I joined in the fun at Genghis Con for most of its 4 days last weekend. I live about an hour from where the con is held and it is not far from my office, so I stay at home instead of the hotel where it is held. I’m sure I am missing out on some of the con experience by doing so, but even with the long drive I probably stay fresher. This was my second time to attend, so I knew what to expect. Last year’s observations would have been more focused on finding out what the con was like, but that is lost to memory now. For 2015, here’s a brief summary of how I spent my long weekend.
As mentioned in the 2014 Review: Playin’ Games, I have not previously committed to a gaming goal in the past. I am not one much for New Years’ resolutions – they typically disappoint – but at the same time understand the need to set goals periodically. I just try to set shorter term goals more regularly than annually. I might be disappointed more frequently, but at least none of those missed goals are major. So without setting specific goals for playing games in 2015, here are a few of my desired outcomes and some ideas about making them happen:
A whole year’s worth of gaming reviewed in one blog post. Hmm. Could be a long one. Note: I wouldn’t consider this a review of the games so much as a review of my experiences with them.
I started tracking my plays on BGG in January 2014, so I can report on the games that I played and the ones that didn’t get any attention. It wasn’t until later in the year that I heard about various challenges gamers set for themselves like “10 x 10” and “H-Index of 14 in ‘14” so I did not start the year with any such goals. Mostly I was just curious about how many games I would actually play, but I suppose I also wanted to see what games were getting the most plays and compare that to the ones that, by recollection, were providing the most entertainment.
At the risk of falling into complete nerdom, a little analysis of the year’s plays follows.
The Dice Tower website, podcast, and anything you can think of to promote the board game hobby is the brain child of Tom Vasel. It is unlikely that you have found Opie Games without already being very familiar with the Dice Tower, but here is a quick breakdown. Eric Summerer has joined Tom as producer of the podcast and there are many contributors to the site and the web presence that is The Dice Tower. Tom and company produce an amazing amount of game related content every week.
If you don’t already have a Board Game Geek account, follow the Homepage link and set one up. Spend a few hours (or days) perusing the site and setting up some subscriptions to content that interests you. Then come back here. Board Game Geek was not the first resource featured here solely because I assume you already know everything you need about it.
Scott Alden and Derk Solko started the site in 2000 that has been growing at an increasing rate ever since. For more information, read the Wikipedia Article or visit the site and find out for yourself.
You might say I am a fan of social deduction games. They can be exciting and really get a group activated. Their success is often related to the gaming group dynamics, but there is enough variety in the genre that it isn’t difficult to find one that will suit most groups. (Watch for my related article on the varieties of social deduction games).
I had been thinking about introducing a group of my friends (4 other couples) to hobby gaming, but did not have much indication that they would be interested; other than they generally like to have fun by socializing with a fair dose of kidding thrown in. For this group I figured a typical, safe starting place like Dixit (for this many people we play teams). A few have artistic leanings and occupations so the artwork would be the hook and they should have some creative clues. Based on the dynamics of the group, though, I really wanted to check their interest in a social deduction game.
We invited them all over for a happy hour at our house and I was prepared to have Dixit and several other games ready to spring on them. Here’s where the story gets interesting…