Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Top 42 List Final Part (7-1)

Welcome back to my Top 42 list. We're at that happy and sad spot known as  the end.  To go back and see where game ranked, you can check out parts 1, 23, 4, and 5.

These 7 games are the games I truly enjoy playing.  If I had to only own 7 games, I would be happy playing only these games for a long time.

#7 Star Trek: Fleet Captains  No Change
Each time I play this game, I feel like I'm in Star Trek.  The game is a bit long, which keeps it from moving up higher on my list.  There are a lot of nuances to the gameplay, which serve as a hindrance to new players.  Also, each faction truly plays differently than the others.  The Federation need to go exploring, while the Klingons focus a lot on combat.  The Romulans mess with things using infiltrators, and deception to accomplish their objectives.  This is the game for Star Trek fans.  There's a good deal to learn, but it is well worth the effort.

#6 Battlestar Galactica Down 1
Keeping in theme, this is the game for anyone who's a fan of Battlestar Galactica.  More than any other game I've ever played, this captures the tension of the show while making a fun and challenging game of it.  2012 was the first year I haven't played a game of BSG since I acquired it, but I still enjoy the game.  My group that enjoys BSG has long since dispersed, so my playing has been shifted to forum games and Vassel.  Not bad ways to play, but it lacks a lot of the tension and suspicion, and without those things, BSG just doesn't feel like the same game.

#5 Star Wars: X-Wing New
I'll admit it, I'm obsessing over this game.  The miniatures are amazing, as evidenced in my review.  The game feels quick, even when it goes for well over an hour.  Rounds rarely take longer than 5 minutes, even with a lot of combat going on.  It is a miniatures game, so it gets pricey, $15 per ship MSRP, around $10 online.  With that under consideration, the game is totally worth it if you have people to play with.  I rarely play this with just one other person, instead we like to do 4-6 people battles.  It keeps everyone involved, and gives it more of a true space fight feeling.  The only thing that would make the game better are more scenarios, but hopefully those are coming in Wave 3.  I'd also love to see a Campaign Book eventually, but those are things that would make a great game even better.

#4 Dominion Down 2
Dominion dropped because I think I've out played it.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I just don't enjoy it the same way these days.  Playing with the new cards from Dark Ages provides a good challenge, since I haven't overplayed the cards.  One of the other reasons Dominion moved down is that I don't get to play it very often in person.  Most people haven't played as much as I have, so it leads to games that are less fun.  I've had some great games of Dominion against a lot of people, but at this point, it's not something I pull out often.  I'll play it with anyone who wants to play, but I find myself suggesting it less and less.

#3 7 Wonders  Up 1
Big credit to gamenight for moving this up.  I really like the versatility of 7 Wonders. It handles up to 3-7 in roughly the same amount of time.  Just a little extra for everyone to decide on their card play each turn, but that's very minimal.  There are a few different strategies to take in the game, and I've seen them all work.  I've seen new players do extremely well in the game, not always come in first, but finish in the top half.  Most people I've played with like the game enough to want to play in the future.

#2 Ticket to Ride  Up 1
The more I thought about games, the more Ticket to Ride kept coming up.  With the new expansion maps, there are so many ways to play TtR and have it feel different each time.  Having only 3 options on your turn keeps things simple enough while providing a lot of choices.  Most of the time you want to get more cards, but deciding when to play cards is a key to the game.  There's a fair bit of luck in TtR, but that's one of the things that makes it great.  It's a game I really can play with anyone, since it's not overly complicated to teach.

#1 Cosmic Encounter  No Change
No surprise that this keeps the #1 slot.  Honestly, I don't see it going anywhere soon, but I'm always open to something overtaking it.  For the groups I have right now, this is the game we all love to play.  For me, this is what a boardgame should be.  There's great player interaction, loads of variety, controlled chaos, the ability for players to mess with each other, and memorable games.  I can't deny that it takes awhile to learn Cosmic.  You'll spend the first game just learning all the phases and what everyone can actually do.  The next few you'll finally see the powers interact, and realize that you shouldn't invite everyone to ally all the time.  Then, one time, it will click.  You'll see the game come together, powers, flares, other variants, and it will make sense.  You may not win that game, you may take 50 games before you win one, but eventually you will realize that Cosmic isn't so much about winning as it is having a good time conquering the galaxy with friends and foes alike.

