Oof. I just heard that my long-time buddy and gamer-buddy is moving.
It's not like we're exactly neighbors now. We live in different cities and actually see each other only about every month or so, though I always look forward to it. We've lived further apart before, during college and afterwards, but always settled back somewhat near each other. He'll be moving about an hour and a half away, and I'm sure that I'll still see him from time to time and talk fairly regularly, but it just feels like a more permanent shift further away.
I'm happy for him; the move is the result of him getting what sounds like a good job, after a long spell without, and better than the one he had before. That's great. The place he's going is a bigger place, which I think will suit him well, and it's much more of a gaming mecca than around here. He already knows a lot of the folks in that gaming mecca, so he'll have an easy transition and will have a great time I'm sure. He's had a rough couple of years lately, and I think that this really will be the start of a great new chapter in his life, one that I hope goes on for a long time.
So I'm very glad to see him moving up, but sad for my own sake to see him moving on. We met on the bus in middle school, and formed a friendship that started with the bond of both being gamers. We had some crazy fun with things like D&D, Star Frontiers (do NOT try to catch incendiary grenades to throw back, even with Yazarian reflexes), Squad Leader and the like as well as both being bit by the miniatures bug. We both stayed gamers and though we had significant differences in tastes and gravitated to some different groups, there was always significant overlap that had us getting in on the same things on a regular basis. Even for the different things we were involved in, we had a blast talking about them to each other.
I'll always remember his little brother, who was like seven or something at the time, backstabbing him in a game of Conquest of the Empire.
And him holding the flank with his riflemen, staving off the enemy trying to cross the river while I pounded the French Imperial Guard with the allied artillery.
And the numerous crashes and general disasters that befell both of us during Car Wars and Battletech. Midville is heck to drive in going seventy.
And battles over the French Foreign legion fort, the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War, Middle Earth, the ancient Aegean and many more, innumerable board games, plus computer games, stuff with our Star Wars and GI Joe toys, and even thrown teddy bears and nerf guns. Good times all.
He's also a good part of why I got back into 40K. He had played and was an easy sell when I wanted to get back into it. We drug a few other friends along for a while as well, though eventually they dropped out. He and I stuck with it, though if he had abandoned it as well I'm not sure that I would have bothered to continue. Even though now most of my games end up against other people, I still think of him as my main 40K opponent, one who enjoys the game even while complaining about it, who always gives me a rough battle and wins as often as not. At this point with him moving on, I'm sure I'll stick with it, but it just won't be the same.
Gaming certainly hasn't been the extent of our friendship, but it's certainly something we spent a good bit of time doing. He's definitely a friend first, gamer second. He's always been a good friend, and a better one than most people deserve. He was the Best Man in my wedding, and I can't think of a better way to describe him. God speed John and all the best.
Here's a bit of a retrospective, links to battle reports featuring John. Hopefully I'll get to make more in the future, even if it will involve a bit longer drive than before. These are only some of the recent ones, and there are many many more lost to the warp due to being before digital cameras and all the things that make these sorts of reports easier. Many a basement, garage, and dining table saw massive destruction over years, with many heroes lost to the mists of time. But here's some more recent snippets.