Saturday, March 31, 2012

Warhammer: Invasion Review

My 3,000 logged play was Warhammer: Invasion, which had to happen, since I've played it over a 150 times in the past year. It's crazy to think that I've played it that much, obviously I like it, let me tell you why you might too. This is a continuation of my Every 100 Plays Series, in which I review whatever game happens to be my multiple of 100 plays. Eventually, I'll get a webpage or blog or something to hold them all.

It's a Living Card Game
Yes, this is a collectible game, but it isn't a CCG in similar way that say Magic: The Gathering is, rather you know exactly what cards you get when you buy battle packs and (except for the first cycle) you get 3 copies of each card so your deck can be complete. I like this for several reasons. First, not only do games like this take quite a bit of money (less so I believe with the LCG format), but they take a lot of time looking at cards, building decks, play-testing decks, and understanding the game better. Since you don't have to worry about trading cards, there is essentially no secondary market, you can spend your time actually building and playing your decks.

It's Got Tough Decisions
As a board gamer I think the big reason that this game appeals to me, is the decisions that have to be made. Not just playing a card from your hand, there is that same decision in every card game, but it is the decision of where to play the card that makes this game different and enticing. There are three different zones in Invasion and according to where you play a card and how you play that card changes what that card does for you. If you play it to your kingdom, then you'll get more resources to buy things. If you play it to your quest, you can draw more cards. If you play it to your battlefield, then you can use it to attack with. Then add to that decision, the opportunity to play cards face down as developments (makes it more difficult to destroy that zone) and you have some great decisions to be made throughout the game.

It's Quick
More and more this becomes a reason for me to like a game. When I'm playing with my friend, who knows the game through and through, we can get about 6-8 games in over 2ish hour period while sitting in McDonald's and sipping some sweet tea. There is the occasional game that happens, when both players are playing with control decks that might take 30-45 minutes, but for the most part every game is 15-30 minutes long. Why is this good? Well, for a game like this, where there is more of a learning curve, it is better to be able to beat a new player and then quickly start over, rather have him or her have to invest in a 1-hour card game and not have time for redemption.

It's Competitive
I'm not exactly a collectible card game guru. For tow or three years in the early 2000s I did play Lord of the Rings: TCG a whole bunch and I loved it! I loved it for the theme, but I really think I enjoyed it for building my decks and competing against the other players. Not only competing against them in the actual game, but trying to know and understand what deck types I can expect to see and how to best build my deck to beat all those types. Invasion gives me that same feel that I had then and I'm glad I got into it.

Final Thoughts
If you aren't into deck-building, I think you could get the Core Set and Assault on Ulthuan and enjoy the game a whole lot, just playing with the pre-built decks and changing things up by drafting or using different neutral cards. I'd suggest this game for a more serious gamer though, if you are wanting to get into the deck-building competition scene, even if you just want to build decks that your friends can play against you. Warhammer: Invasion scratches that CCG itch for me, without being completely a CCG. I've found it to be popular among board gamers and with the way it plays and the decision you have to make where to physically place a card, I can see why!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


That number (3,014) is the number of logged plays that I’ve had since March 2006 on the BoardGameGeek website. I’m not sure why I started logging my plays back then, we’d been playing Puerto Rico, Tigris Euphrates, Citadels and other games quite frequently and as far as I remember I just wanted to know how frequently. So I logged a play in March. Then a few days later logged another play. Then I just kept going for 6 years. Now it is very interesting for me to look back on all these plays and see not only what games I’ve played a lot of, but also for the tightwad that I am, what games I’ve gotten my money worth from. I, of course, can't stop now since I've got so much invested in logging the plays. Also, despite my Top Games of All Time lists, it is interesting to see what games I actually play that I would put on that list. So here are what we in the game world call my five & dimes, which is a list of all the games I’ve played 5+ and 10+ and more times:

The bolded games appeared on my Top 25 of All Time – 2012 list, so you can get an idea of where my favorite rank to my actual plays. Also, just some extra information for you. If I'd been keeping track of plays before March 2006, then Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan, Risk, Axis & Allies, Acquire, Tikal, Lord of the Rings: TCG, and Unpublished Prototype would have many more plays.

