Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

Other Road Episode 10: Live from GENCON

Posted on September 13th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Download the episode here.Major episode, Mitch and Sean are at GENCON in Indianapolis and 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of this great event. The guys explore the vendor hall and talk to some great folks.You also get to hear the thoughts of a GEN…

Interview with Cory Ring and Chris Ward of Cigar Box Battle

Posted on August 9th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

This past week, I had the honour of conducting an email interview with Cory Ring and Chris Ward of Cigar Box Battle regarding their current Kickstarter Campaign and their company in general


An Interview with the guys from Cigar Box Battle Mats

Now, this Kickstarter is one that I have been excited about for a while. I really enjoy using their mats and have wrote about the company in a number of articles in the past. My most recent articles about them include one about my excitement for the Campaign and an actual Review of the Kickstarter Product

In this post, we step back from looking at the actual product and instead have a discussion with the people behind the company.

The Interview

How did your company start and how big is your company? How long has your company been in business?
[Cory] We are a very small company. It’s just me, Chris and a few vendors that we work with. We both have full time jobs, and families so CBB is a part-time hobby business. We started CBB as a way to fund our own hobby three years ago and haven’t looked back since! It’s fun being involved with the hobby on the business side and we’ve made a lot of friends along the way.

Why the name Cigar Box Battle? 

[Cory] In high school and college I didn’t have enough money to purchase “proper” storage for my miniatures. There was a Cigar Shop near my house that would put their old boxes outside the shop for anyone to take and I thought that they made great storage boxes for my miniatures. I still have many of my miniatures in cigar boxes today! I started a blog called “Cigar Box Heroes” to show pictures of my gaming projects and Cigar Box Battle evolved from that blog. 

How did you come up with the idea of plush Battle Mats? 

[Cory] We always liked the 3D effect of teddy bear fur, but we didn’t like the thought of trimming, combing and painting them, so you might say that Plush mats are our simple answer to that. ! We try to keep things simple and keep the focus on the games we play, and not spending valuable time building terrain boards and shaving and painting teddy bear fur mats! We also released circular terrain mats to fit our patio tables and the typical round tables you find at hotels and conventions. We try to be innovative and help gamers find convenient gaming terrain solutions.

I noticed that your Mats have numbers to them. How are those numbers generated? Is there an interesting story there? 

[Cory] No, I come from a retail management & business background and we both like to keep things neat and organized so we assign a SKU number to every product! Many of the mats are categorized with like codes. An example of this are our licensed “Across A Deadly Field” mats with codes #221, #222, #223, etc., but some are just random codes assigned in the order that the mats were designed.

Your Mats are beautiful, who comes up with the designs? Is there a process for designing the illustrations? 

[Cory] Chris and I discuss all designs based upon what we would like to game with and what we think others might enjoy. Chris is the creative force behind CBB and is responsible for the overall look and design of all of our mats. 

Why did you go with illustrations on the maps rather than photographs or photo-realistic images of the historical battlegrounds? 

[Cory] We wanted something that would stand out, be different and help us create our own iconic style and brand. Chris is a talented designer that had a vision of what the mats should look like and he just ran with it! We took a risk with our artistic style and we knew that everybody wouldn’t like it, but we felt that the designs were colorful, bold and that miniature games would look great played on the mats. We have had a lot of positive  customer feedback over the years and we feel that we absolutely made the right call.

[Chris] We considered photo-realistic images (and a few of our designs ARE photo-realistic), but came to realize that we don’t use photo-realistic miniatures. We use painted miniatures and so preferred a painted landscape. It fits with what we do in our hobby.

How do you select what Mats to make and what designs to make? 

[Cory] We design all mats based upon what we would want to game with, but we also look at market trends and games that are popular. Gamers love playing new periods and scales and we want to be able to cover all of their terrain mat needs! We also look at future releases from companies that we partner with, like Osprey and North Star.

Do you two play miniatures games? What games do you play the most? 
[Cory] We do! We play a lot rules, but I would say my “go to” favorite periods and rules are: 15mm and 28mm  ACW (Johnny Reb), 28mm War of the Roses (Tactica), 15mm SYW (homegrown), 28mm Boer War (Sword and the Flame), 28mm Frostgrave, 15mm and 28mm Napoleoincs (Napoleon’s Battles, General du Armee), and 15mm Flames of War / TANKs. I also enjoy the occasional RPG or boardgame (Axis and Allies, Warhammer Quest, Talisman, Blue Max, Space Hulk, X-Wing, Avalon Hill, etc.

