Granny Wars By Cheeky Parrot Games

Pledgeme projects

About Granny Wars

Project 2013-08-05 03:00:00 +1200

Do you have the balls… of wool ... to keep your Granny at the top of her game?

Or will you be needled and stitched up by the other players?

Granny Wars: A Game of Tit for Tat is a fast-playing card game for
2 to 8 players, age 7+.

Play Granny Wars - the game of secret identities - to find out if revenge is sweet or if you will be left with a pile of old tat.

The Victory cards contain a variety of Distractions (red, with negative values) and Helpers (green, with positive values). The Gold cards give you special Granny Powers (like Nana Nap) and usually contain points too.

Your grandmother has always won ribbons at the annual town fair for her handicrafts, but this year a new retirement complex has opened and you’re worried she’ll have stiff competition. Your goal is to hinder the other grannies by putting negative cards (such as a stray dog in the garden) on their piles while quietly sending helpful cards your granny’s way. You can’t be too obvious which granny you are championing. At the end of the game, players reveal their identities, claim their pile of cards and sum the score collected.

Watch out for the Tit For Tat bounce!

Brad Thompson of Auckland designed the game’s core “Tit for Tat” mechanic that lets you "bounce" cards of equal but opposite value. SchilMil Games has further developed Brad’s ideas, adding the granny theme, wild cards, and other improvements. Auckland graphic designer Katie Curd created the box artwork and Christchurch-based artist Kuan-Sheng Hsu is creating cartoons and caricatures for the cards.   The game has been play-tested by over 50 people including the renowned game designer Martin Wallace.

SchilMil Games is the partnership of Julia Schiller and Amanda Milne.

In 2012 they published the award-winning Komodo and Raid the Pantry games, and the Kenakalan card game:  products that are sold online and at over 50 Kiwi retail outlets.

They say:

Please help this Kiwi game design team bring our fun new game to
market in time for Christmas.

Some of the rewards are limited in supply. Pledge Now!

There are currently no plans for this game to be distributed outside New Zealand.
This could be your only chance to get this game!

The game contains:

  • 50 Victory point cards
  • 14 Gold cards (with special powers)
  • 8 Granny Loyalty cards
  • 8 Granny Score cards
  • Instruction leaflet
A close-captioned version of the video, a how-to-play overview, as well as cartoons and overviews of our other games are available on the SchilMil YouTube channel.


The People Behind Granny Wars

Logo Cheeky Parrot Games Project admin

Julia Schiller is the creative mind behind Cheeky Parrot Games.  

She got her start in the industry working with Amanda Milne as half of SchilMil Games.  Together, Julia and Amanda designed and published:

  • Komodo, a tile-laying species survival game. NZ New Game of the Year Winner 2012
  • Kenakalan, a card game of Monkey Mischief, set in beautiful Bali
  • Manifest, a pick up and deliver big box board game, set in the '20s, with pirates and other nautical hazards, successfully Kickstarted and published in 2014

In addition, Julia was the lead designer of these two SchilMil-developed titles which are now owned by Cheeky Parrot Games:

  • Raid the Pantry, a cooking themed card game that is "Recommended by American Mensa", recently reprinted
  • Granny Wars, a fast-playing card game of secret identities and nefarious senior tricks, successfully funded via PledgeMe and published in November 2013

This year Cheeky Parrot Games has been working with Claire Ahuriri and James Dunning. Under the umbrella of their company, Sky Bear Games, James and Claire designed the game that was to become Cat Capers and gave Julia a demo earlier this year. They have been working together to tweak it to perfection and get it to market so that everyone can know the joy of being a cat.

Julia says, "I'm looking forward to the moment when Claire and James see their names on the finished product. That's exciting! Cat Capers also adds another great family game to Cheeky Parrot's range of products, helping me to grow my company."

Cat Capers artwork is being done by Jade du Preez of Forrest Creative. Forrest Creative is an Auckland-based design business that is proud to collaborate on innovative projects that promote creative thinking and community.




    You need to pledge to see this update.

    Our Cheekiest Game Yet?

    11:54AM Wed 08/07/15 on Granny Wars

    Dear Granny Wars backers,

    Earlier this year Cheeky Parrot Games was approached by a young couple from Auckland's North Shore. Claire and James had invented a game inspired by their cat, in which players are rival cats, furballs and all!

