Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The World-Ending Year in Review: 2012

Well, the world didn't end for many reasons, not the least of which was that the Mayans never said it would end, but that didn't stop the breathless media frenzy... it never does!

I (personally) played 86 different games in 165 discrete sessions this year, up by around 30 sessions from the year before, which surprises me. Curiously (and coincidentally), almost exactly the same number of different games. Of those, 39 games were new to me. I have no idea how many we played as a WAGS group - probably between 60-70 different games - I'm only going from my BGG played games stats log, and I've recorded all the games I played this year, not just WAGS sessions.

Although it was technically published in 2011, I only received my copy of Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles in 2012, and I would have to call it my wargame of the year, in terms of number of plays and originality of system.

On the Euro/Designer side, I played 7 Wonders most often, with Kingdom Builder a close second. I can't say that 7 Wonders was the game that impressed me the most this year, though it is pretty solid even after multiple plays. The game that was a pleasant surprise for me was Netrunner, for which I had only watched sessions being played before.

The "Euro-like" game (some may argue that it's more a "thematic game") that I enjoyed most that I played for the first time this year was BIOS Megafauna. If we're talking "pure" Euro, I'd probably say Ora et Labora, with Castles of Burgundy a close second.

In the Thematic category, I played Summoner Wars most often, but I enjoyed Risk: Legacy as well. Overall, I'd say I'd take Summoner Wars over Risk: Legacy.

It was a slow Euro year for me, not much new, nor much that impressed me. I did get a lot more wargaming in, though.

I enjoyed and appreciated Mage Knight for what it is/was, but it's not my ideal quest/adventure game. I see that it's clever and I won't turn down a game, but I'm not running out to buy a copy. It certainly got a lot of hype, not altogether undeserved. Once again, good game, just not my cup of tea - too deterministic and pre-plotted.

Overall game of the year? Band of Brothers, for me. I cannot recommend it enough to other wargamers.

The game coming up that I'm excited about is the next module in the TCS series, Canadian Crucible: Brigade Fortress at Norrey. I'm sad to say that nothing currently on the horizon for Euros is particularly catching my eye, but often it's been a case of things sneaking up on me as I haven't been looking too far ahead. For example, I wasn't really looking at Netrunner seriously until I got a chance to play it. I was also completely dismissing the Star Wars: X-Wing miniatures game until I actually played it. On the other hand, I was disappointed somewhat in the reboot of the Panzer game system despite looking forward to it and am currently in the process of debating its merits at BGG with a loyal fan base. I am looking forward to the new Smash Up expansions.

I missed out on playing Village, which is apparently one of the best of the most recent crop.

Well, here's to the old year, 2012 and the new, 2013!

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