Weekend Warrior: A Year in Review
Updated: Jan 7, 2020
2018 is over and what a year it's been. For me I like to take a moment at the end of the year and look back at all the gaming I have done and reaffirm for myself that all the time and money my hobby absorbs has been worth while.
Let's kick things off with a look at my top ten most played games of the year:
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - Plays 112
Rhino Hero - Plays 67
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - Plays 35
Timeline: Music & Cinema - Plays 31
Menara - Plays 29
Imperial Settlers - Plays 24
FUSE - Plays 23
Codenames - Plays 18
Sub Terra - Plays 15
Flash Point: Fire Rescue - Plays 13
Honorary Mention - Celestia 10 Magic Maze 10 The 7th Continent 10 King of Tokyo 10
Legendary continues to dominate the list, which is unsurprising because barring a natural disaster it is played every single sunday, at least twice. Legendary also saw at least 2 new expansions added to it this year, Champions and World War Hulk and surprisingly the expansions continue to be good value and extend the life of the game indefinitely at this point.
Rhino Hero saw a ton of plays (50 in a single month) blasting into second place, time will tell if it will stick around and crack the top ten of all time. Lord of the Rings continues to be a firm two player favourite with my Friday Night gaming buddy Dave, although we played about a third as many games as last year.
Timeline, Fuse and Codenames all stick around as fun short games and Flash Point sees more table time with the introduction of the Tragic Events expansion. Menara and Imperial Settlers are new to the list and both for the same reason, I’ve been loving playing them solo during the week when I’m away from my gamer friends. Finally, a surprise entry to the list is Sub Terra which I borrowed from a friend for a month. Obviously I need to buy myself a copy!
The honorable mention category has a four way tie but 7th Continent may have only been played 10 times but that is probably between 40 and 50 hours of actual play time.
All Time Records
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game 554
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game 343
Timeline: Music & Cinema 117
Click Clack Lumberjack 98
Star Wars: Imperial Assault 78
Elder Sign 74
Flash Point: Fire Rescue 72
The top 10 of all time sees Flash Point supplant our one time top deck builder Thunderstone Dragonspire, although if you added the Thunderstone Advance plays the total would be 96 putting TS overall at joint 5th. There’s no change at the top with Timeline and Clack Clack both climbing and pushing Zooloretto out of the top three. Pandemic increased it’s play count with the introduction of the In The Lab expansion and overtook Carcassonne which is the only game in the top 10 to not hit the table at all over the past year.
Predictions for next year, I can see Zooloretto, Pandemic, Carcassonne and Elder Sign seeing fewer repeat plays, however only Rhino Hero (currently sitting on 67 plays) has a chance at cracking the top ten by the end of 2019.
Total Games Played 4016
Total Different Games 113
Total Games Played 694
Wow… So this year I played my 4000th game since records began in 2009. That is an average of 225 games played per year for the last 9 years, or 4 per week. My 4000th game incidentally was a game of Lord of the Rings LCG. I also played 113 different games across the course of the year, approximately half of my collection. In total I played 694 games which is approximately 2 per day! And is also my highest total since records began, trumping last years total by 2.
Nickels & Dimes
When you divide my plays up in nickels and dimes we can see of my 236 games I have played 166 of them 5 times or more and 115 (or half) at least 10 times.
Across the year I have also played a lot of new games that are not in my collection such as Azul (both flavours), Tags, Manhattan Project Chain Reaction, Renegade, Crisis and others I’m forgetting about. Of course I bought new games too… Lots of them. I now own 236 games and according to last years post I owned 239. I’d love to claim it is because I also sold a lot of games, but I didn’t… not a one. So I’m not sure what happened there as I think I bought 24 new games this year.
With new games I am really trying to stick to games that offer new and unique things I don’t have in my collection already or that have a cool theme I enjoy or that I can use as part of Games Night with a group of 5 or 6. Here are some highlights from my purchases from the last year.
7th Continent - I had sworn off Kickstarter for the majority of 2016, I was tired with the FOMO culture, the negativity in the comments and to be honest the poorly playtested games that companies were trussing up in pretty packages and putting out to the masses that would probably never play them. So, I didn’t hear about 7th Continent until I saw Tom Vasel’s review and then and there I knew I need to break my vow and back the 2nd printing and I have to say I’m glad I did. Game-wise it’s not the most scintillating thing I’ve ever played, but in terms of wonder and discovery it’s damn amazing.
Menara - I heard about this game during my dexterity/stacking phase this year and knew I must get it, even if it meant importing a copy from germany. This game is achingly pretty and plays fast and is brilliant fun both solo and with others. It’s not too difficult but it is a great way to pass the time.
Stuffed Fables - Again, the theme here really grabbed me. You play as a stuffed animal defending your human as she sleeps from the nightmares that live under the bed. This one has beautiful miniatures, whimsical art and a fun and engaging story which when played with the right group scratches my old school roleplaying itch.
If records are to be believed I also bought 37 expansions this year, which is probably right and likely includes lots of LOTR, Legendary and Imperial Assault. If I had to pick a favourite for the year though I’d probably say Pandemic In The Lab which revitalised the old game for me which I was rather burned out on after playing Pandemic Legacy throughout the last year.
Shelf Of Shame
Of course, as always, we can’t talk about new games without mentioning the Shelf of Shame. Last year I had 27 games I had never played and this year I added 24 new games to the shelf. However, at the close of 2018 I had just 22 games I have never played which is a stonking 29 games either played or sold.
Last year I said Caverna, Incan Gold, Magic Maze, Mascarade, Samurai Spirit and Tiny Epic Galaxies will not be on the list. I was right about 4 of them. Here’s my shots for next year, I will have played Crazy Karts, Detective, Dragon’s Gold, Mascarade, Muse, Pictomania, Run Fight or Die, Samurai Spirit, Titan Race and When I Dream at least once before the end of the year.
Of course I also have some games in limbo as they were funded on Kickstarter and have not yet delivered. As of right now that total is 4. 7th Continent What Goes Up Must Come Down. Zombicide Invader, TMNT Adventures City Fall and Change is Constant and of course the ill fated Super Dungeon Explore 2nd Edition. Of all of these I am most excited for TMNT (perhaps because it’s funding as I type, perhaps because I have loved TMNT since the age of 7!).
With Zombicide I am feeling a little backers remorse, I spent a lot on the Kickstarter and I’m not sure I’ll see a good return on that investment with hours played, unless I play solo. 7th Continent is exciting but I’m still burning through the base game. And SDE, well, it’s a sad time over there, I hope the boys can pull themselves out of this nosedive and deliver but right now we’re in a kinda limbo, knowing there is a better ruleset but only having a print and play version makes me less inclined to bust it out.
For the first time in awhile I’m not specifically looking for a new release in 2019. Sure I have some Kickstarters that I’m excited about but largely I’m feeling contented to play the games I’ve got. A few of Plaid Hat’s campaign games such as Gen 7 and Comanauts have me interested but their lack of 5 player support (and 2 player support in Gen 7) makes me less likely to get them to the table with any real regularity.
As always I’ll aim to keep the updates flowing here on the blog, starting with a review of Vektorace on Wednesday. Next Week's Weekend Warrior I'll setting some gaming goals for 2019, until then here’s to 2019, happy gaming one and all.