Sunday, December 24, 2006

Seasonal post

It's Christmas Eve and the guns are falling silent on BoardGameGeek.....

Not much gaming to report over here. I've been fiddling with BattleLore. One banner was missing - a quick email to Days of Wonder secured a replacement with no problems. Great customer service (I still can hardly believe what I'm hearing about Rio Grande's very different attitude to fixing the faulty cards in El Grande).

I've downloaded and played through the excellent introduction to Magic the Gathering from Wizards of the Coast, in preparation for a match with Les sometime I hope.
And I'm having my butt kicked in various play-by-web games of Shadow of the Emperor and Amun-Re!

I am heading off this afternoon on a grand tour of the midlands, taking in various gatherings of Sue's family and my family. Packing 6 Nimmt, Fluxx, and Bohnanza in the faint hope of steering people away from Guesstures or DVD quiz games. At least when I get back there is Die Macher to look forward to on New Year's Day!

Here's wishing you a very happy Christmas. I hope you find some games under the tree!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Return of..... the Wargamer!

While no wargamer's wargamer, I've been in and out of the wargamers' scene ever since I was a kid. I don't have a local wargamer opponent, so I was pleased when Les, who is not a wargamer (not yet anyway!), agreed to come over on Sunday afternoon to play War of the Ring again. This time Les felt confident enough of the rules to take the Free Peoples - who have a lot more rules to remember and options to worry about. Unfortunately for Les, the blue dice left the Fellowship loitering over a late breakfast at Rivendell, and when they finally did get away there was a distinct lack of urgency about their progress. Meanwhile the Elves could not save Dol Amroth, and the Woodland Realm fell after a bitter struggle. The plucky elves of Rivendell laid seige to Moria, but Aragorn was trapped and killed in Minas Tirith almost as soon as he was crowned. Les was preparing for a last titanic struggle in Helm's Deep, when the Witch King slipped down from the mountains of Angmar to snatch Rivendell and victory. And so Middle Earth was plunged into endless darkness......

Oh well.

We had an hour left, so another opportunity to make a wargamer of Les with a quick game of Memoir 44 - Operation Lettuch. I think Les's mind was still in the heroic world of Middle Earth with its heroic charges and last stands. Whatever the reason, he repeatedly ordered his Germans forward across open ground in the face of well-entrenched American positions. That sort of tactic just doesn't work in World War 2!

Oh dear, I hope Les wasn't too discouraged by his double defeat yesterday, and will keep alive a spark of ambition to become one day..... a wargamer!

The Way Forward

Through his job, my son Phil is becoming a bit of an expert on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). He has done a bit of research, and tells me that if I use the word "wargamer" a lot in my blog, my daily hits will go through the roof. OK, anything for more traffic, let's give it a try!

Friday, December 08, 2006

How to lure people into the gaming hobby

Tip #32: Host a theme evening

A good way to invite your non-gamer friends over to play games without them realizing, is to host a theme evening. On a weekend evening (last Saturday in this case) invite 2 or 3 friends over (Sue, Linda and Balazs in this example) for a themed evening (I chose an Indian evening). Organize some exciting food linked with the theme (each of us contributed a home-cooked curry dish or a pudding) and arrange to watch a film linked with the theme after dinner (I showed Monsoon Wedding on my home projector). And here's the clever bit - set up a game that links with the theme (it was Taj Mahal in this case) and (this is critical) make sure someone else wins. I can't emphasise this enough - DO NOT WIN! Specifically, do not crush them into the dirt and laugh triumphantly over their failure (I know this will be hard for some of you). Sue won last Saturday, and I came a distant 4th. They enjoyed it, and expressed a wish to play Taj Mahal again soon. Mission accomplished....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On the table - BattleLore

I've got BattleLore on my gaming table. It's been sitting there in its shrinkwrap since last Saturday, when I picked it up from my friendly local game shop along with my two free monsters. I've opened the monsters and had a quick look at them - in fact I tried to do that at the lights on the way home, much to the annoyance of the drivers behind me. So why haven't I ripped the shrinkwrap off this fabulous new game? Why have I been spending my evenings rebuilding my PC or watching FireFly episodes instead?

To be honest, I'm intimidated. It's a big heavy box. It's a big game, with a big future. It could turn out to be a hobby in its own right. Do I really need that right now? After all, I already love C&C Ancients and I want to spend more time exploring it. The first expansion should be arriving shortly. And Memoir 44 with its expansions is there on the shelf making me feel guilty. Likewise there is the ASL Starter Kit #2 to explore (and #3 shortly to appear), with the possibilities of Beyond Valor and beyond beckoning me.

My unopened copy of Battlelore - it's like Pandora's box. Once I open it, who knows what might change in my gaming life? Maybe it's safer leaving it there on the table, unopened. After all, I can still look at the pretty pictures on the box.....