Puppet Wars Unstitched

Claim precious work benches, tear the stuffing out of your enemies, and sew on bits and pieces of your fallen comrades!

New themes are hard to come by in the world of board and miniatures gaming these days, so it’s refreshing to something a bit different behind Puppet Wars Unstitched, a miniatures board game from Wyrd Miniatures, makers of Malifaux. Instead of space marines and zombies going at it across a ravaged post-apocalyptic wasteland, you control bizarre little animated puppets fighting each other across the floor of an isolated witch’s cottage, trying to claim work benches as bases. A wound is a ‘rip’, and you tear rip bits off other puppets to stitch onto your own puppets to make them more effective. Another unique thing about this game is that instead of dice, players use a deck of cards to power their little forces, matching card values and suits to send them into battle.

I’ve only played a couple of games but they’ve been great fun. The cards seem to give you lots of choice, but actually they cleverly restrict your options with a mix of push-your-luck (draw a card and hope you’ll win) and card management (I’ve saved this good card for this big attack). The production quality is good, with 44 hard plastic miniatures that, while fiddly to put together, look great and have lots of Tim Burtonesque character. There’s a colourful, solid board to play on and a couple of decks of nice cards. A few things let the side down a bit however: some thin counters (I’m sure I’ll quickly replace them with some form of token), cheap-looking unit cards that could be better designed, inconsistent iconography and—personally—I find the artwork somewhat dinky. Still, the characterful miniatures more than make up for these flaws.

By the way, if you’re painting these puppets, be sure to check out this issue of the Wyrd Miniatures magazine for extensive tips.

Talking about those reference cards, I couldn’t take them any longer, so redesigned them, using photographs of my own collection of miniatures. For minis that come in multiples, I gave them small painting variations and separate cards depicting those variations; of course your paint jobs will be different, but you may find these cards useful in any case.

Update Log

Rules Summary & Reference

Date Version Changelog
Sep 2021 1.1 (cards) Fixed misplaced icon on Lady Justice card
Jun 2014 1.1 (summary) Black Joker value error fixed
Jun 2014 1 Original release

Reference Cards

Date Version Changelog
Feb 2017 1 Original release


  • Paul d says:

    Hello there EoG

    Once again, excellent work on the summary, and I hate to do this but having played PWU through with the rules and the summary thru last night I *think* we might have spotted a bit of errata.

    In the EoG summary under SETUP section when citing the Black Joker value: the summary states that the “Black joker has a value of 14 and no suit in all other circumstances”.

    The official rulebook states on p8 and on the summary page that the Black Joker has a value of 0 and no suit.

    Hope this helps and sorry for being picky!

    Your summaries always a godsend though thank you so much

    Paul d

    • Universal Head says:

      Not at all mate, I rely on people who use the sheets to inform me if there are any those errors which, despite my best efforts, sometimes get through. Hence the version numbers! I’ll fix this tomorrow.

  • Wurmwood says:

    These are great! I know 8 years is a long time to actually expect a response, but if you’re amenable to the idea, I’d love to get hold of the template you used to make your cards, so I could add my own model pics and make cards for some house ruled Puppets. Thanks!

    • Oh I respond to everyone on my website! 🙂

      I’d love to help, but hard experience over 10 years has forced me to just adopt a blanket policy of not providing templates. You’d be surprised the difficulties providing such files to people can cause. There are many, but one issue is that I carefully avoid any suggestion of copyright infringement. I walk a fine line with publishers as it is, and it’s very important that I can demonstrate that my work has been ‘contained’ to what I upload to my site and Boardgamegeek. It just needs one over-zealous lawyer to shut down the EOG and spoil the fun for everyone.

      You’re welcome to copy the design yourself – in fact, make any improvements you like! But I can’t give people templates.

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