Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting Back to the Table---Find Players

I guess one of the hardest things about getting back to the table to play is having a pool of players who you can play.  There are several sources out there that can help.

The first is talk to your local game shop.  They might have an "opponents wanted" list in their game area.  They can also tell you if there is a gaming group in your area and help you get in touch with them.  They can even pass your name on to other customers who are buying the game your are wanting to play.

The other method  is the internet.  Google gaming groups in your area.  The manufacturer's website of the game you are wanting to playing could have a player finder feature.  Also you might find a 3rd party run player run player finder.  Just also be careful of how much info you put there for security purposes....its a trade off.

Now in my situation I am looking for Flames of War players.  My local game store has several customers who at least are buying FoW figures and books.  I just talked to the owner and he said he would pass along my info to those folks.  I also learned that there is a gaming group in my area, but that they are heavily into WH40K and Warmachine/Hordes.  Not a total loss as they are still a potential pool of players who can be converted.  The FoW website has some great links to stores and clubs in my geographic area...sadly they are about a 2-2.5 hour drive away.

Another little "trick" I did was in the FoW website I placed where I was from in my profile and when I post items there I will mention that I am from Northern Alabama or the Huntsville area.  This lead me to another group that is based in Birmingham, but at least one that does play FoW.

Through the FoW website I also found the "What Would Patton Do" blog and podcast.  Great bunch of guys there and top notch podcast.....AND....they have a player finder feature that a gent named Chris Miller is running for FoW.  I sent my info into him to get added.  When it does I will be the first in the Huntsville area, but its a start.  You might be first, but you make it easier for those following.  Doing the recce job so to speak.

Now I got my name and interest out there, what more can a I do?  I need to spark the interest in others in my area.  What better way than to sponsor a demo at my local gaming store.

More to follow.....

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I hope this blog proves useful and I invite you to join my journey as I head back to the gaming table after an almost 20 year hiatus.  A lot has changed...and pretty much all for the better!

Why a 20 year hiatus?  Mostly due to my inability to juggle work, family and a gaming life.  I need one or two of those chainsaws I was juggling to shrink in size.  After 20 years, I have retired from active duty in the US Army and the kids have grown up enough where I now have the time.

I have been hooked on gaming since High School.  My first gaming love was the old Avalon Hill Squad Leader Series back in 1980...went through all the modules and graduated to Advanced Squad Leader when it came out.  In 1986 I was introduced to the WRG 7th Edition Ancients rules and MicroArmor using the old "Angrief" WWII rules.  I was hooked on miniature gaming from that point.  I even dabbled in Warhammer 40k and Blood Bowl...liked Blood Bowl a WHOLE lot more than 40k.

I lived in the Jacksonville, Florida area at that time and learned 7th edition Ancients from the Great Derek Downs.  Got trounced royally during that time and I think I beat him only once in the 5 or so years I was in his group.  Those 5 years were the last time I was REALLY at the gaming table.

Graduated college, joined the Army, got married and had kids.  Priorities shifted, but I was always able to keep on foot in the hobby so to speak....modelling.  Being on Active Duty (and I am sure many civilian jobs as well) left little time for other things so in between training exercise and deployments I tried to maximize my time with the family.  This was very important to me as I grew up a Navy brat and knew what that absence of Father figure felt like.  So I focused my down time with the wife and kids, enjoying every moment of home life from doing homework and working with the kids as they went from rec soccer to competitive soccer...well maybe not every moment, but still wouldn't trade them.

So what did I do for "ME?"  I focused on the modelling aspect of the game and did a lot of painting with the intent to play where I could.  Most of the paint time was early in the morning on weekends.  This way I got my "Me Time" done while the wife and kids were sleeping and maximized the family time for the rest of the day.  When the kids were young they would "help out" by paining figs I had in the bit box.....fun times.  After 10 years serving I left the "field," but still found myself still getting up around 4 am every day, so on those days when that happened (which is like 6 out of 7 even now) I expanded my "Me time" to a couple of hours before work. 

To quench my gaming thirst, I focused on computer gaming during my early morning "me time."  Played email chess for a long while.  Then I discovered Steel Panthers 2 and 3 and the Play by Email revolution.  Once true multiplayer came out I played a lot of MechWarrior, Mech Commander, Starfleet Command and the Combat Mission Series.  I used to scoff at FPS games, but have played a lot of Battlefront 2 and 2142 and Combat Mission WaW, MW2 and now Blackops and look forward to the new versions. 

Well...now, one daughter is in her 3rd year of college and the other daughter is a high school senior.  Both don't seem to need the guiding hand of the Pater Familias for homework any more.  Competitive and school soccer is over and I find myself with TIME on my hands.  Is it possible....that I can start actually gaming again?

Join me as I share some of my old stuff and how I try to get back to the gaming table.  I am also interested to see how those other parent gamers out there handle the timeshare situation between family, work and gaming.  My way was one of the extremes.  I would love to here how you handled this.