I come from a really fractured, dysfunctional family, but even so, some of my best memories growing up were spent around the table w/ my folks and my brother playing a bunch of the ‘mass market’ games of the 1980’s (Risk, Payday, Life, etc.). During my highschool years, I was heavy into sports, but I also was on the chess team. The gaming continued when I joined the USMC in 1993 and while I didn’t play many board games during my 9 active-duty years, we played a bunch of card games. Everything from Spades, Hearts, Tonk, Texas Hold’em, and finally, Magic the Gathering, were popular with me and the fellas. When I left active duty, in 2001, I stopped playing all games, save for Texas Hold’em. To be honest, I didn’t even know that hobby board games existed, until 2009 my wife, Amanda, and I stumbled upon a game store in a mall in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was awestruck by the games that I saw and was immediately smitten at the idea of playing all those games! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t get that opportunity for another 3 years, but once I started in this hobby, there was no stopping.
From the beginning, I’ve been drawn to heavier, more intricate games. While I won’t say that there is no game too heavy (I’m looking at you, The Campaign for North Africa!), I’ve yet to play one that I feel is too heavy to enjoy. That’s not to say that I can’t enjoy a lighter game, it’s just that if given the choice, heavy board games are my bread and butter. I enjoy the competition of decision making that they provide as well as the deeper, more intricate story that they have to tell. Everything from heavy Euros, to 18xx games, to war games are my sweet spot. I am a game player first, game collector second.
I started a how-to-play video series called “Across the Table” which I hope to continue at some point. In the meantime, I brought up the idea for this podcast to my good buddy, Tony, earlier in 2014 and he was all for it. We have similar tastes in games, but not identical, which I made for some interesting conversations.
Currently, my wife, Amanda, co-hosts the show with me. We are not the normal married couple, in that we do not take it easy on each other, and we are not afraid to argue our points!
I currently live in Denver, Colorado, where I work in the avionics field. I’m fortunate to live with my best friend and wife (and gaming partner), Amanda, and our rescued greyhound, Asher. I’m an avid cook and a big-time foodie and I love music.
I have played board games my entire life. When I was very little, I was visiting my grandparents’ house and did NOT want to go home for whatever reason. In order to get me to go home, my grandfather bribed me with going to Albertsons and buying a game. That became a tradition…and I soon owned every game that Albertsons carried.
I started playing “serious” games in 2012 and fell in love with the hobby. I’m so happy that I found this hobby, because not only has me closer to my best friend and husband, Edward, but it has also brought wonderful people into my life. Some of my best friends now have been brought to me from this hobby, and I consider myself lucky for it.
My favorite types of games are worker placement and economic games. I’m the girl that will begin the day chuckin’ dice in Roll for the Galaxy and then head into a game of 1880 China without batting an eye.
I am VERY meticulous about logging all of the games I play through the awesome app BGStats, even down to scores. You can always check my profile out on BGG (AmandaU) and see what I’ve been playing lately…and to see if I’ve been winning! I also love to take photos of the games and post them on Instagram (AmandaU825), so give me a follow if you like board game pics and pictures of the best greyhound on the planet.
I work as a medical biller, and specialize in ophthalmology. I work for a great company and have wonderful co-workers that are like my second family that I get to hang out with for 8 hours a day.
One last thing, I also struggle with severe anxiety, mostly controlled with medication. On occasion, I may share what it’s like to be a gamer who has to deal with that anxiety. On top of that, I also suffer from chronic migraines. I am in good hands with my neurology team and we will get it figured out…eventually. In theory.
Elephantus Emeritus: Tony (former co-host)
I’m Tony, and I love heavy board games! I enjoy the immersion and mental exercise that comes from a heavy game. Now, that being said, I love board gaming in general and also enjoy light- and medium-weight games too! I am happy to play “Dungeon Raiders”, “Master of Economy”, “Alhambra”, “Le Havre” and “Sushi Go!” in the same day.
I especially appreciate clever game mechanics. Luckily, our hobby is full of excellent games and excellent mechanics! Some of my favorites (too many to actually list) are the shared knowledge in Hab & Gut; Macao’s wind rose; Trajan’s mancala; time in Village; the battle mechanic in Maria; the bidding in Keyflower, Speicherstadt and Strasbourg; the wheel in Palaces of Cararra; the mine elevator in Coal Baron.
I don’t like unnecessary randomness in board games: where good game play is undone by the lucky roll of the dice or draw of the card. I want to be limited, restricted and challenged by sensible mechanics. I want the game to be a riddle that is altered by the game play of my opponents even as I attempt to decipher it.
I find pleasure in exploring a game in multiple plays, playing well and facing good competition and socializing with good friends. The final score is not the measure of my enjoyment…and, I like to play red!
In my spare time, I am a software engineer and adherent of Agile practices. I am married, have two grown children and two crazy dogs. I enjoy cooking Cajun dishes, hanging out on the deck and imbibing an adult beverage or two.
I am also an avid historical miniatures war gamer…in the one true scale: 28MM. I have collections of miniature armies from the American Civil War, World War 2, Dark Ages Vikings, Three Kingdom Chinese, Pirates of the 17th century, American Plains Wars and Zombies (OK, zombies are not historical…yet!).