Posts tagged ‘Starcraft’

I am a Eurogamer!

That’s pretty straightforward. But how did I become a Eurogamer? That is a much more interesting story and a fun walk down memory lane.

I have been a gamer most of my life. As a kid, I played Dungeons and Dragons, arcade games, and video games. I am definately a child of the 80’s. Yes, I had the board game Dungeon, which was an early theme game, similar to those we find today.

I had an Atari, a Colecovision, Nintendo 64, and a Commadore Vic 20 (Nobody would ever need more than 20K of memory and no hard drive…right?). I played the original Mario Brothers, Popeye, Defender, Missile Command, BattleZone, Pitfall, and Adventure (on the Atari). I remember getting up a 4:00 and 5:00 AM so I could sneak in some Atari Pac Man before going to school.

As I got older, D&D faded. My younger brother played the Nintendo – I hung out with friends. My brother liked the sports games. At that time it was Joe Montana’s Football game on the PC that had our attention. I was alright, but it was a little more complicated than I wanted. The Nintendo system introduced the concept of key combinations such – which I lost interest in. I liked games you could get in and out of fairly quickly. This was not a popular style in the late 80’s. I don’t think games came back for me…really until shortly after college.

Enter…Windows 95 and the world’s first third-person shooter – DOOM! I was hooked. I had just gotten my first surround audio system. There was nothing more exciting than turning off the lights cranking the PC through the system and ripping through aliens with a chainsaw – BRILLIANT! Than, as an avid Star Wars fan, I was introduced to games like Tie Fighter and Wing Commander (so much for the simple games you get in and out of). Then, along came Duke Nukem. There was nothing like it. You were a wise-cracking, cigar smoking, stripper watching guy with a big friggin’ gun and a pipe bomb.  In no other game could you toss a bomb and just wait till the right moment and BOOM! A million little pieces. It was fantastic. I can definatly say though that I outside of those two games, no third-person shooter really got my attention – outside of a LAN party (which was a totally unique experience in itself).

In about 1998, I learned of a PC game called Warcraft II. Hmm, looks like D&D, but not really. I can be orcs or humans. They get to battle. It’s not third-person. There is a map…and I can make my own if I want. I’m in. This became a staple game for me and I was introduced to the genre of real-time strategy. This led to games like Starcraft and Diablo and SimCity and Civilization (which was probably a bit more complicated than I wanted) and Age of Empires 2. And then, I met an innocent little game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. What an incredible concept! Build your own theme park and roller coasters – and you can model after famous parks. I own all three versions of this game. But, I was keenly aware that my style was definately real-time strategy and tycoon style games. Not too complex, but they could be very deep if you wanted them to. I also found that they satisfied an itch I had to releave frustrations by simply going in and ripping up a simulated city with a massive army.

So, here we are…not in the too distant past. I have two kids (one was about a 7 year old girl and the other too young to care). I see, in a book store, this huge game called World of Warcraft. Lots of little pieces and cards and pretty art. I was a Warcraft fan and intrigued…big time. Then I looked at the price – $75. Um…nope, too much for my broke butt at the time. But, it was cool…and there were all those little figures (Women, every man loves to play with little men…just get over it). I didn’t buy it, but it was interesting.

The first Euro-style game I was introduced to was Sword & Skull. I was reasearching this to play with my daughter. I thought it would be fun – and it had a few little men and cards. She liked Clue and Monopoly Jr. My daughter, by the way was not intrigued by video games the way I was – but she does like board games. The game style of Sword & Skull was more interesting to me than the actual game. But the reasearch I had done before buying it did me in. I learned about a whole world of gaming I was unaware of.

Then, along came Settlers of Catan, Cacassonne, and Ticket To Ride. These board games fed the exact same gaming bug that got me with the real-time strategy games.

In October of 2007, I started selling board games online – on Ebay. I needed a game to start with. I learned that there was this game that just came out that sold 100% of the time on eBay called…Starcraft the Board Game – OH JOY! My old friend – and I could get it half-off as I was now a retailer. You know I bought three – two to sell and one to play. 1000’s of little pieces and figures, lots of chits, and cards, and…a 45-page rule book. HOLY CRAP! Not a game you are going to get in and out of easily. But it was Starcraft, right? I had to try it. After two multi-hour sessions with my wife trying to figure it out, I got frustrated. We did figure it out and I have played it twice since. Both times to mediocure reviews.

I since learned that the Warcraft game is a 5-hour game event, so I have sold it, but never actually opened the box. I suspect I will at some point, but that is a tough sell (hence, my excitement for World Of Warcraft Adventures coming next month)

Repeatedly, the eurogames come out, get played, and enjoyed.

I was also intrigued by a game called Arkham Horror. This was a cooperative game – like a role-playing game – but as a board game. And, it can be played as a one player – that’s interesting. Again, I open the game and it is huge. Lots of pieces and a rule book of over 30 pages. I was really craving that Ticket to Ride 4-page instruction guide. I tried Arkham Horror once and it has not come out again. A pattern is forming.

Just this week, I attempted a third experiment. As I mentioned in an eariler post, I received several games from Rio Grande to try out. So, I gathered two of them and a big one…War of the Ring – a Risk-like game based on Lord of the Rings (with over 200 little men and lots of pieces). I keep wanting to play these, but they never satisfy the same way. We played Oregon twice, Airships once, and War of the Ring once. We were prepared to play Oregon again, but we did not.

We tried Last Night On Earth – the Zombie Game. This was great fun…as we were a group of B-horror movie fans. My wife played as the zombies and even said “Brains…Must have brains!” a few times. It was a simple game to get into and understand. I think we even played it twice.

So, the pattern I have identified in myself is that I am extremely intrigued by the giant event games, but they don’t seem to satisfy me the same way the typical Eurogame does. My friends are the same way, so that may have something to do with it. If I had people that enjoyed the bigger games, I may have a successful game event with them.

So, if you ask me what kind of board game I like and reccomend, you can expect it will be a Euro-style game.

 

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May 23, 2008 at 10:15 am 1 comment


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