BALTARFEST 2019 – 600 games of BSG [Picture Heavy]

This coming Saturday, 20th of April 2019, I will hopefully reach the milestone of my 600th play of the Battlestar Galactica board game. This figure has been a long time coming. It also is a reflection on how a board game group evolves over time.

My copy of Battlestar Galactica (aka BSG) was first played on the 28th November 2008 at LosCon #35, a annual science fiction contention, in Los Angeles. Over the next 4 years I played the game regularly, but not excessively. By 2012, I began to play it more often with my local Tuesday night Ventura County Strategy Boardgamers Meetup group. I was getting close to my 100th game played.

BALTARFEST 2012 was held on the 11th of November 2012. That day we played BSG a total of 9 times. I got to play BSG a total of three times that day. Three times in one day, that seems excessive. Hold that thought!

Baltarfest 2012 comment

The game plays accumulate fast when you are playing two, three, or even four games of BSG a week. We had a regular group that played BSG a lot. BSG became a go-to game for Tuesday nights. We knew how to play and we could play fast. By FATDOG 2015 I had reached a total of 400 game plays. BSG was a familiar game on Tuesday nights and other gaming events.

400th BSG cake
The cake for FATDOG 2015

The first 100 game plays took 6 years. The next 300 games took a mere 3 years to accumulate. I have played BSG 5 times in a single day on several occasions. I have even played 4 times in one evening. To be honest, playing 4-5 times in one day is quite mentally exhausting. The games just merge together into one.

The last 200 games have taken 3.5 years. The rate of games played has noticeably dropped. It seems that BSG had peaked as a board game in my playlist. Why is that? Had I begun to tire of being a cylon? Not at all. The game is still fun to play. The game is still a challenge. The player interaction is still thrilling. The truth was it was just harder to find others who were able or wanted to play. For some their lives have moved on and folks have moved away. The game is hard to learn too. We play with a mix of the base game and the three expansions. We play fast. It is hard for a newcomer to keep up with us at times. It has become harder to get the 5 experienced players together that is the optimum number for a game. The BSG base game and the three expansion modules are now long out-of-print and so there are less new people discovering the game. I have played BSG only 5 times this year, so far. Our regular group is meeting, just not as often. BSG is a still a great game but I do like to play other games too.

How do I have all these stats and information of how, where, and with who I have played BSG? Simple, I log my game plays on the BoardGameGeek website. See here for my article on why this logging of game plays is a good thing.

On a side note: I have to make a shout out to Ryan for arranging our venue for so many events. Many thanks for being a good sport. Btw, that certificate that exempts you from playing BSG has long expired at the end of 2017. See the pic below for proof.

IMG_7686
Ryan was happy to win his exemption certificate

Looking back at these photos I see a lot of great people that I have come to know solely because of board games. A wide range of ages, races, and professions, where the only thing we have in common is sharing a fun time over a table playing a game or two. I would not have missed these moments for anything. I hope to see my many cylon mates again soon. To share the challenge of being all sneaky and devious together.

So say we all.

Tim
18th April 2019

P.S. We will be playing lots of different board and card games at BALTARFEST 2019, not just Battlestar Galactica. You can RSVP for free on Meetup at the this link.

FATDOG 2018

FATDOG 2018
FATDOG 2018 logo

FATDOG means Friday After Thanksgiving Day of Gaming

A full day of open gaming with lots of variety in board games and tabletop gaming: euro games, family games, long strategy games, goofy games, dexterity games, party games and lots more. Beginners are welcome, we can teach you fun and challenging games, just bring yourself and the willingness to have some fun.

Open Gaming in Simi Valley, come one or come all. We have space, table and chairs… room for games big and small. Come for a few hours or stay the whole day. We are starting early and going ’til late.

Note: We will have some refreshments available for purchase. There are many eating establishments a short drive away. Please keep the venue clean and tidy.
We will need help with setting up and tidying up at the end of the day.

Please RSVP here on Meetup so we know how many to expect.

