BBG: Before Board Games
When my wife and I were first dating, we would do what most couples would do; go to dinner, see a movie, go out for drinks, and other typical dating activities. At the time, she lived near downtown Tampa, so she was within walking distance of different restaurants, bars, and other places to go to and have a good time. She had your typical cable package at her apartment for the days it would rain or just didn’t feel like going anywhere.
I, on the other hand, lived outside of Tampa, had just canceled my cable about a month prior, and had to drive at least 10-15 minutes to get to Tampa proper. My closest entertainment was Blockbuster. (Yeah, we’ve been together a little while.) Usually, when she would stay at my place for the weekend, we would just chill and either rent a movie from Blockbuster or watch something on Netflix. Of course, this was before Netflix had original programming, so it was usually an older movie or a comedy special. (And it was before the kids had dubbed it “Netflix and Chill”.)
One day, one of us mentioned playing board games. She had a couple of Trivial Pursuits, Scene-It, a Sex and the City trivia game, and Disney Monopoly. All I had was a Simpsons Trivia game. Since she didn’t watch the Simpsons, and I didn’t watch Sex in the City, this limited our choices further. After playing the other games a few times, we decided to take a trip to Walmart and see what games were available. We purchased Battle of the Sexes and Smart Ass, both trivia games. After playing these new games a few times, we were already seeing the same questions a second time through.
The Gateway Game Arrives
By this time, we had been dating for close to a year and moved in together. We both liked to play board games and decided to get a few more. This time we ordered three games from Amazon three games. The first was Clue, which I chose because I liked it when I was younger. The second was Pandemic, which she wanted because she loves anything to do with science and diseases. It was also cooperative, which neither of us knew that type of board game existed at the time. The final game was Zombie Fluxx. She saw this and a couple of other versions online and it looked interesting. I convinced her to get the Zombie version.
Clue was Clue, but we still liked it. Zombie Fluxx led us to buy a couple of other editions of Fluxx. Pandemic was something completely different than either of us had ever played up to this point and both of us really enjoyed it. This is where I feel our growing into the hobby truly started, but it wasn’t apparent to either of us until later on.
As a birthday present, she gave me Last Night on Earth, which is a board game about trying to survive zombies that have overrun a small middle-of-nowhere town. It had the feel of a B-horror movie and I loved playing as the zombies trying to eat her survivors’ brains. This was without a doubt our heaviest game we had played with each other to this point, and further solidified our love of the hobby.
We started looking at other games from Flying Frog, the company that made Last Night on Earth. We soon purchased A Touch of Evil and Conquest of Planet Earth. This is where the hobby really took off for us. We bought expansions for the above games. Soon after, Amazon had a sale on games that led us to buy Dominion, Zombicide, and Forbidden Island. Pandemic also had the On the Brink expansion, followed by a reprint of the base game, and In the Lab. King of Tokyo found a home on our shelf along with several other games.
We were checking out videos on YouTube about board games along with learning about Board Game Geek. We would watch reviews, playthroughs, and best of lists. We then attended our first board game convention, Dice Tower Con, in 2015. We’ve gone every year since.
And Now…A Board Game Blog
Now we have a collection of games and expansions, met other people who are into the hobby, and have scheduled gaming days and nights. We buy games for friends and family that we feel will appeal to them without scaring them away. My mom always wants to play Love Letter, my sister-in-law just purchased Pandemic after we got her a cooperative Harry Potter board game, and we have a couple games that we plan to give to our goddaughter and nephew for Christmas this year. To top it all off, we’re beginning this blog, which we hope will grow as much as our love for board games.