This avatar stinks!
When all is said and done, I played 160 games roughly 698 times and 27 expansions roughly 416 times (including ones not logged). Some of the "games" played in those counts are ones which are both full games and expansions which is why the counts are rough. Including prototypes, I played 72 games and 18 different expansions for the first time, though I didn't log all the expansions.
If you at are all interested in the games I played in 2011 you can click here.
"We're going streaking!"
I only played one game every month in 2011 and it wasn't Race for the Galaxy, which missed being played in two different months. The game played the most consistently through the year was Thunderstone with its ever-growing number of expansions. I actually stopped logging the expansion plays each month during the year because it became cumbersome to mark them. Also played in just about every month was 7 Wonders, which was played every month but August. August was the month of all the new games Mike brought back from GenCon, which meant there was less time to play 7 Wonders.
Arkham Horror ended 2010 on a 10-month streak, which made it to 11 in January, but ended in February and it was played three more times in two more months until August, when Elder Sign came out. Since then, we've played the quicker game. I will probably sell my copy of Arkham Horror and the expansions sometime this year.
The king of the hill dice game, King of Tokyo finished 2011 on a six-month run which I see extending into 2012. When I first played the dice-pool-building game, Quarriors!, I would have been a little surprised if you told me it would end the year on a five-month streak of being played. However, it is a decent filler which doesn't take too long to set up and put away.
Eminent Domain also finished on a five-month streak. Let's call it the Race for the Galaxy deck-building game. I am still less sure about whether or not this will hang around. With some players it takes longer than it should, but I suspect it will speed up once everyone learns the game. I'm just not sure everyone will be willing to play it enough to reach that point.
Disappearing and missing favorites
Agricola has dropped off the radar and hasn't been played since June 2010. I have pulled it out to play a couple of times, but it just hasn't made it to the table.
Samarkand: Routes to Riches was played eight times last year and didn't make it out once this year. I thought about playing it a few times, but never made a real effort to play it this year. I suspect that Kingdom Builder will completely supplant it since it has some of the same feel with the placement of the pieces to make connections, and Kingdom Builder is just more re-playable.
Another one which I am surprised stopped being played is Cardcassonne. I really like it, but after getting played 10 times from the end of 2009 into 2010, it just disappeared. I see the box and think I should bring it along to gaming, but it still sits. I will make a concerted effort to play it this year.
All the iterations of Keltis were not played. The main game was played 15 times during 2009/2010, Keltis: Neue Wege, Neue Ziele was played eight times, and Keltis: Das Orakel was played three times after I got it in 2010. This is a case of being out of sight, out of mind.
Combat Commander: Europe and Commands & Colors Ancients were both neglected in 2011. I blame Mike and his membership in the Cult of the New and his gaming AADD (Advanced ADD) for this. It surely can't be my fault! I would be surprised if both were not played several times in 2012.
Speaking of the Cult of the New...
I already mentioned playing and liking 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo, Eminent Domain, Elder Sign and Quarriors!. There were a few other games which I really liked in 2011.
I first played Martin Wallace's London in January and ended up playing it 10 times. It is a cool card-driven building game about rebuilding the titular city after the great fire. There is a lot of depth and the scoring is not as complex as you might expect from him, though it would have been nice to have a cheat sheet which goes through the end-game scoring steps.
Just holding the cards for Tanto Cuore can make some people feel perverted and dirty. I think it is a terrific Dominion clone which adds a few small mechanisms to the original game which makes it different enough to both own and play. The real limit to the game is there just aren't enough different maid cards to allow it to be played as much as some of the other deck builders. So I picked up the second expansion, Tanto Cuore: Dokidoki Vacation from Japan and made paste-ups for the cards since it wouldn't be available for at least a year in English. The first expansion should be out soon in English.
Warmachine is a game I bought into seven years ago. I picked up some figures and started putting them together, and swore off minis games forever because of the complexity and insane number of pieces for the grunt models. Because I'd been playing Malifaux, I was more willing to try it again. I really liked it and have built up a Mercenary army for it and a Trollblood army for the sister game, Hordes. I've got all I need to play and really shouldn't need to buy any more figures for either Hordes or Warmachine and there are only a couple of figures which I will likely buy for Malifaux this year. I hope to play all three of these mini games at least 20 times in 2012.
