9 of 9 Forever
Obviously, that’s not entirely true, but it’s definitely starting to feel a bit that way. Beyond Baker Street, Pandemic and Machi Koro all made it up to 8, 2 other games are sat just behind on 7 plays, and 5 more on 6, but that magic 10 remains elusive.
Most of the games that were already above ten got additional play-throughs, but the chasing pack stayed in single figures.
With 4 months to go, it can only be a matter of time – I still believe that, even though I’m starting to feel like a broken record saying it. I suspect it will be either Beyond Baker Street or Pandemic that makes the breakthrough.
Of this month’s new arrivals, Mansions of Madness was the clear stand-out: the app-driven gameplay is absolutely brilliant, and although there are definitely issues with the miniatures, the game is good enough to make working around them worthwhile. As I only received this on the 20th, it’s not there yet, but 7 sessions inside a fortnight and a sense of momentum leaves me feeling that this is almost certain to be up to 10 by the time the year ends, possibly even claiming that final slot.
3 of 12
The un-played list is tumbling thick and fast though: 3 out of the remaining 12 were toppled this month, and if I can keep that pace up, I’ll have cleared the whole list by year-end.
The only game to actually be played from the un-played list over August was Scrabble. Catching up with some old friends we hadn’t seen for a while, we discovered that one had developed a scrabble obsession and, after they’d finished laughing at my spreadsheet, I got to cross off a game, and they got to play scrabble, so everyone was happy.
I’m not going to dwell over-long on scrabble. It’s a decent game, as is attested to by its enduring popularity. For me, it’s a bit too involved, and I’ve played too many games where people take forever over their turns, or have memorised all the legal two-letter words, despite not having a clue what they mean (according to our friend the scrabble expert, it’s not only not required to give a definition, but bad form to ask for one, as doing so may give clues as to how the word can be modified! – Of course everyone knows that the definition of “Qi” is “word that uses Q and doesn’t need a U, mostly commonly found in games of Scrabble). Overall, it was a perfectly tolerable way to spend an evening, but at home I’ll probably stick to Bananagrams.
The main way in which the list was reduced in August was via sales: Call of Cthulhu LCG went, (I’ve already talked in this article about why), as did Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. Trivial Pursuit where a Nazgul comes to eat your wedges is an entertaining concept, but a few games of this quickly established that 5 of the categories were much too easy (first game, my wife had 4 of her 6 wedges before I got my first turn), and the film category was just pot luck (one round it would be “who was the assistant producer to the second unit director on The Two Towers?” next round it would be “Who played Gandalf?”) For a long time, the fact that I ran a Lord of the Rings Board Games blog made me feel I had to keep hold of all Middle Earth games, regardless of whether they got played, but as the shelves overflow with review copies (Mansions of Madness currently lives in the middle of the Living Room floor), I’m learning to be ruthless.
On the subject of Review copies, August was a particularly impressive month, bringing Age of Conan (with expansion), Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, and Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, to the table. Add in Star Trek Frontiers, Karuba and The Networks (all currently in transit as far as I can tell), and you’re left with one happy reviewer. Some of these will probably get moved along in the long term, (Sherlock is good, but the king of “limited replayability”) but Mansions is definitely a keeper
That’s about it for August – do check out the piece I did on solo gaming if you haven’t already, as this fills a fairly big August-shaped hole. I’ll be back for another challenge update at the end of September, by which time I’m really hoping I’ll have made it to 10 of 10…