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Subject: First time you were introduced to alternative board games rss

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Michael Mehl
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Colorado Springs
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Hello everyone out there,

I would just like everyone to know that this is one of my first posts. With that said I am just going throw this question out there. Do you remember what was the first game that introduced you into the world of gaming. Like many of you, you grew up with the games of yore. Of course, I'm talking about games like yahtzee, monopoly, and uno. I mean, If I was anything like you I was doomed to the "luck factor" and did not have the benefit of the games that I now play everyday with my wife and when I can close friends.

My hope that everyone can remember their first experiences with these non mainstream games and really remember their magical time that got them enthalled into a passion that will most likely be entwined with the rest of their lives.

My first experience came on a new years eve celebration with friends my wife introduced me too. They entail knew that we were non-gamers and introduced us to a "gateway game" I'm sure most of you know as Carcassonne. This for me blew me away. The strategy, the thinking, the not rolling dice was it for me. I had no idea there were games out there like this. I'm telling you after I played carc the very next day I sought it out and have never gone back to the days of landing on chance or hoping to land of free parking....

I guess when it comes down to it I was grateful.....to be introduced to these games has made a new passion in my life besides my family and career. I just thought that many of you may like to share your experience as I did mine. Hopefully, I am right. Later
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Marvin
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For me it was the Catan card game. I bought it on a whim when I was picking up my batch of comics (my comicshop also sells boardgames (or my boardgameshop also sells comics, you pick)) and it wasn't too expensive. I'd played a few games of catan on the computer, but never played the boardgame.

I'm really glad I bought it because it's tremendous fun. I play boardgames with my girlfriend and we've since gone on to play Carcassone, Puerto Rico and last weekend we played Agricola for the first time.

The best part of gaming is the fact that I get to do something with my girlfriend in stead of sitting on the couch watching television shows I don't really want to watch.
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Henry
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Pasco
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I think Settlers of Catan was my first "real" board game. I got it at my comic shop on the owner's recomendation (he always suggested great comics). Me and three friends got together Friday afternoon, learned it and played two games. Two of 'em left around ten, but me and Hanwool kept on playing till 7:00 AM Saturday morning. Now I'm a hopeless addict.
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Jorge Arroyo
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It's not exactly an euro, but it was an excellent boardgame and far from your typical mainstream crap: Escape from Colditz. This was in the mid 80s and I was 9-10. Of course, many of the games we played back then were mainstream too (there really was no distinction for us, they were all just "games"), but I clearly remember this one as one of the best (if not the best) we played back then...
 
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I think it was Legend Of Camelot, that introduced me to the non-mainstream-games. But the first, I can really remember was Starquest (Space Crusade). The mother of a friend of mine bought it as a gift for my 9th birthday and since then I was hooked up. Made the usual years without it (puberty here I come!) but returned and mourned my loss of the game.
 
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Zack Stockdale
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Auburn
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I kinda grew up a gamer. My Dad loved a lot of the old Avalon Hill and SPI games. I have memories of him playing 1776 and Luftwaffe solo on the dinning room table. As I got older he and my Mom and I would play stuff like Kingmaker and Railbaron. I even picked up a couple copies of my own (I bought my version of Kingmaker at a hobby store, first game I even bought myself). We would play Axis and Allies for a couple days set up on a cardtable in the living room. I even took most of them with me to college but they never got played, they were just too long. The year after I graduated some friends introduced me to Settlers and I was hooked again. I starting researching Settlers online and eventually found BGG. It was all down hill from there. I still remember playing that first game of Settlers while watching old reruns of the Cosby show. I don't think the other two guys expected me to win my first game, but I guess gaming was in my blood.

Thanks for making this post tikiguy, that was really fun to think about.
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Patroclus
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great question!

As for social boardgaming (I was exposed to a few wargames about 15 years ago) my experience was typical American fare such as monopoly, life, scrabble.

I was in hiking around Germany in 1996 and met a couple in the northern city of Kiel. They had me over for dinner and after the meal they introduced me to a strange strange strange game (for me!) called "The Settlers of Catan." I found this new gameplay to be fascinating and very fun! much better than the american games I had been exposed to in the past.
 
