Thursday, 8 September 2016
What I do
For short hand let's call you muggles.
For a while I've been wondering what the muggles, be you family, friends or colleagues must think when I share pictures of little toy soldiers on facebook or when I have a calm and reasonable twitter rant about an FAQ (frequently asked questions, a way of solving small issues with the rules of a game) so I thought it was about time I explained.
First off let me say that when I describe myself as a geek I do it with the up most pride in that fact. Everyone is a geek about something it's one of the joys of living live. If you are a massive football fan, you are being a football geek. If you get really excited about what's happening in Enders or Corrie you are a soap geek. There are food geeks, art geeks, gym geeks and every other type of geek you can imagine. I am among other things a tabletop gaming geek. So once we admit we are all massive geeks I'll go on and explain my particular type of geekness.
I play tabletop games. This term covers a huge range of systems and ideas but to make it simple I'll keep it to three areas of interest.
First board games: everyone knows what a board game is, plenty of people have a few bashed copies of scrabble or monopoly they pull out at Christmas. What I play is the next steps on from that. They range from small scale games of luck like zombie dice to huge sprawling cooperative whole night gone just setting up games like Arkham horror. These are something I play with my friends are my family and I'd encourage everyone to update their board game collect so they aren't a once a year slog anymore. Check out this YouTube channel to give you some inspiration. The world of board games has come a long way since snakes and ladders.
Next lets cover something that everyone has heard of RPGs or role playing games. This covers things like Dungeons and Dragons which most people has heard of but spirals off into hundreds of different directions. There is an RPG to go with every world or setting you can imagine and if it doesn't exist yet someone somewhere will be working on it. RPG have had a bit of a mixed press over the years from being accused of being a form of devil worship to being a game for spotty virgins in basements. To be honest RPGs are just group story telling with a few rules sprinkled in to keep things moving. Your make up a character the person in charge creates a world and then your off solving problems and killing monsters (or being monsters and causing problems it's up to you)
RPG are the perfect example of you get out what you put in. For me it's an excuse to chat and laugh with mates while rolling a few dice to try and hit a zombie with a flower pot.
Watch this to give you a vague idea.
Last is my major geekdom what takes up most of my free time and where I've meet some of my most amazing friends. Tabletop wargamers.
This is such a major subject for me I'll split it in three again. First there's the hobby side which means building and painting little toy soldiers. When I say soldiers I don't just me little plastic men with guns there are also heroes with swords, massive monster, dancers, hooligans, zombies, ninjas, robots and everything else that you can think of.
I spend many (many many many) hours painting these tiny little figure to the best of my ability which is just a shadow of what's possible compared to some painters.
Next up with s casual play which is when I meet up with a handful of mates and strangers (and strange mates) each week to play games with these painted figures. These games depend on the type of ruleset we are following, classic massed battle where the aim is just to kill as many of the enemy as you can (usually done with dice and charts and wound counters) or there's scheme and objective based games where you have a handful of models who have to score points from securing parts of the table or collecting a certain resource (in my case this is done with cards in something akin to poker) or sometimes it's something as simple as a mob style football match where the team are allowed to use knives and axes to help in a tackle (this once again uses dice)
Then we have tournament play. This is where between eight and one hundred and twenty eight (sometimes more in certain systems) play our chosen game at a competitive level. People travel up and down the country sometimes even to other countries to compete with people and see how they fair against the best and the brightest (or in my case win a wooden spoon for last place and have a laugh). Along side this from time to time I also run events which takes a special kind of insanity keeping track of a room full of excited gamers.
So that gives you all an idea of what it is I do with my time and might explain some of the odd stuff that appears on my feeds for you.