Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue: 5 (+2)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 - Team Asia & Legendary Asia: 5 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 - United Kingdom & Pennsylvania: 4 (+1)
Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon: 4 (+1)
Fairy Tale: 4 (+1)
Witness: 3 (+1)
Bunny Bunny Moose Moose: 3 (+1)
Quadropolis: 3 (*New*)
Koryo: 3 (*New*)
The Ravens of Thri Sahashri: 2 (*New*)
Sky Traders: 2 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 - Nederland: 2 (+1)
Archipelago: 2 (+1)
Pictomania: 2 (*New*)
2 off the top and 4 new ones added means not much change in the
A year's worth of trying to push games off this list has come and gone and a total of 82 games have appeared on this list.
32 of them have been played until they moved off the list.
2 of them where sold.
19 haven't been played at all in the year.
Of the remaining 29 the breakdown is as follows:
3 with one play left .
12 with two plays left.
8 with three plays left.
5 with four plays left.
1 has five plays left.
So here's the thing, I haven't really made progress. Games have been played and moved off the list, but new games always seem to fill in the bottom ranks. That list of 19 that haven't moved at all just are games that just sit there. Now I'm a fan of playing a large variety of games (heck my most played is on 40 plays. Summoner Wars is only fractionally behind on 39).
I'm a fairly classic cult of the new player, I see something new and shiny, buy it, play it a few times and then cast it aside.
I've spoken elsewhere about mastery being boring. But the same can be true of the reverse. We've had games that we've played down the pub where we enjoyed them and can see great strategic play lying just under the surface, which a few more plays will reveal. We'll follow up on that at some point. Maybe. After we've tried this new game that someone has just got.
I'm also prone to burning out on games and not returning to them. The 10x10 lists I did/failed to complete really burnt me out of a few of my favourite games. I haven't played Space Alert for almost two years, same with Hive.
So what's the trick? Well I could stop buying games again, but that doesn't seem to the problem, only 1/3rd (although I acknowledge that that is still a significant amount) of my remaining games and plays come from games purchased since I started.
I could sell everything I haven't played in the year. But the idea of that makes me go a little weak at the knees.
I could push these games onto people more. But we have plenty of fun as it is.
I think the solution is to be sensible. Sell those games I'm umming and ahhing about (especially those that haven't been played in a year), as well as those promos for games I don't own. Remind myself of the rules for those games I want to play again (Rex and Mage Knight I'm looking at you) and don't be afraid of teaching something more complex and returning to it later. Oh and try not to buy too many new games, especially those big complex games I'll then be terrified to teach people, or those two player games that I rarely get a chance to play.
Until next time (who knows I might actually have sold some stuff by then).
A short blog in which I look at every game in my collection with less than 5 plays - and try to rectify that.
08 Aug 2016
- [+] Dice rolls
06 Jun 2016
Movers and Shakers:
The Big Book of Madness: 5 (+1)
Creationary: 5 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 - Team Asia & Legendary Asia: 4 (+1)
The Great Fire of London 1666: 3 (+1)
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game: 3 (+1)
Gloom - Sold.
Elder Sign - Sold.
A couple of games off the top of the list and the first couple sold. It's a good start to my annual cull (which unfortunately did not happen at UKGE this year due to my cousins wedding).
This was always going to be the hardest one to write about. Like the previous posts there a mix of the played a lot prior to logging, and the long and complex games.
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
My copy of this is full to bursting as I've loaded the expansions in. A brutal co-op that feels claustrophobic. I picked this up without ever having played Space Hulk (the board game) and having since played it I believe it does capture the Space Marine side of play quite nicely but can feel random and frustrating at times.
League of Six
League of Six was a bit of impulse purchase at the UKGE last year and fell fairly flat the one time we played it. I think people where expecting a game of traders as opposed to extortion through guards. It's on my list for giving it another shot and not just consigned to the sell pile.
Giant, sprawling, 4X Eurogame? Sign me up and then some. I loved the one game we played and then... onto the shelf and the rules have leaked out of my head. The standard list of excuses trot out around this - I need the right number of people in the right situation. Despite the fact that I managed to play this initially (short game) in an evening!
Okay - this one really does take most of a day. Played a few times before I started logging plays and just the once since then. In my mind it is this epic detective tale, but last time I just stayed on the moon and became a victory point machine, using all evidence to dig further into the conspiracy and exchanging favours - it didn't feel like the epic detective tale I remember (then again this was my first play as Floyd). I can't bring myself to consider selling it at the moment, but I haven't made an effort to play it in over a year.
Rex: Final Days of an Empire
From the 'not sold for sentimental reasons' to the 'not played for no reason I can put my finger on'. I have played two games of Rex (one pre logging) and loved both games - last time we lost as both me and my teammate where trying to burn bright and win completing our secret objective. Once our blitzkrieg failed we burnt out. Heck my partner in crime lost everything leaving me to try and win basically by myself. Tales of great battles spawn from this game - but for some reason I still doesn't get the play it deserves.
The Uncharted Seas
This takes me back. My entry into miniatures based wargames was Firestorm Armada (now sold). Then I bought heavily into Dystopian Wars, and finally Dev convinced me to go full Spartan and buy into Uncharted Seas. I only bought the one fleet and kept it fairly streamlined (unlike the sprawling mess that is my DW armies - or any Spartan Games rulebook). I enjoyed Dev demolishing me in the one game of it we played but boardgames have taken over our group and so the miniatures are relegated to the back providing not enough for the rules investment required. I might try and sell these on, or see if I can find someone willing to spare an afternoon moving stuff around the table and not compare it to Star Wars: Armada or X-Wing.
