(Editor's Note: Just had to run with this submission as a front-page item. Truly, a story of inspiration and courage. It makes you want to cue up "I Will Survive." Or that cheesy song from "Over the Top.")
Leave your eurogaming group behind and embrace life to it's fullest. A real life story, a tale filled with sorrow that only wants to encourage you.
I'm an avid gamer, there's no question about it.
I guess it all started back when as a kid I would play Risk, Uno, Monopoly and Tikal; as well as video-games going from the NES to the PS2 and PSP, I've always been a gamer my whole life.
As a college student I found out Magic: The Gathering and MageKnight; I loved MK but simply couldn't wrap my head around the whole concept, system and most importantly price tag that was attached to M:TG. So I delved into miniature games fiercely, I loved the tactical aspect as well as the whole hobby, I could paint them and make my scenary; it certainly fired up my imagination.
However, my job made it hard to continue playing miniatures games, I couldn't go anymore to the tournaments or play at the store during the afternoons. I also realized how hard it was to get an opponnent, a friend to play with.
I longed for fun games, that could be played with friends or family, just as I used to do while I was a kid. Then rumors of cool boardgames reached my ears and I was suddenly enamored with this whole new world I just discovered.
But still, I didn't know how to play them nor had anyone to try them with, before buying them and getting someone to play it with me. Luckily, I got contacted by one of my old MK friends and told me he was setting up a regular boardgame group, I was more than happy to join as I was just getting out of a long relantionship and needed something else to keep me off the depression.
It was great to discover all of these type of games and have new friends to share them with. I was ecstatic, wishing I could play all kind of different games, so I started amassing my games collection, games that I'd love or simply would seem to cool to pass. I got buried under the mountains that Fantasy Flight Games provided me with, I love them for that.
However, something dark was brewing under my very eyes, the games I was falling in love with were being despised by my gaming group. A session of Doom had to be finished early because it was too hard for them, I'm sorry but it's no fun if it ain't challenging. A prior session of Tannhäuser with 8 gamers brought us the most laughs ever, but the game also got busted for being a heroclix light. Another fun night we played Arkham Horror, we had the biggest laughs ever since Tannhäuser but that still didn't stop the constant e-mails for a week of how poorly it was played (because I miss-read one combat rule), or how long it was. Even an euro fun game like Mission: Red Planet was blasted for being too chaotic and unpredictable.
I did mention a couple of times that we should try RISK LOTR: Trilogy editions, as I had buy it due to my fond memories of RISK and knew it woulnd't last days as the other one did. But it always got snobbed, for being too long, for relying so heavily in dice, etc, etc.
Meanwhile, I never said no to any games, believing in always giving a game a chance to convience me (sometimes even two). So I got to play my share of train, euro and economic games. Simply not fun at all, they were not thrilling nor entertaining, it all seemed like a chore and not like a game. I´m sorry but Age of Empires III didn't seem like the gripping PC game, nor was I delighted to become an utilities company for Power Grid, nor was I convinced that the egiptians would suck at building and fighting as they present them in Age of Mythology and I was only glad once Railroad Tycoon was over, what a grind it was.
I never blasted a game or refused to play anything, as I respect different tastes but my dissapointment grew as I would always return full of unplayed games from our sessions. I couldn't get them to play Wings of War, Dungeoneer, Gloom, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Nexus Ops and the like. They would always encourage you to bring them, but we'd always end up playing with 3 different games in which I had to produce resources, pay debts and it was seeming so much like my life, working 8 to 5 to get my living and pay the debts.
Anyways, I started a 2nd carreer at school and didn't have time for games, so I skipped them for several weeks.
About 2 weeks ago I showed up enthusiastic with Fury of Dracula and Game of Thrones under my arms, got FoD set up and just as we were starting to play we had to cancel it because we had to wait for someone else who was going to show up late. He got there and pulled out a Wealth of Nations, the most grindtastic game I've yet to play. I was dissapointed to put away my game and started to realize that this was one of those boring cube filled games, in which the laws of economics decides who wins, great just what I wanted to take my mind of school and real life. Maybe I should've brought my Economy books instead of my games.
Suffice it to say, after 4 hours of playing this game I threw everything and just left, the game was not even past it's middle, the downtime was aweful and the repetitiveness horrible.
Since then I made a commitment to myself, I'd now piss on politeness and would only play those games I'm interested in. So I dropped altogether from my gaming group, I rather play the games I want when I want than spend the few precious spare hours I rarely have to play a crappy game, just so they can't return the favor.
They still call me and ask me to come and play, I'm sorry I'm too busy at school.
However, I won't sit still without my gaming fix and have found out that other friends are starting a D&D Campaign, which I've just joined and have to say I had a blast playing last night. Most importantly I was with friends who like myself were there to have fun, not care about winning or loosing, or stressing over the rules, if something was done wrong in the future you'd correct it and that's it. It's all for fun, without any rules lawyer.
As for my miniature games, I have some friends I can still play with on occassion. And my ameritrash games will be played when I invite my D&D friends to play them, as they just love them. As for the quick, fun german games I do like (Settler of Catan, Carcassonne, Alhambra), my girlfriend is more than happy to play them with me.
In other words, if you're bored by your eurogaming group, just leave them. You'd just might be surprised at how many options you'll still have to play the games that you want.