Seven Days: The Scoop on Penny Press

Penny Press logo.Seven Days writer Keith Morrill interviewed local designers Matt Golec and Robert Dijkman Dulkes about their forthcoming game Penny Press:

Two Upper Valley residents have managed to make a name for themselves in this land of plastic and cardboard. Matt Golec is a 45-year-old stay-at-home dad from Norwich; Robert Dijkman Dulkes, also 45, is a computer programmer from Lebanon, N.H. Last summer, they were two amateur game designers hoping to share their labor of love with a wider audience. Now they sit on the eve of their big debut as pro designers.

Their game, Penny Press, puts players at the helm of competing newspapers during the era of yellow journalism. Players attempt to outmaneuver one another, get the scoop on hot stories and print a superior paper, angling to become the most successful news baron in turn-of-the-century New York City. It’s almost enough to make you don a fedora with a press card tucked into the ribbon.

Naturally, such an experience includes playing Penny Press at Green Mountain Gamers’ recent Fall-loha event. Check out the article for details on the game, its design process and where you can try it out yourself — hint: at A Fistful of Carnage next weekend!

Fall-loha Game Day on September 27th

An autumn leaf and the words Fall-loha 2014. Calling all tabletop gamers! Green Mountain Gamers announced their Burlington game day, Fall-loha, takes place on September 27th, at the Best Western Windjammer in South Burlington:

It’s time to say goodbye to summer and Aloha to fall! And what better way to do that than by playing games! So, bust out your favorite games and colorful cabana wear for a day of gaming.

Open play is the name of the game at Green Mountain Game Days. A huge pile of games materialize as people arrive. Then everyone gets to either push their favorite or try something that sounds interesting as it hits the table.

Our game days welcome ALL types of tabletop gaming. Want to play a board game? No problem! Want to run a RPG? Go right ahead. Want to play some minis? Sure! Want to play a CCG? Awesome!

Bring your own games or just show up to play. Join us for the entire day or just for a couple of hours. It is all good.

Green Mountain Gamers events are free and open to everyone. Donations to help cover the cost of space rental, etc. are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit the Green Mountain Gamers website.

Penny Press Designers on Carnagecast 52

Penny Press logo.

With the locally-designed board game Penny Press in the last stretch of raising funds to enhance the print edition, designers Matt Golec and Robert Dijkman Dulkes are making the rounds to get the word out to board game enthusiasts and potential backers. I was able to meet up with them last weekend at the Green Mountain Gamers’ Game ‘n Grill in Vergennes, where we took some time out from playing games to talk about playing games.

Check out Carnagecast 52, where Robert and Matt lay out how Penny Press plays, its journey from kernel of an idea to polished product and their experiences competing in the Tabletop Deathmatch design contest.

Penny Press Goes to Press with Tabletop Deathmatch Victory

Penny Press logo.We’ve been following the story of Penny Press, a board game designed by Upper Valleyians Matt Golec and Robert Dijkman Dulkes, since the designer’s diary series began posting on The designers submitted their work to the Tabletop Deathmatch competition, sponsored by Cards Against Humanity, in which judges whittle away contestants until one title remains. You can watch the web series chronicling the finalists on Youtube.

The final episode posted today, revealing that Penny Press, along with Discount Salmon, won Tabletop Deathmatch! Matt and Robert’s prize, beyond kudos, is the first print run is paid for! Timed to launch as the final episode went live, Penny Press‘s crowdfunding campaign has a modest goal, thanks to the prize money. After that, it’s all gravy and add-ons to make the product even better.

The funding campaign runs through July 10th. You can get a copy of the game at a discount, and contribute to making a better overall product that two local designers have put their hearts and minds into.

Penny Press Enters Tabletop Deathmatch

Penny Press logo.If you ever frequent the Upper Valley gaming scene — Carnage, MEGA Meltdown, Triple Play, Black Moon Games — you might glimps or try Penny Press, in which players vie to scoop news stories and create the best-selling newspapers of the 19th century. Robert Dijkman Dulkes and Matt Golec started with an idea for a board game over beers and steadily developed from there.

Last summer, Robert and Matt were invited to participate in Tabletop Deathmatch, a competition slash web series where game designers present their prototypes to a panel of game publishing professionals. This week, Penny Press‘ episode hit Youtube:

To learn more about the game’s development, check out the Penny Press Designer’s Diary, updating regularly over on

Bakuretsu Con Game Nights at the Brownell Library

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

Bakuretsu Con hosts a monthly game night at the Brownell Library in Essex Junction, starting June 10th. From the Facebook event listing:

Join us for a new Bakuretsu Con hosted event. The Bakuretsu Con Monthly Gaming Night! Come and play board games and card games. There will be plenty of games on hand or bring your own! This event is FREE to the public!

Bakuretsu has hosted anime- and gaming-centric conventions since 2002, when they came on the scene. Recently, they’ve begun sprinkling shorter events throughout the year, in addition to their big three day weekend anime convention in the fall. This latest event is wonderful news. Of late, Vermonters seem spoiled for choice when it comes to places and times to play tabletop games. That Bakuretsu’s partnered with a library is icing on the cake. When geekdoms align, wonderful things happen.

