Tuesday, July 01, 2014

King of Tabletop: 2nd Quarter Board Games Update

Well, it's time again to write that post that only me and about five of my board gaming friends actually care about: my summary of board gaming of the past three months. As always, I'll include little blurbs and a few lists in the different areas (games played, games to play, changes to my collection, and updates on my 2014 goals), so here goes.

Games played

After my expansion in the first quarter, I thought I might be a bit more repetitive in this quarter. I was to some extent, as I did play a greater number of games a greater number of times, but I was also surprised that I played 11 new games this quarter, and all but one of them only once each. Here are the games I played from April to June 2014.

Most played in the past three months: At the Gates of Loyang, King of Tokyo, Lords of Waterdeep, Ra (4 each); Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition, Hanabi (3 each)

Most played in 2014 so far: Lords of Waterdeep (8); Flash Point: Fire Rescue (7); Hanabi (6); Fleet (5); King of Tokyo (5)

Update for most all time plays: 7 Wonders (40); Pandemic (27); Race for the Galaxy (22); Dominion (18); Agricola (16).

New games played this quarter: Anomia, Bora Bora, In the Year of the Dragon, Macao, Ora et Labora, Ra, Roma, Star Realms, Telestrations, Terra Mystica, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (11)

Additions to my repertoire this quarter: Ra, Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport

Games to play and upcoming games

Well, with all of those new games played, I was only able to knock three of my list; I was, however, able to knock a couple off before they could even be put on the list. I have 13 left from the original list, and I have a few replacements to bring the full list to 20 (of the 121 listed as "Want to Play" on BGG). Here are some thoughts on those games.

Games left to play on my 2014 list: Belfort; Caverna: The Cave Farmers; Core Worlds; Coup; Firefly: The Game; Forbidden Desert; For Sale; Fresco; Hawaii; Jump Gate; Keyflower; Morels; Tigris & Euphrates (13)

New games added to Top 20 to Play in first quarter: Gravwell; Suburbia

New games on my Top 20 to Play list in second quarter: Bruges; Glen More (a return!); Impulse; Istanbul; Splendor; Star Realms (played!)

Kickstarters from this quarter that I want to try when they come out: Eggs and Empires; Gone Viking; Hollywood; New Dawn; Waggle Dance; Yardmaster

Five games of high interest slated for upcoming release: 7 Wonders: Babel; AquaSphere; King of New York; Pandemic: Contagion; Pandemic: The Cure.

Changes to my collection

After a huge shift in the first quarter, things quieted down a lot this quarter. I only picked up a few new games with that trade from March, but they are good ones. I'm still refining my collection, of course, so there's still more to go, but it's on its way.

New games acquired: Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition; Jaipur; King of Tokyo: Power Up!; Lords of Waterdeep with Scoundrels of Skullport Expansion; Star Realms

Games liquidated: Barons; Last Will; Settlers of Catan

New mini-expansions I acquired: Among the Stars: Wiss; Among the Stars: Reprint promos (from Kickstarter); Star Realms: Promo Set One

Kickstarter update: The only new Kickstarter project I backed this quarter was the stretch goals for the Among the Stars reprint. I did miss out on Eggs and Empires and Yardmaster, though I might order them both later if they turn out to be good. In the meantime, I am eagerly anticipating the imminent arrival of a number of microgames in the next few weeks: Burgoo; Coin Age; Province; This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Two of Us. I'm also still waiting on a number of games I ordered between four and six months ago: RARRR!; Fresco Big Box; Alhambra Big Box; Kingdom Builder Big Box; Space Junk; and Scoville. The first three should be arriving in the next few weeks; the next two in the late summer; and Scoville will arrive sometime in November. I am currently a backer for Harbour, a new mini-Euro worker placement game from TMG, and it seems to be worth it even just for the stretch goals. (I am still very tempted by the Twilight Struggle: Digital Edition KS project, even if just to have the PC version and the physical copy of the limited "What If?" expansion; then again, how often will I get a three-hour-long highly strategic card game based on the Cold War to the table or even to the screen, even if it is the #1 game on BGG?)

Updates to my board game goals for 2014

1. 300 plays total: I was 21 under for the first quarter at 54, and I managed 56 this quarter - only 19 under my goal of 75. That was mostly due to a lackluster June (only 13 plays), but whatever the reason, it leaves me 40 plays behind of my goal halfway through the year. I would need to average just over 30 plays a month for the rest of the year to make it to my goal; I'm not sure that I'll be able to do it (that does mean a play a day on average), but I'm sure going to try.

2. Nickel and dime my collection: I had only played 17 of my 91 games, period, in the first quarter. After two quarters, I have managed to at least nickel (five or more plays) five games in my collection, with another three only one play away. It's still a small percentage, but I think the secret is that I am just eliminating games that I don't play, which allows me to play the games I do play more often (addition by subtraction). I'm making progress, but the best progress will be to just continue to eliminate games from my collection.

3. Clear out 10 games from my collection: I had already cleared out 30 in the first quarter, so I had easily made my goal already. I liquidated three more this quarter, and I'm going to clear out quite a few more in the next month or so through sales and trades, so I will have a much tighter collection by September.

4. Add a dozen quality games to my collection: I'm currently at 8 quality additions for the year with four incoming Kickstarters (plus the microgames). (I have a couple other additions so far, too, but their relative quality is still in question.) Considering that I am planning to make a few more sales and trades that will lead to more quality purchases, I am well on my way to my goal.

5. Add 15 to my repertoire: After adding five in the first quarter, I only added one - Ra - in this quarter, so I still have nine more to go. I played a number of games once, so it might be time to start replaying them to really add them to my line-up. Those KS games coming in should help, though.

6. Play all the games on my top 20 to play list: Four in the first quarter, three more this quarter - only 13 to go, and I should be able to get at least eight of those fairly easily.

7. Blog more about board games: I wrote two posts specifically about board games ("The art of complex games" and "The problem of ameritrash" and also heavily mentioned board games in two other posts. Still a little behind my revised goal of one per month, but I'm on track for improvement over the year.

8. Design a game: I have the rules for my game all drafted; I just need to finish the prototype and start testing it. I've just been so busy in June (physically, mentally, and emotionally) that it hasn't managed to make it through to the actual happening phase. This is my biggest goal for the next three months: to actually create and play my game (which I think is actually pretty good, by the way). Who knows - maybe I can Kickstart it by the end of the year!

So, there you have it. If you're one of those five aforementioned friends who cares about this stuff, I look forward to your feedback; if you're part of the rest of the world, I look forward to trying to get you hooked on board games sometime soon.

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