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Subject: Wargaming from age 60's into age 70 rss

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First Officer Spock
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I'm curious if there are gamers who played weekly in their 60's who now at 70 or older still play? Or as you get into your upper 60's to 70 do you find that just having the games is enjoyment enough? Taking them down, looking through the components, maps, etc?

Do most wargamers at 70 feel that the physical limitations curtail how often they'd game such as sight, stamina, etc? Or do you find at 70'ish a lack of wanting to play and other pursuits at the older age more fulfilling. Relaxing, visiting, walks, etc.

With retirement looming I've looked back and seen how my interests have come and go with some of my hobbies and I'm wondering how age might affect this, I guess this question could work for any number of life-long hobbies and not just wargaming. If a life-long golfer, or fisherman, or bowler would they find less joy in it at an older age.
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Jim Moss
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NHGamer wrote:
...do you find that just having the games is enjoyment enough?


I'm only 56, but on the days when I don't have much time, this's how I already feel. Many of my games are little works of art, but ones I can interact with more directly than some of my possessions.

I don't actually have to complete a game, just setting one up, or reading the rulebook again, or even just setting out some components to look at while I'm up to my eyes in mathematics...it's all gaming to me.
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Steve O'Grady
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I am in my early 60s, and my wife just turned 60. We are both avid and enthusiastic game players. My interest has not yet waned. I love heavy games, such as Scythe, and 1846, and our newest passion...Sword & Sorcery. We tend towards lighter games a lot, but like a good heavy over the weekends when we are not working.

Outside of games we enjoy traveling (like to a Origins and GenCon), attending major and minor league baseball games, college football games, and cruises (hopefully at least once a year, with this year joining the Dice Tower Cruise).

That said, my interest in wargames has waned considerably, not from age, but from better general gaming choices over the last 10 years. I still have an interest in wargames, still have my monthly subscriptions to S&T and World at War, still pick up 2-3 GMT games a year. I will not even attempt to play a game with small counters and small hexes. But larger counters and larger hexes get my interest. The latest S&T game (Agricola), with the larger hexes and larger counters has my interest this month. But I play maybe a few wargames a year now, but play dozens, if not hundreds of non wargames each year. Last wargames I have played (4 times now with different groups) was Triumph & Tragedy. I am trying to learn Combat Commander and Cuba Libre (my only COIN game), and a couple others. I have no idea how to play via Vassal, but if I did, I would probably play wargames a little bit more.

The only thing I see at this age is not being able to see things as well as in my 20s and 30s, but that is not really that bad. Sometimes I get sleepy when reading rules, which I attribute to older age. But I am fully alert in my job (as an accounting finance executive), so age has not yet really hit me. I think in my latter 60s, things may slow down as I can feel it. Health will be the bigger issue than general aging. I got a taste of that earlier this year when I got sick for 5 weeks. I couldn't really do much of anything that required effort. So if health gets you, it can zap you.
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Jim Allard
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Well, I'm about to turn 70 at my next birthday and just retired and am now trying to get more of my games played and finding that it is working pretty well so far. Two others in my game group have also just retired and we have moved to a Game Days of Retirement weekly as best we can. In addition to our Monthly Saturday game night with the rest of the game group.

JimA
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Nick Wade
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Jazzlvraz wrote:
NHGamer wrote:
...do you find that just having the games is enjoyment enough?


I'm only 56, but on the days when I don't have much time, this's how I already feel. Many of my games are little works of art, but ones I can interact with more directly than some of my possessions.

I don't actually have to complete a game, just setting one up, or reading the rulebook again, or even just setting out some components to look at while I'm up to my eyes in mathematics...it's all gaming to me.


Same (except the age, which is a little bit less).
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marc lecours
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I turned 60 two days ago. This is a question that I have wondered about.

Already I find that I am seeking out simpler shorter games (I used to play monsters like WiF). Now I am happiest with simpler games like Triumph & Tragedy, and 1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War. For sure my vision is deteriorating and I appreciate large counters now.

One of my gaming group is in his late 60s. I can see that his gaming abilities are not what they were at his peak (even though he is still a formidable opponent.)
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John O'Haver
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I'm 67 and have been a wargamer since I was 14 or so. My local war game group kind of dissolved when Pet Shop Comics lost their 9000 square foot space and had to move into a store the size of my walk-in closet. Plus I had a falling out with my main gamer guy. My son's, 38 and 32, became gamers in the last 5 or 6 years but live a bit over an hour away. I'd love to play with them on a regular basis. The eldest is the most enthusiastic gamer but works two jobs to support his wife and twin baby girls and the youngest has a 1 year old and often has to work evenings as most of his clients are overseas.

