Interview with a gamer no5: Ad

Saving the best for last me, Adam Best. This is also very out of date, my fiancé is now my wife! I didn’t get the other chance to rewrite theirs so mines stands too!

Please introduce yourself

Hi.  I’m Adam. Apparently I’m a grown up in my 30s… I work from home so live in my dressing gown (because it’s cheaper than heating) I’ve always loved games, reading and using my imagination. I’ve always played board games and playing with toy soldiers making up basic rules. I dabbled with Advanced Fighting Fantasy book and being a GM in primary school. I have a restless brain and would rather be doing something than just watching TV, so board and PC games are my main past time.

How many games do you own?

A quick shelf count gives me 120 big box games and 80 or so small games.

How many of your games have you not played?

About 4, Greenland, Tammany, Hall Dune and a few tiny ones from the pack of game series. I normally open and play new games in the first few days.

What is your oldest game?

My oldest games are Pit and Diplomacy from the 1960s. Diplomacy I found in a charity shop for 50p, Pit is my gran’s copy.

Last game you played?

At this time of writing, my last game is Imperial 2030 which arrived on Wednesday and played a 2 player learning game with my fiancé on Saturday, we got some rules hideously wrong but it is very, very interesting.  You play mega corporations who buy control and shares of counties and can temporarily lead them to war and expansion and then tax them, but another player can buy more shares in the country and take control of it. It is looks ‘thinky’ and nasty which sounds like a good mix to me.

Best gaming experience?

There are lots.  My best earliest gaming experience is coaxing my teen brothers out of their rooms to take part in a family game.  I love introducing non gamers to gaming and seeing the pieces of the puzzle clicking in as they realise there is more to gaming than Monopoly. I also love quick two player games sneaked into a busy day ( lunch breaks or waiting for a ferry). I’m not that great at small talk or relaxing my brain so a game of Hill 218 or Hive played dangerously fast is great medicine.

Favourite colour to play?

Purple, followed by yellow, cos purple looks awesome on the board particularly as they are often green or brown.

Favourite person / people to play with?

Laney. She is a great opponent, relaxed and easy going about learning rules of new games. We normally test and learn most games over a few rounds of two player and we make a lot of rules errors in learning them. She is always a great challenge to play against and enjoys playing thematically which is my favorite way to play.  I’m not a fan of taking ages ‘mathing’ out turns. I’d rather play  faster make mistakes and learn from them.

Your favourite game to play?

A tricky question as it depends on where and when but the most fun game has to be Telestrations.  It is playable with anyone and always ends in much laughter. I’ve played it all over the world and it packs down small- ish to go into my suitcase for group holidays.  Codenames is a close second. My personal favourite game currently is Star Wars Rebellion (epic, thematic 2 player). This changes frequently and it is usually whatever our current new favorite we like to play until we really get it.

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Dune (or Pit mentioned earlier).  It’s rare an out of print and I spent ages trying to find it for my fiancée. We haven’t played it yet however.

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

There are soooo many games out there.  Play lots or other peoples’ games before buying too many of your own. Play to have fun and not win. Try all types of games even they have a frowning man holding a map on the front and potentially look really boring. Equally glorious art and 100s of plastic figures doesn’t make a great game. Lastly don’t take thing personally.  I love ‘take that’ games and back stabbing people but that is SOO not me in real life. Games give you an awesome chance to do something different and take a risk.

What type / themes / styles of games do you like to play?

I prefer interactive, competitive games often with hidden roles or mission and bluffing. I do like less interactive games but they need to have something interesting about them.  There is something great about building an engine, growing from nothing to a well- oiled machine be in a machine or a farm or a team of cathedral builders.  I have a strange aversion to deck builders and worker placement games. Role play games I prefer narrative and story telling over heavy combat. War games I prefer skirmish campaign games where you don’t need lots of models and where you get to know and name each model on the board.

How competitive are you and how often do you win?

