Boards and Bees Turns Two!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for a blatantly self-congratulatory post.

Two years ago today, Boards and Bees started with a bang as I talked about the upcoming Essen release 7 Wonders.  One year ago today, I celebrated that milestone with a retrospective into the secret origins of the blog.  Go look at that if you want to find out more.  This post will be more of a look back on the last twelve months, as well as a look forward to the future.

This is my 189th post, meaning than I cranked out 95 posts in the last year (one more than I had in year one).  That includes previews of 45 different games and 6 expansions, 7 reviews, 2 entries into my SHOWDOWN! series, 2 iOS review posts, a book review, 3 posts about this year’s Spiel/Kennerspiel des Jahres nominees and recommendations, 24 entries into my ABCs of Gaming series, and 5 miscellaneous other posts.  In looking over my stats, I see that I had nearly twice as many views in year two as in year one.  I had some spikes in my totals when some designers/game companies stumbled upon my post and linked to it (including Undermining, Mage Wars, and Story Realms) and when Tom Vasel mentioned an ABCs of Gaming post on Game Salute.  I started a Twitter feed at GenCon and don’t have too many followers yet (seven at last count), so go follow me if you haven’t yet.

Last time, I Wordled my Top 11 posts from the previous year, in terms of how many views each had gotten.  I wanted to do the same thing here, but I’m excluding the three posts that were on last year’s post and also would have made it to this year’s list.  Call them new entries into the B&B Hall of Fame.  For the record, The Future of Dominion remained at #1, Small World Underground was #2, and The Great Fire of London 1666 would have been #11.  Also, I should note that only 6 of them were written in the last 12 months.

11. The Sugar Game (January 5, 2011)

I’m honestly a little surprised this made the list, primarily because it’s just an idea I had and not a published game.  I haven’t even really tried it in a while…maybe I should since there seems to be a market out there.

10. Dominion: Prosperity (November 10, 2010)

This was the first Dominion expansion I covered on the blog.  Almost two years later, it’s referred to by a lot of people as the best of the Dominion expansions.  I tend to agree – it’s certainly one of my favorites.

9. Dungeon Run (May 20, 2011)

Despite being #9 on this list, Dungeon Run is one of two games that has managed to crack the top 11 of all time.  I haven’t gotten a chance to play it, though I did see it being demoed at GenCon.

8. Trajan (November 9, 2011)

I was curious about this game before it was released at Spiel last year, more because of the designer (Stefan Feld) than because of any expectations.  As it turned out, people really liked it for its unique action selection mechanism using a mancala-like system.  I got to play this game recently, and really enjoyed it.

7. 1st and Goal (December 11, 2011)

A lot of views for this dice rolling football game.  I haven’t had a chance to play, but I’ve heard good things.  It might get more play than my copy of Pizza Box Football, so I’d really like to give it a shot someday.

6. The Castles of Burgundy (April 27, 2011)

Another Stefan Feld game in the top eleven – can you tell that he’s a pretty popular designer?  This is a dice rolling tile placement strategy game that I haven’t gotten a chance to play.  It looks interesting, however.

5. The Hunger Games: District 12 Strategy Game (March 12, 2012)

I can probably thank the movie for landing this game on the list for the year.  The game itself is a very simple worker placement style game with a reaping at the end that could cost you the game.  It seems fairly thematic, and probably works well for what it is.

4. Dominion: Hinterlands (October 21, 2011)

This was the last Dominion expansion to come out before Dark Ages did in August.  I’ve gotten a chance to play it once, and liked it well enough – it’s Dominion, and new cards are always a good thing.

3. Dungeon Petz (October 18, 2011)

Vlaada Chvátil makes an appearance on this list with this follow up to Dungeon Lords.  I got a chance to play it once, and enjoyed it.  It’s very different from Dungeon Lords, but very unique in that way only Vlaada can design games.

2. Kingdom Builder (September 17, 2011)

There was a lot of buzz for this one in the month leading up to last year’s Spiel, and it didn’t disappoint.  Donald X. Vaccarino’s follow-up to Dominion was a bit more divisive, with lots of ardent supporters and detractors, but it still won this year’s Spiel des Jahres.  This is the other game that made my Top 11 of All-Time list, coming in right at #11.

1. Mice and Mystics (May 22, 2012)

The most recent addition to this list also proved to be the most popular of the year.  Plaid Hat has made a name for themselves with Summoner Wars and Dungeon Run, as well as their very enjoyable podcast.  The images of high-quality components did not hurt this games popularity at all.  Lots of people are eagerly awaiting their copy, which should be coming sometime this month.

So, that’s a look back at the past year.  Looking ahead to the future – well, the ABCs of Gaming continues tomorrow with Y.  Then it’s Z, then the number 1 number game, and that series is over!  I’ve had fun doing it, and it is my plan to do a volume two at some point.  However, not now.  I’m going to take a break from it for a while – I’ll be needing to catch up with Essen games for the next month or so as it is.  I do have some ideas for different series I can do, though I still need to get my ducks in a row for those.  But I thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing what the next year brings!


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