A lot of things change in twenty years of friendship.  We get older and hair goes grey and starts receding.  We move away, some of us get married and settle down to have kids.  It’s no wonder that our get-togethers have also changed over the years
There was a time in our early twenties when we’d meet in pubs nearly every weekend, our lives a cacophony of drunkenness and next morning regret.  Then as we reached our late twenties we’d meet a couple of times a year for our shared love of film.  Who could forget the annual Easter Film Festival – three days of back to back film that was more about endurance than enjoyment.
As we grew out of that and the friend pool dwindled (partly because of the horrors of the Easter Film Festival, partly because people drift apart and getting together becomes less important, more easy to miss), fFilms gave way to videogames in our thirties – weekends of playing rock band and other multiplayer games.  I was usually trying to write website updates in the kitchen.  The beer was replaced by tea.
And now as we start to move into our forties, our now near annual get-togethers have become about Tabletop gaming.  The first few were a bit of a mess, the hosts not really knowing the games.  This lead to long periods of waiting whilst they read or rules being changed mid-game (usually to their advantage I’d note) because they’d misread them.
But now, we seem like the early problems are ironed out.  A few of the group regularly tabletop game which has given them time to understand rules and have a couple of playthroughs.

We started with a couple of games of Flux.  This was a new game for me and reminded me a bit like games like Munchkin.  It’s a card game but one that’s pretty easy to get into.  You start with a very simple ‘pick a card, play a card’ rule and watch as the rules mutate as the game progresses.  I liked this and would happily play this again.
From here we went to Last Night On Earth which with its board and pieces  I had visions of Arkham Horror (there’s a tabletop game you don’t want to play if people don’t fully understand the rules).  But I actually liked this game.  I’m not sure if you can play it with any number of players other than six, but we had four hero players vs two zombie players.  Our first game involved trying to shoot 15 zombies within a certain number of turns.  It made for a relatively quick game and gave it some urgency.  I’d much rather play two forty minute games than play a single game for a couple of hours.  Our second game saw the board pieces reconfigured and became about searching buildings for canisters.  We could still fight zombies but it was not the aim this time.  I liked how easy it was to turn this game into something different depending on the scenario we were playing.  I’d recommend this game.
Next was Cards Against Humanity.  I liked this because I am a sick individual with a black sense of humour.  It involves having a hand of answer cards designed to be politically incorrect and selecting the best one to answer the question card placed on the table.  This leads to all manner of amusement.  This was my cup of tea but if you are easily offended or find some humour quite juvenile, this is probably not the game for you.
We finished up with some Munchkin which I’ve played a couple of times before and enjoyed (if only because in previous gaming sessions the rules didn’t change too much over the course of a game).  We topped it off with some Zombie Dice.
Overall I think the hosts did a good job of selecting games that were easy to get into, meaning that whilst most of the games were new to me, I quickly understood them and enjoyed them.
Back home, my housemates are not the sort of people who would play Tabletop games so I really only get to do it when we have our get togethers.  And although the advent of things like Facebook has made it easier to keep up with what’s going on with the life of friends it’s great to all catch up in person, even if that’s only once or twice a year.