LOS ANGELES, CA – Local area 20-something Robert “Bob” Fleisher considers himself to be a board game connoisseur. While attending a get-together with a childhood friend and several of his closest acquaintances in 2007, he played his first game of Settlers of Catan, often considered a “gateway game” to the wide world of alternative table-top entertainment, and was instantly hooked. “It was so much fun,” says Fleisher. “I grew up on games like Monopoly and Clue, but this was a whole different level.”
After playing his first game, in which Fleisher came in third place (of four), he insisted on another round, wherein he built a strategy centering on development cards, the Largest Army bonus, and monopolizing the precious ore resource spaces. At 11:18PM, he was officially declared the winner. “It was such a rush. I personally couldn’t wait to play again, but everyone else said they were pretty tired.”
Fleisher’s enthusiasm failed to wane. The next day, he immediately went to his nearest Barnes and Noble and purchased his own copy of the game ($49.99 retail). Since then, he has amassed a collection of over 100 different games and expansions from all over the world, essentially a small fortune of paper, dice, and cardboard in his studio apartment in Glendale.
Sadly, however, Fleisher has yet to play any of these games with other human beings. “No one seems to really have the time or interest, which is too bad, because board games are such a great way to meet new people and socialize.”
Though this has yet to happen in Fleisher’s case, his skills remain sharper than ever in case the opportunity should ever arise. “I like to set up games and just play them by myself, try out new strategies. I mean, they’re an investment, really. I’ve got to get my money’s worth out of them.”
In the meantime, Fleisher tries to put himself in the mindset of his would-be friends/opponents, often discussing potential moves out loud to himself. “If I can ever convince anyone else to play Stone Age or Agricola or Caylus, they’re bound to be pretty impressed by my eye for worker placement and resource management.”
Perhaps someday he’ll find a worthy adversary with a keen appreciation for complex rule sets and tactical planning. Until then, Fleisher will content himself with honing his formidable abilities and railing against the menial and arbitrary nature of the exceedingly popular Cards Against Humanity to his aging cat.
Published by Jimmy Pember 3/26/14