Wednesday, February 08, 2017

My 2016 Gaming In Review

I know. We're already into February, so why am I dragging 2016 back into this?

Because I played a ton of really good games in 2016, and there are a ton of games that only got a few plays that honestly need more plays.

This weekend, we were talking about a game (I don't remember which one, unfortunately), and I remember saying, "I love that game! I hardly ever get to play it, though."

I was then asked why not, and the answer was, "Because there are so many other good games that need playing."

Most peoples' Year In Review posts talk about the games that they played a lot. I'm going to talk about how well I hit (and missed) my goals for the year.

In 2016, my goal was "play more games, instead of the same few games over and over and over."

I think I hit that goal. I had very few "Nickels and Dimes" last year.

I only had six games that I played more than four times - and they're all good games. Four of them are fast-playing, which is probably how they got so many plays.

Those six games were The Grizzled, Mafia de Cuba, Deus, Room 25, and Win, Lose, or Banana.

There were six games that I played four times. Age of War, Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deckbuilding Game, No Thanks!, Scythe, and Witness.  Again: Shorter faster games dominate that list.

And I can explain why every game is on that list, too.

The Grizzled is a fast-playing easy-to-learn cooperative game for experienced gamers.  You can play it with rookies and beginners, but it's going to be more difficult for all involved.

Mafia de Cuba is a fast-playing easy-to-learn deduction game. It was new-to-me this year, which boosted its plays because I had to figure out the best way to teach it. And my group really enjoyed it.

Deus is a good entry-level tableau-builder. It's slower than the other two, however. And it's a good game to bring when you don't know the skill level of the other gamers, such as when you're joining a new group.

Room 25 is a favorite. Period. I did some work on the upcoming expansion, so I dug it out to re-familiarize myself with the base game. And then didn't put it back down.

Win, Lose, or Banana is a game you can play with eight-year-olds. It takes two seconds to teach and about 30 seconds to play. It fills time while you're waiting for another game to end.

Augustus is similar to Deus in that it's easy to teach, so makes a great introduction game with a new group. We tend to call this one "Strategy Bingo." It makes people laugh.

That's right: Every game I played five or more times is either easy to learn or easy to teach. As a rule of thumb, "easy to learn" games are always easy to teach.

That pattern continues for the next six games, too, with two notable exceptions:

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deckbuilding Game is not easy to teach (or learn).  There are odd little timing details and so on. It's on the list because it was new to me, and I needed to get my teaching patter down because it's a game I wanted to play. And before I can play a game, I need to teach a game.

Scythe is a scary-looking game with lots of bits. But it's surprisingly easy to learn and to teach. If you can get people past the "So many bits" issue.

In fact, the more I move down the list, the more I see that "complex" games are (mostly) on the list more than once because I wanted to get my teaching patter down. Again: Because I teach games I want to play, and it often takes multiple attempts to get my teaching patter together.

I ... I think I like teaching games as much as (if not more than) I like playing games. And that is something that I think I need to ponder.

1 comment:

  1. I'm amused that your goal is completely opposite of mine. I have far too many games I've only played once. I had only a handful of nickle games and I think two dime games.