Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Need More Wargaming

I was parched enough for wargaming that I went over to Mike's today to watch he and Eric play about half a turn of DAK2. While I was there he mentioned again that it would be nice to get good discussion going about WBC West now so that we'd all have time to play and get into our heads the games we were talking about playing so that we had less brain leakage by the end of the week. Which I'm totally in agreement with.

And which, based on my year so far, I'm unlikely to accomplish.

I'll be clear about this - I am not trying to badger anyone into playing more wargames with me. I'd just like to have more opportunities to play wargames than I do at present. My bookkeeping gig, taking up a whopping two days a week when things are busy, and only a couple of hours each day at that, will be transferred to my nephew Alex in about a month, probably less. My choir will be done with it's annual cycle in about a month as well. And then, slowly, I will go crazy. Because I live at the South Pole.

Here I am, with a good library of wargames, a nice space to play them in, and all the time anyone could care to have. And I'm simply not playing them. Oh, I set them up. I push the cardboard around a bit. I go over the rules. But the simple fact remains that I'm in a position that I'm guessing the vast majority of you would kill to be in, with good friends who enjoy this sort of thing, and I'm simply not playing wargames as I'd like to.

I'm going to put a classified ad in the Charbonneau paper looking for wargamers. Because these people are, for the most part, retired. You should see the events they put on at the clubhouse here, it's like USO day 1945. Not that I expect much - if it doesn't involve cards, golf, or drinking, I'm likely out of luck.

I'll say this again - I'm not trying to get a single one of you to play wargames more often than you do. I understand that everyone has work and family commitments, that while you'd like to play more often it just isn't possible. That's fine, it really is. I'm not even that sure that were we still in Multnomah Village that I'd have any better luck (although I suspect at least one or two of you I'd see more often), although there at least I lived somewhere that driving into town didn't involve an hour in rush hour and $10 in gas.

So here I sit, with this strange feeling that somehow I've fallen into some weird Twilight Zone episode where I'm the last man on Earth with all the books one could read and my glasses break. And I'm ready to look for people who have the time and interest to wargame, even if they're from (God help me) Canby. Because I have this nagging feeling that the wargamer from Canby will make little machine gun noises, or else want to "build" his Combat Commander deck, or wear a steel helmet with a spike on it. Maybe they aren't, but I still feel like I'm seriously considering a dating service out of desperation.

Part of the problem is that there are so many games and so little time. I'd love to play some of the Gamer's SCS series (Stalingrad Pocket II, for example), Roads to Leningrad, The Burning Blue, Red Star Rising, Downtown, Starcraft, Dust, Combat Commander, Simple Great Battles of History, FAB: The Bulge, Manoeuver, Barbarossa to Berlin, the list just gets longer and longer every month. And many of these games aren't even on my list for WBC West. I take it back - I have the time. I have too much time.

I know there are options like VASSAL for semi-real-time gaming, although I've learned to avoid the month-long pbem sessions (I wake up at 3am with the game running in my head). It's not the same, especially if you require a lot of interactivity. There's something about the social interaction that comes with ftf gaming that I'm just dying for.

Enough of my pity party. It's pretty clear that if I want to have regular wargaming opponents while I'm in exile out here in the hinterlands of Portland, I'm going to have to go find them. Of course, that assumes that there are any out there. And that we could stand each other. RCG has spoiled me.

5 comments:

HazMatt said...

Ok Doug, we south polers need to get together. Give me a week or 2 after Gamestorm (to re-acquaint with my family) and then pick a week night other than Thursday. I'll be there with Epaulettes on.

Greg W said...

It's not wargaming but I've got an open spot for Through the Ages at Rainy Day Games Sunday afternoon at around 1PM. I think Mike's planning on playing. I'll most likely be teaching the "simple" rules. Granted, that would be something along the lines of a forty-five minute drive for you... :^)

Dug said...

Matt, I'm free Wednesday evenings. Every other week would be good to start with, perhaps the same weeks that Mike and Other Matt host on Tuesdays? We can switch off hosting if you like.

Greg, thanks for the invite. If you mean the 23rd, I've got family stuff going on (Easter, which is pretty hilarious as my family consists mostly of agnostics and a Baha'i). If you mean the 30th, I'm out of town. If it's the 30th, teach the next level up - I hear the simple game is simple in play as well, you might as well cover the other concepts once the game gets going.

Greg W said...

You're welcome. I did mean the 23rd. I had Easter brunch and an egg hunt to attend to, but managed to arrive just in time. Though I annoyed my wife in the process. Maybe I won't play on Easter next year. :^D

The simple game is simpler in play, but it's reasonably satisfying especially considering the shorter length. Really, though, I think it's a best as stepping stone for teaching the more advanced versions of the game.

It reduces the amount of new concepts to a more digestible level and, like the introductory game for Power Grid, keeps the game length down so that players who fall behind the curve are only stuck there for a fraction of the time.

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