My life of analog gaming
As a boy I was first introduced to analog gaming when I was 11 years old by a friend who showed me The Dungeons and Dragons Role playing game.
This was the coolest thing I had ever seen up to that point. Little did I know that those first few years playing that game would set into motion events that would shape the future of my gaming life.
I played in several gaming groups during the week at the now extinct Dragons Lair , this was where I was introduced to many other RPG's that were influential to me such as Robotech rpg , Marvel rpg , Twilight 2000 and a few others as well......
It was during this time that I played my first War/Strategy game (sort of) Axis And Allies. This game fascinated me, Although there were no strong narratives or stories per say to drive behind the game. It was fantastic because it took what was exciting from all those RPG's I had played up to that point , which was to put it plainly the (COMBAT).
Putting force against force in brutal life or death combat seemed to bring out the warrior geek in me. And although it is not considered a true war gamers war game it still possesses the core elements of any war game. After this I played several others in the series such as Fortress America , Shogun. Shortly after I began to slow down on RPG's in lieu of the more instantly gratifying games. One game in particular that my former cousin in law showed me was Warhammer 40K this game was excellent it had everything I have loved in gaming all together in had a great back story and narrative driven scenarios and fantastic visceral combat, and cool miniatures to assembly paint and ultimately command on the field of battle.
I tried a few other miniature battle games that were good but none had held my attention like 40K had.
But eventually due to unfortunate events between friends Warhammer 40K fizzled out of my life forever !!
It was about this time that I stumbled onto a website for a budding game company called Fantasy Flight Games.
Upon checking their site thoroughly for several hours I saw a really neat game with a strong scent of fantasy and its name was Descent journeys in the dark. This was a fantasy board game that had lots of characters and weapons and items and a unique combat system , I ordered it right away from my FLGS (friendly local game store). This single title lit a board and card game fire that would not be tamed.
My next game from them was one that really excited me it was a miniatures war game called Tide of Iron ,this game appealed to me for so many reasons , first because it was a WWII game and had mini's and a deeper rule set.
The sad part about this is that I would read the rules and set up scenarios endlessly but never actually got to play as I could not force er uhm!! I mean persuade anyone to play this wonderful game , so it sat on my shelf for way to long , but now that my Daughter and Son are getting older and are taking an interest in the hobby , the opportunities to play this and many other games will arise presently .
War... Fantasy....../ Fantasy....war.... these are my favorite things.
Along the way I researched many games of all types , Ameritrash , Euro games and card games. I will name some of the ones I own.
Axis and Allies
Tide of Iron
A Few Acres of Snow
Storms of Steel
Band of Heroes
And D-Day Dice
Wrath of Ashardalon
Defenders of the Realm
The Legend of Drizzt
And Descent 2.0
Lords of Waterdeep
Settlers of Catan
Ticket to ride
Lord of the Rings LCG
Blood Bowl Team Manager
And Rune Age
These are just part of my modest collection
With so many games to play and a limited amount of time plus other hobbies and responsibilities , it has become very clear that my opportunities to game on a regular basis have become hindered.
This realization lead me to search out SOLO GAMING... (Gasp !!!)
By itself this sounds horribly boring , but I started to look at solo board games and to my elation there are quite a few made by many different companies.
Now I know what most people think here " Well if your going to play a solo game why not just play a video game?!"
It's hard to disagree with this but let me share my thoughts....Video games are awesome especially the variety that can only be found on the PC , you get the story, the sound , the visual experience it really is immersive , so there really isn't a wrong answer here.
But there is something about seeing an actual map or board in front of you while concocting your strategy , grasping the dice in hand praying to the dice gods and let them fly.
Because there are so many different solo games out there you can have a different experience every time.
One Company that is quickly becoming my favorite to that end is DVG (Dan Verssen Games) This company mostly consists of historical and modern military games.
The first solo game I bought from them was Field Commander Napoleon this game takes you through all of Napoleons campaigns , with a streamlined set of rules and great components to boot. I would like to thank Marco for showing me this gem via his review series on Youtube. My chits are pulled and campaign logs set to go.
My next DVG title would be Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations. this is a game of solo air combat with campaigns from the 80's , 90's , 2000's and some theoretical scenarios. This game is going be awesome it lets you pick your pilots for your missions as well as your aircraft and armaments . This is called FUN!!!
My newest DVG game is Similar to Hornet leader C.A.O. is Thunderbolt Apache leader , this is basically a close air support version of the afore mentioned title but gives you even more difficult choices to make.
I can't seem to stop this current war game ride that I am on and further more I am not sure that I want to.
But if I need a break I always have Descent second edition to pull me back to my fantasy roots.
In conclusion I will say that with so many new and exciting games out there on the horizon the hobby is growing by leaps and bounds which is great for us gamers , but not so much for our wallets.
Hope you enjoyed this nutshell version of my life of analog gaming.
Take good care Stephen Poulin AKA Toxicjedi