Why I play Board Games!

Tuesday was my third gaming session in four days. Each of these gaming sessions had it’s own personality. This personality is based on the location, the games, and most of all it is based on the people involved. People are what make board games fun.

This post is about a few of the people whom I game with.

Saturday was a regular get together at Game Empire with my wargamer mates; the SoCal Wargamers. We played a bunch of games, both old and new. After some games new to us: South China Sea, and Chile 73, it was not surprising that we next played a game that felt like a old comfy pair of slippers. Like a lot of gaming groups we do like to play new games, yet we also have our old standards that we can quickly jump into. One of these standards is Napoleonic Wars by GMT Games. This game is fondly known as Nappy Wars. It is a 2-5 player strategic card-driven game on the Napoleonic Wars from 1804 to 1815.


One of our regular Nappy Wars players is Greg Ticer. Among other things, Greg has given us a better understanding of how to play Nappy Wars. A game that I have played at least 30-40 times. This is because Greg has designed a game of his own, called The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble, that is loosely based on Nappy Wars. In the process of adapting the Nappy Wars system it meant that Greg had to gain a full understanding of the rules. In the process Greg had found that we have been playing the game slightly wrong for.. well, for always. Oops. Thanks for pointing that out Greg!

Myself, Greg, Karl, Luis, and James
Myself, Greg, Karl, Luis, and James. Game Empire, Pasadena. 17th March 2018

Sadly, Greg will soon be moving to Texas. That Saturday was probably our last gaming session with Greg for a while. We have shared many fun times with Greg. He is always a serious gamer, yet he has a jovial side. Here are some pics that show his jovial nature. He had ordered the large burrito at a local Mexican cantina while we were at SDHIST Con 2016 in San Diego. The burrito was somewhat larger than anyone expected. It was so big that it overlapped the plate on both sides. Greg’s face is an absolute picture as he contemplated the behemoth that he was about to consume. He barely made a dent in the monster, and could not give the rest away. That was a lot of burrito for 10 bucks.

So we give our best wishes to Greg on his new adventures. May the dice roll high or low as appropriate. We hope to game with you again soon.

{shill} Check out Greg’s game, entitled The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble. The game is on P500 preorder by publisher GMT Games. I wish Greg had stuck with the original title that I suggested aka “Greg’s Awesome Sauce 7 Years War Game“. That’s a snappy title, don’t you think? {end shill}

Monday night was at McGregors, in Moorpark. This weekly event has been going from strength to strength since it was first started just over 6 months ago. The core of the attendees on these Monday nights are old time VCSB regulars that I have known for years. It may take some time to get the word out to the locals so you have to persevere. The expectation, when launching a new event in a new area, is that we get some new locals to sign up.  A new event takes some time to get enough momentum to be self sustaining. It is a definite help when some of these new local people become regular attendees. It was good to meet Paul. Paul is a Moorpark local who quickly became a regular attendee.  Recently it has become clear that Paul has a game-crush. He has become smitten with a game about Vikings, namely Raiders Of The North Sea.

Raiders Of The North Sea box
Raiders Of The North Sea box

Don’t get me wrong. Paul is not the first gamer who has been smitten by a game. I have seen many a gamer fixated on a game. Some would jokingly point out my fixation with Battlestar Galactica. There will be more on BSG later.

What is great about this fixation is there is a genuine passion for a well crafted game. A game that both intrigues and entertains the player. A key element in spreading the joy of modern board games is to have genuine enthusiasm for the games. Genuine enthusiasm shows through and draws in the other players. It is great to see that enthusiasm in Paul. Well done that man.

A recent newcomer to the VCSB group, and to modern board games as well, is Brook. As the group organizer I act as gate keeper for the newcomers. I do my utmost to ensure that newcomers feel welcome. I also ensure the newcomers get into appropriate games, and by appropriate I mean that I try to gauge the persons game knowledge, interests, and their abilities to ensure they don’t get placed in a game that is a poor choice for them. Letting the person know the expected duration of a game, or how complicated it is, is only fair in case that does not suit them. On the odd occasion I have strongly suggested that a player should not play a specific game, as the game would not suit them. Over a few events you can begin to determine the newcomers likes, dislikes, and limitations. Now Brook has lapped up every game that has been thrown at him. From simple party games through to complicated strategy games he has taken them all in his stride.

I recently revisited the first edition of the game London. This game took a few plays before I got the game.  Others experienced gamers have struggled to play the game well in the first attempt. Brook, on the other hand, demolished us in his first play. On Monday night Brook expressed an interest in learning to play Battlestar Galactica.

