Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gaming Saturation

If you had asked me a few years ago if it were possible, I would have denied it but I now think I'm reaching a saturation level for my boardgaming habits. Sure, I'd love large chunks of time to devote to some more plays of a few longer games (Die Macher, Here I Stand, Twilight Imperium 3 or Revised Axis and Allies anyone?) but I'm finally at a point in my life where I can honestly say I don't feel like I have time I'd rather trade in for more boardgaming.

This is a combination of several factors, the major factor being the formation of a local biweekly boardgame club. It's been running for over a year now and every other Monday evening I get a good three hours of gaming in with a group of 8 to 12 regulars. Keeping my schedule clear on that one night a week has done wonders to satisfy my boardgaming needs. (On the off Mondays a smaller group has been playing an ongoing role-playing game, which also helps to satisfy my gaming needs.) In addition to biweekly play, I have a quarterly full day of gaming at a friend's house about an hour away. This is great for getting in games that just don't make it to the table in the biweekly gatherings. Finally, now that school is back in session I have a weekly boardgaming club that I sponsor. On the one hand, this is great as I get to play even more games, but we're somewhat limited on time - our meetings only last about 90 minutes or so. This means most 60-90 minute games only get played halfway through the first time before its time to pack them up. Future plays can sometimes squeek in an entire game in time alloted.

Will all this scheduled game playing, going back to work full time, and a happy little 1 year old running around to watch out for, I find myself pretty darn busy. Sure, boardgaming is darn fun, but I'm running out of things that I'd give up in order to get more gaming in.

Now, life isn't exactly all rose-colored glasses, there are a few things I'd change, if possible. First, it is all the shorter games I've been playing. Due to limited time constraints, I don't get in as many long-term, deep-thought games as I'd sometimes like. I've played a lot of medium-weight (some would call lightweight) games lately, To Court the King, Ca$h n Gun$, and Owner's Choice being some of my favorites at the moment. While I haven't yet tired of To Court the King, Owner's Choice may need to rest for a few weeks before I pick it up again (I've now got the most games played of Owner's Choice over on the BGG...) The preponderance of lighterweight games comes from needing to grow new players at the high school game club as well as my desire to make sure all the gamers at our biweekly meetings are getting in games they enjoy. Thus, I've been making a bit more of an effort lately to accomodate people by playing lighter games that are more effective at drawing in less hardcore players.

However, on the whole, playing "too many" lightweight games is a happy problem to have. I'd take too many games over too few any day of the week (or month or year). Meanwhile, most of the players I play with are slowly getting the feel of more and more complexity and I can start bringing out the bigger guns at our weekly school boardgame club.

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