Hello there, Jerry Hawthorne designer of Mice & Mystics here with a preview for you all. Today we decided to show some of the tiles included in the game. Starting in the top left and going clockwise, the four tiles we will be previewing today, are the Courtyard, Kitchens, Dining Hall, and Guardroom.
As many of you know, Mice & Mystics is played on a modular board that is created using a variety of ten-inch square tiles arranged in various ways to build the layout of the chapter being played. Each chapter has a different arrangement of tiles helping to make each chapter a unique experience. There are 8 tiles in the game, for a total of 16 different castle locations.
The tiles have no gridlines and very few symbols. The movement spaces are irregular in shape and size. Each space can hold up to four small figures. This all works to give the players an immersive experience as they play the role of a tiny mouse hero in a very big castle.
The tiles are two sided with one side showing part of the castle common areas and the other side showing tunnels, sewers, or pipe-works between the walls or under the floor of the castle common areas. During play the mice can use special “flip spaces” to move between the common areas and the mouse tunnels. When a mouse uses an explore action to on a flip space, the players literally flip the tile over and place the mice on the matching flip space on the other side. When the mice use a flip space, it changes the scale of the game, visually similar to how a movie zooms in and zooms out of the action. Think of the tunnels as the zoomed in shots, and the common areas as the wide shots.
I’m going to briefly describe each of the four tiles:
The Courtyard: The courtyard is an open area just outside the wall of the inner keep. A large tree grows here. The courtyard is patrolled by the Dastardly Old Crow who is ever on the lookout for small creatures. Living inside the tree is an entire city of field mice who subsist off of the treasures found through dangerous excursions into the castle. Using the flip space located near the hole in the wall, the mice will find themselves in the tunnel entrance. From there, they can adventure deeper into the castle.
The Kitchen: The kitchen, with its stores of food and cheese, is a destination for many mouse excursions. The kitchen is also the home of the fastidious Miz Maggie the castle cook. Until Miz Maggie knows that the heroes are her friends in mouse form, she will assume they are intruders and will attempt to smack them with her wet mop. The counter top is one large space known as a special area. The mice can climb to the counter top using the mop handle. The flip space is a loose tile in the floor. The mice can use this to access the tunnels below the kitchens.
The Dining Hall: With the heroes turned into mice, the castle is now taken over by Vanestra’s swarthy brutes. Vanestra commands transformational magic. She uses her magic to change rats into men, and men into rats. The dining hall is a popular area for these minions who like to eat, gamble, and fight. The dining table often has maps laid out as Captain Vurst likes to use this area to plan his military campaigns. Getting on the table requires climbing on the chair, and then onto the table. The flip space is a ripple in the area rug. Under the ripple is a mouse hole that leads to the tunnels.
The Guardroom: This is the first tile the mice will encounter when they start the story book. This area of the castle has dungeon cells to hold human sized prisoners. Mice sized prisoners can easily walk between the bars of the dungeon cells. Vanestra’s minions make horrible (and untidy) guards. There are discarded items strewn about and even a helmet on the floor. The helmet often provides Nez some scraps he can tinker into useful items for the mice. The flip space is the sewer grate in the middle of the floor. If the mice explore this space they can slip between the grates, and will find themselves dropping smack dab in the middle of the sewer and paddling for their lives.
So that is this week’s Mice & Mystics preview. Next time we will take a look at the other 4 castle common areas. As always, we love to hear from you right here in our new comments section. You can also email me at [email protected]