London (1st Edition) box cover

For the last few weeks we have held the Tuesday Night VCSB Meetup at Ted’s house in Newbury Park. We are limited to a maximum of 24 while at Ted’s place. There is just not enough space to cram in more people without being overcrowded. We have even had to turn people away; which is something that I hate to do. Having a smaller attendance means it is harder to get the 5 players that is optimal for a game of BSG (Battlestar Galactica). Luckily there was fresh meat Brook who wanted to learn the game. Mwwhhhaaa. We had a fresh victim for the airlock. So Say We All.

BSG is not an easy game to explain, nor is it an quick and easy game to learn. Experienced players tend to have low expectations of new players. You can see where this is going. Early in the game there was a Skill Check that was obviously sabotaged by a unrevealed cylon. More importantly, it was not sabotaged by me, and I was the other unrevealed cylon. Although I had played a card into the Skill Check I could prove it was not sabotaged by me. Human Eric helpfully backed up my story. It was now that the game took an interesting course. Experienced players Chris, and Dodgy John, immediately started to blame each other. Each were convinced the other was the cylon who had sabotaged the Skill Check. I was not sure which one of them was on my side, I was quite convinced it was one of those two. Our deliberations were so passionate that we were told to keep the noise down. The game effectively stopped for 10 minutes while people argued back and forth. Then fate intervened and I got thrown in the brig under the premise that I could have determined who the cylon was, and I did not do so. Later in the game it was clear that both John and Chris were human, along with the innocent Eric. For a while the table was convinced that I was the lone cylon. In fact, I was not alone. It was Brook who had sabotaged the Skill Check. No one had suspected him. Not even me. Inexperienced players are never so sneaky, so quickly.  How he kept a straight face through all of this, I do not know. Well done Brook.


My last game of the night was The Mind. A game that is not yet released in the USA. Here two people, both I have known for ten or more years, come into play. First, Jennifer posted that she thought The Mind was the stupidest game ever. This brash statement meant that Jonathon had to check the game out for himself. As the game is not yet available he had to concoct a version using the cards from another game.

The Mind is a co-operative game. A co-operative game where you cannot communicate with your fellow players. A game where the players do not take turns playing the cards.

It is a stupid game.

It is a fun and stupid game.

It is a fun and stupid game, where we had four grown men grunting, wincing, and laughing at each other. We played The Mind twice. We lost twice. That did not matter as we had fun. Thanks to Jonathon for introducing me to a stupid game.

Games are fun. Games are more fun with people. Games are more fun because of people. Enjoy the games, enjoy the clever mechanics, enjoy the story the game creates, enjoy the game art, and enjoy the time spent with people.


22nd March 2018

More Boardgames & Beer at McGregors on January the 21st

Join us for a pleasant Sunday afternoon & evening of Board games and Beer (or wine etc) at McGregors Craft Beer and Wine, Moorpark.

Board games and Beer at McGregors in Moorpark
21st January 2018 – 2pm onward

The venue is a friendly craft pub that is open, airy, with great lighting, and large clean tables. There is plenty of free parking too.

Bring along games to play if you want, we will have plenty of fun games at hand. Beginners are welcome. There will be plenty of fun games to play that take mere minutes to learn. We will have plenty of games that are suitable for all types of gamers, from newcomers to experienced.

You can RSVP on the Ventura County Strategy Boardgamers Meetup or on the Facebook event. All our events are FREE to attend. The venue is a commercial establishment, people are expected to support the venue by partaking in the food and drink they have to offer. As the establishment serves alcohol there is a minimum age limit of 21.





Roll up for more modern boardgaming events with FATDOG 2017 and DOGCAT 2: Revenge of DOGCAT.

These events have many things in common:

  • Come along if you are interested in the growing modern boardgaming hobby. Enjoy modern fun boardgames such as Ticket to Ride or Catan.
  • The events are free to attend. Please RSVP so that we know the numbers to expect.
  • The events are beginner friendly. There will be plenty of fun, and engaging modern boardgames to play.
  • Come for an hour, or stay for the whole day.
  • You do not need to own, nor know, any boardgames games. People are happy to teach the games to others.


FATDOG 2017 is on Friday, the 24th of November in Oxnard. To RSVP, or for more details you can check out the event on Meetup or on Facebook. This is the 6th year that the Ventura County Startegy Boardgamers Meetup have held a FATDOG event. Each year they have gone from strength to strength.