    The game that was to become Cat Capers had an appealing theme (as a few playtesters have commented: "CATS!") and unique mechanics (simultaneous action selection, hand management and a bit of take that.) I offered to work with Claire and James, lending my expertise to further develop their great initial design into a product fit for the market.

    If you revel in a good Granny War, I think you would also enjoy cat-fighting over the rights to your block's best feline adventures such as summoning the fire department, starring in a video, or giving the postie the scare of his life. Cat Capers is for two to four players, age 8+ and it plays in 20-30 minutes.

    Although Cat Capers will be published under the Cheeky Parrot Games label, it is primarily Claire and James' venture, and in fact they have already invested their own money in the artwork, some of which is featured in the how to play video. The card backs are being finalized this week. As you can see, they were definitely Granny-inspired.  

    Claire and James do need a bit of help to raise some of the capital required to manufacture, and that is where I hope you will come in. A week ago we launched a campaign here on PledgeMe. So far we've raised about a third of our target. Will you help us?

    The campaign's home page is here. Please visit, watch the main video, spread the word, and support us with a pledge if you're able. Every bit counts!

    Thank you for your consideration.

    All the best,

    Julia Schiller

    Comment on this update:

    Cheeky Globetrotting Granny News

    02:08PM Wed 05/11/14 on Granny Wars

    Dear Backers,

    Cheeky Parrot Games, a company I spun off from SchilMil Games earlier this year, now owns Granny Wars and another great card game I designed when part of SchilMil, Raid the Pantry.  An overview video is attached if you're not already familiar with Raid.  Both titles are continuing to sell reliably through the retailer network I've built up in New Zealand.  I would appreciate your word of mouth recommendations of the games to friends and family as we approach the holiday season.

    Over time, I intend to increase Cheeky's range by developing more games similar to these two:  affordable, broadly appealing, and easy to learn and play.  I invite you to follow my new company via Facebook and/or by subscribing to my quarterly e-newsletter (sign up on the website or look for APPS in the left column of the Facebook page.)  On Tuesday the next edition goes out:  if you like food and photography, a competition it will announce may interest you.  I'll also have information about play testing a brand new game.

    As for the globetrotting, Even Toys and Games of Queensland recently agreed to distribute both Cheeky titles in Australia.  A new print run of Grannies was split between us last month.  It's the same great game, but the cover now looks like this:

    One other way you can help contribute to Granny's success is by rating it 6.5 or higher on the BoardGameGeek site, a crucial resource for the industry. So far Granny Wars has 13 ratings and I am hoping to get that number to at least 30 while maintaining or improving on its 7.15 average rating.  The Geek site isn't the world's most user friendly, but a fellow designer made the handy graphic below to show how to rate a game.  You do need an account on there to do this, but who knows?  You may get carried away and log and rate your whole collection.  (Check out mine here.)

    Thank you for your (continuing) support.

    All the best,

    Julia Schiller

    Comment on this update:

    Grannies fly (off shelves) and our newest project

    12:58PM Fri 07/03/14 on Granny Wars

    Dear Backers,

    Granny Wars' winning ingredients of affordable price, stellar artwork and lighthearted, universal theme have combined to make it SchilMil's best-selling game so far.  In only three months on the market, we've already sold 400 copies, including those that were received by so many of you as rewards for backing our campaign.  We want to acknowledge that we couldn't have done it without your help:  thanks so much.

    Have you been enjoying championing your nana and scuttling her crafty competitors with all the trifle, long-winded politicians, and loose dogs you can send their way?  We'd love to hear your feedback about Granny Wars and if you happen to be a BoardGameGeek user, please rate and comment on the game here:

    This week we're parlaying lessons learned from the Granny Wars campaign.  In case you haven't heard... We've launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for our most ambitious project yet, a board game called Manifest.  Set in the roaring '20s, it is a game of cargo, shipping, pirates and other trouble at sea, a pick-up-and-deliver game with a good measure of "take that" to promote player interaction.  For the die-hards, the game will include a more strategic expert variation involving deck building.