From a miniatures based wargame I blame Dev for to a miniatures based wargame I blame Dev for. Man the variety here is wicked. Unlike the full scale naval conflicts of Uncharted Seas Necromunda focuses on skirmish level engagements. I bought myself a gang and painted them up and we managed to hit the table in a quick game in which I shot one of Devs dudes to pieces before he retreaded. I sort of enjoyed it but it reminded me of things like LoS rules. We discussed a bit about doing a Necromunda session when Dev is back in the UK...
I hope I'm not the only one for whom things fall in and out of favour... This game was in favour for a while with my family until my younger brother managed to basically (if not actually) win off a single grog trade. Ideas to tinker with Grog have mulled around my head for a while but I'm yet to be able to try and put one into practice. This is one I should force back onto the table soon and see how it all holds up.
Magic: The Gathering
Yeah - This is definitely a "played a lot at Uni, just that once since logging plays". Tried to flog off my old collection at one point and will get round to doing it again. I have no decks build and whilst I hear that M:tG has returned to Zendikar my days there are long gone.
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa
Ah - the last of the Ticket To Ride Map Collections. The one that introduced terrain cards and clumped all of the colours into large blocks. By far my least favourite map collection. I should play it again, but it will almost certainly be the last one under five plays.
I remember this game fondly from my early days of game soc (for those of you playing the drinking game that's another three fingers). These days the play time seems too long for what it is, many other games do co-op or traitor play better and this just does seem to drag. I should play it again if just to confirm my opinion.
And that is the lot. I'm making real progress on the list now (finally, almost a year after starting) and I think the next step is going to be to actually start selling some of the games (and those random promos I have lying about). Not sure what topic will hit me next to talk about, But I'll try and ensure it isn't quite as... list like as these last few have been.
- [+] Dice rolls
12 May 2016
Movers and Shakers:
Lords of Waterdeep: 5 (+1)
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King: 5 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania: 3 (+1)
Prodigals Club: 3 (+1)
Fairy Tale: 3 (*New*)
Gloom: 2 (+1)
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization: 2 (+1)
Castles of Burgundy: 1 (*New*)
City of Horror: 0 (*New*)
A fairly quiet month where I undid my progress with two purchases and picking up something I had bought off Dev ages ago.
Continuing down this path of self reflection with those games that had been played twice when I started this and still have been played twice.
Bunny Bunny Moose Moose
[Insert witty thing written in rhyme]
[Fail to find the energy to draft something up]
I want to like Bunny Bunny Moose Moose. It seems like a silly game - the kind we use to start a day. But the first time we played it was overcrowded, and the second time we played had issues... The problem is that it's more mathematical than it appears and that turns off key members of my gaming group.
Two Vlaada Games on this list? Some form of sacrilege! [Todo: Idle curiosity of the breakdown of the less than 5 grouping by publisher, designer, play time, etc.] Mage Knight was one of my earliest purchases - and to back that statement up I went and found the order date: 12 Jan 2012. It wasn't dispatched for another four and a half months but it was ordered early. It was ordered along with Agricola which sits on a healthy 12 plays. Anyway, Mage Knight did manage a couple of plays prior to play logging and sits as one of the only games I have played solo. Mage Knight is a complex interlocked beast of a game... which like most of the big games I need to sit down, re-learn and then find someone to play this with a few times in rapid succession. It's just getting those initial games played.
The Great Fire of London 1666
This game was played during my first UK Games Expo and then the first edition was massively discounted in a clearance so my brother bought it for me for Christmas. We managed a family game at the same Christmas do but since then it has sat on my shelf. I keep thinking I should get it out next time I have a large group of people and never quite getting to that spot.
Hex Hex XL
I think "Games I bought because I remember them being fun at Uni" needs it's own camp - this game of magical hot potato is definitely one of them. I'm not sure why I bought it, and I don't know when I'll play it - but I can't quite bring myself to try and sell it. Which is ridiculous for several reasons including that this is the "XL" version which involves a bunch of wooden sticks making the box size that of a normal game box and not a small card box.
.... This might be the representation of everything wrong with my earlier buying habits. I owned Gloom when I bought this. I bought it almost solely for the Cthulhu theme. I bought it because you could potentially combine the two sets or have lots of people playing Gloom at once! I bought it because I remembered good times with Gloom at Uni.
To top it off I played Gloom (original, which was on the Those that Haven't moved: 1 list before I did manage to get a game off) and I enjoyed it for the opening few minutes. Then it dragged. It kept on dragging. I ended up playing for the game to finish. Next time I sell stuff (which will unfortunately not be the UKGE bring and buy as I'm not going due to a family wedding) this will be part of it. As will Gloom most likely be.
Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box
I have great memories of this game from University - however (unlike the two above) I also have great memories of this game since uni. So why is it here? The answer to that is a lack of theatrically inclined in my group. A number of them don't do well on the improv so we go for Braggart instead. Braggart doesn't quite scratch the itch that Aye does. I just need that right group of people without anyone who leads to an instant veto on the game being around.
Ah Catan - you exist in my collection as a classic. A large number of people in my gaming group will mention that they have never played you and then you don't manage to come off the shelf. You stay for your heritage - not your gameplay.
Next post I shall cover those with just a single play that have stayed that way for almost a year. Hopefully I will also bring those numbers down to an all time low by knocking another two games and 6 plays off the list. Hopefully.
- [+] Dice rolls
06 Apr 2016
Movers and Shakers:
Ticket to Ride: 5 (+1)
Mascarade: 5 (+1)
Lords of Waterdeep: 4 (+1)
Loony Quest: 4 (+1)
The Big Book of Madness: 4 (+1)
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King: 4 (+4)
Rokoko: 2 (+2)
Prodigals Club: 1 (+1)
I've been more focused on playing through other games (including finishing off Pandemic Legacy: Season 1) but still managed a few from the list. Noticeable Isle of Skye has rocketed up to 4 plays already and Rokoko managed its first play. I also managed to push two games that started with 4 plays off the list, bringing me back below 50 games to get off the list.
