Saturday, August 22, 2009

1.6: What is this gaming thing? Part 2, Discovery

This is part two of the series, What is this gaming thing? Click here to read part 1.

How many of you had a closet or shelf at your parents' house that held all the boardgames? Ours was the closet at the entry for our house (I suppose it would qualify as the "coat closet," but we live in Southern California...I don't think I even own a "coat"). We had the usual copy of Memory, Sorry!, Monopoly, Pick-Up Sticks, a few decks of cards; there were also a few more interesting games. Bazaar (a trading/set-collection game) and Dungeon Dice (a press-your-luck style game) are two that stick out in my mind--initially because we, as a family, played these often (you should see my dad's copy of Dungeon Dice, one day the box just gave up, it's atoms scattering into the ether). Secondly, though I didn't think about it in my youth, these were not the typical "roll and move" style games. To me, they were simply "more fun."

Let's hop forward a number of years, High School; little boardgaming to speak of in the interim, but hanging out at Brian's one day, he brings out a copy of Kingmaker, a game about the War of the Roses (not the movie). The board, which was actually just on glossy paper, took up almost the entirety of his floor, and there were all these cardboard counters and cards, and a 20+ page rulebook. Like fools, we glanced at the 20 page rulebook and jumped right in. Hours later my meager army was holed up in London with the next heir to the throne, watching the rest of the world's population (aka, Brian's army) march toward them. We flip an event card for my turn...and my entire army falls victim to the plague. At that point I have to resign, giving Brian victory, but I leave intrigued. I'd later learn this game, Kingmaker, is considered a Wargame, but at that point I have two thoughts on my mind: First, I'm never playing that again. Second and more significant, I've never played anything like this--what else is out there?

1 comment:

  1. I could swear that game had an actual board. We really should play it again sometime, with more people. And I'd read the rulebook prior to that day, and still didn't understand half of it. Definitely an old Avalon Hill grognard game. :D

    As for other games, anything made by Avalon Hill ( prior to its acquisition by Hasbro in '98 that references war should qualify. I think I picked up a copy of Panzerblitz at a convention auction some time ago. Or maybe it's Panzer Leader... I *know* there are tanks involved. And chits. LOTS of chits.