100+ Plays
Dominion 240
Warhammer: Invasion 162

50+ Plays
Carcassonne 74
High Society 74
7 Wonders 66
Bang! 64
Agricola 63
Hive 63
Small World 51
Werewolf 51

25+ Plays
Tichu 47
Railroad Tycoon 45
Fairy Tale 42
Puerto Rico 42
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer 40
No Thanks! 40
Traders of Carthage 39
Taktika 29
In the Year of the Dragon 27
R-Eco 27
Ra 27
Thurn and Taxis 27
Endeavor 26
El Grande 26
The Bottle Imp 25
Euchre 25
Shear Panic 25
Unpublished Prototype 25

10+ Plays
Jericho 24
Blokus 22
Crokinole 22
Wits & Wagers 22
1960: The Making of the President 21
Citadels 21
Notre Dame 21
Power Grid 21
Galaxy Trucker 20
The Pillars of the Earth 20
Manila 19
Masons 19
Guillotine 18
Lifeboats 16
Patrician 16
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game 16
Clans 15
Dream Factory 15
Jaipur 15
Oregon 15
Say Anything 15
Founding Fathers 14
Gheos 14
Macao 14
Taj Mahal 14
Fury of Dracula 13
Keythedral 13
Robotory 13
Snorta! 13
Acquire 12
Archaeology: The Card Game 12
For Sale 12
On the Underground 12
War of the Ring 12
Amyitis 11
The Castles of Burgundy 11
Cyclades 11
The Princes of Florence 11
San Marco 11
Shogun 11
Tikal 11
Candy Land 10
Hansa Teutonica 10
Lord of the Rings 10
Pecking Order 10

5+ Plays
Battle Cry 9
Bohnanza 9
Chinatown 9
The Newlywed Game 9
Pass the Pigs 9
Risk 9
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries 9
Yahtzee 9
Caylus 8
Dungeon Lords 8
Hamburgum 8
Hey, That's My Fish! 8
Leonardo da Vinci 8
Lost Cities 8
Major League Baseball 2K10 8
Ninjato 8
Saint Petersburg 8
San Juan 8
Taboo 8
Tigris & Euphrates 8
Tomb 8
Forbidden Island 7
The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game 7
Mexica 7
Nottingham 7
Tutankhamen 7
Au Backe! 6
Catch Phrase 6
Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix 6
Domaine 6
Double or Nothing 6
Drakon (first edition) 6
Java 6
Mission: Red Planet 6
Perikles 6
Poker 6
The Settlers of Catan 6
Tumblin-Dice 6
Vineta 6
Bootleggers 5
Campaign Manager 2008 5
Cuba 5
Fifth Avenue 5
Goa 5
Imperial 5
Key Harvest 5
Mammoth Hunters 5
Rum & Pirates 5
Samarkand: Routes to Riches 5
Ticket to Ride: Europe 5
Tobago 5
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game 5

Thursday, March 22, 2012

War of the Ring Painted!

I've recently finished painting my 204 miniatures for the War of the Ring board game I own. I traded for the game back in August and decided I would paint it. I didn't get started painting it until October when I convinced my buddy Juan (who paints for 40k) to help me. In exchange I've played a few Warhammer: 40k games with him. So one Sunday night I went over to his house, with my Sauron Orcs in tow, and he showed me how to paint them. It takes a lot of work, priming, doing the main colors, doing the accent colors, putting sand on the bases, "washing" them in water mixed with black paint to give them shadows, and finally putting a clear coat on them to keep the paint from coming off.

As I was doing it, I wanted my color scheme to be as close to the real thing as possible, but at the same time try to follow the color scheme of the game as best I could to make the game playable as well. I am very satisfied with the results and though I'm not the best painter, I think the pieces look 100 times better than they looked before. A big thanks goes out to Juan who helped me a lot, even painting the Gondor Army for me so I could play the game at IndyCon and Krista for helping me paint a couple evenings. It took 6 months, a lot of patience, and I'll never do it again.

