Coffee Table Caverns

20 Dec

ctc11No longer are the dark bowels of the under-earth the exclusive haunt of poor graduate students who are forced to live in their parent’s basement. Now it is the realm of strategic battles, unearthly magic, and ghoulish fiends … Just make sure you clean it up by 7:00 … the Johnsons are coming over and we need the rec-room back!

Ages: 7+

Players: 2

Interesting features: a game of miniatures that even I can understand! The play is in the tactics, not measuring tapes, hundreds of pages of rules, and countless charts and tables. This game comes with several boards that can be mixed and matched BUT it can even be played out on a standard chess / checkers board!

Extras Needed: Some of those Little Fantasy Miniatures – plundered from another game or your local Roleplayer … or use the optional Cut-outs (Extra Parts) below. 1 or 2 Six-sided dice





Printing Suggestions: You can Enlarge the boards to 11×17 … but the 8.5X11 works just fine. Trim them up and they are ready to become your ever-changing Dungeon of Danger! The Cards are meant to be printed on a standard sheet of Business Cards. If you are using the included playing pieces for miniatures, cut them out and fold them in half. They stand up really well if you then place them in a small binder clip.

Designer’s Notes: You knew it would happen sooner or later … I ran out of little green army men.  With a board game designed around them they thought they were safe at last … but you’re never safe when you are that little and fun to mangle, mutilate and blow up!  As I gathered up the pieces of my final Table Top Trooper blood bath, consigning to the long dark the last legs and limbs of my valiant forces I wan’t yet willing to admit defeat.  Just because all my men were gone shouldn’t mean that the fun was over.  But what could I do?  No way my wife would let me near her collectable bear figurines.  So what now?  Then I had an idea … an awful  idea … then I got a wonderful, awful idea!  With a twinkle in my eye I said to myself “Now where did I put all those fantasy miniatures …”

3 Responses to “Coffee Table Caverns”

  1. Hamish Trolove August 20, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    Brilliant! I love what you have done with this game. I was just on Boardgamegeek looking for a place to put my own version of the same sort game. I found reference to the original Caverns game on the website. Here he described the game in very loose terms and I thought to myself “hmm sounds like fun. Let make up the rules to achieve the same sort of thing but embellish it in my own style.”

    I subsequently designed a game, made up characters and tiles, gameplay and such based on this loose description, and came up with a game that is vaguely similar but really very different. I have not yet posted up my game yet, but intend to do so in the next week (before the start of Sept 2010).

    I find it fascinating how people can come from a similar starting points and run with them in such different directions. Thanks for sharing your game.


  2. kenmaher August 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Thanks Hamish.

    I agree, it is so cool to see what new and different things everyone brings to the table – especially with the same starting point. (Check out Derek’s version of my Table Top Troopers Game – it’s great!)

    Please let us know when you post your game – maybe share the link with us? I would love to give it a try! I can’t wait to see what you came up with.

    All the best!

  3. Hamish Trolove August 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi Ken
    I’ve done it and it’s up on Here are the links. Feel free to rip into it, take and use what you like. It has had little play testing (and requires a large floor area) and so there is probably more balancing needed, and certainly a need for more quest ideas.

    Nettlebed Caverns



    have fun

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