Assorted Meeples is the brainchild of a group of gaming friends and self-proclaimed amateurs (at YouTube & Twitch – not gaming) who always looked forward to an every other week & “special occasion” board game night that they thought needed to be made into something more.
Shane “Corrupt Overlord” Dayton
Nicknames: Corrupt Overlord, The Threat, Entertaining Monster
A trouble maker through and through, Shane loves in-depth strategy games, video games with awesome stories from independent designers, and is all about finding the awesome things no one else has seemed to discover yet.
Starting the designation of “weird” from early on, he started playing chess at the age of five, beat the original Final Fantasy as a kid when it came out, and somehow was in his mid-30’s before playing Settlers of Catan or Lords of Waterdeep.
And he still hasn’t played Chrono Trigger. Early to the party on some platforms, hasn’t even received the 20 year old invitation to others.
Shane is the utter nemesis of Braden, who knows when Shane is left completely unchecked, despite his incredibly bad luck, he becomes a very dangerous player in most games.
On those rare occasions he is left to his own devices, his hilariously bad luck sometimes gets in the way by smashing through the line of mathematical impossibility. Entertaining beyond belief, for sure.
He also has a ridiculous number of adventures with the stuffed Teddy Bear, Brownie, often re-creating famous movie scenes in parody fashion.
Shane’s gaming writing has been featured in major gaming publications like Level Skip and Hobby Lark.
“I mean he’s absolutely a monster, but he’s an entertaining monster.”-Chat, contemplating Shane’s humanity (or lack thereof)
Favorite Board Games: Settlers of Catan, Lords of Waterdeep, Stone Age, Dead of Winter
Favorite Old School Games: Final Fantasy 6, the original Command & Conquer series, Medieval Total War II
Best Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy 6, though Tactics doesn’t get mentioned enough and Final Fantasy X was a much better game then it gets credit for.
Wild Card: Never lived at one specific street address for more than 12 months until he was 28. Then refused to do it again until 35. He likes to move/travel. Also, has a fictional book published on Amazon from his Alaska years: My Brother’s Keeper
Interest/Hobbies: Travel, Reading, travel, writing, travel, hiking, travel, gaming, and travel
Braden “The Business” Gardner
Nicknames: The Machine That Will Crush Us All, The Threat, The Business
Board games, CCGs, video games, tabletop RPGs, you name the genre, and odds are Braden’s been honing his craft somewhere within for years. Master of the “Braden turn”, he’s willing to put a game on pause a little longer than average to contemplate the most strategic and surgically precise way to disrupt someone else’s plans while advancing his own within a game.
Braden often ends up with many nemeses in multiplayer games, but is frequently able to navigate these treacherous environments with table politics. Until the table decides they’re simply done dealing with his antics. Then he’ll bide his time waiting for the right time to bring himself back to power.
“Oh, I’ll remember that. It might not be today, but you will be paying for this slight. With interest.”-Braden, upon being done a perceived wrong in game.
Favorite Card/Board Games: Magic: The Gathering, Lords of Waterdeep, Century: Golem Edition, Sushi Go Party!
Favorite New Video Games: Destiny 2, Golf It!, Dungeon Defenders, Ultimate Chicken Horse
Favorite Old School Games: Perfect Dark, Wizards & Warriors, Gauntlet, The Guardian Legend, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, Lufia II
Best Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy 6 – no contest. I also strongly dislike Final Fantasy 7 for its weak storytelling and infuriating early gameplay.
Wild Card Favorite & Why: The Dresden Files book series. The first couple books are a little rough around the edges, but as you progress, Jim Butcher weaves an amazing tale that has continually left me wanting the next installment. And unlike George R.R. Martin, he’ll actually deliver it after a hiatus!
(Mike) “Callahan” Callahan
Nicknames: The Sneaky Threat, Front-Stabber, Old Man Callahan, The Great and Mighty Callahan (because he paid me to add that one)
The old man of the group (to Shane’s relief) Old Man Callahan is an avid gamer with plenty of strategic ability to throw a game into total and utter chaos.
