As our longest standing Rules of Play staff member prepares for a year away in China, we thought it'd be fun to give him a send-off and thank him for being so awesome over the years, and for touching so many customers' games. And hearts. Probably.
If you've popped into Rules of Play in the past 3 years or so, you'll have seen Huw. Or, more accurately, you'll have seen a big beard floating around behind the counter. Or, even more accurately, you'll have heard a huge booming laugh echoing throughout Castle Arcade.
But how can you simplify the graceful man-unicorn that is Huw into just a big beard and an even bigger laugh? He is so much more! With his almost unbelievable knowledge of the games in the shop, he's been the first port of call for customers looking for advice and gaming experience.
He's a superb games teacher, and someone who can put even the most nervous of first-time Board Game Bar guests at ease.
Having been such a huge presence at Rules of Play, and a big part of the shop for so many customers, I don't think I need to tell you how much we'll miss him. Instead, let's take this time to tell China just what to expect...
8 things China needs to know before Huw gets there
1. He's a glorious half-man, half-model, who'll pose whenever you ask.
Eat your heart out, Kate Moss. (Eat something, at least).
2. He's a fan of J-pop. (That's Japanese pop, by the way.)
Want proof? Here's a direct quote from Amy, previous Rules of Play staff member: 'I remember Huw drinking too much cider in the shop after closing and watching him dance to cheesy j-pop and Avril Lavigne.'
3. He's going to try and turn you all into Netrunner players.
Once upon a time, not many people in Cardiff played Netrunner. Then Huw came along and lured new players into his web with the promise of fun and friends, the monster.
Below is photographic evidence of Huw scouring the interwebz to find fresh meat for his evil Netrunner scam. Despicable.
4. He actively takes part in simulations where the world ends and everyone dies.
He's been spotted at Watch the Skies, a game of global domination involving aliens. You take on the role of a diplomat or a reporter or - wait, why am I explaining this? He's clearly dangerous!
This is Huw and friends on the way to one of these twisted 'games':
5. But he's also interested in saving the world.
A conflicted hero - I love it! He's been seen playing (and winning) Pandemic Legacy. This is a tough feat to pull off, so a round of applause for Huw and co.
6. Huw was famously mentioned on a Dice Tower podcast.
In a podcast segment on 'magical gaming moments', the Dice Tower guys mentioned a moment in Rules of Play (originally featured on a Talking Tinkerbots podcast), when a customer was talking about a well-loved but barely remembered game from their childhood, lamenting about how they'd never be able to find the game again. Huw turned around, pulled a game off the shelf and said, 'Is this it?'
Huw: creating magical moments since birth.
For the Dice Tower podcast, click here and skip to 4min 43secs.
For the original Talking Tinkerbots podcast, click here.
7. He can sometimes forget whole games that he's already played...
Here's a story, courtesy of Huw's lovely Dad...
'One of my fondest gaming moments involved the Reiner Knizia game, Ra. You start with 10 points, and we score after each of 3 rounds. Each round, you may win lose some points as well as gain some. For the first and only time, after round 1 I had to check the rules to see if Huw could go negative. He was so embarrassed that he refused to play the game again for a long time. A couple of years later, we played the game 'Razzia!' which is basically the same game, but a mafia-themed card game rather than ancient Egyptian tiles. All other players knew we were basically playing Ra, but we managed to keep this quiet until Huw finally twigged.'
8. He's always on a mission to play new stuff with new people.
I have a rather fond memory of playing Dead of Winter at Huw's house with his group of lads lads lads; he invited me after I moaned that I didn't have enough people to play any proper good games with.
We drank lovely cheap beer and ate snacks and lost miserably. Hurrah for Huw!
Huw leaves behind a legacy of sad customers and a bigger Netrunner gang than Cardiff started with. He was a huge part of the Rules of Play community, a star to all of our customers, and we'll miss him a lot.
China, get ready! You'll need to prepare for this one...
We wish Huw all the very best in his travels ❤️