When our relationship began neither of us were actively playing board games, other than the odd game of trivial pursuit at Christmas or cards against humanity with friends. However, Board games have been a big part of our relationship from the early stages and as our relationship developed, so has our identity as a ‘gamer couple’.
We both enjoyed playing board games as children (for me it was Cluedo and game of Life, for Tony, Mandarin and Go for broke), so when at some point one of us (probably me) suggested playing a game (possibly, Lord of the Rings risk or maybe Game of Life… but definitely not monopoly as we established early on, our compatibility in our dislike of the game), we had a really fun time. We found that we have similar values when it comes to playing games, i.e. reading the rules all the way through before play, then following the rules, being sensible in allowing someone to undo a move if it's before the other person has made their move, and importantly, we had strong views on no cheating! Leading to lots of laughs with no disagreements!
Our collection started to grow, mainly with second hand board games we found in charity shops or mainstream family games we could get on offer on the highstreet. In particular, we enjoyed Game of Knowledge, a trivia game from the 1980s which was particularly challenging as a lot of the questions are now outdated, so required you to answer as if stuck in a time warp! During this time of rediscovering our love for board games and the early development of our emerging identity as a ‘game couple’, we were living at my parents house, whilst waiting to move into our first home together, camping over at our soon to be renovated flat at weekends, so playing board games was a great way for us to spend time together as a couple whilst our TV and other belongings were packed away.
Once we moved into our first home and had more space, we started to develop and nourish our gamer couple relationship/identity further by acquiring new games, experimenting with a variety of different types of games, such as Ticket to Ride, Small World, Pandemic, Tokaido and Dinosaur Island. Tony began to; learn the language, like ‘worker placement’, ‘euro game’ & ‘card drafting’ and watch YouTube board game channels. He also discovered Kickstarter! Whilst, i just said ‘Yea I liked playing that one!’ or ‘Ooo this one looks interesting, it has pretty artwork!’.
As mentioned, Tony and I have similar values in terms of playing board games, but we also have similar ability level in relation to playing board games. This means that often games are very close and that our ‘wins’ are more or less equal (not that it is about the wining, as we both can enjoy games, even when we are not very good at them!). Although we have similar ability, we do have different strengths and there were certain games that I would usually win (Castles of Burgundy, Terraforming Mars, Imperial settlers) and games that Tony more often won (Mr Jack, Photosynthesis, Cryptid) Tony’s strengths are in abstract puzzle games whereas mine are more in relation to resource management euro games.
Having a similar ability, experience but some differing skills in relation to board games, also means that we enjoy playing Co-op games, such as; Pandemic Legacy, Gloomhaven, Ghost stories, Onirim. It’s not all one person taking the lead during the games, we can think through actions together, working collaboratively, so that one person isn’t doing all the thinking with the other person being dragged along! (Not wanting to get ‘too deep’ but it may be that practicing ‘problem solving’ in a board game context, has helped us with communicating effectively with ‘real world’ problems in our relationship?!?! Maybe board games should be introduced as a new form of couples counselling!)
So over the years, we have played more and more games and our collection has grown, we have outgrown some of the starter ‘gateway’ games that we enjoyed at the beginning of our relationship and have discovered lots and lots of new ones! There are few weekends that we don't play at least one board game, and we will always take games away with us on holiday, even if we can only fit in a couple of small games such as Love letter (great for the airport in case of any delays), Schotten Totten, 7 Wonders Duel and Architects of the West Kingdom.
It was our enjoyment of Board games that inspired us to create Meeple Design. We wanted to share our passion for tabletop games, pay homage to our favourite games, and create a shop especially for Tabletop gamers, with products designed by board gamers for board gamers.