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Top 42 Part 5 (14-8)

Welcome back to my Top 42 list. We're almost to the end.  For part four, click here.
These are all truly great games in my opinion.  They are games I can play with a lot of different people, and I almost always enjoy playing.  The order is hard to distinguish at this stage, but I've done my best.

#14 Rattus  Down 5
Rattus, still one of my favorite games.  So why did it move down?  Well, other games just jumped ahead of it because I've gotten to play them more often.  Rattus is great with people who know the game, but it's sometimes hard to teach it well.  It has the variable power mechanic that I really enjoy exploring.  With 2 expansions for Rattus, and the ability to play with up to 6 people, I think I have everything I'll ever need to enjoy this game time after time.

#13 Pandemic No Change
For reference, this is with the expansion.  Without the expansion, I don't think Pandemic is on this list.  I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but, in the world of pure co-op games, Pandemic is my favorite.  Other games may have more enjoyable themes, or deeper strategies, but there is just something about the struggle in Pandemic.  There are so many times where I want just one more action to do something, or when I say "If only I was the _."  The game presents a lot of different options, allows for a good amount of group think to tackle problems, and presents new challenges and opportunities with each set of player abilities.

#12 Dixit No Change
Dixit, the game that thrives on creativity, keen observation, and nifty clue telling.  Dixit is the gamers' Apples to Apples, with a bit more variety.  There are times when I don't like Dixit, but there are times I have a blast with it.  It does take a group who's willing to get into the details of the cards, but if you have a couple of people, the rest catch on quickly.  I had a chance to play this with 9 people, and it was fantastic. In fact, best game of Dixit I have ever played.

#11 Roll Through the Ages  Up 4
Civilization building with dice.  The game really fills a niche for me. It's simple enough to play just about any time, yet it has enough depth to keep me coming back to play.  There are some issues in 3-4 player games if a player or two can consistently roll 3 skulls, making their opponents lose points, but that's just something you have to try to account for.  Anytime a game uses dice, there are going to be issues with randomness.  Trying to make the most out of what you roll is a vital skill in those circumstances.  Still, it's almost impossible to beat someone who rolls exactly what they need every time.  Overall, I enjoy the civ-building aspect. The dice keep the game at a manageable timeframe.  I'd like to see some expansions (official or unofficial) that add to the scope of the game.

#10 For Sale  Up 12
For Sale has been played several times this past year.  It's frequently requested at game night, which is a great thing.  The auction aspect of the game presents players with many options, though you can get put in a bad spot.  Still, the game plays out in two phases, which makes it easy to learn, quick to play, and a neat little auction game while trying to make the best of what you have.

#9 Incan Gold  Up 1
I had a hard time deciding between Incan Gold and Shadows. I really wanted to call a tie for 8th, but like Baseball, there are no ties in game rankings.  I have nothing but good things to say about this game.  There are a lot of things it isn't, but they don't matter.  It's a great push your luck game. You have to try to read your opponents and make decisions based on what you think they're going to do, and then get frustrated when you're wrong.  With even slightly competitive people, the game becomes amazing as some root for treasure, while others root for the trap to end things.  It plays well with 4-8 players which is rare, and most of the time, people want to play again.

#8 Shadows Over Camelot  No Change
Shadows holds the number 8 spot due mostly to nostalgia.  I'm currently a bit burnt out on the game, but I have a lot of fun memories with the game.  The possibility of a traitor can make the game more tense than Battlestar, because you're never really sure how many people are working against you.  Shadows is a tough enough game to win even without a traitor, I'm often surprised that we can win a game when there is a traitor.  There's a decent amount of luck to the game, and a lot depends on how well the traitor can gain the trust of the group.  Still, the game results in stories told months after the fact.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Top 42 Part 4 (21-15)

Welcome back to my Top 42 list. We're halfway home!  For part three, click here.