    Please visit the campaign page and consider a pledge; levels start at just $1 NZ, which allows you to receive updates and follow our progress.  It is also immensely helpful if you watch the entire main video.  It's only 2.5 minutes, and the more complete watches we get, the more likely we'll get some extra promotional help from Kickstarter itself.

    To see (and share) the campaign, which runs through April 3, just go to

    Thanks again for your support.

    Julia & Amanda


    Comment on this update:

    A brief stop in NZ and they're off!

    04:14AM Tue 03/12/13 on Granny Wars

    We are very happy to announce that we managed to keep to our timeframe. A success for optimism and thanks also to our fantastic manufacturer and a smooth logistics operation.  Our shipment docked in Auckland on Friday afternoon, cleared customs on Monday, was delivered to us this (Tuesday) morning and re-packaged into small parcels by Julia and I today.

    So, they are now winging their way to you or your nominated recipients as I type.

    NZ'ers should have yours in a couple of days unless you've told us you will be at the launch party, in which case you can collect your game(s) there. Don't worry, if you don't come to the party after all, as we'll post to you on Monday.

    The NZ Post "International Air" service has been used for the off-shore parcels, which is supposed to be 3-10 days.

    In all cases we hope you receive your game before Xmas and enjoy some Granny Wars with your friends & family.

    Below: the cartons as they arrived, and some of the parcels waiting to go to the Post Office earlier today.

    Best wishes,

    Amanda & Julia

    Comment on this update:

    It's here!

    04:50AM Wed 06/11/13 on Granny Wars

    Hot Off the Press!

    It has been a nail-bitingly tense few days as we waited for the first proof copy to arrive.
    It whizzed from Shanghai to Auckland in just 24 hours but thanks to the intervening weekend, took another 4 days to get to us!  That’s the Express service!

    But, all is well. The game looks wonderful in its sleek onesie with magnetic closure. 

    Here is the new-born arrival:

    We are treating it gently until its siblings arrive. 
    The ship carrying all the Grannies will be leaving Shanghai on 11th  and is due to dock in Auckland on 29th Nov. 

    We’ve set the official release date as Dec 6th but will be sending the reward copies to all our backers before that date.

    In other news, the website is all done, and Granny Wars can be pre-ordered at our online store, solo, or in combination with our other games, at special prices perfect for filling Christmas stockings.

    If you are due to get a physical copy (or copies), please respond to our ‘Survey’ email that will follow so that we can get your games to you as soon as possible after the shipment clears customs.

    Thanks again for helping us make this all possible.

    Julia & Amanda

    Comment on this update:

    Waiting for proof!

    03:45AM Thu 24/10/13 on Granny Wars


    In the last three weeks since we finalised all the Granny Wars artwork we’ve been getting the website finished.

    Those who Honoured their grans, father, brother, and pet can see the “before & after” pictures on the Thank you page.  You can also read about the making of Granny Wars and some of the stories about the grans featured in the game.

    We are anxiously awaiting the first proof copy from the manufacturer. If that is all good, then the games should be on target to ship from Shanghai on Nov 7th, with a 3 week transit to Auckland. 

    We’ve gone for a slightly more upmarket box than our previous games. It is a ‘book style’ one piece box that closes with a magnetic flap, and has a flash of spot varnish on the cover logo.

    We’ll be in touch again soon with everyone who is due to receive a copy of the game, to request your shipping address.

    Happy Gaming,

    Amanda, Julia & Brad

    Gran Gama who graces the ‘Proper Clean Out’ card

    Comment on this update:

    Milestone today

    10:48PM Mon 30/09/13 on Granny Wars

    Dear Granny Wars backers,

    We’ve reached a major milestone: the artwork has been finalised and is now with the printer to start the manufacturing process. This means we are on track to receive delivery of the shipment around the end of November.

    Kevin (aka Kuan-Sheng Hsu) of Big K Design has done a fantastic job getting all the ‘Honoured’ grans, nans, nanas, and grannies caricatured since the PledgeMe campaign finished just over 2 weeks ago.  We think they are all looking fantastic.

    Here is a preview of Granny Ali.

    A couple of you have asked how you can purchase extra copies of the game. Our online store (  is now taking pre-orders and we will ship those as soon as we get the stock. Closer to that time we’ll also be adding some other Combo deals to the store, to include Granny Wars in combination with our other games.

    Again, thanks for your support.

