2019 was a pretty good year for gaming in the RockyMountainNavy household. This year, I played 119 games a total of 221 times. Compared to 2018, this was fewer plays (221 vs 357) but more actual games (119 vs 105). This year I only had two ‘Dimes’ (played 10 or more times) and three ‘Nickels’ (played 5-9 times).
Dimes & Nickels
Quarriors! (WizKids, 2011) – 21 Plays
Hold the Line: The American Civil War (Worthington Publishing, 2019) – 10 Plays
The Mind (Pandasaurus Games, 2018) – 7 Plays
Scythe (Stonemaier Games, 2016) – 6 Plays (including the first three episodes of the Rise of Fenris Campaign).
Tank Duel: Enemy in the Crosshairs (GMT Games, 2019) – 5 Plays
Eight (8) other games sat at four plays during the year and another seven (7) were played three times. Basically these top 20 most -played games account for around half of the game plays during the year.
What comes in 2020?
In an upcoming blog post I’m going to dig deeper into the numbers for 2019 but suffice it to say for now that it was a good year.
How was your year? What games are you looking forward to playing next year? For myself, I have a few new Gaming Challenges I am going to reveal just after the new year.
Biggest Surprise – Really surprised that 20% of all my gaming has been Quarriors! or Scythe.
So, does this make me a better gamer than you? NO! I am just gaming in my own way and enjoying it. I’m not looking to compare myself to others but rather share with all of you the joy gaming has brought to myself and my family. It’s not important if you play one game a month or 100; the important part is to enjoy the hobby!
The publisher’s blurb for Qladiatorled us to believe there would be some sort of arena combat mode but, alas, the only new rule introduced is the Lock Die. Interesting in action, but low on theme. Although it would make more thematic sense in Quest of the Qladiator, it is Quartifacts that introduces Quests. To be honest, I spent a bit too much time just unwrapping my brain around the preconceived notions the titles gave me and get past the cognitive disconnect from theme the titles created.
Once the game got to the table all was good. The new rules are seamlessly integrated into the game and easy to pick up. There were a few wrinkles, like a quartifact effect that is dependent upon an expansion we don’t own (yet, obviously).
Youngest RMN Boy is really into the game with all the different dice. Middle RMN Boy, a collector of Magic: The Gatheringcards, loves the artwork. Even with the new rules the game played relatively quickly and can still be a weeknight/after dinner game. Deck-building games have only a few places in our game collection with Trains (AEG, 2012) being the only other. I don’t think Quarriors!is going to kickoff a new game buying trend but it’s good to see the RMN Boys get into a game so seriously.
What do they say? “April showers bring spring May flowers?” Well, my gaming April was a drought.
April was also a very busy month outside of gaming. For the first time in a few years we took a family Spring Break vacation. Sorry friends, spending a week at DisneyWorld, even when not playing games, is quite the mental health break the family needed.
Not that the month was a total loss. I got three very exciting plays of Harold Buchanan’s excellent Campaigns of 1777 (Decision Games/Strategy & Tactics 316). After playing the full campaign first I went back and played the shorter scenarios. I strongly recommend that one play the shorter scenarios first and thenjump into the campaign; the locations and strategy decisions come easier and make more sense leading to a deeper game experience.
After two years of waiting (at least for me) it appears that the new edition of Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 (Academy Games) is getting real close (finally). According to a May 01 production update:
Production for ‘Conflict of Heroes – Storms of Steel 3rd Ed’ and ‘Conflict of Heroes – Awakening the Bear 3rd Ed’ is nearing completion! The Map Boards printed by Ludofact in Germany have arrived on the coast in Norfolk, VA and are working their way through customs. Once cleared, they will be shipped on to Ludofact USA to await the arrival of the rest of ‘Conflict of Heroes’ components being produced in China for final assembly.
The Chinese printer has completed production on the three (3!) individual Game Trayz that will be included in each game, dice, and cards. We just received final proofs for the unit counters, rule books, track sheets, etc. and have given approval for final production. We are implementing final tweaks to the SoS3 Mission book.
Our printer knows how important it is that we receive these games for early June release, so they are working diligently to get everything shipped soon. We are estimating they will be finished printing within the next two weeks for shipment to Ludofact USA for final assembly with the map boards. We are currently estimating we will receive the games for fulfillment by mid-June.
We had a lot of fun showing off the new maps and game system at Little Wars last weekend. Thanks for all of your great comments and those of you who kept coming back to play even more of the 3rd Ed Missions!
We want to thank everyone for their support, great suggestions, and feedback on the 3rd Ed Conflict of Heroes system.
March was a bit of a slow gaming month here at Casa RockyMountainNavy.
The numbers are a bit deceptive; 23 plays of 12 different games but if you throw out the 11 plays of Quarriors (WizKids, 2011) than that is a single play of most other games. Quarriors dominated the family gaming time this month with many games played in the short time after evening chores and bed time. Great family filler game!
After flirting with Villainous, I picked up the expansion. It kinda fell flat. There is not anything necessarily wrong with the game, it just didn’t grab us. Same goes for Illuminati; mechanically the game doesn’t know when to end and my older version has political and social references lost on the younger generation (to their detriment).
