The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘Year in review

2017 Year in Review

Well, here’s the damage:

  • 70 different games (counting the various Quartermaster General titles as separate games).
  • 225-ish total games, including 75 games of Jump Drive and 48 sessions of Bridge

The low total is mostly accounted by the general malaise of the times, the TaoLing’s new schedule, and Factorio.

The notables:

  • The aforementioned 75 games of Jump Drive
  • A mere 48 sessions of Bridge
  • About 30 games of Mage Knight
  • 19 games of High Frontier, mostly in a few months around the Gathering
  • 9 games of Magic Realm, mostly in January
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse squeaked in with a dime, at 13 games, but probably 5 of those were last week.
  • Magic Maze gets a dime, as does Boggle
  • Other nickels: Android Netrunner, Fairy Tale, Bowling Solitaire, Power Grid the Card Game, Star Realms, and Poker.

The bad noteworthy

After buying the Colonists (based on a single 2-era game) I played only a quick learning game with the TaoLing. Poor showing for a new game, a poor showing. I managed to squeeze in 1846 on New Year’s Eve. With a ton of rules wrong. For older games, I also played a game of Combat Commander Europe. Not many purchases. Colonists, High Frontier, Jump Drive (technically that was right before this year, I think), Magic Maze, Wild Blue Yonder, maybe another small game or two.

Anyway, Happy New Year!



Written by taogaming

January 1, 2018 at 1:36 am

Posted in Session Reports

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Top Ten List for the Year

I added it Airjudden’s Geeklist, but I should keep a copy here for reference:

  1.  Quartermaster General, 20 plays (mostly 6 player) with this. Our first game will be tough to beat, with Russia double attacking Germany and Italy on the final turn, and then US playing a redeploy to conquer both capitals on the last turn turn of the game to cause an automatic surrender despite being down a ton of points. (Italy was out of cards). I now consider the expansion automatic, but a great game and I hope to see others in the system.
  2.  Baseball Highlights: 2045 One of the high (gaming) points of the year was a twenty-eight person tournament. (9 game regular season in 3 or 4 team divisions). Also a pretty good solitaire game.
  3. Roll for the Galaxy I don’t like this as much as Race, but that’s a high bar. Still worth 25+ plays.
  4. Too Many Cinderellas Great little filler, and a fun game to explain …
  5.  Splendor Yes, I wish the strategies were more balanced, but a game with 25+ plays makes the list.
  6.  Mottainai A nice 2 player game. OK with 3.
  7.  The Grizzled Haunting cooperative game.
  8.  Space Empires: 4X A decent solitaire game, and a fun ‘fog of war’ space game. Not going to replace Eclipse, but a nice change of pace.
  9.  Codenames I like this well enough, but apparently much less than the majority of the geek.
  10.  Star Realms I played ~20 times in 3 weeks, and not much since, but I’d play it again.

Not making the list — Churchill, Spellcaster, 1714: The case for the Catalans, Automobiles (*), Eminent Domain: Microcosm, Euphoria: Build a better dystopia, Kobayakawa, King’s Forge, Nyet, Parade, Ristorante Italia, Thunder Alley, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Voyages of Marco Polo, W1815 (*), Wings for the Baron, Xanadu, X-Com

(*) Bold games are ones that may have made the list if I got to play them a few more times.

Written by taogaming

December 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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2014 Year in Review

It’s a bit early to be writing one of these, but why not?

Bridge is (of course) my most played game of the year. I won’t get to 100 sessions, but I may hit 90.


  • Bridge
  • Pandante — My 2014 Game of the Year.
  • Netrunner — There’s a group that plays on Mondays, so I may start playing more.
  • Mage Knight (mainly solo, some coop)


  • Sentinels of the Multiverse
  • Race for the Galaxy
  • Love Letter
  • Coup
  • Dominion (All in one weekend with out of town friends. I should play this more).
  • Arena: Roma II
  • Machi Koro (probably, I still have time)


  • Puzzle Strike
  • Sail to India

Not a bad mix, at all. I’ve currently played 75 distinct games, which is lower than most years. I’m definitely not in the mood to try new things. There are some great games I didn’t play this year (like Eclipse) that I need to play again. I also need to work on my 50 by 50 games.

