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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

All the World on a Table

Nicholas Mihalas writes:

I am a hero, a villain, destroyer, and creator of worlds. I have the advantage of many lives lived in one -- many deaths at once as well. I can travel through time and space, yet I am the same as you. This is possible through only one means: games. Not the ones you see on a screen or the running in the field type, but ones of the mind and the table.

Stardate 92947.73, the U.S.S Nautilus is patrolling sector 147 of the Klingon-Federation border -- or more simply put, my living room. While flying at Warp 3 another ship was detected: Klingons. Pulling out of warp, both ships were seeing each other, not at war, but tensions were high nonetheless. "Photons fully loaded!" shouted an engineer from the bellows of the ship; it was time to move. It was flung through the emptiness by warp engines powered by the core. The front shield was at full, time to face our enemy as they charged against us. Turning at the last moment their disruptors hit the forward right shield; it was not the time for us to fire though. Photons overloading, there was minor damage to cargo and labs the screen said. Executing a high energy turn of 180° (stressing the engines while doing so) busted a warp cell in the lower core.

No time. The enemy fired its rear phasers at the forward shield, resulting in minor damage. Our photons were full to bursting with gamma rays produced by their tiny warp engines as they rocketed toward the enemy. As they pierced the sternward shield, our dice began to roll, destroying and debilitating weapons, engines, hull, teleporters, tractors, and the all too precious command deck. With no more captain the Klingon ship limped away, defeated. I let it go, a sort of understanding between captains. Let them run so that you may run from the next loss.

I stood up and shook my dad's hand; our game was a good one and my first victory. That was when I realized how beautiful the game was. No electronics, no complicated rules, yet every game left me with gratification, whether win or loss. A headache, too, it continues to leave me with that. The fight was won today but tomorrow was a whole new tale, a new world, and a new set of rules.


Nicholas just started playing Federation Commander this summer and he loves it. Going into his second year of high school, he wrote this as a paper for English about what he did this summer. His dad suggested sharing it with us.