International Tabletop Day 2014 in Vermont

tabletopday2014_600x500International Tabletop Day 2014 is this Saturday. Founded by the team behind the web series Tabletop, in which Wil Wheaton and his friends show how much fun board games are to the denizens of Youtube. In addition to introducing cool games to new players, the show is a hoot. International Tabletop is a natural extension of the series’ “play more games” ethos, encouraging friends to get together for the day, as well as seeking out hosted events at local game stores, libraries and more to meet new folks and try new games.

In Vermont, we’ve got a few options already on the rolls, collected below for your convenience. If you’re not able to make it out to a public event, host your own Tabletop Day! The official website offers some free downloads to spruce up your event’s venue, including a printable trophy in honor of the one Wil bestows upon — and promptly takes away from — each episode’s winner.


Brap’s Magic offers a slate of scheduled games — Android: Netrunner, Dominion, Magic: the Gathering tourneys in particular — plus open gaming. They’ve also committed to being open for Tabletop Day from 12:01am to midnight.

Quarterstaff Games hosts two Tabletop Day events. At the store itself on Church Street, you’ll find open gaming. At the Holiday Inn on Williston Road, competitive Magic players can join in the fall 2015 pro tour qualifier and Star City Games invitational tournament.


Chaos in the Valley is a brand new tabletop convention, based at the Silas Griffith Inn in the southwest corner of Vermont. The innkeepers, gamers themselves, host a full weekend of tabletop fun at their establishment. Check their Facebook page to find out about registering in advance.


The Fairlee public library offers their own game collection plus snacks, and invites everyone to bring their own games to share as well.


The Winooski public library hosts tabletop gaming from 10am to 5pm on Saturday the 5th.

And that’s just what’s happening in Vermont. For details on events in neighboring states and nations — hi, Montreal! — visit Tabletop Day’s web site for a complete listing.

MEGA Meltdown Game Day

Settlers of Catan board.

The Settlers of Catan. Photo by gadl. CC BY-SA 2.0

Green Mountain Gamers host their annual Spring Meltdown game day, now MEGA-fied, on April 12th at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. The MEGA Meltdown runs from 9:00 in the morning to midnight on the 12th, giving tabletop enthusiasts from all over Vermont and beyond the opportunity to share their favorite games and try out some new ones. In addition to the usual potluck mix of games people bring, MEGA Meltdown offers the Play and Win library for the first time, populated with games donated by publishers, which will be raffled off to people who play them during the day. A silent auction of donated games and more will raise funds to be donated to the Vermont Foodbank, as well. To find out more about the MEGA Meltdown and the Green Mountain Gamers, you can visit their website. Also, vice president of the club, Alex Clay, recently appeared on Carnagecast to spread the good word.

Your gadabout tabletop correspondent will be there as well, so say hi!

Border Board Games Meets Saturday Night in Derby Line

1174904_10151844686886183_2123055729_nThe Northeast Kingdom’s monthly gamer gathering, Border Board Games, meets this Saturday, September 21st, at the Derby Line village hall, mere steps from Canada and the storied Pizzeria Steve:

Every 3rd Saturday of each month, we meet at the Derby Line Village Hall to play board games. We play games like the Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Dominion. Never heard of these? Don’t worry! Not many people have. They are games that involve a little bit of luck with a little bit of strategy and are super fun to play. If you enjoy Clue, Risk, Scrabble, Hearts or Spades, you’ll love these games. Or, if you are a SciFi/Fantasy fan, you will also love these games. We play board games not bored games.

No cost to attend this event. All you have to do is show up and be ready to play. We’ll bring the games and teach them to new players. Or, feel free to use the space to play any game you want to play.

You can RSVP on Facebook and contact the hosts for more information.

VT Open Game Day for Extra Life

Extra Life logo.Extra Life logo.Vermont gamers are teaming up to support Children’s Miracle Network hospital via the Extra Life charity. On November 2nd, the Platinum Squad hosts a 14 hour game day at the Arrowhead Senior Center in Milton, Vermont:

In addition to being able to donate online, Team Platinum Squad will be hosting an Open Game Day in Milton, VT where, for 14 hours, anyone is welcome to come and play some tabletop games with us: board games, card games, miniatures games and RPGs are all welcome! Along with our team playing some of our favorite games, other members of the local gaming community will be bringing out theirs as well. [ . . . ]

The Open Game Day is free and open to all! We only ask for a small $1 donation at the door which will directly go towards our efforts to reach our Extra Life team goal, though attendees are always welcome to donate more if they wish. We’ll also be holding a charity raffle during the event, loaded with gaming related prizes, donated by our sponsors and local area businesses! More information will be added in the upcoming weeks, so check back often for updates!

The day is sponsored in part by Brap’s Magic, the new game store in Burlington. If you want to donate to the Platinum Squad’s fund-raising efforts, check out their Extra Life page for more information, plus the chance to join in.