-----------------------------------------------------I made this for Junta and I am bit proud of it, so I thought I'd just include it here - heck, if you like it, then please go thumb it - just click the image!
Like most other geeks/nerds that were teens in the eighties, I played a lot of boardgames and RPG's. Over the past couple of years I got a little curious about whether specifically the ol'e boardgames would still hold up today, so I started off by buying a couple of the games I could remember from back then, from eBay: Junta, Civilization, Talisman, Titan, Gunslinger - I've played them, also with some of my younger fellow students who only grew up with computer games, and with enormous succes - so within half a year, I ended up buying the thirty or so of my personal favorites, I remembered from back then.
What I love about boardgames is that they have two elements that computer games don't have (although I am no stranger to having spent days playing such):
1.) the human element - people get into vendettas, retributions, cheating, bluffing and just generally irrational behaviour, that makes for highly unpredictable games with lots of twists and turns, that computers so-far just can't replicate - 2.) the social element - while one player is takings his or her turn, and that person's one or two arch-enemies in that game are watching his or her move, to check there is no cheating or convenient addition errors taking place - the rest can drink tea, coffee, soda, eat cake, sweets, throw die at each other or whatever, speak with their mouths full and talk about whatever else is going on in their lives, girlfriends, wives, kids, studies, careers, whatever. It is the perfect way of spending an afternoon!
In addition to the sheer fun of the boardgames, I also *LOVE* the enormous ingeniousness/creativity that's gone into designing the game mechanics - using only card stock, pens and the simple randomness of die - to generate games with an amazing variety of dynamics that cover an impressive array of themes, e.g.: Gunslinger, first person shooter - Quirks, evolution - Blood Royale, dynastical rule and power struggles (not as much fighting wars) - Civilization, the simultaneous competition and cooperation of early civilization (through surprisingly simply rules) - Air Force, flight simulation of dog-fighting - and on and on. In many ways boardgames are actually small computer programs run by humans (the arrow-yes/no-diagrams found on the back of many a rule booklet of later boardgames only emphasizing this). For example Gunslinger, I find it hugely impressive, that by printing on both sides of the cards, making certain actions mutually exclusive, and being minutious about gun-slinging details, they are able to recreate an experience that generates a strong feeling of gun-fights balancing on a knife's edge and split-second decisions - except the 'split seconds' may last minutes!
(The exact opposite of computer games, that create lots of split-second decisions, but that are so many and so quick that you rarely get to savor that cold trickle down your back - an impressive feat I think for just card stock and die, so they're worth preserving just for that!)
Also, it is fun to see how all the present day computer games categories (first person shooter, strategy, society bulding, flight simulaters, etc.) have their roots in specific boardgames of the seventies and eighties - e.g. Sid Meyer's Civilization is called "Sid Meyer's" precisely because Avalon Hill owned the name (just) "Civilization". In fact, the diversity of game themes was and is much bigger among the boardgames.
Finally, in addition to the above, the artwork of the seventies' and eighties' boardgames and RPG's (especially 1.st Ed. AD&D) was also a huge inspiration for me personally, given that I was one those geeks that also knew how to draw (yes, I have been recruited numerous times, and still do, to do illustrations for my module-making friends
) - I simply love all aspects of boardgames and RPG's - the game mechanics, the human element, the hanging out, the diverse array of themes, the artwork, and so on - what isn't there to love?!