I’ve been wondering recently what makes me a fan of board games. Why do I enjoy them so much? Why do I like Mondays, when I meet with my friends and spend whole afternoons leaning over boards? I’ve written down some obvious answers.
I like to hold a new box in my hands. I like to unwrap it, eagerly look inside, and pick up the tiles sheet. I like to pick up the board, unfold it and examine from all possible angles. I like to touch the pawns, the dice, and dip my fingers into all that colourful stuff. I like to hear the magical clicking of the tiles being pushed out of the cardboard sheet. I like to tear the wrapping film off a deck of cards… Ok, I’m lying now. I don’t like unwrapping cards.
But I like the moment, when a new game lands on the table. Those frantic moments when players fight for pawns and argue who takes the green ones and who the yellow ones. When they trace the board with their fingers asking tens of absurd questions. Are the yellow cubes built in these buildings? Can I play a bricklayer family, since I have the red pawns? I’m playing with the yellow ones, so being the Chinese I should get double the number of pawns, may I? And so on, and so forth. Madness. A new game means big expectations, a lot of positive emotions and joy in its purest form.
Oh, the cake is also a reason why I like board games. The cake and the tea biscuits. And most of all I like board games with a board so big, that there is no more space for the cake and the biscuits left on it. I’ll hold It, I usually say and put the biscuit bowl next to me. I sip my tea with my hand among the different sweets. Biscuits are usually brought by Multidej, baking by Bogas and Dagmara and chockolate in big quantities by Salou. Eventually it all lands inside the reach of my hand. And I admit plainly – these are my beloved moments.
I like to know about games. I gather this knowledge by various means. I browse through foreign web sites looking for information, pictures of new releases, fans’ opinions and professional reviews. I read Swiat Gier Planszowych (The World of Board Games magazine) from cover to cover. I roam sites like Games Frantic, Kraina Gier, gry-planszowe.pl and many more, absorbing information, ensuring my need for knowledge is appeased. Unfortunately, it never is. And that’s why I discuss games.
I debate with Tomek by mail, bragging about what I’ve played, telling him what is remarkable and what to avoid. I like long, sincere men talks, when we talk over our Better Halves and prove to ourselves that our attitude towards games, not theirs, is the appropriate one. It surely is. I like the “skype” chat with Pancho, when we indulge ourselves in all kinds of gossip, from recommendations, to comments regarding recent publishers’ news. I debate every Monday, in the club, talking to Mst about games, asking for his opinion on various titles.
What I also like about board games is writing about them. Like here, now. When I sit at the computer in the evening and share my passion with you. I like the fact that, thanks to board games, I could start the MDK club in Gliwice, that I could organize “Pionek”, a magical event, to which smiling gamers come from all over Poland. I like the fact, that I always misinterpret the rules and as a result I can always play one game according to two or three sets of alternative rules. I also like how the boxes form such marvelous piles…
Actually, what I also like about board games is the fact, that you can play them too. But I get the feeling that it’s one thing I could manage without. Without biscuits by the table, without email debates with Tomek, without piling up boxes on the shelf it would be a lot harder for me…