Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Board Gaming Fortunes

This past weekend I visited a former student. She and her friends are board gamers, as in fantasy/Sf role paying games. We went out to dinner and right next to the restaurant was a game supply store.

Now, I think you should be aware that in high school and college, I used to play Risk. I wish - now- had pretty much every minute back from dong that, but I must have had fun at the time otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Youth is there to wasted.

I was once invited to play Dungeons and Dragons in college, and I declined. Too dorky for me. Just as well.

But! Had I known that some people make a living as game masters, perhaps I shouldn't have dismissed it all so readily.

Then again, I could have been, by the standards of Comic Book Guy, Worst Game Master Ever!

"You have entered a cave leading to a vast cavern. A dragon guards the entrance".
"I challenge the dragon with a dark elf immobilation spell of 50 points!"
"The dragon is on his lunch break. You will have to wait 15 minutes for his return."
"No, I mean it. Literally fifteen minutes."


"A dark elf accountant has entered the cave entrance of your cavern. He is here to do your taxes".

I understand that a well chosen card collection from Magic the Gathering can be worth a small fortune.

In any case, walking through the store, I was amazed at the amount of game token miniatures available. Not only the quantity, but the quality. Some of these miniatures, upon inspection, were really tiny and of exquisite detail and craftsmanship. I mean, inch high, and figuratively accurate right down to eye brows and dimples. For me to do something like that would drive me insane after about fifteen minutes.

But when I saw the prices? Holy shit! I've been in the wrong business all along!

Interestingly, they do not use 3D printing for this stuff yet. It's still all done with injection molding.

I'm told that the miniatures have only recently gotten to be good quality, like within the past ten years or so.



  1. My other observation walking into the gaming store? "Wow, I am the best looking guy here!"

  2. We used to spend hours painting our little lead figurines, and, by no means could we get down to the level of eyebrows or dimples detail.

    SMDH...., Risk after the 7th grade is NOT a good look John. The male adolescent nerd's public strategic global domination game was Diplomacy (or as we fondly called it) Dipsy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomacy_%28game%29

    Not only was it fun, but you could actually feign respectability playing Dipsy during study hall, after school, and anywhere else you sorrowfully disdained popularity and drunken access to nubiles. I sorely wish I'd spent more of that time studying and playing around on the Apple II's.

    Back to the figurines. It was outside the context of school that the complete greasy nerd depravity of D&D and Society for Creative Anachronism could be given full sway. (oh, and of course comic books, as well) We all had permits at the age of 14, hundred dollar automobiles used to get us to and from work and school and out to our greasy nerd haunts, which for us was above the Flannagan Hunt mortuary downtown - headquarters of the Wichita Wargamers Association. This nerd collective was run and funded by adult engineers from the various and sundry aircraft manufacturers which formerly dominated the Wichita manufacturing economy.

    There, they could recruit and shape impressionable young nerds and bring them us into a state of complete maladaptation, sexual frustration, and social dysfunction.