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12 Months of Sobriety, 12 Months a Geek
Dave Hamrick
United States
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Hey all,

As of Friday, January 13th I have been a Board Game Geek for exactly a year and I have been sober for over a year.

Here is a GeekList commemorating all of my accomplishments in the last year inside the Geek and outside the Geek.

Thank you all for being such a warm and welcoming community!
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1. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:395]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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January 2011

In January of 2011 I stopped drinking. I had been a pretty solid alcoholic for almost ten years. Following a DUI arrest--one of the worst moments of my life and one I am definitely not proud of--and a string of regretful evenings, I knew it was time to stop.

One day, myself or someone else was going to get hurt or worse.

So I turned in booze for board games.

I bought Finca at my FLGS. It was the first euro I'd ever played.
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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February 2011

Having stopped drinking, I started changing my life for the better. Some of the broadest changes occurred at my job where I had previously been walking a tightrope. My relationship with my girlfriend Tracy improved.

I also reconnected with my old gaming buddies, especially my friend, Scott.

I bought Carcassonne this month and started playing Dominion a lot. I also got Power Grid, Blokus, Race for the Galaxy, and Forbidden Island.
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:84]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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March 2011

I'd been car free for three months now and was going to be staying that way for another year. I got used to travelling by bus or on foot. Without a car, my stress levels were a lot lower. And it's amazing how much reading you can get done while on the bus.

My biggest game purchase in March was Ticket to Ride, still one of my favorite gateway games today.
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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April 2011

School was starting in late May. If I was ever going to change anything about my life it'd be with school. I had a few credits to my name through an Associates in Business Administration that I had been plodding through, so now was the time to get it over and done with.

Signing up for two summer classes, I jumped headfirst into it.

April saw the introduction of Agricola and 7 Wonders for me, two games I've given 10s to.
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5. Board Game: Snow Tails [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:456]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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May 2011

Tracy gave me the news that we were going to have a baby. Turns out she was 2 months pregnant--the baby was coming in December. A lot changes when you know you're going to have a baby. I was even more glad that I was five months sober at this point.

If I was going to have a kid, I had to make sure that he was coming into the best world possible.

I purchased my 50th game in May, Snow Tails (per suggestion on the BGG).
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6. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:25]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
OK
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June 2011

June is my birthday month. I turned 30 years old. My twenties were officially over and it was time to start being a man.

This is the month that I finally acquired Dominant Species, one of my most favorite games.
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7. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:500]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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July 2011

I traveled to Oklahoma in July of 2011 to meet Tracy's mom and her boyfriend, Andy. Oklahoma was an interesting place; dusty, hot, and full of opportunity, I knew that someday I'd probably move out there.

In July, I was keeping up with the Spiele des Jahres winners. I got a copy of Qwirkle.
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8. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:50]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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August 2011

The 5.8 earthquake that hit Mineral, Virginia could be felt all around. I'd just started my Fall classes and was let out early to watch a whole bunch of Virginians freak out about nothing.

The same day of the earthquake, I walked to my friend, Scott's house and played Combat Commander: Europe for the first time. I have since played 12 scenarios of the game and it stands as one of my favorites.
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9. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:125]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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September 2011

Hurricane Irene swept through in early September, cancelling my friends' beach trip and sticking me without power for almost a week.

I didn't purchase a single game in September, but I did play Samurai for the first time when the lights went out.
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10. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:83]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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October 2011

School and work and getting ready for a baby; things were amping up. In the last year, I had improved my credit score by 100 points by getting out of debt and managed to squirrel away almost $10k in assets. Pretty impressive on a waiter's salary!

I purchased my 100th game, Here I Stand this month. I have yet to get it to the table.
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11. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:814]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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November 2011

The Richmond Leisure Society, the official name for my gaming group, finally got its legs with a new website and active recruitment. Our numbers had been waning over the last couple years, so we decided it was time to start recruiting.

In November, I bought the first ever SdJ winner, Hare and Tortoise, as well as a number of GMT Games.
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12. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:117]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
OK
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December 2011

Jackson David Hamrick arrived on December 13th, 2011 at 9:04pm. He weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces, measuring 21" from head to monkey toes. He is the single greatest thing I have ever accomplished in my life.



His presence in the world reaffirms what I learned twelve months prior: I can be a lot better person than a big, stinking drunk.

I got Risk Legacy and 1830: Railways and Robber Barons for Christmas.

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