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Tabletop Randomness

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Isgrimnur
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Isgrimnur »

AWS260 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:31 am AI board game generator. You provide a title, it comes up with a box and rules.

https://www.generativeboard.games/
Isgrimnur wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:57 pm
hepcat wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:48 pm side note: I read the overview for Curse of Borbarad (seriously, who names all this crap and can we get them sober?)
Beats the 517th game named after a city. I mean, it's still noun of nouns...
Noun of Nouns
Noun of nouns game rules: The first player who has made two duck cards calls out "DUCK!" The others must call out the correct word.
Tally points for the first player.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by hepcat »

Who knew a game titled Barbarian Proctologist would be a light euro with bidding mechanics?
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by YellowKing »

I made one called "Vampire Politics" that actually sounded like a game of political intrigue among competing vampire clans in Victorian England. :D
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Smoove_B »

Just randomly stumbled across this about Dragonlance:
The authors of long-running Dungeons & Dragons book series Dragonlance are suing the tabletop RPG’s publisher Wizards of the Coast for an alleged breach of contract regarding an upcoming - and now cancelled - trilogy of novels.

According to documents filed on October 16th, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis - who have penned the Dragonlance series since its first instalment, 1984’s Dragons of Autumn Twilight - were approached in 2017 to write a new trilogy of Dragonlance books. The planned novels would have marked the creators' return to the Dragonlance franchise after more than a decade.

...

The documents claim that Wizards of the Coast was working on approving the book’s translation into other languages and “encouraging” Hickman and Weis to work on the remaining two books in the trilogy. The draft for the second entry in the series, provisionally titled Dragons of Fate, is also said to have been finished.

Then, in August, the entire trilogy of books was allegedly cancelled by Wizards of the Coast, including the already completed manuscript, with the publisher informing the authors it would not approve any further drafts - effectively halting the project. According to the court filing by Hickman and Weis’ legal representatives, “No reason was provided for the termination. [...] The termination was wholly arbitrary and without contractual basis.” As a result, the authors are seeking damages in excess of $10 million.
Holy crap!
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

That suggests that they are (or at least, were) planning on bringing back the Dragonlance setting for 5e, something people have been begging for for years. FWIW, WotC pretty much stopped publishing any and all fiction a year or two back. All of their writers were given a goodbye. I believe Salatore has had a couple published, though.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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A quick poke around shows that Bob Salvatore is the only author to have traditional novels published by them since 2016.

As an aside, I got to hang out with Tracy Hickman for a half an hour or so a few years ago at GenCon. He really is a nice guy.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by hepcat »

Seppe pointed out this upcoming Dune deckbuilding game to me recently. It does look sweet.

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

Dan Thurot really liked it, in a review jam-packed with Dune metaphors.
Here’s the source-genome for [the designer's] ghola: one part deck-building, one part worker placement. Two systems blended together, like Duncan Idaho and an assassin’s imprint. Or Duncan Idaho and half of the hereditary code to fulfill the Golden Path. Or Duncan Idaho and the power to out-sex an Honored Matre.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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The cosmic frogs have arrived.

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Ralph-Wiggum »

Smoove_B wrote:Just randomly stumbled across this about Dragonlance:

Holy crap!
I was obsessed with the Dragonlance books in 5th and 6th grade. I don’t know how many I read in total (25? 30?) but for a time I was reading about a book a week. But then my older brother told me that the books were all written by a computer and while I didn’t really believe him, it made me embarrassed enough that I gave all my books to a kid in my class.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

So, you just got a shiny new box of plastic and cardboard from your FLGS or Kickstarter. You peel off the plastic. You slide open the box and a inhale the heady 'New Game Smell.' You spend an hour punching and organizing cardboard. Then you grab the manual, and... what? What do you do next? Do you power through 40 pages of rules? Set up the game and try the rules out while you read? Set the manual aside and watch games on YouTube? What are your tricks for actually learning the rules of a game well enough to play?