#21 Eminent Domain  Down 15

Eminent Domain made a big splash late last year, but as I've played it more, it's lost a bit of the luster.  I enjoy the game for the options it provides, and the variety of strategies players can take to win.  At this point, the game needs an expansion.  I'd love to see some more uses for the ships and resources, maybe a new card type, and a bunch of new technologies.  Since the game is made a lot better with a variety of options, I'm all for seeing more of them.

#20 Tsuro New
Well, no surprise that my most played game in 2012 makes this list.  Tsuro has become the game that I can pull out and play with anyone.  I was able to play with my gaming family over Thanksgiving, including a 6 year old niece of theirs and their HS daughter who never plays games.  Helps that they both made it to the final 3 in an 8 player game.  Tsuro isn't the most complicated of games, nor is it the most strategic.  It is a tactical game, and it's quick.  I've never had a game last more than about 20 minutes, and that's perfect for what Tsuro is.

#19 This Game is Bonkers Up 9
I know this game is silly, and it's not really a gamer's game, but I have fun time playing it, and that's what games are about.  It's all about rolling, moving, and doing what the spot says, but the spots continue to move your piece around the board, and you get to place new tiles on spots to do different things.  This isn't a game I want to play all the time, but I always have a fun time playing it, and that's the best reason to play a game, and think highly of it.

#18 Small World  No Change
Small World is one of those games that I always enjoy when I play it, but I don't want to play it often.  I think it suffers from iPad play, since I don't have to worry about all the setup, clean-up, and token management when I play that way.  It's not the best of 3 player games, but around here, there's 3 of us who like it.  That leaves it for when people come in from out of town to play it, which doesn't happen often.  Still, a game I enjoy, a game that has a lot of interesting combinations, and a game that always provides a challenge.

#17 Catacombs  Down 3
I still think Catacombs is one of the most innovative games I own.  It's dropped a bit because it's a little too long for what it is as a game.  I think it's a very enjoyable experience, but I'd like to turn it into a campaign where we can play a couple rooms at a time and then put it away.  Perhaps that's a 2013 project for me.  I've always liked the dungeon crawl aspect of games, but all the specifics of combat and exploration tend to bog them down.  Catacombs boils combat down to did the attacker touch the defender or not, throws in a few special abilities, and then adds in some cool weapons and treasures that players can buy.

#16 Fleet  New
Fleet, in a way, is Deadliest Catch the Card Game.  No, it's not licensed, but the game is all about getting licenses to launch boats, using those boats to go fishing, and turning everything in to victory points.  There are so many different ways to try to win at Fleet.  Each license has it's own ability that makes it seem really powerful.  Some are more subtle than others, but I've seen every type of strategy do well in the game.  I have the Kickstarter expansion, which added some special captains, as well as some bonus license cards to the game.  I think they're a huge plus to the game, but even without them, I still enjoy what Fleet has to offer.  I sure hope this is a game I play a lot more.  It gives me a similar feel to Race for the Galaxy without using as many symbols, hence why Fleet is on this list, and Race for the Galaxy fell off.

#15 Can't Stop  New
Can't Stop should have been on this list last year.  It got lost in the shuffle that happened due to my computer getting stolen.  I forgot about the game since I don't actually own it.  Can't Stop is a very simple dice game.  Roll 4 dice, make 2 pairs, and move the markers up on the board.  The trick, you can only have 3 markers on your turn.  If you ever roll dice that don't combine to one of your numbers, you bust.  At any point you can stop, but there is no glory in stopping.  You're trying to move your markers up to claim a number. You only need 3 2's or 12's, but you need 13 7's in order to take it.  Be the first to claim 3 numbers and you win.  It's not complicated, but it's a great game to get people involved, and actively rooting against you in good fun.  I always have a blast playing Can't Stop.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Top 7 Gaming Memories of 2012

2012 was a great year of gaming for me.  Lots of games played, lots of great people, and plenty of great experiences.  There are far more memorable experiences than space on this list, but these are 7 that really stood out for me.