On the side of the coin to those that have moved out of the list are those games that haven't moved at all.
Of 55 games that have on this list since the start 26 of them haven't moved at all.
The breakdown across categories is as such:
Games on 4 plays: 2 (25% of starting number)
Games on 3 plays: 4 (16% of starting number)
Games on 2 plays: 7 (58% of starting number)
Games on 1 play: 12 (66% of starting number)
Games on 0 plays: 1 (25% of starting number)
As trying to cover 26 games in a single would lead to general apathy as well as either very short descriptions or an incredibly long post I'm going cover them in groups. So today I tackle the three smallest groups, those on four plays, three plays, and that one with still no plays. Next time I'll deal with 2 plays, before finally sinking my teeth into those I have only played the once. The issue with all of that is that I could well play some or all of the games before I cover them (this has been the case with four games which was played between drafting and posting this).
Anyone who knows my gaming habits (or followed my old blog) will not be surprised by this. Diplomacy has long been my bugbear in terms of getting it played. It's fun - but it takes all day and is likely to lead to someone trying to kill someone else by the end of it. Even the online games I have done in the past peter out over time. I'm aware I could probably get forum plays done here on the geek but I find a lot of the fun comes from knowing my opponents (I'm always weary about R as I can't trust him. I can trust V to betray me at any given opportunity). I also don't log online plays (although I do log play by email - go figure). Will this see play? Probably, eventually. Maybe. Will I sell it? No - it's too much of a classic.
It's Pictionary with Lego instead of drawing! This is how I sell the game to people, and it often works. The issue is that it requires a pictionary type setting to play, so whilst it is enjoyed the time doesn't often seem right.
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia
I believe that of the three logged games only one is of the team side of the map - which is a shame as I really enjoyed that variant when we played it. The Legendary Asia side is a nice alternative to US and Europe for 5 players, but the Team Asia side really stands out as something fresh and interesting. Unfortunately when we are playing TTR it tends to be either an introduction to TTR or something where most of us keep only half our mind on it. In neither case does the team game fit. I might have to make it an aim.
Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak
Zombicide S1 remains an all time favourite of mine. It was the dangerous first Kickstarter that showed me that Kickstarter games could be all they promised. Rapid, Co-op, shooty death. The season 2 kickstarter was a must back and unfortunately they over complicated the whole thing. We now have two additional types of Zombies as well as dogs. I maintained some sense by keeping S1 separate (and free of alternative zombie types) but the last game of S2 spent a fair amount of time working out what the different zombie types did and it became something we really had to think through as opposed to something we just played. I'm not really sure why I backed S3 after this, but it has seen play since this list started. I will probably get S2 off the shelf before long to see how it holds up.
From the Kickstarter series that kick started me kickstarting to the one that kick started my realisation that not all that is kick starts as a star and that that you kicked may start to kick you by not starting (... I'll stop now). From the designer of Arkham Horror (an old love that get's a free pass on many things from me) comes a storytelling game where you are a film noir detective. If you want my interest then the words "film noir" are a good pair of words to use. Unfortunately my group don't go for improvisation much and the game element of this game is very much a sideline. We tried a home rule version where we each controlled our own detective and it worked better but not enough to save it. I took it to the UKGE bring and buy last year and failed to sell it. I will probably try and sell it again at another point in time.
I bought Suburbia as one of my 14 games in 2014, played it a few times and mentioned in my recap that it had "faded into relative obscurity in my collection". I've clocked up one more play since I wrote that. My criticisms hold true that the checks seem long winded and the game feels rather like a book-keeping exercise. It really doesn't help that I've since played the Castles of Mad King Ludwig which I felt was just a better version. I'll probably give this another shot to a) get it off this list and b) confirm my feelings. After that though it may well be sold.
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game
One of the first games to make it into my collection. A gift from a pair of friends (along with the "Dark Tales" expansion) that really appeals to the improv thespian in me. Unfortunately a few of my regular gamers aren't the storytelling type so this (along with things like "Aye Dark Overlord" and others) don't see as much play as I would like.
- [+] Dice rolls
29 Feb 2016
Movers and Shakers:
Chrononauts: 5 (+2)
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries: 5 (+1)
Between Two Cities: 5 (*New*)
Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon: 3 (+1)
Mystery Express: 2 (+1)
Elder Sign: 2 (+1)
Opus-Dei: Existence After Religion: 1 (+1)
Fields of Arle: 1 (+1)
Bomber Command: 1 (+1)
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King: 0 (*New*)
Two new games (but one of them quickly exiting the list), a look at the older games and a couple of solo games (Fields of Arle and Elder Sign) gave a nice rounded outlook on this set. A game of Bomber Command has lead this list to swell in the middle a bit like a bell curve.
This is a quick look at those games that have moved on beyond 5 plays and my thoughts on them.
Game: Lost Legacy
Whilst 4 lost legacy entries have appeared in my list briefly (Starship, Flying Garden, Second Chronicle, and Third Chronicle) the key part of that is briefly. These fit a filler game niche that gives us something quick, accessible, and variable. They hit the game group table regularly and often back to back. Glad I invested and I like the variety offered (although some sets are prefered to others). These never last long on the list.
Patchwork was me breaking my own attempt to stop myself from buying two player games. I'm glad I did. This has the benefit of being quick to teach and play but with enough depth that people come back for game after game. This was on the list for a month and keeps being played fairly regularly.