Here is what they looked like before hand:

Picture by Craig Rose
Picture by Gordan Wong

Here are my pictures and paint job, now if I could only be better at taking pictures:



Easterlings & Southrons





Men of the North


Game in Progress

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Top 25 Games of All Time - 2012 Edition

Last year I did a list of my top 25 games of all time. It was pretty popular and so I thought I’d do it again, since my likes change each year. So this is my Top 25 Games again, just as a snap shot of 2012 and what I’m currently think are the best ever. I’ve used () to show where the game was last year on the list. Some of the games are new to me in the past year and so have made the list, some of the games like Crokinole, have just gotten better. Remember though, as of the time of writing this, I’ve played 505 different board games, so to be in the Top 25 still means these are games I rate at least a 9 out of 10! Also, I only have considered games that I’ve played at least 5 times, so games like Twilight Struggle, though I think it would make the list didn’t because I’ve only played it twice so far.

25. Crokinole (Below 25)
A new entry to the Top 25 this year. I won the Geekway to the West (along with a partner) Crokinole Tourney this last year, which may have helped move it on up. I just have an excellent time when I play this game and I think anyone and I do mean anyone, even absolute board game haters, would really like this game. I would love to get a dark oak board with the Elven script around the edge.

24. Gheos (17)
Carcassonne + Acquire and it makes it those two games just slightly better. You can swoop in and destroy others civilizations and then invest in your own civilizations. It can be a devastating game though for new players, so play through a game or two, and get a good understanding what the flow of the game is about. Also, the push your luck with epochs is also a big part!

23. Dungeon Lords (14)
The theme in this game is awesome and unique! You are playing a Dungeon Lord trying to keep out adventurers. Don’t let that light hearted theme fool you though. This is a very deep game. You have to know your opponents and know what the resources they need will be. Only bad thing about the game is it is pretty much a four player only game.

22. Pillars of the Earth (19)
The book is big and long, but the game is just right. The best way to play this game is with the expansion and 5 players. It keeps everything really tight, but allows for the expansion to be added, which makes your decisions when placing your workers for VPs or for resources more excruciating.  The art in this game, along with Cuba is possibly the best art in board games ever.

21. Fairy Tale (16)
Extremely quick game. My 11 year-old sister loves this game as well. The card drafting of the game, makes it really quick, since everybody gets their turn at the same time. I’m sorry that it is out of print. I’d like to pick up a second copy as mine will wear out I know.

20. El Grande (6)
Though this one has dropped for me in the past year, it is still a great game. It’s really a 4 or 5 player only game though. Sometimes though I feel like it bogs down more than it should, which is why it has dropped a bit though. It will always have a permanent placement in my collection.

19. Ra (25)
This game is probably the most consistently played somewhat long game at our game day each year. I personally like it best with three people. I love getting all low numbered suns and invoking Ra every time it comes around to me.

18. Tikal (24)
One of my oldest games (as far as me owning it) and still one of the best! You have to play with the Auction variant, which makes it really good and tight since you’re bidding the victory points you need to win with! The board is and pieces are beautiful. Now, too bad I lost one piece that I have to “fix” each time I play.

17. Keythedral (21)
A good and mean Euro. Every single piece has different artwork, done by the designer’s wife. It looks and sets up like Setters, but you take the trading away and add in a bucketful of competition. Each player is constantly vying for going first and getting the resources they need before the others. It also scales very well.

16. Traders of Carthage (20)
This game is a 2-player gem. The artwork may be the best artwork ever in a game, it works perfectly for what it is supposed to do, and it plays quickly, but not so quickly that you feel you don’t have any control over your own destiny. It plays up to 4, but this has become a two player only game for me.

15. High Society (15)
When it comes to filler games, you can’t beat High Society. No set up time, the teenagers in the youth group have really liked it, I’ve played it dozens of times and look forward to more plays. It has some really tough decisions for such a short game.

14. Endeavor (18)
I probably said this last year, but this is the smoothest game ever. Just flows so perfectly that you hardly realize you’re taking your turn. I like the theme, I like the art, the boxes is the coolest box art in the history of games and it has conflict. It plays different, but good, with 3, 4, 5 players. Endeavor to me is just a great Euro game.

