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Looking Forward For 2015

It’s a new year and that means there will be a ton of games on the schedule. A lot of people use the new year to look forward and make plans for what they want to do. I’m going to use this blog post to discuss my plans in gaming for the new year. 

Focus on Expansions

My intention for my collection this year is to focus on expansions for games I already have in my collection. That’s not to the exclusion of new games, but I feel like I have a good set of games in my collection now and some of them have very good expansions that I don’t have yet. Sentinels of the Multiverse, Smash Up, and Legendary are high on my list of games to collect expansions for this year. Thunderstone Advance is also high on the list. If you read my top-ten list, you shouldn’t be surprised by most of these. Smash Up is a new addition, added to my collection during the holiday season and a review will be forthcoming.

For Whom The Cull Tolls

This year I also plan to be better about culling my collection. I have a lot of games and some of them are just not that good or just not something I still feel the need to have in my collection. On my plate this year is an objective to go through my collection and make a serious effort to cut back on the fluff in my collection. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do that yet. Probably a mixture of giving away to friends and trading on Board Game Geek with the “thrift store dropoff” as a last resort.

The 2015 Game Schedule

Last year I tried the 10 x 10 challenge that was started on Board Game Geek. For those unfamiliar, you picked ten games and tried to play each one ten times during the year. I failed miserably on everything except Lords of Waterdeep and I only succeeded there because I counted the plays on the iOS app. This year, I decided to be less ambitious in some ways and more ambitious in others. I created several lists and I’m going to be sharing them with you now as I will be reporting on my progress throughout the year.

The first list is the list of games that my wife and I want to play at least five times each during the year (in no particular order of importance):

  1. Legendary/Legendary Villains – This is probably my wife’s favorite deckbuilder and it’s high up on my top ten of all time. This doesn’t get out nearly often enough and it works really well with two players, so we’re looking forward to pulling this out more this year.
  2. Thunderstone Advance – I recently went through the process to set up my Thunderstone Advance collection for the Epic Thunderstone variant. We haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I think we’ll like it and that will probably help this come out more this year.
  3. Among The Stars – My wife and I both like this game and there’s an upcoming expansion that should add a dedicated two-player version, so that could help get this out more this year.
  4. Sentinels of the Multiverse – This one’s more of a personal pick, but I think with the variety of heroes and opponents, there’s enough freshness in this game that my wife and I will be seeing some additional superhero action this year.
  5. Viticulture/Tuscany – We just recently received the Tuscany expansion for Viticulture and it looks like it adds a lot of wonderful things to the game in a modular, “legacy” way. There’s a lot going on in this worker placement game and my wife recently expressed a desire to do more worker placement games, so we’ve put this one on our list.
  6. Imperial Settlers – If you’ve read my review, you know I love this game. It already has one expansion on the way (the amusingly named “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”) and it’s easy enough to get into that I think we’ll likely play this more than five times this year.

The next list I call “Games To Learn” and is a list of games that my wife and I want to play at least once this year to learn how they work:

  1. Spike – This is a new game that plays like a pick-up-and-deliver version of Ticket To Ride. My wife loves Ticket To Ride, so I think she’ll love this one and I’m looking forward to getting it to the table.
  2. Marvel Dice Masters – If you haven’t heard of Marvel Dice Masters, you may want to look into this game from WizKids. It’s a collectible dice game using characters from Marvel Comics. I’ve managed to cobble together a respectable collection of the game and now I’m ready to teach it. It seems easy enough to learn and is a quick game, so I can see this one getting more than the required plays this year.
  3. Mage Wars – I picked up Mage Wars last year in the hopes of getting my wife into a deep strategy game. So far, there just hasn’t been a good time to learn this big game, but I’m making a commitment to get it going this year.
  4. Kemet – I picked this up in a trade last year and haven’t been able to get it to the table yet. There are so many people in my gaming circles that I think would like it, I’m committed to getting it there this year.

Last year, we began playing more games with our eight-year-old daughter. She’s finally reached the point where she can listen to rules explanations and follow along pretty well, so we want to expand on that by playing these games at least five times with her this year:

  1. King of New York – We tried this out over the Christmas holidays and we all enjoyed it. There was enough meat for my gamer brain to sink itself into, but it was still straightforward enough with the easy King of Tokyo system that our daughter easily grasped what she needed to do. I’m looking forward to seeing this hit the table at family game nights more.
  2. Splendor – This is a game my daughter actually requested last year. She loves collecting the cards and giving herself goals that she’s working for and I want to get this back to the table more this year.
  3. Machi Koro – I purchased this game last year specifically to play with her and she really liked it, so we’re planning on putting this on the table more.
  4. Jamaica – The Dice Tower guys were right. Jamaica is an amazing family game and it’s one of the games that has a permanent place in my collection. We’ll definitely be racing ships more this year.

In the interest of expanding her gaming repertoire this year, we’ve also put together a list of games we want to teach to our daughter this year and see which ones she takes to:

  1. Zooloretto – My wife and I like this one and we think the theme will appeal to our daughter. The “place a tile or choose a truck” mechanism will reinforce some decision making skills as well.
  2. Guillotine – It may seem weird that a game about taking heads during the French Revolution would be on the “teach the kid” list, but it’s a really simple game of line manipulation that is a good mechanism to build for later games.
  3. Fairy Tale – She already loves Sushi Go! and Fairy Tale is the next logical step up from there.
  4. Tokaido – This is probably the most ambitious game on the list. It’s still a pretty light game, but there’s some complications to the game that I think she’s ready for but I’m not 100% positive on that.
  5. Ticket To Ride Europe – Our daughter has watched my wife play Ticket To Ride on the computer and iPad a lot and I think it’s time to actually let her get into the game itself.

We’re obviously not limiting ourselves to just these games this year, but we’re hoping that by making a directed effort to play these that we’ll be able to get other games to the table more as well.

Blog Plans

Last year, when I started the blog back up, I wanted to have a new review every week. I obviously didn’t make that.  This year, my plan is to have at least two new reviews a month with more as schedule and games allow. To make up for cutting back on reviews, I’m planning on writing an occasional article on my roleplaying campaign that should be getting underway soon.

Conclusion

I’m really looking forward to this year. Last year was an amazing year for gaming and I’m expecting this year to have some great things in store for us. My own plans feel a little ambitious, but I think they’re definitely doable. I’ll keep you posted on how they go.

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