Personally, I usually just power through once, then attempt a play, looking up the rules (or going online for clarifications) for the first couple of games. I figure there has to be some method that's better than the brute force approach, though.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

I think it just depends on the learning style that works best for you. Some people pick up the rules much more quickly from a video, some from reading.

I tend to watch a video before I get the game (usually on 1.5 speed), to wrap my head around the general turn structure and systems. When I have it, I'll set up a 2- or 3-handed dummy game and work my way through the rulebook for at least a couple of turns.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

AWS260 wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:26 am I think it just depends on the learning style that works best for you.
Oh, absolutely. I just figured that it might be beneficial to compare some of our approaches.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

Just realized that I have another step that comes after grokking the rules: thinking about how I would teach the game to other people.

When I'm teaching, I try to convey not just the what -- the mechanisms and victory conditions -- but also the why -- tactical or strategic considerations that could guide their decisions. I also like to emphasize the theme and how it manifests in the gameplay. These are things that rulebooks often don't convey well, so it takes some thinking to figure out how I want to present them.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:17 am So, you just got a shiny new box of plastic and cardboard from your FLGS or Kickstarter. You peel off the plastic. You slide open the box and a inhale the heady 'New Game Smell.' You spend an hour punching and organizing cardboard. Then you grab the manual, and... what? What do you do next? Do you power through 40 pages of rules? Set up the game and try the rules out while you read? Set the manual aside and watch games on YouTube? What are your tricks for actually learning the rules of a game well enough to play?

Personally, I usually just power through once, then attempt a play, looking up the rules (or going online for clarifications) for the first couple of games. I figure there has to be some method that's better than the brute force approach, though.
I think it largely depends upon the complexity of the relevant game.

Like AWS260, I try to approach most games by thinking about how I would teach the game to others. So reading the rules multiple times is a must, assuming they're not overly dense and convoluted. When teaching others, ideally, I aim to have played the game at least twice or more, so that I not only understand the basic rules of the game, but am also aware of the technicalities that may occur. That way, I develop a good general understanding of the various strategies a player may employ and the pitfalls that a new player may fall into not quite understanding basic strategies of the game.

But with more complex games, it can be important to find additional ways to deepen one's understanding of the game. Which usually boils down to playing some of the game solo, reading articles about the game online, visiting the relevant BGG forum for it, and perhaps watching video overviews and playthroughs (assuming they're of sufficient quality and not riddled with errors).
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Lorini »

I usually start with a video and then go back to the rules so that it all comes together. I used to love reading rules but I've gotten old and lazy :) I got five new games this week (Anno 1800, Beyond the Sun, Tawansituyu, Raiders of Scythia, and Praga Caput Regni) so buried in rules right now, timely question.

Also in case you like unboxing videos, here's my first unboxing video (first video really) for Anno 1800
https://youtu.be/YhoUbcstXyA
Last edited by Lorini on Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Lorini »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:46 am
Blackhawk wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:17 am So, you just got a shiny new box of plastic and cardboard from your FLGS or Kickstarter. You peel off the plastic. You slide open the box and a inhale the heady 'New Game Smell.' You spend an hour punching and organizing cardboard. Then you grab the manual, and... what? What do you do next? Do you power through 40 pages of rules? Set up the game and try the rules out while you read? Set the manual aside and watch games on YouTube? What are your tricks for actually learning the rules of a game well enough to play?

Personally, I usually just power through once, then attempt a play, looking up the rules (or going online for clarifications) for the first couple of games. I figure there has to be some method that's better than the brute force approach, though.
I think it largely depends upon the complexity of the relevant game.

Like AWS260, I try to approach most games by thinking about how I would teach the game to others. So reading the rules multiple times is a must, assuming they're not overly dense and convoluted. When teaching others, ideally, I aim to have played the game at least twice or more, so that I not only understand the basic rules of the game, but am also aware of the technicalities that may occur. That way, I develop a good general understanding of the various strategies a player may employ and the pitfalls that a new player may fall into not quite understanding basic strategies of the game.

