Well, to be honest, it was my wife’s idea, I think she’d had enough of me talking games 24/7!
I’ve been a ‘gamer’ all my life but it’s only been the last 2 years since I really started taking the hobby seriously. My first visit to the UK Games Expo (UKGE) in 2016, rekindled the love I had in my childhood and through my teens, for games.
Then it was miniature war-games; Ancient, Napoleonic and Modern, developing into Role Playing Games (RPG’s) Dungeons and Dragons and then Palladium Fantasy RPG. Things fell away as I got older and life took over, I still played games, mostly family games like Monopoly and Triv with the occasional game of chess creeping in.
But then I discovered a new magazine on the shop’s shelf… Tabletop Gaming. I was amazed at how much the world of analogue games had changed over the last 15+ years. The art work was the first thing I noticed, no longer dull and cartoony but amazingly colourful pictures, produced by professional artist, and they had become an integral part of the game – enhancing the whole experience. Fantastically detailed miniatures now made a regular appearance in board games. Skirmish games had appeared, bridging the gap between board and fully blown war-games.
I was hooked and subscribed immediately, reading every inch and taking everything in, including an article about the upcoming 2016 UKGE at the NEC. I booked tickets for myself and a friend and off we went. The experience, to someone who had been out of gaming for so long, was amazing. Everywhere I looked there was something new and intriguing; every genre of game was represented, and I just bounced from one unit to the next in a state of wonderment. I think it’s the vast variability in the hobby now that was the biggest surprise; Card Drafting, Deck Building, Worker Placement, Collectable Card Games, Living Card Games… I could go on, the list seemed endless, and a lot of it meant little to me at that point. But my imagination was kicked into overdrive and I was eager to find out more. One thing that really left an impression on me was how friendly everyone was, always happy to answer questions from newbies like myself, and always willing to demo games. There was also the opportunity to chat with games designers, artists and publishers. I came away a few pounds (£’s not lb’s, lol) lighter and looking forward to 2017!
Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Nature Fluxx, and Star Trek Attack Wing were all games I purchased there. The first 3 have become hits with the family though they don’t seem to share my enthusiasm to constantly play games for some reason, and try as I might I haven’t been able to entice them to play Attack wing (or Star Wars X-wing for that matter), so I started playing solo. This is something else I had noticed that had developed greatly in the hobby; the availability of games which can be played solo. Other than pure solitaire games, I can’t remember there being games that were designed to be played by a number of players as well as by one player on their own.
I then discovered Boardgamegeek.com. This opened up a whole new world in which to delve and help to decide on my future purchases. Needless to say The Gaming Ape mugged me at the 2017 Expo (stole my wallet and filled the car with games!) and I haven’t stopped gaming since, or reading about games, or talking about games or… well, you get the picture.
So, fed up with me constantly going on about games, my wife suggested I start a blog, someone out there may be willing to listen to me! As I’ve always had a passion for writing (Next stop a novel!) I though i’d give it a go, at the very least it will enable me to develop my writing style and discipline as well, and if what I write inspires one more person to join the hobby, well, I’ll be very pleased indeed.
What have I got lined up?
I’ve got plenty of things in the pipeline and here are a few of my ideas…
News – Each week I will post a ‘News in brief’ blog, looking at gaming news covering all aspects of the hobby.
Remember When – A monthly post (at least initially) looking back in time, at least to when I was a lad anyway! I’ll be reminiscing about such things as, the Fighting Fantasy books and the Dungeons and Dragons Basic/Expert set, as well remembering when we used to let our children win!
Painting – Over the last year I have started painting miniatures, mainly to fill in those times when the family refused to play games with me! I’d like to share my experiences of ‘picking up a brush’ again, and hopefully help those just starting out.
Reviews – Okay, every blog site about tabletop games features reviews and that’s because everyone has an opinion, and that’s a good thing. Think of it like choosing your next book, you start with your go to authors, the ones you like how they write and trust their opinion and ability to entertain, after that you start to shop around for a new author who can meet your needs. Reviewers are just the same, when I am looking for a review on a certain game I start off looking if certain people have reviewed them, because I like what they do and trust their opinion. The greater the choice of reviews the better, and if they’re all saying the same thing then you’re pretty sure of what you’ll get if you buy the game under review. I am going to be playing catch up with the reviews – working my way through my collection – so there will be a mix of old and new. I will also give my opinion on about what the game is like to play solo if applicable.
Well that’s it for my first ever post and I hope someone out there gets to read it.
Please leave comments on anything I’ve written, any advice is good advice!