things in this list that peak your interest!