But with more complex games, it can be important to find additional ways to deepen one's understanding of the game. Which usually boils down to playing some of the game solo, reading articles about the game online, visiting the relevant BGG forum for it, and perhaps watching video overviews and playthroughs (assuming they're of sufficient quality and not riddled with errors).
Curious how many games you get played per year? :D I absolutely commend the effort but I couldn't spend that much time.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Watch a video, try to play it and see what I don't get, read the rules with the context I've gained. Play it again and see if I get it now. Put game on shelf to likely never be played again and sold in at the next opportunity.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

Lorini wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:31 pm Also in case you like unboxing videos, here's my first unboxing video (first video really) for Anno 1800
Praga Caput Regni
I want to watch, but there's no link!
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by coopasonic »

AWS260 wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:39 pm
Lorini wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:31 pm Also in case you like unboxing videos, here's my first unboxing video (first video really) for Anno 1800
Praga Caput Regni
I want to watch, but there's no link!
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Lorini wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:32 pm Curious how many games you get played per year? :D I absolutely commend the effort but I couldn't spend that much time.
I haven't the faintest idea, as I've never had interest in keeping track. I know I haven't played much at all this year though, courtesy of Chairman Xi's bat fever.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Lorini »

coopasonic wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:37 pm Watch a video, try to play it and see what I don't get, read the rules with the context I've gained. Play it again and see if I get it now. Put game on shelf to likely never be played again and sold in at the next opportunity.
Thanks for the fix. I'm really having a hard time this morning with links!!!!!!
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Blackhawk wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:17 am So, you just got a shiny new box of plastic and cardboard from your FLGS or Kickstarter. You peel off the plastic. You slide open the box and a inhale the heady 'New Game Smell.' You spend an hour punching and organizing cardboard. Then you grab the manual, and... what? What do you do next? Do you power through 40 pages of rules? Set up the game and try the rules out while you read? Set the manual aside and watch games on YouTube? What are your tricks for actually learning the rules of a game well enough to play?

Personally, I usually just power through once, then attempt a play, looking up the rules (or going online for clarifications) for the first couple of games. I figure there has to be some method that's better than the brute force approach, though.
I've usually already watched multiple rules overviews and a playthrough before the game is ever purchased, so I'll have a pretty good idea of how to play. I'll typically still power through the rulebook first though.

Then you get to teach others how to play. :)

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Smoove_B wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:19 pm Just randomly stumbled across this about Dragonlance:

Holy crap!
This part makes no sense.
The court filing goes on to claim that the unexpected termination of the project and alleged breach of contract was linked to the public controversy surrounding accusations of “racism and sexism” in Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, as well as allegations of “misogyny and racist hiring and employment practices” within Wizards of the Coast itself. The documents allege that Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro, which owns the publisher, cancelled the trilogy to “deflect any possible criticism or further public outcry regarding Defendant’s other properties by effectively killing the Dragonlance deal”.
While racism, sexism, and misogyny at WotC are certainly major concerns, I don't understand the connection of those issues to suddenly deep-sixing the new book series. Did Weis and Hickman speak out about it and WotC got pissed about it or something?

Fun fact: Hickman lives less than a mile from me. He's next door neighbors with one of the other guys on my team at work.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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If I'm reading that right, WotC wanted more diversity in the books, Weis/Hickman agreed and included it, and then...lawsuit?

The whole thing is just weird.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Yeah, I don't understand any of it either. I'd need to read the core story again as I'm not really remembering anything potentially objectionable, but my old-man eyes might pick up on things now that I totally didn't get or see 30+ years ago. Either way, if they agreed to everything none of it makes sense. Given how beloved the series is, it seems like it should have been a financial and cultural slam-dunk, but here we are.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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It's all this guy's fault, isn't it?