In April I bought the Heroes of Normandie core set on sale at a local FLGS. Since then I've acquired 26 expansions and mini-expansions. Eventhough I appreciate the large counters, no stacking and low complexity, I realized I was buying to collect rather than buying to play.

The eldest son hosts a game night every Tuesday but since last fall I've noticed that I tire much more easily. According to my lab work and other tests I'm in normal to excellent health. I'm in the queue for a sleep apnea test. As it stands now I'm not capable of driving 75 miles to game and 75 miles back on a work night. Occasionally, when he has a Saturday off and family plans permitting, he'll have a game day. Due to limited sleeping facilities, he has a wife, twin girls, 2 dogs and 2 cats, I get a motel room but that costs $100 or so.

Living by myself I can setup a game and play solo using old school split brain techniques.
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Gerry Palmer
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I'll be 67 in a month and I haven't noticed the 'slowing down' as much as the eye sight problems already mentioned and the total lack of any interest in wanting to mentally absorb new, thick rulebooks.

So consequently I stick to series games I enjoy. I also gravitate more to solo games. The reasons are two-fold. One, I can go at my own pace and stop and start when I please without worrying about my opponent having to wait for me and secondly, my main FTF opponent is 71 and announced recently that he was burned out and after a lifetime of wargaming he was pretty much quitting.
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Greg Schmittgens
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Recently turned 65. I guess I am slowing down a little bit.

Over the last 10 years, I have averaged a little over six games a week. That's face-to-face and using interfaces like ACTS or VASSAL.

I just checked my stats for the last year and I was down to 4.7 games per week. Though that did include several games of OCS (two ftf games going simultaneously) and ASL.

So the frequency is down a little bit. But I wouldn't say the gaming has decreased.

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I'm in my 60s. I game more than ever now that I've retired. I can stay up late or get up early...take a nap between turns if I want to!
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Donald Brent
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This is an excellent question.

I read somewhere that studies have shown that seniors who engage in more challenging mental activities (learning a foreign language was used as an example in the article) has a positive effect on maintaining mental sharpness well past 80 and even in the prevention or delay of the onset of dementia.

I would definitely think wargaming would fall into the "mentally challenging" category.
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Martin McCleary
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Just turned 60.

as mentioned - eyesight issues = no more busy small counters. I've noticed Compass games seems to be making a deliberate effort to go to larger counters sizes. That coupled with many of their games having high solitaire factors and generally simpler rule sets gets my vote.

I find I'm exhausted a lot after work so when I get home it's unlikely I'm going to spend time trying to solo anything. I spend more time on the puter playing War Thunder or WoW in the evening. Will see how or if any of this changes after I get my life back at 62ish.

I'm done with complex games and large rule books, anything over about 12 pages is out. I want smaller games, lower counter density, simpler rules with bigger counters or figures. Has to have a high solitaire factor.

I've been downsizing my game collection and I find that gamer friends in my age range are generally doing the same. A good friend of mine and I are close to retiring and I'd like to as he put it "game my life away" but that's problematic I think. The truth is that unless you have really good genes health issues of all types will step in and frustrate many activities.
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Tony Doran
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Health issues for sure. Got cancer three years ago, spent a year fighting it..so far so good. But that is what impelled be to downsize my collection from several hundredto fewer than 60.
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Bill Lawson
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Recently turned 61. I play as many games as ever. Complex games are still very enjoyable to me. My eye sight has gone downhill but with my tri-focals and sometimes a magnifying glass I'm doing ok. I do notice that reading rules seems more of a chore than when I was young but if I want to play a game I'll read them. Rule book length has yet to stop me from playing a game. So far so good.
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Roger Hobden
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I am 63 years old.

Started playing wargames as a teenager with Waterloo by Avalon Hill in 1965.

Stopped playing nearly completely for about 20-25 years.

Played mostly simple to moderate complexity wargames (by wargamer standards), with a few rare exceptions (NATO Division Commander, Cityfight: Modern Combat in the Urban Environment).

Have developed a new interest in more complexe wargames (Panzer (second edition), Musket & Pike Battle Series) in recent years, as long as they are playable in one day or less.

Eyesight is indeed an issue, and I have just been diagnosed with cancer (reasonably good prognosis in the short term, though).

I manage about four hours of wargame playing time a week, either FTF or Solo.

I am considering cutting down on my wargame collection, after decades of collecting unplayed games.

EDIT: added a few details.

