The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

2007 YIR continued

Well, having crunched the numbers (except that I didn’t mention total # of plays – 625), what do I think about ’07.

I think 2007 was a great year, personally. Two games I loved got published, a game I’ve come to love dropped into my lap (although its several years old). I’m told I’ll love Agricola (and perhaps Cuba).

That being said, I only tried a smattering of new titles. I wouldn’t say I actively avoided them, but I did shy away a bit. Today I saw Container at the store and wasn’t tempted at all. (I know its not up my alley, but I just don’t feel as much need to own new things. Ah, aging).

Just for giggles, I ran a search on BGG for recent (’07) games with a 6+ average (100 ratings or more). You can see the results.

On one hand, I feel too many new games are in the Top 100. I think one game of Tide of Iron has been played by SABG. I don’t think any games of 1960 (and this from a group that tried to start a Twilight Struggle tournament). Starcraft got several plays. [That’s mainly caused by BGG’s growth, I wager].

I’m behind the curve for the newer stuff. Way back in the Usenet days, I was ahead of it. But those days are passed. The last few years I’ve been happier playing older games. In fact, I’ve been (slightly) obsessing about raising my Friendless stat. I still have something like 50 games in my collection that I haven’t played this decade or so. Half of those I should just dump.

So, was 07 a good crop? I currently judge by the cream. I’d rather see a great game (or three) instead of ten good ones. I’ve got good ones.

Will I judge the current games harsher in the future? Undoubtedly. I don’t play Caylus, Puerto Rico, Settlers, El Grande (etc) as often, just because. I suspect that will be true for the new batch, but Race, Phoenicia and Glory will always have their place.

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Written by taogaming

December 30, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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6 Responses

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  1. Judging by the cream (and I agree that’s probably the best way to do it), I think 2007 was indeed a very good year. For me, it’s highlighted by three great titles: Phoenicia, Agricola, and Brass, which are currently taking turns as my Game of the Year. All are at or damn close to being rated as 9’s, and I don’t dole those out very often. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had my third favorite game of the year (whichever one it turns out to be) be as strong as this year. Behind those is Notre Dame, which doesn’t have nearly the depth of the top three, but which plays fast, has lots of decisions, and is very enjoyable with a wide variety of gamers. Truly the kind of design every gamer should own and a very strong game for the fourth spot. Then there’s two more very good games, Caylus Magna Carta and Hamburgum. And it wouldn’t surprise me if In the Year of the Dragon joins that list once I get the chance to play the published version.

    That doesn’t even include 1960 and Race for the Galaxy, which could both rise dramatically if I ever get the chance to play them enough. And Age of Empires and TtR: Switzerland aren’t chopped liver either.

    There was nothing as mind blowingly great as last year’s Through the Ages, but games like that only come around every five years or so. 2007 had both quality and quantity at the top and I’ll be very happy if 2008 turns out to be as good.

    Larry Levy

    December 30, 2007 at 11:36 pm

  2. My own year review is still under construction, but I’m tempted to say 2007 was the best year ever. Top-3 in any case. Race for the Galaxy and Agricola are among the best games I’ve ever played – that alone does it. Then there’s Phoenicia and Caylus Magna Carta, both very good if not quite that good games. Few years are this good.

    Mikko

    December 31, 2007 at 3:38 am

  3. Brass — I’ve played this, but not enough to judge. I wouldn’t be surprised to find this a Top 100 game for me.

    In the Year of the Dragon — I’m waiting for this to show up and someone to buy it, but I guess I’ll read up on it to see if I’m that someone.

    TtR:Switzerland falls into that category I mentioned a few posts ago (http://gaming.powerblogs.com/posts/1198424874.shtml) that I don’t need another expansion. I have TTR, 1910, Marklin. Do I need another board? I don’t feel it. (I’d trade away a game I don’t play for it, though). I’m also wary because of what I’ve heard about Ticket Drawing….

    Age of Empires sounded very Caylus-like (perhaps not as balanced), and I’ve already got Caylus. Was I wrong on this assumption?

    Brian

    December 31, 2007 at 10:30 am

  4. I don’t do expansions either, Brian. The reason I’ll be picking up TtR: Switzerland is because the map is tuned to 2 and 3 player play, the numbers Marklin is weakest at. It’s also a much more contentious and vicious game than the other games in the series. I’ve enjoyed all my games of it.

    AoE is Caylus-like in that it uses the same worker placement mechanic (to use the term just coined by Kris Hall). It’s much more thematic and a little more varied. The luck factor isn’t huge, but it’s certainly present and is higher than Caylus’. If it were shorter than the Ystari game, I’d be pretty high on it, but unfortunately, they’re comparable in length. I don’t really think the two games feel that similar, but I also don’t think that AoE is indispensible. It’s a good solid game with an attractive theme and easily the best of Drover’s designs, but if you’ve lived without it this long, you can probably continue to avoid it.

    Larry Levy

    December 31, 2007 at 12:01 pm

  5. I’m going to try to do a YIR this year, but alas it will have to await the full recovery of my hand …

    I really liked Container. It may be one of those games that is a little too … something … for most people, but it’s got everything I like: lots of layers, lots of trying to read and react to the other players, tight economics, and an interesting auction. The best business game to come on in a long time, IMHO.

    I think 2007 was a good year too, even though I roundly disliked many popular games (AoEIII, Through the Ages) and found some others at best decent (Cuba, 1960, Brass, Agricola). But there were a number of really good games too – Race for the Galaxy, Galaxy Trucker, Phoenicia, Container – all of which also had the advantage of being relatively non-derivative, even though RftG an Phoenicia are based on previous designs. Some great new wargames too – Asia Engulfed, Athens &Sparta, and Napoleon’s Triumph.

    Chris Farrell

    January 2, 2008 at 1:01 pm

  6. SABG actually has had one game session of 1960 between Chris and I. I thought the game was better than okay. If you like TS, you’ll probably find 1960 at least decent. Still, the theme of a political election, even one between Nixon and Kennedy, just doesn’t excite me the way the epic struggle for global domination in TS does.

    Ben Kindt

    January 4, 2008 at 6:55 am


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