#7 Thanksgiving and Christmas gaming with my extended family.  I was able to play a bunch of games with my cousins, and even an uncle who almost never plays boardgames.  It's great to bring family together and have some laughs.

#6 Customizing Star Trek: Fleet Captains.  I really enjoyed all the work painting the ships, creating the custom board, and doing something to make the game look really different.  The game feels so much more thematic with painted ships as opposed to the normal plastic.

#5 June in Los Angeles.  Being able to spend time with people I hadn't seen in over a year and play some games was a great thing.  Also helps that the trip served as a major turning point in the design of my current game.

#4 Day After Thanksgiving X-Wing Mega Battle.  8 hours of flying starfighters around a table shooting at each other.  It was a long day, but it was a very fun day.

#3 Wil Wheaton's Tabletop and BGG's Game Night.  Being able to watch other people play boardgames is something I find oddly enjoyable.  Sure, I'd much rather be playing games myself, but being able to watch others play and talk about it has given me some good opinions on games and if I'd like them or not.

#2 Watching people play my first prototype game.  It's been through a lot of changes, but there is something immensely satisfying about watching other people enjoy something you've worked hard to create.

#1 Monday night boardgame night.  This has been the highlight of my year.  There isn't any one specific night that stands out, but rather the nights as a whole.  I've met some great people, and learned a bunch of new and different games.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Top 42 Part 3 (28-22)

Welcome back to my Top 42 list. For part two, click here

#28 Wits and Wagers  Down 3
Wits and Wagers is staying fairly stable.  I think it's a great party game depending on the group.  I actually have a lot of good times playing with my immediate family, including a couple of plays right after midnight on New Years.  The variety of question topics makes for an interesting game, and gives almost anyone a chance to win.  I really think that the party version of the game is the best edition, though I'm biased since I was a playtester for it.  If you have anyone who is a trivia buff, Wits and Wagers is a great game to try with them.

#27 1960: The Making of the President Down 7
And now for the last of the 2 player exclusive games.  Even though I haven't played 1960 in awhile, I like what the game is.  I think there's good strategic choices to make, but also a lot of tactical adjustments that players have to adapt to.  It's a game with interesting choices about a very close election.  Even though the cards are mostly the same, how they get played, and how they shape the landscape of the electorate keeps the game fresh and challenging.

#26 Flash Point: Fire Rescue New
Flash Point has become my group's go-to co-op game.  I still rank a few higher than it, but Flash Point is here to stay, and is on the rise.  Most games have a tension to them, which is only made deeper by the theme.  Trying to save people from a burning building is one of the best themes for a co-op.  I personally enjoy being the truck driver so I can use the deck gun.  I once played a game using that and the Captain and never entered the building.  I think Flash Point is a harder game with less people, which is the inverse of what I'm used to with Pandemic.  This is a good co-op game, and probably the best co-op for family gaming.

#25 Settlers of Catan  Down 9
Catan, a game I love, a game that suffers from never playing it.  I give kudos to Rose who plays with me online enough to keep this game fresh.  These days it seems like I get to play Catan once, maybe twice per year, and honestly, I'm ok with that.  I think Catan is showing it's age a bit, but it's still a really enjoyable game.  To me, there are better games out there, but I will always play a game of Catan.

#24 Carcassonne  Down 5

Another game that I just don't get to play enough.  I played it one time in 2012, and that wasn't even with my own set.  I think the main issue is the farmer rules.  I know they're a vital part to the game, but they're something that swings  so many points, and if people don't understand that, they're in for a shock at the end.  I still like the building aspect of the game, I think it makes it really easy to get in to the game, and know what's going on.

