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 This is also very out of date, my fiancé is now my wife!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.

Our Wonderful Sponsors

One final shout out to our amazing sponsors who have either provided prizes or servers. We have well over £1000 in prizes and have had nearly £1000 in services donated to make this day happen! We have the full A to Z of sponsors!

Accasion Marquees
AireCon
Basically Wooden
Boardgameguru.co.uk
The Board Game Hut Limited
Board Game Monster
Cuddly Cthulhu Creatives
TheCore Skatehereford Cic
DellCon
Freedesign
Imperial Hereford
The Kup-cake Kitchen Café
Left Bank Village
Madam & Adam
Meeples’ Corner
Mythic Games
Pegasus Hobbies & Games
The Swan Inn
Wise Owl Toys
Wye Valley Brewery
Zatu Games

Giant Games at our Charity Day

Giant games at our Charity day. We are welcome back two favourite oversized games, Tsuro and Jenga.

We are working very hard to give you one more massive surprise a game so large it will make Tsuro look tiny! Watch this space.

Photos of giant Tsuro https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

The Jenga images were taken at our First charity event in 2015 which was also at The Core, we’ve changed a lot and so has TheCore Skatehereford Cic

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.

 

Terror in Hereford City!

Don’t panic! We’ve just enbiggened another game, the crazy team have spent over 100 hours making this. We’ve managed to grow it from 2 inches to nearly 6 foot tall, and kept about 70% of the orginal rules. Total cost is probably less than the base game .

This dwarfs giant Tsuro which needs 3m by 3m of floor to play it. This is going to be need about 5m.

There is some place holder art to replace but it will be ready for 19th May https://www.facebook.com/events/358455677932846/

There will be a lot more suprises and ‘easter eggs’ hidden in the game too

Welcome to Hereford city, the cathedral is over 6ft tall.

HB HQ 😀

Fighting over (literally) the last building

Sponsor Meeple class

Cosplayer Meeple class 

And finally Herefordshire Board Gamer meeple class!
More photos here!
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1806837272952501&type=3

UK Games Expo Tips

One of our regular gamers Kenny has kindly combined a list of tips for attending the expo (and other conventions), the expo is constantly growing so we’ll update this before the event next year if we find out more!

Over to Kenny:
 I had never been to a convention before going to last years expo for the friday with the mrs. If you’re in the same boat and are thinking of attending, you should absolutely do it. I went last year without reading up very much and the first thing that hit me was how busy everything is. It was a bit of a shock to begin with although it must have worked out ok in the end as this year we went back for two days. –

1 – Crowds 

Coping with the crowds was vital for me in order to get the most out of the expo. Getting from a to b can take longer than you think. Popular attractions like the bring and buy will have long queues at peak times. Saturday tends to be busier than Friday and first thing in the morning / last thing in the evening can be quieter. The expo guide has a great index of stands and exhibitors. There are also larger maps available at the expo merch stand by the main entrance. Planning goes a long way. Use the big stands to orientate yourself, there’s also street names and row numbering which makes things even easier if you are that way inclined. The volunteers are really helpful, but don’t expect them to know everything. 

2 – Pacing yourself

Walking around the expo can be knackering. There’s plenty of places near the main hall to take time out. If the weather is on side you can grab something to eat and sit by the lake if you need a break from gaming. Otherwise there is a Wetherspoons, Starbucks etc in the NEC itself and a shopping centre at the Genting complex under 10 min walk away with all the normal chains you would expect.  

3 – Bags

Pack light to stop you getting worn out. If you have a full rucksack and you are walking around the main hall you will be annoying people by hitting them, The aisles were a lot wider this year but space is still at a premium. A large tote bag worn on your shoulder or a messenger style bag is much better as you can hold it in front of you or keep it under your arm.
Either way, be considerate, and be aware of your surroundings. If you are buying a sackload of new games there are a couple of options to make your life easier – right outside hall 1 there is a cloakroom that will accept bags of any size for £1. We left a large suitcase on both days this year. Also Leisure games have a game drop off service where you can leave as many games as will fit in one of their large storage boxes. I think they charge £2 but haven’t used the drop off so can’t confirm (Rumours it got very full).
Pack a few tote bags as well to bring your wares home in. Don’t feel you need to bring lots of games for open gaming there is the lending library and there will be lots of games to play there perhaps bring a few unusual ones or your favourite.

