Sunday, January 1, 2017
2016 Gaming Year in Review
Dice Masters - 27
Pandemic Legacy - 17
Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game - 16
Bounce Off - 13
No Thanks! - 13
Coloretto - 11
King of Tokyo - 10
Qwixx - 10
Crokinole - 9
Sorry Sliders - 9
My most enjoyable gaming experience of 2016 is by far Pandemic Legacy. We got Pandemic Legacy for Christmas last year and started playing with our good friends on New Years Eve 2015. It took us 17 plays and about 10 months to finish. I've always been a fan of Pandemic, but the Legacy format takes it to another level. I'm looking forward to Pandemic Legacy Season Two that's coming out later this year.
I also had a lot of fun gaming with some guys in my neighborhood this year as well. In March I organized a game group and we've gotten together almost every month since. We usually have from 4 - 8 people show up and have a great time for 3 or so hours. There were some especially memorable games of Resistance where I realized that I'm really bad at Resistance. It was still a great time though.
2016 was also the year that my daughter is really starting to understand "dads" games. She can play almost anything on my shelf. We recently purchased The Castles of Burgundy. I thought this one might be a little to heavy for her, but we decided to give it a shot. She picked up the rules quickly and stays pretty competitive for the whole game. She's also played Lancaster, Legendary, and many games of Dice Masters. I'm thinking Agricola and Imperial Assault are in her future this year.
While seeing the number of games played is fun for me, what's best about logging the games I play is remembering the experiences I had with the people I care about. The time spent gaming represents time invested in people. I look forward to 2017 and the fun games in my future. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
Saturday, January 24, 2015
The Crazyness That Was 2014 and the Games I Played
So what did I play? I use BoardGameGeek to log all of the games that I play. www.BoardGameGeek.com has anything and everything that you could every imaging that is board game related. They even have an app that will let you log games in seconds. You can enter as much information about the games you play as you like, or you can just log what was played and when you played it. I do the latter, and it's a lot of fun at the end of year to go back and see what made it to the table.
In 2015 I played 151 total games. This was a very off year for me, but with the explanation above it makes perfect sense. Out of the 151 there were 50 different games played. There were only three games that broke 10 plays a piece - Dominion, Marvel Dice Masters, and Lord of the Rings LCG. The top 10 were:
Dominion - 18
Marvel Dice Masters - 16
Lord of the Rings LCG - 10
Ubongo - 8
Zombie Dice - 8
Memoir 44 - 6
Kingdom Builder - 5
No Thanks - 5
Pandemic - 5
7 Wonders - 5
151 games may seem like a lot of games played to some people. To me it represents quality time spent with family and friends. My daughter is now old enough to play "dads" games. I've had a blast teaching her Dominion, Ubongo, Memoir 44 and many others. I always make it a point to take a picture after the first time I play a new game with her. She was so proud that she beat dad at Qwirkle Cubes!
2015 is already off to a great start. I'm looking forward to more games with the family and making new gaming friends in Denver. Happy gaming everyone!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Forbidden Island is a lot of fun. It would be a welcome additional to anyones game collection. It has been nominated for the game of the year in Germany this year, The Spiel Des Jahres. I think it's definitely worthy of the nomination and gets my vote to win. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Random Thoughs on Agricola
Choices, Choices, and more Choices! Did I mention choices? There's a lot of decisions to be made in this game. This allows multiple paths to victory. Many games have one dominant strategy that everyone uses because if you don't you probably won't win. This is definitely not the case with Agricola. This adds to the replayability and total enjoyment of the game.
Goodies! There's a recent expansion to the game that came out called The Goodies. This adds little wooden pieces that actually look like the things they are supposed to look like. The grain looks like a bundle of grain, the sheep are little wooden sheep, and the cows actually look like cows! The expansion doesn't add a whole lot to the actual game play, but it does add a lot to the theme. It's pretty fun to see your farm after the game is over with little pigs and sheep running around. My wife likes the goodies so much that she refused to play until I was able to order one.
The Cards. You can play Agricola with or without most of the cards. I definitely prefer playing with the cards. They add a little complexity to the game, but also allow for deeper strategy. You are dealt 7 occupation cards as well as 7 minor improvement cards when you begin the game. It's a lot of fun studying your cards and figuring out which ones to play and how they are going to interact with each other. The game comes with a ton of cards. You'll have to play a lot of Agricola before you see all of them.
Balanced: As with most good strategy games the person with the best strategy is usually the winner. With that said, most games are really pretty close and come right down to the end. The person who can squeeze out the most victory points in the last round could very well be the winner. I've had quite a few games that are decided by one point. This can make for a very exciting finish.
Passes "the wife test": My wife really enjoys Agricola. She like a lot of games, but usually shies away from the more complex and heavier strategy games. This one is an exception to the rule. Any game that can take over two hours to play and still passes "the wife test" is a winner in my book. It's also a great two player game. A lot of my game playing is with my wife, so I'm always looking for game that play well with two.