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Smoove_B wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:45 pm Yeah, I don't understand any of it either. I'd need to read the core story again as I'm not really remembering anything potentially objectionable, but my old-man eyes might pick up on things now that I totally didn't get or see 30+ years ago. Either way, if they agreed to everything none of it makes sense. Given how beloved the series is, it seems like it should have been a financial and cultural slam-dunk, but here we are.
Part of the changes that WOTC are trying to implement is that races move away from stereotypes. Drow aren't evil because of their race. Dwarves aren't grumpy because of their race. Orcs aren't evil because of their race. I'd imagine something like "All Kender are thieves and annoying because of their race" probably went against that new philosophy.

My curmudgeonly mind is honestly confused by it. I get the need to move away from some attitudes, but I'm not sure that they aren't pushing it too far.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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I've begun to develop a new storage problem: game mats! I have ended up with quite a few, including a couple at 3'x3' and one at 21x42", and they are a huge pain to store as I don't want to fold them. I've got a few acrylic tubes I've put a few in, and a few other old tubes for others, but they aren't capped and just slide out, plus the tubes are a pain to store. If I had a bigger space I'd buy shipping tubes, label them, and put them in some sort of vertical rack. As it is, they're just stuck here and there all over the bedroom.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Sigh. I've mentioned my space problems before. Here's what I'm dealing with:

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As you can see, it's pretty cramped. Michelle has been patient about my taking away almost all of the available space in the bedroom long-term and having to squeeze through the narrow space in the dark to get to the bathroom or the closet.

My new topper has been working great for board gaming, but as you can see, it blocks my painting desk completely. I'd planned on just sliding it aside when I wanted to paint, but what I didn't count on was just how heavy that topper is. This thing probably weighs close to 50 pounds. It's sitting on a discount card table, and it's heavy enough that, sooner or later, sliding it will result in the legs buckling or breaking off. That means that in order to paint, I have to completely pack up any game I've been playing, remove the topper, and move the card table. As heavy as this thing is, that's a huge pain (literally and figuratively.) Not to mention that if I get in the mood to paint and I'm in the middle of a game, I've got to either finish it first, abandon it, or document/photograph it. By the time I'm done with all of that, I'm in no mood to paint. And then I get to turn it around if I'm set up for painting and want to play a game.

I'd considered moving the desk itself to the right, swapping it's location with the cabinet in the corner, but then I'm just creating a variation of the problem. I would be able to sit down to paint, but I wouldn't be able to access my painting supplies without breaking it all down.

It's frustrating. In the two years since Michelle and the kids moved back in full-time (which is when I lost most of the free space), I've been brainstorming and playing furniture tetris non-stop, and this is the best solution I've been able to come up with. And now that I've implemented it, I'm finding it doesn't really work. I can either play the games, or I can paint, but not both. I'm about a hair away from just giving up and saying that this hobby doesn't work for my situation. Board gaming takes time, money, and space. I have time, but no money or space.

:|
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

God, that's so familiar. I game on the living room table, which is a coffee table that folds out to a decent-size table. When it's unfolded, you have to skirt around the edges to get anywhere. It's also where I paint, which means if I'm doing one, I have to put everything away before I can do the other.

I have enough money to get a bigger table, but not enough money to buy a bigger apartment to put it in.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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Well, I compromised. What, I asked myself, would Brian Boitano do?

So I went in and re-sorted my board games. I made a mental list of games on my shelves, then pulled any games that met three criteria:

1) It has to be soloable, either by design, by multi-handing, or by community rules.

2) It has to be playable in a reasonable amount of time. That means it doesn't take a long time to play, but also doesn't require a huge amount of time to set up and break down. Essentially, I need to be able to pick it up off the shelf, play it, and be able to put it back in two hours or so.

3) It can't sprawl. I'm going to have to limit myself to my 32"x32" card table. If it won't fit on there without extreme crowding, I can't play it.

