Two or three years ago I was an avid boardgames viewer, I'd check websites, updates and news on a daily basis for rumours and announcements about upcoming games. I'd add and subtract from my wishlist those games that seemed to have all the glint and golden hue of promise that captivated me. Today I am far less interested in the new releases, the glut of games and the endless tidal roll of titles is a muted noise to my ears, and I feel quite disengaged from what used to be such a hot passion of mine. Of course - I love games, I love playing them as much as the next person, but perhaps I have entered something of a twilight, or rather I have paused in a secluded glade... Either way, I am less interested in whatever the current hottest thing is, I am happy playing what I have to be honest, and I am certainly not watching the hobby board game market as I was used to of old, the landscape has grown to gaudy, too vast, too myriad for my tired eyes.
It is an interesting phase. Partly brought on by the tiredness that seeps into ones bones when a task becomes inured to us through familiarity. It is partly a result of the endless parade of pretty things, of colours and brightness and gaiety; I feel in this regard like a bored Roman hedonist waving the show girls away, their prettiness besmirched by tired repetition, a mixture of colour and excitement that seems to lack some essential character of allure that it once had. It's also partly brought on by the fact that I simply don't get to play as often as once I had. Some of my passion for games has also been subverted by my renewed interest in miniatures games (as followers of this blog may be able to attest to).
I am not disinterested in the tumble of new games titles and releases that are upcoming, but I'm simply not as interested as I once was. It is a pause, a denouement; it may pass like a cloud before a sun, it may not, but there it is.
Interestingly I sat down to write this blog post about two new releases just announced from Fantasy Flight Games. I was an avid watcher of FFG a few years ago, but the cycle of new releases for their LCGs particularly caused me to glance away and cast my eyes elsewhere. Things always seem to happen when you aren't watching...
The two new games are Warhammer Diskwars, and Battlelore, Second Edition. Two years ago these announcements would have me chomping at the bit in a froth and exuberance of excitement.
Battlelore is an old favourite of mine, a game that rang with a glorious potential that was tragically never met by either of the publishers who stood at the helm. The second edition just announced has been rethemed to align to FFGs Terrinoth property - something I don't mind. There are new rules for recruitment and scenario generation which can only be good, and some subtle and less than subtle rules changes, like unit sizes and individuality. All in all it looks to be an interesting second edition. The wait between first and second however has allowed me pause enough to find Song of Blades and Heroes and Dystopian Wars, and Battlelore cannot compete on those fronts. The new art style also puts it into the realm of games that I won't be setting onto the table to play with my son, it's a little too grotesque for that - not that I personally have issue - I like Terrinoth, but there it is. A good looking second edition of a solid game, an old flame remodelled and brought back to life... I'll be interested to see how how it's received.
Diskwars is an interesting concept, a table top wargame using disks rather than units of miniatures. I like the sound of this, and if it stands to be a short game (say no longer than 45-60 minutes), then I might well consider getting a copy. A light and fun game is always welcome; but I sense the game is longer and slightly heavier than that - we shall see. I like the look of it, but rather than storm the bastion for a copy as once I might have done, I shall wait and see what comes of it before taking any measures.
I suppose this post might seem somewhat jaded, certainly there is probably a recurring theme of tiredness, of boredom and general disinterest, but it might well be overstated. I am still a great lover of games of all stripes, I still listen to the gaming podcasts I love, read the forums that pique my interest, and most of all I still love drawing a game from the shelf to play...
And of course, I am all vim and vigour for the miniatures games I set upon, especially Dystopian Wars.
A brief entr'acte then perhaps... we shall see!