13. 7 Wonders (13)
Added the Leaders expansion this year and it adds just a bit more strategy to the game. The more I’ve played this game, the more fun I continue to have with it. My only knock against the game, is despite it’s lightness, I have had some difficulty getting non-gamers to enjoy it. Much more so than say Fairy Tale (which I think can be confusing myself) or Dominion. The art, the presentation, and how full the table looks after the game makes this one just fun in 30 minutes.

12. Hansa Teutonica (Below 25)
About as dry as a Euro as you can get, but some great mechanics and challenging game play. I played it this past year at Geekway to the West, with a different group of people and got to see how much our group has got into “group think.” This is the highest game on my list that I do not own. I’m thinking, I should get it, but when I get it I also want to get the expansion map, which really makes the game shine a bit more I think.

11. Founding Fathers (12)
This seems to be a love or hate game for people. I love it and others not so much. Still, I think if you are looking for a  multi-player card driven game, you can’t go wrong with this one. Just tell everyone what George Washington does before the game begins and you are good to go. This, along with 1960, is a game that I would recommend to teachers or parents wanting to teach/interest their kids in US History. Though the game itself isn’t a simulation, the place you put yourself in makes you want to research more.

10. Lord of the Rings – Trading Card Game (9)
I’ll admit, this is probably in my top 10 for nostalgia reasons just as much as for it being a great game. But I still do think that is an excellent game. Of course, it is LotR themed, so I like it automatically. The way though that you had to play both the Shadow and the Fellowship at once made for a great and intense game; trying to use your Shadow to help your Fellowship or vice versa. I still have all my cards and likely always will. I try to get this played occasionally and have even thought about looking around for 3 or 4 people to play with on a regular basis.

9. Warhammer: Invasion (New Game)
I think I’d just played my first game of this last year when I wrote the Top 25 list. Since then I’ve played about 150 games of it! I’m always building decks, tweaking them, and then trying again. I’ve played in 5 tournaments, including the World Championship at GenCon. My like for the game is partially the competition of it, but it is more than that, the game itself appeals to me as a board gamer because of the way it is laid out and having to make decisions not only where to place your cards (which changes what those cards do for you), but what zone of your opponent’s to attack. The game is just excellent.

8. Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game (New Game)
This is exactly how a civilization board game should be implemented. It’s got the feel of the computer game, but still plays in under 4 hours. I’ve played it as quick as 2 hours with 4 experienced players. It scales well, I’ve not played the 5-player game yet, but I still get the civilization feel with 2, 3 or 4 players. The best part about it though, is that it doesn’t feel like a spread sheet like Through the Ages does, it feels fun with bright colors, cool art, and race to victory!

7. 1960: The Making of the President (10)
Sadly this isn’t a game I get played all that often, because it is a 2-player game and most of my 2-player gaming happens with my wife who isn’t a big fan of this one. It is however, such a great game. It makes for really great decisions, between playing a card and using your momentum now to stop your opponent from using the event or saving your momentum and allowing that even to happen. The theme really comes out in this one as well, the board looks great, and the best part it plays in 1.5 hours. Which is really good compared to a lot of deep 2 player games.

6. Small World (8)
Small World has a lot of things going for it in my book. Plenty of conflict, yet you don’t feel absolutely devastated if your army is destroyed, because you get to immediately just a get a new one. Variable player powers is always a plus. The replayability of the game is off the charts. The iPad version for 2 players is great and I’ve played that several times with a friend this past year. The expansions just add more fun and differences to each game. It’s great with 2-5 players. You can’t lose with this game. I would recommend it as an alternative to those Risk fans out there.

5. Dominion (5)
Still my most played game and is likely to remain my most played game for a quite awhile, though Warhammer: Invasion is making a big surge. Dominion is just fun and addicting. We’ve stopped getting expansions for now, though I’m being re-tempted by Alchemy & Hinterlands. Other than Tichu, more people that I’ve introduced this game to, have proceeded to go out and purchase it. It’s great with 2-4 players, plays very fast, and I like it a lot!

4. Agricola (4)
This game just makes perfect sense to me.  It is fun, even when you are losing, it lets you build your own farm and it is deep. With all the different cards I haven’t felt the need to even purchase an expansion and time wise, it has seen a lot of table time over the past 3.5 years. Now it isn’t a game you just pull out with the Scrabble or Monopoly lovers in your family, but it is a game for the gamers that you know. Especially when it comes to explaining the game, because it is easy to explain, with everything doing what one would expect it to do. This isn’t a game I’ll ever be getting rid of.

