Gaming Year 2017

In 2016 I tried 133 new games. That, I felt, was too much, and in 2017, a move was made to correct that. 17% of my plays were spent trying new games, and it felt too much.

In 2017, I tried just 67 new games. The total number of plays was also slightly reduced, mostly as a function of playing less shorter children’s games. Overall I’m quite satisfied with the raw numbers.

I created another Top 100 list.

I also got together with a bunch of Finnish board game bloggers and created a new board game award called Pelaajien valinta, Players’ Choice. Our first winners were Flamme Rouge for the best family game of the year and Agricola for the best strategy game of the year. We also gave the award for the best board game good deed, which went to Taverna, the first Finnish board game cafe.

Our instant message group has also been a great thing and a constant source of good board game banter for the last half of the year, which has been great.

Moderation

I decided to go for moderation in my game acquisitions. That was a partial success. The first half of the year was very good; I bought just a few games. In September, things got a turn for worse, and I ended up spending over 1,000 euros in game purchases.

However, I also sold games for more than 1,000 euros, so the end result is not that bad. Also, the turnover is somewhat boosted by the three extra copies of Dawn of Peacemakers I had to back in order to make sure the campaign was a success. I was able to sell those games immediately, balancing it out.

All said and done, I ended up buying 35 titles and selling 71.

Kickstarter-wise, I backed a few projects. In 2016, I backed 19 projects, so there the reduction was successful. I participated in four campaigns: I got a bunch of Monikers expansions, the new edition of Brass (and I already have a buyer for my old copy), Root and Dawn of PeacemakersRoot is pretty much the only wild card: I knew what I was getting in Monikers and Brass, and got a preview copy of Dawn of Peacemakers to try out before making the decision.

I also avoided getting review copies of games and only asked for games I really wanted. Many reviews were made with the games available at the local board game cafe.

But moderation is difficult, when you’re faced with the barrage of interesting games. That is something I will continue practising in 2018.

As part of the process to focus on good old games, I started a fifty by fifty challenge, in which I attempt to play fifty games fifty times. Seven new titles made that list in 2017, compared to just one in 2016.

Good new games (2016–2017)

A Feast for Odin was a big one for me this year. It took some effort and some patience to get a copy, but I did get mine in May, and oh yes, it was worth the wait. It immediately shot to the top of my top 100 list. It is really very good, and I love the challenges of handling your workers, filling out your board with items and so on. I’ve only played it once multiplayer, and have mostly played two-player games with my son.

Yokohama I ended up backing due to Hisashi Hayashi‘s reputation and good buzz from people who had played earlier editions. I ponied up the money for the deluxified edition, which was a great idea: the game turned out to be very good and the deluxified edition looks splendid compared to the retail edition. I like this game a lot: it does lots of good things and is refreshing change from the usual worker placement fare.

Dawn of Peacemakers offered the thriller of the year. Not the game, though, but the Kickstarter campaign. 48 hours before the end it seemed unlikely to succeed, and in the end it was really close. For a moment I was in for seven copies, but managed to drop my pledge to just four copies before the campaign ended. I fortunately found buyers for the three extra copies pretty much immediately. Quite the thriller! And yeah, the game is good, too. My review sums up my feelings, and I’m really looking forward to August when we can play this for real.

Nusfjord is a new Uwe Rosenberg worker placement game with a cool Norwegian theme (outside the all male panel of the elders). This is a much simpler game than A Feast for Odin, somewhere on the same scale as Glass Road. That means the game is quite playable even with five players, which is great. The more I’ve played this game, the more I’ve enjoyed the challenge it provides.

Sidereal Confluence is a trading game in space, with highly asymmetrical player powers creating lots of opportunities to trade. The player count goes from four to nine, and since it’s all mostly simultaneous, it plays in two hours or less with all player counts. It’s a huge hog for table space with larger counts, though.  I’ve only played this once so far, but even based on that I’m ready to say it’s one of the best games of the year.

Escape rooms were a thing this year. I finally got around to try one, and was hooked on the first go (largely because we did so well, escaping in pretty much a record time). I also tried out couple of escape room board games: Unlock! is good and the free games are very much worth printing out. Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor is a bit easy but well done. EXIT: The Game is my favourite series, though, these I like the best.

Good older games I haven’t played before

A Few Acres of Snow may be a flawed game, but it’s still good entertainment and a fresh take on deck-building. The rules updates should fix the broken parts anyway. I’ve played this couple of times, mostly against my son who isn’t really into the warfare part of the game yet, and I’ve love to give this one a go against an adult opponent.

