Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Gaming Year In Review

This year started for me with all-night gaming. On December 31, 2006 at around 8pm, I got together with some friends and we started to play games.

I made a few comical resolutions for 2007, and one serious one:

I would keep up with my games played. And I've managed (ask my wife how odd I've gotten about keeping track).

400+ plays this year - and I'm mildly surprised at which games I've played the most.

Ca$h'n Gun$ is in first with 28 plays, followed by Mr. Jack with 25 plays.

Dungeon Twister is in third with 23 plays. If you include the expansions, I've played DT 38 times this year.

The surprising thing for me is that I am constantly telling people that I don't play very many two-player games. But Mr. Jack and DT are both right there at the top of the list. I had only two plays with the 3/4 Player expansion for DT, so it was clearly two-player for the other 36 games.

My top five includes three two-player games.

My Top Five Played Games, BTW, are:
1. Ca$h'n Gun$
2. Mr. Jack
3. Dungeon Twister
4. No Thanks!

These are all games I enjoy - and these five games make up almost a quarter of the games I played this year. If you include the DT Expansions, they're just over a quarter of my games played.

By number of plays, that is - if you compare time spent playing, I suspect you'd see a difference.

A couple of games didn't hit my Top Ten Plays that deserve special call-outs - I'll try to do those later this year.

I'm tweaking my tracking next year, too. I started late this year, after seeing the suggestion online:
If I play an expansion that doesn't stand alone (Vexation, for example), I'll record 1 play for the main game and .1 for the expansion. For games like DT, however, the expansions stand alone and will be posted as a full play of the expansion. This should give me a better idea of what I play next year.

I won't be posting again until late next week at the soonest. Have a safe and fun New Year celebration.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What's Up With Diplomacy?

As many of you know, I live and work in the greater Seattle area, which is home to many board, card, and role-playing game publishers. Including Wizards of the Coast (WotC).

WotC is owned by Hasbro, as is Avalon Hill (AH).

In fact, AH is currently the board game division of WotC.

Yes, this is relevant.

I have several friends who work (or worked) for WotC. So do most of my friends - as a local gamer, it's almost impossible not to have friends who work for a local publisher.

Now, news spilled a few weeks ago that a new printing (or edition) of Diplomacy is being shopped to distributors. Since the game has been OOP for a few years, it's newsworthy.

2009 is the 50th Anniversary of Diplomacy. As the shirt says, it's been "Destroying Friendships Since 1959." A 2008 release would give the 50th Anniversary time to get rolling, so they could do some sort of celebration throughout 2009.

So here's where I get interested:
I asked a couple of my WotC friends about the upcoming reprint. My friends are usually fairly free with information - it has similarities to my arrangement with Asmodée: they trust me.

Everyone I've asked so far has clammed up or mentioned their Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

It kindles a little spark of interest - and perhaps some hope for a 50th Anniversary release. WotC, if you're listening, I'd love to have a copy of Colonial Diplomacy included ...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Brief Side Trip

Last Wednesday, we gave out our Game Night Christmas Gifts - a $10 Gift Certificate to Phoenix Games.

I don't think everyone there celebrates Christmas, but everyone there celebrates some gift-giving holiday in December. And no-one is offended at receiving a Christmas gift. Which is nice.

Every year, my wife and I discuss how much to give, and every year, we settle on $10 - we think it's the ideal amount to support the game store:

1) This year, we bought 12 gift certificates. That's $120 direct to the store.
2) Some members will lose the gift certificates. This turns the $10 for that person into pure profit. That said, however, if they mention it to Brian, he'll probably replace them - but he doesn't have to. And it's hard to get hugely upset over losing $10.
3) Very few games cost less than $10. This means that when people use the certificates, they wind up spending more money on top of the certificate. The more money which is spent at the game store, the better off the game store is.

Even though I had recently received a sizeable bonus this year, we didn't increase the amount we gave.

As I won't be back until the middle of the week, I'm going to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas (unless you don't celebrate Christmas, in which case I wish you a wonderful Winter Holiday of Choice - and this wish is retroactive if I've already missed your Winter Holiday).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Miniatures Gaming - Oops!

I realized the other day that I overlooked discussing one significant factor on the other games I've covered:

"Wow, that looks cool! How do you play?"

It's not a barrier to entry, but it needs to be factored in the game's rating.

I did factor it into the final rating of the games I've done so far, but (while doing so) failed to discuss it.

For example:

I really like Battleground: Fantasy Warfare. It's a great game. It plays well, it has a low introductory cost, and it's just plain fun. But the cards aren't very eye-catching. I give it a C here.

A large part of what sucked me into War Machine was the appearance of the figures. This gives it an A.

Once I'm done going over these minis, I'll throw together a chart with the games and the various categories I've used in rating them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Here Come More Sporadic Updates

I've just changed jobs, which dramatically changes my schedule. Until I adapt to the new schedule, my updating here may not hit my one post per week goal.

Once I've adapted to the new schedule, of course, things should return to normal. Well, as normal as things get around here.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Some Minor Changes

My friend Wade suggested that I try FeedBurner if I wanted stats on my feed. Those of you reading via feed through LiveJournal shouldn't need to make changes - a support request has been opened to redirect the existing "user" for the feed.

I've also added Lijit search functionality to my sidebar - It's a better search than Technorati provides.

If you have problems with any of these, please e-mail me.