Archive for October, 2020

Board Gaming and Covid

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Well, it’s only been since August 2019 that I last posted anything at this blog. I guess in late 2019 I sort of got tired of board games for a short while, and also in late 2019 I was trying to get back into playing music as a friend was trying to form a “classic country” band. We had a tough time trying to find musicians in late 2019, and then of course around March 2020 we had the covid-19 crisis, and NOBODY wanted to get together to rehearse. Also in late 2019 I was looking for local (southeast Michigan) venues where a classic country band could play. One of the places I found online was the Kentuckians of Michigan club. It is in Romulus, close to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. But of course the club was closed in early 2020 when all entertainment venues got shut down due to covid.

In late April 2020 I got into playing Advanced Civilization online. This was based on the old Avalon Hill board game, and not to be confused with any computer-style games that use “Civilization” in their name. It was great for a while, and I was playing in five different games of AdvCiv at the same time. But then as the games went along, they bogged down as some players either took as long as they could to respond before their turn timed-out, or else they stopped responding entirely. It then took a number of missed turns by those miscreants before they were finally booted out of the game(s), and then finally some other user could take over their games. I started playing in the online games in mid-April, but by early October I got tired of the non-responsive players, so I quit all of the games I had been playing in. It was too difficult to keep one’s interest up when the games dragged on and on and on. It was around June that I remarked to a friend that the games would probably go until Christmas, but by October I reconsidered, and figured the games would probably still be going by April 2021!

But what has really kept me playing board games online is playing Close Action. Josh from Australia got a scenario (Martinique) of Close Action going online in late March 2020, and I joined in and played in that scenario. There were 18 British Ships versus 18 French ships, and I commanded the French ship Marseillois. The British tried to double the head of the French line, but were unable to do so, as we French managed to keep our formation fairly well intact. The French ended up winning the scenario, having dealt out more damage to the British than the British gave to the French.

After that, I started running Close Action online. I decided to try to run the scenarios in chronological order, partially because I always wanted to try a particular scenario that involved anchored ships (and that would have been sort of boring to play face-to-face because the anchored ships don’t have anything to do for a number of game-turns), but also because I wanted to start with a smaller scenario so I could get the routine down of how to organize records, logs, maps, etc. As of October 13, I am running the Monsoon Seas scenario 2A. I previously ran Monsoon Seas scenarios 1 and 2B.

I also wanted to try to play some bicycle racing games online, particularly the “Leader 1” series of games, but that is now on the back burner. I was also working on trying to create a Championship Formula Racing module for Vassal, but that also has fallen off my radar for now.