I like to win but I am not competitive. I am normally the teacher so half my brain is on running the game and making sure the newbies are having a good time, so I often neglect my own game, worse as the game owner  and teacher I am the natural target for any attacks.

I have never played a properly competitive game like Magic or a tournament, but often play 2 player board games but they tend to be thematic like Twilight Struggle, Star Wars Rebellion or Liberty or Death, where the story or the journey is more important than the winner.

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game? Be creative

This is a silly answer but I’d love to play a game of Monopoly with Elizabeth Magie inventor of the Landlord game in room surround by all the many version of Monopoly. It could well be awkward.

 

Have you any game and mental health / community related stories to share? Our charity this year is Mind and I think it is a great fit!

 

I have a number of gamers say to me our open approach and link to Mind has given them the confidence to come and play with us. This is heart -warming to me. For me I work from home and am strongly introverted. Being introverted doesn’t mean you don’t need human contact, it is just harder and more draining. I really value my gaming time as a great way to spend time with my friends.

What question have I missed? Why did you start Herefordshire Board Gamers.

Great question, why does a busy introvert with  a solid gaming group which comes to him (so he doesn’t even have to leave the house) spend so much of his spare time and energy starting a game club, when there are 3 (I wasn’t aware of Dice and Decks initially) other existing game groups in the county. I started it to support and advertise the charity board game days, but in gathering gamers in our Facebook group there was clearly a need or space for a community to support gamers and gaming. I know the value of a good community, a good activity and how inclusive and valuable gaming can be in bringing people together and providing a safe space to relax and have fun. This is why I started it and am pushing the growth of HB it’s a good cause and we can give back to the community too, I invite you all to join me on this awesome journey.

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Interview with a gamer no4: Emma

Please introduce yourself

HELLO

 How many games do you own?

Less than I would like but what I do have are the BEST

How many of your games have you not played?

Just the one- Simon’s Cat: I was gripped by bring and buy mania at EXPO and saw it has a cat on it so I HAD to have it.

What is your oldest game?

Robo Rally. It is the most fun and it has cute robots and there is much chaos. Could literally play it all day (and have on many occasions).

 Best gaming experience?

I have so many J. Back in the day I used to really enjoy Tring Con because as much as the full on walk around and shop and look at everything madness that is EXPO was fun, Tring con was a whole day of gaming which is even better and even though it was with mostly strangers (aarghh strangers!!) it did mean I got to play games I’d never seen before- and it was my first time at a con J AND where I bought Robo Rally (first game I owned bar Carcassonne) and where I first played Arabian Nights…but saying that…! Still think I preferred our most recent game day. Because reasons J.

 Favourite colour to play?

I don’t have one.

 Favourite person / people to play with?

I enjoy playing with everyone at HB J unless they draw p*****s because that is bad and not funny at all.

 What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

When you buy a new game always Youtube learn it first and the Dice Tower people are hilarious you should watch those ones.

 What type / themes / styles of games do you like to play?

 I loooooooooove story games but there aren’t many of them and not many people I know share my enthusiasm for them. Aside from that I am a big fan of social games and games with cute themes, but I will play literally anything well made and will try anything once (even if it involves the mafia). I would rather not play war games or CCGs (totally overdid MtG) but they can be fun too if they are good ones and with the right people.

 How competitive are you and how often do you win?

Shhhhh no…I am not competitive AT ALL………………….”shame”. I try not to let my competitive side come out because it’s more important to have fun than to be in the lead but sometimes I can’t help it and I am sorry if I get carried awayJ. How often do I win? I don’t know…enough but not too much? I’ll go with that.

 

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Interview with a gamer no3: Jon

Please introduce yourself

Hello, I’m Jon (known on various forums as jp1885).Gaming-wise I’m a tabletop wargamer at heart, (at least during the rare momentsof free time) and enjoy painting and converting miniatures as well asscratchbuilding terrain from bits of rubbish. I’m also a blogger (http://frostgravery.blogspot.co.uk/being my current blog) and run the Hereford Wargamers website (https://herefordwargamers.wordpress.com/).

