Or, How We Became Meeples
When we first met, I wouldn’t have called us “Gamers.” I had experience in high school playing Lunch Money and Euchre, as well as other card games while stuffing myself with food. In college, I moved onto playing Munchkin between classes and casually playing Magic the Gathering. I had really moved away from gaming of all kinds until 2013, when Ethan and I were in full swing and we decided to play Risk together (his roommate at the time asked if our plan was to stay together, har har). I, of course, won. (That’s how I remember it anyway.) [If I recall, we never finished.]
I remember a lot of gaming in my childhood; mostly the old standbys like Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble with family, but the occasional foray into more “gamery” games as well (I fondly recall playing HeroQuest with my older brother when I was probably around 6 or 7. As the game master he definitely cheated in my favor and let me win more than I should have). In high school and college, I was more active in tabletop RPGs than board games, having played D&D a few times in high school and running through a campaign of the Star Wars RPG in college. I did have a few experiences with modern board games at conventions or game nights at work, but never really had anyone to play many games with until I met Amber, and even then we started with a lot of the classics that we found at Goodwill for a few bucks.
That following winter, we attended the UK Expo in Milwaukee, a small convention of just a few hundred people. Ethan was experienced, having attended Anime Conventions in the past, but for me, this was my first exposure into the more geeky side of things. Game Rooms were a new concept for me, but this kind group welcomed us with open arms, starting us out with a game of Munchkin, moving us on to Red Dragon Inn and ending our time with Revolution! the board game. [We may have also played Dominion.]
After that weekend, we had an itch that we couldn’t scratch (only in the best and most innocent way, of course), our classic board games and the games for two just couldn’t fulfill us anymore, so we set out to see if there were any board games groups in our area. One very short Google search later, we found a group called The Janesville Pegheads on Meetup.com. (Shameless plug) In the year following our first meetup (October 8, 2014), we have gone from about 30 classic games to a collection of almost 300 classic and hobby games and expansions, not to count the experiences and friends we’ve gained along the way. I personally look forward to our next gaming adventure: writing about games, tournaments, and our experience along the way.
I never would have imagined that we could get so deep into the board gaming hobby so quickly, but it has certainly been a fun and rewarding experience. We have an awesome community of gamers that can come together with the common goal of playing games, having fun, and making friends (shamelessly paraphrased from the Janesville Pegheads slogan). Like Amber, I’m looking forward to chronicling our further adventures in gaming, and reviewing the games, events, and anything else that we encounter this year and in the years to come.