Sunday, January 22, 2006


Hi all, and thanks for the welcome. I was delighted to receive Ben's kind invitation yesterday - it's been over a year I think since I last had a chance to play anything more demanding than Taboo... I've only been in Texas for a little over 2 years (moved here from England at the end of 2003), and for half that time I was working in San Angelo and commuting back here at weekends, so I haven't had much time to find compatible gamers.

As I mentioned to Ben, my main gaming background is in wargaming, which I've been playing on and off since my teens. But I've always liked all kinds of games, and am always happy to give almost anything a try. Though I have come to the conclusion that I don't much enjoy role playing games, straight or live action. I haven't actually played many of the euro type games, other than two-player ones (Lost Cities, Kahuna, Settlers, etc) with my wife - but most of the ones mentioned here on the blog I have at least heard of.

Anyway, I'd love to come and join one of your sessions soon. I may not be able to make this coming week, a combination of work and the last week in town of a couple of our best friends; but I'll certainly take advantage of your offer as soon as possible.


At 9:54 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Again, welcome, Martin! Your background sounds very much like my own. I've wargamed since a wee lad, but only played Euro's within the past year. I'm not an RPG guy either, though I haven't actually tried once since 1st edition AD&D in high school.

One of the many good things about our group is the wide spectrum of interests. No matter what type of game it is, whether it be CCGs, RPGs, Euros, to hard core wargames, you'll probably find someone in our group willing to play you.

At 10:54 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I'll play pretty much anything that can be played within a 2-3 hour limit. More than that requires special permits from my wife, etc etc. No really, welcome...looking forward to some gaming.

At 1:29 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Whaaaat? Ben, you're a wargamer? And now two wargamers?! What the heck has my copy of Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes been sitting on my shelf for?!

I'm beggining to fall into the rather expensive hobby of wargaming myself (and if HotS is any good, the equally pricey block game avenue as well). Something about cross checking ordinance fire tables with column shifts and modifiers makes me feel strangely happy, plus the whole cinematic quality the affair conjures in my mind's eye.

I plan on playing a full session of BoH tonight with Jon. I'll try and write up a nice, screenplay-esque session report.

At 3:19 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Hmm, you know I was thinking grognard when I saw "wargamer" although both are not mutually exclusive. I recall you (Ben) mentioning playing SL, or ASL, by PBEM though...I think.

At 3:31 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Martin said...

Simon, I've played Hammer of the Scots just once, but loved it. The best of the block games I've tried - didn't like East Front (probably was doing something wrong, as everybody else raves about it). Napoleon was my previous favourite.

I'd call myself a grognard (or rather I think of myself as falling into that category, though I never use the term), but I've never played ASL. I like variety, and ASL seems to demand unswerving devotion.

At 5:22 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I own ASL Starter Kit #1, and I've played it on-line twice via real-time VASL (aka Virtual ASL). Even at this most basic level, its a meaty, detailed, intense game. But, wow... its amazing how realistic the game feels. I'm up for busting it out whenever.

Simon, you've been holding out on us with Lock 'n Load? We need to try it out sometime!

The key things keeping me from more wargaming are: (a) opponents (which may have just been solved; (b) rules complexity vs. fun ratio; (c) finite shelf space and cash; (d) time (there aren't many 2-hour wargames).

So, when I saw GMT was publishing Twilight Struggle and C&C Ancients, two games which seem to avoid all the problems listed above, I snatched them up! ASL SK#1 fell into this category as well.

Another game I have my eye on is Downtown. Anyone happen to own it?

At 6:23 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Ben, I think you summed up all the problems that most people tend to have with heavy wargames in a nice pre-Hasbro Avalon Hill like alphabetically bulleted paragraph.

BOH boasts being a game that is both short on time and "guff". I'll be sure to let you know if this true.

One thing I like about heavy rules games though is that they inspire a sort of zen nature once you master them. -The way everything starts moving together realistically in a sort of system you have to help move, instead of move yourself.

Or maybe I just think lots of chits are nifty!

At 7:30 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Games that "inspire a sort of zen nature once you master them..."

I know what you mean... ASL, SFB, other games with dictionary sized rules become almost a religeon to their hard core practicioners. I imagine the World Board Gaming Championship is just like a huge zen seance.

I guess that's one of the reasons in the early 90's, when nothing but Magic, RPGs, and hard core wargames were around I migrated over to PC strategy games... I'm so happy for this new age of gaming!

At 7:31 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Simon: The Doom Expansion set is out! Let's play some Doom!

At 10:38 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I consider myself a young padawan block wargamer....eventhough I have played Wizard Kings and Hammer of the Scots a handful of times, there's no better way for me to kill 2 hours. Zen for me right there. I also own Crusader Rex and Rommel in the Desert which I'll play someday. I haven't graduated to a regular chits wargame, but look forward to it.

It's all in my "mind's eye"... your comment Simon reminds me of my post about picturing the events in a game in your head, and the need I feel to have the opponent feel the same thing.... the need to make sure your opponent is as passionate for the game in play. I think I found people that are in this group. Sweet....

At 1:47 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Don't remind be about the Doom many more figures to paint...ugh!

My order that has the expansion carted along won't come till sometime in February (yep, you guessed it, postponed games in the same order).

Doom plays as good with two as it does with four by the way, if you (or anyone else) isn't/aren't up to anything Friday or next Monday.

At 1:52 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

Monday would be good for me to get in some Doom action.

At 9:42 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Martin said...

I have Downtown, Ben (and The Burning Blue on preorder). I've never managed to play it - though there are solo rules available my tolerance for playing solitaire has drastically faded over the last few years. More than happy to give it a try sometime.

Rob - a friend of mine says that the most important thing for him in wargaming is the ability to superimpose a narrative, which sounds similar to your picturing of the events. Not something I'd consciously thought about much, but it definitely is a large part of the pleasure I get from gaming.

At 11:05 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Simon: Monday, 30 Jan, let's play either Doom or Lock 'n Load. Your call.

Superimposing a narrative is good... I'd add superimposing sound effects and martial music as well!

At 11:38 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Well being that LNL is a two player game and that Jon has been trying to coax me into a game of Doom for a while now, I can hardly refuse the obvious choice. So I think a game of Doom would be most fitting for Monday (probably at DL, since I can't really ever host myself).

We'll get BOH in some other time though. No worries there.

At 10:34 AM, January 24, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Let's play Mall of Horror on Monday too and make it one nice, little zombie day.


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