Gaming History - I discover Board Game Geek and good games
By the time I married Mystery Bob I had not played any type of game for many years. We bought Uno and played for a couple of weeks and then just stopped. After moving away from where I grew up I overheard a co-worker mention that she had played a “different type of card game.” Intrigued I searched on the internet for card games and found sites, including BGG, that had reviews, pictures, and descriptions. I found three titles that interested me: Aquarius, Balloon Cup, and Freight Train. I was primarily looking for a game to play with my husband as my daughter was too young at the time (or so I thought). My first purchase was Aquarius which we played and enjoyed for a bit. My next purchase was Balloon Cup which we liked but I felt was too long for what it was. At this point I discovered BGG and my next purchase was, predictably, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. We tried a 3-player game but my daughter was bored out of her skull and quit the game. Mystery Bob and I played only a handful of times more before we both got bored with it.
I started researching more and received a recommendation for a good 2-player alternative to El Grande--Louis XIV. I purchased it and Mystery Bob and I were bowled over. That was in 2008 and we still adore the game and enjoy playing it. It is my #1 game and nothing has yet unseated it. Around this time I registered on BGG and got serious about the boardgaming hobby. My next purchases included Labyrinth and Freight Train. My daughter had a hard time with the former and we haven’t played in ages and even though we all liked Freight Train, it never comes to the table. I find it an interesting change to set collecting games and really enjoy it. (It also wins a prize for a game in a small box that takes up a huge amount of table space to play.)
At this time I also started thrifting and creating some games I was considering as PnPs. I uploaded files to BGG for these games as rethemes with instructions for creating your own game. I could not afford to just buy a whole bunch of games to try out. In this manner, we tried Caesar & Cleopatra, Coloretto, König von Siam, Parade, Hive, Hey, That's My Fish!, Micropul, Piece o' Cake, and Zombie in my Pocket. (I have since purchased several of these titles, the others bombed spectacularly) Where we live there are no gaming groups close by and my life right now does not allow for lots of extra free time, especially during weeknights………sigh. So my gaming group is my non-gaming spouse and my 11 year-old daughter. I’m not complaining as my daughter is very interested in games and has proved a worthy competitor. The challenge is to find games she will like and be able to play while not resulting in a boring gaming experience for me. I am meeting the challenge pretty often, so I am happy.
My family and friends are not gamers and I have only been able to entice one of our friends, who lives in our hometown, to try and enjoy games. More recently my father has tried some of our games and actually enjoyed one or two of them. Unfortunately, he also lives far away.
I am coming up on my fourth year as a BGG member and boardgame enthusiast and have really enjoyed exploring these wonderful games and this hobby. I’ve given up on trying to convert Mystery Bob as he is prefers spending his free time on the computer playing Kongregate or Evony-type games. However, every once in a while, he surprises me.
I have pre-ordered a few new games and am patiently awaiting their US release and the shipment of my order.
In my next post I will explore teaching and learning boardgames.