Mombasa was something I had to check out after Great Western Trail, and once I’d played it, I had to buy it (so much for moderation). But it is a splendid, solid game, highly recommended for the fans of the heavy euro game.

Pax Pamir was part of my interest in the works of Cole Wehrle (my Cole Wehrle interview was by far the most-read article on this blog this year), sparked by John Company which hasn’t arrived yet. So far Pax Pamir is the best one: lots of really clever stuff in this game, with an interesting setting and lots of good ideas.

Children’s games

Here’s a list of games that we played at least five times. It’s interesting to see how the games change year after year.

Hero Realms was my son’s favourite game for the most of the year. We ended up playing more than 60 rounds. That’s pretty solid return on investment.

Santorini was also pretty solid: we played it a lot for couple of months, until it hit about 50 plays, and my interest in it waned.

Love Letter is still the most popular family game in our family. It just doesn’t get stale at all.

Coconuts was skipped in 2016, now I made some effort to play it again, and guess what? It’s still very addictive and very entertaining.

Fashion Show still got lots of plays. Those plays are super fast, so it’s something I can play with my daughter to keep her happy.

Afrikan tähti still gets played almost every time we visit the grandparents.

Innovation got on the rotation when I made the effort of translating it to Finnish. This got the attention from my son, and we played the game about ten times. Fun fact: he can win the game if he gets to spam Agriculture. Otherwise, it’s likely I’ll win.

Ty Beanie Boo’s Friends Game is a game for toddlers my daughter found at a library, loaned and then we played it ten times. Fortunately it was then returned to the library, never to be seen again.

Joylings is a terrible game, a combination of Top Trumps and roll-and-move, with cutesy horses. This is definitely something I only do for my daughter.

Klack! is a reaction test game, and mercifully short one.

Europa Tour used to be a thing with me and my son, but we haven’t played it in a while. My daughter has picked it up, though, and requests it occasionally. She still isn’t very good in it, though; this seems like such a random game, but I still win a lot.

The Mysteries of Peking is another game we play at the grandparents. It’s a harmless roll and move mystery, and I can clearly see why it captivates the kids so much. It’s pretty well done for what it is.

Da ist der Wurm drin is not really a game, just a roll-and-move raffle. But it’s pretty fun for something like that.

Super Rhino keeps entertaining, it’s such a fun little dexterity game. People have been hyping up the new Super Battle version, but I’m not sure if I’m interested in that.

The Magic Labyrinth still works, it’s one of the better memory games.

Tumbling Tower is a Jenga variant, and the kids played a ton of it while at a summer cabin that was somewhat low on entertainment.

Dungeon Rush is a speed game, and I’m a bit lukewarm on it. It’s pretty good in the genre, but the genre just isn’t doing much for me these days. This is somewhat problematic as a family game because of the skill differences.

Guess Who? was a Christmas gift for my daughter. I’m sure this will see lots of play. It’s not very painful, and the new edition is somewhat developed from the one I played as a kid: the characters are on a sheet which can be replaced. The sheets are double-sided, with animals on the other side, and you can print out new sheets to increase replay value.

Little Prince: Make Me a Planet is one of my daughter’s favourite games. We play two-player games only, so the meanness in the game doesn’t really come up. It might be a problem.

Games I’ve kept on enjoying

Tigris & Euphrates made a nice comeback. I got a copy from a math trade, as I wanted my son to be able to experience this classic. It was really fun to get back to this game after so many years. This is one of Reiner’s finest, no doubt about that.

Mechs vs Minions eventually got almost 20 plays. I’ve now played all the campaign scenarios and haven’t really returned to the game since. My son has played this a little, and I still have the game. It was well worth buying.

Terraforming Mars has turned out to be a fine game. I managed to buy a copy in March after long wait, and played it almost ten times. That’s pretty good, as the game hasn’t really sparked in my game group: there are some folks who just don’t like it. It’s a bit on the long side, I agree, which is why I rather like it as a two-player game and without the Corporate Era stuff. But the length is part of the charm: this is a tableau builder that doesn’t end too early.

South African Railroads was on a break for couple of years, but I played it couple of times this year. It’s a good one, one of the better Winsome games. Unfortunately it’s not available anymore. I did a new map for it, trying to learn a bit of graphic design.

