Game Sessions

The Game Sessions tag is used to identify blog posts that report on specific or collective gaming sessions or opportunities to play games. 

Game Sessions: The Return of the Dragon

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Setup

As mentioned in 2017 Preview – Gaming Goals, I have taken a very high level approach to goals related to how many games, what type of games, etc. that will hit my table this year. This is fortunate because I would have already headed down a path that probably is contrary to anything I would have imagined just 2 months ago.

About 18 months ago, I started looking hard at Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5E). An old friend who was the primary DM in my wife’s college D&D group was also looking at it, but we didn’t think we would be able to get any momentum toward playing. We are all just too busy and the old gang lives at different corners of the Denver area (Lori and I and another couple are actually “remote”), so getting together is always an ordeal. We also looked at Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds as possible tools to facilitate being able to play.

Can we pull it together to play D&D?

2016 Review: Round 1 - Playin’ Games

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Setup

As I did in January of 2014 and 2015, I will review the previous year’s gaming. Note: Also as before, I wouldn’t consider this a review of the games, but a review of my experiences with them.

I started tracking my collection and plays on BGG in January 2014, so I can report on the games that I played, the ones that didn’t get any attention, and I can compare 2016 to 2015 and 2014. As in previous years, I will validate my nerddom by applying a few “rules” in the analysis.

Genghis Con 2016 – Review

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If you want to read about my plans prior to attending Ghengis Con this year, check out Genghis Con 2016 – Preview. I had created a long list of games that I wanted to play; primarily to see if they were good 2-player games for Lori and I. The list was long since I didn’t know which games would be in the library. Many were, so we had very little downtime – except when our brains or stomachs needed the break. Below I list all the games we played with my current BGG rating for the game. Since I have only played many of these once or twice, these might be considered first impressions and not an extensive evaluation. A low rating (<7) probably indicates that I won’t play it again unless it is offered up by someone else who wants to play. A higher rating (7-9) probably indicates that I will try to play it again and the rating might change (up or down) with more plays. In some cases I have noted if I expect my rating to go up or down (+/-) with more plays. A note about my ratings: Since the BGG rating scale is based on whether you want to play a game or would suggest it over other games, I tend to rate low because there are so many games competing for my attention. I certainly wouldn’t rate a game a 10 after just one or two plays. The only “10” below is Puerto Rico, which we played because it is one of my favorites that I don’t get to play often.

Genghis Con 2016 – Preview

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Last year I posted a review of my 2015 Genghis Con experience and I plan to do the same this year. This year I am adding a preview to note some changes in my con plans and to be able to cut right to the chase in the review article (the post post).

Why Genghis Con?

I will spend an extended weekend at Genghis Con for the third year running. I live about an hour from where the con is held and it is not far from my office, so it is very convenient to attend. In past years I slept at home, but I will be staying two nights at the con hotel this year. Hopefully, this means I will get in more gaming! This is not the only major change to my con routine planned in 2016. This year my wife will also attend (which was the primary rationale behind getting the hotel room). She came for a few hours on the final day in 2014 to see what the con was like. Of course, this was probably the worst day since things were winding down and too many con-goers had not followed their con-123s. Despite the warning signs, she agreed to attend most of 3 days this year.

2015 Review: Round 2 – Victory Points

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Background

As mentioned in 2015 Review: Round 1, based on the number of times that I played any given game in 2015 (and compared to 2014 when possible) indicates that some of them were winners in 2015 and others were losers. Let’s take a look at a few games in each category:

Winners

A common way of measuring the actively played games is to use a metric called “nickels and dimes” (games played 5 and 10 times in one year respectively). To that we can add “quarters” also since I had a couple games that broke the 25 plays mark and a couple more that were close. This seems to be a good metric for my level of gaming; distinguishing between those games that get attention and those that don’t. In my previous post called A Nickel’s Worth of Game Play I discuss what is indicate about a game when I get 5 or more plays.

2015 Review: Round 1 - Playin Games

Author(s): 

Background

As I did in January of 2015, I will review the previous year’s gaming. Note: Also as before, I wouldn’t consider this a review of the games, but 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, the ones that didn’t get any attention, and I can compare 2015 to 2014. Just in case it isn’t nerdy enough to catalog my game collection, record game plays, and review them, I also have to consider a few “rules” in the analysis.

A Nickel’s Worth of Game Play

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Over the last few weeks I have come to the conclusion that playing a game 5 or more times has disproportionate significance in my distorted little world. First some background, though, before I can explain why.

Since I track my game plays on BoardGameGeek, it is easy and interesting for me to see which games meet those common gamer geek thresholds of nickels, dimes, and quarters (5, 10, and 25 plays). Of course, to do this, I also track my game collection. You can see what my game plays in 2014 were in my 2014 Review: Playin’ Games article.

All this tracking provides the, maybe regrettable, ability to see what games I have acquired and not played; what some call “The List” or “The Stack.” I might just be looking for excuses, but I think that “The List” for me is not horribly embarrassing – 11 games (excluding expansions – see, I am already looking for ways to make this look better), compared to my collection, 121 games (again excluding expansions) – right at 10%. Further justifying, I have had only 3 of those games in my collection since before Christmas 2014 (a notable benchmark since I received more games than I could play that day).

Genghis Con 2015

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Why Genghis Con?

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.

Social Deduction – The Real Deal

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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…

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