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Life in the Trenches (or as a Gnome!): Game Day, Gardiner Library 10/23

This past Saturday, October 23rd, Next Gen ran two games at one of our favorite locales- the Gardiner Library, located a hop, skip, and a jump from SUNY New Paltz. Huge thank you to Carolyn and Nicole for hosting us, and John Spiess and Jim Stanton for running their games.

This was one of our largest events yet, with 16 players playing two different games. Up first was John Spiess' WW1 game, which was set during the German Spring Offensive of 1918. He used his own Trench Wars rules, a popular set that's currently sold by Old Glory. This game saw a horde of Germans trying to break through an Allied trench line in the hopes breaking the deadlock of the war.

The game was competitive (in a good way) and the players fought it out to the bitter end. They asked tons of questions about the war, and John did an awesome job helping the players understand the context of the battle and what would have happened after it was over.

I also appreciated that the older students started to run the game on their own following the first few turns. They learned to use the QRS, and were able to learn the turn sequence the more they played.

Jim Stanton ran his popular "Gnome Wars" game, which saw one side as the attacker, trying to overtake a series of fortifications defended by a smaller force. The rules are very similar to "Trench Wars", and the game has all sorts of whacky tanks, weapons, and troop types scattered throughout. Given Jim's teaching background, he took the youngest students, and they had an absolute blast. In fact, not only did random, rousing bursts of singing and dancing happen at different points in the game, but apparently a few "this is the best day ever" comments were made.

When getting the run down as to the day's events, I think I was most uplifted by the fact that the games were a real community effort. The players helped unload the cars, set up the tables, and deployed the miniatures. If anything, this is exactly what Next Gen is all about. Gaming, as a hobby, is community based. Given that the players were from all over NY, different backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives were represented at the tables, a reality that we welcome and take seriously. As the years go on, I hope Next Gen is able to further connect students and families, using gaming as the glue.

Our next event will be on the campus of Yale on November 6th. More on that in another post! Happy gaming! Enjoy the gallery below for some more pictures.

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