鳥居 / Max's Boardgame Blog

Blog about light-/mediumweight boardgames, mostly eurogames.
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Story so far...

Max Lampinen
Finland
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after some busy years...
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Microbadge: Ticket to Ride fanMicrobadge: Parent of Three Boys
How I got into boardgaming?
I'm pretty geeky person, so I've been on the verge of becoming boardgame for past 10 years or so. It actually happened about 5 years ago though. If we start from very beginning, I could say that, oh yeah I played Warhammer 40,000 (Third Edition) 15 years ago, but that phase didn't last very long and didn't lean to anything, so let's not start from there. Or I could say that I've played Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition almost all my life, but that's pretty obvious one.

My favorite game as a child was Tjuv och polis, which is actually pretty cool roll-and-move game. I'm not sure how it's supposed to be played, with multiple robbers?, but we played it 2-player. Other player moved thugs to rob banks and then you had to get them out of the board to get the money. Police tried to catch or blog the thugs. Labyrinth was another game I loved, but for some reason I always had to beg to get it played. And of course I played the usual stuff, from Monopoly to Chess.

Let's move on. I also played Ticket to Ride not very long after it came out, as it was nominated Vuoden Peli ("Game of the Year", basically like Spiel des Jahres) of Finland. It was hard to wrap my head around that game, but I thought it looked awesome. That wasn't the start either. The start was one dark winter night. I was at library, where one of my favorite Finnish authors was giving a speech. It was inspiring, he talked a lot about his influences, so after that I went to bookstore with my girlfriend (now wife) to browse the classic section (I bought two books that I'd now place in my top10, so it was great day all around, but let's stick to the topic). We had recently played Ticket to Ride: Europe, again, it had been very hard.. It's funny to think about that now, but I do think about it, so I don't demand too much from people who don't play much.

Anyway, I had enjoyed the Europe version too, despite its harder rules, and it had left me feeling that I'd like to own such game too. At the bookstore there was Carcassonne, which I had heard a lot about (it has also won "Vuoden Peli" so it's a game you can stumble upon easily, without being a boardgamer) and decided to buy it, i was only 25€ after all (or 20, not sure). We played it a lot and couple of months later I googled something like "games like Carcassonne". That didn't actually lead to purchase of games like Carcassonne, but to couple of expansions (1 and 2 I think). I found cool Finnish website, Lautapeliopas, which had all the info.

Sometime later, through Lautapeliopas I found the next game, Dominion, yet another Finnish game of the year winner. I forgot to mention, but I have also played some Magic: the Gathering ages ago, which could've also led me to boardgames, but I never had enough money to start collection or even draft regularly, maybe that's for the best, to be honest (no offense to MTG players, the game itself looks like so much fun, I've just never been rich enough to play). This is quite a ramble, but the point is that Dominion was described as non-collectible MTG. Not the best comparison to be honest, but it made me buy the game. And again some expansions bit later. What to say about this time? I played lots of 2p Dominion and Carcassonne with my partner. Then I found boardgamegeek, the most boring-looking website I've seen since Geocities era.

I bought Puerto Rico and Agricola. Puerto Rico.. well let's just say I don't own it anymore, no offense to fan. Agricola.. the images I saw looked mind-blowingly good. How can games like that even exist? I thought. When you start with games like this, you're bound to go deep. Deep I went. Over the next 6 months I explored heavier and heavier games until I had managed to suck all joy out of boardgaming. I don't have much to write about that time in my blog, other than it definitely helped me find what I do not like. I ended up losing quite a bit of money too, as I got rid of many heavy games I had bought.. I love Agricola and other Uwe Rosenberg games, but these days they're exception to games I really like, weight-wise. If I had to learn Agricola now, I probably wouldn't, but I'm happy I did. It and At the Gates of Loyang are regular games in me and my wifes 2p rotation. Anyway, let's just say you'll never see me in boardgame championship or at serious boardgaming club, that's just not for me.

What helped me find the joy again then? The same thing that has probably helped many people find boardgames in first place. Yes, we're probably thinking of same thing... good old Wil Wheaton and his Tabletop. Watching it made me finally buy Ticket to Ride. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it like after Carcassonne, but the reason I didn't buy it later was because I was becoming elitist. This blog is about the journey that began with that Ticket to Ride. I've been on that journey for 2 years now and I'm happier and happier with boardgaming. It's a good journey to be on, I even get to play most of my favorite games with nearly everyone, not just so-called boardgamers. This blog will be about gateway games, Spiel des Jahres or Kennerspiel des Jahres at most, and not being ashamed for being most comfortable with them for good. For me they aren't gateway games, they are the destination. I had to travel far, all the way to games like 1830: Railways & Robber Barons to realize it though. The next blog posts won't have this much rambling. I guess I'll write about my top10 games and my 2015 games in next few days, after that I'll decide how often I feel like writing.
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