Kingdom Builder was a late-year surprise. I wasn't willing to spend the $60 on it without trying it first. When I played it, I bought it the next day. Each game is a puzzle on how to score the most points based on the scoring rules for that game with the limited choices you have. Yeah, you can be screwed by the draw of the cards, but working around that is part of the challenge. Plus, the game plays quickly so it is possible to play again to get the bad card luck out of your memory.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue was the big surprise at the end of December. I wasn't thrilled by the first playing because things really plodded along, but we played the next night at the game was a blast. It's the best cooperative game since Pandemic. Both games fit their themes and there are many similarities to the games, but they play quite differently.
Stinkier than an outhouse in the summer
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics was the most disappointing game of 2011. I really wanted to like it and had high expectations, even when others complained about the shooting rules and results. But after playing it, I decided I did not like the rules for shooting and there was no reason any sane person would move their riflemen up and shoot at someone on a hill. Maybe it is historic, but it is not fun in a simulation. I quickly got rid of my copy.
I also had high hopes for Dungeon Lords and Nightfall. I had no fun playing Dungeon Lords and ended up trading my copy away before I opened it. Mike said he like it, but he got rid of his copy after the game I played, too. I also kept expecting Nightfall to grow on me, but it didn't. I bought Nightfall: Martial Law hoping the additional cards would help, but they didn't. It's just a below-average game for me and I am trying to trade it away.
It used to be Mike who bought anything under the sun, but he's scaled back his purchasing. Now Nico is the guy who buys everything. One of his purchases was Irondale which none of the participants, except Nico, liked. You play cards from your hand, but you have to have cards in your hand which are equal to the value indicated on the card and he only way to draw cards is expend what few victory points you have to draw them. The game is a chaotic mess, much like the worst game of the year...
Why change anything I said back in April when I first played Innovation? "Hoping to cause Armageddon, the designer came up with Advanced Fluxx. Except Fluxx can end at any time and everyone has a chance to win. In this turkey, you can get stuck with cards that never allow you to advance beyond a certain point while the others race to win the "game".
Unfortunately, I can't rank this a 1 because there is the skeleton of a game in this flawed design with crappy graphic presentation. (Checker board backgrounds on cards, really?)" At least it looks like IELLO did a nice job with the graphic design for their new edition.
Excuse me for a minute while I go get some sanitizer to clean my keyboard.
More is always better
These are my ten most-played games in 2011:
1. 7 Wonders x74
2. Thunderstone x71
3. Race for the Galaxy x51
4. Dominion x26
5. King of Tokyo x26
6. Quarriors! x25
7. Tanto Cuore x20
8. Elder Sign x18
9. Nightfall x18
10. Eminent Domain x11
Twice this year I made mistakes in my monthly comments that were caught by the designers.
First, in my August recap, I had it wrong about the expansion planets for being unavailable to everyone but Seth Jaffee corrected my inaccurate assumption. I hate being corrected by someone from Tucson. Hate it!
Then in my November recap I trashed Dark Minions and Al Newman came to the defense of the game and asked a couple of questions. We discovered that we played the game wrong and it sounds like it would have been fun if played correctly. Unfortunately, the copy we played with was sold because Mike didn't think it would ever be played again.
Here are the games I got rid of through trades this year.
1. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
2. Atlantic Star
4. Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
5. Dungeon Lords
7. Hansa Teutonica
9. Malifaux (a set of minis I bought duplicates of when I couldn't find them)
10. Monsterpocalypse (trading armies from the two-player set and extra sets I bought)
13. Railways of Mexico (trade away three copies I got for working on the card deck)
14. Resident Evil Deck Building Game
15. Samarkand: Routes to Riches
16. The 3 Commandments
17. Ticket to Ride: Switzerland
19. Vegas Showdown
What to do before (according to the Mayans) the end of the world
Here are some resolution-like things I would like to accomplish in 2012.
1. As I already mentioned, play Hordes, Warmachine and Malifaux 20 times each. Plus, play some of the games with completely-painted armies.
2. Play both Combat Commander and Commands & Colors Ancients.
3. Sell some games. I've always hated the idea of the hassle of dealing with eBay, shipping, and Paypal as a seller, but I need to do it.
4. Get a lot of the games I like but didn't play in 2011 played in 2012. This is something I've been trying to do recently with my Game of the Week posts, so I will keep that up.
I hope everyone has a terrific 2012. May all of you be happy and prosperous.