Timeline again fits into the quick to play group which allows us to use it as a palate cleanser between the meaty games. Incredibly simple to explain and can be played with a range of players. I see this getting regular use and possibly expanded.
Just to get this clear - I didn't buy this. It was a free game given away as part of the Asmodee bag o'goodies at the UKGE. Adamant denial aside this fills the same slot as Zombie Dice (because it's a retheme) in that it's a push your luck dice game that we can play in 5 minutes. It will continue to see occasional use.
Dixit is an interesting one - we've added a couple of house rules (the first is 'everyone must understand [or not] the language equally', and now we've added 'no one word clues') and it sees semi-regular play. Journey was the flavour I picked for my set as... well basically someone had base Dixit, someone had Odessey so I got the one no one had in the group. I will continue cropping up from time to time with gaming groups.
Lords of Vegas
Lords of Vegas is a favourite of mine. I can't think of a game with such wonderfully integrated theme and mechanics, a lot of the actions are a gamble - but this is Vegas, so that's fine. I got the UP expansion a while back but need a good excuse to get this to the table with 6. Again a game that sees irregular play (normally prefixed with "Oh we haven't played Lords of Vegas in a while").
One of the group got this last year and I ended up picking up my own copy when it was on sale. Frantic, funny, fast, other complimentary words beginning with F. I was initially worried that the novelty would wear off - and it sort of has. I ended up bringing two copies of the expansion back from Essen (one for me, one for a friend) and neither has seen play yet. That is in part due to Pandemic Legacy taking over our regular week day gaming session.
The grand daddy of the deck builder and one of the few I have in my collection. Another in the line of games I feel I should own. I am on the record saying that I'm apathetic towards deck builders, but I found myself really enjoying the last two games of Dominion I played. I think I'll still rather go some of the other deck builders out there, it stays for more than just being the origin of deck builders.
Spyfall was, unsurprisingly, not on this list for very long. Useful for a quick start to game days our meta has it's own in-joke questions ("How's the tan coming along?" *sound of V trying to kill whoever asked*), recently supplanted by Codenames as our goto starter - but no doubt it will return.
Code of Nine
Oh boy Code of Nine was so much more than I was expecting. I love this game for it's strange back and forth - it's twists of bluffing and double bluffing. Watching people give, take, exchange, or harness as they desire. A game where a single move can flip your perspective on it's head, and working around that. All in a very short worker placement game. Does it sound like I like this? Because I really like this.
I loved the look of this a small game - but I find it fairly frustrating. I almost like so many aspects of it - the market, great idea but horribly swingy. The combos require things and it's never obvious what can go where. You try to build an engine and just as it feels it's getting going the game stops. I few more games of this will definitely see play - but mostly to determine if those niggles spring forth into fully fledged irritations or become part of the learning process.
So I'm unashamedly a Vlaada fan and after my first game of this at UKGE I wasn't going to be missing this. Easy to introduce to any group and quick to cause stories when the spymaster gives a clue which everyone in the room gets - apart from their team.
Dice City was one of the games on my "play if possible" list at Essen. Managed to get a game off on the last day and immediately regretted not having the bag space for it. Fast forward to my pub secret santa and I get a note on my package saying it that Dice City was also on it's way. From there it didn't take much to get it played out, quick and scratching that city builder where the randomness is controllable.
One of the 8 games that had 4 plays when this list started. It was finally knocked off it in Jan. I've said time and again that mood is the most important element for this game, it relies on the wonder of discovery and so I tend to put it back on my shelf after a play and let it sit for ages. It will come out again, maybe even soon. But if it is soon then it will have to fade before it comes out again.
Small World is one of the games that doesn't really belong here. Played to death before I logged plays and still being played online it's just the physical version that only makes the odd appearance. Another one of the 8 that started on 4 plays, and knocked off in the same gaming session as Tokaido, we enjoyed ourselves as much as we ever do.
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland
The first of the vast quantity of Ticket to Ride maps to make it off this list - India is one of my favourites as the bonus for completing a route twice makes it a really tight map. Perhaps the lowest scoring of the maps we play but still a great experience. Also more stressful than most of them. Switzerland is another good map, but very high scoring given the country based tickets.
Star Wars: Armada
Not long owned when I started the list and my game of the year last year. It's progress off the list was entirely predictable - a tester game and then getting V hooked.
Another one of the heavily played before I logged plays group, I got this out with V&V and we knocked it off the lid. Mostly play Forbidden Desert instead of this, but nice to keep it in the collection.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Purchased at Essen, and then rapidly removed from the list as we settled into the regular pub game of this. We'll play it through to the end - I don't think it will take that long.
One of my first board game purchases (not my first, but probably within the first 10) and played heavily at Uni Game Soc. I got this back out with V&V and we enjoyed it in an almost nostalgic manner. It's definitely very heavily luck based and I often say it's a game that other people win for you (e.g. one player is patching the timeline and happens to patch into your timeline) but it kinda works.
Between Two Cities
At the other end of the scale this has entered the group as the new hot filler and played it's way out of the list almost immediately. Taking 20 minutes (if that) we tend to be playing games back to pack. Yet to try a massive game of it, but the groups response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
The latest off the list is the second TTR pack. Nordic is seen as the go-to three player version and I can see the point of that. I'd recommend it to people looking for a core game with a limited player count, but if you already own US or Europe I'd go for India & Switzerland above it.
- [+] Dice rolls
04 Feb 2016
Movers and Shakers:
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1: 6 (+3)
Tokaido: 5 (+1)
Small World: 5 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland :5 (+1)
Star Wars: Armada: 5 (+1)
The Big Book of Madness: 3 (+1)
Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon: 2 (+1)
So I ran some of the data. I picked up on an error in my calculations and went through some history. The result was that I am in a better position than when I started. But only very slightly. I'm also doing worse. Slightly. To keep track of progress there are three numbers I want to know.