These are a few of the reasons why I love Agricola. The more I play the game the more I find reasons that I enjoy it. I'm looking forward to getting The Farmers of the Moor expansion in the future. There's still a lot that I need to explore in the base game before then though. If you haven't checked out Agricola yet I would highly recommend that you do. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
Monday, April 25, 2011
To log or not log...
Sunday, April 3, 2011
So Why Games?
- Games are Social: Board games are a very social experience. This is probably what I like most about the hobby. I love getting together with friends and playing. I run a game group and it has been a blast getting to know local gamers. It can be kind of crazy packing 25 or so people in my little house, but it's always a great experience.
- Competition: Who doesn't like to win? The experience of games is almost always fun, but when you see your carefully crafted plans working as expected and you win a game, it can be a very satisfying experience. I'm a big fan of strategy games. Dominion is a perfect example. I can formulate a plan going into the game, and if I play it well my strategy wins. Unless someone had a better strategy that is. :) Winning obviously isn't everything, but it sure is fun every once in awhile.
- Games provide memorable experiences: I will never forget the time when my brother in law scored 20 total points in Ticket to Ride. For those that have played Ticket to Ride you know that scoring 20 points is pretty hard to do. You almost have to work at getting a score that low. We've laughed about that game many times as we've gotten together to play games. Playing games with friends and family makes memories and provides experiences that we will remember for the rest of our lives. And then there was that time that my entire ship got blown apart in Galaxy Trucker...
- Games are educational: As my daughter gets older I'm having more and more fun playing games with her. It's fun seeing her learn and develope through games. Games teach important skills such as learning to win or lose gracefully. This is something that many adults need as well. :) They can teach math, social skills, color and shape recognition, decision making skills, and many other things. There are a lot of games that are historical reenactments as well. Many of these games recreate historic battles or they can replay presidential elections in American history. You can play games about the Roman Colosseum, or the Incan empire. While some of these games are loosely based on historical events, they can generate interest in further study.
- Games can bring families together: Life can get very busy. It's important to slow down and spend quality time with the ones you love. Games help provide that opportunity. Some of my best memories growing up were playing Mexican Train with the family. I also remember some great games of Chess, Rummy, Hearts, Spades, and many other card games. With so many influences in the world trying to tear the family apart, it's important to find things that help bring the family together. Family game night can do the trick.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Holiday Gift Giving Guide
better than getting a shiny new game for Christmas? I don't think so. But with so many games out there how do we decide what game would make the perfect gift? Well...reading my holiday gift guide might help. :) I would love comments and feedback for this list, so please post your suggestions for great gifts as well.
Party Games: Party games are great for people who enjoy getting together with a large group of friends and family to just hang out and have a great time. There's usually not a whole lot of strategy in party games, but if you can find a good one there's always a lot of fun and laughter. Three great party games are:
Wits and Wagers
Family games: I love playing games with family. It's always a great time when my brother and his family are in town and we get to sit down and enjoy some games. Games that are best suited to families have some light strategy. There's enough strategy to be engaging for the older family members, but not too much for the younger ones. Some great family games are:
Zeus on the Loose
Heavy Strategy: Seasoned gamers might enjoy a game that has a little meat on it's bones. Something that is challenging and has some deeper strategy. These games tend to have a longer play time, usually at least 2 hours and sometimes longer. For those types of gamers the following games might do the trick:
Medium weight strategy: For those game players who enjoy some strategy in their games, but don't want a heavy strategy game that might go on for 2 to 3 hours, this group of games is for you! These are the types of games that I'm most drawn to. Typical playing times for these types of games can range from a half hour to 90 minutes. Some great games to choose from are:
Dominion - Best game ever. Just go buy it now. You won't be disappointed. :)
Games to introduce to new gamers: Let's face it, not everyone plays games. There's a huge world of board games out there, but most of them haven't hit the mainstream and are relatively unknown. So if you want to introduce someone to the wonderful world of board gaming it's a good idea to ease them into it with what many people call gateway games. Gateway games introduce people to modern board games without being overwhelming. They generally play in under an hour and have light strategy. Some great gateway games are:
Ticket to Ride
Settlers of Catan - probably the most famous gateway game and the one that got me into gaming.
Games for two: Much of my gaming is with my wife. So I'm always looking for games that play well with two players. The following games play great with two players:
Kids Games 4 +: One of the best things to hear as a father is "Daddy, do you want to play a game?" My daughter just turned 4 and there are some great games for her age group.
Feed the Kitty
Duck Duck Bruce! - the box says 6 +, but my daughter does great with it.
Go Away Monster
Kids Games 6 +: I've run a number of kids game day's at my home. We invite anyone who wants to come with their families and all of my kids games are available for everyone to play. It's great to see families playing games and enjoying time together. The following are some games for kids 6 and up that everyone has enjoyed.
Too Many Monkeys!
Well, hopefully this gives you a few ideas in case you're stumped on what to get this Christmas. Games can be the gift that keeps giving. They provide hours of entertainment and help to bring friends and family together. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season. Happy gaming from The Board Game Nut!