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Big Game Hunter 1

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 03:33 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
I have decided to document my big game hunting experiences. It’s not elephants or water buffalo I’ve been stalking of course, but those strange humans like myself who like to play games.

Where does one find them? I tried setting up a feeding station in a local park- I tied MTG cards to a tree and scattered potato chips around the ground but I only snared a Parks employee, who came to clean up. I asked if he played games and he motioned his head towards the washrooms. Wrong game.

I’ve also checked out the FLGS gaming scene- but that turned out to be a bunch of teenagers sitting at a long table doing something with Pokémon- and I don’t even know what that is. They didn’t look like they were having any fun. It looked like a detention. Where was the excitement?

I tried putting an ad on the internet- mature man with children into games and role playing - but I was rather shocked at the responses I got. Wrong games again. I got a call from the police and they came and confiscated my computer. Then they gave it back to me because they said it was “really boring”.

So where can I find these other people who share the passion? Online, it seems there are many- but on the ground – not so.

The first fellow I met entirely by accident. I had a duplicate board game and I decided just to gift it randomly to someone I sometimes worked with. I tried my best not to appear too creepy- which is difficult to do when your opening line is “are you into any kind of games?”

Rico (name changed) was a big guy- not taller than me but one of those naturally huge-chested men with bear’s hands and arms like tree trunks. He’s really very sweet- it’s like someone put a bunny in a lion’s body. He did seem a little confused when I asked him if he liked games. We were working moving some boxes and I guess my question just came out of nowhere. He said he did, and so I gave him this kid’s board game- I knew he had one son. Little was said of it.

But then a week or two after he asked me if we could have a game night. I said sure- and we set a date.

The kids and I cleaned up the house and even took apart the kitchen table so we could move it into the game room- we only have one table. We usually play on the floor but we thought we’d do the table for guests. (some people aren’t that comfortable on the floor) We built a map and picked five 400 pts armies for a massive free for all. We were really excited- our first Scape game with someone other than immediate family. It could be the start of something!

Well, this is how it worked out: Rico’s son had broken his leg the day before, but they came anyway because they were looking forward to playing. His son was in pain and moaned the whole night.

They weren’t impressed by ‘Scape. They found it boring. I’m not sure why, maybe our board was too big. They were really skittish and refused to enter any melees, and their figures retreated from ranged attacks. We ended the game without too much happening. We were trying to be good hosts.

Since they’d tried our game, they asked us to try their game. It was some sort of a battle mech game, and they were absolutely religious about it. We didn’t really understand it so Rico ended up taking all of our turns for us, just to show us how.

There was endless rolling of dice, and it seemed to take each Mech about ten minutes to complete a turn. If we tried to do something that wasn’t “the best idea” he would take over and “help us”. Mostly, we watched him play. And shake dice. So much shaking of dice. Endless shaking of dice. His son refused to move without Rico’s advice. My children and I tuned out really fast- I even begged off to the kitchen to prepare snacks, while my children shot lasers at me with their eyes.

We ended the game for a munchy session and Mech man began to talk about this epic Battlemech game he’d played in years ago that had taken 28 hours- it was the greatest game of his life. His eyes glittered as he spoke about recreating the experience.... about which time I decided my kids looked tired and they should be getting to bed soon.

We learned a couple things that night.
1) A little dice shaking is okay but a lot is not something we enjoy.
2) We like our rules simple- so that we can master them and force them to our purposes.
3) Playing games with other people is harder than you think.

We had a few play dates with Rico and his son, where we tried to play more neutral games – Shadows Over Camelot, Clans, some of our homemade games, but then we stopped. We had another date set but we kept having to postpone it for one reason or another. And now that was a couple years ago.

There must be someone out there- and I’m going to find them.
Total Comments 3


ZBeeblebrox's Avatar

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 04:10 PM by ZBeeblebrox ZBeeblebrox is offline
sir william the bold's Avatar
Ahhh, you have the same problem as I. No one to game with except in the immedate family. It seems that the reason most people start games is because family, or friends share the same intrest. No one buys a 2 player game to play with themselves, so I'm gald I have family that share the same intrests as me.
Posted September 7th, 2011 at 05:44 PM by sir william the bold sir william the bold is offline
chas's Avatar
Back when Avalon Hill started "advanced" boardgaming in The Sixties, their magazine The General had on its back page an Opponents Wanted section. Maybe you could start one online at your local library or college!

Its important to specify which games you like. If you ten totally random 'gamers' in a room, they might not ever find a title they can agree to play, as their desires might include such disparate desires as role playing, card driven gaming, complex monster games, historical wargames of (fill in a century) only, miniatures that must be painted, fantasy or sci-fi only, Heroscape only, etc., etc, etc.
Posted September 7th, 2011 at 08:53 PM by chas chas is offline
Updated September 7th, 2011 at 09:00 PM by chas
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