Games: - Number of games on the list.
Plays: - Minimum number of plays to get all of these games off the list.
Average: - Plays/Games (calculated to two significant figures)
When I started (27th July 2015) the numbers where as followed:
My current stats are as follows:
So 2/3 of them are better - I've knocked 3 games off the list and two plays. This has the unfortunate side effect of upping the average remaining plays per game. What this really shows though is that in the six months I've been doing this there has been little to no change. Heck of the six games knocked off in Jan three of them where done as part of a game day where I showed my friends the list and so we played games at the top of it, another was one I was discussing with the V's and so played. Those final two where Star Wars: Armada and Pandemic Legacy - neither games long destined for this list. But a journey is more than it's origin and destination, we have to look at the path taken so far.
The period where I was doing my best was August/September last year. In August I reach my all time average low (2.8) and then in September I knocked a further two games (and four plays) off the list to take them down to 144 plays of 50 games (but an average of 2.9).
Then Essen happened and my numbers jumped to 165 plays of 56 games (2.9) - my highest numbers for all bar the average. November was a good month for plays with 11 plays and a net 3 games off the list, but December brought us right back up to 56 games and 163 plays remaining - the same number of plays as when the whole thing started 6 months previous!
The problem here is that you can roughly divide the games in the less than five plays list into two camps. The transient and the non-movers.
The transient are fairly easy to identify. They are the games that get bought, played, and rapidly leave the list (or at least make good progress). Of the 19 games added to the list since the start (allowing for backdating and acknowledging that I've made a mistake somewhere and missed something) 8 of them have achieve more than 5 plays already, and 6 more have been played since I owned them. Of the 55 initial games 21 have made progress of some description (14 have managed to escape the list). These are games that I don't worry about.
But then there are the rest.
Those games that have sat there unplayed since the start. I can come up with a host of reasons for this ("It's a long game" "I need to reteach myself the rules" "I need 6 people" "I play other TTR maps") they are still things that have sat on my shelf unmoving. Some of these are games that where there towards the start of my collection, back before I logged plays, but others are more recent acquisitions.
What is interesting is the numbers as I see them, those that wave their way through the rankings moving from four left one month, to two left the next, and gone shortly after. Like fish swimming through a sea of sludge.
If I want to bring those numbers down I need to start tackling the sludge, but as I said last time I'm going to try and not let the list rule my gaming decisions - however this is something I want to keep a lazy eye on. Let's see what moves on it's own and what I have to kick start. Next time: Something focused on a game or two and not the lot as a whole.
- [+] Dice rolls
12 Jan 2016
Movers and Shakers:
Forbidden Island: 5 (+2)
Dice City: 5 (+1)
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1: 3 (+3 - should have been in the last update)
The Big Book of Madness: 2 (+1)
Arctic Scavengers: 1 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 – Nederland: 1 (*New but not new - somehow been missed this entire time*)
Fields of Arle: 0 (*New*)
Rococo: 0 (*New*)
Having not had a long time between the last update and this one there isn't a huge amount to go through. I found I'd missed Pandemic Legacy and Ticket To Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 - Nederland from my system so they haven't been being updated. Beyond that I was mostly focused on recent (read: Secret Santa) acquisitions although turning to V&V and saying "I haven't played this in ages and it's fantastic" did get Forbidden Island off the list. I also piggybacked R's order to pick up a couple of games I've been wanting (Fields of Arle should be a surprise to no-one who knows my farming game addiction but Rococo probably is).
The new year has begun and it's been a relative slow start to gaming but progress continues to be made. Unfortunately the two new additions pushes me slightly further away from completion but Jan purchases are the norm for me. That having been said I am now down to 148 plays across 57 games when I started on 163 across 55 (errors in record keeping notwithstanding).
I feel I should try and chart that at some point, see what the ups and downs have been. From there I can extrapolate how this is going to go [https://xkcd.com/605/].
But the general idea for the new year is simple:
Play those on the list.
Play those off the list.
Play those I've not played in a while.
Play those that I played recently.
Play those I 'burnt out on'.
Teach those 'hard to teach' games.
Keep the list in mind - but don't let it dictate decisions.
Sell those games I don't enjoy.
And try not to buy too many of them.
I did the deliberately restrictive purchases two years ago now (see my other blog 14 in 14) so this isn't a strict "You can only buy this many games/none at all!" instead it's a note that I should ease off the purchases - especially for things that are already covered by our group (minis heavy ameritrash anyone?).
Burning out on games is something I blame the original (2014) 10x10 list for in the most part. Of my original 10x10 I played three of them in 2015 - I've talked elsewhere about variety being the spice of life and this is proof that I burn out and games and shelve them for a long period of time if things get repetitive.
As for teaching - well I have some games I mentally assume are hard to teach and avoid introducing people to. This leads to a negative spiral as I introduce my brother to them and then play against him a lot. The end result is that I'm afraid to introduce it to people and tend to be better (or at least a lot quicker) than them when I do.
Anyhey - in amongst that (and as an excuse for not blogging often) I've gone and thrown the current state of affairs up as a geeklist [https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/202930/tragically-underpl...]. It will be kept up to date but I will still start blog posts with the Movers and Shakers list.