The Great Zimbabwe made a comeback after many years of not playing the game. My son turned out to be a fan. It’s a curious two-player game, plays really really fast. I also played my second play of Duck Dealer: the first was one 2010 when the game was released. It’s still a good game.

The not-so-good, the disappointing and the plain bad

Near and Far was a pretty game, but we played it couple of times and decided to pass it along. It just isn’t very interesting, and I’ve learnt now that outside few exceptions, campaign games are not my thing.

Savage Planet: The Fate of the Fantos was on Kickstarter and was interesting enough that I made a print-n-play copy. After all, the game leaned heavily on Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, one of my favourite CCGs and had pretty cool art. Too bad it was awful, and none of my friends wanted to ever see it again.

Arkham Horror was a great math trade catch: I got a fine copy for two euros. We played it once, figured out the game is absolute garbage, and I sold it for 40 euros. So can’t say I’m disappointed, really, the game was pretty much as awful as I expected it to be.

Cat Tower looked like a fun thing, but wasn’t actually at all fun to play.

BONK also looks like it’s fun, but it was a bit too fast and furious.

Mountains of Madness has a really cool idea, but doesn’t really work as a game, I think. Too heavy for a party game, too bizarre for a strategy game. I’m glad I gave it a go, but no, there’s no need to revisit those mountains.

Where are they now

Pandemic Legacy Season 1. We’ve yet to finish the first season, and I’m pretty sure we never will. It just wasn’t all that interesting; I don’t like Pandemic and while I think the Legacy stuff is a nice added layer of interesting stuff on top of it, it still is Pandemic under all that.

The Colonists has failed to hit the table at all. It’s just too big, and I have so few opportunities for big, heavy two-player games.

Blue Moon fell out of fashion. Time will tell if that was a disturbance caused by Hero Realms, or a permanent change. Same happened to Burgle Bros., which I don’t really miss.

Fives and dimes

Dimes

  1. Hero Realms (66)
  2. Santorini (53)
  3. Love Letter (21)
  4. Coconuts (18)
  5. Mechs vs Minions (17)
  6. Fashion Show (15)
  7. Afrikan tähti (11)
  8. Joylings (10)
  9. Innovation (10)
  10. Ty Friends (10)

Fives

  1. Halli Klack (9)
  2. Kingdom Builder (8)
  3. Splendor (8)
  4. Terraforming Mars (8)
  5. Tzaar (8)
  6. Europa Tour (8)
  7. The Mysteries of Peking (8)
  8. Unlock! (7)
  9. Da ist der Wurm drin (7)
  10. Tumbling Tower (6)
  11. Super Rhino (6)
  12. Century: Spice Road (6)
  13. Dungeon Rush (6)
  14. Fugitive (6)
  15. Nusfjord (6)
  16. Dawn of Peacemakers (6)
  17. Majesty (6)
  18. Guess Who (6)
  19. The Magic Labyrinth (6)
  20. A Feast for Odin (5)
  21. Concordia (5)
  22. Little Prince: Build Me a Planet (5)
  23. Tokaido (5)
  24. Gnomi (5)
  25. Imagine (5)

Year metric

  1. Battle Line (Schotten-Totten) (16/17)
  2. San Juan (14/14)
  3. Attika (13/15)
  4. Dominion (10/10)
  5. Carcassonne (13/17)
  6. Ta Yü (12/15)
  7. Memory (9/9)
  8. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (12/16)
  9. Animal upon Animal (9/10)
  10. Samarkand: Routes to Riches (8/8)
  11. Innovation (8/8)
  12. Schildkrötenrennen (8/8)

First number is the years I’ve played the game, second is the number of years since the first time I played. So, I first played San Juan fourteen years ago and have played it every year since that. With Battle Line I’ve missed a year. I didn’t play games marked with an asterisk this year.

H-index

My H-index for this year is 10 (10 last year). My total H-index is 40, up three points from last year.

Gaming Year 2012

Another year gone. Good years keep on rolling – I rather enjoyed 2011, and have no complaints about 2012.

My kids continued to be good playing company. My son is now six and half, and is ready for some proper family games. I started introducing him to card games, as well, and that worked well. He can also read now, so we’re soon going to be able to play games requiring reading. My daughter, soon four, is now playing games full time and not just playing with them. She can be quite mad when she loses, but we’ll work on that.

