As a wee lad, I was never flexible enough for Twister, not quite delicate enough for Mouse Trap, and nowhere near composed enough for Operation.
Frustration was frustratingly shit and Monopoly is just … Monopoly.
In hindsight, my childhood experience of board games was just like my sex life: quick and unpleasant.
I was more than happy to sink into early retirement, pretty convinced that all board games were shite and that I was much better off spending my time doing something more productive – like sitting in my pants playing video games, obviously.
Then, something changed. A couple of years ago when I was invited by my brother, who happens to be the Best Play Vice Emperor, Site Treasurer and People’s Champion, to join in with a round of Ticket to Ride.
After stubbornly insisting that I wouldn’t enjoy it, my flimsy reluctance soon caved in and I gave it a bosh.
Despite my initial scepticism, I soon found myself carefully planning and laying the tracks of my European train network, tactically placing my stations and planting decoys to fool my opponents along the way.
The amazing thing was that I won. And you know fucking what? I actually enjoyed a board game.
I’ve since become dangerously into train-based board games.. Like, sexually so. Check out the Lionel Collector’s Edition – Postwar Era version of Monopoly. Makes me weak at the knees, it does.
In seriousness, ever since that glorious victory, I’ve jumped at any opportunity to try a new game.
I’ve bet on camel races in Camel Up, explored caverns in Above and Below, and even fought off space pirates in Galaxy Trucker.
I regularly check out Kickstarter for new board games and even have an ongoing series of Seven Wonders with my girlfriend. Yeah man, board gamers have girlfriends now. With real life faces and bodies and personalities and everything.
I’d be lying if I didn’t feel a bit bloody ‘nerdy’ while role-playing a corrupt god in Chaos in the Old World, but that sneaky, dirty feeling is part of what makes playing board games fun. Just tell people you were wanking if they stumble into the room and catch you in the middle of an eight-hour session of Twilight Imperium, it’s less embarrassing.
The past two years of casual board gaming have allowed me to compete, collaborate, strategise, lie, gamble, horde, negotiate and betray my best friends. It’s been a shit load of fun, and I implore you to have a bang on it yourselves.