Saturday, July 04, 2015

Board Game Update: Halfway through 2015

As I have reflected on the past year, I have realized that I have had a great time with board games since last November. I am playing more games than I ever have, and I am connecting with more people because of and through games than I have at any point over the past four-and-a-half years (the time during which I have been a dedicated gamer.)I think part of the reason has been my relocation to Saskatchewan and my involvement with SaskGames which has helped me develop a more consistent gaming group and time, but I think there are at least two other significant reasons for my increased interest and frequency in that time period.

Gaming has been an activity in which I have been able to find personal success, and I have had a lot of difficulty with that over the past year. I spent my school year feeling like half the teacher I wanted to be, and between transition, my struggles with something like depression, an identity crisis, a challenging job, and difficulties in adjusting to church culture in the prairies, I have needed something to feel good at - and board games have been that avenue. I have felt more like myself at the table than almost any other place, so I have naturally gravitated toward games in that time.

The other main reason has been my friend Jordan. Jordan was my first true board gaming friend, and we explored a lot of the hobby together over the past four years. In November, he told me that he had cancer, and after far too brief a time, he passed away in early May. Since November, I have often found myself thinking of him as I have been beginning this intensive journey into gaming here, and I have found it healing and helpful to play games that we explored and enjoyed together as well as new games that we had wanted to experience. Board gaming has actually helped me process some grief, and it has provided a way to keep Jordan in my life.

Of course, I'm not sure where gaming will take me over the next few months, but I think it's here to stay for the time being. And with that, here are my thoughts on the past three months of board gaming.

Games Played

I actually played more games in these past three months than I have played in any three month period ever, with a total of 55 different games for a total of 90 plays in this quarter. Here are some more of the details.

Most played this quarter: 7 Wonders / Patchwork (5); Hanabi / Splendor (4); Race for the Galaxy (3)

Most played all-time: 
1. 7 Wonders (54)
2. Race for the Galaxy (31)
3. King of Tokyo (28)
4. Pandemic (27)
5. Dominion (24)
6. Agricola (19)
7. Innovation (18)
8. Hanabi (16)
8. The Resistance (16)
10. Glory to Rome (15)

New games played: Asking for Trobils; Bruges; Elysium; Eminent Domain: Microcosm; The Great Heartland Hauling Co.; Guillotine; La Isla; Legacy: Gears of Time; Legendary: A Marvel Game; Patchwork; Roll for the Galaxy; Scythe; Space Junk; Ticket to Ride: Marklin; Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries; Trajan (16)

Likely future purchases of these new games played: Bruges, Elysium, Great Heartland, La Isla, Roll for the Galaxy, and Trajan. (6)

Added to repertoire: Bruges; Elysium; Great Heartland Hauling Co.; Guillotine; La Isla; Legendary; Patchwork; Roll for the Galaxy; Space Junk; Trajan (10)

Games I Want To Play

I wrote a significant post on this only a month ago and not much has changed since then, other than the fact I have played four extra games from my list to put me down to 159 games to play and then removed another 7 to reduce the list further to 152. I played slightly fewer new games this quarter, but I'm still hoping to be fairly aggressive in reducing that list.

Top 30 games to play (as of January 1): AquaSphere; Belfort; Biblios; BrugesCastles of Mad King Ludwig; Caverna: The Cave Farmers; Concept; Core Worlds; Coup; Fields of Arle; Glen More; Haggis; Hawaii; Keyflower; La Isla; Lewis and Clark; Machi Koro; Mascarade; Morels; New Dawn; Pandemic: ContagionPandemic: The Cure; Paperback; Patchwork; Roll for the Galaxy; Russian Railroads; Snake OilSuburbia; Temporum; Trajan (13/30 played)

Top 10 games to re-play (as of January 1): Bora Bora; Five Tribes; Glass Road; Impulse; Istanbul; Macao; Ora et Labora; Stone Age; Twilight Struggle; Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (2/10 re-played)

Changes to my Collection

This quarter was significantly slower in terms of acquisition, with most of my new items coming from Kickstarters in transit. I picked up seven games - four of which were previously ordered Kickstarters - as well as one game (Legacy: Gears of Time) through a BGG auction. I'm looking forward to some more liquidating over the next few months, though.

Additions to my collection: Antidote (KS); Eminent Domain: Microcosm (KS); Knee Jerk and promos (KS); Legacy: Gears of Time (with expansion and promos); Patchwork; Space Junk (KS); Tokaido (and promo), as well promos for Dixit, Eggs and Empires, Eminent Domain, and Sheriff of Nottingham. (7 games + 11 promos)

Liquidated: I finally did it: I sold Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot with all 10 expansions, Kinder Bunnies, and Killer Bunnies and the Conquest for the Magic Carrot base set for $125 for the whole shebang. It felt really good to get those out of my collection.

Kickstarters in transit: Among the Stars: Revival (Aug/Sep 2015); Tiny Epic Galaxies (Sep. 2015)

Kickstarters ordered this quarter: Eminent Domain: Exotica and Battlecruisers (Feb. 2016); Mottainai (Aug. 2015)

Board Game Goals

1. 240 plays for the year. At the halfway point, I'm sitting at 169 total plays, which would put me on pace for 338 for the year.

2. Add 15 games to my repertoire. Between the 10 from this quarter and the 20 or so from the first quarter, I'm easily going to meet this goal.

3. Play all of the games in my collection in the calendar year. 48/116 for progress of 41%, an increase from 31/112 (27%) in the first quarter. I may need to start clearing out some games I no longer play if this low rate keeps up.

4. Play Jump Gate. Still waiting for that Kickstarter to come online.

5. Complete a 10x10 challenge. I'm currently at 31% with three games that I have played a combined once (Among the Stars, Cosmic Encounter, Puerto Rico). I might have to switch them out to actually complete it.

6. Play 20 games from my Top 30 games to play. I have played 13 of 30 so far, so I am well on my way to achieving my goal.

7. Acquire six quality games in 2015. I have picked up Friday, Istanbul, Patchwork, Red7, Sushi Go!, Tokaido in addition to the Kickstarters that have arrived, so I am calling this achieved!

8. Make three new gaming friends. I was able to host a couple of games nights over the past few months from which I had a list of about ten people to draw. Achieved!

9. Blog once a month about board gaming in addition to my quarterly updates. I wrote posts on the Spiel des Jahres award and on my "Want to Play" list, so I'm getting a lot closer to my goal.

10. Get Pot O' Gold (my game) finished and published! Now that school is done for the summer, I might have the mental time to devote some attention to the next stage: finishing the early beta testing and getting my print and play online!


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