Other than that, I’ve been having my weekly game nights on Thursdays, and also a Monday night game session at the circus school with a friend of mine whose son is in the same circus school as my son. I’ve been able to visit the usual cons and had overnight visits to both Ropecon and Lautapelaamaan.

Sunday morning Walnut Grove
Tuomo and Mika playing Walnut Grove at Lautapelaamaan 2012

Good new games (2011-2012)

Kingdom Builder was the biggest new game of the year. It seems to have received an overall warm welcome, with some detractors claiming there’s not much game in it. I think there is – most of the time (but certainly not always) you can manage the luck and play well. It’s not at all scripted, but if you make mistakes or have really bad luck, then yes, it can get a bit sour. Nomads was a nice addition, nothing terribly essential (except for the red pieces), though. This one works well as a family game, my son likes to play it. I’ve mostly played this as a two-player game, with my son or at the circus school.

Trains was a must-buy once I heard of it. Dominion, with a train theme? Sold! I bought my copy immediately from Japan, paying a rather hefty sum for it (it is the most expensive game I’ve bought so far). Fortunately the game was just as good as the synopsis promised. Excellent game, and easier to carry around than Dominion. I also designed a Tampere map for the game. That was fun.

The Great Zimbabwe is the new Splotter game, and thus a must-buy. Turned out this was the best new Splotter title for me since I don’t know when. The shorter playing time suits me perfectly, and I’ve already managed six games in two months or so. A friend of mine did list the Zimbabwe as one of the worst games he played last year, but I hope I can keep on playing this one, as it is a very interesting game.

Village got my attention by winning both SdJ and DSP. Not bad! Turns out the game was quite decent, and I got in five plays pretty quickly. After that, though, my interest has been waning. The time mechanism is great, and the game certainly offers lots of things to do. It’s a solid euro game, and for a worker placement game, it’s rather well done (a lot more interesting than, say, Fresco). Not a keeper though, I expect I’ll sell this one this year.

The City. I have played this before, but I finally got my own copy and played 13 games in just couple of months. This one’s going to reach 100 plays sooner or later, probably sooner. It is simply an excellent filler.

Santa Cruz is an interesting entry to the 45-minute euro game category. Not bad. I quite enjoyed the seven games I played. However, I already sold my copy, so certainly not a keeper for me. Worth trying, though, if you enjoy the likes of Thurn and TaxisFinca and other 45-minute euros.

Love Letter was a real surprise. I got the game from the Lautapelaamaan raffle and it turned out to be quite the hit. It’s very compact, just 16 cards, but it does offer quite a bit of game. The default winning conditions are probably one point too much, making the game a tad long, but still – the card interactions offer lots of laughs and exciting situations. There’s a hefty dose of luck, but the whole unfairness of it is one of the things that make Love Letter work.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is an interesting co-op game of, well, fire rescue. This one requires close team work if the players wish to succeed. A rather enjoyable game, which I liked. It got me a bit excited, actually, but I’m fairly sure that if I went and got the game, I’d end up never playing it (case in point: Rattus, which turned out to be a total flash in the pan, despite early excitement).

Elder Sign left me cold the first time we played it. I then got the iPhone app, played couple of games and requested the board game again and hey, it sure was much more enjoyable. The key here? Elder Sign is very much a fixed fun game. We had six players in our first game, three in the second and thus (at least) double the fun.

Timeline is a fun little trivia game, based on arranging events on a timeline. Not the first game to do this kind of thing, but it’s pretty well done here. Other games do this in a more complicated way, including bluffing and doubt, but Timeline is very simple and straightforward, and that works well.

Colorpop is a simple game of matching colors, but there’s some subtlety in it that’s not immediately obvious. Then again, when I played with my kids, they won most of the time, so it’s clearly all luck. Anyway, it’s a fun little game that looks interesting.

Soccero. I played this Finnish soccer game exactly once and this is one of those games that I thought was interesting, but which would probably fail if I bought it – it’s a two-player game, and for starters I don’t play lots of two-player games. Fortunately that’s not an option, considering the hefty price tag the game is sporting. Anyway, if die-roll based soccer is your thing, Soccero is a good choice, I though the game was rather fun to play.

Tuomo plays The Great Zimbabwe
Tuomo playing The Great Zimbabwe at Lautapelaamaan 2012

Good older games I haven’t played before

Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper was one of the hits of the year. The game has been on my radar for years (it’s an old game, it’s from the 20th century!) and I finally acquired a copy. That was one of the better purchases of the year. I played 15 games, mostly two-player at the circus school, and inspired at least two friends to buy their own copies of the game (which is now easily available, unlike back when I was first interested in it). Very good.

