5p and 10p coins? BlackSheep's Fives and Dimes 2017
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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In 2017 I logged 214 plays of 72 different games. Here are my fives and dimes, the games that got at least 5 or 10 plays this year.
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1. Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:272]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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20 plays

New to the list and straight to the top, this is my most-played game of the year by a wide margin, even though I don't own it and it caps out at four players. Weirdly I think that's actually helped it; when the group is at four we'll often take the chance to break out this one because we can't when all five of us are here.

It's not perfect by any means; your game can easily be messed up by the luck of the draw or someone else's placement, and some of the expensive cards are so powerful that the first big-money hand can really swing the game. But it's a fun combination of a deckbuilder and an area-control game, with a lot of variety in setup. Combining two half-decks for each game is simple but clever, meaning nothing gets diluted even with expansions.

Group is likely to be slightly larger next year, but I think this is likely to stick around.
 
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2. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:60] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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12 plays

I got this towards the end of 2016, and through 2017 I played it a dozen times. Normally that'd be good going, and it's second on this list for a reason. The actual game is great fun, and having a lot of variety in building squads is neat. But I have to consider the amount I've spent on this game; my collection is worth at least £300, and that's a lot of money to spend per game played.

I've got another £70-ish of ships sitting in the wardrobe upstairs unopened, but I need to see if I'm going to get more plays of this first. If not, I'm going to have to start selling stuff off like I did with Destiny.
 
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3. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:721]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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12 plays

I'm not actually much of a fan of this game - it has a lot of luck and crazy swings that can make the deduction element irrelevant - but I don't mind it and the rest of the group really likes it, so it comes out a lot as an opener/closer in an evening with a bigger game. I try quite a few hidden-role-type games on the group, but I don't think anything is going to displace this one.
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4. Board Game: Ascension: Gift of the Elements [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:3866] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
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Bristol
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11 plays

I used to own a lot of Ascension sets, but it largely got displaced by the app and I sold them all off. But when I saw the newest one cheap, I thought I'd give it a go. It's Ascension, with all the randomness and downtime that comes with it, but it's an interesting set and I quite like having a light deckbuilder for when we only have a small group together.
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5. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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8 plays

One of those games that's always welcome, especially with a larger group, and the anniversary packs helped encourage a couple more plays towards the end of the year. It's a pity the setup and scoring take so long compared to the length of the game.
 
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6. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:326]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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7 plays

I'm glad this has stuck around after the new-game shine wore off. It's good at different player counts and the game can have quite a bit of variety in how it plays, from food-abundant races to grab as much as possible, to vicious fights to even survive. I've got a lot of Kickstarter promos and variants that I've barely used, even.

Technically my copy is the Climate box, but I've also got a base deck that I can use for vanilla or Flight games. These seven plays were four Climate and three Flight, but I decided to count them together.
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7. Board Game: Codenames: Pictures [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:202] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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6 plays

For how high up this is, I barely remember playing it. Must have been early in the year. I prefer the word version, personally, but there's not much in it.
 
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8. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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6 plays

A solid filler that's been on the shelf a long time. Fast, simple, a neat combination of bidding and gambling.
 
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9. Board Game: Star Wars: Destiny [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:285]
Greg Wilson
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Bristol
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5 plays

Wow, if the ratio of plays to money spent was bad for X-Wing, this is even worse. I got heavily into this after getting some good deals, and ended up spending several hundred quid in total on starters and boosters and booster boxes and a few singles. And all of that for five plays; I liked the back-and-forth dice combat but the sproglet wasn't as into it, and he's my main opponent for two-player games.

In the end I couldn't afford this and X-Wing both. I think I broke about even when I cashed out of the game; I'd gotten lucky buying stuff on sale and selling when eBay prices were high due to product shortage. I might consider getting the new two-player starter and trying it out as a standalone, but probably not even that.
 
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10. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
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Bristol
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5 plays

This had twenty-one plays last year but has dropped a long way this year. Part of that was that my game group was bigger; this is a good fit for six players but we far more often have four or five now.
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11. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:58]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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5 plays

I thought this would be higher, but it's been displaced somewhat by newer games. Still a fun game of engine-building trying to manipulate dice into doing what you want, and fits into a good length for our group, quick but not a filler, on account of the simultaneous play. We'll have to try to play this more.
 
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12. Board Game: Champions of Midgard [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:118]
Greg Wilson
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Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

I think this will be higher next year. J's Kickstarter copy of this game only turned up late in the year, but we got four plays in and everyone likes it. Worker-placement game of similar weight to Waterdeep, but with the diced combat adding an element of risk management and push-your-luck.

Two base game plays and two with the Dark Mountain expansion. We haven't tried out Valhalla yet, but J has it.
 
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13. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:219] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
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Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

Another game that I need to try to get played more. Came out a few times when I first got it, but newer shiny stuff has taken up time more recently. But it plays fast, and the components are nice, and I find it more interesting than Splendor.
 
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14. Board Game: Villages of Valeria [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:921]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

An odd one here. Got it off Kickstarter, the price was good and the art and component quality were excellent. We played it a few times shortly after I got it. But it didn't seem to do anything new or particularly interesting, and I sold it on again soon after. Just too many other games I'd rather play.
 
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15. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

Another solid filler. Nothing exciting, but by making the game so simple that binary take-or-pass decision can be agonising.
 
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16. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

Still like this one, just a matter of other stuff drawing attention. Simple worker-placement resource-gathering game with D&D flavour and a lot of variability.
 
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17. Board Game: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:169]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

Another one that got a few plays when new, but hasn't been touched for most of the year. Part of that is that it's not mine, and the owner doesn't join us for games very often. Part of it, again, is that the game group is smaller now. It's a clever game, but an odd one. Wouldn't mind trying it out again at some point.
 
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18. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:259]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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4 plays (Honourable mention)

Funnily enough, these four games were all in a single session. I went to a new games group, and a few of us decided to give this a try. We lost four straight games in a row. On the easiest setting. Still not sure if we were doing something wrong, or if the game is just that hard.
 
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