Hey, so -- first post here.
I remember doing BGG Blogs way back in 2004.. I'm glad that the feature is back. In think 2004 my collection of games consisted of The Settlers of Catan, The Seafarers of Catan, The Starfarers of Catan, Goa, and maybe Tigris & Euphrates.
Yeah, I was on a Catan kick back then.
See, when I was a kid (and I'm talking 5 or 6 years old) I used to do a lot of creative stuff - like make popup books, interactive books, board games, map design, model building and painting. I was this little creative machine.. When I was 7 or 8 the only computer that existed was a Vic-20 (yeah I had one) so there wasn't the kind of internet/computer game creative release back then..
Where was I going with this.. oh yeah.
So when I was a kid I used to play a lot of boardgames, and I really enjoyed playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. It was a fantastic way to be creative, imaginative, free to choose.. My first DM was some dude (Paul, I think his name was) who was about 12 or 13. He gave us all kinds of super powers and amazing treasures so it wasn't as fairly balanced as it ought to have been... but it was fun.
Then, later, I stumbled upon the Milton Bradley GameMaster Series - specifically Samurai Swords (then known as Shogun) and Axis & Allies. My love of boardgames had begun.
To me, the MB GameMaster series was an absolute Renaissance in board gaming. Wonderful components, sprawling and epic gameplay, complex rules, huge box (especially in the hands of a 9 year old) .. these games, to me, were the absolute best. We played both A&A and Shogun for hours on end. I think I played my copy of Shogun to pieces: literally. It sorta disappeared from overplay.. pieces were missing, board was worn out, etc.
But then highschool sets in.. puberty... girls, drinking, drugs, all that shit. My love of boardgames was slowly replaced with my love of computers (386 DX!!) and telephony-based bulletin board systems (who's with me?).. zero-day wares and phreaking to Ohio (how many personal and business extenders?!) to get a taste of this thing called 'the internet' (aka, Gopher and Veronica).
So later in life, and I'm talking University now, I met up with some friends and future housemates and discovered that many of them also enjoyed Axis and Allies and Shogun. One friend introduced us to a more complex version of A&A that involved interesting little rules and a complex map... of course buddy had played it way too often and would smoke us all, but there ya go.
Another friend of mine had fond memories of Shogun as well.. So we pooled our money together (this is university, what's money?) and bought a copy of Shogun (I think it was Samurai Swords at this point) and began a re-emergence of love for boardgaming. We would play Samurai Swords well into the night, and I ended up taking ownership of the game and kept sharing it with my friends.
I graduated university in 2002. Got a neat little job afterward selling computer components in a popular (but local) PC retailer (BestByte computers if anyone knows the Whitby area of Ontario - they're still around, I still shop there.. best components at best prices!) but decided to leave to spend a year in England, where my then stepfather was a landlord in a pub in Cheshire. So I lived with him.
I found a boardgame store in Altrincham, Cheshire that showed me all of these cool new boardgames that I had never heard of before.. Settlers, Dos Rios, several others.. I didn't know where to begin, but I knew I wanted at least one.
Like most folks who find themselves in this situation, you go to the internet to do some research. That's where I found BGG.. and it pointed me to the Settlers of Catan.
I bought the sucker, and played it frequently. I bought the Seafarers expansion and loved the sense of exploration and discovery. I started to fall in love with eurogames.
Problem was I had to return to Canada at some point, and I couldn't feasibly bring a wackload of games with me.. so I only had a few.
7 years later, here I am. My collection is large enough, although currently in a sense of separation at the moment while my personal life is on the rocks. I collect euros, ameritrash,card games (no Magic, thanks but Netrunner you bet!), and some wargames (but I'm not a purist). As I find myself the only person who really loves boardgames in my life (aside from people close to me who placate me and my interest) I find that a common threads in my games are - simplicity to learn, relatively short playing time, a theme of interest, and good bits. (this is mostly for the sake of my non-gamer friends..) But don't get me wrong, I have friends that find my game collection fascinating, and are interested in all sorts and that's great to me. Lately I've been buying games that are of interest to me - London, Wizard Kings, Labyrinth - the War on Terror.., and plenty others. I'm just a collector at heart.
I've never been a blogger.. I've never been 'really good' at doing this stuff every day. I don't find it as therapeutic as others I guess.. but I'll try to keep this fairly regularly updated in case there is ever any following. My life is weird, funny, etc.. I hope to try and bring some of that weirdness and hilarity to this blog.
I like games. I'll write about that stuff here and probably some other stuff as well.