Well, all good things must come to an end, and I’m sad to say that my “perfect” game group is blowing up. And, I have no one else to blame but Luke and Chad for this sorry state of affairs. For a few years now, my group has been perfect (for me)… We started out with three old friends: me, John and Luke (all OG contributors). We had known each other for years, knew each others gaming foibles (like Luke’s strange love of all trick taking games and his inexplicable soft spot for weird Schacht games). All three of us liked to play games quickly, read rules in advance, and were all card-carrying members of the Cult of the New. Every week, the three of us would get together in someone’s basement and play games all night. As most Eurogames are meant for 3 or more players, we always had the right number for just about every game.
As things change (like they always do), we started to have life issues that made it harder to make the weekly sessions. We added two more people to the group (yay for Karen and Chad!) – and between the 5 of us, we managed to average around 3.5 players per week, which still felt just right. Though there are plenty of games that max out with 4 players, there are still more than enough 5+ player games out there for the rare occasions when everyone could make it. Everyone in the group was still open to just about any sort of game, so we never really had conflicts with game choices.
I’ve never wanted a big gaming group. First, we don’t have a fixed location, so it’s nice to have a small group so that any of us could host the group at their place. Second, I hate having more than one table because then you have to worry about gaming between two tables, and half of your night gets spent playing stupid 10 minute fillers because you’re waiting for the other group to finish up so people can redistribute. When you have one table, there’s always one game at a time, and everyone plays. There’s no downtime, and it just works better.
Things continue to change… Chad got a job in the Southwest. He left in the middle of the night, like the Baltimore Colts – Not even a note goodbye. It happened so quick that we didn’t even get a last night to play all the games that he thought were “cute”. Sigh. And now Luke is moving away to Columbus. Granted, it’s only 90 minutes away – but probably too far for either of us to make the trek on a weekly basis for gaming.
So, we’ll see how the fall works out. John, Karen and I are going to try the three-person group for awhile and see how it goes. Maybe Luke will hate Columbus, sell his new house there and move back to Cincinnati (fingers crossed). But it was a great run while it lasted, and future iterations of the local game group will have a tough fight to top this group of gamers.
Chad and Luke – you’re going to be missed! I’ll keep the box of fruit snacks filled up to the top for you.