Friday, November 16, 2012


I have too many hobbies. To make matters worse, my brain always seems to be trying to add more to the list. I don't have the time or money, really, to treat even one hobby with the attention it deserves.
Fortunately, they take turns rotating to the front of my brain. Metal detecting is always floating just off to the side, waiting to jump on an opportunity, but it's not an obsession right now. Coin collecting mostly stays on a back burner, where I stir it and watch it but mostly keep it out of the way until later. Gardening has been at a lull for quite a while now.
The thing that is stuck out in front right now is board games.  I don't even play games!  I've always had an interest in challenging games (ones that involve strategy and planning and interaction). Yet I rarely play them, except with my daughters, and they aren't quite at my game level yet (though they are rapidly getting closer).  This is mostly due to a lack of time.
Probably the main reason I've been thinking a lot about games lately is that I've been listening to podcasts of The Dice Tower ( and some affiliate shows, in which people just sit around and talk about games (game reviews, game mechanics, game aesthetics, theories, anecdotes).  Over the past few weeks I have spent many nights up late working on my sort-of-hobby, sort-of-profession of ink drawings. While doing this, I've alternated between listening to the BBC World Service and The Dice Tower podcasts.
It has really whetted my appetite for obtaining and playing more games.  It sounds like the well-reviewed train-themed game Ticket To Ride is a popular game for playing with friends and families who aren't really into lots of board games, so that is on my very short list; it might be a good one to try to break out with various family and friends when we get the chance.
I'm also very interested in Pandemic, a cooperative game (in which the players, instead of playing against one another, are working together to try to beat the game); X-Wing Miniatures, a Star Wars space combat game that a lot of people seem to like; various war games such as Julius Caesar; Tichu, a card game that my friend Travis said he and his friends are getting a lot of mileage out of; Carcassone, a tile-laying game that we played with the Sparkses and which I really enjoyed; and there are a lot more.
I think I'll focus on setting aside a little more time to play, and  plan on very slowly building up my game collection (many of these games are fairly expensive, with $40-60 being the typical range for new store-bought boxes).
Fortunately, some of this itch is scratched by occasional, irregular roleplaying game nights with friends.

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