That eliminated roughly 88% of my collection (just estimating based on space.) Those I will play when I have the urge. There is probably another 20% that only fails one of the last two criteria marginally. I'm hoping that when my Level Up Kickstarter arrives I'll be able to rotate those that exceed the space requirement in. The rest I will simply put out of mind for now and stop trying to find a way to play. Hopefully in the next couple of years some of the factors that are preventing me from playing will ease (kids going to college, us finding a way to move to a larger house, etc.)

Until then, I'm going to think about putting that board gaming energy into painting instead, working my way through my unpainted games, painting pieces from my minis collection, and painting just for fun rather than trying to get a particular painting project 'done' so I can play the associated game. Then, when my situation improves, I'll have a selection of already-painted games ready to go. Not pushing myself to finish painting project also means that I can devote some time to actually improving my painting. If I get bored painting, say, Conan miniatures, I'll just switch to some Core Space, or pull a dragon off of my shelf, or something from Bones that strikes my fancy, or whatever.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Smoove_B »

I'm glad you figured it out. I've shifted my board gaming hobby like 4 times now over the last ~11 years. I'm mainly focused on solo gaming now and the footprint has to be much smaller. I really like big, sprawling games but I just don't have the space anymore to leave them set up all the time - particularly now that my gaming room is the stay-home classroom 5 days a week. In some ways I appreciate the pressure (as weird as that sounds) to find games that are better suited for my time and space abilities - particularly over the last ~18 months. Like a goldfish, if I didn't have limits I'd likely expand out and have really missed out some fantastic smaller-footprint games (like Core Space).

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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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I didn't really solve it so much as I put the whole thing on the back burner, much lower on my list than it was before.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Smoove_B »

Nah, don't diminish what you did - that's a solution. Anything that gets you "unstuck" and allows you to (metaphorically) move forward is noteworthy. When I turned 40 my then 70 year old aunt told me she wished someone told her when she turned 40 to make time for herself. Whatever that means for you (and however it's manifested in the current moment) is important.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

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We're moving into a bigger house next year, but ironically I may wind up with less gaming space. The rental we're in now has a large office, and I've put my gaming table in there which works nicely. There is plenty of room along one wall for it, and it offers a nice big surface area. (The table is nothing fancy, just a large folding table covered with a cloth, so at some point I'd like to get something a bit more permanent).

The new house's office space is much smaller, so I don't think I'm going to be able to fit the table in there. That leaves putting my gaming mess in some other room, which the family's probably not going to like. My current plan is to keep the games in the office on some nice shelving, and put the actual gaming area upstairs in a spare room that we had earmarked for the kids' playroom. It's not ideal, but it may be my only good option.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Someone on Board Game Geek suggested a solution. Switch the queen bed in for a twin, and push it up against the wall rather than in the middle of the floor. It would give me plenty of space for both a table and my painting area. Such a simple solution.

Unfortunately, Michelle vetoed the idea. I don't know why. I even offered to buy her a new sleeping bag!
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Blackhawk
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by Blackhawk »

Two years ago I was the only occupant of the house 50% of the time, and I built my approach to the hobby around that. Now there are four permanent residents. For two years I've tried to find a way to continue the old approach. This thread has been me realizing that it's just not realistic anymore. I've got to adapt the hobby to my situation rather than the other way around.

And, with any luck, the kids will be off to college in a couple of years and the amount of free space in the house will skyrocket! They'll just have to get used to sleeping in my game room if they come home for summer.
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Re: Tabletop Randomness

Post by AWS260 »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:54 am Someone on Board Game Geek suggested a solution. Switch the queen bed in for a twin, and push it up against the wall rather than in the middle of the floor. It would give me plenty of space for both a table and my painting area. Such a simple solution.

Unfortunately, Michelle vetoed the idea. I don't know why. I even offered to buy her a new sleeping bag!
Relationships are about compromise: get bunk beds and offer her the top bunk.
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