“If it is to be, it is up to me” is a great line used often if various aspects of our life, and that is my gaming motto for the 2014. I’ve been at this board game thing pretty hard now for the past two years. As discussed in previous posts, I’ve always been a gamer, but the past two years have seen me going hot and heavy after the board game aspect of gaming, taking up a large amount of my leisure time. But gaming has always been hanging on by a thread, up until now that is. That thread has turned into several threads, and when wound together, have become at least a string, and maybe a cord.
Thread One – D&D – I have been running a D&D campaign for the past 34 years with my wife and my three kids, with various others thrown in due to moving six times during my adult life. We averaged playing at least four times a year during that span, with spurts playing once a month. Right now we are at about four times a year, adding my son in law and our two grandkids as regulars.
Thread Two – Extension – The same group above also played board games as a natural extension of family activities. We played basic board games such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Axis and Allies, Taboo and so on. My son in law brought in Zombies to the mix, and later Settlers of Catan.
Thread Three – Miniatures – My son and I started attending miniatures conventions together in 1999 when he was thirteen. Over the years, we have attended about 30 various cons put on by Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, Great Lakes, of which we are both members. During that time, I took various co workers to one day events, including one who would later become my son in law. While we haven’t been to a con in 4 years, we all have various miniature armies, including DBA, Napoleonics, moderns, Starship Troopers, Star Wars miniatures, Uncharted Seas, Warhammer, and Firestorm Armada. We play these about three times a year.
Thread Four – Legends – Board gaming became my number one activity when, in the span of a month, I saw the first two episodes of TableTop, found Board Game Geek, read a review of Quarriors on BGG, and went to the game store owned by the author of the review, Legends, met the author, Jason Cline, and played Quarriors with him. I walked out that day with three games, and I was in deep. At the high point of my Legends obsession, I was at the store four to five times a week. We had a core of four gamers that showed up each week for Board Game Night. Then Jason sold the store and moved, and activity dropped off to just one visit a week with one other core player, Travis Price. Looked like this thread would be broken, but we stuck with it, and participation started to increase in Game Night. We are back up to four core members, and have moved nights to accommodate more players. We are on the rise again.
Thread Five – Immediate Family Activities – Our immediate family, my wife and I, and our two daughters and son, all live in different towns, but we plan family activities together once a month. Gaming is the center piece of those activities. On a recent get together for my Grandson’s birthday, we got in 19 games over the weekend.
Thread Six – Spreading the Love – I visit my daughter Chris’s house once a month to put on a game day for friends of hers. Last month Chris bought a new dining room table and chairs specifically for her game days, great comfortable chairs, and the table has rounded corners so she can get more people around the table. My other daughter, Hailey, called me and discussed starting a board game group at work during lunch. We came up with a list of easy to learn short games, she bought some games and I gave her a few, and she is off and running with her lunch time group. My son John has an extensive group of friends he gets together with, and he often takes Cards Against Humanity, which is a big hit with this crowd.
Thread Seven – Extended Family Game Night – Once a month, my brother and his kids and friends get together for a game night. We started having the night at my house, but we now rotate venues. We have a family calendar with the game night scheduled on it, and game night has been a big success. We had had as many as 18 family and friends attend. Every once in a while other things come up and we are forced to cancel, but we usually manager to get in 5 game nights every 6 months.
Thread Eight – DC Museum Gamers – The local Daviess County Museum participated in TableTop Day in 2014. When I found out, I visited the museum and offered my services to assist. The museum director declared TableTop day a success, and has started a monthly gaming group to play at the museum on the first Saturday of each month. One of the TableTop attendees, Andrew Brochin, has become a regular at our weekly game night at Legends.
Thread Nine – Traveling – I was invited to attend a monthly game night At Saint Peter’s Church in Evansville, about an hour away. The host, Jim Jones, saw my post about DC Museum Gamers on a guild on the Board Game Geek website and extended me an invitation. After my first visit, having a great night of gaming with friendly folks at a fine facility, I have added the monthly event to my calendar. I have also committed to participated in their annual fundraiser for the ExtraLife charity, which is held each October and benefits Riley’s Children’s Hospital. Jim also informed me about a Sunday game day held weekly at a local game store, The Gaming Guild. I plan to attend as many of these as possible, hopefully at least once a month.
Thread Ten – Participating – I have recently joined an RPG of Serenity, and am soon participating in a Warhammer summer league. Both will stand on their own for fun, but at the same time I am spreading my contact net a little wider and helping the game store at the same time.
Thread Eleven – Stay Informed – I listen to the Dice Tower each week, watch each new episode of TableTop, watch Board Game Breakfast each week, and listen to the Blue Peg Pink Peg podcast every other week. I watch game reviews from various reviewers, and spend at least 15 minutes a day on Board Game Geek. I can talk intelligently about this hobby of ours by staying up to date. I have fielded requests about what games would be good for church groups, lunch time games, and games for kids. I have had coworkers ask me about board games and what I do with them. I am always happy to indoctrinate, err, I mean discuss, board gaming.
Thread Twelve – The Gift of Gaming – I give board games as gifts whenever possible. Everyone in my family who has received gifts from me in the past two years has received some of those gifts as board games. I have given them away as birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, conformation gifts, thank you gifts, going away gifts, and wedding presents. I put board games in the Toys for Tots barrel at Christmas. The more games that are out there, the more gamers that I can game with!
While I did not start all of these threads, I am sure taking advantage of them. I am always looking for more threads to add to my string, or cord, so that someday it will be a rope. I may have to cast 1000 times before I get a nibble, but it is sure satisfying when I do get that bite!
We are living in the best time ever for board gaming, games are more innovative, are based on more diverse topics, have better quality components, and better licensing agreements. I mean to take advantage of what we have to make my hobby the best I can for me!
Great Gaming Gang!