“A Study in Emerald” A new Martin Wallace Game!

Study in Emerald‘A Study in Emerald’ is a board game inspired by the Neil Gaiman story of the same name. The premise is simple, the year is 1881 and the ‘Old Ones’ have been ruling the earth for over seven hundred years. Although most of humanity has accepted these monstrous rulers, there is a growing underground movement to overthrow the regime, labeled the Restorationists. A secret war is being fought around the cities of the Europe and the New World between agents of the Restorationists and those loyal to the powers that be.

The award winning short story combines the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and H.P Lovecraft. The board game has gone one step further to bring in real historical figures to flesh out this alternate reality, allowing players to examine an interesting ‘what-if’ situation.

At the beginning of the game you are assigned a secret identity, which will either be that of a Restorationist or a Loyalist. Your identity matters as it determines what you need to do to achieve victory.

There is a deck-building component to the game. You start with a deck of ten cards and you add to this set as the game goes on. There are twelve decks of cards on the board, one in each city. You can gain these cards through the use of influence cubes, in what is in effect a bidding system. As an action you can place influence cubes on a card that you would like to draft. If at the beginning of your next turn you have the most influence on that card then you can choose to claim it and place it on your discard pile. You can also use influence to gain control of cities, which will earn your victory points as well as the benefits on the City card.

Many of the cards that are available to draft are agents. When you draft one of these cards you also take control of the agent counter, which remains on the board. Agents have a range of uses, from acting as additional influence to allowing you to assassinate ‘royal’ persons or other agents.

The 1880s was a period of political unrest, with anarchist factions turning to violence as a means of achieving their ends. It is no different in this game, problems are generally solved with dynamite. The Restorationists wish to assassinate their nightmare rulers, while Loyalist’s hunt them down and try to kill them in turn.

Another aim of the Restorationists is revolution. If they can convince the people to rise up and attack their masters then the world, possibly, can be set to rights. The Loyalists also have an agenda, which is to engineer a world war. By doing so they will create enough madness to feed their masters, giving them the strength to bring more of their kind to Earth from the terrible dimensions in which they reside.

There are many directions a player can take in this game, some of which will be determined by the cards that are available. As some cards are removed from the set at the beginning of the game and the rest are arranged in random piles then no two games will be exactly the same. The cards allow for the appearance of zombies and vampires (the inclusion of both can be justified, as will be stated in the player notes). You can employ the services of the Russian secret police, otherwise known as the Okhrana, to harass your opponents, or call on the Old Ones themselves to appear. You must be careful, though, when dealing with such terrible forces as your sanity will be tested to its limit.

To win the game it helps to know the identities of your fellow players. When the game ends all players reveal their identities. If it is a four-player game then each side (Restorationist and Loyalist) totals their points and the side with the lower score is eliminated. If there is an odd number of players then the side which has lowest scoring individual player is eliminated. The remaining player with the highest score is then declared the victor. Thus you have to be careful to end the game when you are assured of victory. It will do you no good if you are ahead on points while another player languishes in last place, as he will bring you down with him.

‘A Study in Emerald’ is designed for two to five players and should take around two hours to play.

A Study In Emerald


Print and Play Components

The artwork is currently being prepared. Feel free to download and look at the play-test files so you can get an idea of how to play the game. (Right-click or control-click to download the files)

Game Overview Slideshow

Click on an image to view the slideshow

A Study in Emerald - Game Overview 1  Setting up the game Playing the Game The Actions

The Actions The Actions The Actions The Actions

The Rules (pdf file 1MB)

The Map (jpeg file 2.MB)
A Study in Emerald Map


Agent Cards (zip file 4MB)
Agent Cards


City Cards (zip file 2.6MB)
City Cards


Game Cards (zip file 8MB)
Game Cards


Initial Cards (zip file 1.3 MB)
Initial Cards


Agent Counters (zip file 2.7MB)
A Study in Emerald Counters


Double Agent Counters (zip file 2.7MB)
Double Agent Counters


Sanity Counters (zip file 2.7MB)
Sanity Counters


Zombie & Hide Royalty Counters (pdf 1.4MB)
Zombie Hide Royalty Counters

Treefrog Games - Board Games by Martin Wallace

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Zpocalypse (Video Review)


Zpocalypse is a survival board game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Two to four players start in a basement/fallout shelter which can lead out to several base locations or even through the tunnels to sewer grates throughout the transformable board. The survivors are trying to make it day to day in a world torn apart from the walking dead.

As in any survival game, one needs food, guns, ammo, and more. Players go out into the wasteland and scavenge for supplies, or perhaps to find a new gun or melee weapon to fend off the next zombie attack. In addition to gathering supplies, each player forms and controls his own squad – and each squad works to fortify the bases. Your walls and barbed wire won’t hold the dead for long, however, and they’re getting hungry.

Characters receive victory points for killing zombies, building defenses, and successfully completing goals. Victory points show who is soldiering on the best in this wasteland. The final tally of points determines the winner. Victory points also act as experience points for leveling up a character.

The game combines combat, tactics, resource collecting, character development, team play, and strategy towards the goal of surviving in the Zpocalypse!

~Green Brier Games

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Clash Of Cultures (Video Review)




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Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews

Transform a meager settlement into a mighty empire whose culture will be your greatest achievement!

To accomplish this, you will have to invent new technologies, build grand cities, and spread the influence of your culture across your enemies borders. You will need to explore the lands and seas, and conquer foreign cities and barbarian settlements.

With 12 Advance categories, including various government types, a modular game board, superb city-pieces, and more, Clash of Cultures offers a myriad of experiences to accomplish your ultimate goal: be the one ruling culture, the one that will be remembered and admired for thousands of years.

Will you be the leader of this great culture?

Clash Of Cultures is a civilization building game for 2-4 players ages 14+ with an average play time of 150-180 minutes.

Components Breakdown – 1:58
How To Play – 9:42
Sample Game – 29:30
Family Friendliness – 52:59
Final Verdict – 57:15

Remember if you like what you see be sure to tell someone!

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