Brass is one of those “why didn’t I play this before” games. After giving Age of Industry a go I went ant bought myself a copy of Brass. Turned out to be a rather good idea. I only played four games with the real game, but over 40 games at the Order of the Hammer. I stopped playing at some point, but should probably get back to it, as it was fun.

Schnäppchen Jagd is another long-time radar game I finally acquired. Another good purchase. Even though some folks find this game doesn’t offer enough control, I found it good enough and enjoyed my seven games of it. I played this one strictly as a three-player game. That’s probably how it shines. I certainly wouldn’t mind playing more.

Tobago is a clever little game. It’s clearly a family game, and not a very heavy strategy game, but it plays fast and provides lots of entertainment. I mostly played it in Jyväskylä, and will probably continue to play it there. The components are delightful and the game is just fun to play.

Volldampf is an old Martin Wallace train game, a precursor to Age of Steam, and I’ve been eyeing this one for a long time. Now I finally got it, and we quickly played twice. The game was clearly better with three than with five, so I’ll be aiming at the lower player counts with this one in the future. The game has its flaws (the action cards?), but works out rather well, and is a nice, softer train game.

Clippers fell unfortunately flat. I had high hopes for this Winsome-like train game masqueraded as sailing game, but we’ve only played this once so far. The guy I was most hoping to enjoy this didn’t, so I haven’t been able to get a second play with the proper five players. Too bad, because this seems like a very good game.

1817
1817 at Lautapelaamaan 2012. I didn’t play any 18xx this year myself.

Children’s games

Here’s a list of all children’s games that we played at least five times. It’s interesting to see how the games change year after year. Some classics remain, some turn out to be less popular, in the end. The situations and the ages matter. I’ve had fewer chances to play games with just my son, we’ve had to include my daughter as well, which has changed the games a bit.

Kids of Carcassonne didn’t get the 50+ plays it got last year, but it still was our most-played children’s game this year. And why not? Easy enough for both of the kids, yet still interesting to play.

Da ist der Wurm drin is a roll-and-move with almost no decisions to make, yet it’s been one of the hits this year. Kids love it, it’s that simple, and I don’t mind playing it. It is quite exciting, and the randomness of it all is actually a bonus, as it’ll force the kids to face the realities of winning and losing on a pleasantly random basis.

Mord in Arosa is mentioned here, because most of the time I played this one with my son. It’s not a bad two-player game, and easy enough for children that it’ll make a decent family game, if you don’t mind the bloody murder. Fortunately the illustrations are subtle enough.

Volldampf voraus! is a small Haba set collection game with a train theme I bought last year. It didn’t make the list last year, but now it did. It’s one of the games my daughter enjoys quite a bit. It’s very easy and plays pretty fast, yet offers some excitement and fun.

Das kleine Gespenst is one of our favourites, my daughter often requests this. We’ve got good house rules for this one, we remove the still-too-difficult dexterity aspect and make this a pure memory game. My son has been dominating the games so far, but my daughter is soon going to give him tough times. Me, I’m just a bystander in these games. I won exactly once the whole year.

Villa Paletti is a real classic that keeps on providing entertainment year in, year out.

Marrakech might include a game or two with adults, but mostly it’s two-player games with my son. I should probably try this with my daughter as well.

Kids from Catan is my daughter’s favourite. It’s a pure lottery with zero decisions, but at least it has nice components (some of which, actually, don’t even work well). I expect she’ll eventually grow out of this and then it’s good riddance, but meanwhile I don’t mind playing this – if it’s her favourite, then it is.

Takenoko is another great family game. The game has an age recommendation of 13+, which is way off (but as I understand, only because of US consumer protection laws which make things much easier for products marketed for 13+ audience re lead tests and all that). My son plays the game quite well, too, with some help from me. We can play a fairly competitive game, actually. Lovely family game.

Schildkrötenrennen is a bit tricky with the cards, so we’ve played using open cards. This one will shine a bit later on, I think.

Carcassonne. My son is already old enough for the regular Carcassonne, and we’ve played some. Without farmers, of course.

Go. I reintroduced my son to Atari-Go (play until first capture). It went down better than before. He’ll learn.

Shipping container
A ship and a container from Container.

