If you're not familiar with the people who call themselves "gamers", let me introduce you to our hobby. We play games. Mostly board and card games, but also party games, dice games, trivia games, and word games. These games may be simple abstract games, like Chess and Go, or may be rich in theme including economic games, civilization or city building games, auction games, diplomacy and negotiation games, trading games, puzzle games, and many more. Most of the games we play are called EuroGames or, sometimes, Designer games, as they often come from Europe, especially Germany. These games aren't typically available in retail stores, but carried mainly in specialty stores and on-line. More info on some of our favorite games is available, just follow the links in the section titled Games To Start With in the far right column.
Club InfoThis blog is maintained by the hosts of four separate, but related, "chapters" of the Games Club of Maryland. While each of these clubs is physically close to the others, the real connection is that we have many regular attendees in common, and all the hosts are friends who enjoy gaming together regularly. All of our groups are open to the public, free of charge, and welcoming of players of all ages and gaming backgrounds.
BrunswickWhen Karl Musser moved to Brunswick from Silver Spring in 2005, he brought his game collection and love of games with him. He started the Brunswick chapter of GCOM shortly thereafter. Meeting in the Beans in the Belfry coffeehouse gives us a great place to play. Average attendance is often a more intimate and manageable 6-9, and the group gets together on the third Saturday of each month, from 1pm-7pm.
DamascusIn January of 2004, David and Noreen Fair began hosting boardgaming in their home on Friday nights. It took some time and effort, but eventually, the group became so large that they outgrew the confines of the Fair household, and in March of 2007, the group relocated to the Damascus Community Center. The group now averages between 20 and 30 gamers and meets every Friday from 6:00pm to sometime after Midnight.
The most popular game played here is Tichu, though there are enough gamers and enough varied interests that on any given night, almost anything can be played. David brings many games from home, and many of our attendees bring their favorites as well, so there are always favorites being played.
The facility at the Damascus Community Center provides ample table space, free parking, and a well-lit, air-conditioned place to play.
FrederickCynthia Lewis established GCOM Frederick in July of 2006. Gamers meet in Cynthia's home on the second and third Saturdays of each month to play card, board, word, and strategy games. Some of the games we commonly play include Aquaduct, Backgammon, Dominoes, Guillotine, Machiavelli, Poker, Pegs and Jokers, Probe, Scattergories, Trans Europa, and Upwords. Participants are welcome to bring their own games to teach the group as well.
The start time is 2 PM and the end time could be anywhere from 9 PM to well after midnight. Drinks are served free by the hostess, and gamers may bring snacks to share. Sometimes we order in or go out for dinner. The group varies in size from session to session, but the average since we've started is 7. We are actively seeking new participants.
GermantownIn September, 2004, Dave Fair and Bob Jones established GCOM Germantown which gathers in the Borders Café on the first, third and fifth Monday evenings of every month from 6-10PM. For the first couple of years our average attendance was 5-7 players but that number has grown to an average of 14 in 2007. Sometimes it's quite a challenge to find table-space for everyone, but we like the exposure of gaming in a public place. It is our greatest pleasure when someone sees us playing and stops to join us.
We tend to play medium-weight games like Blue Moon City, Web of Power, and Yspahan as well as quick filler games so that we can play several games in one night. Bob eventually took over full hosting duties while Dave continues to serve as co-host.
MiddletownScott Fisher had been coming to Damascus every week for 2 years when he and David decided to modify the schedule there to meet on the last Friday of each month up in Middletown. The occasional change in venue allows for different games to hit the table, and is more convenient for some of our regular attendees. The group usually has from 15-20 gamers. Starting in 2008, Middletown will meet on the last Saturday of the Month.
Scott has a large and varied game collection, and many attendees bring their favorites as well, so the games typically played at Middletown reflect an eclectic mix of old games and new, short and long, lightweight and heavy. There is something for everyone.
More InfoYou can find more information about gaming as a hobby, and about our groups in particular on the Internet. Some of the best places to look are in the sidebar, listed under the title "GCOM Links!"