Board Game Blues

Several months ago I wrote about RISK:Legacy and how it had blown me out of the water. I mentioned that I had been having a hard time getting into new games, which was why the path was cleared for the awesomeness that is RISK:Legacy.

Well, today, rather than write a about a game I’ve played and what I think about it, I want to talk about my board game blues.

For about 6-7 months now I’ve been in this funk where I just don’t have the motivation to learn new board games. In my group of friends I’m to rulebook guy. You know that guy: he reads the rulebook cover-to-cover before playing and (if no one at the table has played before) is the one to teach the game. He constantly questions the legitimacy of decisions and tactics throughout the game, continually checking with the rulebook.

I’m that guy.

Well, as much as that guy (or I) might drive you nuts during a game, it’s exhausting being that guy. I’ve read so many damn rulebooks that I find myself rating them on how enjoyable they are as reading material (the rulebook for Galaxy Trucker, by the way, is a great read).

So right around this past Christmas I started to peter out. I started to get tired of games in general. For example, several weeks ago my wife and I went to a Solid Board Gamer’s event in the Mississauga Library (held Saturdays from ~1pm-5pm in the glass pavilion). We grabbed a two-player game called Targi.

We sat down, opened the box, and suddenly lost all motivation to play. Now, if you’ve played or even opened a box of Targi you know that it looks like a pretty good game. I just didn’t want to read the rules. I’m tired of reading rules! I’m tired of explaining them (especially to non-gamers, UGH!, you know -exactly- what I’m talking about!)

So we put the game back and ate our lunch.

I suppose if there’s a purpose to this post it heads in the direction of how you treat your rulebook guy. He doesn’t read the rules in order to have an advantage (well maybe -your- rulebook guy does), and he doesn’t double-check the rules just to win. He is genuinely concerned about the game being played the way it was designed! So cut him some slack! Those rules are boring as hell. He is doing you a favour.

Next time you see your rulebook guy give him a warm hug, smile, and say “Thank you”. Then walk away so he has no idea what it was about. And if you are your rulebook guy, don’t let this post go to your head; you’re not all that great.


Jason G


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