Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back in the Gaming Saddle Again

It has been quite awhile since I sat down at the table with my friends and played some good old fashioned board games and card games. Hopefully, all of that will change fairly soon.

February through mid-April is always a real killer for me with respect to my free-time. I'm typically swamped with preseason baseball stuff. Whether it's working on enhancing, selling, or fulfilling orders for Rhino Baseball during the day, or planning and managing all the events associated with HARL, my longtime fantasy baseball league, I basically have close to zero free-time during the 1st quarter of each year. I'm learning to deal with it a little better, but it's still far from perfect.

Once May rolls around, I start to get my life back again and can actually enjoy it a lot more.

Although I had hoped to get my on-again, off-again tabletop gaming group (the GODS) kick-started in early May, I was just too busy with other things to address that. Part of May was spent planning and going on a short vacation with my wife to New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore on a whirlwind east-coast city tour. We had a blast, despite the fact that it was rainy a few of those days. We went to see Young Frankenstein on Broadway at the Hilton Theatre, which was absolutely fantastic; go see it! We also visited the Liberty Bell and took in a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game in Philly, and visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

My other free-time was spent doing an assortment of gaming-related stuff.

Some of it involved buying goodies on eBay. I finally scored all 4 packs in the Wave-7 expansion set for HeroScape for under $40. Those cool Templar Knights are finally mine! I also purchased a miniatures game called Monster Island, which involves (you guessed it) giant monster combat.

And finally, I bought some new miniatures (a bunch of Trollbloods made by Privateer Press), and an absolutely stunningly painted Troll Lord (shown above) painted by MidgardModels in Argentina.

I was pretty bummed with the Trollbloods, as they arrived from Canada in a zillion pieces and the painting was chipped in several places. They were poorly packed (heavy models wrapped in very thin tissue paper) and consequently broke apart during shipping to the USA. It took me well over 2 hours to glue everything back together again, and I'll be spending a lot more time than that touching up the paint jobs to a more suitable level. Oh well, eBay sales have generally treated me very well, but I guess you can't win 'em all.

I also made a very big boardgaming purchase at the Compleat Strategist in Manhattan. I picked up copies of Cutthroat Caverns, Kingsburg, Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage, and Colossal Arena. The guys at the Compleat Strategist in NYC were extremely friendly, and were kind enough to ship the games to my home in Pennsylvania for free (so I didn't have to get them soaked in the rain). Now that's excellent service!

Recently, I began my efforts to get the GODS gaming group going again. The GODS are a small group of friends and acquaintances that occasionally get together at my house to play board games, card games, and miniatures games.

I just setup the biweekly schedule of get-togethers for June, so we'll see how that pans out. Although getting friends to show up to play games on a consistent basis has been very difficult in the past (scheduling is always tricky when you're dealing with adults who have family commitments), I'm not giving up yet. I think it's just a matter of the group gaining some momentum and getting people to make regular gaming get-togethers a habit much like their other extracurricular events. FUN is NOT the problem. We always have lots of fun when we play these games. It's just scheduling the darn things. Of course isn't that true of just about any club/league/organization that you try to form? So I'm going to be patient.

With the pending onset of summer, convention season is also upon us in a Big Way. Over the next few months, we've got:
I'm still not sure if I'm heading to Games Day (about 50/50 right now). I will definitely be going to Historicon. And I really want to go to GenCon, since I've never been there before. That's a very long trek for someone in Central PA, so I'd probably make a mini-vacation out of it and spread it over several days. Gonna run this one by the guys and my wife to see what's cooking there.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for an upcoming post covering my board game / card game wishlist, and information about a HeroScape campaign that I'm hoping to start sometime soon.

See you next time!

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