As the world has changed I can see how the things I did changed with it. The last year has seen COVID-19 spread across the world and I’m sure we all have our own feelings and experiences of the pandemic, so I’m not going to dwell on that here. However, interestingly, as a gamer and Blogger, the lockdowns and restrictions haven’t had quite the affect I was expecting. I have always predominantly been a solo gamer, so one would have thought that been confined to my own home would promote the way I play, but actually the opposite is true.
Since restrictions on movement came into effect I’ve played very little on my own, as my daughter has been more willing, and available, to play along. Marvel Champions, Eldritch Horror, and Arkham Horror, are examples of games I would normally expect to play on my own, but I now found that I had a partner in crime to play them with. We’ve also been playing cards – you know, with a good old pack of conventional playing cards – as a family, especially over the Christmas holiday period.
Reading through various forums and listening to many popular podcasts, I uncovered that this isn’t uncommon – many solo players have found their families more welcoming to the idea of playing games. Also, the opposite has been ringing true – people who normally wouldn’t entertain a solo game find themselves tinkering away with just that, as their gaming circle reduces to on-line vie the likes of Tabletop Simulator, or nothing at all.
The types of game I wanted to play saw a change too. I really wanted to get my daughter into role-playing games – though it was more likely the fact that I wanted to get back into them that sent me down the path. Listening to the likes of Encounter Party brought back many happy memories of playing D&D and I wanted Yasmin to experience that, though I’ve found that playing one-on-one doesn’t create the same atmosphere or experiences.
Wargaming came back as an itch that needed scratching. I decided on the Early Imperial Roman period and I’m now in the process of painting up my first army – 10mm and I’m finding it no quick job. WWII naval battles was also something I wanted to explore, and after a few preliminary actions I gathered together the ships to fight the Battle of the Denmark Strait; I’m just waiting for the new hardback book for Victory at Sea to come out later this month before I make a start.
I’ve also found that the amount of time I spent gaming reduced. Again, this came down to spending more time with the family, usually watching Tv, doing puzzles, or just chatting away, definitely no bad thing.
The lack of solo play leaves me in somewhat of a quandary, though, after-all, this is The Solo Meeple!
I am trying to make a concerted effort to get more solo games to the table and have a long list of what I want to play, review, and maybe write up a session report on. I also want to get more, “solo Specific’ posts out; I just need to get back into that mindset.
Top of my list is Obsession 2nd Edition, complete with the Upstairs Downstairs expansion. Dan Hallagan was kind enough to send me this when his latest Kickstarter fulfilled, but I just haven’t managed to get it to the table. Yasmin hasn’t shown any interest in playing it (nothing unusual, she likes what she likes and is fairly rigid when trying to entice to new games!) and so it has waited until I find the time.
For now, I’m hitting the games that we’ve been playing together, most of which I have played solo in the past and as always will include that in the review. Eldritch Horror review is nearly complete and should be posted next week – fingers crossed.
Anyway, returning to the subject of change. I know many Bloggers that I follow have changed their approach to gaming. Some have taken to play by e-mail, some have turned to the Playstation or X-box to sate the gaming thirst, and a few have let it all wash over them, shelving the games as they await a return to something approaching normality.
Games have certainly helped many people through these trying times, whether to fill in spare time and prevent boredom setting in, or as an activity that all the family can join in with and maybe grow that little bit closer. People are discovering the world of hobby tabletop games for the first time, realising that there is a whole world to explore beyond the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo. And that’s the wonderful thing about our hobby, that there is something for everyone, and even those set in their ways can be surprised when pushed away from the norm.