Games I Was Given For Christmas and Birthday

Family and friends were kind enough to support my gaming habit, and here’s
what my take was this holiday season. I still haven’t played Metro or A Game
of Thrones but hopefully that will change over the next week or so.

  • Acquire – true, I had never played this game before. After two plays with the family, I can’t believe I had missed out on this one for so long! And, surprisingly, Jacob and Matthew both requested the second play of this game, and proceeded to teach two of their friends on New Years eve.
  • Diplomacy – haven’t played this in 20 years, but felt like I should have it on my game shelf.
  • A Game of Thrones (boardgame) – I’ve heard great things about this and can’t wait to play.
  • Hammer of the Scots – A bit expensive for what you get, but it looks fun. Jacob and I played last night, but I made the mistake of letting him play the Scots and I crushed him pretty easily. Next time we’ll switch sides and see how things go.
  • Metro – A gift from a co-worker. I haven’t played yet, but Julie was excited to see this one turn up since she enjoyed playing it at our recent gameday. Any board game the wife likes is OK by me :-).
  • Domaine – A gift from a friend. Jacob and I enjoyed playing this earlier in December and I look forward to more plays.
  • El Grande – Got to play this while in Arizona earlier in the year and liked it, so Julie picked it up for me.

My 5 & 10 Report for 2003

Many folks who play board games will provide a year-end report of games they
played, often in a form known as a “5 & 10” or “five and dime” report. This is
because the report will list all games played 10 or more times and those
played 5-9 times – this is obviously an indicator of what people are playing
frequently. It does tend to skew results towards lighter fare since longer
games don’t come out as often.

I didn’t keep terribly accurate data on my gaming this year. I was pretty good
at keeping things up to date in my
GameTracker software, but fell
off in the July timeframe. Fortunately this weblog provides a decent log of
what I played with groups outside the home; unfortunately many of the games
that get brought out casually at my home are missing. Therefore I will
estimate some of the numbers.

I will also include online games that I played with other human beings, some
in real-time, some via email or play-by-web. In case you are interested, this
is what I played online last year:

So here goes the list:

Total Games Played: 309

Total Unique Games Played: 98

Games Played 10 or More Times

  • Settlers of Catan (16) – About half of these were played online.
  • Euphrat und Tigris (15) – All but two of these were played online.
  • Fluxx (15) – Many plays while sitting in a restaurant with the family.
  • 7th Sea CCG (14) – I got back into this after getting some deals on eBay. I also played in a couple of online, casual tournaments.
  • Apples to Apples (14) – Very popular with extended family and non-gamer friends.
  • Carcassonne (14) – Popular intro game, plus I played online 5 or 6 times.
  • Can’t Stop (12) – A favorite to bring out just before bed for Matthew and Jacob.
  • Magic: the Gathering (11) – Still one of my all-time favorite games. I still just play with decks I built 8 years ago or pre-constructed decks for new expansions.
  • Liar’s Dice (10) – Another family favorite.

Games Played 5-9 Times

  • Balloon Cup (8) – Matthew’s favorite 2-player game. He beats me at least half the time.
  • Puerto Rico (7) – This would definitely be in the top 10 if I would learn to play it on BSW. Any volunteers to mentor me?
  • Wyatt Earp (7) – My favorite rummy game.
  • Alpha Playing Cards (6) – Didn’t get played very much in the second half of the year.
  • Fresh Fish (6) – I wish my family enjoyed playing this more.
  • Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation (6) – This has been played 3 more times in the past 2 days in our household. Great 2-player game.
  • Piratenbucht (6) – Probably our favorite heavier family game.
  • Samurai (6)
  • Battlecards (6)
  • Chrononauts (5) – One of Jacob’s favorite games. Very creative.
  • Dragon Delta (5)
  • King of the Elves (5)
  • Mystery Rummy 4 (5)
  • Wallenstein (5)
  • Zendo (5)

Commentary

I rediscovered board games about exactly one year ago. The fun I’ve had this
year is immeasurable – and I can’t stress enough how good this has been for
our family. I want to thank a number of people who welcomed me into their
gaming groups and homes over the past year:

  • Kevin Graham
  • Doug and Mimi Walker
  • Ken Rude and family
  • Andy Christensen in Redmond
  • Angela Gaalema in Colorado Springs
  • The Card Benders in Dallas, TX
  • Mikael and Jonathan in Brooklyn, NY
  • The Arizona Boardgamers
  • Scott Alan Woodward in Burbank, CA
  • Greg Schloesser and the Westbank Gamers
  • The RipCityGamers

Stay tuned for some of my awards and top “n” lists for 2003.

New Year’s Eve Gaming

Our good friends the Rudes joined us for our second annual New Year’s Eve game
night. Last year was mostly CCGs – in fact, I held a sealed deck Magic
tournament for all the boys (including Ken and me). This year was mostly
lighter fare. Julie, Jacob, Matthew, and I started by playing a few games of
Liar’s Dice while we waited for the
Rudes to arrive.

Ken then brought the Bucket King
while we waited for Tracey to arrive. This was a fun, light, family card game
and I wish we had played more than one hand. I look forward to trying it
again.

One of our favorite games to play at Keuka Lake when we travel there in the
summer is Hand & Foot, a Canasta
variant. Everyone we’ve met plays this a bit differently, and one of these
days I’ll post our rules for reference. Ken and Tracey have played their own
version as well, so we decided to play some four-hand team Hand and Foot. The
men got off to a great start, catching both Julie and Tracey in their footsies
in the first hand. It was all downhill from there though, and we ended up
losing by about 1000 points.

While we played this game, Jacob taught Brandon and Chelsea how to play
Acquire, a new game (for us) that I was
given for my birthday. This game has already seen 3 plays in just a few days,
and it has quickly become a family favorite. We’ll see if it sticks.

Jacob and Brandon playing Acquire.

The adults then played Target, an
interesting card game that is a mix of poker and rummy. I wasn’t wild about
this game – most of it was spent drawing and discarding while chasing elusive
goals that would disappear just as I drew the wrong card. Maybe I just didn’t
play it well…

The last game played by the adults was Texas Hold’em
with our cool new casino-quality poker chips. This was played a lot during
our vacation in Vegas, and I’m enjoying some research into strategy for this
game. Chris ended up the victor, winning an all-in showdown with Ken.