#23 No Thanks!  Up 18
The big move up goes to No Thanks!  Yes, it's a game with cards and chips. Yes, it's a "filler" game.  Yes, there's a lot of luck to the game.  That's exactly why I like the game.  It's simple to teach, has that luck of the draw element, and it plays quickly.  It's become a gamenight staple while we wait for people to show up.  It's a nice way to get people into a game, and it has some strategy to it.  It may not be the perfect game, but it's a great part of any collection, and one I play often.

#22 Forbidden Island  Down 11
What Flash Point has gained in popularity, Forbidden Island has lost.  I still enjoy Forbidden Island, especially on the iPad, but it doesn't get to the table very often.  One thing I have noticed is that Forbidden Island can fall victim to the one player plays for everyone notion.  I don't know that it's a bad thing, since this game is targeted for families, but for more serious gamers, this isn't the best co-op.  Still, with the right group, the treasure gathering is fun, as is trying not to drown.  It's a very light-hearted theme, which keeps the game fun for children of all ages.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The 2012 BoBG Game of the Year Winners

As January marches towards the middle of the month, thoughts of 2012 begin to fade away.  As such, it's time to consider the best games that came out in 2012.  Now, I haven't had a chance to play every game that came out in 2012, or even a lot of them, but I have played enough to feel that my thoughts on the matter are worthwhile.

Best Card Game
Winner: Fleet
Runner Up: Smash Up

These are two very different styles of games.  Smash Up has a fun combat system that's fairly straightforward.  The numbers can get a little murky, but outside of that it's a fun game.  Fleet is my winner because it does so many things well.   It's a very balanced design, has multiple paths to victory, and the theme comes through in many parts of the game.

Best Co-op Game
Winner: Escape: Curse of the Temple
Runner Up: Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game

SoC is an interesting play.  A think the traitors have a great advantage at first, but hopefully more plays will allow the heroic players to shine.  Escape was the hands down winner here.  It was the most intense and thrilling 10 minutes of gaming I've ever experienced.

Best Expansion
Winner: 7 Wonders Cities
Runner Up: Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Alliance

More Cosmic is a good thing in my book.  While I don't often get to use the large group cards, they are a very necessary addition to the game.  The rules for team play also work well for large games and teaching multiple new players.

Now, the big one, Game of the Year!
#5 - Lords of Waterdeep - an interesting worker placement game with a decent theme.  I'm not a D&D player, but this has some intriguing ideas to explore.
#4 - Smash Up - I want to play this with more than just 2 players, but even with 2, it's an interesting card game with a lot of replayability.
#3 - Seasons - My most innovative game of the year. A great combination of dice and cards.  Plenty of luck in the game, but still lots of strategy in how you draft and play cards.
#2 - Fleet - Great 3 player game, which is rare.  Works really well with 4 and 2 as well.  Only downside, doesn't support more than 4.  It is the best design of the year in my book.
#1 - Star Wars: X-Wing - My winner because of the epicness of the game.  The ability to recreate movie battles is amazing.  The game is based on squad building ahead of time, but it's a fun dogfighting game that really does feel like Star Wars.

Agree with my list or not, these games aren't bad games.  There are many that I haven't played, so if/when I do, this list may change, but as of right now, these are my thoughts on 2012.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Top 42 Part 2 (35-29)

Welcome back to my Top 42 list. For part one, click here

#35 Kingsburg  Down 8
Kingsburg is another victim of lack of plays, but I also think the game is starting to show it's age.  I still like rolling dice and deciding what to do with them, but it seems like most people play the same strategies every time, even with the expansion.  I think I'd like to play it more with less than 5 people, as I think that would free up the board a bit and give people more variety in the ways they can play.  It is still a fun game for people who like dice as well as some strategy.  I'm still up to play Kingsburg just about any time, since it is

#34 Black Friday New

The first, and only, of the games introduced to me from the weekly gamenight.  That's not to say that other games have been bad, but Black Friday stands above a lot of them.  Black Friday is a stock market game, with a fair bit of math, but not so much that it makes your head hurt.  The game is really about knowing when to buy stock, and when to sell.  It's about managing your money to be able to buy silver(the victory condition) at the right time for the right price. Players have to work together to drive up/down the price of stocks, but there's always the luck of the draw when it comes to market adjustments.

