Day 1: Mice & Mystics

What would Christmas be without tiny anthropomorphic mice trying to save the kingdom from the clutches of an evil changeling queen?

Mice & Mystics is the original Jerry Hawthorne game, at this point I’ve played Stuffed Fables to completion, I’ve nearly finished Comanauts, I’m a fan of Jerry’s stories, but I’m not always a fan of his designs. Mice & Mystics is most easily described as “my first D&D”. It takes all those tropes from the world of roleplaying and ports them into a fantastical world, think Redwall, with talking mice and a troublesome cat. Taking on the roles of Collin, Tilda, Nez or Maginos you fight your way through a rat infested castle, dodging attacks from Old Crow or Brodie the Cat as you attempt to defeat the evil sorceress Vanestra and save the kingdom.

It’s a great story that unfortunately bogs down in mechanics a little more often than it should. Mice & Mystics uses a very simple system, on your turn you can move and take 1 action. So far so good. However things become more complicated when you take a look at the scenarios. Each tile introduces new rules, which adds to the thematics but also breaks up the flow of the game. In Jerry’s later titles you have the same thing, each new page of the story book brings new mechanics that drastically alter play, but because you are playing in the book the rules are right there on the page.

As well as scenario specific rules the game also has a series of exciting ite