    We’ll be in touch again when there is some more news to share. 

    You can also sign up for our quarterly newsletter here

    Happy Gaming

    Amanda & Julia

    Comment on this update:

    Grannies for Christmas

    08:57PM Wed 11/09/13 on Granny Wars

    Well. We did it. What a roller-coaster ride the last three weeks have been. First we thought we wouldn’t meet the target, then we did and had to plan for success!

    Thanks again to everyone who supported this project.  We will be in touch to give you progress updates whenever we have news between now and delivery of the rewards.  

    We are spending the next 2-3 weeks finalising all the artwork and getting it to the manufacturer. He has promised us a 35 day turn around which means the games should be shipped to NZ in early November, and arrive three weeks later.  We are going to pull out all the stops humanly possible to get the rewards to you in time for Christmas.

    We are also working on getting the Granny Wars website up and running at

    If you made a “Photo Thanks” or “Honour Your Gran” pledge, we will be in touch to request the photos we need (it will be fine for you to send them by email).

    This is about one of the Grannies we will be featuring, Evie Hill:

    Like a bright little bird, she loved gardening, seeing the funny side of things, playing her Baby Grand Piano, and getting the family together for meals.  She made the BEST homemade ice creams, which we all loved getting into every Christmas visit.  Would travel anywhere by car, train or bus, but would NOT get on an aeroplane, as she couldn’t figure out what kept it in the sky!  She didn’t mind a good joke, and thought it made good sense to pick up handy freebies out of her neighbours letterbox, if they took too long to take them out themselves.  She crocheted pretty well, and loved her little dog, Puddles.

    Once again a BIG thank you - we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you :)

    Julia, Amanda and Brad

    Comment on this update:

    Ding Ding: Last Orders Please!

    09:32AM Wed 11/09/13 on Granny Wars

    Phew, it has been a crazy and exciting three weeks, but today we are on the home-stretch.

    With just hours to go until the bell rings for closing time, it’s “Last orders” please!

    We are so grateful to have reached our $2,500 target, but we did set it lower than the total cost of artwork, manufacture and shipping since we couldn’t predict how successful the campaign could be.  Therefore, any further pledges will be thankfully received.

    Brad has put together a short Gameplay overview video - you can see it here

    Also, we have added some stretch goals, the first of which kicks in when and if we get to $2,750. More details are on the main page

    Here is a  preview of our ‘Charming Visitor’. The winner of the auction chose to honour his father in this way.

    This will be our last plea for help until it’s over.  It’s a big ask we know, but please tell someone new about us now, and that there is just one day left to get in on the Granny War!

    After Wednesday we'll be in touch with you personally about your specific reward(s).  If you selected ‘Honour Your Gran’, please start looking for a few photos showing her at different angles and in different contexts.

    Happy Tuesday!

    Amanda & Julia

    Comment on this update:

    Stretch Yourself!

    11:13PM Sun 08/09/13 on Granny Wars

    We are thrilled to be fully funded!  Thanks to all our pledgers.

    We have decided to reward all our backers by adding a stretch goal. 

    If we reach $2,750 we will include with the game a set of Score tokens for backers only.  When you play multiple rounds of Granny Wars you can give the winner of each game a 3 point token, 2nd place a 2 point token and 3rd place a 1 point token. After X games of back to back Granny Wars whoever has the most points wins. This creates an interesting dynamic as players try to figure out which granny belongs to the player with the most points, as the leader has to bluff especially well not to be obvious. There will be 15 tokens, enough to play up to 5 rounds before deciding who is your champion.

    We still have plenty of copies of the game available, if you’ve got friends who might want to receive one before the official release… and to be honest, we set our target low to be attainable, but it will cost us more than $2500 to produce Granny Wars, so additional pledges are deeply appreciated.

    We are proud to honour Alison as one of our featured grannies.  Her daughter Clare tells us the defining characteristic of her Granny period was her success in croquet, she even played internationally.  She was a good seamstress and enjoyed making clothes, and she served on the Palmerston North City Council for 15 years. 

    So, with less than 60 hours to go, please encourage your friends to get in the Granny War and get those scoring tokens secured.

    Comment on this update:

    Close to casting off

    05:39AM Thu 05/09/13 on Granny Wars

    We’re getting closer to our target!  If we sell our remaining Solo Grans, we’ll be there.

