Friday, March 19, 2010

Boards, Cards, Etc.

Recently I've been trying to decide if there is room in my life for more than one gaming hobby.

Board Games

Certainly this is my primary interest in the hobby, and it's a fitting one if it's the only gaming niche in which I participate, largely because of its flexibility. I can pull out a board game to play when I'm alone and want a solitaire game, a two player game to share with the Mrs. or a friend, a strategy game for four or five, a party game for 6 or 8, or a handful of different titles to split up a very large group into 2 or 3 separate tables. A stack of board games can be thrown in the car and played with friends or family on a trip, or a game can tag along to a coffee shop or restaurant and be played over a drink or snack. There are even versions of board games online that I can play with long distance friends and relatives.

Collectible Card Games

CCG's, like Magic: the Gathering, are games in which you buy packs of cards and then build your own deck from the resulting card pool. Each player that plays constructs their own deck and uses it to play against others that have done the same. Magic is an amazing game, although keeping up with it is immensely expensive, and actually maintaining competitive decks would be even more so. Even so, the huge card pool that has been released over the years gives the game a huge amount of variety, the strategies are numerous, there are hundreds of different ways to play and thousands of ways to customize your style of deck and of play.

If taken just in a limited setting, Magic can fit in the board game world. I could simply take a stack of the cards I own and draft decks using that particular pool of cards with a number of friends, and then play. Magic is certainly best, however, when there is a large group of people playing in an area and many people building different types of decks and offering various styles of play. This is not really the case right now in Canton, so it's difficult for me to be involved with the game at all, though it has meant I've been able to fully concentrate on pursuing my board game interests. Ideally I'd be able to have some board game friends that were also into Magic so that I could stay plugged into that scene a little as well.

The Rest

I have given a little thought to playing a role playing game (RPG) at some point. I think it's something I'd devote a little time to if I happened to find an awesome group that inspired me to do so. I would say it is an ongoing interest of mine, but not something that I'd be willing to get off the ground myself. I did play a little Dungeons & Dragons long ago, but the group was not very interesting, and the DM not very ambitious.

I also rather enjoy video games, but I've now owned Okami for the Wii for a year, and despite loving the game, I just don't find enough time to play. Not that the pastime isn't enjoyable, I just choose to play the board game first every time.

Collectible miniatures have never really interested me all that much--they eat time & money just like M:tG, and I really don't have the same spark of interest in them as in collectible card games, so I think I can do without. I do have a Heroscape Basic Set, which is somewhat of a cross between board games and collectible miniatures, so I may end up pursuing that a little anyway.

Live Action Role Playing (LARP) is another part of the hobby I've never pursued, though many of my friends in the Burlington area did (and still do, so far as I know.) Not that the idea isn't quite intriguing, but I just don't see myself devoting that amount of time in another undertaking.

Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games (MMPORPGs) like World of Warcraft are immensely popular right now and I bet they would be a riot to play. They strike me as immersive and quite entertaining, but again, when played to their potential, these types of games don't really leave much time for other pursuits.

Well, that's probably enough babbling for now. Keep playing!

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