Ryan Pilz is a clever, introverted, bundle of witty one-liners and dedicated boardgamey love. After sticking him in a dark room, and shining a bright light in his face, this is what we were able to get out of him:
TH: Ryan, tell us something interesting about yourself.
Ryan: My left shoulder is higher than my right. I used to have a pet rat. I'm related to Armagil Waad. My siblings and I got my neighbor to eat sand and paste when I was a kid and told him it was cinnamon ice cream. Is that enough?
TH: Haha! Yeah, that's a good start. Tell us what role you play at Tantrum House?
Ryan: The Bard.
TH: Ok, let's try something else.. Tell us about your earliest board game memory?
Ryan: I remember playing Clue as a family when I was a kid, and suddenly discovering that it was super simple if you just kept track of what others were asking. I remember in college visiting my friend Phil as he sat at the desk in one of the Academic buildings and being introduced to Settlers of Catan. Then one Christmas, my sister Jaime gave me Race for the Galaxy out of the blue, and I suddenly realized there was a whole world of amazing games out there to explore.
And thus began my rapid descent into madness.
TH: Great games! I know it's hard to name just one, but tell us about a few of your favorite games.
Ryan: Kingsburg has a great mechanic of dice rolling and deciding how to split up your dice and what buildings to build first. Smash Up is fun to play and to try and figure out which two decks interact the best. Star Wars: Imperial Assault gives me my Star Wars fix and builds off what I love in RPGs. Race for the Galaxy is fun to try to build the perfect tableau of interacting cards. Shadowrun Crossfire and Mechwarrior: Age of Destruction are a few thematic favorites. Cosmic Encounter, King of Tokyo, Rise of Augustus, 7 Wonders, Dominion...
TH: Ok, ok, so what game are you just the worst at?
Ryan: Card-counting games where I need to remember what's been played 4 rounds ago. I can't keep track of cards. I have the memory of a goldfish.
TH: Tell us about this Katie person?
Ryan: Katie is a beautiful brunette that I have the privilege of being married to. She is the love of my life and my primary source of support and encouragement. She's pretty much amazing. I could go into more details, but for the sake of your self-esteem I will refrain. Oh, and she likes board games. That's definitely a plus.
TH: Does being color blind effect your gaming experience?
Ryan: Yes, I have a harder time distinguishing my pieces at a glance if they're certain colors. For that reason I usually choose to be the Yellow player if that's an option.
TH: You say your super power is awkwardness. How do you use that exactly?
Ryan: Awkwardness isn't so much a super power or skill as it is a way of life. You've got to live it, be committed to it. When others doubt your ability to fumble awkwardly through a situation, you prove them wrong by your utter commitment to the ways of awkwardness. Personally, I utilize awkwardness best when I talk to strangers by showing them I haven't quite mastered the minimum social norms on interacting with others. It has never failed me yet. But, the best is the handshake/fist bump/high five triple threat. There's nothing quite like stumbling through this social variant of rock/paper/scissors. Do I handshake+half hug? Do I go for a solid firm shake? Do I slap hands, grab thumbs, bump elbows, pirouette, and end with a chest bump? Yes.
TH: Besides the art of awkwardness, do you have any other hobbies?
Ryan: RPGs, Video games, Reading and Watching Science Fiction, Paintball (I don't really get to play anymore), Creek Stomping, Bike Riding, Wondering why my car is making that funny noise...
TH: Favorite gaming snack or beverage?
Ryan: Snack: Fudge Mint Oreos. Beverage: Mountain Dew. Not necessarily those two together though.
TH: If you were an alien race from Cosmic Encounters, which would you be and why?
Ryan: The Pacifist. It's simple. It lets me use the multitude of Negotiate cards I always end up with to better effect. And it isn't so obviously overpowered that I'm going to have trouble finding allies. At least not so far.
TH: If you could only have one, which would it be: Video games or board games?
Ryan: Well, I definitely love both, however if I had to choose I'd probably pick board games for 3 reasons: 1) You can play board games without electricity. 2) Board games are more conducive to playing with others. 3) There is less of a social stigma against board games. Right?
TH: Yes Ryan, you chose correctly.