But what IS Tabletop Gaming I hear you cry? The short answer is that it's practically any kind of game that played with other people, using physical components. Most games fall into one of the following three categories: Board and Card Gaming, Role Playing Games, and War Games.
Board and Card Gaming forms the bulk of the games that get played at the society at the regular meetings. I'll mainly be talking about board games for brevity here, but they're all very similar, and the dividing line often gets blurred. You probably think of board games as games like Monopoly, Cluedo, and Scrabble, and card games as things like poker or blackjack, however those games are just the tip of a very large iceberg. In the past ten or so years, board gaming has had somewhat of a rennaisance, with hundreds of new and interesting games being created on many themes and gameplay elements.
Some games will see you playing in two teams as the crew of two spaceships, working together to outmaneuver your opponents. Other games will see you trying to control and trade rescources on a new island in order to establish a new settlement. Yet more games see the players all receiving secret identitities, and then having to work together to uncover those who are secretly werewolves. Others see the players working as a group of operatives, co-operating to prevent global outbreaks of lethal diseases.
Role Playing Games (or RPGs) are games in which players assume the roles of various characters within a story, often over a long period of time. One player takes the role of the Game Master. At a basic level, it's a cross between a game, improvised acting, and colaberative story telling. The most famous RPG is Dungeons and Dragons, where you typically play as a band of adventures in a fantasy world, but there are many other games and settings such as Shadowrun, a cyberpunk setting, or World of Darkness, set in modern day but with supernatural beings.
Finally, Wargames are games in which you use miniatures to represent armies which you then use to fight battles against your opponent on the battlefield. Wargames vary in scale from games such as Malifaux where players control small gangs, usually numbering less than twenty models, to Warhammer, where armies can have hundreds of figures with battles lasting up to a whole day.
I could talk for a long while about the many different games that are played at GameSoc, the best way to enjoy Tabletop Gaming is to give it a go yourself. Come along to a meeting and we'll be more than happy to play a few games with you. If you want to investigate more beforehand, I reccommend checking out Wil Wheatons Tabletop series.
I hope to see you at GameSoc at some point!