Skip to content

Link Stryder’s Personal History with Board Gaming: Part Four

-Into the Hobby Hardcore-

Many years would pass in my life with minimal board games being played. Most of my time was spent in college, hanging out with friends, and playing video games. In 2012 everything would change, and my eyes would be opened to the world of hobby board games with the help of YouTube. Finally, I would start playing a popular RPGs and official game night would be born.

One day while watching The Guild on Geek and Sundry, I came across a preview for Wil Wheaton’s TableTop. This was a YouTube series that showcased board games being played, but these were board games I had never heard of. In fact, I did not even realize games like these existed. Games like: Small World, Catan, and Ticket to Ride. These truly are gateway games because I was hooked. Soon I was searching for more games on YouTube eventually coming across The Dice Tower channel.

Hosted by Tom Vassel, this channel reviewed all kinds of board games. These ranged from entry level games like the ones listed above to the more complex. This channel would become my go to for a review on any game I heard about. Further down the YouTube rabbit hole, I would discover such channels as Rhodo, Watch it Played, and Callasmar. Callasmar being the one who would introduce me to my favorite game of all time, but that’s for another time. It would not take long after becoming interested in these videos that I would receive my first hobby game as a gift.

Catan was my first hobby game to own and play with the exception of HeroQuest. I read the rules multiple times. I watched how to play and review videos about the game. I could not get enough of how different it was from any other board game I had experienced up until this point in my life. Soon I would have my friends and some of The Farm Games members over for to experience this new hobby of mine. It would not take long after that for us to have a more routine schedule set for game days. It was every other Sunday and eventually we would immerse ourselves in a little RPG called Dungeons & Dragons.

Although I would continue to collect and play board games, D&D took over for a while as the main event for game days. We started with 4th edition, and I constructed my first adventure. He was a dragon born paladin and I still have his character sheet to this day. Soon after playing 4th edition for a couple sessions, 5th edition came out and the group become more involved because of its easier rule set. We ran a home brew campaign with me as the dungeon master for a while. Board games would eventually make a comeback related to accessibly and not having to have all the adventuring party members for D&D available. We attempt as a group to continue game night when we can every other Sunday, but sometimes life gets in the way. One game night that happens most often for me is with my family every other Wed.

Treasure Hunter was the first board game we really enjoyed as a family, but we started family game night with D&D. I ran a campaign for a few months, but sad to say never finished the story. The adventuring party consisted of my wife and 3 of her children. Everyone had a great time playing D&D as a family and we hope to finish the story when one of the children returns from college this summer. Until then, we have been enjoying board games like Clank, The Quest for El Dorado, Hues and Cues, and whatever else we are playing at this time.

My collection of board games continues to grow and I can’t get enough. I enjoy watching and researching new games on an almost daily basis. I feel Board games bring people together in a time when separation and polarization seem to distance us from each other. I hope you have enjoyed my personal history with board games. Many of the details may have been forgotten or left out related to this being a blog and not a novel. But one thing I can tell you is that when I look at my collection, I can recall most times played with every game and details surrounding them. If you have any questions or would just like to discuss board games in general, please visit The Farm Games Discord discussion of Baked and Board.

Written By: Link Stryder