- [+] Dice rolls
Movers and Shakers:
Codenames: 7 (+6)
Royal Goods: 5 (+4)
Spyfall: 5 (+1)
Code of Nine: 5 (+1)
Star Wars: Armada: 4 (+2)
Dice City: 4 (*New*)
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar: 3 (+1)
Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary: 3 (+1)
Zombicide: Season 3 Rue Morgue: 3 (+1)
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game: 2 (+1)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania: 2 (+2)
Book of Madness: 1 (*New*)
They Come Unseen: 1 (*New*)
Arctic Scavengers: 0 (*New*)
Opus-Dei: Existence After Religion: 0 (*New*)
Comments: Some good progress with both quick games and longer games over the past couple of months. Royal Goods managed to see a couple of pub outings and two on the train. Codenames and Spyfall kicked off one of the game days (which also knocked Code of Nine on the head and got another play of Dungeon Lords). Tzolk'in got a pub play - mostly based on the arrival of the expansion from my pub group Secret Santa (who also gave me Dice City - 1 play was pre-existing from Essen and the other three where two player with my brother). Both sides of the TtR Map Pack 5 have been played - UK with family and Pennsylvania with friends, and both are good maps (although the UK one outshines Pennsylvania by my reckoning.) Dead of Winter and Zombicide S3 happened in a zombie themed gaming day with V&V (they then went on the play S3 with N at the game day whilst I was introducing others to Dungeon Lords). I've also just introduced Armada to V which has lead to him beating me as both Imperial and Rebel - although our last game let me return the favour with the MC80. Codenames got the honour of being the Christmas game to break up the courses. The Big Book of Madness was an opening game at a small game day, and They Come Unseen was a post work game.
All in all a good two months of gaming.
With Christmas done I think I can (fairly) safely say that the games for it have already arrived. We've done our pub secret santa, my generous BGG secret santa has delivered his gifts, and I've exchanged presents with those of my friends most likely to give me a boardgame (V&V).
So what did I end up with?
Well - as I do so enjoy chronological order (as my "New to Me" posts show) I'll cover them as such.
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies
The first of two gifts from my pub Secret Santa is the expansion to Tzolk'in which I received off my BGG Secret Santa last year. We played a game down the pub the next week introducing the expansion. Both of the major parts (tribes and prophecies) change the game nicely - the tribes giving you unique powers and the prophecies creating victory point conditions that trigger 1/2 way through, 3/4 of the way through and at the end. They focus and reward forward planning but should hopefully stop the discovery of an optimal route. All in all a great expansion. (For those wondering it also introduces a 5th player - but we played with 3).
Attached to the outside of the above expansion was a note "IOU Dice City" - apparently it had been ordered and hadn't arrived. It did allow me to work out who gave to me (could it possibly have been the one who went to Essen with me and played this?). True to his word a couple of weeks letter (when it had arrived in the post) I received Dice City. It's a light city builder which I thoroughly enjoy. Need to see if it will fit on the pub table.
Next (by virtue of when I picked up the parcels I had missed) we have my BGG Secret Santa:
Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon
I'm on record as saying that I find deck builders a bit meh (although I started to really enjoy a game of dominion the other day - and that surprised me). But that having been said this has a number of things that made me feel I would enjoy it. First and foremost the setting. I love a good post apocalypse setting - and the artwork of the cards really draws me into this theme. Secondly the skirmish phase aka real interaction is a deck builder - colour me intrigued. This is backed up by the SUSD review of it [link]
The Big Book of Madness
By virtue of being slightly down the package next is The Big Book of Madness - whilst this is listed as a deck builder you're building your resources as a deck as opposed to your actions. Also it's Co-op game. Our first game went... well - we misplayed a key card (we think - confirming) and lost (badly) to the dragon who happened to be on the last page. A few questions for the FAQ but enjoyment of the puzzle all round and a great excitement for jumping back in (once things have been clarified).
Opus-Dei: Existence After Religion
And third and finally in my BGG Secret Santa package was... Opus-Dei - no idea. I've looked briefly at it a couple of times and then bounce onto reading the rules of games I'm going to be pushing to the table.
Lastly (by which I mean several hours after opening the package from my Secret Santa) I got from V&V:
They Come Unseen
So V&V live down the road from me and V is my regular two player gaming partner. He beats me at Sekigahara, X-wing, and Armada regularly (occasionally I get a win in return) and we have an interest in military things (he's the only person bar R I will probably play Bomber Command with). Anyhey - they gave me this and we just managed to get a 4 player (with H providing the 4th player). It was guys vs girls with me hitting three of our four targets and V hitting just one of them. The turning points where:
1) first round where the girls miscalculated the distance we could be from starting and thus missed us when they could have landed two clear shots on us
2) a mine strip laid out by bravo which stopped a second destroyer from coming in and finishing off V - crippling their fleet and letting us hit the last two objectives.
I feel like I should do a year end "where this is and where it's going" post - but I'm going to be doing my New to Me Best of the Year (and New to Me this month) list over the next few days so maybe I'll get round to it. Maybe.
- [+] Dice rolls
28 Oct 2015
Movers and Shakers:
Lost Legacy: Third Chronicle – Sacred Grail & Staff of Dragons: 6 (*New*)
Dominion: 5 (+2)
Code of Nine: 4 (*New*)
Tragedy Looper: 3 (+1)
Prodigals Club: 1 (*New*)
Codenames: 1 (*New*)
Royal Goods: 1 (*New*)
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization: 1 (*New*)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania: 0 (*New*)
Pandemic Legacy: 0 (*New*)
Comments: Given that I've basically been at Essen since the last post this is basically a confession of the purchases made there. Lost Legacy was played repeatedly at the show, the airport and then on the airplane. Code of Nine had a demo game prior to pickup, one after purchase in Essen and two at pub gaming. Prodigals Club and Codenames had demo games at UKGE. Royal Goods got a game on Thursday evening that drifted into Friday morning (and was interrupted by an online game of TTR:US) and Through the Ages was played on Saturday. It basically took all of Saturday but it was a really good game. Not included in the above list are the expansions (1x Galaxy Trucker, Task Kalar, Tragedy Looper, and Colt Express) which I won't log plays against and the Advent Calendar - because it's an Advent Calendar and you don't really play it.
