The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Spiel des Flash in the Pan

When reading one of the blogs yesterday (or this weekend) and someone mentioned Dungeon Lords being my Game of ’09. That made an impression (although not good enough to remember where I read it. Sorry). For you see, I traded/sold Dungeon Lords earlier this year. It was definitely one of the Big Flashes in the Pan for 09. I go through a lot of them. (Hera and Zeus, 45 plays in 2001-02, maybe 1 since. Attika? 40 plays when it came out, 1-2 since). Still, Flash in the Pan is better than “Played and forgot.” I was going to make a geeklist about this, but it felt too much like work, so I stopped. You can do anything, as long as you don’t promise to do it.

That’s why I have a money back guarantee. Values galore here at Tao’s.

Anyway, I like Hiew’s concept of a Game Taster. I’m getting the itch to purge another 20 or so games from my collection, and I think I’m going to go ahead and declare Campaign Manager a FitP. I started writing up variant cards, but again, it’s too much work. I like CM, but it’s flaws (decks a bit too samey) are big enough to make me shrug. Honestly, I wouldn’t’ be surprised if I came to the same decision with Sprockets, although I think it would be easier to save and it’s holding up well (any game I prefer to place twice a session is a good candidate for a keeper).

Will I declare Homesteaders a FitP? I keep bringing it to gaming, but I keep playing new games instead. I think that’s a normal and healthy sign in a game taster, but we’ll see…

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Written by taogaming

May 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Misc

5 Responses

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  1. Lots of games are flashes in the pan. What games last? Which games do you play instead of the new games that come out?

    Jon

    May 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

  2. The concept makes sense, but I don’t like the phrase “Game Taster.” Apart from the pretentiousness, it sounds like you play half a game and move on.

    But the main problem he’s wrestling with is all too familiar. Too many games, too little time. If you do the math on your owned games, how often could you play each of them in a year? What if one was so good you wanted to play it (gasp) more than twice (I always figure one learning game, one “real” game)?

    I can’t go on, I’m getting depressed.

    Jon W

    May 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

  3. […] the last time I name-drop Brian Bankler in one of my posts! In all seriousness, I am surprised that Dungeon Lords was a flash in the pan. […]

  4. “What games last? Which games do you play instead of the new games that come out?”

    That all depends upon what you mean by last. Lots of games last…

    I’ve played 231 different games in 2010. 1/3 of them I played for the first time in 2010. 1/3 of them I played for the first time 2003-2009. 1/3 of them I played for the first time in 2002 or before – including 19 games I first played before I started recording my plays, back in 1996. Looking at my data from 2009, it follows the same pattern – 1/3 new, 1/3 from the preceeding 7 years, 1/3 from earlier.

    But games don’t flash at 40 plays for me – about the only example that in any way resembles that pattern is Zirkus Flohcati, and the roll-off was far more gradual than what Brian describes. My flashes hit about 4-6 plays, and then leave my collection. This year, the best examples are Ad Astra, Fresco, and Vasco da Gama.

    In some sense, however, nearly every game is a flash in the pan for me. There are 238 games I’ve played 5+ times in at least one year since I started counting; 167 of those I played most in the first year I played them, or in a year before they were released. Another 42 of those I played most in the second year I played them. On 29 hit a peak number of plays in the 3rd year or later, a bit over 10%. And most of these are games I still own and play; they just don’t get the plays they once did, after the new wore off.

    Joe Huber

    May 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm


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