The highlight of most family gatherings when I was a kid in the 70s was seeing what my game-collecting uncle had brought for all of his nieces and nephews to play. Without him, holidays would have been a lot duller. Although none of the games we played became lasting favorites into adulthood, he did introduce me to a lot of great games, most of which I remember only in fragments.
In college and afterwords I remember lots of riotous games of Supremacy, Buck Rogers, War of the Roses (poor Percy!), and my all-time favorite Up Front. Back in the 90s I played that game with my best friend every chance we had and I remember that time fondly.
Now I try to game every other week and am grateful to have a circle of friends to enjoy a night of fun with. Sadly, we don't get to play many wargames with a big group. Friedrich, Shogun, and Chaos in the Old World are about as close as we've come. Now we've been bitten hard by the Heroscape bug and can't believe we missed this the first time around.
Starting in 2007, our group in various numbers went down to Origins. Going down to Columbus with good friends for days and days of unfettered gaming was a real highlight of the year for me. We missed it in 2012 because of the date change and went to Gen Con instead. Wow, what a fun trip that was. In 2014, we were back to Origins, but I'll miss both in 2015 because of a new job. I can't wait to get back!
(Started keeping track of plays again in 2015--for some unknown reason.)