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A blog about my gaming groups and why they struggle to coexist.
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Lisboa and why it's the best game I've ever bought

Dudley Tang
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Ok, lets get one thing straight.

I am dumb.

I went through a phase where I wanted to be a heavy gamer. I owned Food Chain Magnate and Dominant Species (both punched and unplayed of course) and I thought I was the shit. Me, being a heavy gamer and all, also decided that I needed to own every Lacerda game on the market. I had already owned Escape Plan and The Gallerist so I put every Lacerda game on my wishlist and backed the On Mars Kickstarter because I knew, in the pits of my soul, that this is truly the ultimate experience for a gamer of my caliber.

Things were moving slow. Apparently, Lacerda games are $129 new, and buying used was difficult since each game was the size of a microwave and weighed about the same. Until one fortunate day, when I stumbled upon a reddit post of someone selling Lisboa, Vital Lacerda's most recently published game, heavy, crunchy and thinky, all wrapped up in a beauitful package, locally. I immediately messaged him and agreed to meet up one day after work.

Two things of note came from this encounter:

1. I am dumb. I got home and unpacked Lisboa, carefully inventorying all the components and began reading the rule book. It was tough. I decided to watch a How to Play video instead. You know, get my feet wet before really getting in the rules pool. The video was even more confusing. You know what, it's been a long day. Let's tackle it tomorrow. I'll set it up too so I can go through the motions and that will surely help cement down the mechanics.

That day never came. I mean, I'm sure that eventually I would have figured everything out. But at this time, my game groups consisted of my college friends, some work people and my girlfriend who was a non gamer. They were all medium to medium-light at best. I had absolutely no desire to put the work into learning a game that no one would play with me. What's the point? Also, what's the point of me backing On Mars, purportedly to be even heavier than Lisboa, whose impending shipment notification haunted me like the blade of a guillotine.

The seller then had the audacity to message me and ask me how I was enjoying Lisboa.

The nerve of this guy.

He sold me a game so heavy that I bore the burden of playing upon my shoulders much like Atlas himself.

Did he derive some kind of sick pleasure in tormenting me? He sent me a cheeky, "Hey how are you enjoying Lisboa?" with every word a dagger in my heart and wallet, as he now possessed my hard earned money that I exchanged for this non functional microwave.

"It's kind of a hard game to learn. If you want, I could teach it to you sometime. Maybe we could play together. I didn't want to play it solo."

So that brings me to #2.

2. It is easier to turn gamers into friends than friends into gamers.

I know we want to share our hobby with our friends. It's amazing. There's nothing I rather do than invite my friends over, eat some food, have some drinks and sit down and play something. Our eyes aren't glued to our phones or the TV, and we can actually sit and talk and enjoy each other's company.

But it's hard converting friends to gamers. It's a long process, a process I will happily talk about in another post, but right now I want to talk about Chris.

Chris is the guy who sold me Lisboa. I never took him up on his offer to teach me. I realized that game really isn't for me and every game mentioned in this post has long since left my collection.

But I did take him up on his offer to come and play Kingdom Death Monster with Tyler.

And the week after to play Great Western Trail with Johnny.

And the week after Johnny invited me over to his house to play Last Will and Black Angel with Ryan.

Now we meet weekly (well, before Covid at least) and we hype up Kickstarters and post pictures of our painted minis in Discord all day long.

And just like that, I had a regular gaming group.

I no longer had to endure the lighter party games of my other groups. And I didn't have to impose my will over my friends to play games that were just too complicated for them.

I met these strangers who shared the same fanaticism for this hobby as I did and they became my friends. They also became enablers because my Kickstarter spending has increased exponentially.

But it was all worth it.

I still don't know how to play Lisboa but it was the best game I've ever bought.
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