Introducing Brian - Game Kings' Board Game Guru

Brian Ellis
5 minute read

Hey guys! 

Welcome to my humble blog space, a place where you can sit down with your favourite beverage, curl up in your most comfortable chair and enjoy reading about our beloved pastime, board gaming! 

As this is my first blog entry, it’s probably a good idea to introduce myself.  Hey there, I’m Brian.  Yeah, it’s nice to meet you too. You look great, have you been working out?  

Like many of you, I’m an avid board gamer, I can’t even remember exactly when I first came to the hobby, but I do remember the very first “cool” board game I ever owned; HeroQuest!  I recall opening the long, flat package on Christmas Day and being blown away by the awesome minis, the colourful board, the mysterious spell cards, fierce monsters, and, best of all, the furniture! I also remember having the Kellar’s Keep expansion sitting next to me, as I was that kid who figured out all his Christmas presents beforehand and had spent my pocket money on the expansion in anticipation of the main event, much to my parent’s dismay. For me, that game opened a doorway to a whole new world of gaming.  

Hero Quest Board Game Image

Heroes, questing!

From HeroQuest I sidestepped into Dungeons & Dragons and by that stage I was hooked!  Board games and role playing games eventually gave way to the video game resurgence of the late 90’s and early 2000’s and I put aside my gaming table in favour of a computer desk as my gaming tastes changed. Regretfully, I sold all my second edition D&D books and boxed sets to fund my video game habit, something I still regret to this day.  I’m ashamed to admit it took far too long to occur to me that I could enjoy more than one kind of gaming at a time.  

So, I began dipping my toes back into tabletop waters. By this stage over a decade had passed since I first opened that pristine copy of HeroQuest.  Now, lots of games had minis, and they were way cooler and more detailed that the squat dwarf or the bulgy barbarian of yesteryear. There were bespoke tokens, magnetically sealed boxes with spot UV covers, linen finished cards and amazing artwork, games with deep themes and complex puzzles, or rich with storytelling and mystery.  In short, we now live in a veritable wonderland of luxurious board games, card games and miniatures games.  We’re spoiled for choice and I just love it!  

A player board from Tainted Grail, so bespokey!

Over the years I found I gravitated more towards dungeon crawlers, RPGs, and heavier themed, strategic board games, such as Descent or Scythe, my tastes no doubt influenced by my early gaming experiences. I also dove into the deep hole that was the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.  So much so, that I co-created our local X-Wing group and we ended up running store tournaments and casual monthly events here in Hamilton.  It was during this time I found I really enjoyed engaging with others about the hobby and having a young son who getting old enough to join in made me appreciate the social aspects of gaming.  We’d go to Board Games by the Bay together and I remember being so proud to see him sit at a table with people far older and more experienced than himself and hold his own in a game.  I knew this was an important way to connect with him and so I made sure to teach him any game in which he seemed to show an interest. 

YouTube quickly became my gateway to discovering new and upcoming games, or ones I’d simply missed, there’s a lot to keep track of!  Over time this inspired me to start my own board game channel, and, to my surprise, people seemed to enjoy the content I created.  Little did I know that this would eventually lead me to where I am now, working in what I can only describe as my dream job here at Game Kings, creating video content, writing blogs and helping to foster and support the board game community in Aotearoa. Watching groups of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests sit down at a table to share an experience is hugely rewarding.  

To that end, I look forward to bringing you blogs and videos that cover a range of topics within the industry, from the always popular top this-and-that lists, to reviews topical talking points, opinion pieces and more. Watching this community expand like a living card game collection is going to be a blast and, as such, I’m excited to see what’s next for the hobby and to play my part in helping the kiwi gaming community grow and connect even further. 

Until next time, play stuff and have fun!

- Brian

Who's got two thumbs and loves board games? This guy!
This guy!

My Game of the Week: Clank! Legacy - Acquisitions Incorporated

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