(via BBC News – The country with one people and 1,200 sausages)
I am not into comic books.
I feel as though I have missed the boat. There is a rich history and canon; interlacing of timelines and alternate histories, it seems impossible to “get it.” I think I would have loved to been immersed into the culture and mythos, and to have grown up with it.
Recently, I asked a few friends, all of them comic book lovers, what would be the “best” book to read. All of them told me to get Watchmen. I read it. And it was great. I burned through it. The style was old, yet, relevant. The story was gripping, poignant and tender. So great was that experience, I tried reading a few other trades. None of them I devoured, or even remotely enjoyed like Watchmen. If this was the magnum opus of the form, why would I read anything else that was less?
I fear that I will experience something like this with war games.
I have started getting into the hobby, by doing research. (ed: watching YT reviewers: Calandale and Marco mostly) I have been procuring games that I think would be the best of the type of components, eras/history, mechanisms or any combination of those. I wonder if I am setting myself up for some kind of disappointment after I play through the games I have. I see some of the other war gamers that have been playing 30 years, with hundreds of games in their collections and I wonder:
Will I be let down with other games of the same ilk, that are just not as good?
I am not sure how I got here.
I grew up playing RPGs starting with D&D. My brother (5 years my senior) and I would play with flash lights under the bed spread. Great memories there. I then grew into collecting and trying all kinds of RPGs. During that time, I am pretty sure I picked up a second edition version of Talisman. Which was like a RPG in a box.
That was the first experience of a board game not by Hasbro or by Mattel. It took a while to see that there were more types of board games, including all these “boring” games I saw at my FLGS. They had boxes and boxes of games with drab covers. I would pass them time and time again, year after year, without giving them second gaze. They existed in my periphery.
Not sure what made me pick up a copy of Sword of Rome. It surely wasn’t the cover on the box. (Which has won me over now, along with most GMT / Rodger McGowan covers.) Perhaps it was my growing interest in general world history. I have always liked history, but haven’t really pursued it; being in the back seat, while places like Middle-Earth and Krynn were in the front.
As I got married and added 6 kids to the family, my RPG hobby suffered. No regrets, as I still consider myself a family man first. However, time has permitted the luxury of picking up gaming again. I found many euros and AT style games that I enjoy and ones that my friends and family enjoy too.
I can’t say that I lost interest in them; my gaming group is more about the social aspect than the game on the table, and that will continue to be the case for a long time and I am okay with that.
However, when I look at the game on the table, I have found that it hasn’t grabbed my attention as much as they used to.
There is something new and fresh about learning history through board games. I feel like when I have Sword of Rome on the table, I learn something. In fact, it has inspired me to read about that area of history. I am finding that my desire to learn about actual history is far surpassing that of spending time in the fictional.
I have purchased four “war games”1 since I have been back in the gaming hobby (along with lots of other games.) They are as follows: – Sword of Rome – Commands and Colors: Napoleonics – Here I Stand – Unconditional Surrender!
My hope is to share some thoughts on these games, from the perspective of the n00b, with a series of posts, pictures and the occasional video.
A fantastic article on Scottish Independence.
I am re-watching the first few seasons of Supernatural. I forgot how great this show used to be.