3. War of the Ring (3)
I wouldn’t have spent all the time I did painting all the figures in this game if I didn’t love it. I’ve only played it 10 times, yet it deserves this spot above hundreds of other games. Every game I’ve played of it is intense and close, with the results feeling like they stand on the “edge of a knife and if they stray just a little they will fall to the doom of us all”! When you play the game, you feel like you are in the War for the Ring of Power, but it also has some great juicy decisions such as using a card for a battle advantage or playing it as an event. Now that it is all painted too, it just looks so awesome laid out on the table.

2. Puerto Rico (2)
Still a game that I play on a regular basis year-round. With or without the expansions, it is a game that offers such options and such control over what you are going to do, that I’m always willing to play it. My favorite part of the game is still how important it is to see several turns ahead, because what you select now as your role, will influence what your opponent’s select as theirs. If you haven’t ever played Puerto Rico, you should.

1. Railroad Tycoon/Railways of the World (1)
These two games are the exact same game, they just lost the Railroad Tycoon license and so had to change the name. Still where it was last year and not going anywhere soon, this is just an awesome game.  I’ve played Age of Steam & Steam, both similar games, and though they are good games they just aren’t as FUN as RRT. It looks huge and the plastic trains and cards all over the place just add to it. With players that know what they are doing games only last 1.5-2.5 hours, even with 6 people we can get games in around the 2.5 hour mark. I consider this the next step up when it comes to games. If you like Ticket to Ride, but want something deeper, this is the first place I’m bringing you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

IndyCon Article in the DBJ

This article is from the Daily Business Journal at my work. Steve Lawson wrote it for the Journal and gets all the credit for it. He had never heard of any of these games and so interviewed me and a couple other people about IndyCon and also came and visited on Saturday of IndyCon. Since I can't directly link you to our internal intranets, I thought I'd post it here. Perhaps an interesting read for some people, especially those from outside the hobby.


INDIANAPOLIS, March 13, 2012 – In a crowded room with background chatter, DFAS Indianapolis Human Resources employee Adam Daulton is providing training instructions to three other people in his group.

“So, basically, you’re building your deck up,” Daulton said, “and at the end of the game, the person with the most victory points wins. But the victory points aren’t worth anything during the game, so you have to time how many to hold during the game.”

This isn’t your typical DFAS training session, though. Daulton’s instructions are to his group of four playing a card game among about 100 people attending the Fifth Annual Indy Con gathering March 3 at the Drury Inn. These games are not your typical “Stratego”-type games you may have grown up on.

“This is a much greater scale than those type games,” Daulton explained. “A typical game, as they term it in the gaming world, is a ‘Euro’ or ‘designer’ game. Probably the most well known of these type games is one called ‘Settlers of Catan’ or ‘Ticket to Ride.’”

Range of games

For the participants, the games can range from quick 10-minute card games to longer four-hours or longer games.

Some of the games involve just cards, others include game boards and still others involve some activity. But there is a distinct difference between the typical board games and the designer games.

“In the designer game,” Daulton explained, “there’s usually not the type of elimination like you would find in Monopoly or Risk. So you’re not playing for an hour, get eliminated and wait around for everyone else to finish. Everyone’s in it through the end of the process.

One of the other differences is that when you pick up one of the designer board games you’ll find the name of the person who actually designed the game rather than just the name of the game. People who enjoy these games look not just at the game, but who designed it as well when looking for a new game to purchase.”

As co-host Dave Koch explains, the attendees at Indy Con are a fairly close-knit group.

“The event is all based on friends of friends,” Koch said. “It’s an invitational so everyone much to one handshake away from us. The first year we had about 15 show up for the event, this year we’re expecting over 150.”

A mixed group

Koch and Daulton both host small groups at their houses as part of Indy Board Gamers. The idea for the gathering of gamers is the result of an idea they hatched about five years ago to get everyone together to play over one weekend, Koch said.

