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...secret letter...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
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Day 303. October 30, 2017. Lagos...

Dear Secret Santa(s),

My name is Alex and this is the first time I'm writing a letter to you, in my life! (you can thank BGG for that!)
This year I've been a good player of board games.

I've played a bazillion games and feel that my explorations in the geekland have increased ten-fold! I thought I was a geek before, but 2017, proved me that I was a mere rookie board game lover. I've become more active in the BGG community and that certainly helped with the increase of gaming exposure. For instance...



I used to print a game or two from the PnP niche forums. Now I'm all over the new releases and WIPs, trying to find that one perfect hidden-game that will be worth 1000 printings and sessions! I've found a few that have to blow my mind. Haze Islands is on the top, of worth pf all the ink in the world. Aquaducts was for a long time a permanent dweller in the backpack and Maquis showed me that even the tried and trued worker placement genre still had tricks up its sleeve!

I've created The 1st 000's Awards to share and celebrate every thousand logged play. The first iteration was very well received, and I'm looking forward to The 2nd 000's Awards, early next year most likely!

My daughter is turning 3 by the time you're reading this (today actually, Nov. 6). And since Story Cubes and My Very First Games: Animal upon Animal, the two of us have started to explore a few more titles. Jenga, La Chasse aux Monstres, Gulo Gulo, Bata-Waf or the original Animal Upon Animal! She loves all of these and has had her eyes on the Spinderella and Zooloretto boxes ever since she's became aware of what those colorful pictures really mean! I don't want to over-expose her to what's already a more than average amount of new board games, rules and geek stuff for a kid. So the next one, waaaay further down the line, might be the magnetic Spooky Stairs (already in the closet of future gifts) or a dexterous PitchCar Minir.

Solo gaming was in the past, something I would consider with mixed feelings. Not anymore! From Friday, to Limes to Haze Islands to Terraforming Mars to The Gallerist or The Colonist, solo gaming made a huge entry in my gaming life and I don't see it diminishing in any way soon. Victory Point Games like Nemo's War, Dawn of the Zeds or the recent Mage Knight inspired Renegade, have gone way up on my whislist!



Trading, via Math Trades and Generosity Chains, has also become somewhat of an obsession. They've worked wonders in keeping the collection fresh with "new titles". From old classics like Sun Tzu (hit with the brother!), K2 (hit with the gamenight group!) or Agricola (hit with everyone!) to the cult of the newish, like 13 Minutes, Arcane Academy or Tiny Epic Quest, I've loved all my trading experiences so far.

Game nights and Conventions are now big gaming moments during the year. My first ever gaming con, LeiriaCon17, opened my eyes to an even bigger gaming world out there. Not only was the beginning of many gaming friendships but also a great way to learn and play new games. Heck, I had a chance to play Lisboa with Vital himself teaching the thing!

The relatively new game shop in town, Até à Lua, hosts at least a gamenight per week were I can bring and test the new additions with more players. And although the gamer's there prefer, like me, a solid meaty euro to work their brains out, I've also come to realize about the good things of playing a party game (Dixit), a no-fuss filler (For Sale) or a shouting social deduction game (Avalon). All games are good!

My wife, unfortunately, has seen a major decrease in her available gaming time, due to her work schedule. If before she would be the person I would play games more often, now we'll be really lucky to play some of our couple's favorites, like 7 Wonders: Duel, Patchwork, Kingdom Builder or Alchemists. But I'm hopeful that this will be a phase and that somewhere along the road we can return to one of our favorite past-times.



However, this next year, I've decided to try an experiment o myself. I like self-imposed restrictions and constraints since they force me too change the routine (that killer of spirits and harbinger of major projects!) and to look elsewhere for other ways to do things. And since 2017 was the year of traveling in the board gaming world, discovering new and old titles and steadily increasing the collection with them, I want 2018 to be the year of traveling deeper in said discovered titles and stop adding more cardboard boxes to the already taxed shelves!

So next year, dear Santa, I won't be buying any new shrink wrap boardgames. Save the rare small crafting of a new PnP or participating in a Math Trade/Generosity chains to keep the collection free of dust. What I will do instead, is try and keep a healthy geeklist, with the titles that show the most promise of being a hit in my gaming environment and acquire some of them early in the following year (2019!)

...so, dear Santa, when it's time to pack the sled towards Lagos, Portugal, remember that your gift will probably one of the last board games to enter our house for a long time...

I wish you good travels in the geekland for 2018 and a happy holidays playing games with your little elves and reindeer!

Thanks for reading.
Alex








Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
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