Happy Double Anniversary to McGregors and Boardgames & Beer

McGregors 6-630-10 Monday

There happen to be two closely associated anniversaries this weekend. McGregors Craft Wine & Beer celebrate their 2nd anniversary.  Secondly, it was one year ago that the VCSB meetup held our first gaming event at McGregors. Since that first Sunday event we have held many more events there. In fact we have held over 50 gaming events there including our weekly Boardgames & Beer public gaming event every Monday night

McGregors has proven to be a great place to hold a regular board gaming event. A great board gaming location requires a number of attributes that are not easy to find.

Location

McGregors is located on Los Angeles Avenue in Moorpark. This means close access to the 118 and 23 Freeways in sunny Ventura County.

Parking

There is plenty of free parking nearby in a well lit and open car park. No dark alleys nor long walks to a smelly and scary parking structure.

Lighting

This is not a dingy dive bar. This is a modern building with good lighting. This makes it great for playing board games or for holding other events. Never underestimate the importance of good lighting.

Facilities

Clean and large tables that are very board game friendly. Different size square tables make for flexability when setting up different games. There is also a large oval table that suits the large, party type, games. The tables are flat. The tables are clean. The chairs are normal height and comfortable. No need to be perched on tall and wobbly bar stools.

This is not a sports bar. The walls are not festooned with TVs. The noise level is low and there is no need to shout to be heard. This makes for a pleasant board gaming environment.

Beverages

This is a craft beer and wine bar therefore it should be no surprise that McGregors have a great selection of beer and wine available. Check out the local brews. There are also non-alcoholic drinks too. There is no shortage of coasters/beer mats too. So far we have had only one spill and no Boardgames were harmed.

Food

In addition to bar snacks, people can bring in outside food too. There happens to be both Jersey Mikes and Pizzaman Dan mere yards from McGregors.

Staff

Last, but not least, are the friendly staff. It is great that we have enough time to finish and pack up our games at closing time. This takes pressure away from rushing to finish a game before a set time.

Here’s to many more succesful years for McGregors and for our board gaming events there. The key thing is the symbiotic relationship with the venue. They provide us with a venue to play games. We buy their products. This is an open and public event. The public are welcome to join in with us. We welcome the public to take an interest in our activities. We bring beginner friendly games and we are willing to teach fun and engaging board games.

Tim

25th June 2018

Messing With The Formula …Again.

The Tuesday night Meetup has been the cornerstone of the Ventura County Strategy Baordgamers for over seven years.  It has always had a solid attendance count. For several years it was regularily hitting, or exceeding, our maximum limit of 35 attendees.

Tuesday night attendance has been lower than normal since the start time was changed from 6:30pm to 6:00pm. I touched on this issue in a previous post entitled Don’t Mess With The Formula. In an attempt to help those who had trouble getting to Tuesday night on time we tried a delayed start. People would delay starting a longer game so that others could arrive. It seemed fine in practice. It works on a Moday night. It did not work on a Tuesday night. The big difference is that on Monday nights we have a smaller crowd. Mondays night also has a more casual vibe.

The delayed start idea did not help to regain the numbers on Tuesday’s. in fact the attendance went lower. It was obvious that people have moved away from the area. Regular attendees were also not so regular. The start time is keeping a number of people away. It is hard for people to travel, and eat, before the fun and games starts. The extra 30 minutes is key. It is time to give folks the leeway that those extra 30 minutes provide.

From Tuesday, June the 26th 2018, I will be moving the Tuesday start time to 6:30pm. The end time will still be 10:30pm.

 

One Last Hurrah

The last Hurrah for Chris Rollins

Young scamp Chris Rollins is leaving the land of endless summer for the fair city of Boston. Over the past 4 years Chris has graced us with his presence almost 200 times. He has been airlocked in Battlestar Galactica and he has hunted the Rebels in Star Wars Rebellion.

Join us for a session of gaming, and the odd adult beverage or two, to say farewell to the young lad. This may or may not involve Chris getting brigged or airlocked multiple times.

Kindly gather at McGregors craft bar in Moorpark on Saturday, the 7th of April, 2018 from 2pm – 10pm.

Please RSVP on Meetup or on Facebook. We need to let the venue know how many we expect. Kindly let us know if you simply plan on popping in to pay your regards or if you plan to stay for a while.

Tim

27th March 2018