Board Game Tales: Rolling the dice of life

Hnefataf’s story: A timeless journey

The first story chronicles a Hnefataf’s journey, from the early days of Monopoly to a self-made war game, the discovery of ‘D-Day,’ and a lifelong passion for collecting. The story unfolds through decades of strategic gameplay and active engagement in the gaming community. Hnefataf continues to lead a thriving gaming group, with Project L securing a spot among their Top 10 most played games. This story illustrates the timeless aspect of board games – constant positive force in ones life.

“I’ve been a board gamer for 80 years! In 1943 my ‘Granny’ taught me to play Monopoly and then, Parcheesi. I was hooked; drove her crazy to “Play ‘Monoply,’ Granny!” As I grew older I discovered ‘Sorry’ and told those who showed it to me ‘this is awesome! You can actually plan a strategy!’  And so I discovered that some games required  thinking! In my teen years I searched for ‘strategy’ games; bought every game I could afford. But something was missing. I wanted a war game and no one produced them.

So in the 1950’s I made my own and sent it to Parker Brothers. They rejected it saying that ‘war’ was not a proper ‘genre’ for ‘Parlor Games’ (their definition of the type of games they made in the early ‘50’s).  But in 1960  I stumbled upon a war game – and actual strategy game – ‘D-Day’, by Avalon Hill. I couldn’t believe my eyes! As a sophomore in college I dug deep to pay all of $4.95)!  :). I rushed back to my college dorm and started learning the rules!  That began a long 35 year journey, buying nearly every game Avalon Hill published!  I was hooked. But, as I neared my 50th birthday I was growing restless to find strategy games that played more than two players. I had interested a group of people in heavier games. So again, I made my own (never published) until I discovered Civilization by Tresham, and published by AH. This was followed by Rail Baron, etc.

In  1991, I was an attendee at the first AvalonCon and began discovering other multi-player strategy games. In 1995 while at AvalonCon I discover a new ‘German’ games – Settlers of Catan!  And the rest is history.

As technology grew, so did my awareness German/Euro games:  Reiner Knozia and Euphrates & Tigris, and the flood gates opened. By 2004 I had found Board Game Geek, and so my gaming group and gaming library exploded!!  I am now 85 years old and still run an active gaming group in North Carolina.

BTW – Project L is among our Top 10 most played games!!”

justArnold’s story: Gaming through generations

The second story is from justArnold, from childhood roll-and-move games to discovering the world of board games at university, justArnold‘s passion for tabletop experiences grows. With a collection of around 80 games, justArnold forms deep connections with like-minded people, organizing weekend cabin retreats solely dedicated to board games. This passion reaches a new level as justArnold shares the love for board games with their child, marking a new chapter in their board gaming story, reflecting a personal change in perspective on the impact of board games and showcase their unique magic to strengthen family ties.

“Ok so i will share my story se well, it will not be exciting but it is at least interesting.

If I am not counting roll and move games in my childhood or silly party drinking games in my late teens, I was hooked to boardgames while I was at university, working part time at IT company. One day one colleague from another team came to me if I had time and if I can come with him. We had a meeting with another guys to play trick taking game called Witches. At that moment after one hour as the worst player at the table I was hooked. And from that day i slowly started to collect board games i like or even love.

Currently I am at around 80 board games (not including expansions). Thanks to the board games and this anomalia i had found a group of people i really like and what more, we share same passion. And even what more once or twice a year we go for weekend to cabbin to play only boardgames from the morning to late night.

From this I came to the point when my child is at age where she can play games like Dragomino, and I am really happy when she grabs the game, set up it, and comes to me to ask, if i can play with her. To be honest it is impossible to tell her no when she does this. Next year we will move to some basic games like Karak, Gummiland, kids Carcasonne and hopefully Cora quest. Posibbly we will start to play Project L as well, it is good adept, it is not easy to destroy, and maybe as puzzle it will do a good work.

At this point my passion with board games came to another level when i can share this with my child. It is always great when I am able to show somebody that there is something much better than monopoly, or help to pick game when somebody is not able to choose, but this is something else.

My story is not exciting as I stated in the beginning, but it is exciting (at least for me) from now on.”

Ilia’s story: Tale of connections and community

The third story takes us to Moscow, where Ilia’s board game journey started. Ilia’s passion evolved through family game sessions, playtesting on Discord, and organizing meetups. From playing to moderating and introducing friends to the joy of board gaming, Ilia’s story showcases the power of board games to connect people across borders and create lasting memories.

“I am Ilia, and this is my story. My love for board games began in my childhood in Moscow. My parents introduced me to games like “Monopoly,” “Ticket to Ride,”Lotti Carroti.” These early experiences sparked my passion for board gaming.

In 2014, my family decided to move to Belgium, bringing both challenges and opportunities. Over the years, we expanded our family collection of board games, including “Carcassonne,” “7 Wonders,” and “Dominion.” My younger brother, despite his age, quickly became competitive in all these games, making our family gatherings even more exciting. When it came time to choose a board game for his 11th birthday, I decided on “Everdell.” It was a game that had been on my own board game wishlist for some time, as I had heard many positive things about it.

My journey into the world of board games took an exciting turn when I joined the IV Games Discord server. From that moment on, I actively engaged with the community, learning and sharing my experiences. I also had the opportunity to participate in playtesting games like “Moonrakers” expansions, “Mythic Mischief,” and “Fractured Sky,” all of which deepened my appreciation for the hobby.

On that server I also heard about the game “Hidden Leaders” that was launching on Kickstarter, it sparkled my interest and I also joined their discord ,and since then been involved in game playtesting, and even became a moderator.

Recognizing that board games weren’t as popular among students, I  started organized weekly meetups to introduce my friends to the joy of board gaming and create a community that appreciated the depth and enjoyment board games offer.

Now, I’m in Budapest for Erasmus and continue to organize these meetups, sharing the magic of board games with a new community. Our family hobby has enriched our lives and continues to bring people together, showing that board games have a unique power to connect and create lasting memories.”

TheActuary’s story: Board game journey through time

Our last story takes us back in time, specifically to 1995 when TheActuary was introduced to the world of board games through German imports. TheActuary recalls the challenges of playing in German before English rulebooks were available. Life’s demands paused the hobby for a while, but as the kids grew older, the family rediscovered board games again – playing with friends, going to local meetups, and a nearby conventions. TheActuary’s story showcase the inclusive nature of board games and their power to connect different generations.

“I was introduced to board games while in graduate school.  There was a board game shop next to the university in town, and my wife worked with the owner’s wife.  So, we visited a lot, because they were always happy to have women in the store, so it was more inviting.  This was 1995, there were a lot fewer options for board games back then, but we got hooked on a couple of games from Germany: Die Siedler Von Katan (Settlers of Catan) and Mu (a trick-taker).

We bought copies imported from Germany, in German, because they hadn’t done an English localization yet.  We played so many games before we had access to an English rulebook!  We eventually started adding more games to the collection, as is often the case.

Still, life, work, and kids got in the way so there was a period where we didn’t get to play many board games (aside from kids’ games).  As they got older we were able to pick it back up and get them to play some of the games too.  Now we once again have some friends we’re able to get together with to play games, there’s a convention nearby, and we’ve started finding local meetups as well.  I love how inclusive the board gaming hobby is in general.  Recently the collection has been growing a lot with newer games like Project L, but there’s now little room left!  What to do?”

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