The board, the meeple and the Bond…

Intro: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Why board games? Why not just plug in to your favorite console, fire up your pc and have the same fun with much less hassle?

Well, for starters, I do both of those things.

I am a gamer by decree and fate, I belong to the Order of the 8-bit trailblazers of yonder years, the Sierra Era and the first Amiga 500 ranks. I’ve witnessed the birth of the 3D model, the texture revolution of glorious building sand trees, I’ve lost sleep in Quake LAN gatherings and I’ve lost my thumb fingertips to generations of Playstation controllers. I play console, PC and mobile games indiscriminately and every time I do, the kid in me rejoices. That same kid that was blown away that afternoon, when he first laid eyes on the Atari 2600 some 40 years back.

And I’ve never stopped enjoying VIDEO games ever since. Yes, it’s video games. It is video. And it is a game.

But at the same time, I have the tabletop microbe in me. Sure, I’ve travelled through the streets of Monopoly as a kid and got lost in the Labyrinth maze from Ravensburger,

but it was HeroQuest that did it for me.

Without even having the slightest idea of the DnD epoch that was before me through this gateway of a game (an era that lasted about 15 years of playing and DMing), HeroQuest was the revelation. The board, the meeple and the bond.

The smell of the newly opened box, the untouched rulebook and the amazing minis, all staring up at you. The meditative, careful procedure of setting up a game. The meeting of friends, gathered around the table, ready to face challenges- win or lose, we were going to do it together.

Mind you, I’ve played CoD and Battlefield, had my own crew, bluetooth headsets and all. I’ve played Lineage and WoW, countless hours with my buddies, great gaming stories to tell, tales filled with funny blunders and heroic feats.

The boardgame is another world. A better world.

It has the runes of Creation in it’s design. All senses, all feelings. The gathering and the ritual, the meet up and the food, the drinks.

The boardgame is an initiation. The explaining of the rules to newcomers, the friendly atmosphere, the pact.

The boardgame is the Parallel Door. The escape from mundane reality. In video games, you always catch a glimpse of you on the screen between loading times. In board games you see the other people around you, be it co-op or competitive, be it euro or Ameritrash. There’s no pausing, there’s no frame rate.

I got my wife into board games, taking the time to explore what kind of games she enjoys. Turns out there was a gamer in her as well. Our 7 year old son is playing with us almost daily now. Minimum screen time in our house. We connected through our inner kids, pushing the worries away, bonding, having fun.

People often tell me that collecting board games is childish.




I’ve been fighting to keep my inner child alive for the most part of my adult life. I’m glad it is working.

But most importantly,

the answer I always give to someone that cannot understand my board game collection and it’s size, is this:

I’m not collecting games.

I’m collecting memories .

That’s what games do .

And there’s no price for that .

The board, the meeple and the bond.

Author’s Bio

Zissis Roumbos

Zissis Roumbos is a Greek actor, comedian, screenwriter and game enthusiast. He is currently working on his first board game which will be an adaptation of his comic book ‘Athens Dark’, a dark fantasy world of vampires and mythical creatures in modern day Athens.

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