What are your personal favourite Mats of your line? Why? 


[Cory] I like the Nashville mat #123. We are based in Nashville of course so its like our “trademark” mat, and I enjoy studying the Battle of Nashville and the ACW. However, I also think that is artistically one of best looking 15mm mats, and it’s generic enough to use for many periods. In 28mm my favorite mat is Europe 1 (102B). It’s just a great mat to quickly throw down, add some buildings and tress and figures and start playing. 

[Chris] My favorite mat: #240 Mixed Ground – it just makes a battlefield come to life! 

What sort of other Mats do you hope to bring out as further stretch goals? Are there any specific ones that you want to speak about? 

[Cory] We have three stretch goals released now and we have at least a couple more locked and loaded to go! They will be sci-fi themed mats.


Thank you both very much for your time and answering my questions about your company and the Kickstarter Campaign.

Closing Thoughts

I would like to take a quick moment again to thank the guys from Cigar Box Battle for giving me the time to interview them for this article. I really enjoy their products and think that the mats help make excellent looking tables.
I was surprised to find out that they were around for just three years. I thought that they were around for longer. It is neat how they came up for their company name and I was expecting a bit of an interesting story about their numbering scheme for mats – but there was none. 
I love that Cory started a Blog to show off his models and that the business evolved from there. Who knows, perhaps some cool product might come out from Must Contain Minis in the future. :)
For those that haven’t checked out their Kickstarter, be sure to check it out. It is a great way to get two gaming surfaces for a discount off of their normal prices.
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Interview with Cory Ring and Chris Ward of Cigar Box Battle

Posted on August 9th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

This past week, I had the honour of conducting an email interview with Cory Ring and Chris Ward of Cigar Box Battle regarding their current Kickstarter Campaign and their company in general


An Interview with the guys from Cigar Box Battle Mats

Now, this Kickstarter is one that I have been excited about for a while. I really enjoy using their mats and have wrote about the company in a number of articles in the past. My most recent articles about them include one about my excitement for the Campaign and an actual Review of the Kickstarter Product

In this post, we step back from looking at the actual product and instead have a discussion with the people behind the company.

The Interview

How did your company start and how big is your company? How long has your company been in business?

[Cory] We are a very small company. It’s just me, Chris and a few vendors that we work with. We both have full time jobs, and families so CBB is a part-time hobby business. We started CBB as a way to fund our own hobby three years ago and haven’t looked back since! It’s fun being involved with the hobby on the business side and we’ve made a lot of friends along the way.

Why the name Cigar Box Battle? 

[Cory] In high school and college I didn’t have enough money to purchase “proper” storage for my miniatures. There was a Cigar Shop near my house that would put their old boxes outside the shop for anyone to take and I thought that they made great storage boxes for my miniatures. I still have many of my miniatures in cigar boxes today! I started a blog called “Cigar Box Heroes” to show pictures of my gaming projects and Cigar Box Battle evolved from that blog. 

How did you come up with the idea of plush Battle Mats? 


[Cory] We always liked the 3D effect of teddy bear fur, but we didn’t like the thought of trimming, combing and painting them, so you might say that Plush mats are our simple answer to that. ! We try to keep things simple and keep the focus on the games we play, and not spending valuable time building terrain boards and shaving and painting teddy bear fur mats! We also released circular terrain mats to fit our patio tables and the typical round tables you find at hotels and conventions. We try to be innovative and help gamers find convenient gaming terrain solutions.

I noticed that your Mats have numbers to them. How are those numbers generated? Is there an interesting story there? 

[Cory] No, I come from a retail management & business background and we both like to keep things neat and organized so we assign a SKU number to every product! Many of the mats are categorized with like codes. An example of this are our licensed “Across A Deadly Field” mats with codes #221, #222, #223, etc., but some are just random codes assigned in the order that the mats were designed.

Your Mats are beautiful, who comes up with the designs? Is there a process for designing the illustrations? 

[Cory] Chris and I discuss all designs based upon what we would like to game with and what we think others might enjoy. Chris is the creative force behind CBB and is responsible for the overall look and design of all of our mats. 

Why did you go with illustrations on the maps rather than photographs or photo-realistic images of the historical battlegrounds? 