Games I’ve kept on enjoying

Oregon. I played twice last year, then 102 games this year. I did count quite a few online plays at Yucata.de in this, but only those that were finished within one day (ie. sort of in one sitting). So, I actually played more of this. I did play quite a few live games as well, mostly two-player games at the circus school, as we could play three games in the hour we had. Excellent, excellent game.

Pantheon. I was hoping to explore this one further last year, and that indeed happened. I tried this one on Thursday games and it didn’t quite succeed, but my mother loves this one, so I’ll be playing this one at Jyväskylä, then. I probably should just leave the game there, actually (they keep a side branch of my game collection; there’s already Qwirkle and Stone Age).

Eclipse got three plays, which is good. One of those plays was an epic nine-player game. That was fun to try, but probably something I won’t miss much. The other two games were non-expanded games with my friends, and it’s nice to see something this heavy played on our weekly game nights. Eclipse is not perfectly my kind of game, so I’m pretty happy with the few games in a year pace. I still haven’t got the expansion, and I’m not sure if I’m going to get it. I should write something about it, though…

Dominion got a bit eclipsed by Trains. I still managed 12 games, which is all good and well, considering I didn’t really play it on our weekly game sessions. It’s such an unwieldy game. I still haven’t got the latest expansion, and I’m kind of wondering if I should get it or not. It won’t see much play, but then again… I’d like to have it. I should also try to get Dominion played a bit more.

Felix: Cat in the Sack was a rather popular filler. It is a rather delightful game, if you don’t play it with three. I’ve proudly got six wins out of ten games, where my expected share is just 2.4 wins.

Acquire. I acquired an old copy of this classic and gave it a new go this year. We ended up playing it three times. Not bad, as that doubled my Acquire games. Nice and classic for a reason, always a pleasure (though the game can drag a bit, if there’s one or two slow players in it).

Innovation is difficult to get on the table, but I still managed five games. The expansion is one of the most useless so far, I think I’ve used it exactly once since I got it. We just don’t play Innovation at a rate that would make the expansion interesting.

String Railway: Transport is a pity – a game I’d like to play a lot more, as I think it’s a rather interesting game, but nobody else likes it. What a shame. Regular String Railway fell out of rotation as well, I only played it twice, even though I’ve carried with me every now and then.

Nile DeLuxor kept shining as an easy-to-approach card game. I rarely take it to the game nights, but it got played at home and at the circus school. It’s a keeper.

Petri points out
Nine-player Eclipse at Ropecon 2012.

The not-so-good, the disappointing and the plain bad

Kimble aka Trouble aka Sorry. This is still an awful game. The kids wanted to play it and we played it three times, but I think the game ended up with someone crying every time. It has so many elements that only add frustration. So, no matter the rather cool Angry Birds Space Race set I have, this game sucks.

Dominant Species: The Card Game. Not my cup of tea, I knew it. We did have six players, which probably only made it worse. This might work with three or four, but even then… no.

Red Hot Silly Dragon. A clever idea, but the game wasn’t actually any fun at all.

Jolly Octopus is mostly about a battery-operated octopus, which whirls around, flails its tentacles and laughs a horrible electronic laughter if you touch it. I fail to see a game here. The kids kind of liked it, but I made sure it went out of the house quickly.

Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hide. I expected more, based on how great Jack the Ripper was, but… well, this one wasn’t all bad, but it kept me thinking: why am I playing this, when I could be playing Jack the Ripper? And that’s no good at all.

Cars 2 World GP and Cars 2: Race Champions. I’ve yet to see a decent Cars-themed game. One of these is even a Knizia, and they both are rather horrible. Fortunately my son is no longer that interested in Cars, and hasn’t asked to play these anymore.

Coyote is a game of Indian Poker meets Liar’s Dice. I can see how some people have a blast with these. Count me out.

Snowdonia fell awfully flat. Maybe it was part the situation and part the game, but still – I have zero interest in trying this one out in a better situation.

Dungeon Lords was so not my cup of tea. It’s way too complicated, takes too long, and the interaction with the other players is rather unpleasant.

Ascending Empires. I ended up selling this one. It has lots of promise, but when every second game is decent and every second game is slow and long-winded misery, it just doesn’t work out. Also, my friends didn’t really like this.

Kickstarter. Kings of Air and Steam was supposed to arrive in July, then August, then later, then who knows when… I still don’t have it. And this from a company that swore that it had learnt from its earlier mistakes with Eminent Domain. FrankenDie was also late, but that one I did get, and now I have four copies and nobody wants them. Glory to Rome Black Box – what an epic display of lateness. That does it – I’m off Kickstarter games for now.