Written by taogaming

December 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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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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2012 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Well, not much writing for me this year. There are only so many hours in the week, and thankfully I spend a fair chunk of them playing games with the TaoLing, a regular gaming group, and two sessions of Bridge.

Also, I’m much less on the bleeding edge of gaming. The world of the net is quite different from when I started (pre-BGG, rolling HTML by hand) and I’m happy to just chime in my opinion. Sometimes a game grips me for a few thousand words, but if not, I’m not forcing it.

Both my Game of the Year (Netrunner) and Runner up (Eclipse) are expensive games that have a decent mix of luck and skill, quick playing time (Eclipse is quick compared to the genre), and a steep investment of time and money. Some of the new batch (that I’ve played) didn’t strike me as JASE, but most of it did. Even some games I liked (Terra Mystica).


Reviews —

Other Posts of Note —

Five and Dimes

Written by taogaming

December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Administration

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May as well. 2011 Year In Review

Let’s see…

  • I played one session of bridge every 5 days or so.
  • I played slightly more than 100 games of FtF Dominion (almost all with the TaoLing)
  • No other quarters for the year, but…


  1. Race for the Galaxy
  2. Backgammon
  3. Rallyman
  4. 7 Wonders
  5. Black Friday
  6. Puzzle Strike
  7. Yomi
  8. No Retreat (not 10 games, but well north of 25 hours, so that makes it a dime in my book)


  1. Air Baron
  2. Arena: Roma II
  3. Chess
  4. Hansa Teutonica
  5. Kakerlakken Poker
  6. Tichu
  7. Blood Bowl : Team Manager
  8. Jambo
  9. To Court the King

As is typical, I played roughly 150 titles, although almost half of them got 1 play each. Some of those are long  or classics (or both), but most of them were just Meh.

Game of the Year? Off the top of my head, either Rallyman or No Retreat, but I’m not sure either gives off the “I’ll still be playing it in a few years” vibe. A few months of obsession is good enough for my GotY, apparently. To be fair,

Written by taogaming

December 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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2010 Year in Review — Games Played

Looking at my games played in ’10:

I played a good amount of bridge. about 1.5 sessions a week. It helps to finally have solid partnerships, obviously. (I should write an update on what I think about Polish Club as a system, but I imagine only a handful of people care. I may anyway).
I got in ~60 games of Dominion, not counting the hundreds of games I’ve played on Isotropic. I’m late to the party, but I crashed it hard. I also think I’m swinging to Lou’s opinion on Alchemy … it slows the game down a bit more than I’d like (not every card in it, obviously, but potions add a layer of purchasing, not to mention the slowness of several of the card effects. I don’t actually mind Possession as many people do).

My favorite ‘new’ game was Mimsy Electronica, with 17 plays. For all that, I still want to house rule the game a bit. Perhaps make tokens worth zero points (since my prior nerfing didn’t go far enough, in my opinion).

Other games that earned dimes just narrowly made it:

  • Campaign Manager (sold)
  • Innovation (soured on, slightly)
  • Race for the Galaxy Brink of War (I like it, but Race fatigue has hit a bit. Keldon’s excellent server also means I’m not desperate to play this face to face. I expect Dominion to suffer next year for the same reason).
  • Settlers of Catan (which I played exclusively with the Taolings).

The only new nickels were Ascension (which I’m done with, at least until I see if an expansion adds game depth) and 7 Wonders (a nice filler).  I also managed a nickel on Homesteaders, most of which early in the year when it was still new, but it got 10 plays without being cast off.

So I guess that makes this a fairly weak “year.” (With the usual caveat that I see most new games ~6 months behind the bleeding edge these days, which is fine). I’ll think about this more later.

According to the excellent Friendless stats page: I’ve played ~142 games (these count expansions, I think, so it’s probably closer to ~130). About 60 of these games were new, so as usual I sampled a lot of games, and most of them were “OK” or “Fine.”

If I narrow my focus to the last quarter, only Labyrinth stands out as a potential ‘good game for this year.’ But I’d need another 5+ plays to determine that. I did do a solo turn at a harder setting (with double recruits) and it seemed much more interesting, but I had to take it down. I’ll probably revisit that this weekend….

Written by taogaming

December 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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