I have been playing games of one sort or another for as long as I can remember. As a child my family played board games during our long, wet summer holidays in Wales and Cornwall. As a teenager I discovered wargames and then the new hobby of board wargames. In the late Seventies I transferred my affections to role-playing games and postal games, combining the two with the start of my postal En Garde! game, Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses, in 1986.
The discovery of the wealth of high quality, strategy board games published in Europe – and particularly Germany – brought me full circle back to board games by 1990. Since then I have discovered the joys of ‘freeform’ role-playing (live role-playing, with players in costume – something like a drama improvisation coupled with a murder-mystery party game).
On the front page I mentioned that I don’t play computer games. Here’s why not. As far as I can see computer games are puzzles. Players are trying to find the ways to solve the puzzles that have been built in by the designer(s). (What they are not doing is competing or co-operating with other people within a framework of rules. That is, playing a game.) And I don’t like puzzles. Either I can do them easily, in which case they’re boring. Or I can't do them easily, so they’re frustrating and boring. Either way, I’m not interested. Show me a game that uses the medium of the computer and I’ll be interested.
Nowadays I am most likely to be playing a recently-published board game of UK, European or US origin – my reviews will give you some idea of the things I play and enjoy. You can find me playing these most Wednesdays at Swiggers games club. I also play online versions of board games, such as: Brass, In the Year of the Dragon, Phoenicia and Puerto Rico. (The computer and the internet as a medium to play games!)
I remain a big fan of the swashbuckling role-playing game, En Garde (I now own the rights to the game!), and have run a game (in postal format) since 1986, Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses, along with other games in my magazine, To Win Just Once.
My role-playing has reduced pretty much to the occasional weekend-long freeform game. The most recent game was 1897: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. (Previous games were Once Upon a Time in Tombstone, The Siege of Troy, Torch of Freedom and Café Casablanca.)