Speaking of Commands & Colors, there are some interesting developments in the series. I always understood that the main designer is Richard Berg, but didn’t realize until this month how the game license is divided up amongst publishers by era. GMT Games has Ancients, Medieval, Samurai, and Napoleonics; Compass Games has The American Revolution; Fantasy Flight Games has fantasy; PSC Games has World War I and space; and Days of Wonder does World War II. The question becomes who is going to do the American Civil War or the French & Indian War? This is important for my gaming budget!
This was a much different week of boardgaming than I imagined when it began.
Our weekly boardgame night was moved to Friday to accommodate a family event on Saturday. I pulled out the new Villainous: Wicked to the Core (Ravensburger, 2019) to play. Wickedis a stand-alone version of Villainouswith three new villains that is fully compatible with the original game. Youngest RockyMountainNavy Boy took Hades, Middle RMN was the Evil Queen, and I took Dr. Facilier.
I can understand why these villains were not in the original game. All three play with a bit of a more complex mechanic. Hades has to summon and move Titans, Evil Queen must find ingredients and Brew Poison while Dr. Facilier has a Fortune Deck. Not that the new mechanics are overly complex; just different and a bit harder to understand given the short villain guides.
Component-wise, it was Youngest RMN Boy who pointed out the villain “Movers” (oh, how I hate that term!) seemed a bit better quality than the original. The cards are made with the same somewhat flimsy core and the new game does not have the cheap plastic Cauldron for holding the Power Tokens. For only a few dollars less than the full game one gets half the number of villains and less components. Not sure it is really a good bargain.
The game experience was ok. We all need to play these villains again to get a better sense of how to make their decks work. Bottom line is that Villainous will land on the table again, but we are not going to be in a rush to get there.
After Ravensburger won the Toy of the Year Award for Villainous, I expected a bit of some hype to accompany the release of Wicked. The game was released Sunday, March 3 in the states. Late Sunday, I went to the local Target to find the game because it showed in stock when I checked online. I couldn’t find it on the shelves; as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even find a spot on the shelves where it was supposed to be. I asked a clerk about it and he checked the item number then said, “Oh, they’re still in the back.” They hadn’t even moved the stock to the shelves. He brought an unopened box of four out and gladly sold me one. So much for the hype!
..and the next. All through the week, as a matter of fact. Youngest RMN Boy even went so far as to declare Quarriors! amongst his new favorite games. So why the total change of heart?
Quarriors!plays fast. We are able to fit a game into a 45 min slot after dinner. The game also plays in a very balanced manner. Youngest RMN is 3-3, Middle RMN 2-4, and I am 1-5. The RMN Boys like the stories the different cards create. Some games have a nice balanced selection of creatures. In one game all the creatures were expensive to summon which really changed the dynamic of the game. Another game it was the spells that made a powerful difference.
Quarriors! has moved to the living room cabinet as a game that can be brought out after dinner for a quick play. Given the card variety, it will be a while before it grows stale. Interestingly, I asked the boys about the other Dice Masters games built around the many superhero themes. They both declined buying a new version as they like the original theming just fine!
For the weekend Game Night here at Casa RockyMountainNavy an older game landed on the table. Quarriors!(WizKids, 2011) was the 2013 Origins Award winner for Best Family, Party, or Children’s Game. So tonight, we not only got an older game to the table, but I was able to get another game of my 2019 Origins Challenge checked off.
Looking at my BGG collection, I rate Quarriors!as a 5 – Medicore – Take it or leave it. Tis actually places it in the bottom 15% of my collection. After these replays I am considering raising it to a 6 but…I’m not so sure I really want to do so.
You see, Quarriors! is not really my type of game. I never got into deck-building games and that is the core mechanic in Quarriors!. Sure, it uses dice instead of cards but the core mechanic is the same. I can see how, with familiarity, it should play fast.
The speed of play was partly why I brought the game back out. I am looking for good games to fill a 60 min or less time in the evenings with the RockyMountainNavy Boys. Quarriors!should be a perfect fit.
Quarriors is hyped as a deck building game with dice. This is exactly what Quarriors is, but with a lot more fun thrown in.
Sunday brought out Quarriors with the RMN Kids. I actually won, but the kids wanted to keep going. The youngest RMN Kid actually said, “Hey, this is just like Magic;” which is true.
In Quarriors, you gather dice to summon creatures and gain glory. The actual game mechanics are simple and though the game is rated for 14 years and older the youngest RMN Kid (7 years old) played with everyone helping him read and understand the cards. The cards make the game fun, with 30 different creatures and 20 different spells (of which you only use seven creatures and three spells in any given game) means the replay value is high since the numerous combinations will always challenge players.
If there is one low point, it is that some of the die faces are hard to read, but that is a minor Quibble (get it?).
Bottom Line: Only recently has the RMN family gotten into deck building games when Middle Son starting on Magic: The Gathering. I find Quarriors much more enjoyable mostly because you can play with up to four players meaning the entire RMN Horde can participate.* It also has a high “toy factor” in the dice making it visually appealing too. Thanks to Cameron and Rebecca both at Petries who recommended this game to me!
*Yes, I know there are mulitiplayer MTG versions out there but it was not really designed to be played that way!