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David K.
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As kids (in the seventies) it was non stop Monopoly, Sorry! Trouble, Parcheesi, Scrabble, Battleship, Perfection, Don't Break the Ice, Cooties, Ants in the Pants As grade school kids we didn't stop to think that there must be more.

Oh yea, and there was the occaisonal games of Does This Hurt? cry

In the early eighties, A friend taught my brother and I all about AD&D. That lasted for a few years. Then things got side tracked for a while.

Then some friends of my wife's introduced us to some popular Gateway games, (TransEuropa, Carcassone, Settlers of Catan).

Since then I have discovered larger world waiting to be explored and shared.

Recently I discovered a vintage 1969 copy of Feudal in my parents closet. Hey Dad! You were holding out on us!
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El Comandante
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The first Major Event in my New Life was the D&D little red box in 1985. I was twelve.
Then the next year Air Force.
And the same year Baston (which was quite between rpg and wargame), then Supergang.

And then... well, it never stopped.
 
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thomas coe
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aubrey
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it was tumblin dice, about two years ago at otscotty's game night! i was a visitor in town and had the pleasure of joining the group. ever since then, it's been on like donkey kong!!!!
 
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Stefan Daniels
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Surrey
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About 8 years ago my wife's (then girlfriend) Uncle came over to her parents. He brought with him Die Macher and the family proceeded to break it out (Uncle Jon, Dad-Steve, Kelly, Mom-Heather, and me). Needless to say I had never, ever seen a game like this. I was lost, confused, they had to keep on telling me the phase-turn actions... I wasn't getting it. And then something magical happened; I can't describe it any other way. I GOT the game. You ever have that moment of gaming epiphany when you just suddenly get a rather complex idea presented in a game? Well, Die Macher is littered with complex gaming ideas, especially to the uninitiated. I didn't win my first game of Die Macher but I'll never forget the game or that final moment of feeling a great sense of personal pride. I don't think I had ever quite felt that before. Sure, there was the battles of Chess I used to have with my father when I was younger, and that first game when I beat him was something special, but finishing Die Macher for the first time was a real sense of accomplishment.

I only have a modest collection of games, but that's because I was never able to financially support my 'habit'. Now that I'm degrees older and wealthier (wealthier than I have been in the past) I'm prepared to spend obscene amounts of money (over a lengthy period of time) on my love of board games; and hopefully, introduce my passion/obssession to others).
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Daniel Cristofani
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Another vote for Settlers of Catan. My mom had been reading a newspaper article about German boardgames (in The Oregonian) and was thinking to get one for my cousin. I went with her to Bridgetown Hobbies and the clerk pointed out some including Settlers, which I'd vaguely heard of online previously. When we later played it I thought it was great, and ended up finding boardgamegeek via a Google search after that.
 
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BigToe Blevins
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My brother-in-law always visits over the Christmas holiday and stays with us for one to two weeks. He, my husband, and I would spend as much of that time as we could playing board games, usually after the kids went to bed. We would play things like Balderdash, and lots of obscure word games that my friends made fun of.

Then one year my brother-in-law showed up with two new games: Wyatt Earp and Settlers of Catan. I loved them both, but Settlers is what hooked me. I couldn't get enough of it. Now we have a closet overflowing with "alternative" games, and I can't remember the last time we played Balderdash (which actually is sad, because I still really like that game).

And every year, as Christmas approaches, I get as excited as the kids. Not because of Santa and the presents, but because I know I'll get to spend lots of time gaming!
 
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Dennis Leung
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Half Moon Bay
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Several years ago, when I was still in grad school, I was looking around for something to do with a group of friends. I forgot the exact source, but I remebered reading an article about this game called Carcassonne. I was intrigued, so I ended up going to Games of Berkeley, a small store by my college. I ended up picking up the base game plus the first expansion Inns and Cathedrals because it had pieces for 6 players. We had a big group come and play it after dinner and we were hooked. The best part was that when our friends left, my girlfriend and I found that it was actually a very good 2 player game as well. That's when we got hooked and started looking for other games.
 