#33 Space Hulk: Death Angel The Card Game Down 16
This is the biggest drop that managed to stay on the list.  It's been hurt by some better co-ops coming into play, but more on those later.  It's also not a theme that everyone enjoys, so it's hard to pull out frequently.  I still enjoy the challenge that Space Hulk presents, but it's a game that I have to be in the right mood to play, and that mood doesn't strike often with the right group.

#32 Lost Cities  New
This is the first of the two player exclusive games on the list.  It's also a classic card game that's been around since 1999, but I didn't get a chance to play it until this past summer.  I've only played a handful of times, but there are a lot of interesting choices to make for a little card game.  There are risk-reward elements to the game, as well as a good deal of interaction with your opponent.  Well, interaction might be a bit strong, but you do have to evaluate what your opponent is doing, and plan your card discards accordingly.  All in all, a quick two player game that is easy to get into, and fun to play.

#31 Ultimate Werewolf  Down 10

As I was looking at the movement from last year to this, Ultimate Werewolf was the big shock.  I don't like this game any less than I did last year, yet it dropped down 10 spots.  I think I had it a bit overrated last year, and some more time to think it over is brought it to a more stable spot.  It's a really fun group game, but I struggle to have the right group for the game.  Still, with the right group, this game is a blast, and a unique social psychology experiment.  Perhaps I'm hurt by often wearing a red shirt, and the Star Trek notion does the rest of the work.

#30 Scary Tales  New
For what is essentially a dice game, Scary Tales is a good deal of fun.  It isn't very strategic, instead it falls into the tactics genre.  It's not a very good game with two, but with 3-5 people it's a neat game to spend about 30 minutes playing.  I really like it at the end of a game night to finish things off, and have some fun rolling dice.  The theme is easy to get into, even if it's not immersive.  It's probably not going to be anyone's favorite game, but I have a lot of fun playing it.

#29 Risk Legacy  Down 6
Yes, this is still Risk, and yes, it is still not Risk.  Legacy still offers a lot of variety to normal Risk.  The packets change the game in really interesting ways that make all players adapt.  The reason it's dropped is because we haven't been able to play it as much as I would like, which leads to about 15 minutes of rules refreshing.  Also, it seems like people are settling into their comfort areas after 5 plays, but I have high hopes that a packet or tray will change that up.  This is still the best way to play Risk, but it is still Risk.  The dice determine a lot, but solid tactical play is rewarded as well.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Top 42 List Intro and 42-36

Welcome to my top 42 games list as of the start of 2013.  Since I have last year's list to compare with, I'll be talking about the changes in positions. There are 9 games new to the list, meaning 9 games fell off the list, and a whopping 20 games moved down, but more on that later.

I plan on making two posts per week for the Top 42 list, one on Tuesday and one on Friday, so tune in often.  For games that were on the list last year, I'm not going to talk much about their gameplay, but rather about why they moved up or down.

#42 The Game of Life: Jedi's Path  Down 7
Yes, Star Wars Life is still clinging to a spot on this list.  It's not a perfect game, but it actually works for a themed mass market game.  There are actual choices to be made in game play.  I don't pull this out often, but I try to play it once in a while, and I would much rather play this than regular "Life."

#41 Say Anything Down 3
Say Anything just got bumped by some games I felt were better.  I like the game as a party experience, but I don't get to play many party games.  It's rare that I have 5-7 people who like party games, so this doesn't get played often, but I'm glad to have it around.

#40 Colossal Arena  Down 4
I still like Colossal Arena.  The monster powers are fun to try to use well, the strategy in how to maximize your cards the right way is deep, and the politicking with fellow players to not kill your monster is a lot of fun or agony, depending on what happens.