[Cory] We wanted something that would stand out, be different and help us create our own iconic style and brand. Chris is a talented designer that had a vision of what the mats should look like and he just ran with it! We took a risk with our artistic style and we knew that everybody wouldn’t like it, but we felt that the designs were colorful, bold and that miniature games would look great played on the mats. We have had a lot of positive  customer feedback over the years and we feel that we absolutely made the right call.

[Chris] We considered photo-realistic images (and a few of our designs ARE photo-realistic), but came to realize that we don’t use photo-realistic miniatures. We use painted miniatures and so preferred a painted landscape. It fits with what we do in our hobby.

How do you select what Mats to make and what designs to make? 

[Cory] We design all mats based upon what we would want to game with, but we also look at market trends and games that are popular. Gamers love playing new periods and scales and we want to be able to cover all of their terrain mat needs! We also look at future releases from companies that we partner with, like Osprey and North Star.

Do you two play miniatures games? What games do you play the most? 

[Cory] We do! We play a lot rules, but I would say my “go to” favorite periods and rules are: 15mm and 28mm  ACW (Johnny Reb), 28mm War of the Roses (Tactica), 15mm SYW (homegrown), 28mm Boer War (Sword and the Flame), 28mm Frostgrave, 15mm and 28mm Napoleoincs (Napoleon’s Battles, General du Armee), and 15mm Flames of War / TANKs. I also enjoy the occasional RPG or boardgame (Axis and Allies, Warhammer Quest, Talisman, Blue Max, Space Hulk, X-Wing, Avalon Hill, etc.

What are your personal favourite Mats of your line? Why? 

[Cory] I like the Nashville mat #123. We are based in Nashville of course so its like our “trademark” mat, and I enjoy studying the Battle of Nashville and the ACW. However, I also think that is artistically one of best looking 15mm mats, and it’s generic enough to use for many periods. In 28mm my favorite mat is Europe 1 (102B). It’s just a great mat to quickly throw down, add some buildings and tress and figures and start playing. 

[Chris] My favorite mat: #240 Mixed Ground – it just makes a battlefield come to life! 


What sort of other Mats do you hope to bring out as further stretch goals? Are there any specific ones that you want to speak about? 

[Cory] We have three stitch goals released now and we have at least a couple more locked and loaded to go! They will be sci-fi themed mats.


Thank you both very much for your time and answering my questions about your company and the Kickstarter Campaign.

Closing Thoughts

I would like to take a quick moment again to thank the guys from Cigar Box Battle for giving me the time to interview them for this article. I really enjoy their products and think that the mats help make excellent looking tables.
I was surprised to find out that they were around for just three years. I thought that they were around for longer. It is neat how they came up for their company name and I was expecting a bit of an interesting story about their numbering scheme for mats – but there was none. 
I love that Cory started a Blog to show off his models and that the business evolved from there. Who knows, perhaps some cool product might come out from Must Contain Minis in the future. :)
For those that haven’t checked out their Kickstarter, be sure to check it out. It is a great way to get two gaming surfaces for a discount off of their normal prices.
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Interview with Mike Tunez of Firelock Games (Blood & Plunder)

Posted on July 7th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

We at Must Contain Minis have been watching Firelock Game’s Blood and Plunder Kickstarter (No Peace Beyond the Line) with a great deal of interest. In fact, I just made my Captain level pledge and look forward to owning the new goodies next year when the rewards are mailed out.

Blood & Plunder

Recently, Mike Tunez (the creator of Blood & Plunder) was kind enough to grant an interview with Must Contain Minis. Below are the questions and answers from that interview.

The Interview

I love that Blood & Plunder is a historical based game, but can you tell us why you decided to go the route of History rather than Fantasy?

The primary reason is that the reality is truly stranger than fiction in this case and we found the history of it fascinating! I’m personally amazed it doesn’t get more attention.

The Blood and Plunder Rulebook had a number of pages dedicated to outlining the history of the game’s setting. Can we expect the same from “No Peace Beyond the Line?” If so, how will it expand on what is already in the core book?

Definitely! Expect a lot more historical figures and factions to make an appearance and their stories along with them. It will also feature an expanded timeline. 

The Kickstarter Rewards so far are all very exciting in the “No Peace Beyond the Line” campaign. My favourites so far are the Canoa and Civilians. Can you give us any teases of what else we might be able to expect as the campaign goes forward?

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say there are some new dice I’m excited about!

How many models might the Canoa hold?

It will hold at least 8. It’s still a work in progress though so that number can change.

Any chance to get some sneak peaks on the stats of the new ships or units?