Edit: this post took longer to write than it meant to (still no internet at home - blame BT) so a game of Tragedy Looper and two of Dominion joined the rest.
It finally happened. I finally went to Essen. The big board gaming event every year. An item to check off my bucket list and to improve my credibility as a Board Gaming Geek. Before this I was a faux-geek, all the hours of rules learning and explanation, the game days, the wall of board games, the thousands of hours of playing games meant nothing. I finally went to Essen - I became a real geek. It was beautiful, a place where us mere boardgaming mortals have a chance to mingle with the gods of boardgaming (or at least know they are somewhere within a few hundred meters of us). It brought tears to my eyes as I saw the lig... Okay - I might be over egging this.
I went to Essen.
It was okay.
Now let me back up and start nearish the beginning.
I've wanted to go to Essen for a while but always deemed it too expensive. Instead I went to the UK Games Expo (UKGE) with Ragados and assorted other vagabonds. Unfortunately the dates for next year's UKGE overlap with my cousins wedding, and unfortunately that takes priority. (Ragados did suggest I tried to break up the relationship - but even I think that's a step too far).
Around the same time as I was coming down off the disappointment of having to miss what would have been my 4th successive UKGE (and their 10th anniversary) one of my friends asked if people fancied joining him in the trip to Essen. I decided that I should go at some point and now was as good as ever - especially given all the CGE stuff coming out [I might be addicted to CGE...].
So some frantic planning/not really planning later we had a group of three of us, A A and G. Yes I have far too many As in my gaming group. Some vague attempts at planning later and we have flight, AirBnB, and tickets to Essen. I delve through the list of games being released at Essen and make my hit-list - a list of preordered or rush to grab games.
Thursday morning worked like a charm, a bite to eat and a smooth flight in which we played a couple of games on the iPad including my first game of Stone Age and two games of Noir which work slightly differently to the physical version. From there to the AirBnB was a short bus ride and we managed to negotiate our way through the train station to Essen main station wherein we met the other A. Here we grabbed lunch (bread and meat - a staple for the trip) before heading onto the train for the last little stretch.
Now both As had been before - but as this was my first time this was clearly special. So my friends started humming this.
A theme that stayed with us throughout our four days. Walking into the convention center I did feel a certain... moment. A 'here it is'. It was quickly followed by 'that's a lot of Asmodee' and finally 'let's see what we can find.'. We spent Thursday getting a feel of the show (and me picking up pre-orders, as well as Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania [planned], Royal Goods [planned] and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [unplanned - but not regretting]. The feel of the show was trade. Everything was aimed at selling you something. You walk into the first Hall (Hall 3) and you have Asmodee showing you all of there new things that you can buy at that queue. You might be reading this saying "isn't that all conventions?" but the point is that I've just bought a hot new items (let's call it Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization - because that was something CGE release and therefore something I bought) next challenge - getting it played. Now at the UKGE there is open gaming space - and it's wonderful [but packed full]. It's a chance to play stuff you don't get played as often or stuff you just bought. [The past couple of years I've taken games to the UKGE to play - I can't imagine doing the same at Essen.] So whilst a played a few games at Essen (/At the AirBnB/Airport/Airplane) the numbers (43 at this years UKGE and 22 at Essen) tell a certain story.
The first day we managed one game at the Essen (the rather underwhelming CVlizations) and a game of Royal Goods when we got back to the AirBnB.
Friday was a bit better in terms of plays, getting in games of 7 Wonders Duel (a good two player version of 7 Wonders), Loopin' Louie (because one of the As hadn't played it), Bellz! (a fun dexterity game of picking up bells), Code of Nine (a quick worker placement game where knowledge is precious - Instant buy), Monarch (a game about sisters proving that they would be the best for the throne - we rather acted up the sisterly spite), ...and then, we held hands. (A silent game about a failing relationship - rather ruined by the demonstrator talking throughout). We finished off the day with two games of Time 'n' Space (which one guy had picked up for 10 Euros) back at the AirBnB.
Saturday was a planned day off from the show - we started with a game of Dice Brewing [after an aborted butchering of the rules at just past midnight] and enjoyed it. We then headed out into Dusseldorf for a wander and lunch. Post lunch we headed back and got a game of Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization and loved it (despite two small [but significant] rules mistakes that we have uncovered so far [Yellow Cubes coming off building into the pool at age end and the Civic building limit applying to all Civic buildings and not each type - that second one lead to a very restricted game]. After that game (and it did take the entire afternoon) we headed out for supper before returning for a game of Code of Nine.
Sunday was pack up and leave the AirBnB, drop bags at the train station and onwards to the show for one final go at our hit list. Exoplanets was a prime target and we ended up hanging about at the stand waiting for the previous game to finish. From there we played Lost Legacy: Third Chronicle – Sacred Grail & Staff of Dragons (hoping that the Dice City stalls would free up). I gave into temptation and went and bought it (only Starship missing) - which at least gave us something to do on the airplane. We then managed a game of [microfilms] (which I feel probably works better as a not 3 player game) before finding a spare table for Dice City (my 'I regret I didn't have bag space to purchase this' of the show). Then one of the As became obsessed with finding an Ice Cream stand that he had been to in years gone by - the final hour of the show was basically dedicated to hunting it down. To be fair - I had a lovely Ice Cream dipped in chocolate and crushed banana. Then on our way out of the hall we played Pitch Fleet - which rapidly lead to us abandoning ship (we didn't feel it was very good).
