2012 – A year in reviews

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking of how best to sum up 2012, both in terms of the games I’ve played and the things I’ve done. I played some new games released this year, but I’ve also played games that coming out next year and games that were new to me this year. Do I list my top plays of the year, even if they aren’t new games for me? After all the thinking, I believe I’ll do a little bit of everything. Listed below are the best games I played this year, for one reason or another. Some will be games new to the market, some will be older games, and some games aren’t even out yet. If you have questions about any of the games, just comment below.

Biggest Surprises

When I went to U-Con, I got to sit down and try Lords of Waterdeep, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the game plays. I had assumed that a worker placement with a Dungeons and Dragons theme would be a very long, drawn out game. The reality is that the game is very quick to learn and took us about 90 minutes to play with five players, four of which were new to the game.

Seasons is another great game I got to try this year. It’s certainly not an easy game to pick up, but it’s a lot of fun once you start to understand the card combos. It’s also a very pretty game with large dice, gorgeous artwork, and a very well designed box.

Leaping Lemmings is, at its core, a war game. There are chits with individual movement, rules for cover and hiding, and a hex based map. However, it’s very accessible and I enjoyed the game I learned at the WBC.

Favorite New Games

There were some huge hits that came out this year. Android: Netrunner is a popular game with me and my group. The asymmetrical game play and the options for deck building allow for some interesting situations. The deception part of playing the Corp and the breakthrough turns for the Runner are a great part of the game. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the first few expansions do to changing the game.

Morels was a game that I missed at Origins, but heard about afterwards. When we got to GenCon, I knew I had to pick up a copy, and I’m glad that I did. It’s a great two player game with set collection mechanics and some interesting card actions. The hand carved wooden sticks are a really nice touch. The mushroom hunting mechanic is interesting and lends itself well to the theme.

Tahiti was another great game that I came out this year from a good friend of mine. David showed me the game at Origins and I was hooked. It’s a pick up and delivery type of game, but with an expanding map and some risks to be taken by the players. I enjoy most delivery games, but the exotic island theme was a new touch to the genre, and the risking of your goods is a well done mechanic. (You can also see my single play review of Tahiti here.)

Other great games

While they won’t be out until next year, I got to try some great games at conventions in 2012. The Great Heartland Hauling Co. is going to be a staple that I take with me when I travel. It’s a small box that has a lot of great pick up and deliver play. Mars Needs Mechanics is another hit that I can’t wait to get in 2013, both because I love the art style and the economic focused game play. Forge has a lot of dice and though I’ve only played once, I think it’ll be a popular game in my collection because of the ease of learning the game and the replayability.

Changes in 2012

A year ago, this blog didn’t really exist. I wasn’t making buttons for companies, showing off games for twelve different game publishers, chatting with various game designers on a regular basis, or doing much of what Geek-Craft now is. I’m surprised at what has changed over the past year, and I’m thankful for everything that has happened. I went to some new conventions, like BashCon, U-Con, and WBC. I got to make new friends, too many to name them all, and enjoy talking with them and hope to strengthen the friendships, as well as make more friends next year.

Hopes for 2013

In the new year, I’m hoping to accomplish some goals. I’d like to get more of my collection to the table, as I have plenty of games that I haven’t played in a while, and some that have never been played. I’m also hoping to make more friends in the gaming community, demo a wide variety of games, and maybe even finish a game of Compounded.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far, who has been there to talk to, encouraged me to do what I’ve done, and who’s read this site. I’ll still do a post later this year to cover all the new and wonderful games I’ll get from my friends and family this Christmas, but it’ll be a quick and light post. Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a wonderful holiday season if you don’t.

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2 Responses

  1. Paul Owen says:

    Nice wrap up of the year.

    I never really thought of Leaping Lemmings as a wargame, even if it is a GMT product. I see a few wargame-like elements to it, but I have a hard time putting it in that category. Not just because of the theme, but because my lemmings never attack anybody else’s lemmings. I might sit on top of them, I might abandon them to the eagles, but I think it’s missing too much of the “combat” aspect of a wargame to really fit that genre.

    I keep hearing about Morels as a good two-player. I’d like to see it; I just have a hard time getting past such an unlikely theme.

    I’m excited about Great Heartland Hauling, Mars Needs Mechanics, and Compounded. This new year is going to be an exciting one for new games.

    • Ken says:

      You’re right that Leaping Lemmings isn’t a normal war game. It does, however, work to teach some of the basics, like cover and movement.

      Morels is awesome. If you’ll be somewhere I am in 2013 (Origins, GenCon, my house), I’ll try to have it with me to show you.

      I’m waiting to see what all comes out on Kickstarter in 2013. Someone needs to do a Mayan calendar game of date changing. 😉

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