The atmosphere is light so the emphasis is on fun and enjoyable for everyone, which leads to about a quarter of the participants being women.

“The first year we had wives and girlfriends join us,” Koch said, “as they played games they enjoyed, they became gamers and we are proud of the fact that we have a lot of women here.”

Koch continued, “And we have a lot of husbands and boyfriends who were brought here first by their wives and girlfriends who are now hooked as well. Our age range starts at around 11 and ranges up from there.”

Koch also said that the range of occupations was wide as well.

“I think we’ve got doctors, lawyers, and more here,” Koch said. “They are all here to have fun and relax.”he participants in the event have a choice of games to pick from for the weekend event as is evidenced by the large stacks of games in the room.

“We use everybody’s collections,” Daulton said. “Some of the games are worth $5; some are worth closer to $300. That’s one of the reasons we keep the attendee list invitational, so everyone can feel they don’t have to worry about their games.”

Daulton said that the group with 400 to 500 different games to choose from during the weekend. “It will just depend on what other folks bring in. I think I might have a couple thousand dollars invested in my games.”

Competition, camaraderie

Chris Funk of Human Resources at DFAS Indianapolis attended his second Indy Con at Daulton’s invitation. His favorite game involved a little bit of action.

“My favorite game at Indy Con was Crokinole,” Funk states. “Crikinole originates in Canada and involves a round, wooden board with concentric circles on it. The players have to flick little disks and try to get them to slide onto the circles that are worth the most points, while knocking the other players’ discs off the board. It’s very addicting.”

Indy Con participants receive gift bags and they enter the event and are given the chance to register for door prizes donated by Indianapolis local gaming companies as well as other local sponsors.

Daulton’s wife, Krista, joins him for both the in-house groups and participated at Indy Con as well. Daulton’s daughter is already showing an interest in board games too.

“Our daughter is just 2-and-a-half right now, but she really wants to play daddy’s games,” Daulton said. “We bought Candyland for her; so, I going to teach her about taking turns and understanding game concepts. I’m looking forward to seven or eight years down the road when we can have family game night.”

For more information on designer board games, check out (Editor’s note: Because there are some online games as part of this site, the link is blocked at DFAS sites).

General board game information can be found at

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

IndyCon 2012

So a big reason I haven't been writing quite as frequently is that IndyCon 2012 just finished up and that was a real drain on my time. With calling publishers, discussing plans with Dave, and updating the website and Facebook, getting tournament sign-ups it was busy. For some reason it felt like this year was more work than years past, but now after it is over, I'm excited for next year, even though I know it'll bring work, it'll also bring great fun!

I've already wrote a list of games I played which you can see here: IndyCon 2012 - The Year of the Known Game. So this blog post will be more about my thoughts and experiences about the convention and not the actual games.

I wasn't planning on taking any time off Thursday before the convention, but ended up taking a couple hours off to come home, spend a little time with the girls, then going to get the speaker from church and heading over to the hotel to set up. I got the speaker, though this year the PA system in the hotel was working, so we didn't need it. When I got to the hotel, we couldn't get in the whole room, so I came back to my house and got a second load of games and ate grabbed some food for the road. Then headed over to Dave's to help him get all his games, tables, food, etc. We had quite a bit of help, which was awesome, and so when we got to the hotel we began setting up the room and quickly as possible. Despite a lot of help, I didn't get out of there until about 9:30pm and I don't think Dave & Tami left until well after 10pm.

Friday morning Krista and I went on a date to Papa's Pancake house, which was recommended to us by some friends. It was okay, but nothing I'd go out of my way to get. I think I prefer IHOP. After breakfast we went over to IndyCon about 8:30am, finished helping set up and then got into our first game! Each year with IndyCon coming, I have more and more people I want to be sure to get in a game with. Of course, I never play with everyone I hoped to before the Con, but this year I played with 41 different people at least once! I think that is an impressive number. For dinner Krista and I went to Yats, which of course was awesome! I saw a ton of people with Yats at the Con. I'm going to have to talk to them next year about being a sponsor. Friday night we stuck around until nearly 1:30am, while I was waiting on Andrew for him to beat me in Crokinole.

