12 Useless Facts About My Gaming Habits in 2012
Hunter Shelburne
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Here is a list that will be useful to no one but myself most likely, but I wanted to record it for posterity.

These are some random thoughts on my gaming habits and overall year based on my game play statistics and general opinion.
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:31]
Hunter Shelburne
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Best Game Played in 2012

Power Grid (2 plays, Geek Rating: 8.002)

This is a new one to our plays, we had played once in the past, but incorrectly. After working through it again, it actually became a very fluid game, pretty easy to understand. I think it would be played more if we weren't trying to get a lot of the unplayed games in our collection onto the table, definitely one of my favorites played this year.
 
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2. Board Game: HeroClix [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1780] [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
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My Most Played Game

Heroclix (193 plays)

Heroclix takes the cake by a pretty large margin. This isn't a surprise, as I have 2 local groups to play with and am a part time judge at one of them. This game scratches a collecting itch, and being a sucker for superheroes doesn't help. With this entry, it is as much about the people I play with as it is the game itself.
 
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3. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit Singles: Music [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Worst Game Played in 2012

Trivial Pursuit Singles: Music (1 play, Geek Rating: 4.33)

This narrowly edges out Killer Bunnies and Warriors on the worst of the worst list. All 3 were grueling exercises in frustration, and honestly I think Killer Bunnies was the worst. None will be played again, at least in my presence, once was more than enough in this case.
 
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4. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:237]
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Most Important Game of 2012

Risk Legacy (8 plays)

This one would have as many plays as Ascension right now if we weren't taking our time playing it. Our group has decided not to play more than once a night and we're still waiting to unlock a couple of the main pouches. This game has changed how we play games, we have a sense of responsibility to the world, and don't want outsiders to mess it up. Our own world is weird, offensive, and downright fun, and people that haven't played or don't enjoy Risk have loved this one.
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5. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:149] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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Biggest Dropoff in Plays

Magic: The Gathering (87 plays in 2011, 6 plays in 2012)

The explanation is simple: my primary opponent moved out of town, and in its place I have been playing Heroclix. Now that there is a small shop that has opened in my immediate area I may start playing drafts again, but this is a testament to the people aspect of playing games. Without a constant opponent I had no drive to seek out games.
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6. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:511] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
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Quickest Rise in Plays

Ascension (26 plays)

26 may not seem like a lot of plays for some people, but its enough for second on my overall list. The really interesting thing about this entry is that those plays all happened within the last 15 days. At its current pace, Ascension could be my highest played game next year, it just depends on the burnout factor and if expansions counteract it.
 
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7. Board Game: Thunderstone [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:548] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
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Replacing a Favorite?

Thunderstone (0 plays)
Ascension (26 plays)
Dominion (4 plays)

Thunderstone is one of my girlfriend's favorite games, and its one of mine as well. We have all the expansions outside of Advance, and we highly enjoy them. However, the setup and breakdown time and the occasional dragging game has kept it off the table in lieu of some of the faster games on the list. Dominion was a newcomer for us this year, but it scratches an entirely different itch. While fun, it just lacks the flavor. That is where Ascension found its opening. Streamlining the village and dungeon into one big deck makes a world of difference, and keeping filler cards out of the deck creates far fewer dead hands. Overall, I feel like Ascension may end up replacing Thunderstone in plays overall, though I will definitely keep the latter because I still enjoy the game, its time may be through as most played fantasy card game for us though.
 
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8. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:465]
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The Wheaton Effect?

The Wheatons

Tsuro (16 plays)
Wits and Wagers (14 plays)
Pandemic (8 plays)
Zombie Dice (8 plays)
Settlers of Catan (6 plays)
Castle Panic (4 plays)
Elder Sign (3 plays)
Munchkin (3 plays)
Last Night On Earth (1 play)
Small World (1 play)

This year, along with other games, I've purchased Elder Sign, Tsuro, Castle Panic, Munchkin and Zombie Dice, all featured on Wheaton's show TableTop. Though I enjoy the show immensely, I continually denied being influenced by the show (Castle Panic and Munchkin I just happened to buy around the time of the shows, but before the show came out). But my game plays seem to disagree. Last Night On Earth got around the same amount of plays, but Settlers of Catan went from zip in 2011 to 6 in 2012, and Wits and Wagers went up as well. Pandemic went up a by a couple plays, only Small World dropped. The others are all near the top of the play lists since having been on the show. I guess there is definitely something to this theory after all!
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9. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:517]
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2012, Year of the Party Game and Filler

Tsuro (16 plays)
Wits and Wagers (14 plays)
Liar's Dice (13 plays)
Zombie Dice (8 plays)
10 Days in the USA (5 plays)
Sour Apples to Apples (5 plays)
Ubongo: Duel (5 plays)
Castle Panic (4 plays)
Hey, That's My Fish (2 plays)

2012 saw an increase in the under 30 minutes category around the house. Liar's Dice saw a drop in overall plays from its 49 in 2011, but I believe this is due to more fillers being played overall. Some of my more played fillers from last year dropped, like Campaign Manager 2008 and Hey, That's My Fish, but overall we added a number of quick dice and tile games, and I don't see that stopping. Hell, most games of Ascension take about 30 minutes or so for us, if that; its pretty much become a filler for us as well.
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10. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:621] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
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Last Game Played in 2012

Zooloretto (1 play)

A bit of a surprise, I picked this one up half off at Target recently, but didn't expect it to hit the table tonight. Reception was lukewarm, some felt it was too random, but I believe they were a bit mad about losing, as my girlfriend planned out her plays carefully and crushed us. I like it quite a bit, and I'll force it onto the table if I have to.
 
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11. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:93]
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Playing the Unplayed: A Progress Report

This year has given me a bit of a grade on my attempt to get a lot of unplayed games on the table, and I think its going well overall. In 2011 I had 36 unique games played, whereas in 2012 I had over 80 unique games played. I'm happy with this result. Once I get most of the collection played, I will be able to revisit a lot of the games I've only gotten a few plays of and see which of them have staying power, something I anticipate very much. Some standouts from the unplayed to played category are Chaos in the Old World (owned for over a year), Ascension (owned for over a year), Tales of the Arabian Nights (owned for 2 years), Android (owned for a year), and Scotland Yard (owned for over a year).
 
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12. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:145]
Hunter Shelburne
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Gaming Resolutions for 2013

Play more unplayed games!

Focus on 2 player games that are unplayed, specifically heavier games like Doom, Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage, and Earth Reborn.

Start playing more Card Driven 2 player wargames with my girlfriend, so maybe we can start playing Washington's War or Hannibal at some point.

Paint my Warhammer army.

Have another great year of games with my friends, family and loved ones, and I wish the same for all of you guys too!
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