I had a most enjoyable few hours in the company of Joseph Field and a selection of like-minded individuals (sounds intimidating) at the first Skill-Luck-Stamina board games event on Sunday. SLS gives a nice nod to the attributes required exploring the world of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy, but on this occasion the Warlock remained in his box. What we did have was a range of games, from the brand spanking new X-Wing miniatures game, through to a seasoned gaming staple of Carcassone. I even brought along my Ludo-esque Cannonball Run game (only available in the US – thanks eBay) for the crowd to gaze upon!
I took a great interest in the more “mature” range of board games available when I was in my late teens. I’d graduated from the dreary collection of Argos-listed titles such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, into the rules-intense world of Avalon Hill’s Tac-Air. It seemed to offer greater realism than the computer-based relations at the time. No turn-based or RTS games on the late 8-bit and 16-bit platforms at could offer the expansive and expressive board games experience – delivering a real, fluid and dynamic battlefield or playing area that was constantly evolving. Through my Uni years though, I seemed to have lost interest somewhere as the video board gaming increased (Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, Buzz Aldrins Race Into Space). I fell out of love with tabletop wooden pieces and cardboard hexagon maps.
Getting to know Joe during Games Britannia this year, re-ignited my interest again and I invited him to come along at the festival and setup Board Games Britannia. He duly obliged and spent the weekend fighting Warlocks, Zombies and other Ancient evils! There’s something more to playing a board game with friends over a multiplayer game via a Smartphone or Console. Something more human; you sit together, interact, attempt to read the body language and mind of your opponent and give your next turn more credence because you haven’t the ability just to turn off the machine and ignore any gloating from your opponent.
There’s a huge range of titles out there to explore – something for everyone and I want to try some of the recommendations given to me by Joe. SLS was great fun. Hopefully the group will organically grow into something bigger.