#39 Formula D  Down 9
A great racing game than I can actually get my parents to play.  There are a lot of choices to make during the game, but not so many that it feels overwhelming.  The game really does feel like a race, though not at the same speed.  I've seen come from behind wins, and the leader crash out in the 2nd to last corner.  You never know what's going to happen, and that makes it fun to play.

#38 Seasons  New
The first new game to the list.  This was a 2012 Secret Santa gift, and what a success.  The game has multiple paths to victory, a great combination of luck and skill, and a lot of ways to adapt to what other players do.  This is a drafting game. First cards are drafted at the start of the game, and players create 3 hands of 3 cards, one for each year.  Every round, dice are rolled, and players pick one to use this turn. Dice give you energy, summoning points, crystals(VPs), the ability to change energy into points, or a new card.  Most of the time you'll draft a die to help yourself, but sometimes you'll take one just so the next player doesn't get it.  Cards let you do special things, but they require energy and summoning points to bring in to play.  The game has a lot of built in balance in terms of what you can and cannot do.

#37 Tiki Topple  Down 13
Tiki Topple has a special place in my gaming heart, but other games are starting to replace it.  Part of this is due to my sister having it with her at school, so I don't really get to play it, but also because the game need light hearted people to play it.  If it's taken too seriously, it isn't as much fun.

#36 Power Grid  Down 5
Down due to lack of play.  I enjoy Power Grid, but to others in my game group, it's too much like work, which is fair since one works in the power industry.  Power Grid does have some potential problems with money if you don't know how to plan for the end game.  At that point, you can get passed by and left behind by someone who knows how to work the end of the game.  This isn't the most enjoyable experience for new players, so I can't blame people for having a sour taste.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December 2012 and Year End Wrap Up

Happy 2013!

Welcome to January, the month of gym time, futile attempts to shed holiday pounds, and a time of resolutions.  

December was an amazing month for games.  I was able to play in an X-Wing Kessel Run Tournament and take 2nd place, with my friend taking 3rd.  Since I was also the T.O. I got some extra ships, and ended up with Slave 1, a Tie-Interceptor and 2 A-Wings.  Life in the X-Wing realm is really good right now.  I also procured a play surface, just simple black felt 3'x3' but it works really well.  I was also able to attend a meetup at Fuddruckers. (A burger restaurant for those of you who might not know what it is.)  Of course there have been a lot of family get togethers, time with my gaming family and my friend and his siblings.  

December was also a great month because both Secret Santa packages arrived early! Something that's never happened for me, so I'm grateful for that.  Both my targets are reportedly enjoying their games, which is great.  Let's break down the haul.  BGG Santa sent the Romulan Expansion to Star Trek Fleet Captains as well as the Shadows over Camelot Card Game.  Haven't been able to play either, but they both look like good fun.  Dice Tower Santa sent Martian Dice, The Doctor Who Card Game, and Seasons.  I was able to play Martian Dice at gamenight and with some of my cousins and my sister, and it is a fun little game.  There are some interesting choices to be made, but more on that in a future review.  Seasons is also a lot of fun.  The drafting aspects make for an interesting game with a bevy of combos to explore. Doctor Who is a neat little card game.  We had an odd shuffle so our game felt weird, but there's good promise there.  My gaming family surprised me the day after Christmas with Star Trek Catan.  We don't play Catan much anymore, but I think this might breath some new life into it.  

What got playing in December?
  • Tsuro x7
  • Werewolf x7
  • Incan Gold x6
  • Seasons x4
  • X-Wing x4
  • Dixit x2
  • Escape: Curse of the Temple x2
  • Martian Dice x2
  • No Thanks x2
  • 7 Wonders x1
  • Airlines Europe x1
  • Archaeology: The Card Game x1
  • Black Friday x1
  • Doctor Who: Card Game x1
  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue x1
  • Formula D x1
  • High Society x1
  • Smash Up x1
  • TransAmerica x1
  • Village x1
  • Word on the Street x1
  • SR Test x1
Total 49 plays

That brings the YTD total to 324, which is mission accomplished!