I used to be co-organiser of the Herefordshire Very BritishCivil War big games, attracting players from all over the country, and was alsoa regular contributor and sub-editor of the satirical website Newsbiscuit, until Istarted taking it all too seriously.

How many games do you own?

Wargames-wise I own a few rulesets, but currently onlyactively play one of them (Frostgrave). I have hundreds of miniatures andmodels, mainly for Frostgrave and my previous obsession, Very British CivilWar.

Board games-wise, nothing that would probably be taken seriouslyat the meets! Being father to two small girls, most of the games in our house involveprincesses or mermaids.

How many of yourgames have you not played?

Wargames – I’ve played them all at least once. Board games,we’ve played them all frequently.

What is your oldest game?

Ooohhh let me think… probably Tummy Ache (I did tell you Ihave small children)

Last game you played?

Labyrinth – my eldest loves that game and is annoyingly goodat it.

Best gaming experience?

Gaming with my kids is top of the list. Also the VBCW biggames before organising them became a pain and introducing Frostgrave to theHereford Wargames Club.

Favourite colour to play?

Being the only man in the house I’m invariably blue.

Favourite person /people to play with?

My family.

Your favourite game to play?

Labyrinth – it ticks all the boxes for me and my family (whofor some reason think that a grown man playing with toy soldiers is weird)

Wargames – currently Frostgrave, where I get to be a wizard.

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Labyrinth again (Wargames – don’t even mention fire; thethought of my collection going up in smoke is not a nice one!)

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

Don’t take it seriously and laugh when you lose (I don’tguarantee that I follow this advice myself though!)

What type / themes /styles of games do you like to play?

Wargames – small scale skirmish games that have an elementof role-playing (I’ve recently backed a Kickstarter for a dice game calledEscape the Dark Castle, which combines this with more traditional games).Although moving huge armies across a massive table has its attractions.

Board games – something I can pick up easily and is fun toplay, natch.

How competitive are you and how often do you win?

I’m too competitive for my own good and win veryinfrequently. Hmm… I need a new hobby…

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game? Be creative

Obviously at home with my family, but preferably somethingthat doesn’t involve pink sparkly things. Either that or anything with friendlycompany and the occasional beer. Not very imaginative, but hey.

Wargames – I have simple tastes, so a nice big village hallfull of gaming tables groaning with everyone’s toys that we can all admire andbe jealous of. And with catering (Oh, and a set of dice that roll high all day!)

Have you any game and mental health / community related stories to share?

Though not game related I’ve had dark times like most people.I’m forever grateful that I managed to get myself out of them but wish I’d havetalked to people more than I did.

The wargames community is a very friendly one by and largeand many gamers share their mental health issues on the various forums andblogs. The response is usually fantastic, and it’s not been unknown for wargamersto raise money for other wargamers in dire straits who they don’t even know.

I guess the lesson here is to open up to those whoseopinions you respect and/or trust; even if it’s a bunch of middle-aged men who play with toy soldiers on the internet (generalisation alert!).

Finally what question would you want to ask of the next gamer to take this quiz?

Is it boardgamer or board gamer? One word or two?

Oh, a proper question? Ok.

This from a wargamer to board gamers (not that there shouldbe a distinction between the two): what interests you about wargaming and whatputs you off wargaming?

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Interview with a gamer no2: Ben

Interview no 2.

Please introduce yourself

Hi. I’m Ben, and I’m the co-founder and organiser of the Ross-on-Wye board gamers. We are a small (typically one or two tables) and very informal group. We tend to prefer mid-weight Euro games on the whole, but have been known to stretch our wings into other genres, and we’re never above a silly
party game. The bottom line for us is that games are a fun way to socialise and we’d never make anyone play something they didn’t enjoy.

How many games do you own?