Everything is still being tested so it’s all subject to change but I’ll share one from each category: Enter Ploeg (Dutch Boarding Party) – 6 Points, Veterans. Armed with Braces of Pistols, Standard Melee Weapons and 1 out of 4 may have a Blunderbuss sidearm and Explosives. Fight 5/6, Shoot 7/6, Resolve 4. Special rules include Expert Sailors, Expert Artillery Crew and Battle Hardened. Piragua – 7 points, Top Speed 5”, Windward -3”, Turn 5”, Draft -, Size 1. Fortitude 3, Integrity 4. Sail Settings 5/2/0/A. Can carry 4 swivels. Traits include Sweeps: 4 and Low Profile.

Some of the Veteran players that I talked to are worried that this game might see some power creep in the new book versus the last book. Is this an issue that people should worry about? How do the Dutch and Natives balance versus the existing Nations?
Power creep is something I’ve seen do a lot of damage to games that I have been fond of. So it’s definitely on my mind as I go about designing units. We still have months of testing ahead of us but we are getting a very significant number of play test games in to look for this very thing. So far our points formula is holding up nicely. I am confident that power creep will not be an issue with the new units and factions we are developing for this expansion. 

What sort of Additions can players expect to see for Land Battles in this book?

New events that are geared specifically for land battles and specific location types. Cavalry, European regulars and field guns will definitely give land forces more flavor and options. Larger battle rules will add a new dimension to both land and sea battles as well. 

Can you give any teasers about the Campaign system and what to expect there?

Not a lot I can share on this right now, but I will say that any type of force, with or without a ship, can participate. There may end up being two different campaign types in the book as well…

I noticed in the core book that there are rules for pikes, but no units have pikes yet. Might you be releasing some pike units in the future?

Militia pikemen for all European nationalities will be present in the book. They will mostly be support units as they were rare, if present on the field at all, in most militias. They will be armed with lances by default as those where more common but will have the option to exchange those for true pikes.

Are there any painting guides out there for Blood and Plunder or suggestions on how to choose historically correct colours for the units?

This is something we have been trying to get off the ground and will hopefully see the light of day soon! For now I can say that the painted minis we feature are your best guide.

In particular, I notice that the French Flibustiers on Firelock Games’ Website (and in the rulebook) are mostly clothed in blue and red uniforms. Would it be incorrect to paint them with a different colour scheme? Are there any suggested alternative colour schemes that would also be historically accurate?

Uniforms is definitely the wrong term for these guys! Those would have been popular choice, but you can’t really go too wrong painting any model in our range whatever color you want. You may want to avoid rare colors for the period such as pink, purple or orange though.

Can players that missed the First Campaign pick up existing Blood and Plunder products at a discount over retail prices through this Kickstarter?

Yes they can! Those items will ship along with the regular rewards.

I would like to thank you again for your time. We are really enjoying your Kickstarter and can’t wait to see what else is in store for this beautiful game.

Closing Thoughts

Above are some fairly interesting tidbits about No Peace Beyond the Line. I especially like that Mike gave out some potential statistics for the game. I was wondering how the Piragua, Canoa and Dutch all lined up into the game.

Having conducted this interview, I think I might be switching the nationality of the figures in my pledge and going forward with picking up a Piragua and Canoa. Hopefully the guys at Firelock Games don’t mind me saying, but when I make purchases, I like to ask myself what other games can I also use those figures with. I already have plans of using the Piragua and Canoas for Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and Flint and Feather.

Of course, all of these items will also be used to play Blood & Plunder when I receive my pledge. I think it is going to be a lot of fun running a couple of Canoas and a Piragua against a Sloop to see which side would win. I am also looking forward to seeing the expanded land rules and new units in the game.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Interview with Mike Tunez of Firelock Games (Blood & Plunder)

Posted on July 7th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

We at Must Contain Minis have been watching Firelock Game’s Blood and Plunder Kickstarter (No Peace Beyond the Line) with a great deal of interest. In fact, I just made my Captain level pledge and look forward to owning the new goodies next year when the rewards are mailed out.

Blood & Plunder

Recently, Mike Tunez (the creator of Blood & Plunder) was kind enough to grant an interview with Must Contain Minis. Below are the questions and answers from that interview.

The Interview

I love that Blood & Plunder is a historical based game, but can you tell us why you decided to go the route of History rather than Fantasy?

The primary reason is that the reality is truly stranger than fiction in this case and we found the history of it fascinating! I’m personally amazed it doesn’t get more attention.