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Ray
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Carpentersville
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Some other tales...

What got you into Wargaming?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17426

What was your first NON-Avalon Hill Wargame and do you still own it?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14893

What was your gateway game? What got you hooked?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12109

The Road to Geekdom: What? When? Why?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/9414

First game purchased with your own money....
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/6095

Game that changed you from Casual Gamer to Boardgame Geek...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/4754

What games got you started?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/2232




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Josh P.
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Tucson
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I went through spells of MTG and D&D when I was young, but never played many card games or board games as a kid. About two years ago, I started dating my fiance, who is really into Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. I resisted playing it for as long as I could. However, once I played it, I was hooked. I have been hopelessly addicted ever since.
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p55carroll
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After growing up with games like rummy, checkers, dominoes, Aggravation, Monopoly, Clue, Risk, and Careers . . .

. . . a friend introduced me to Waterloo in the summer of 1968.

That's right--a wargame. Wargames were my first major departure from the kind of games I grew up with. And I could never get enough of them. Up to 1995, I was playing wargames enthusiastically all the time (if only solitaire in many cases).

But the 1990s changed a lot of things. For one thing, computer games crowded out wargames. For another thing, I learned about German-style games. First one I bought was Catan, and it was a big hit with my wife, friends, and family.

However, these newfangled Eurogames don't scratch my wargaming itch. I'm often in the mood for a game I can really sink my mental and imaginative teeth into--a game with a richly detailed theme and complex rules that I can lose myself in for a long time.

So, I'll keep a couple Eurogames around for the equivalent of "family game night." But I also need a good, meaty wargame or the like for real gaming satisfaction.

 
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Michael J
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Folsom
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My first introduction came from a review in a COMPUTER game magazine that reviewed Days Of Wonder's on-line version of Ticket To Ride. It sounded so cool, I had to try it out. The next day, I logged on, played some games, thought it was cool, and went and bought it. I haven't looked back since!
 
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August Larson
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In 2002 I saw my neighbors playing Settlers of Catan on a picnic table. I watched as they played, and totally did not get the game. At that moment, I saw it as too complex and unnecessary. They asked if I wanted to play the next game, but I declined. I didn't want to waste my time.

In 2006, my mom's side of the family was gathered for Christmas celebrations. One of my uncle's pulled out Bang! and we played it. It was great fun at the time, but then I got kind of bored and wanted to play something else. Nobody had any other games that weren't a party game, Monopoly or The Farming Game. So that was that for 2006.

Fortunately, my other uncle became enamored with Bang! and went and bought his own copy at his local game store, along with the popular Ticket to Ride Europe. In 2007, this uncle brought TtR:E to my house and my family loved it! My dad went and bought TtR:USA for us, and we absolutely loved it! After that, I've gotten more into eurogames than my family could have imagined!
 
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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Well, the games that tipped me over the edge were:

A Game of Thrones (first edition) and Railways of the World.

I still remember my first game of RRT. It was with my wife, and we were first blown away by the sheer production value, and then we played. surprise I haven't look back since as well.

I'm looking forward to many good game nights with you Michael.

Welcome to the Geek!

 
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Started playing RPGs in university with my boyfriend and some other friends, then got invited to a board games day hosted at somebody's apartment. I have no idea what my actual first game was, but I remember that we played Roborally, I really stunk at it... and it infected my brain for years. I was absolutely THRILLED to get it for my birthday a few years ago, when it was reprinted.

It's been bad news for my bank balance ever since.
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Michael Mehl
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geerhead wrote:
Started playing RPGs in university with my boyfriend and some other friends, then got invited to a board games day hosted at somebody's apartment. I have no idea what my actual first game was, but I remember that we played Roborally, I really stunk at it... and it infected my brain for years. I was absolutely THRILLED to get it for my birthday a few years ago, when it was reprinted.

It's been bad news for my bank balance ever since.





I know what you mean, my wallet has taken a blow too.
 
