Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Year of Boardgaming, 2017 Edition


Another year has come to a close and, as always, I like to look back (not while driving) and stare my boardgaming activity in the eyes.

GAMES
I played 128 different titles (down from 148 in 2016), for a total of 411 plays (down from 489).
Taking into account the play time of each individual game, this translates to 397 hours of poring over cardboard maps with family, friends, and the occasional random stranger. That's almost 17 full days of boardgaming fun—and while it might seem like a lot, it used to be a full month per year about a decade ago. I must be slowing down in my old age (currently 44).

Of those 128 titles I played last year, 53 were new to me, down from 75 in 2016, which itself was down from a whopping 105 in 2015. This means I'm playing my "old" games more and more, and that's a good thing.

So here are the top 10 games I played the most in 2017:
1. Fuji Flush (26 plays)
      A quick trick-taking game that's a riot with any crowd.
2. Combat Commander: Europe (22 plays)
A WWII tactical wargame, and my favorite boardgame ever, bar none.
3. Great Western Trail (20 plays)
An amazing cattle-herding deck-builder, and my favorite game of 2016.
4. Scythe (16 plays)
A thrilling hybrid game I originally disliked. Go figure.
5. Santorini(14 plays)
A tense and beautiful abstract game about building towers.
6. C&C Napoleonics (13 plays)
A fun simulation of the Napoleonic Wars, which I only play with the GF.
7. Clank! (12 plays)
A fun dungeon crawler now superseded by Clank in Space.
8. Memoir '44 (11 plays)
A simple WWII tactical romp. Lots of fun.
9. Flamme Rouge (11 plays)
A deceptively simple cycling game that'll get your heart pounding.
10. First Class (10 plays)
A train-building card game that happens between Paris and Constantinople.

PEOPLE
Last year, I sampled the best the boardgaming world had to offer in the company of 97 different players, up from 66 in 2016—which means I'm meeting new gamers!

So here are the top 10 people with whom I played the most in 2016:
1. Suzie D. (127 games)
2. Jean-Luc S. (119 games)
3. François P. (84 games)
4. William L. (40 games)
5. Gustavo A. (38 games)
6. Maxime M. (36 games)
7. Ophélie K.L. (25 games)
8. Héloïse K.L. (16 games)
9. Jonathan P. (13 games)
10. Philippe M. (11 games)

Once again, two of my daughters (Héloïse and Ophélie), as well as the GF and her son William all show up on the list. Only Béatrice is missing (she comes in at #18), but given that she no longer lives in the family home, it's not surprising. Although it is heartbreaking.
A special shout-out to Maxime, the first of my new colleagues to make it to the Top 10! Well done. :)

LOCATIONS
A new high this year: I managed to grab a game in 22 different places!
61% of my gaming is done in the safety of my own home, followed by 10% in the workplace. My closest (geographically) gaming buddy, Jean-Luc, only received 8% of my boardgaming activity in his humble abode, which tells me that I should get out more.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS
I played more wargames in 2017 than I did in 2016; that was something I wanted to do. Among them was my favorite game, Combat Commander, which I have played at least 20 times (sometimes over 50!) each year since its publication in 2006. To date, I have played it exactly 370 times, and I can't see myself slowing down. If anything, that count will rise sharply with this year's release of the new entry in the Combat Commander family, Great War Commander.
And yet, wargames keep piling on faster than I can dust them off. Hearts and Minds is one such casualty, but new fodder has now joined it: Wild Blue Yonder, Holland '44, Pendragon, Pericles...

I kickstarted 2017 with a game of Royal Turf in the company of my parents, and I topped the year playing Welcome to Centerville with my lovely Suzie. I can't ask for much more.

So what's next? As I'm writing this (January 2nd), I already have three games under my belt, including an exciting go at Age of Industry. Things bode well indeed.



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