I was GoTW #181
I've considered myself a board game 'player' (I'm not a collector or hoarder by any means) since my mid teens. Although I do remember having games such as Jaws
, Mouse Trap
, etc, many years before that.
I grew up in a small mining village in South Yorkshire - England, betwixt Doncaster and Barnsley. Luckily for me I had a few friends who didn't share the village mentality of burning out stolen cars, fighting, facial tattoos, or solvent abuse. We shared a common interest in 'Progressive Rock' music, and we would spend our free time mooching around the nearest grey city - Sheffield, talking about all things Proggy, like Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Gong, Jethro Tull, Marillion, Rush and IQ.
One day we stumbled upon a newly opened board gaming shop which seemed to be run by & attractive to bearded hippy types. It was called Games Workshop. I decided to fork out £12 or so for Talisman
, which we all enjoyed time after time. The expansions weren't enough to satiate our growing hunger and we'd have competitions on who could design the best character, once to hilarious results when one guy who, after a nights brainstorming session, came back with a terrible, childlike drawing, of a Horse-racing Jockey, complete with bowed legs, riding crop and a black star on his shirt.
I was now on the path to collecting more or less all of their Bookshelf style games to keep the groups interest high. Battlecars
, The Fury of Dracula
etc, and was also buying some other board gaming stuff GW had in store like The Sorcerers Cave
The shop gradually became more and more popular, and one week Blood Bowl (Second Edition)
was released. I instantly fell head over heels in love with it, and began collecting all the expansions, buying White Dwarf month after month for the extra rules updates & cut-out Star Player cards, and buying & painting at least a hundred Citadel miniatures. Me and my friends had some amazing 'mammoth' gaming days and Blood Bowl leagues back then, which my mother occasionally still comments on after twenty odd years.
By this time I'd become pretty competent at painting miniatures, and a few people began regularly showing up on my doorstep. They would ask me to paint the odd three to four miniatures for them, which I did for a small fee. I had quite a few pieces on display in the revolving glass cabinet in the Games Workshop store itself, but heady weekends of quaffing copious quantities of ale, console gaming, reading over fifty Conan books, ploughing through Stephen King & Robert McCammon novels, and watching far too many video nasties got in the way.
Gaming friends then began to drift further afield due to women and work, and aside from playing Chess
and Thirteen Card Brag
against my father (which I now miss like a hole in the heart) my board gaming collection took dusty residence under the bed, on the tops of cupboards and inside old suitcases. My teams of Blood Bowl races, painted metal miniatures, and dioramas were crammed into empty bread bags, knotted up and thrown into boxes full of junk.
Many years later, and for nothing better to do I dusted off DungeonQuest
, which was the only unsold thing my father had returned home from a car boot sale with a few years earlier. All the old rusty lamps, torn & faded books, broken crockery, candlesticks, balls of tangled shoe-laces etc had sold!. Me and my girlfriend set it up and had a riotous time playing it. It never left the table for at least a month, almost becoming a permanent fixture. We kept track of High Treasure Counts and were instantly addicted. I remembered there were Heroes for Dungeonquest
, and Dungeonquest: Catacombs
expansions which I'd never picked up, and eventually won them on eBay. I bought some acrylics & brushes and had another go at painting the mini's. After a month of sloshing layers of colour on they looked fine. After what must have been a ten year break I was still able to make them look at least half decent, I often wonder how good I'd be if I'd have kept up the miniature painting without the long hiatus.
I was now gradually getting back into board gaming, with my girlfriend as my gaming partner. Re-discovering all the old GW classics, re-visiting the old Games Workshop store, which was now full of snobby uniformed staff who didn't have a clue what Battlecars
, or The Fury of Dracula
was, and who looked down their noses at me with an air of disbelief when I told them their store used to buy and showcase my painted miniatures. One comic store I wandered into had a board gaming section with German style boardgames in, which I couldn't resist dipping into for the likes of Through the Desert
, Lost Cities
and the FF Silverline games.
With the Set Top TV Internet Browser (which cost me a fortune in pay per minute) I was actively searching for more and more boardgames to play. I managed to start a Yahoo! group; The Fantasy Vault - dedicated to Games Workshops games of Olde, using the web browsers limited functions. I found and wrote on a site called BoardgameGeek, although there was no membership back then, and the old game collection steadily began to blossom back into life.
I regularly cull games from my collection, as my taste matures. Only keeping games that will hit the table more regularly.
So far I've converted over 65 games
to the Cyberboard
I moderate a few groups over at Yahoo!; The Fantasy Vault
which is dedicated to the Games Workshop games of yesteryear, and the ZOMBIE PLAGUE
group which discusses the aforementioned free PDF board game and other zombie related shenanigans.
There are too many good games made over the past 15 years to waste time deciphering and house-ruling inconsistent, badly worded and vague rulebooks. I just give them a mediocre rating, trade/sell them off, and stick to games with rules that I know are solid.
I used to upload photo's to BGG that (I thought) were pretty good quality, or artistic, on a regular basis. However, it seems to be that blurry under/overexposed photo's, pictures of cats in boxes, or cleavage shots garner more attention, and more thumbs. So I've more or less given up. There's just no point in taking pride in my photography, or attempting to make the extra effort any more. There's just no incentive whatsoever. None.
TRADERS: Please take the time to verify the condition and completeness of your games before shipping them. Games with missing components, missing summary's and missing boxes are not 100% complete. Neither are Games slaumed with gloss paint or food, and deeply gauged, scratched boards are not to be advertised as 'in excellent condition'. I don't mind receiving games that are a bit tatty, played and worn, as long as that fact is stated. Is it really difficult to perform a simple check? I've been a little too lenient with my feedback in the past, but it's time to toughen up. You will receive negative feedback. You have been warned! /rantH-idex #24 Click here to see all my logged plays.[Extraspecially Rated] [All Time Hall of Fave's (Top 10)] [Recently Played] [Currently Want to Play (Hot 10)] [A few random games of mine] [Avatar Evolution] [Fancy Dress]