The Blood and Plunder Rulebook had a number of pages dedicated to outlining the history of the game’s setting. Can we expect the same from “No Peace Beyond the Line?” If so, how will it expand on what is already in the core book?

Definitely! Expect a lot more historical figures and factions to make an appearance and their stories along with them. It will also feature an expanded timeline. 

The Kickstarter Rewards so far are all very exciting in the “No Peace Beyond the Line” campaign. My favourites so far are the Canoa and Civilians. Can you give us any teases of what else we might be able to expect as the campaign goes forward?

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say there are some new dice I’m excited about!

How many models might the Canoa hold?

It will hold at least 8. It’s still a work in progress though so that number can change.

Any chance to get some sneak peaks on the stats of the new ships or units?

Everything is still being tested so it’s all subject to change but I’ll share one from each category: Enter Ploeg (Dutch Boarding Party) – 6 Points, Veterans. Armed with Braces of Pistols, Standard Melee Weapons and 1 out of 4 may have a Blunderbuss sidearm and Explosives. Fight 5/6, Shoot 7/6, Resolve 4. Special rules include Expert Sailors, Expert Artillery Crew and Battle Hardened. Piragua – 7 points, Top Speed 5”, Windward -3”, Turn 5”, Draft -, Size 1. Fortitude 3, Integrity 4. Sail Settings 5/2/0/A. Can carry 4 swivels. Traits include Sweeps: 4 and Low Profile.

Some of the Veteran players that I talked to are worried that this game might see some power creep in the new book versus the last book. Is this an issue that people should worry about? How do the Dutch and Natives balance versus the existing Nations?
Power creep is something I’ve seen do a lot of damage to games that I have been fond of. So it’s definitely on my mind as I go about designing units. We still have months of testing ahead of us but we are getting a very significant number of play test games in to look for this very thing. So far our points formula is holding up nicely. I am confident that power creep will not be an issue with the new units and factions we are developing for this expansion. 

What sort of Additions can players expect to see for Land Battles in this book?

New events that are geared specifically for land battles and specific location types. Cavalry, European regulars and field guns will definitely give land forces more flavor and options. Larger battle rules will add a new dimension to both land and sea battles as well. 

Can you give any teasers about the Campaign system and what to expect there?

Not a lot I can share on this right now, but I will say that any type of force, with or without a ship, can participate. There may end up being two different campaign types in the book as well…

I noticed in the core book that there are rules for pikes, but no units have pikes yet. Might you be releasing some pike units in the future?

Militia pikemen for all European nationalities will be present in the book. They will mostly be support units as they were rare, if present on the field at all, in most militias. They will be armed with lances by default as those where more common but will have the option to exchange those for true pikes.

Are there any painting guides out there for Blood and Plunder or suggestions on how to choose historically correct colours for the units?

This is something we have been trying to get off the ground and will hopefully see the light of day soon! For now I can say that the painted minis we feature are your best guide.

In particular, I notice that the French Flibustiers on Firelock Games’ Website (and in the rulebook) are mostly clothed in blue and red uniforms. Would it be incorrect to paint them with a different colour scheme? Are there any suggested alternative colour schemes that would also be historically accurate?

Uniforms is definitely the wrong term for these guys! Those would have been popular choice, but you can’t really go too wrong painting any model in our range whatever color you want. You may want to avoid rare colors for the period such as pink, purple or orange though.

Can players that missed the First Campaign pick up existing Blood and Plunder products at a discount over retail prices through this Kickstarter?

Yes they can! Those items will ship along with the regular rewards.

I would like to thank you again for your time. We are really enjoying your Kickstarter and can’t wait to see what else is in store for this beautiful game.

Closing Thoughts

Above are some fairly interesting tidbits about No Peace Beyond the Line. I especially like that Mike gave out some potential statistics for the game. I was wondering how the Piragua, Canoa and Dutch all lined up into the game.

Having conducted this interview, I think I might be switching the nationality of the figures in my pledge and going forward with picking up a Piragua and Canoa. Hopefully the guys at Firelock Games don’t mind me saying, but when I make purchases, I like to ask myself what other games can I also use those figures with. I already have plans of using the Piragua and Canoas for Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and Flint and Feather.

Of course, all of these items will also be used to play Blood & Plunder when I receive my pledge. I think it is going to be a lot of fun running a couple of Canoas and a Piragua against a Sloop to see which side would win. I am also looking forward to seeing the expanded land rules and new units in the game.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!