Saturday, April 21, 2007

International Gamers

Or should that title be International Gamers of Mystery? Perhaps not.

Anyway, thanks to places like BGG, BSW and SBW (and others) gamers who travel have a much better chance of getting in some games as they travel or relocate around the world.

This is particularly true when our International Gamers are visiting places that have established clubs or groups with some sort of web presence, either via BGG or elsewhere.

Let us take Melbourne, Australia, as an example – since that is where I live. There are two weekly groups (Billabong and Gamers@Dockers) as well as one monthly group (EuroGamesFest Melbourne), not counting the occasional convention. Take note, most groups are usually more active than their websites may imply. There are also plenty of private groups and maybe other groups that are just not advertising themselves out on the world wide web.

Apart from a number of expats from various places living in Melbourne we have a number of international, interstate and out of town visitors:
o Backpackers who are spending any from a week to a few months in town
o Travellers passing through
o Business travellers (just this week we had a guy who was in Melbourne for a little over three days who managed to fit in sessions at both Billabong and Dockers)
o People who are working here for a while on contracts or temporary transfers

If you are travelling and are likely to have a bit of spare time I would suggest checking the BGG forums for local groups in the area(s) you are going to. These are often infrequently updated, so you shouldn’t assume that they have lapsed into inactivity. Contact someone who posted to the thread or contact someone who posts regularly on BGG and ask them. Another way is just to post a message to BGG or the Spielfrieks mailing list saying something along the lines of "I will be visiting X between the dates of Y and Z, any chance of a game?" As far as I can tell that approach works remarkably well too.

I know we have had English, French, German and American visitors drop into one or many of our sessions and there have probably been others I don’t even know about.

If you are travelling and are likely to have some spare time, do yourself a favour and checkout the gaming scene in your destination cities before you leave, it will probably be better than the local TV!

We finally got to play Tikal last night. A two player with Melissa. I concentrated on treasures early in the game which protected me from Melissa’s aggressive pyramid strategy. She thought it was a little abstract for her, maybe she just doesn’t see the little Indiana Jones’s running around the jungle like I do! Given that this is an open information game I will have to start or join a few at SBW.

Home delivered games
We had a message on Friday that one of the games that Melissa had ordered at our FLGS had come in. Melissa rang them back at about 8:00 pm to check which one. It was Pillars of the Earth, Melissa discussed sending me in to pick it up straight away or Saturday morning, but Pete offered to drop it in on his way home. Sure enough he did, COD and Gamers@Dockers discount included. Now, we do shop there quite a bit and do know Pete socially, but still home delivered games is good!

Mmm meeples taste like…


huzonfirst said...

It's interesting that Melissa thought Tikal a bit abstract, Fraser. I consider it one of the most thematic games ever to come out of Germany. All of the actions correspond so well with their real life counterparts. And, of course, I find the theme very attractive as well. Maybe she'll warm to it over time.

And with regards to your Pillars of the Earth delivery, that's what I call putting the Friendly into FLGS!

Melissa said...

I do enjoy Tikal, Larry, I just think it's too abstract for me to ever have a chance at beating Fraser :)

Maybe I need to focus more on the theme and less on the little blocks of wood. The first game (I have played it online but never F2F before) of anything tends to feel a bit fiddly, with all the bits to be moved - I think I concentrate more on the interface and less on the actual game.