Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Years of the 13th Tribe!

You ever started something and then kept going at it and before you know what happened a lot of time had passed by without you realizing it? You know like have a kid, read a book, get engrossed in a game of Civilization 2, or just let Netflix auto-play a TV series? I’ve done all those, but in January I’ll also have hosted our board game group, the 13th Tribe, for 10 years! This means I want to tell you about it. (Even though I already have before)

Yeah, we even allowed Monopoly (2005) and still would if enough people wanted to play it.
My senior year of college I moved into an apartment with a fellow named Ed O’Connor. We discovered that we both liked Axis & Allies a lot, so I purchased it on eBay, and we began playing it and a few other games on occasion with our neighbor Derrick Sindt, before long we decided to start meeting on a regular basis and officially form a group which we called the 13th Tribe in reference to the 12 Tribes of Israel since we were all attending the same Christian college. We met twice a month, first at our apartment, then once Krista and I got married at our apartment, then we began meeting at Smokey Row coffee house.Then in January of 2007 Krista and I moved to Indiana and started a second branch in our Carmel apartment. The Iowa branch of the group eventually died out as more and more people graduated and/or moved away from Oskaloosa, but our Indiana group has thrived! We have over 80 people on our monthly invitation list, play for 10 hours every month, and generally have a great time with each other.

Some of the regulars in 2007.
Now for some crazy numbers over the past 10 years to show you I’m a real geek. We’ve always handed out a Gamer of the Year award at the end of each year and we keep track of what games we play and post on to discuss them. In the past 10 years, at least 211 people that have played at least one game at a 13th Tribe game day. Between us we’ve played 375 unique games a total of 1526 times (and that is just since 2007 when I started keeping track). That is a lot of games with a lot of friends!

Derrick, Renee, and Erik who started buying their own games while we were in Iowa.
Hosting the 13th Tribe has been very rewarding. We (Krista and I) have been able to make friends with people from all walks of life that we wouldn’t have ever come into contact with otherwise. Using the group as an excuse, Krista and I have been able to become better friends with folks that we otherwise might have just been passing acquaintances and instead we have dinner with and do other activities with outside gaming. We’ve been able to hang out with my dad and my two youngest sisters more because of the group. My kids have come to enjoy game day and they don’t even play games with us,  but they know it is a fun day when some of their friends come over too! Hopefully, we’ve made a positive impact in the lives of the gamers we interact with, because ultimately this is a life thing and not a game thing.

Many of the folks met online and now are great fiends.
So to wrap this up, I want to thank all the people that have made this a great 10 years. We’ve had
weekend long events, helped with IndyCon, see each other at GenCon, and have been entertained for
many hours. Even though the group is about board games, by that definition it is about people, since the point of board games is to sit face to face with others and enjoy your time together. I hope you all have had a great time and look forward to another 10 years of gaming with such a great group!

We have 2nd generation gamers now!
P.S. If you are reading this and would like to join us, we occasionally have someone move or drop out, so we can always put you on the list or you can check out our website.

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