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I've been on a boardgame kick lately.

I've played a good number games of of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. We've started a campaign using the Road to Legend expansion. We've even created some customized heroes using the Build Your Own Hero Rules up on the Fantasy Flight Games support page. I enjoy the game but damn Descent takes for-frakking-EVER to set up and even longer to play. Well, I'm getting better at setting up the game but the dungeoncrawls can be really painful. There is vritually zero Overlord/DM prep-time but heck do you pay for it in administrative stuff to do during the Campaign turns. Perhaps I haven't played enough of it to know all the rules well enough without having to stop every now and then to look up some rule or other.

I also played my first couple of Battlelore games today. Set up can take some time but the games are fun and fast. I can see myself playing a lot of Battlelore. I am also looking forward to the other games in the Command and Colors series, notably C&C: Ancients. Memoir '44 looks interesting but I'm looking to other games to take care of any World War II wargaming itches that I may have.

The Command and Colors series really needs a game with a sci-fi or sci-fantasy themeI would like to see something along the lines of Warhammer 40K which combines elements of Memoir '44 with the lore rules from Battlelore. I'm probably not the first person to come up with this idea. but hey, I'm on a roll here. The Cleric cards can be adapter for a Ecclesiarch, an Inquisitor a Commisar or heck even a Space Marine Chaplain. The Wizard could be converted to a Psyker. Warriors could be represent elite or veteran Guardsmen and the like or an Inquisitor with a more martial bent. And rogues could be your Assassins, scouts from elite recon outfits such as Gaunt's Ghosts. I'm tempted to write this up myself.

One more thought: Battlelore needs a robust campaign system. Yes, I know there is the Call to Arms expansion though a quick readthrough of the rules and the cards didn't leave me impressed at all. I could be wrong, I will give the expansion a good shake and play it. I think I can plunder some campaign rules from 40K, Warhammer and others to put something more to my liking... Great. Another project to put on my long list of Geeky things to do.

I sure like the gaming bling. The components that come with Descent, and its expansions are well-done and for the most part durable to withstand lots of play. The Battlelore components are great as well, if not a notch below that of Descent (and other Fantasy Flight bigbox games).  I also take some perverse pleasure in finding ways to organize the storage, setup and use of the components during play, sorting through pieces and tossing them them in ziploc bags, hunting for the perfect plastic tackle container or cheapo tupperware from the Dollarstore. I'm also a fan of the various reference sheets (which are kissing cousins to GM screens for RP games, I think) and take pleasure in printing them out, modifying existing ones or making up my own.

I also like miniatures. There I've said it. I've also been known to paint up a few.

I wonder what why I've gravitated to these types of games. Heck, perhaps it's saying something that I'm playing a crunchy dungeon crawling game in addition to running a 4th Edition D&D game. I guess I'm moving into more the "game" or boardgame spectrum and away from the "roleplay" side of things. *shrug* Maybe I just need some more structure in my games and let my imagination work it's way in other ways.

You don't have to buy or even own a boardgame to enjoy it. If you're fortunate enough to live near a good gaming store, they often have boardgame nights each month, some even weekly. The good game stores have copies that they offer up for play in the store, so you can try before you buy. There's also VASSAL which allows you play boardgames on your computer locally, real-time online or vie play-by-email. There a lot of Vassal modules made for wargames and boardgames. What? But I don't know the rules you say? Many companies provide free pdfs with the rules for their game. And BoardGameGeek.com has rules pdf for many an out-of-print game.

I haven't given up on roleplaying games. Far from it. My 4E campaign still has lots of room for player interaction, story and character development. I plan to run Day After Ragnarok for Savage Worlds (aka Conan 1948). I am also entertaining some ambition to run a Song of Ice and Fire campaign. Yeah, sure, Savage Worlds may appear to be another another simple or boardgamey system but I like it because it does it's job and gets out of the way, freeing up time, energy and mental space for story and character fun.

Ah heck, why even bother pigeonholing the type of fun I'm having. games They're *just* games and we're all gamers. I'm just following Rule Zero: Have Fun.