2015 – What a year!
2015 has been a heck of a year. Lots of new things, more of the regular good things, and some hiccups along the way. Time for a look back over the last twelve months.
The bad is where I’m going to start because there wasn’t a lot of it this year and it’s more of a new chapter. Due to a disagreement with the store I used to demo at, I’ve decided to start demoing at a new store, Critical Hit Games. The store is closer to where I live and is excited to do more demos and other events. Watch for more game demos and events on the Calendar page.
I also tried to do a month full of games for two players, lovingly referred to as Twovember. It didn’t exactly work out as planned, but I did get to play a lot of cool two player games. I’m planning to do something similar in 2016.
There were some new experiences this year. I went to BGG.Con alone in 2014, but this year Sam got to go with me. We got to play a lot of great games and take advantage of the large BoardGameGeek library. We also got to hang out with some great friends and have some lovely food from Texas. Of course, there were a few other folks in Dallas for the event.
This wasn’t the first time to Texas for us, as we did a small vacation in February. We did a “KenCon” where the goal was to play games and just visit friends, and we had a wonderful time. Of course, when this is the view at the airport before you leave, Texas is extra wonderful.
Immediately after this trip to the South, Sam and I went to our first UnPub event, which was a blast. We got to not only play some great games, but also provide honest feedback to the game designers there. It was also a great opportunity to help out the UnPub program by making the dice bags that were part of their Kickstarter.
After the weeklong vacation, we needed some time to ourselves, so we went and got married! Of course, I had to figure out a way to make it geeky.
At the beginning of the year, I signed up on BoardGameGeek for a 100 x 1 challenge, where my goal was to play 100 games that were new to me in the course of the year. I’m happy to say that I was successful and as of December 18th, I’m at 138 new-to-me games played this year, which you can see here. I’ve signed up to do it again next year, as well as the 10 x 10 challenge where I’ll aim to play ten games that are new to me ten times each. I’m looking for suggestions as to what to play, which you can add to here on BoardGameGeek.
2015 brought a lot of new games to my table, but here are the top few in my eyes from this year.
Best two player game: 7 Wonders: Duel – A great two player version of a great game that’s been around a little while. If you enjoy drafting, civilization building, or resource management, you owe it to yourself to try this game.
Best co-op game: Burgle Bros. – I love movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Inception, and this game turns the heist into an amazingly well done and challenging game. I haven’t won yet, but I just want to keep playing it.
Best solitaire game: Hostage Negotiator – I enjoy solitaire games, but this one just takes the solo game to a new level. It feels like you’re playing against a smart player who has the advantage of you. It’s very well done.
Biggest surprise: Dead of Winter – I’m not really into story telling games, zombies are overdone in this hobby, and potential traitor mechanics usually put me off, but this combined those so well that I brought the game after one play. I loved it and can’t wait to teach it.
Best use of components: Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot – Using dice as a kind of miniature, having components that fit together to make a big ship, and metal coins for the favor make this game pop off of the table and catches the attention of everyone around.
Best gaming accessory: Broken Token – The inserts that are made by the wonderful folks at The Broken Token do a few things. First, they cut down the amount of time it takes to set a game up. Second, they make organizing a game WAY easier. Finally, an added bonus is the wooden frame adds a lot of structure to the box. If you love a game and they make an insert for it, I highly recommend getting it. If they don’t make an insert for your favorite game, contact them to see if they’ll consider it in the future.
It was a great year of gaming with lots of new experiences and now my gaming partner is my wife. I got to visit friends, make new friends, and play lots of games. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store!