4 – Demos

My favourite thing at the expo is getting to expand my gaming palette by demoing games I wouldn’t normally get to play. Demos are popular though! A theme develops. Its rare you are going to walk up to a booth, find a game set up with a demonstrator ready to sit you down and start teaching.
My first advice for getting a demo in is probably a bit obvious – hang around by a table in play. The demonstrators will be happy to let you know how long a session is likely to take to finish. Sometimes you might get lucky and be able to squeeze onto a table if they haven’t quite started yet. Bear in mind there may be other people who have been waiting for a game to finish but aren’t hovering right beside the table.
Something that worked out well for us in this situation was offering to play as a single player to allow more people to join in. Have a list of games to check out so if one game is in the middle of a 2 hour play though you can head to another stand. If we saw a table finishing, even if it was a game we had no prior knowledge of, we often sat down anyway. This works especially well with shorter games set up near longer games you are waiting for. That way we got to maximise the number of demos we got in. There’s something great about speed learning a game, then muddling through with strangers, and then having everything coalesce. –

5 – Accommodation

Tricky one this. The expo is gaining in popularity year on year and the hotels are not stupid. Supply and demand means the hotels nearest the NEC will hike their prices. This year was particularly bad as there was a film and tv memorabilia fair and two nights of take that concerts to compete with. However prices for 2018 have gone a bit nuts for the hotels that have opened up bookings. It might be worth waiting a bit for more hotels to release rooms for the 2018 dates, but be prepared to stay further way than you’d like if everything gets snapped up. Not going to be very helpful here – i’m afraid i think its totally worth the price being within 10 minutes walk of the expo so you can pop back and forth for naps / food / showers / dropping games off etc. You can easily ignore me though, there are plenty of hotels in central birmingham and trains from the nec are frequent and run pretty late. –

6 – food & drink

There was some great reasonably street food out the front of the hilton hotel last year. Unfortunately it’s enough of a trek that we didn’t bother this year and went for the very expensive but uber convenient starbucks for lunch. It suited us at the time as it meant we could sit outside even when it was raining. wouldn’t recommend tbh, especially as there are little coffee cart stall in the main hall itself. If you want a proper meal at a table the genting complex has chain restaurants etc. –

7 – open gaming

The large open gaming spaces in the main hall and it the hilton are an amazing buzzing tabletop mecca. I could happily wander about just looking at the games people are playing as it seems like i only recognise 1 in 10. It’s very easy to strike up conversation with people and next year i definitely want to make a point of spending more time doing just that, and hopefully playing more games with strangers. There are bars inside or near the open gaming spaces in the hilton. Prices are middling to expensive with pints around £4 for a plastic pint glass. There were also tea and coffee stalls but a mad person must have been in charge of their opening hours as they were closed by late evening. During the afternoon the space in the main hall is surprise surprise pretty busy. As soon as the main hall closes a vast amount of people head over to the hilton. However getting a table should be easy as long as you go first thing in the main hall and any time up until 5.30 ish in the hilton. If you want to find space at peak times you’ll need to be patient, like getting a table in a busy pub. Don’t expect to find a spare table for 6 people unless you have time to wait for people to finish. Alternatively use the space in your hotel lobby. A flag system showing you are looking for new players should be in place but the last two years flags have been hard to find, so we’ll be making our own for next year.

8 – People

Gamers are really friendly. Not sure why this came as a surprise, but it is a welcome one. Its great having people carrying new games around as there’s nothing we like more than talking about our new purchases. I totally recommend getting involved with as much as possible. If you are shy try finding an open gaming table somewhere nice and early and wait for people to join you – they’re highly likely to ask if you want to play something with barely any effort on your part. Or if you are a smaller group or couple ask if people mind if you join them. Some people will be saving space for friends, wanting to play something specific etc, but not everyone. One last thing – There are supposed to be little union jack flags for people to use as a sign that their table needs players. I didn’t see one of these but reckon a home made sign would do the trick even better.

9. On a budget

if you are on a budget consider attending for one day, bring your own food and drinks that is fine, consider which day is best to attending, Friday and Sunday are quitter. Friday opens later but sunday closes early. Saturday is busy.

