Mike’s Story

I have always loved gaming. For as long as I can remember it gave me an outlet. When my parents divorced, when I was bounced around from family member to family to live with, when I just needed to clear my head. Gaming means more to me though.

In 2013 I was 27 years old. My wife of 3 years cheated on me and left me; I was heartbroken. A month and a half later, I was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer. I was more than defeated. I was ready to end my life. I went out to an overpass and waited for an 18-wheeler to pass by. The first one I saw I would jump. I was ready. I was done. I live in Houston, Texas. Highway 45 is one of the busiest and deadliest roadways in America. For an hour and a half not a single 18-wheeler passed. I thought “I can’t even do this right” and walked back home in the dark.

Two day later on a Friday night, my buddy asked me to come out and play some war games with him. I thought it would be nice to see my friends. Well… he ended up trouncing me. Leaving me almost defeated with no real way of winning. I started crying right there at the war game tables. My buddy new a little of what I was going through and asked if I wanted to pack up and get a drink. I looked at the table and said, “No we should finish the game.” I had always said it was best to finish a game so your opponent can get the satisfaction of the win, I knew I wanted that. So, with my final turn I looked at the models and saw the only way possible. A hail Mary play that to this day had no business actually going off. I threw my War Caster (read leader) at his with a giant alligator. It required 3 successful dice rolls. All hit. Then I stood my War Caster up and beat his to just one hit point left. Four consecutive successful hits made easy because I knocked him down. Then, I walked a giant spitting turtle close enough and did a spray attack. Both of our casters got hit, mine survived with 2 hit points. His did not.

My buddy flipped out and was so excited for me. He couldn’t believe I pulled that off. I was still crying. I realized I wasn’t finished yet. The game isn’t over until you lose or concede. And just like my favorite war game there may be many walls ahead of you, but there is plenty of rubble behind where you made your way forward.

I’m not cancer free, but I’m fighting every day and that is good. My wife left me, but 5 years ago I remarried a truly epic woman and have two amazing daughters now. We play TTRPGs together. I have a tabletop gaming stream where I play games, paint minis, and help new gamers get into the community/hobby. I’m not perfect, but I’m happy.

The dice giveth and the dice taketh away. You just have to be here to roll them.

Walls ahead, Rubble behind!


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