Whilst I did play a fair amount (and purchased a lot more) - I do feel that Essen might be a one off. I may return - but I haven't gone looking for next year's dates. It was fun - but I feel the UKGE with its dedication to open gaming space has spoilt me a little, or at least set unreasonable expectations on the playing to shopping ratio.
I understand that there is more to Essen - I could have met famous people, but approaching them would feel really awkward (I did spot Zee Garcia, Paul Grogan, and Friedemann Friese around). I could have had artists drawing in my box lids, or designers signing my game.
But I guess I value the open gaming space too much.
I wouldn't be surprised if I find myself in a similar situation to Patrick (if I recall his name correctly) who we bumped into on Sunday on our way to the show. Returning having been there 15 years previously [and because circumstances coincided to allow him to]
I don't see myself becoming a regular.
I hardly know her.
[edit: youtube vid]
- [+] Dice rolls
07 Oct 2015
Movers and Shakers:
Lost Legacy: Flying Garden: 7 (+3)
Patchwork: 5 (+4)
Trophy Buck: 5 (+3)
Dixit Journey: 5 (+1)
Lords of Vegas: 5 (+1)
Colt Express: 5 (+1)
Spyfall: 4 (+1)
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries: 4 (+2)
Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): 3 (+1)
Witness: 2 (+2)
Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary: 2 (+1)
Comment: With 7 games on the list (6 above and 1 last post) having broken out of the 5 or under category I feel that this is off to a good start. Of course 3 of them where very quick games (Lost Legacy *2, Trophy Buck) and I still have a lot of longer games (Twilight Imperium, Diplomacy) that are sat at the lower end of the plays. The other issues is that I am hitting Essen tomorrow. I only have three new games reserved/pre-ordered (two of which I have already played) but that doesn't mean I won't be posting a slightly shameful list of new games that need to be taken above 5 plays.
A friend of mine recently introduced his girlfriend to the gaming group. She took to it well but was confused by one thing - why we keep playing new games and not repeatedly playing a single game until we have mastered it. She asked him about it and he pushed the question out to me.
Because Mastery is Boring.
Actually my answer was "Variety is the spice of life. Also it excuses the continued expenditure on board games. Also sometimes you’re in the mood for moving a panda and sometimes you’re in the mood for engaging in intergalactic warfare." [Other half of the conversation edited out.] So ignoring the part about excusing expenditure (*cough*) let's focus on the others.
Now sometimes it's a mood thing - sometimes I want to be a dragon swooping through the air trying to stay alive (Tsuro), sometimes I want to engage in intergalactic warfare (Twilight Imperium), and sometimes I want to sell strange poop-happy creatures to buyers with oddly specific demands (Dungeon Petz). But you could probably still only have a small core of games and manage to cover most moods. The same thing covers time frames - sometimes I have an hour or two - sometimes I have more time. Add to that the dynamic of group size (as much as I love my two player games I tend to have larger groups) and you can explain a decent sized collection.
But maybe not as large a collection as I have (some may disagree).
Variety is the spice of life and Mastery is Boring are two sides of the same coin. I played a lot of MTG during my time at university. I went to pre-releases, I did sealed releases, I constantly tweaked decks. But I didn't have the money (or the enthusiasm) to take part in tournaments outside of my groups of friends. I had decks that where finely tuned to do specific things (Mill deck, Green Wolf Ramp, White Kor Ramp, Fun with Eldrazi...) but when the more 'serious' players where talking about a jacerator deck or another build they found online I lost interest. For me a lot of the fun was making a deck come together, having it all slot into place and finding that Hedron Crab became a hated creature. Having someone say "build this deck - it's practically unbeatable" was... boring. I last played Magic over two years ago. These cards sit on my shelf unused. The group has moved away from that. We had a cycle of decks that beat each other. Sometimes we would have a good match but it fell away.
One of the reasons for that was mastery - we'd introduce a new player and try and face off on an even match. Imagine if you would playing chess against someone of a completely different skill level. It's going to be a walk over, either you destroy them or you are destroyed. And that isn't fun. Chess is best when the skill levels are roughly equal. For that reason I enjoy chopping and changing. When I am introducing skill based games (or games with a high skill element) I try and set myself challenges or discuss through things (depending on my opponent[s]). For example when I introduced my younger brother to Hive I challenged myself to not use ants for the first few games. The effect was two fold. Firstly the opening games where close (unlike when Dev kicked me from here to next week and back again in my first games) and secondly I became a better player because I had a better understanding of the other pieces.
Another point in this discussion is this article that appeared on Shut Up & Sit Down recently: http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/blog/post/playmats-netrunner...
To put yourself through that level of stress over a game to my mind isn't fun.
I play games to have fun with friends. This fun takes many forms. I can be the relaxing blocking and swearing of Ticket to Ride [I've never been sworn at more than when playing Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries with N] the lying and eye boxing of Spyfall, or the farming that is Agricola. Heck I even enjoy Netrunner and X-wing - but it's because I'm not sweating about the meta of the game at large. I worrying about the meta of my group - of the half a dozen or so of us that meet up once in a blue moon to play that game. Heck for X-wing I even provide all of the ship lists.
My groups meta is about people not pieces. It's about how V is always a traitor (
evenespecially when there isn't one). It's about how I'm always going to win and so should be taken down a peg (I'm not and I shouldn't). Its M and V punning off. It's As AP, or Rs optimisations. It's our quirks - and not how Scorched Earth decks are now obsolete. Although as A put it at one point "We don't master individual games - we master learning games."
I'm not sure I could be prouder of that.
Mastery is Boring.
- [+] Dice rolls