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Nick
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I can certainly remember mine. It was only a month ago. I received Carcassonne as a Christmas present from my wife. She didn't expect to create a monster with one single gift! zombie

Here's a bit of the story: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39097
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Brian Campbell
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Hmm. It's hard to define one moment; especially since I'm not sure which games I've played count as "alternative" board games. I guess since my father, and family, have always been somewhat into games, it's hard to draw the line as to what counts as "non-mainstream."

As a kid, I did play most of the overdone "classics," like Connect 4, Battleship, War, Monopoly, yada yada. My grandfather is the type of person to collect a lot of random junk, so he'd sometimes find a board game like All The King's Men and I'd play that a little. My father taught me to play Chess, and later Risk, though I didn't last long in chess club; I had a bad experience when someone made fun of me for losing to someone else a few years younger.

Also, at some point when I was a kid, probably 7 or 8 (this all blurs together pretty well for me; I've never been good at keeping track of when something happened) my parents bought me Wildlife Adventure, and we tried playing it. I think I liked it, but it was a little too complicated to play very much of with a hyperactive 8 year old. In retrospect, that was my first Euro-game!

When I was about 12 or 13, the Magic the Gathering craze was just getting big, and I played Magic a bit. It didn't last too long, since I never really got into the whole collectible aspect. By the time I got to high school, I would lose to all of the kids who had 100 times as many cards as I did, and I never really felt like buying that many cards.

In high school, I joined the Strategic Games Club, which actually was more of a roleplaying group, but did some boardgaming too. A few other collectible card games were popular, but the only one I ever got into was Illuminati: New World Order. We also played some good, backstabbing games like Diplomacy; in fact, our roleplaying games tended to be very much in the same vein, with a lot more intrigue, plotting, backstabbing, and throne wars rather than your standard "party of players against the GM's monsters" thing that most people do. We played a lot of card games, with Asshole, Idiot and our own fairly unique variant of Egyptian Ratfuck being the most common (wow, what a pleasant set of names!) And we also played some Cheapass games, some other card games, and the like.

When I came to college, I was introduced to Catan. In fact, one of my very first games of it was with a girl who I was flirting with, and started dating the next week during a game of "what would you do for a dollar?" 8 years later (last week), and we're still together. Anyhow, I guess Catan was my first Eurogame that I was really aware of. I found BoardGameGeek while Googling for Catan strategies, but didn't get into much beyond what I already played at that point.

What actually tipped me over the edge into the hobby, however, was Icehouse (wait a sec; all these games that I've played and I don't consider myself "in the hobby?" I know it sounds strange, but I didn't really consider boardgaming a hobby per se; I just happened to like playing various games. It may have come from the fact that in high school, I mostly considered board games to be fillers between roleplaying games, which were what I was really into). I had a roommate who had some Icehouse pieces on his shelf, and I wondered what these little plastic pyramids really were. I googled them, and was fascinated by the idea of a game system, and thought that several of the games looked really cool, especially Zendo. I finally had a chance to play Zendo at a party, and I was firmly in love, and at that point started learning other Icehouse games in earnest, following BGG, and learning about and play all kinds of other games.

Anyhow, whew, that was a long post. Maybe it would have been better as a geeklist. But you can see why it's so difficult for me to pick that one game; I've had more of a slow acclimation process, like that parable about the frog in the boiling water, rather than one game that suddenly made me realize that an "alternative" type of board game exists. If I had to pick one, would it be chess? Risk? Wildlife Adventure? Magic: The Gathering? Diplomacy? Settlers? Or Zendo? Oh, right, in that whole history, I didn't cover my discovery of Go and time spent playing just that every night, or when I started playing Backgammon which made me appreciate how strategy can still be strong in a dice based game, my interest in medieval games like Alquerque and Nine Men's Morris, my classes in combinatorial game theory and surreal numbers, and so on. Yow, my life has been more dominated by games than I ever realized!
 
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Wow, Settlers of Catan really gets around, and I felt so special too but I realize I wasn't the only one. I feel used...dirty really.
Early 2003 for me, then Cities and Knights, Starfarers, Game of Thrones and on and on...
 
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