2017 Board Games

Image-1Like many board gamers, I’ve recently taken stock of my plays over the course of the previous year and there are a few things that jumped out that I thought might be worth discussing. Note, the BG Stats app (which is terrific) doesn’t track RPG plays at this point, so this post will be strictly around board gaming this year.


  • Old Games Are Awesome – There are more than a few older games on this list, like the Pokemon Trading Figure Game. Early in the year, I went on a binge buying up these old miniatures at great prices. I found old copies of the rules and ended up having to design my own versions of the maps for the game. The end results has been hours of fun playing the game with my family. Look for older games that you remember loving and see if you can get a copy for cheap. Sometimes you’ll be disappointed that the game doesn’t hold up over time (I’m looking at you Car Wars) or that it’s become a collector’s item (sigh…Battlefleet Gothic…), but in most cases, you can get these older games for great prices and share your love with others!
  • Find a Pocket Game – Mint Works has 10 plays for one reason and one reason only: I nearly always have it on me. It fits in a coat pocket without any issue and it plays (with rules explanation) in about 15 minutes. The end result is a game that you can pull out and play with people wherever you are. I think everyone needs a game like this (Hive Pocket was in this spot for me for a long time).
  • Take a Chance – Take a chance on something new this year. At least two games on my top 20 plays for last year were the results of just walking up and trying out something that isn’t popular or even available in my area (Infinity and Final War respectively). I’m going to really try to do more of this during 2018 (in fact, I’m attending a Malifaux demo day after having not played the game in about 10 years) because of how well just trying new stuff has worked out (in terms of fun, though it hasn’t been great for my wallet).
  • Go for a Campaign – Playing campaign games has really allowed me to get more plays in than I might otherwise have had. Android: Netrunner, Gloomhaven, Star Wars: Armada and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game are all games I’ve been playing as part of ongoing campaigns and it’s helped to keep the interest going. Two of these are two-player campaigns (the Terminal Directive expansion in teh case of Android: Netrunner) and I’ve really enjoyed getting deeper into a single game with a friend.
  • Have a Go-To Party Game – Every year, there’s at least one party game on my top played games of the year (Spyfall this year, Codenames last year). I don’t really play games in a “party” scenario very often, but I’ve really come to appreciate the value of having a handful of party games in my collection. It means that whenever I have a large group of people (gamer or non-gamer), I’ve got a way to get people talking, and having fun as a group.

I try to hit the 10×10 challenge every year (10 games played 10 times) and I didn’t quite make it this year (if you refer back to my list of Winners & Losers for 2017, you’ll be able to figure out why that L5R didn’t quite make it). For 2018, I really want to try to get back to hitting that target and I think I’ll be trying to use some of these observations to help guide my progress towards that goal! Next time, I’ll talk a bit more about my gaming resolutions for 2018!

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