He is big on a variety of strategy games, finds many types of trolling hilarious, and generally is always laughing and in good spirits with the group.
He was the wonderful individual who introduced us all to Lords of Waterdeep, as well.
“That’s not fair. I don’t just stab people in the back – I’ll stab you right in the front, too!”-Callahan himself
Favorite Board Games: Fate of the Elder Gods, Fury of Dracula, Lords of Waterdeep
Favorite Old School Games: Cyberpunk 2077!, Fallout 4
Best Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy 10. Perhaps to troll all the people who hate Tidus, or perhaps because he thinks it gets a bad rap. Openly admits: he doesn’t really like any of them.
Wild Card Favorite & Why: Classic Deadlands. Hands down in my mind, the best RPG ever.
Special Interests: Woodworking, 3D Printing, chemistry
Phil “Lucky Roller” Breja
Nicknames: Lucky F**k, Dice Monster, Pheeeeeeeeeil, Lucky Roller
Phil…Phil has a long history with the Dayton Brothers and was actually one of the best friends of Jon, Shane’s younger brother, since grade school. Though since Shane was friends with his oldest brother, and both were friends with the middle one, it’s like family.
Which is why they often hate each other so much in board games. Thirty year histories have plenty of salt in them.
Phil is an avid gamer currently designing several of his own board games.
He is also very handy with DIY projects and has made some impressive gaming shelves for his ever-growing collection as he attempts to single handedly float Kick Starter through all his many, many, MANY board game finances.
He’s also one of the luckiest SOBs with dice you have ever seen.
“Liar!”-Every single other player at the table when Phil claims not to have good luck.
Favorite Board Games: King of Tokyo, Settlers of Catan, Dice Throne, and games that require a combination of strategy and luck to be good at.
Favorite New Video Games: Stardew Valley, Minecraft
Favorite Old School Games: Mario Kart, Scotland Yard, Uno
Best Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy Tactics, followed by Final Fantasy 10
Wild Card Favorite & Why: Equilibrium is a fantastic movie that was, to borrow a term from Shane, criminally underrated. Equilibrium made The Matrix look like a poorly conceived notion.
Special Interests: Art of any kind, but especially wheel-thrown pottery and digital art, as well as board game design
Phil is also married with four kids, whom we often say good night to every Thursday on board game night. He got back into board games by designing one while also playing against a bunch of retired guys who played at a very high level in Settlers of Catan.
Honorary Member: Brownie
Co-Anchor extraordinare, viking raider of renown, lover of Doritos and sworn enemy of the Lemur who stole his girlfriend, Brownie was picked up by Shane’s godfather in the incredibly ancient year of AD 1980.
In that strange year hardships were known across the land as workers struggled against an unforgiving economy as two great empires faced off, using all others as pawns in an international chess game for domination across all the many lands and kingdoms.
That seemingly innoculous brown teddy bear was the gift from Ken of Chicago, life-long friend of Shane’s father, godfather to the boy, and that gifted brown bear became the most steady and constant of companions to the young lad throughout his adventurous life.
A very Calvin & Hobbes relationship started, and Brownie became “The French Fry Holder” as he perfectly held MacDonald’s French Fries for all the boys while traversing to the family elders across the rocky river lands known as eastern Iowa.
Since then Brownie has expanded his skills.
Living the college life twice, traveler across many states, and somehow picking up a broadcasting degree while no one was watching, he is now an honorary member of Assorted Meeples.
The viking thing is relatively new but it seems to fit so there you go.
You can see him in the occasional Long Form gameplay as well as a frequent background audience member or even active opening participant in the Unqualified Experts YouTube show.
“Your Co-Host is hilarious”Patron Evan, a fan of Brownie’s work in the announcing booth
Also this is very much an Easter Egg. $10 bragging rights to the first Assorted Meeple who notices Shane’s & Brownie’s shenanigans.
UPDATE: Only took 11 months, but PHIL wins. Callahan, Braden, hang your heads in shame.