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Published on April 15th, 2013 | by Colin


Cardcore Gamer: Introducing Board Games


It remains a source of wonder to me that when I see my reflection in a mirror, I bear an increasing resemblance to my father and not a Commodore Amiga A1200. As for many children of the 80s, I made video games my virtual playmates, sinking countless hours into playing electronic make-believe; we grew up together, but we also grew apart. The games I used to play matured into edgy adolescence, discovering politics, sex, philosophy; became moody things with barely-disguised disdain for ‘casual’ gaming. While I respected what they’d grown to become, was impressed with what they had to say and kept in touch over the years, suddenly I found I had nobody to play with.

Then came board games.

I bloody love board games.

Many people’s early exposure to board games is the eternal back-and-forth drudge of Risk, or the apocalyptic family argument generator that is Monopoly, but these days the world of gaming is vast, rich and incredibly varied: There are games about conquering planets, stealing Incan gold, fighting fires, making pizza and bringing electricity to the whole of Germany.

The Empire is ready to fall, in a bunker, the underground resistance gathers. The mission must succeed, but you know there is a traitor. Trust is rare, time is short. The traitor is you.

You can play games against others, or co-operate with them, or maybe keep them on-side only to stab them in the back later to claim the ultimate victory. You can play games of bluffing and manipulation, or of pure calculation and mental acuity, or games where it all hinges on that one fateful roll of the dice and Lady Luck had better be watching over you.

The finish line is seconds away, the brakes are gone, the steering is shot, the temperature is in the red. You still have the rocket booster. You can still win, if the car doesn’t explode.

There are games without boards, or games where you throw, or flick, or balance pieces; games which consist of only 16 cards, or which fill an entire box with plastic goodies. Games which play for minutes, or hours, in which entire civilisations rise and fall, or in which you cannily place rubber ducks.

That damned penguin has your fish. Your favourite fish. There’s not enough room on this ice floe for the both of us. Your move, you beaky bastard.

I’m a Cardcore Gamer. I love board games. I want to show you why and to make you love them too.


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