Sunday, August 26, 2007

Actually did some gaming!

I was a bit homesick this past week. Not homesick for Toronto (though I do get that from time to time), but homesick for GenCon. I attended GenCon in Milwaukee, the largest game convention in North America, every year from 1995 to 2000. I waited in anticipation all year for those five days of GenCon. I've never felt so in tune with a place as at that game convention. GenCon ended last weekend, but last week all the GenCon reviews were hitting I tried to avoid most of them...

My hobbies have taken a back seat to my writing this summer. I'm enjoying writing, but I'm also looking forward to finishing this book so that I can do different game related stuff. In particular, I need to get some miniatures painting done.

The only gaming I've done is playtesting for This Favored Land, and a weekly (though due to scheduling conflicts it's come out as bi-weekly) game of Call of Cthulhu with friends on Skype. Three of us in our monthly roleplaying group also got to play Carcassonne: The Discovery a little while back. That's been it all summer, until this past week.

The Skype game has worked surprisingly well. Each week we seem to have some sort of technical problem, but I suspect it's because two of the players — Chris and his son Josh — play from the same house, sharing the same internet connection. I'll know better in a couple of weeks when Josh goes to college. The group plays well together, and there's something about a game over a VoIP line that focuses everyone. It's worked much better than I thought it would. Our monthly playtesting sessions have been fun, at least from my perspective. I'm a little less relaxed playing This Favored Land than I usually am, probably because I'm more analytical about the adventure. We had a pretty exciting episode last month, and I hope to capture the same excitement next week.

That was all the gaming I'd done until this past week. One of the folks at work is interested in history. We keep talking about going over to Vicksburg to visit the military park some time. His 12 year old son is into the Civil War. Last year I mentioned the game Memoir '44. He bought the game for his son, who loved it. They've been playing it off and on ever since. We decided to get together last Monday and play a game or two. He suggested he bring his son. At the last minute, his brother-in-law showed up, too. We ended up playing a game of Battle Cry (his son's side won in a squeaker) and Memoir '44 (which I won in a game that was almost as close). They enjoyed it so much that we're going to do it again, though no date has been set.

They also want to play a miniatures game. The likely game will be an American Civil War game. I have a lot of painted infantry for this (which I purchased about 8 years ago), but I don't have any artillery, cavalry, or leaders painted. I think they would also like a World War II game. Logan is interested in a World War II game, and I painted some 16 German tanks earlier this year. I started work on the Russians in the spring, but the book has curtailed my painting. I need to finish off the 16 Russians so we will be able to play. As you can tell, once the book is written I've got a bunch of miniatures to paint!

Last night Logan, Alana and I played a game of Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. This is the first board game the three of us have played in a long time. I think we're going to play another game today, too.

On the roleplaying front, I have some ideas I want to try out. Once the the playtesting for This Favored Land is done, I'll be running a Call of Cthulhu campaign. This will be low impact, as it's likely to be a campaign I've already run. Jimmy has asked to run a D&D 3.5 game for us as our second game. This will let me play in a game for the first time in about eight or nine years. I'm looking forward to it, even if it is D&D (not exactly my favourite system). The time I save not having to prepare for a game will let me spend more time painting and writing. I also have an idea for another Skype game, if we can get the players.

It looks like I'm finally getting to play some more games, a trend I hope continues!

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