My boardgamegeek profile suggests I own about 640, but many of those are
expansions, print-and-plays and other such throwaway stuff. I would reckon
about 500 is the right number. It’s a number that I have stabilised over
the last couple of years, trimming out games that are ‘the same but less
good’ as others in my collection, and buying fewer games on impulse. I am
baffled by the current Kickstarter trends, where people will pay money for
a game that hasn’t actually been built yet and is existing on a marketing
promise. How do people think marketing actually works?

How many of your games have you not played?

Currently, about 50-60, mostly due to lack of time. Me – and the group –
have quite a short attention span and will generally turn down anything
that is upwards of 90 minutes in favour of two shorter games. So 2-hour
games are thin on the ground anyway in my collection, and unplayed ones
will often get traded without any table time, apart from a few pet
favourites. My current policy is to try and at least SUGGEST something from
the unplayed pile every week.

What is your oldest game?

Um…would ‘chess’ be a really boring answer to this question? Scrabble?
Monopoly?

My oldest ‘designer’ game that gets regularly played is probably Eurorails:
a classic of the ‘crayon-rail’ genre, where you literally draw all over the
board in order to create your delivery network.

Last game you played?

That would be Colonialism: a little-known and vicious card-driven area
control game. It got roundly slated on release due to its bleak and
uncompromising theme, which essentially consists of killing Third World
natives in order to steal all their resources. Underneath, though, we found
lots of interesting decisions and an interesting arc to the game as we
gradually cleaned up all the resources.

Best gaming experience?

Loads and loads: quiet nights on pub balconies with my wife; intense 5-6
player sessions at Ross-on-Wye; long weekends mixing tabletop and garden
games. Perhaps my favourite of all was introducing Cyrano to six vaguely
sceptical gamers at Midcon a few years ago. Cyrano is about as far from the
gamer stereotype as you can get: it’s a game where you write your own
poetry! I watched six faces go from polite bemusement to uproarious
laughter in about 40 minutes.

Favourite colour to play?

I don’t normally commit myself. The Ross-on-Wye group has one player who
always plays red, one player who always plays green, and one player who
always plays ‘a drab colour’. I’m happy enough with whatever is left over.
I don’t mind playing purple if it’s available, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Favourite person / people to play with?

The core of the Ross-on-Wye group: Becky, John, Tony, Bill and Dave. We’ve
learned a huge number of games together and enjoyed at least 90% of it.

Your favourite game to play?

The undoubted champion of our group is Agricola, and it’s an outright
favourite for at least two of us. There are dozens and dozens of
worker-placement games on the market these days, but I would happily do
away with all but about half-a-dozen, all six of which are part of my Top
50 games.

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Depends where the fire was. My games shelves surround our wood-burner,
which draws many an anxious glance from over-protective fellow gamers.

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

Do not believe the hyperbolic reviews and ‘advice’, especially those that
think all the good games have been published within the last five years.
The best way to work out what you like is to play it. Don’t get suckered in
by Kickstarter campaigns and other tacky marketing. You can pick up some
excellent games in second-hand sales and trades (probably only about 40% of
my collection was bought new). Don’t worry about learning new games: these
days nearly every games table has at least one learner. Don’t be shy about
asking to sit down with complete strangers at conventions.

What type / themes / styles of games do you like to play?

So, as discussed, I am an advocate of the ‘Euro’ – those games that tend to
run short on theme and low on luck. What you gain as a result are
intelligent mechanics, and thoughtful decision-making and games that reward
successful strategy. If that sounds terribly deep and heavy, it doesn’t
have to be: good designers can cram a lot of good decisions into a
half-hour card game these days.

I also enjoy a good card game (I was brought up on Bridge) and have an
unreasonably large number of dexterity games. I’m definitely not a fan of
lazy stereotyped themes: zombies, dungeon-crawling and sub-standard sci-fi.

How competitive are you and how often do you win?

Quite a lot, and about average. There are plenty of games which I’m happy
to play just for the enjoyment of it (Terraforming Mars being a recent good
example of ‘more fun than strategy’), but if you’re not playing to win then
you’re not getting the most out of any game. Both me and my wife come from
unreasonably competitive families, so 2-player sessions can often result in
mild fisticuffs and swearing!

