Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2011 in review

2011 is now history. Here's what we played:

7 plays
7 Wonders

6 plays
Roma/ Roma 2: the arena

5 plays
King of Tokyo

4 plays

3 plays
Panic Station
Civilization (2010 version)
Lords of Vegas
High Frontiers
Defenders of the Realm

2 plays
High Society
Power Grid
Alien Frontiers
Dominant Species
1960: The Making of a President
Ra: the dice game

1 play
Urban Sprawl
Last Night on Earth
Galaxy Trucker
Duel of Ages
Power Struggle
Junta: Vive El Presidente
Nexus Ops
Scrabble Slam!
Chaos in the Old World
Dungeon Twister
Earth Reborn

So, that's 104 plays of 48 different games.

2011 was a lot of fun at WAGS, Perra joined us semi-regularly and Bearbomb looks like he might become a regular as well. We did spend a lot of time with just three players, though, and that has really impacted the choice of games this year. Unlike last year, I acquired quite a few games as the stream of interesting looking games (mostly on the war gaming and American style game side of things) seemed nearly endless. As is often the case with Wargames, I haven't played them much of them if at all (conflict of heroes: price of honor, Sekigahara, A few Acres of Snow), and with the American style games I find them fun but rarely great (Wrath of Ashardalon, Quarriors, Summoner Wars). This has been a really weak year for pure euros in my opinion, or maybe we've played enough that they all look too samey now. Stephan Feld seems to be one of the few designers still able to pique my interest in that field, but due to lack of availability I haven't tried any of his latest games. A few hybrid or otherwise "oddball" titles proved fun, and I think this is the direction the euros will have to go if I'm going to be interested these days (innovation, High Frontier, Nightfall, etc)

Game of the Year
Hard to pick this year. Nothing stands out as a really great, innovative strategy game... Which is the type of game I usually prefer to choose for this slot. I'm going to to pick King of Tokyo, since it does what it sets out to do about as well as it could have. It's not aiming very high, as far as that goes, but the gameplay is fun and the production is great.

I quite enjoyed Tribune, which was new to us this year, but it's actually a few years old. Troyes would likely be the top contender for strategy games, but it's not quite there as a game (not sure... Needs editing I think). Nightfall I also quite enjoyed, but the art and card design bothers me enough that it's not a contender (but that chaining mechanic is quite cool!).

Most innovative/ Interesting game of the Year
Hear I'm going to give it to Innovation. Sure, it's just a card game but it's weird in a wonderful sort of way. I like that the powers become so powerful if certain combos come out, just like Glory to Rome but the games are quite different.

Catacombs became more widely available this year, and I picked it up along with both expansions. We have had lots of fun playing this at home. This is clearly a very innovative game, meshing the dungeon crawl with crokinole... And it works! Not a game for WAGS, but If my oldest son was picking a game of the year, I'm convinced it would be this (well, Summoner Wars might give it a run for it's money I guess).

Wrath of Ashardalon, although not really a great game, is also quite innovative in how it manages to capture a fun dungeon crawl in roughly 1 hour. I doubt this category of game, the short thematic dungeon crawl, is likely to see a better entry.

Lastly, RISK Legacy appears to be a very innovative game but we haven't played it yet, so we'll have to wait until next year to see if it works in practice. Who would of thought that a game that asked you to write on the board and tear up cards would be seen as a good thing?

On an even more personal note, gaming with the kids continues to be great fun. Catacombs, Wrath of Ashardalon, Quarriors!, King of Tokyo, Summoner Wars, Fauna, Zooloretto, Jamaica, Dice Town, Agricola, etc, are all games that have seen much table time with my oldest son even if they don't always show up at WAGS. Although my second son shows much less interest, he will still occasionally play Dice Town, Jamaica or Sorry Sliders. My third appears to have more in common with the oldest. Haba games such as Animal upon Animal, Gold Donkey and Orchard get played a lot (alongside other trusty favorites, such as Chicken Cha Cha Cha, Gulo Gulo, etc, etc).

Being the father of three awesome boys is a really fantastic privilege!

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I'll have to post more comments when I have more time.