Gaming was initially not part of my life with my then-girlfriend when we started going out. We met over the internet and first talked about comic books and music. Our first date was to see “The Fellowship of the Ring” back in 2001 on its opening night. We actually met the night before our date and watched “Dark Crystal”. A mutual love of fantasy was already out there in the open.
The Games Begin
The first summer of going out my future mother-in-law returned from Comic Con with a gift for me: the 5th Edition Warhammer boxed set featuring the Empire versus the Orcs. I believe by that time we were already playing other sorts of games such as HeroClix. I was very excited when my wife seemed to be making a Warhammer army. She had four Orc Boar Boyz and was given some Goblins.
She accompanied me to my first Games Day L.A., which only further piqued her interest in the Warhammer hobby. Together we painted figures at the paint-and-take, browsed the Golden Demon entries, listened to Gavin Thorpe explain some rules changes, and enjoyed the mayhem.
Painting miniatures turned out to be too time-consuming though. The scale of large Warhammer battles just doesn’t hold her interest. What did was joining her brothers, her cousin, and myself on World of Warcraft.
This was at the time of Burning Crusade. She enjoyed herb-gathering and exploring Azeroth. I really enjoyed having a second account and dual-playing on both computers when she wasn’t around. Sometimes this ate into her own time. I was trying to level up a priest on her account so that the priest could follow my characters around and do heals on them. “Her” priest leveled faster by having my mage follow her around doing Arcane Bursts and other AoEs.
Sadly, WoW ended for us when I tried to cancel one of the accounts to get the cheaper offer that Blizzard had offered before when i closed an account. There was no cheaper offer, so I canceled the second account as well. The only other video game that we have played together is Justice League Heroes on Playstation 2. Did I mention that she loves comics and the Flash?We played QUITE a lot of it, beating it two times through, stopping midway through our third go round. My Xbox360? Not as much interest.
Back to Tabletop Games
About two years ago my wife showed interest in playing D&D. 4th Edition was fairly new. I had bought a Player’s Handbook for a campaign I was playing in. We worked through the new character generation and soon Tekla was born.Tekla was a rogue who went by the thief name Wisp in the back alleys of Westgate. At first our game only had her as the player with her completing thieving missions, battling giant centipedes, rats, and the filthy advances of Night Masks, Fire Knives, and Ebon Paws. It later grew to be a family campaign with my in-laws and my wife’s cousin and her husband playing.
Her interests have not stopped there. In the years since going to Games Day and a Strategicon with her, I purchased some Karmans for AT-43. She loves the gorillas, loves the Yetis’ plastic see-through helmets, and says that they’re “so cool”. They remind her of Flash’s nemesis, Gorilla Grodd. We have yet to play a game, but she’s looking forward to playing on my Martian boards from Terranscapes.
The Karmans’ appeal is also in their novelty. For the same reason, the Skaven for Warhammer Fantasy have warped her heart. However she would like them more if they looked like the cute mice from Mouseguard. Who knows what sort of furry cuddly army is in her future and mine?
The Best Strategy in Gaming
Many gamers spend hours optimizing their army lists to get the most out of them or carefully planning and saving for that GenCon trip. Many gamers also spend hours arguing with girlfriends or wives about their hobby, its costs, and how they spend their time. Perhaps one of the most basic things a gamer should do is find a good partner (and spouse eventually) who supports and nurtures their interests. While I know several other couples that have even stronger shared gaming habits, I feel very fortunate this Valentine’s Day to have my wife and to be able to enjoy gaming with her.