My friend Noah is a serious gamer. He is a perennial game master and plays in one other game that I know of. He is the reason I tried role-playing games in college and got all sucked in to playing Vampire.
When we were in college, he and I had a running game of gin rummy. Noah carried around the score sheet in his wallet and whenever we were bored, we played a quick game.
These days, Noah has an open house every couple of months where people gather at his house to play board games. Because my weekends have been tied up with homework for about ever, Saturday was the first tie I was able to attend.
I was the first to arrive. Noah’s two young children were having Quiet Time in their rooms and Noah and his wife, Jenny were playing Guitar Head. When they were done, Noah made an X Box avatar for me, just in case we decided to play video games. He gave me Princess Leia hair.
Noah has every board game under the sun – most things I have never heard of – and he knows all of the rules and can explain them. I love that he always knows whose turn it is and what actions they can take.
There were ten of us playing and I stayed for two games: Pandemic, which is a cooperative game where you try to eradicate diseases before they take over the earth. We lost that one; and Power Grid, where you compete with the other players to provide electricity to the entire US. Noah won.
One of the things that has gotten better about board games – or maybe this is how Noah chooses his games – is that there is less “elimination”, where the last man standing wins. The games have a point where they end for everyone and there is different criteria for winning. That way people aren’t sitting around waiting for others to finish. We had a good time.