Board game club recruiting new members

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 7:17 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Ohio (WTVG) - What’s your favorite board game? Whatever it is, a board game club in Waterville probably has it!

Black Swamp Gamers is working to get back up on its feet after the pandemic. It won’t be easy, but members have hope that they can save their gaming space.

“It is a huge passion for me. I started collecting these games 15 years ago... All I had was my wife to help me play them. But you can’t play some of these with just two people,” says Anthony Kniss, president of Black Swamp Gamers, a board game club in Waterville.

He owns about 300 of the 400 games stored at the club.

“I have a bit of an addiction to collecting board games,” he says, laughing.

The group meets on weekends to battle it out on the table fighting dragons, building farms, and growing friendships.

Vice president Matthew Gruenwald met Kniss through the club and now they’re friends.

“This has been a great opportunity for people to gather as a community and be social and to all engage in something that is unique and interesting to them,” says Gruenwald.

But as with all social gatherings, the club took a big hit last year. It’s hard to distance when hunched over a shared board, so they shut down for much of the last year.

“Those first months were rough, then we started losing members... It looks like we’re steering towards not being able to renew this place,” says Kniss.

“It breaks my heart a little bit. I shouldn’t say little. It breaks my heart a lot,” says Gruenwald.

But the members are hopeful that after a year of isolation and virtual visits, that the appeal of having something real - a pair of dice, a hand of cards - might just bring in enough people to save the club.

“People like tabletop gaming, and we want to keep that around as much as possible,” says Gruenwald.

If you want to help the club, you can purchase a membership which allows you to play every weekend and check out games. You can buy a one-time guest pas, or you can make a donation. To do any of those things, see a list of their games, and get more information, visit the Black Swamp Gamers website.

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