Grey Matter

So I’m ill. Not life-threateningly ill, but not shake-it-off-in-a-couple-of-days ill either. Medium-term-debilitatingly ill. I’ve got post-viral fatigue syndrome, and not for the first time.

The practical upshot of this is that I feel like I’ve spent a day walking in the Alps and then consumed half a bottle of fine Swiss wine. (I can draw this parallel because I’ve done exactly that in the past, but this isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable.) Physically wiped and mentally sub-par, I’m struggling to hold concentration, meaning I can’t read anything with any degree of complexity and it’s a real battle to write things (I’ll note at the end of this post how long it took me to write it*). I’ve been off work/training/study for a month now, with no idea of when I’ll be capable of returning.

Naturally, I’ve been trying to use games to (a) alleviate boredom and (b) keep my brain working. It’s not always easy, what with the reading problems and everything, so I’ve been sticking to games I already know or at least games I can refresh my knowledge of pretty quickly. Rulebooks presented in short, snappy numbered paragraphs are ideal, so GMT and other wargame publishers are my saviours at the moment.

So far I’ve logged 16 (!) plays of Onirim, with various expansions, 3 solo runs of Cuba Libre (variously as the Government or Castro’s 26July insurgents – check out one of my crushing defeats in the picture at the top), 2 of Cruel Necessity and 1 of Friday. The Christmas holidays have also brought with them more opportunities for playing with my kids, so Carcassonne, Catan: Junior, Forbidden Island, Indigo, Rat-a-Tat Cat and more have had outings.

It’s disappointing that I’ll be unlikely to make it to any Newcastle Gamers sessions until I’m recovered (can’t drive, generally need a nap at the drop of a hat, struggle to learn new games, certainly can’t teach games, etc.), so I’ll be continuing with the solo regime and trying to engineer some more opportunities for playing at home.

I’m considering writing a full card-by-card run-through of Cuba Libre or D-Day at Omaha Beach… just as something to do.

* About 80 minutes. Eighty minutes!

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