Skip to content

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

-The Rise of CCGs and Role Playing-

During middle school years, my interest in board games changed. Instead of simple games with few rules, I started to play games that required more logic and had a longer rule set. My father taught me a few abstract and card games. I would get into a very popular collectable card game (CCG) during this time and eventually find myself even playing games at school. 

My dad introduced me to a few of his Favorite games at the time. The first game I can remember him teaching me was Cribbage. While I don’t recall some of the rules, I do remember having a 28-point hand once. I believe I had three 5s and a 10 card in hand and the “starter” (I had to look this up) was a 5. At the time, I did not realize what I had. In fact, my dad scored around 8 points off me for ones I missed when counting. I loved playing Cribbage and would play with my dad whenever he would let me. He would also go on to teach me Backgammon, but again, I do not recall most of the rules. I don’t have recollections of any specific details about the game, just that I enjoyed playing it. During this time in my life, I would also become aware of a well-known card game.

In the summer I would go to camp while in the Boy Scouts. One rainy night in the forests of Washington state, I sat at the table and watched the older children play a card game all evening long. It was a two-player game in which players summed creatures to fight each other. I had never seen anything like it. It was fantasy themed with not only creatures, but spells and artifacts. The game of course was Magic the Gathering. I would go on to start collecting for a while whenever my parents would let me get a booster pack, but my interest would soon focus on another CCG based around one of the best trilogies ever.

Decipher’s Star Wars: Customizable Card Game was an interest of mine for some time. I dedicated a lot of time to this game and would play it with my best friend who lived within walking distance of where I lived at this time. I went as far as to create my own little store for other kids to purchase cards from me at school. I found a website that sold cards for what I believed at the time to be a quarter of its value and would sell them at school for “half the value”. I ended up misplacing my collection at some point during my time at The Farm. While in school, with my interest in CCGs, I began to make more friends that shared an interest in other types of games.

Before moving to Michigan for 8th grade, I would play a role playing game (RPG) created by one of my friends that he called Quest almost on a daily basis. We would play whenever we got the chance, during breaks, lunch, and even sometimes during class.  It did not involve dice rolls but combat and skill checks were based on the imagination of my friend. We had inventory sheets with items, stats, and skills all of which were handwritten. I would use this game as a base for my own, also called Quest, that I would bring with me to Michigan and play for hours with my friends.

While in 8th grade, I would end up joining the chess club at school. The club was not official, but it was more just a few guys that would congregate in a classroom during lunch and play Chess. I loved how you had to plan ahead and anticipate your opponent’s moves. Although I don’t play much anymore, I enjoy how the game brought a few people who would not hang out at the time together.

If you enjoyed more of my history with board games, please check back later for part 3. This will cover high school years and early 20s where I have my first falling out and resurgence in the hobby. Again, if you would like to comment please visit our Discord and look for Baked and Board under the conversations thread.

Written By: Link Stryder