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JPotter
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lucky henry wrote:
I'm in my 60s. I game more than ever now that I've retired. I can stay up late or get up early...take a nap between turns if I want to!


So true.

Nowhere near 60, still mired in middle age, but I find that increasing distraction and stupid multitasking have swiss cheesed my brain in a way that really helps my solo career. It's easier and easier to manage to forget what that other guy is up to, even if he just did it a couple minutes ago.

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Christina Kahrl
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As 50 approaches, I look forward to having the time to game, but despair of finding a good group. A key part of the experience is that it is in-person and tactile, like all the best things.
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Stephen Harper
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I turned 66 last June, and retired last March. I play my games via VASSAL PBEM, and now that I am not working, I am playing more VASSAL games than before I retired. I just tackled the Saipan rules, and so still don't mind a thick rulebook. Eyesight is such that I have to wear my glasses now for the small counter games. I don't feel like my gaming has slowed down, and the wargame hobby is as interesting to me now as it was when I started in the 9th grade. I also still do a lot of reading. But let's see what happens over the next few years!
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Eddy Sterckx
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Just turned 51, but I've seen how my parents handled retirement : diving head-first in all their favourite hobbies they didn't have proper time for before - up to the point I had to make an appointment weeks in advance if I wanted to visit them. And I'm planning to out-do them So I've already cut back on work as I prefer more time for fun stuff over more money and part of that extra time goes into wargaming.
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The Gnarlo
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lucky henry wrote:
I'm in my 60s. I game more than ever now that I've retired. I can stay up late or get up early...take a nap between turns if I want to!


Or as I'm finding these days, take a nap between turns if I don't want to
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Jim Cavallari
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Good question. I'm almost 57. I plan on playing War games in my retirement years as a way to help keep my mind sharp. It makes sense to me, and it's more fun than Sudoku or the daily crossword puzzle(although I do enjoy the occasional jigsaw puzzle)!
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Den Ell

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Well, I'm not so sure about that "Sharp Mind" idea floating about here. I'm beginning to wonder, but so far that's all it is... I think. soblue
And, perhaps because of, or not; I'm less likely to be social. I find I'm less likely to ask questions about more complex games because some younger person is more likely to try and make me admit Alz..., brain farts or both. So someone has hit the proverbial nail on the head as to reason's why one should quit, and they will, trust me. If you can't find, ain't gonna find, or wont find any answers on how to play the thing, then why try, especially if some bozo's out there just to make fun of ya. So I'm quite sure once this happens to me more than once a day, and/or every day, it will sharply impinge upon my game time.

As for right now, I'm involved mainly in solo gaming. I've got Labyrinth TWOT, Fire In The Lake, Tokaido, K2, Warfighter, several of the early Pandemic games, Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island, Field of Glory card game, Race for the Galaxy and Star Realms and know quite well how to play them all and enjoy them immensely. Well that is until I try to get one out that's well over a year since I played it last, and then have to take a refresher course in ..(insert one)... 101. But you're not likely to find me in the not to distant future coming back here to ask anyone for help if I don't remember this or that... or that darn rule isn't written the correct way and deserves the proverbial 'play it my way' house rule without embarrassment treatment.

I'm 65, and by golly I'm not giving up, not any time soon anyway. I enjoy it way to much.



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JPotter
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Well, I for one hop you do ask for help, and I'd be happy to give it if I can, as I hoped the same would be done for me, Den!

I'd say in general people are eager to share their knowledge by making suggestions and recommendations, and answering questions.
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Den Ell

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aesthetocyst wrote:
Well, I for one hop you do ask for help, and I'd be happy to give it if I can, as I hoped the same would be done for me, Den!

I'd say in general people are eager to share their knowledge by making suggestions and recommendations, and answering questions.


J:
While I am appreciative of people such as yourself, and there are a few kind souls here that are by and large here to help. All it takes is one small, insignificant twerp who thinks they know it all... to make a mountain out of a mole hill; and that isn't just a saying, AND they do. They are so full of themselves, that if they'd actually stumble into the bathroom, they might actually find relief that such a thing actually does exist.

But honestly, I do hope this illustrates to the questioner; the complexities of life that do happen as we age. It ain't easy, and it don't get any better than this.
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oystein eker
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67 - with plenty of time.
Love to learn new rules. Guess experience helps a lot if the brain is starting slow down.

Not sure if my younger gaming friends at my club look at me as an old gnome, but sure we have same sense of humor laughing at bad dice rolls.

My new hobby is to design new games. A nice substitute for my earlier employment. Can I hope to make some money too?
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