Welcome to the inaugural blog post by your local board game specialist here at The End games, Tom. I thought I’d start off my first blog post by discussing a little about myself and what games I like, including my overall game philosophy and how it relates to board games.
I first started coming to The End as a wee boy, back in the 90s, when the store was located over on Rio Hill. I actually still remember my first trip to the store, my mother was purchasing my first Magic deck (the green preconstructed deck from Uzra’s Saga) so I could play Magic with my friends at Elementary School. Since that fateful day, this store has been many things to me over the years. A cool hangout, a home away from home, a place to restore my sanity, and eventually my place of employment. I maintain a unique position in this community in that I have seen groups come and go and have watched the overall zeitgeist of gamers change over the past 20 years.
The history of my obsession with board games is actually quite different than my history with this store however. It was not until college that board games became anything to me other than just something someone owned and broke out on occasion when we did not feel like playing something more “mainstream”. It was not until I played Runebound for the first time that I truly understood what a board game could be. How it seamlessly replicated a true roleplaying game experience without the need for a game master. Since that fateful day, I’ve been hooked. I now boast a very small, but well groomed collection of board game all-stars that all scratch a particular itch for me. From the fierce head-to-head action of Twilight Struggle, to the immensely social aspects of Battlestar Galactica, and even the pure nostalgia of Firefly, every one in my collection speaks to me in a different way.
So what does all this mean as it relates to my overall gaming philosophy? Having played more than my fair share of games, I believe that, at its purest essence, all games should be fun. This means that it does not matter what skill level the game requires, what mechanics it uses, its playing time, or any other metric by which we measure our games, all that matters is how much fun it is to you specifically, to play. Perhaps this is why I fundamentally disagree with things that rank board games such as Board Game Geeks’ top rankings. I’ve owned board games at both the top of the rankings and the bottom and I’ve had equal fun with them. This is the lesson that I work hard to remember while I craft my own board game and it is the lesson at the heart of every selection I make for board game demo nights here at the store.
So let me open up the discussion to everyone. Tell me, what is your board game philosophy? Which board games exemplify your philosophy best? How can we better cater our board game events to your philosophy?