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New Year, New Gaming Challenges

If you are hanging out reading this blog, then I am pretty sure you really like games. You probably have your own collection, be it vast and sprawling or a fine tuned capsule collection. Now looking across all your games, how many of them do you think you have given enough attention to in the past year? Are you like me and go through phases of favouritism where you play a couple of games in rotation?

In December I played through my whole collection with my partner. We played 87 base games in four weeks whilst still carrying on with “life” as well. You read more on the WBG blog here. Now that we have recovered from that brain burn, we set our sights on a new challenge. In my non-gaming life I am an avid triathlete (enthusiastic albeit not good) and before I had a car crash a few years ago I was doing ultra-marathons. So setting myself challenges and pushing myself to complete them is common in my hobbies.

Diminish the Shelf of Opportunity

We were fortunate enough to get a lot of games for Christmas, and I do not want them to sit on the shelf unplayed. We are good at playing games, but we are guilty of favouritism. We often play the same games all the time and forget how much we like others, and some we neglect altogether. So in 2021 we will have played all of the games and expansions we bought or were gifted that we have yet to bring to the table. This of course becomes more difficult as shiny new games join our collection all the time. We all know that shiny new things beat out things that we have forgotten about. You can follow our efforts on Instagram at #anothergameofftheshelf where myself and hopefully others will be sharing our games that we have left on our pile of potential for rather too long.

10x10 Challenge

This is quite a common challenge where you play ten different games ten times across the year. This sounds easy, and it is if you choose quick games. But for bigger games playing games about once a month is an effort. So publicly here I vow to play the following ten games at least ten times in 2021.

  1. Root by Leder Games. This game of woodland warfare is one where you need to practice to be good. I desperately want to be good at this game, and as we know practice makes perfect!

  2. The Bloody Inn by Pearl Games. I love serial killer documentaries, so this unique theme speaks to me. The Bloody Inn is a crunchy hand management game which I seem to randomly excel and suck at. I never know which way this is going to go for me, because at its heart it is quite a strategic game that requires you to be thinking a few turns ahead. I sometimes can execute a master plan and sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants.

  3. 7 Wonders Duel by Repos Games. This was one of the first games we got in 2020, and we have played quite a few times. I do have to refer to the rules a lot as much of the symbology escapes me. Do you smash your opponent with your cunning scientific research, annihilate them in battle with your military might, create a political landslide and corrupt the Senate, or just an old fashioned victory point win?

  4. Lost Ruins of Arnak by CGE Games. This is a game we got in December, and immediately played, the hype around this game is both well deserved and understandable. The components and artwork are great, and the game play is combo-tastic which is my favourite way to play.

  5. Abyss by Bombyx. This is quite a light game really but with some of the absolute best artwork I have seen. I adore this theme of underwater politics. I also got both the expansions for this for my birthday back in October, and I have yet to play them!

  6. Carcassonne by Z-Man Games. In December, I thoroughly enjoyed myself playing it just the base game and just two-player. I was so wrong, I take back all I said about Carcassonne’s cultish following, and stand here repenting my sins. Carcassonne is a great game as long as you don’t have experienced players annihilating the less experienced ones. So I would like to get better at playing this game, and who knows in ten plays time I might have all the expansions and a Carcassonne room to store them in!

  7. The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine by Kosmos. This is a nifty little co-op trick taking card game that we originally played the wrong rules for. We played the first 20 scenarios with these wrong and much harder rules too. So I want to learn the right game and play that in 2021. It was still good the way we played it, but well I am pretty sure that some rounds were impossible, let’s try again properly. I might even get good at trick taking games!

  8. Magic Maze by Sit Down!. This is a real time silent cooperative game that can cause arguments. You as a team without speaking must get the four coloured pawns to their respective treasures and then out the shopping mall via their coloured exit. Only moving each of the pawns your specific action like North or South etc. Which shouldn’t be too hard, and perhaps for many it isn’t, but for us it can cause all out scowling warfare. We really should be able to do this game without losing our generally level-headed minds and yet, here I am, airing the dirty secret that we can’t work together silently.

  9. Hero Realms by Fantasy Flight Games. This is one of my favourite games and I love it. I want to get The Lost Village campaign expansion played, and make sure that we play with each of the character packs too.

  10. Disney Villainous by Ravensburger. Each character here has a different way to win and their own deck to pilot. You cannot play without keeping your head up and watching what others are doing or a win might sneak away from you. Initially I didn’t “get” this game, as I felt like the game was perhaps too hard. As I have played many more games though, I feel ready to tackle this again.

Here I’ve thrown down the metaphorical gauntlet of challenges, and stated in a public forum what I must strive for games-wise in 2021. Will you join me on my challenge journey? What challenges could you set yourself for 2021?

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