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game?

I’ve tried answering this before, but ultimately it’s futile. I don’t
hero-worship anyone – gamers, designers, or celebrities. I have favourite
games, but even sessions of those have fallen somewhat flat. You never know
when the next session might turn out to be a brainburning masterpiece or
hysterically funny, so you just have to keep your options open.

Finally what question would you want to ask of the next gamer to take this quiz?

How important to you is the theme in a game? 

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Inteview with a gamer no1: Emily.

Welcome to the first of a new series, lets meet our gamers. (Small confession these were submitted nearly a year ago.)

Please introduce yourself

My name is Emily Beavan.  I am 43 years old and a relatively novice gamer compared to some members of the group.  I’m married to Rob, and have 3 children who are teens/adults now and we developed our love of gaming from introducing things like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride and Pandemic to them as children and visiting the Board Game café in Exeter where my daughter is currently studying at Uni.  We play games regularly as a family and as my children are growing up its great to have a shared interest that we can still do together.  Our tastes in games has grown up too and we are enjoying very much learning about new games from the group and getting a chance to play them with likeminded people.

How many games do you own?

105. Rob made me make a spreadsheet.

How many of your games have you not played?

About 37

What is your oldest game?

A 1930s solitaire board made from Bakelite does that count?

Last game you played?

Walking Dead Card Game against Abi (of course)

Best gaming experience?

Playing  Dungeons and Dragons, in the 90s as a teen in a derelict Chapel by candle light!

Favourite colour to play?

Blue – Always Ravenclaw Blue

Favourite person / people to play with?

My kids

Your favourite game to play?

A new one.  The last game I played  is usually my new favourite. 

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Um – None!  The Dogs!! But if the dogs were safe and I had time I’d grab my Harry Potter Cluedo as that edition is hard to find now.

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

There are lots of different types of games out there – keep trying,  until you find a style of game you like.  Likewise there are lots of different types of gamers – some are more serious about it than others but don’t let that put you off!

You don’t have to be a Magic the Gathering Nerd or a Star Wars fan!  But if you are then it’s a great way to meet likeminded friends.

What type / themes / styles of games do you like to play?

I’m basically attracted to pretty artwork or games with cute meeples.  E.g. Yamatai, Kodama

I like to play games where you get to be a bit ruthless / competitive

But I love to play party  type games with friends like – Sushi Go, Snake Oil, Bring your own Book. Something that makes everyone laugh until snot comes out of their noses.

 I dislike long winded games like Talisman or things like X Wing where you have to keep spending money to buy another toy.

Can’t stand dice games or anything where you need to do maths as me and Numbers don’t get along.

 How competitive are you and how often do you win?

I am secretly SUPER competitive.  But I don’t sulk if I don’t win and still enjoy the game but play to win especially if playing against my husband Rob.

 Generally, I always win when playing against Rob – despite what he may believe

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game? Be creative

Hmm.  A party game like Codenames, Cards against humanity or snake oil at a social gathering somewhere cool – let’s say Hogwarts – and I’d  invite Stephen Fry, Barrack and Michelle Obama, Eddie Izzard and J.K.Rowling – just because I like to imagine they’d be my friends if we ever met!  

Have you any game and mental health / community related stories to share. Our charity this year is Mind and I think it is a great fit?

Playing board games with strangers is great if you suffer with social anxiety – like me.  Basically, we are a bunch of people avoiding eye contact and having fun, often pretending to be a different character.  It can be daunting meeting new people but board games provide a safe space and you have fun too.

 Board games are a great way to manage stress and depression – another personal experience.  It makes you re-connect and focus upon the now and the people in the room.  It’s hard to be worrying about life when you are busy finding a cure for a disease or trying to fit Vikings into a longboat with a chicken and a sheep….

Finally what question would you want to ask of the next gamer to take this quiz.

Card sleeves or no card sleeves?                                                                   

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