Saturday was the big Warhammer: Invasion tourney, which was a blast for me, despite my middle-of-the-road showing by my High Elves Control deck. I also got to play some games with Brian and Steve from St. Louis, who had drove all the way there to Indy to game with us. They're some great guys and we had a good time playing several games together. During the raffle, which is always fun to give away so many games, my name was drawn for Santiago de Cuba which looks to be a good game from the rules. As we did last year, we went to dinner at Golden Corral with Jeremy & Annie. Logan also came. Buffets are pretty excellent, as my old coach taught me. Saturday night was Tichu, which due to some errors on my part and a few missed emails didn't run as smoothly as past years. We eventually did get the tournament done though and I had a great time as usual playing with my partner Logan. We don't get to see each other often anymore, so this is a highlight of the year when it comes to hanging out with each other. Krista went home early, Logan offered to take me home later, and so I stuck around and played a game of Ninjato. I'm going to win someday. I will.

Sunday was shorter as usual, with some great War of the Ring playing, some games with a few of the usual group of people I play with on a monthly basis at my house, and then loading all the games back in the vehicles, coming home, and doing something that is one of my favorite things about IndyCon....organizing my games back on the shelves. I know, that sounds strange, but there is a satisfying feeling about being done and having them all back on the shelves organized by box size.

IndyCon 2012 was a real success and I can't believe we're done with year 5. Looking forward to year 6 and more!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Let's Discuss Fathers

Even on days that I can sleep in a bit, I can't. My daughters are away for the weekend and I woke up at my normal time that I wake up to go to work (even though I'm not going to work), couldn't go back to sleep, so I thought I'd write a blog about being a dad. I've been meaning to do this for quite awhile. Please remember as I write this though, I still fail a lot at many of these things, and am in no way perfect, but write this for myself just as much for others.

We recently finished up a study on Colossians at church. Now Colossians is a book written by Paul to put to rest false teaching that was spreading in the early Church. There is a bunch in there about what is right, what is wrong, and ultimately what we should be focusing on. What's this got to do with being a dad you say? Well, first and foremost, if you're going to be a good dad, you should have a good relationship with Christ. Then being a dad and a good one comes from that. Because your focus will be on him and what he wants from your life.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

This means focusing on the things that are ultimate. I've been reading a book, along with our community group, called Reason for God and in this book we talked about what sin really is. What I came away with is that it isn't focusing on the ultimate things in life. Which means that it can be focusing on good things, such as ministry, jobs, cleaning the house, entertainment, and putting those things over the ultimate focus....Christ! Colossians is all about pointing this out. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

And now I come to the part about being a family and being a dad in the family. Being the dad is so much more than being the Head of the Household. It isn't lording over your family. It isn't working so much and so often that you put a roof over your families head and food on their table and yet forget to have a relationship with them. What it is, where the rubber meets the road, is loving your family as Christ loved the Church. Now, I don't know about you, but that scares me and inspires me. Think about it! As CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH! Yes, I just yelled there, but I'm yelling at myself. We can go to Philippians to find out what this really means.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippans 2:5-8

I want to finish up by saying, that we as men and as fathers are supposed to be in this mindset. We are supposed to be servants, not only of our Lord Christ, but of our families. We're to serve them just as he served the Church. Where does that hit your pride? It hits mine really low and really hard. Christ humbled himself, the ultimate, powerful, creator of the universe became a stinking pile of human dirt just to die. So can I change that dirty diaper? Can I clean that toilet? Can I work that job that isn't really want I want to do to provide for my family? I hope I can, in light of what Christ did.

This post has already gone on a long time, but please bear with me. I've been thinking about this stuff awhile and I'm sure I'll be writing about board games plenty in the weeks to come, so lets keep it pretty deep here still. Being a husband and father, means being a leader, in both spiritual and non-spiritual things. I remember reading once that all marriage problems after 5 years of marriage are the husbands fault. I'm not sure I'd go that far, especially the specific number of 5 years, but I would say that ultimately our household comes under our responsibility and so we need to man up and admit we're wrong, ask for forgiveness, work those extra hours, sing with our kids at bed time, pray for them, play games with them, take our wife on a date, clean the litter box, whatever it takes to encourage a household of that loves and follows Christ together.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:18-22