    Ways you can help:  think of one friend who might be especially interested in Granny Wars and send them a personal email.  Post a comment on the PledgeMe landing page which will also be seen on Facebook.

    Remember, if we reach $2000 by midnight tomorrow (Friday NZ time), we’ll include four blank Gold cards in everyone’s game.  You can use these to make extras of the ones you like or think up your own granny powers.

    If there are any rewards that you would like, please tell us so we can think about adding them for the final 6 days.

    New research just published in the BMJ showed a 15% lower risk of dementia over a 20 year follow-up for board & card game players.  

    The artwork is progressing well: we now have a Politician for the Charming Visitor card (via the TradeMe auction) who will soon be caricatured and we have several completed card designs from Kevin, some of which are shown below.

    Have a great weekend.
    Schil & Mil, Brad and all the Granny Wars team.

    Comment on this update:

    Grandpa, Bloopers and more

    07:52AM Sun 01/09/13 on Granny Wars

    We are 55% towards being funded which is fantastic and we thank everyone who has supported us so far.

    Leon the handsome Bernese Sheepdog from Poland who won our first auction has been caricatured on the first of his two cards:

    We still need another 30-40 backers to reach the funding target so now is the time to encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to help get us there.  As an incentive we are offering a bonus: if we get to $2000 by the end of Friday the 6th, then we’ll include in the game - for everyone - 4 extra blank Gold Cards  that you can use to write your own special ‘wild’ powers into the game. You could add something that suits your family or mix the game up even more with a power like “Change the direction of play” or “The player I choose must reveal their Granny”.

    Tell your friends overseas: we’ve added a new reward called "5-up World Tour". They can group  together and get 5 copies with FREE shipping to anywhere in the world. What a bargain! 

    Also, we’ve just dropped the price of The Grandpa reward to $100. Grab him before someone else does.

    And now to the Bloopers! It’s less than a minute but packed with laughs, it’s the Granny Wars Blooper Reel.

    And don’t forget the ‘Charming Visitor” auction that finishes on Tuesday evening  NZ time. Currently a mere $26 will get you into the game on this card. One political appointment it’s perfectly acceptable to buy your way into.

    That’s all from us today.  

    Happy Gaming.

    Schil & Mil

    Comment on this update:

    Granny needs a Charming Visitor.

    10:24PM Mon 26/08/13 on Granny Wars

    Granny Wars Update #2

    We are now over one third of the way towards our target, thanks to all you generous pledgers.  

    However, we need to keep promoting this campaign, and with your help to spread the word far and wide, we hope to achieve our target.  If you know anyone else you can share the link with, please encourage them to support us.

    Yesterday we kicked off our second Trademe auction, for the opportunity to appear as the "Charming Visitor”, a canvassing politician who distracts Nana from her knitting.  Anyone can fill these shoes and the winner can reveal their leanings by choosing the color of their rosette.  This is one political gig you can buy your way into without qualms and at the moment, the current bid is just $20.

    Leon and his owner, who live in Poland, are the winners of our first TradeMe auction.  Leon will be the doggy star appearing on both the Stray Dog in the Front Yard and New Garden Fence cards.  He certainly is a handsome pooch and we are honoured to have him in the game.

    More from us next week.

    Cheers, from Julia & Amanda

    Comment on this update:

    Granny has gone to the dogs

    02:43AM Thu 22/08/13 on Granny Wars

    Thanks so much for pledging to help us get Granny Wars manufactured.

    It’s so exciting to see this project coming together and we are sure that you will love the game. After 24 hours we are 15% towards the target. So a long way to go yet and we need your help to promote Granny Wars to a wider audience.

    We plan to send 4 or 5 updates during the 3 week campaign to keep you up-to-date and excited as we are.

    The big news for this week is the Trademe auction for the 2 ‘dog’ cards is closing Friday night NZ time.  Please tell all your dog lover friends that THEY can get THEIR pet in the game. The current bid is just $44 - what a bargain!  Here is the link:

    That’s all for now.

    Thanks again.
    Schil and Mil and the Granny Wars team

    Comment on this update:


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      Followers of Granny Wars

      This project was successful and got its funding on 11/09/2013 at 9:36 PM.