December was a really slow month for posts, but January will pick up again.  Looking ahead to 2013, there are some good things ahead.  

The holidays tend to involve a lot of game playing for me, which is great, but it means that this takes a bit of a back seat.  But never fear, I'll be back on a regular posting schedule soon, hopefully in the next two weeks.

My current review queue is a bit up in the air. I've had a realization lately that people don't seem to really care about a review for a game that isn't the new hot thing, so I'm going to try something a little different.  I want to take a longer look at games and offer my insights into them.  Sometimes it takes 5-10 plays to see what a game has to offer.  So that's my new goal, to play a game 5-10 times (depending on length) before I review it.  Because of this I'll be altering the format of my reviews, and reviews will be a bit less frequent.

And now, a look back at what I wrote in 2011 with updates on how they went.

And without further delay, my 2012 gaming desires/resolutions which will probably not work but hey it's nice to dream big.
  • Play every game I own that I've yet to play at least once (Big time FAIL. I've actually gained more games that need to be played.)
  • Finish Risk Legacy (I've now finished 5 games, hopefully more soon. This could take a few years to finish)
  • Log 300 game plays (Done. 300 was X-Wing which happened on December 22. My total for the year was 324)
  • Trade/give away the games I won't ever play (Partially done. I have a few more games to trade, but I think this is an ongoing process)
  • Introduce at least one new person to Cosmic Encounter (Done in April to 2 new people. Also taught 3 more through Monday Night Game Night.)
  • Organize a micro tournament of Dominion with my friends, most likely online. (Accomplished. I ended up 3rd, lost in the semi-finals, won the consolation.)
  • Finish design work on my own board game design and start playtesting by June. (Actually started playtesting in May, then revised heavily in June, and kept playing. I've sent out prototype copies to a few people to playtest and report back.)
  • I will also predict that Eminent Domain will be my most played game of the year.  (Ha! So Wrong. I played it 4 times, which is T-14 for the year. Tsuro was my most played game, which would have been impossible to predict since I didn't own it until the summer.)
Overall, not bad. I managed to get in the game plays, expanding the love for Cosmic Encounter, a Dominion Tourney, and game design.  That counts as a major success.
I managed to play 78 unique games, which was an enjoyable time.  I didn't realize that number was so high until I started listing them out.

And now, without further delay, the 2013 BoBG gaming goals

  • 365 game plays
  • Play 20+ games 5+ times, and play 10+ games 10+ times. (Yes, overlap exists here)
  • Play 100 unique games. For instance, Ticket to Ride US and Europe do NOT count as different games for this purpose. Same goes for Wits and Wagers -Base/Family/Party - only one counts there. A game and then the card or dice version would count as 2 different things.  Basically the game has to have a different name.
  • Play a game with 50 different people. (Not all at once, that would be one epic game of Werewolf/Mafia. These don't have to be new people.)
  • Finish Risk Legacy (Worth trying this again)
  • Teach Cosmic Encounter to at least one new person (I think this is going to be a staple goal)
  • Attend a gaming convention
  • Further the development of current game designs and think up new ones.
  • Play every game I own, as of the start of 2013, that I haven't played.
  • I'll also predict Incan Gold as my most played game of 2013.
And now for the Nickel and Dime wrap for 2012. Dimes are games that were played 10+ times, Nickels are games that were played 5-9 times.

  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Dominion
  • Incan Gold
  • No Thanks!
  • Pizza Theory
  • Scary Tales
  • Tsuro
  • X-Wing
  • Colossal Arena
  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue
  • For Sale
  • Tiki Topple
  • Werewolf

If you have suggestions for games I should review, feel free to leave a comment, or head over to the BoBG facebook page and vote there.  

Thank-you everyone(nearly 20,000 page views) for reading, commenting, tweeting, re-tweeting, etc. You all are the reason I keep writing articles. 
Have a blessed and safe 2013.