Goodbye, Farewell and Amen: A Look Back at Tabletop-TestMarch 25, 2019 Off By Ruel
Today is a bittersweet day for me: it’s the last time I’m writing for Tabletop-Test.
It’s been nothing short of an amazing experience. I cannot heap enough praise on site founder Dan Albright. He gave a small collection of diverse writers a wonderful opportunity to write about what we’re all passionate about: tabletop gaming.
I remember when Dan contacted me and asked me to join the team. After I read the site’s mission statement, I knew I was in: “Tabletop gaming is for everyone. Here at tabletop-test.com, it’s our mission to produce entertaining, informative, and thoughtful content that celebrates tabletop gaming and the people we play games with. We offer unique and diverse perspectives on your favorite tabletop games, including RPGs, board games, card games, and war games with a focus on being inclusive and approachable.”
From Day One, Tabletop-Test talked the talk and walked the walk. Every week I looked forward to what my fellow contributor writers brought to the site; we covered board games, miniature games, role-playing games, and much more.
Tifa Robles, founder of the Lady Planeswalkers Society, an organization that “creates welcoming, friendly environments to learn and play Magic: The Gathering regardless of gender, skill level, or anything else,” wrote several terrific gateway games guides, including Two Player Games, Social Deduction, and Family Games. I especially enjoyed Tifa’s series of Magic: The Gathering articles aimed at new players: “No matter what happens, always be respectful and courteous. This includes not overtly bragging about winning and not being a sore loser. The appropriate level of table talk might vary if you are playing in your living room with friends, but please keep in mind whenever you play in a store or public place that the environment is intended to be fun for everyone.”
I’m going to miss Warhammer Wednesday. Jess Townshend did fantastic work every Wednesday and I learned a lot about Warhammer, a world I’m not too familiar with, from reviews of Warhammer games to crafting tips. I loved her article about the changing Games Workshop culture: “Despite what some bigoted youtubers and hysterical dude-bros may claim; Feminists are not battling to take over the Games Workshop hobby. We already won and these relics of mediocrity just haven’t noticed.”
Likewise, Guest Writer Simon Berman’s series on skirmish war games was educational for me; as a non-wargamer I was immediately drawn into the worlds that Simon wrote about, from the Viking battles in Saga to the Gangs of Rome: “Like most of the current wave of skirmish historical games, it’s likely to leave something to be desired for serious historical gamers, but for anyone wanting a fun and very bloody foray into the vicious underground of Rome this is a fantastic addition to your gaming collection.”
TK Johnson, our resident RPG expert, explored the role-playing aspect of gaming throughout their articles. I loved their series on horror campaigns: “The low rumble in the belly of a hungry beast lurking just outside your field of vision…the cackle of a hideous coven of hags hunched over a bubbling cauldron…the whistling wails of ghouls, ghasts, and ghostly apparitions skulking in the mist at the edges of the cemetery…” And, as a foodie myself, I enjoyed TK’s articles on using feasts and festivities (“feastivities”) as a way to immerse players into a tabletop adventure.
Personally, I relished the chance to review board games and share my thoughts on my favorite game (Twilight Imperium) and board-game-related topics (fun mechanisms; resolutions to make gaming better).
Thank you to everyone who’s visited the site over the last year and for reaching out on Twitter. It’s been a real pleasure connecting with gamers from all over, talking about gaming and more. Although we’re done here at Tabletop-Test, I’m taking our diversity statement to heart as we move forward: “We all have biases, and no one is perfect, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to be better. To do better.”
I’m proud of the work we did at Tabletop-Test. I’ll miss it.
About The Author
Ruel Gaviola is a writer based in Southern California. He loves board games, books, cooking, traveling, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He writes for Geek & Sundry and iSlaytheDragon, podcasts for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name.