DOGCAT 2: Revenge of DOGCAT is on Saturday, the 25th of November in Ventura. To RSVP, or for more details you can check out the event on Meetup or on Facebook. This is the second year that we have organized an evnt on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Any questions? Ask below, or post a comment on Meetup or on Facebook against the event that you are interested in attending.  Also check out our Facebook group where we discuss boardgaming around Ventura County.

Many thanks to Ryan and April-Lyn for arranging the venues.

15th November 2017. Edited for a typo.

FATDOG means Friday After Thanksgiving Day of Gaming. It’s just a name for our full day of gaming.

DOGCAT means Days of Gaming Continuing After Thanksgiving. It’s just another goofy and fun name..

31 Consecutive Days Of Gaming

Last month I decided to see how many consecutive days could go by where I played at least one boardgame each day. All the games were face-to-face with human players, and with the actual physical games. No online or app plays counted towards the totals. No children were used nor harmed in this endeavor.
Yesterday I hit the milestone of 100 games played over 31 consecutive days. This is with over 89 gamers in 11 different locations. This info was supplied by the BGStats app, and the BoardGameGeek website.
31 days Capture

The feat of cardboard exploitation started by accident when I noticed that my local gaming group had gaming events over 5 consecutive days. It was made easier as I was also attending two gaming conventions on consecutive weekends. The big boost is that I am lucky to have a very active local gaming scene. Here is a shameless plug for my local Meetup group. I am the main organizer of the VCSB Meetup group and we meet around 4-5 times a week.

This still left some event free days. My long suffering gf has helped to fill in some gaps in the calendar. Being a sneaky person, I have used this as an opportunity to introduce her to some new games. Mwwhhahha. I was quite proud when she beat me at 7 Wonders Duel the other night. She was also very happy that she did not need to feed her people in that game. She hates Stone Age. 😦
The shortest game play in time was either Rhino Hero or Qwixx. Some of those games took only a few minutes. The longest game play was 12 hours playing Here I Stand (500th Anniversary Edition) with 5 other players. Some of the games were playtest games of games yet to be published. For purely social games like Concept; the one game play logged consisted of at least a dozen rounds.
My game plays are logged via the BoardGameGeeek website or the BGStats app. I have used both BGG, BGstats and the friendlessstats website to look at the game play data.
It is fair to admit that I am a tad OCD when it comes to logging my plays. I have been logging my game plays for just over 10 years. So far I have logged over 3800 game plays of over 600 different games.
My total game play H-Index is 27. That means that I have played 27 games a total of 27 times each. For more details about logging game plays please see this article https://venturacountyboardgamers.com/articles/logging-your-game-plays/
This game playing streak has helped towards my Twisted 10×10 Challenge for 2017.
10x10 Challenge
10×10 Challenge as per 24th October 2017
This year is looking to be a good year of gaming. One of my goals for the 10×10 Challenge was to increase the number of games that I played for two specific areas. These were firstly games that are published by GMT Games. I felt that I was not playing there games often enough. Secondly, I wanted to play more wargames (aka historical themed) games by publishers other than GMT Games. SO far I have met, and exceeded my goal. The 10×10 Challenge caused me to review my game playing patterns. It is easier to play non-wargames, as there are more people who are willing to play eurogames.
Some game play stats for 2017
Some game play stats for 2017
By the way, I am gaming tonight. The streak continues!
My username on BoardGameGeek is oi_you_nutter. You can see my game information in my profile. Let me know if you have questions on game logging, or any questions about my sanity, or the games that I play.
24th October 2017

10×10 Challenge and 10 Day Of Gaming…So Far

My Twisted 10×10 Challenge is making good progress. My Battlestar Galactica count is up to 53 games so far this year. My target is to play BSG at least 70 times. It will be tight to complete the required number. I am confidant as my local gaming group can often finish 2-3 games of BSG in one evening. So say we all.

October the 4th 10x10 Challenge
October the 4th 10×10 Challenge
October the 4th 10x10 Challenge
October the 4th 10×10 Challenge
oct 4 2017 - 2 Capture
October the 4th 10×10 Challenge

I am spoiled with local gaming opportunities. It has not always been the case. It is now possible to game, for no cost other than fuel, at least 4 times a week. A Monday evening meetup has been added to the weekly calendar of my local gaming Meetup group. With the semi-regular weekend events it has been possible to game 5 days in a row. Taking advantage of this I decided how long I could go where I play games on consecutive days.

So far I have gamed every day from Saturday, the 23rd of September, until today. There is no end in sight to this run of gaming. Only one day have I gamed in a non-public location. To keep the streak going I did play a (board) game with the girlfriend to bridge a game between events. I will do so tonight too. She is a good sport putting up with my shenanigans.