Assorted Meeples: Survived the Derecho

So…it’s been a while all. As most of you know, here at Assorted Meeples we’re based out of Iowa and in particular most of us are in Linn County, which got hit by the absolute worst brunt of the Derecho. Even weeks later, the damage is extensive and devastating, and we’re a long way from normal. It took about 4 days to get cell phones back, 11 days to get power back, and 15 days to get Internet back. Needless to say, that makes it rather difficult to stream on Twitch or upload YouTube videos.

If you want to see the TL;DR version, Braden managed to hotspot just enough internet together to put out this YouTube video that shows some of the damage and does a great job of explaining just how bad this Iowa inland hurricane ended up being.

Yeah, the front of Shane’s Alma Mater isn’t looking so great.

So it has been a very, very LONG three weeks.

Sorry for the week(s) of radio silence, so to speak, but as many of you are around the same part of Iowa we are, I’m sure you understand. We hope each and every single one of you is doing well and above all are safe during this time.

For everyone else, still wishing the absolute best (especially if you’re going through similarly devastating hurricane cleanup right now). We wish we could say that’s hyperbole, but if all you heard about this devastation on the news was a major storm tore through Iowa, it is the understatement of the month. Even calling it a category 2 or 3 hurricane doesn’t really give the full feeling of it for those outside hurricane country. Iowa has some terrifyingly impressive storms, and this one was the worst any of us Midwesterners have seen in our lifetime by not even close.

Why the Radio Silence?

Simply put, everything was knocked out. For most of us phones were out for under a week. Power was out for just under two weeks. Internet was out for a touch over two weeks. Phil got his earlier, but lives in the country (slow speeds). The great and mighty Callahan is STILL waiting for Mediacom to fix their crap (21 days and counting at this point).

The city was wrecked, yo. Worse than Braden in a series of Splendor games. Worse than Shane in yet another infuriating game of Battle Brothers. Worse than Phil’s “politics” immediately creating enemies of the entire table. Worse than Callahan at anything requiring youth. You all get the point.

Shane has shown his array of weird skills from an adventurous past by going to town on even giant branches with a hatchet, Braden has put in hours of raking and cleaning up, trying to get professionals out here for things beyond our ability to handle, and the property still looks like crap before even looking at the giant downed trees that murdered our backyard and fences.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, and in the case of Braden and Shane, fleeing to the basement was the right choice. It’s am outright miracle things look as “good” as they do as opposed to total and complete wreckage. We’re trying to catch up with all our family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones and make sure everyone is okay.

There are times where everything needs to be put aside for dealing with the challenges of the moment and that’s where we are at right now. We’ll get through this challenge, like many before, and many that will come after. We look forward to streaming again, to interacting with our amazing Patrons, followers, and even our awesome lurkers.

AND THAT TIME IS….not quite yet.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself 🙂

But power and Internet seem to be stable for most of us, we feel pretty confident our fourth member will get his back relatively soon, and we’ll be back up and running in short order. We even have a date:


That Monday Braden will resume his Twitch streaming – I know he’s looking to jump right back into Bloodstained – the awesome RPG with a 1980’s action flick title. Shane will see about banishing the technical gremlins once and for all (Maybe they blew away in the hurricane? One can dream) as he does…well who knows what he’s going to do. West of Loathing? Kindergarten II? World of Horror? Something else random entirely? Who knows – but it will be its own form of entertaining.

Thursday the 17th will be our online reunion. Despite the Derecho, there’s still a pandemic because, well because 2020. We’ll be starting out with a classic, Settlers of Catan, to get back in the swing of things.

Then we’re going to pick back up on the games we were really excited to get into as a group back before the storm.

  • September 17th: Settlers of Catan
  • September 24th: Overcooked 2
  • October 1st: Sagrada (Phil and Heather played an awesome game of Sagrada earlier this year on Table for Two and you should check it out if you haven’t already)

We are eager to get back on Twitch and YouTube on Assorted Meeples, and we love and miss y’all dearly. Any amount of normalcy at this point is something we’re all for. For now, here are some storm pics from Braden and Shane that don’t even scratch the surface of all the damage (a Google or YouTube search will yield plenty more)

Shane Post-Derecho Picture Gallery

Braden Post-Derecho Picture Gallery

For now, here are some incredible storm pictures. The entire city looks like this (or worse). It’s been a hell of a disaster. Even after three weeks of thousands of volunteers, tons of city worker overtime, and the Iowa National Guard…only 20% of the debris has been removed. This doesn’t even take into account all the additional trees that are too damaged to be safe but still standing and will need to come down.

But we’ll bounce back, and we’ll do it with the same professionalism you would expect from guys who react this way to a “head to the basement the world is ending” level of storm warning:

We can’t wait to be back making shows, playing games, and hanging with you guys on Thursday and Friday nights. Much love to all you. Be safe. Help others. We look forward to gaming with you all once again!