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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is this thing on?

Hey there, everyone. Looks like Chris has taken care of the initial Welcome, and Dave has (somewhat) handled the origins of our group and this blog. Guess that just leaves me with an introduction.

The background details of how I got involved in this group are a tad murky. I don't honestly recall how I first found BoardGameGeek or Spielfrieks. I do know that my BGG profile dates to 12-26-2002, and my SF membership goes back to November of 2001. My exposure to Nigglybits came via SF, and that's how I "met" Dave. When Jodie (my wife) and I decided to move to the Portland area (from the general Seattle area) I emailed around asking about gaming groups. Dave recommended me to the group (note - not the other way around), and after a brief hosting session at my place, I was in.

I'm the most recent member of the gaming group that's part of this blog, and my tastes are sometimes a bit different from the other guys. I'm also wondering how I qualify as an "engineer." (I'm a tech writer by trade.) Most of my t-shirts involve miniature wargaming or softball, so I can't possibly be a techie.

Blogging? I got started in blogging when Jodie and I discovered we were expecting a baby. The original idea was to use the blog as a diary of an expectant father. I think I've only made a handful of posts about fatherhood, so obviously, that wasn't an outlet I needed. I have tried to post on there regularly, as some of you know. If this blog proves successful, I'll likely change the focus of my personal blog - no point duplicating effort.

So... what can you expect from me on here? My contributions will likely be as varied as my gaming background.

The first game I can honestly remember wanting was Strat-o-Matic Baseball. I was either 10 or 12 years old. (I'm trying to remember when I got the game. I can't recall if my copy had the '75 White Sox and Indians, or the '77 versions.) I still have memories of taking whatever magazine it was that had the advertisement and asking a clerk at The Emporium in San Francisco if they had a copy. (and I can still remember being very scared and intimidated about it - this was a 10-or-12-year-old me asking a strange adult in the Big City a question...)

I played that game to death. Of course, that led to tracking down other baseball games. I had copies of the Sher-co, All-Star Baseball (the one with the spinners), Pennant Race, Statis-Pro, and a couple others I can't recall. I ended up being a fan of the APBA series, and still have copies of the six primary games they had at the time (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Bowling, Golf, and Horse Racing.) At one point, I had played about 7 weeks into an entire Major League schedule by myself using APBA. I kept score on index cards, and kept stats on graph paper. That's over 500 games, and probably puts APBA Baseball as my most-played game after chess and cribbage. I even programmed the Bowling game into the VAX in college and had it play out the qualification part of PBA tournaments. (then I'd play out the step-ladder finals like they have on TV by hand.) It also showed me that I have a liking of games that can be considered somewhat mechanical. I love the Empire Builder series, for example.

One thing led to another, and over the years I've probably touched about every possible niche in gaming. I went from baseball simulations to hex-n-counter wargames (didn't everyone own Avalon Hill games in the early 80s?) to RPGs to tournament chess to card games to CCGs back to RPGs to video games to miniatures games to boardgames.

These days, my tastes run towards historical miniatures games, eurogames, and wargames. I haven't done any role-playing in years, and pretty much gave up on playing CCGs around the time the Magic Pro Tour started. And after spending all day on the computer, the last thing I want to do is play a video game. I had been away from the hex-n-counter scene for quite a while but the (generally) excellent games put out by GMT got me back interested again. My interests in wargames, though, tends to be more as historical research as much as gameplay. I rarely get these games on the table. It's not easy finding the time with a 17-month old and a wife that's not so interested in wargames.

Probably 2/3 of the games I play these days are with Jodie. After Megan goes to bed, we'll frequently play a couple games to wind down. The story of how she got started in gaming would be a good one for another post. And yes, I'm the one responsible. So, most of the games you'll see me talk about are games that can be played by two, and probably don't involve direct conflict.

I'll also occasionally ramble on about miniatures. I've been an avid DBM (De Bellis Multitudinis) player for a number of years now, and still play whenever I get a chance. And given I'm about the only DBM player in the Portland area, that's not common. As with most miniatures gamers, I've always got at least a handful of projects underway.

I think that's about all for this week. It should let you know where I'm coming from, at least. Type at you again next Tuesday.


  • At 7:51 PM, Blogger dave said…

    "So, most of the games you'll see me talk about are games that can be played by two, and probably don't involve direct conflict."

    This was an appropriate post given the massive BGG thread this week inspired by "good games for wives" Geeklists.

    Your BGG rating for DBM is missing. :)

    - d

  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger Eric said…

    A thread which I missed entirely - I really don't use the geek for much other than record keeping and reference these days. No time to keep up on the conversation.

    My DBM rating is missing? I just checked - I have it rated an 8. It's not a 9 or 10 for a variety of reasons. I don't have any miniatures game rated above an 8, actually. (Not that I've rated very many.)

  • At 10:06 PM, Blogger dave said…

    Whoops - I only look at ratings with comments.

  • At 5:12 AM, Blogger Matthew Marquand said…

    I do know that my BGG profile dates to 12-26-2002

    Maybe we're twins. My BGG birthday is 12-27-2002. :-)

    Looking forward to your blogs on two person games. Although my kids (9 & 11) also play just about anything they can get their hands on (Alhambra, Amazonas, Memoir '44, Samurai, etc.) my wife and I also enjoy some 2-player wind down games like Blokus, Lost Cities, Battle Line, Rumis, etc.

  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Eric said…


    Yeah - I need to add comments to a lot of my ratings. Probably only 1/3 or so have them.

    In fact, I need to revisit my ratings, period.


    You can bet I'll be bringing things like that up. Always looking for suggestions, too. My wife's current favorites are St. Petersburg and Alhambra, but that fluctuates.


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