Time to play; Michael Jordal has a passion for board games

Michael Jordal has an extensive collection of table-top games and even hits the road to compete in tournaments. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Michael Jordal has an extensive collection of table-top games and even hits the road to compete in tournaments. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Michael Jordal may be all business at Austin City Council meetings, but it’s a whole different game whenever he gets home.

Just a simple walk up the stairs and into Jordal’s attic reveals an incredible collection of board games, tabletops and an incredible amount of pop culture in Jordal’s custom-made gaming room. Jordal possesses one of the biggest collections of board games around and loves to share them with friends.

“I love the social aspect of it,” Jordal said. “I like busting out a new game and playing it with friends.”

Like many people, Jordal grew up playing card with his family. He didn’t get into tabletop games like Warhammer 40K until high school, however. Then collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and German-born games like Settlers of Catan became popular in the U.S.

“I started getting into the German board games then, and that’s kind of how it all started,” he said. “I’ve been collecting games since the mid-90s, basically.”

The figurines in Michael Jordahl's collection are intricaltely detailed, often times painted by Jordahl himself. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The figurines in Michael Jordahl’s collection are intricaltely detailed, often times painted by Jordahl himself. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

With more than 600 games, Jordal has a fun pastime for anyone. Like “South Park?” Jordal has a board game based on it. Dig alternative history? Jordal has a fantasy game based on Nazis, bioterrorism and the Cold War. Board games like Mice and Mystics, Wild West Exodus and the newly released Star Wars: Imperial Assault also have spaces on Jordal’s shelves.

Friends and family even add to Jordal’s collection.

“People will give me old board games they find at a rummage sale,” he said.

Michael Jordal looks over just part of his collection of table-top gaming. Jordahl hosts game night at his home for friends who take part in the pasttime. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Michael Jordal looks over just part of his collection of table-top gaming. Jordahl hosts game night at his home for friends who take part in the pasttime. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Intricate board games have long been associated with geek culture, but pop culture icons like “The Big Bang Theory” and the rise of video games have contributed to board games becoming a popular pastime.

More people are getting into board games like Warhammer, which also brings out the creative side in people.

A big part of some tabletop games is painting the models that make up a person’s force or army at the board. Jordal, a graphic designer by trade, has won several awards for various paint jobs he’s done on figurines.

Though Jordal’s working on his army for an upcoming Warhammer tournament in Wisconsin, he still finds time to host a board game night during the week where he invites friends and acquaintances.

With so many games — Jordal thinks he has about 632 — there’s not a lot of space left on his attic shelves. Jordal has played every game at least once, but he thinks he might have to get rid of a few games to make room for future titles. Still, Jordal is always ready to play host to an enjoyable event.

“It’s a fun hobby,” he said.

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