The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

2013 Year in Review

I’ve already mentioned my Top 10, but some general thoughts….

For me, this was a big year for playing the same game over and over.  Over 100 sessions of Bridge and games of Mage Knight. Coup, Sentinels and Netrunner each broke 50 plays (and NR could squeak past 100). A yearly H-index of 11. To be sure, I did play many different games (about 110 titles), but most of them were played once, maybe twice. Some of them were old classics, many were teh hotness. Of most of those, they were fine, and will be forgotten with the rest. I played ~750 games, but over 450 were my Top 5 games….

Part of my move towards replayability is personal taste, but I’m also maximizing my gaming time with the TaoLing. This is probably the last year or two he’ll really be playing games with Dad, and I’m taking advantage of it.

Trends I’ve noticed (sometimes late):

  • Components getting even nicer. Rampage is phenomenal … nice heft. The stickered meeples add great flavor. (SABG Rule …. your monster must face the direction his feet are pointing. This prevents any gamesmanship on setting up to avoid being blown down). The new No Retreat 2 has several mounted double-sided game boards. I saw the Panzer reprint, it’s got loads of goodness, an 80 page rulebook, nice maps. T’zolkin got all the press with the gears, but the new Uwe game (using the Ora-style counter) is also a nice marvel. And it’s not just stuff, but the usability of games seems to be (generally improving).
  • The downside to that is cost. There’s been a lot of (silent) inflation in the last few years (food costs the same, but the boxes contain slightly less). But game prices seem to be crawling ever upwards. For me (with my reduced purchasing, and focus on games) that’s not such a big deal. But it’s a trend.
  • The japanese invasion of micro games feels like it’s full force. Love Letter, Coup, One Night Werewolf, Blood Bound — Games that have 20-30 cards and maybe that many counters. I’m not sure if wargames are continuing on this trend, but the wargames I consider buying have few counters. (I haven’t been able to get through the NR2 rules, though).
  • There are ever more Euros, but I’m not seeing much innovation in them. Then again, I’m not looking hard, since I’m mainly playing Thematic games (the new golden age). It’s not rare for me to walk into the game store and see a dozen new titles, and most of them I’d never heard of.

More thoughts as I think them.


Written by taogaming

December 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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3 Responses

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  1. Always very insightful, Brian. Thanks.

    Mark Johnson

    January 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

  2. Coup isn’t Japanese! And Rampage looks awesome… on the point of picking it up.


    January 9, 2014 at 5:06 am

    • No, but Coup seems inspired by the recent Japanese trend of micro-games. (Or perhaps vice versa).


      January 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

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