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My board gaming genesis

I got into board gaming through a friend at church, the right honourable Neil Curtis. Because he's an unassuming, diffident kind of chap, he let me pick the games from his collection that I wanted to play. Rather than condescending by starting me off with 'gateway' games, he let me chart the course, probably reasoning that it's more important to garner enthusiasm for this wonderful hobby than to insist on starting with simpler games and moving from there.

If you take a look at Neil's collection, you'll see that he has an impressive selection ranging from Advanced Squad Leader to Munchkin. Not knowing much about board games, I went for what I know and chose Battles of Westeros; I was reading A Song of Ice and Fire (on which Game of Thrones is based) so the theme appealed. I don't think I knew anything about the game! I loved the miniatures, enjoyed sending Robb Stark into battle and savaging Lannister footmen and the storyline contained in the scenarios helped link with the books I was so enjoying.

My next choice was Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition); I think I was attracted by the miniatures and the dungeon-crawl theme. Having played it twice, I started to realise that this possibly wasn't quite the right game for me. When you know nothing about the wide world of board games out there, it's easy to be drawn into the big, flashy-looking games with millions of pieces and big boards. Of course many of us are still drawn to these when we're more involved in the hobby, but we can also come to appreciate the simplicity of a card game or the subtle mechanisms involved in worker placement.

It was around this time that I joined boardgamegeek and quickly became aware of the amazing breadth of games out there. I set about starting my own journey; Neil had opened the door for me but I would chart my own course. I set about adding some gateway games to my collection. My family bought me Catan and I picked up Carcassonne second hand at the UK Games Expo. I would never look back. I then formed [Bromsgrove Board Gamers[(http://bromsgrovebg.weebly.com/) because playing one night a week is not enough!

From there, with a little help from my friends- Neil, Aaron, Jon, Phil, Peter- we went on to create The Great Indoors. The adventure continues...