One of the things I enjoy most about being employed by a University, is that my work schedule is more or less similar to a student's schedule, which means I get a break over Christmas every year. This is (as reported on in previous years here at Gaming with Chuck) a time for family, friends, and in our house - gaming is one of the ways we spend time together. This year was no exception.
The gaming we did was of three varieties. First, there was a lot of board games and card games. These were done at home, with either the immediate family, the extended family, or with friends so close they are practically family. More on what we played down below. Second, there was some miniature wargaming. With my reduced schedule, I actually got to play some wonderful miniature wargames - I usually try to host one (as the referee) over the holidays, but not this year. Instead I got to play in a few (again, details below). Third, there is roleplaying. We did not do a lot of RPG gaming this year over the Christmas break, but did manage to get one day of gaming in, right around New Years, which was a smashing success.
So, first, the board gaming. There are a couple of board gaming activities that take place at our house over Christmas time. Every year we participate in the Boardgame Geek Christmas Card Exchange. This year was no different - we were able to send out some great cards to gamers all over the planet (we signed up for 12 gamers to send cards to, and received random names from a list). I try to read the profile of the person getting the card on BGG before sending the card, and writing a note about their type of gaming, and any ways it intersects with ours. Also, every year at Christmas time we try to have a few boardgame days at the house, where we host people with lots of Christmas treats, music, drinks, and boardgames. A great time. This year was no different. We had friends over several times. Finally, every year around Christmas time, we try to get some new boardgames to play as a family, and spend the spare time of the holiday break playing them together. Some great breakout titles this year have been Sagrada, Queendomino, and Railroad Ink: Blue.
As gifts there are some games we got but haven't tried yet. That includes (finally) the Toscany addition to Viticulture, and Anita received Between Two Castles.
For miniatures gaming, chiefly I got to play in three games. First, I got to play in Saga - the Viking Age skirmish game. I got to run out my Anglo-Saxons against the feared Jomsvikings. Great game. Practically speaking it was a tie, but I hand the victory to the Jomsvikings. In that game I tried a different commander for my Anglo-Saxon force. Typically, I use a regular (generic, non-named) Warlord, but this time I used Alfred the Great. He has some (according to the rulebook) abilities in the game as a playing piece, and I love the history of Alfred, but it just wasn't my playing style. Second, I got to play in a fantastic game of Shako II - 15mm Napoleonic rules. The battle was an 1809 battle between the Austrians and French, and I was on the French side. Loads of fun even though our side lost (as it did in real life). The third game was a battle of late ancients, with Late Romans fighting Sassanid Persians. We used the Impetus rules for this one, and it was a lot of fun. A bit strange with so many new players, but we agreed the rules (now 10 years old) were very good, and deserve a rematch.
Finally, we played an RPG session. Our last RPG series, which was a dungeons and dragons game set in the World of Greyhawk, saw a big break coming up for the players, as they prepared for the next part of their quest. Taking advantage of that natural pause in the campaign, we this time played with a new set of players, having a city adventure, protecting a shipment of wine, arriving in the city of Niole Dra during the midwinter festival week of Needfest. Lots of fun, as invisible thieves, evil knights, and goblins tried to spoil the winter festival. The new adventurers uncovered a much bigger plot than the simple theft of fine wine, and the game will no doubt continue in the future.
I will end by saying that one of the highlights of the Holidays was getting together with my Brother's family, which is almost always a chaotic affair, but this year it included some gaming. We taught them how to play the Christmas card game, 12 days of Christmas (not the one pictured above, but rather the one from Dr. Gordon Hamilton, published by Eagle-Gryphon). It was a lot of fun, and I think my brother's family are almost recruits into gaming.
God bless all who read this, and I hope we all have a great 2019.