Tuesday, 10 July 2007

weekend gaming

After returning from Taiwan at the end of 2004, I continued my boardgame hobby - playing games, buying games, and reading about games on the internet (and now writing a blog about boardgames). Unfortunately, I never managed to build up a regular gaming group like I did in Taiwan. When I first came back, Michelle was my most regular opponent. We played a lot together. The frequency of gaming was affected by the arrival of our children, Shee Yun in March 2005, and Chen Rui in December 2006, but Michelle is still interested to play and enjoys playing. At least I don't think she is just humouring me. But of course now the girls, and rest, come first. She is not crazy like I am about boardgames. I can still continue reading about boardgames on the internet until midnight, even if I have had a tiring day at work. She wouldn't give up her precious sleep for boardgames.

When I first returned to KL, I had known Han via Boardgamegeek for about half a year, and we have exchanged a few emails, but we have never met in person. We first met at a small public gaming event organised by Edwin Wong of Pan Global Insurance. I thought I had better meet this guy in public first before inviting a stranger to my home. Who knows what kind of weird people can be found on the internet. He probably also thought the same about me. This was the first time in my life I made a friend through the internet, and this sure sounds weird knowing that I was over 30. Han turned out to be a pretty decent guy, and since then we have been playing regularly, usually on Sunday afternoons at my place. Recently we switched to Saturday afternoons, to match his wife's yoga lessons.

21 Jan 2007. Han and Chee Seng playing Marvel Heroes.

We don't make our weekly boardgame sessions a fixed activity, although they turn out to be more or less fixed. We still do confirm on a weekly basis whether that week's session is on. Sometimes we invite other friends. However lately it has been mostly just the two of us, and sometimes Michelle too when she is not busy with the girls or asleep. The benefits of a regular timing is we can always plan other events around it. Not that we must always have a session every week. Sometimes we skip a week or 2 (or more) because of other events / plans. I like regular sessions because I can always look forward to the next session.

Throughout the roughly two and a half years of more-or-less regular weekend gaming, Han and I have tried many different games. I find that there are many games which we have only played once. Although we do play often, strangely we never seem to be able to catch up with the games we buy. Maybe we should buy less. Or maybe we should play more!

Han and I have slightly different tastes in boardgames. Han's favourite type of game is American-style games, which have strong emphasis on theme and flavour and story (e.g. Marvel Heroes, War of the Ring, Hunting Party, Star Wars: Queen's Gambit). He likes fantasy and role-playing elements in games. I tend to like Euro-style games, which tend to focus on gameplay mechanics (Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan). Rules are usually quite simple and streamlined, and games are usually not too long, in the range of 45 - 90 minutes, and yet players get to make many meaningful strategic and tactical decisions throughout the game. This works out well, because our game collections complement each other and we get to play more different games.

My weekly boardgame sessions are something I'm always looking forward to. Although we tend to only have 2 (or at most 3) players, we still enjoy the gaming a lot. Lately I am a bit out of steam in trying to convert friends to regular boardgame players. I have not been trying as hard as before to invite other friends to our sessions. Maybe I should launch a "recruitment drive". The other way to is start training and brainwashing our children (Han has 2 boys, I have 2 girls) to be our future gaming group.

1 comment:

wankongyew said...

Well, you sure do manage to get a lot of gaming done even with just once a week sessions! My wife and I are contemplating making our CarcaSean sessions twice weekly sessions!