Other Buzz: New to me in 2010

2010 was a good year for me in gaming…at least, the first half.  In July, we moved from Champaign, IL to Griffith, IN, and I have yet to find a game group.  We’re slowly trying to convert some friends into gamers, but my playing has definitely tapered off.  Nevertheless, here are the games that I played for the first time in 2010:

  • 10 Days in the USA – Played 1 time.  Good geography lesson mixed with a game.  Not for me, but recommended for educational purposes.
  • The Adventurers – Played 4 times.  Pretty random and mindless, but a good push-your-luck gateway game.
  • After the Flood – Played 1 time.  Three-player Martin Wallace game with changing roles throughout.  A very thematic and strategic experience.
  • Age of Scheme: Routes to Riches – Played 1 time.  More fun than I thought it would be though I got destroyed.  Later republished as Samarkand: Routes to Riches.
  • Alchemist – Played 1 time.  Hard to strategize since you don’t know what your opponents are up to, but very good game.
  • Battle Line – Played 1 time.  Not as great as I’ve heard.  Some strategy, but largely dependent on what cards you draw.
  • BattleLore – Played 3 times.  A pretty cool game system with a fairly streamlined combat mechanic.  Plus, lots of cool bits.
  • California – Played 1 time.  Interesting mechanics in what is probably an under-appreciated set collection game.
  • Carolus Magnus – Played 2 times.  Not much in the way of theme, but a surprisingly strategic game.
  • Ca$h ‘n Gun$ – Played 2 times.  Might have been fun if people didn’t always go after me first and kill me off by the third round.
  • Catan 3D – Played 1 time.  Catan and I have a love-hate relationship going.  The 3D components did not help make the gameplay any better, but did help the experience.
  • Caylus – Played 1 time.  The king of worker placement games and one that I enjoy (though not my favorite).
  • Citadels – Played 5 times.  Not too difficult, very good and influential role selection game.
  • Descent: Journeys in the Dark – Played 4 times.  Awesome game with lots of cool components and engaging game play.  Need more plays to fully digest the experience.
  • Dixit – Played 4 times.  This year’s SDJ winner.  Despite the fantastic art, the gameplay is not that interesting to me.  My wife loves it.
  • Dominion: Alchemy – Played 3 times.  Not necessarily as great as other expansions, but with some good cards (I love the Golem).
  • Dominion: Prosperity – Played 1 time.  Very fun with lots of money and points being thrown around.  I especially like the addition of the VP tokens.  Review coming once I play all cards.
  • Dungeon Lords – Played 1 time.  Great game, great theme.  But then I’m a huge Vlaada Chvátil fan.  Need to play this MORE!
  • FITS – Played 1 time.  Tetris the board game.  Fun enough, but the definition of multiplayer solitaire.
  • Forbidden Island – Played 2 times.  Retheme of Pandemic to be more family friendly.  Maintains intensity and has great components.  Got from Secret Santa.
  • Glory to Rome – Played 3 times.  Great card game where every card can be four different things.  Another Secret Santa acquisition.
  • Homesteaders – Played 1 time.  Auction game in the Old West.  Interesting enough, but I’m not really a fan of auction games.
  • Kill Doctor Lucky – Played 1 time.  Clue in reverse.  Kind of random, but off-the-wall enough to be a fun experience.
  • Lords of Vegas – Played 1 time.  Great resource management/gambling game.
  • Meuterer – Played 2 times.  Great early role selection game.  Lots of strategy packed in a tiny box.
  • Monopoly Deal – Played 1 time.  Faster than regular Monopoly, but so random that it wasn’t enjoyable to me.
  • Nanuk – Played 3 times.  Liar’s Dice with cards.  Good bluffing game for a bunch of people.
  • Odin’s Ravens – Played 1 time.  Liked the racing element.  Need to play again now that I know what I’m doing.
  • Pandemic: On the Brink (bioterrorist variant) – Played 1 time.  Nice twist on the gameplay.  Still haven’t played with virulent strains.
  • RoboRally – Played 3 times.  Chaotic and random, but a ton of fun.
  • San Juan – Played 1 time.  Puerto Rico the card game.  I prefer Race for the Galaxy.
  • Shear Panic – Played 2 times.  Great abstract with great components (sheep!).  Very susceptible to AP.
  • Slide 5 – Played 1 time.  English retheme of 6 nimmt!  Theme doesn’t matter.  Fun game, but card quality in this edition is pretty flimsy.
  • Snow Tails – Played 1 time.  Underwhelming.  A poorly laid out board and poorly written rules didn’t help a game that just wasn’t very fun for me.
  • Sorry! Sliders – Played 6 times.  Pretty mindless entertainment, but definitely entertaining.  Very good for non-gamers.
  • Space Alert – Played 2 times.  Real-time cooperative game that is very exciting and difficult.  Must play more!
  • Steam – Played 1 time.  Great pick up and deliver game.  Haven’t played Age of Steam, but Steam works very well.
  • Stone Age – Played 2 times.  Beautiful art for this fun relatively simple worker placement game.
  • Talisman 4th Edition – Played .75 times.  Winner of the turkey of the year for me.  Hated it.  We quit after three and a half hours when two of us got booted from the end to the beginning.
  • Through the Desert – Played 1 time.  Abstract with camels.  Didn’t light any fires in me.
  • Tigris & Euphrates – Played 1 time.  A classic in many people’s minds, but didn’t do too much for me.  Maybe I need to play again.
  • To Court the King – Played 1 time.  I’d just as soon play Kingsburg, which is a better executed version of the same basic mechanic (using dice to influence advisors).
  • Tobago – Played 3 times.  Treasure hunting fun with cool components.  Good gateway game.
  • TransEuropa – Played 2 times.  Very simple route building game.  Needs Vexation expansion to be interesting.
  • Travel Blokus – Played 1 time.  Blokus for two players.  Much better with this set than trying to do two-player with the big board.
  • Tulipmania 1637 – Played 1 time.  Scott Nicholson’s game.  Surprised at how quick it played.  Need to play again to understand strategy.
  • Verräter – Played 1 time.  An early role selection game.  Not as fun or engaging as its successor, Meuterer.
  • Vikings – Played 5 times.  Has become a favorite with three players.  Very engaging set collection game.
  • Villa Paletti – Played 1 time.  Intense stacking game.  Preferable over Jenga.
  • Word on the Street – Played 3 times.  Cool quick word game.  Play with more than 2.
  • Zombies!!! – Played 2.5 times.  Enojyable, if fairly random.  Get into the theme and you’ll have fun.  Try to play strategically and you won’t.

Looking ahead to 2011…hopefully, I’ll be able to find a game group I’m able to join, or to start my own.  I’m looking forward to trying more games that are new to me, as well as replaying my favorites.  Happy new year to you, and insert clever tagline here.

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