It’s that time of year when we’re all obligated to look back at the year that just ended and consider what we’ve learned and what we’ve done and how we’ve grown.
And lord knows that 2012 was a big, life-changing year for me. Getting married alone made it that. I got married, went to Disney for the first time and discovered that mixing Malört with ginger ale makes it palatable.
But it was also a year of changes in my gaming life. 2012 was the year that I left a D&D game I’d been playing in for three editions, the year I really started playing asynchronous games and the year when other social priorities started shifting gaming out of being exclusively in the spotlight. (I still game an awful lot. Now I just do other things too )
In general, I have found myself gravitating more and more to the light to middle weight Euro games for my face-to-face gaming. They fit into the spare time that I have and they are good for social gaming with a wide variety of people. So I almost feel like I am returning to my roots as a board gamer since they are what drew me back to board games and into playing board games as a major hobby.
I've cut back heavily on buying new games and I'm pretty much out of the cult of the new, at least as far as what games I'm buying. I've been burned a few too many times to buy the new star. I like to wait and see what folks think of a game after the new car smell has faded.
So, to be honest, when I think about what the best game I 'discovered' in 2012, I feel a little mundane and boring since that'd have to be Kingdom Builder. Instead of something edgy and off-the-wall, it's a game that tons of people have played and liked.
That said, I really think that Kingdom Builder is a great game in general and a great game for where my gaming is these days. It clocks in at under an hour and is easy to teach to just about anyone. At the same time, it offers a lot replay value between the modular board and the variety of scoring cards. And the light rules offer some hidden depths of play.
The game that surprised me the most, though, would have to be Alfred's Wyke, a game I've written quite a bit already. I only played my first game thanks to misclicking at Super Duper Games and I still lose almost all my games. However, it is a really different abstract and a game that I keep on coming back to.
(A couple other gaming high lights for me include Innovation and Lines of Action. I've talked about them before but they're still games i want to keep on playing)
It was a different kind of year, in and out of gaming, but a good one. I'm going to do my best to make 2013 another one.