10. Parking,

Do you research and do not park near the airport, the NEC or train station are often cheaper.

Our amazing prize haul!

The majority of our prize pool! 30 Board games. Basically Wooden have provided 9 gaming accessories and a £25 gift voucher. We also have vouchers donated by other awesome, local businesses and food and drink to win.
 
 
Our sponsors have been incredibly generous and have donated well over £1000 in prizes and just under £1000 in services. We have raised £500 in total this year from our 3 mini charity days and our 24 hour game-a-thon. We are on target to smash our £1000 target for Herefordshire Mind. Remember 100% of the proceeds goes to charity and there have been no costs for this event thanks to everyone’s generosity.
 
I need your help to do this justice. Please, please share the event, print out or share the poster in your community and work place. This is a great cause and we have a great hobby to share. The games day is going to be great fun and all are welcome. http://herefordshireboardgamers.co.uk/blog/2018/04/04/charity-posters/
If you can’t attend we will be accepting online bids for the auction prizes, so even if you can’t attend watch the group and the event for more information.
 
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New games: (23)
Bugs in the Kitchen, Breaking Bad, Captain Sonar, Codenames, Codenames Pictures, Codenames Duet, Cosmic Kaboom, Coup Reformation x 2, Freyas Folly, Ivor the Engine, Landlord, Myths at War, One night Ultimate Werewolf, Oh Captain, Rapid Delivery, Rob n Run, Sons of Anarchy, Special Delivery, Titus Tentakel, Trick of the Rails, Undercover and Why First.
 
Pre-loved games: (7)
Awesome Kingdom, Pocket Battles (Celts and Romans), Ponte Diavlo, Talisman, Tinker Tailor and Yamati
 
Game accessories:
£25 Basically Wooden Gift Voucher, 9 Basically Wooden accessories, gaming Tshirt.
 
Food and Drink:
Meal at the Imperial, £10 voucher for Kup Kake Kitchen Café, 2 x Wye Valley Brewery gift sets, various sweets. Heggies voucher, meal voucher for Adam and Madam.
 
Services and misc:
2 x model painting services, a games night, a custom lizard, 4 x new years eve tickets at the Left Bank.
 
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The photo doesn’t show the vouchers and a few stragglers and any one else who wishes to sponsor us. Any late sponsors before the 9th will get a nice surprise. These prizes will be split between the auction and the raffle and will be grouped into similar packages so a single win could get you 3-4 games. 
 
Our wonderful sponsors, show them some love too.
Accasion Marquees
AireCon
Basically Wooden
Boardgameguru.co.uk
The Board Game Hut Limited
Board Game Monster
Cuddly Cthulhu Creatives
TheCore Skatehereford Cic
DellCon
Freedesign
Heggies of Hereford
Imperial Hereford
The Kup-cake Kitchen Café
Left Bank Village
Madam & Adam
Meeples’ Corner
Mythic Games
Pegasus Hobbies & Games
Wye Valley Brewery
Zatu Games
 
https://www.facebook.com/events/358455677932846/

Introducing our star prize and sponsor!

**Trumpet noises** Introducing our golden Sponsor and star prizes Basically Wooden.

In addition to helping in our secret special project, Andrew and Sue from Basically Wooden, which is a Hereford based company making high quality board game accessories, from organisers to full boxes to card and token holders to make your life easier. They really care about their product and are wonderful people.

They have offered not 1 but 3 dice towers, a pair of card trays and token holders which clip together (magnets) and one of the latest products a combined card and token holder, scooped for easy access and some where to play your hand of cards for easy viewing and access. Perfect for those with mobility issues or dyspraxics like me who end up with hand fatigue. (The photo shows a built one which is mine, two flat packed ones are actually included)

These accessories really help keeping games flowing, the card holders can serve as a great first player marker as you pass the deck of event cards and you place it on the table with a satisfying clunk.

That’s not all. They have also provided a £25 gift voucher which covers most of their game inserts and accessories.

There are great items, but can be a luxury so this is a perfect chance to make your gaming betterer.

Please please share the event and my posts we need all the publicity we can get, our prize pool is worth well over £1000 and we’ve had nearly £1000 of free services.

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?