Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Talbot to Ludlow

I thought long and hard about whether to call this particular little piece, "keeping the Welsh out" but decided since that was a fool's errand to talk instead about games. And why we play them.

The title I've chosen refers to an event card from the game Kingmaker which has long been one of my favourites featuring all the best things about games - plague, pestilence, storms, battles, castles and general skullduggery (and the picture is Ludlow Castle). And since I was brought up in the days before computers, we played games involving small pieces of card being piled up on a board and moved around. Proper games, if you ask me!

Indeed - along with ridiculous amounts of D&D - I spent a significant proportion of my waking hours at university playing games. Along with Kingmaker we played Machiavelli (no surprises that this is set in renaissance Italy), Mighty Fortress (set in reformation Europe) and assorted Diplomacy varients. These games required thought, considered approaches, some understanding of strategy and a wide streak of devious nastiness. Which I guess is why they don't appeal to everyone - I'm told there are people out there for which the prospect of a rainy day in playing board games is some kind of purgatory.

Today we still play board games - Kingmaker if we can find enough willing victims (I think they like to call themselves 'players') but more usually more recently publish board games like 'Ticket to Ride', 'Carcassonne' and 'Puerto Rico'. And I still have a love hate relationships - great to play, exercises the mind. But when you're as competitive as I am rather stressful. And don't get too near me when I'm losing!


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