Gaming With My Wife, Before She Was My Wife

As some of you might have seen on Twitter already, I got married a few days ago. My wife and I have known each other for a long time – we’ve started dating seven years ago and moved in together five years ago (but haven’t always lived together since then due to work in different cities). Over these years, we’ve formed a strong bond of love and understanding for each other – but that’s hard to describe (and likely also not what you came to read this blog for). Therefore, I’ll describe our pre-marriage relationship by means of some of the board games we played together.

War of the Ring (Roberto Di Meglio/Marco Maggi/Francesco Nepitello, Ares Games)

This was the first game we played together. Okay, it’s not exactly a gateway game. The theme and miniatures were attractive enough to draw her in (although I admit she indulged me a bit), and the gameplay (as the Shadow) was straightforward enough to keep her engaged. Just the game length is not quite what non-gamers are used to, and so we played in three sessions, leaving the game on the living room floor in between. In the end, her Shadow forces managed to corrupt the Ringbearer for the victory – and winning is always a motivation to play again, especially as she is very competitive!

War of the Ring

Little plastic miniatures of oliphants and nazgûls! Much more compelling to a not-yet-gamer than waving the 48-page rulebook at them.

Mice & Mystics (Jerry Hawthorne, Plaid Hat Games)

But what’s even better than winning alone? – Winning together! And so we dipped our toes into cooperative gaming with Mice & Mystics. I thought that the narrative part would be interesting to a voracious reader like her. It turned out that that was not the case – but she found the game enjoyable nonetheless! And thus we embarked on a journey to save the castle from the evil witch Vanestra, another to mellow the heart of the mutated glow-worm Glorm, and then to find a new home in the Downwood (almost done by now). Those forty or so sessions by now make Mice & Mystics still the game we played most often together. Her favorite character: Tilda the healer – but not so much for healing, rather for swinging a big hammer!

Mice and Mystics

Tilda. Below her, mace and pick hammer – if you can see the latter under all the glare. Sorry, I take pictures like a potato.

The King Is Dead (Peer Sylvester, Osprey Games)

We found this game at one of the free play tables of a board game fair we attended together. She liked it (it went well with her logical mind). The fair was in November, and so one month later I gifted it to her for Christmas – the first board game she owned herself. Since then, her collection has been slowly, but steadily growing (but given that we’ve been living together for some years, her and mine collection share the same shelves, so they are not so easy to keep apart anyway).

The King Is Dead

A much better picture than the previous one, right? That’s because she took it.

Here I Stand (Ed Beach, GMT Games)

Another game about dead kings! As she comes from a Catholic and I from a Protestant family, the sides for our first two-player game were already assigned. In our first six-player game she, once more, took the Papacy – sadly, the game could not be finished due to time constraints, but Papal authority had never been stronger. If ever you meet a person who’ll play that kind of highly-involved, super-long game with you, that’s someone special. And if that person then proceeds to run roughshod over you and everybody else at the table with her English army like she did in the next game of Here I Stand (the first one we finished), that’s someone to keep forever. And so I proposed to her soon after (if temporal coincidence or causal connection, I leave to the reader).

Here I Stand

England takes Paris for the victory! Behind and to the right of the English leaders are the corpses of my imperial soldiers from the two times our Queen of England betrayed me.

Eldritch Horror (Corey Konieczka/Nikki Valens, Fantasy Flight Games)

For several reasons the perfect game to complete this post: First, it’s the game we played most often over the last two years. Second, it’s her favorite game – 1920s setting, shooting monsters, good female representation, what’s not to like? Third, it’s the first game we played after we got married. We took on the Ancient One Yig, decapitated his many snakey underlings, and saved the world in a breeze. How auspicious for a life together!

Eldritch Horror

Nice tiara! Maybe one can wear it for a wedding?

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