I’m a 43-year-old, long-time gaming geek living in Bloomington, MN, born and raised in the Twin Cites area (and since 95% of my extended family still calls it home, I’ve not found a solid reason to leave, despite the frigid climate). Fate has seen fit to match me with a completely non-gamer (but supportive) spouse of twelve years, with whom I share two sons--Urban (inspiration for my avatar--9 years) and Beringer (5.5 years). When it becomes necessary to acknowledge reality outside of gaming, I partner as a production artist with my wife's marketing/design business, Der Punkt Creative Studio.
I have been an all-around gamer for as long as I can remember, growing up with an Atari 2600 (best Christmas gift ever
, to this day) and standard kids’ boardgame classics. Dungeon
and Dark Tower
were my first real tastes of the fantasy genre, and I was instantly hooked; from there, it was just a natural progression into Dungeons & Dragons
(and we’re talking PRE-red box), which evolved from Basic, to Advanced, to 2nd Edition throughout the course of middle and high school.
During this time I also encountered an advertisement in Dragon Magazine
from a company called Games Workshop, and was intrigued by an obscure title called Talisman
. After requesting and receiving it for my birthday, I suddenly discovered a whole new hobby niche, and sought to explore all things GW (e.g. Dungeonquest
, Blood Bowl
, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
, Adeptus Titanicus
), while other gaming friends started bringing MB Gamemaster titles (e.g. Broadsides & Boarding Parties
, Fortress America
) to the table.
It wasn’t until college that I began to learn more about the vast array of smaller game companies out there (e.g. FASA, ICE, Mayfair) and experienced then-little-known (but great) titles at the annual campus gaming conventions. I also made my first foray into miniature wargaming with GW’s Man O’ War
(and spent many hours painting when I should have been studying).
Soon afterward it was time to make the first of several (practically religious) pilgrimages to Gen Con, and at that point the whole breadth of the gaming subculture became apparent to me. I began building my board game collection via regular visits to my FLGS; I reconnected with the old high school gang post-college graduation, with whom I dove back into regular D&D gatherings, picking up where we left off with 2nd Edition, eventually moving on to 3.x, and now enjoying Pathfinder; I got sucked into other GW money pits via Necromunda
; and I even joined the demo staff at FFG for a short period of time (they being local and all).
These days I try to game as often as life and schedule allow (which still never seems like enough). I play Pathfinder once a month, occasionally attend Twin Cities Eurogames group gatherings, and am a well-established regular at the monthly Minneapolis Board Game Marathon events (also contributing my services designing the name tags, logo and meetup site graphics [check out mbgmevents.com
] and managing the Facebook page [facebook.com/MBGMevents
]). When none of those options are available, I seek solace via my Xbox360 or iPad. Perhaps due to sheer luck or simply the environment in which they have been raised, both of my sons have a keen interest in board games as well, and I truly enjoy introducing them to new ones as their skills and comprehension improve.
While I do like a wide variety of games, if I had to classify myself in geek terms, I’d say I’m more of a Eurogamer than anything else. Most blends of trading, auction, resource management, worker placement, area control, and victory point scoring mechanics tend to find favor with me (though I’m not afraid of dice or random elements, either). Good artwork and graphic design is also of high importance to my immersion in the experience (I mean, look at my occupation).
On the other hand, for some reason I dislike the entire train and railway genre (perhaps it's the repetition of connecting the same points over and over) and find myself reluctant to push around the multitude of cardboard bits so prevalent in the standard historical wargame. CCGs (in their original form) are an abomination to gaming (and I’m only kind of kidding). I also suspect there's a special place in Hell for party/trivia games.
I first started logging plays around 02/2007, and later began adding commentary around 07/2008. Since then, the length and content of said commentary has grown considerably, but I think it's kind of interesting to see how my impressions have progressed over time.
My “Top Ten” list only contains titles that I actually own--these are the ones I believe are all-around solid and personally consider to be among the best (if not the
best) of my collection. Some have a permanent presence while others may change on occasion.
My “Hot Ten” list, however, is more dynamic and represents those I do not own that are at the forefront of the radar--titles in which I'm currently the most curious and am looking to play, or ones I have
played and am now looking to acquire.
Finally, I do enjoy trading and I treat any inquiries graciously; I make it a point to respond, even if it is only to decline. Currently I feel like my collection is in a pretty good place and I don’t have a ton on my Trade list, but you never know with what I might be willing to part on my Owned list if the right offer is made...