Hand of god
A hand of god at Ropecon 2012.

Fives and dimes

Last year I had a slightly longer list, thanks to a wider variety of children’s games, I think. I’m not at all unhappy with this list, though.

Dimes

  1. Oregon (102)
  2. Kingdom Builder (31)
  3. Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper (15)
  4. The City (13)
  5. Kids of Carcassonne (13)
  6. Da ist der Wurm drin (12)
  7. Trains (12)
  8. Dominion (12)
  9. Mord im Arosa (10)

Fives

  1. Battle Line (Schotten-Totten) (9)
  2. Felix: Cat in the Sack (8)
  3. Volldampf voraus! (8)
  4. Das kleine Gespenst (8)
  5. Villa Paletti (8)
  6. Santa Cruz (7)
  7. Takenoko (7)
  8. Schnäppchen Jagd (7)
  9. Marrakech (7)
  10. Kids from Catan (7)
  11. Can’t Stop (6)
  12. Set (6)
  13. Colorpop (6)
  14. Great Zimbabwe (6)
  15. Love Letter (6)
  16. Puzzle Strike (6)
  17. Schildkrötenrennen (6)
  18. Nile (6)
  19. Nile DeLuxor (6)
  20. Pantheon (6)
  21. Carcassonne (5)
  22. Village (5)
  23. Innovation (5)
  24. Atari-go (5)
  25. Tobago (5)
  26. San Juan (5)
Heavenly hand
Another hand of god, this time in Pantheon.

Year metric

  1. Battle Line (11/12)
  2. Age of Steam (10/10)
  3. San Juan (9/9)
  4. Attika (9/10) *
  5. Ta Yü (9/10)
  6. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (8/11) *
  7. Villa Paletti (8/11)
  8. Ingenious (7/9) *
  9. 18XX (6/7) *
  10. Settlers of Catan Junior (5/5)
  11. Animal Upon Animal (5/5)
  12. Dominion (5/5)
  13. Preußische Ostbahn (5/5)

First number is the years I’ve played the game, second is the number of years since the first time I played. So, I first played Age of Steam ten years ago and have played it every year since that. With Battle Line I’ve missed a year. I didn’t play games marked with an asterisk this year.

Hannu plays Brass
Hannu plays Brass.

H-index

My H-index for this year is 9 (last year 11). My total H-index is 27, one up from last year.

Zimbabwe, Trains, Love Letter

Great ZimbabweWhen I get to play The Great ZimbabweTrains and Love Letter on the same day, I don’t complain.

I still can’t win The Great Zimbabwe, though. This time I got the Builder + Gu combo and built some craftsmen, but it didn’t work out well. On the other hand, I did make good money with my craftsmen, so that was good.

The winner of our three-player game kept his VR low, that was the key. We were able to delay things by building secondary craftsmen, but that didn’t help. Enthusiastic.

TrainsTrains was a second playtest of my Tampere map. Last time the map was badly missing some station locations, so I increased the city density closer to what it is on other maps. Now it all worked quite well, and the map felt quite balanced too, there were no places that are obviously the best place to play.

We also had a decent mix of cards, so it was quite an interesting game. In the end my weakest board position wasn’t enough to win the game and I was dead last. The winner had a rather impressive track network. Enthusiastic.

Love LetterTo wrap  up the evening, I gave the guys a choice between Love Letter and The City. They chose Love Letter – for me it was a pure win-win situation.

What a good game we had, too! I got a strong start, Hannu did quite well, too, so the scores were soon 4-3-0. However, as seems to be the usual case, the third guy picked up the pace a bit, and eventually we ended up at 4-4-4 – the first player to five points wins the game, so it was as close as possible.

Fortunately I was then able to secure the victory, so my promising start didn’t go to waste and I could go home happy for winning at least something.

Love Letter scores Suggest, almost Enthusiastic. It is a rather brilliant design, the way the cards interact with each other in many ways. It’s an excellent filler.

A small update

Hi guys, it’s me again. I counted, and since the last update, I’ve played 112 games of over 50 titles. That’s pretty spiffy. I’ve also been rather busy, as you may have guessed. Time to start clearing out the backlog… The City is the cleanest and easiest game in the San Juan / Race for the … Continue reading A small update