Monday, May 16, 2011

Reconnecting with Friends

Would you like to play a game?
My regular D&D game has been going through one of "those" phases. I am referring to an adventure, which I planned to have take 3 to 4 game sessions, but which is now stretching to 6 or 8. In real world terms, a month and a half is becoming 3 months of game sessions.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it has happened several times in my campaign (usually during dungeon crawls). My players still seem to be enjoying themselves/not dying. It's just that game encounters that I thought would take an hour have extended well beyond, and with everyone's busy schedules, I have had to run a couple shorter sessions.

The biggest consequence of all this is that I have had no game prep to do for months. No game prep means I have lots of free time to pursue other interests like gardening, Minecraft and taking windy walks with my girlfriend... not necessarily in that order. However, it also reduces the amount of new material I can potentially contribute to this blog as I am not trying out new things and contemplating various forms of RPG shennaniganry.

That being said, I have had the wonderful opportunity these past two Fridays to reconnect with two of my best friends from high school by getting together and playing board games.

The Seattle area seems to be firmly locked in an explosion of esoteric board-game enthusiasm. I am not sure if this is unique to the Pacific Northwest, or to my particular social circle, or if it is a nation/worldwide surge in board gameage. I find that this enthusiasm for games is primarily directed towards lesser-known titles (i.e. not the ilk of Monopoly, Candyland or Pictionary).

The past two weeks, I have spent my Friday nights playing Settlers of Catan, Chrononauts and Zombies!!! with the aforementioned best buds, and I gotta say, I forgot just how fun board games can be. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I prefer cooperative gaming to competition. However, these game nights have not brought forth any of my usual grumblings about playing against my friends. Maybe its the company, maybe my usual trepidation is all in my head, but it's been a wonderful experience.

Can anyone help fill me in? Is this a Northwest phenomenon, a young urbanite phenomenon, or is it something broader? Also, what games would you recommend I add to my burgeoning game shelf?


  1. I declare that our domicile shall henceforth be known as Castle Shennaniganry. That is all.

  2. I spent the better part of the last decade playing a panoply of games just like those on a weekly basis in Massachusetts, so it's not just a Northwest thing. :)

    Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride (which I have a copy of) are other quality games that are easy to learn, so they're good for hooking new players.

    For more complex fare, Puerto Rico is a longtime favorite, and I love the game Power Grid. Both have good depth and expansions to help vary the gameplay over time.

    The best game I've played recently (within the past couple of years, anyway) is Dominion. Randomly drawn game conditions means no two games are alike, and a single game plays in 30-45 minutes. Because of those factors, it can fill a lot of time pretty easily.

    If you're looking for extra players sometime, let me know!

  3. One of my good friends is obsessed with Dominion. I really should pick it up.


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