Tuesday, 28 December 2010

bored gamer

Lately I find that there are fewer and fewer new games that really interest me. I follow many boardgame blogs and browse www.boardgamegeek.com all the time. Nowadays I often skip to just the final thoughts sections of articles. I don't have much patience to read through descriptions of game mechanisms. This is coming from a person who used to enjoy reading game rules. I think this is partly due to the increasing number of games being published. There is just too much information, so only games with some surprising element or some special element catch my attention.

Another reason is I've already played so many games, so I'm simply getting harder to please. I'm sure many recent games are good, but unless they offer a significantly different experience I'm usually too lazy to find out more about them. There are already so many good games that I'd like to play more of.

Here are some games that interest me.

  • 7 Wonders - My only worry is whether I will dislike it because it is too light.
  • Dominant Species - I like heavy games like Indonesia, Die Macher and Through the Ages.
  • Sid Meier's Civilization (Fantasy Flight Games) - I am a big fan of the PC game series. Han is buying this so I'll have a chance to play it.
  • Inca Empire - Complex game with network building and has an interesting tension between competition and cooperation.
  • 20th Century - Just because Shipyard by the same designer was such a pleasant surprise.

I still maintain an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of games I'm interested in. I rate them by eagerness of buying, 10 meaning I'll definitely buy it, 4 to 6 meaning I'm unsure, 1 to 3 meaning I've decided not to buy it (to different levels of certainty).

Well, I complain about the lack of new interesting games, yet I still go over my 20 games per year quota. Sigh... I think I just have too many unexpected purchases. I bought 10 Days in Asia because it was on sale and it would be good for my children when they are older. I bought FITS for my children too. Really. OK, I can see all those eyes rolling.

I wonder whether I'm entering a plateau stage of this hobby, or even a slowdown stage. Hmmm... maybe I'll tell you after I play Civilization. :-)


Andrew said...

Considering how much you and your friends enjoy Axis and Allies, you might want to look into some more wargames. There have been several good ones coming out lately.

-Twilight Struggle (not new, but definitely worth trying if you haven't. Its one of my favorite games)
-Labyrinth: War on Terror
-Nations at War: White Star Rising. I just got this for Christmas and haven't played yet but it looks very good and playable. It's a WWII game. There are WWIII games using the same system (Eisenbach Gap, Blood and Bridges, etc)

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I have Twilight Struggle and I quite like it too. I need to play this more.

I have been reading a little about Labyrinth too. At the moment no strong urge to try it yet, since I feel I have not played Twilight Struggle enough for me to venture to the next card driven game which is similar.

Haven't heard of Nations At War. Will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel similarly: I feel like I have so many good games, I don't have the time to give them the attention they deserve. I know in some ways that doesn't sound similar, but I think the root cause is the same--not delving deeply enough into one or more games we truly love.

I look back fondly at times in my life when I've been devoted to Chess, or to Go, or to Backgammon, or to Pinochle, and I want to be that devoted again. I don't think it's that the games coming out now are somehow less involving, I think it's that I've allowed myself to become distracted the sheer number of bright and shiny new games released each year. I've allowed myself to become stretched too thin.

What I want to do is focus on just one game (or two, or three, or four) and explore it fully, learn all that it has to offer. I think this will be more rewarding in the long run.

Who knows? I know it will be hard to make the switch. :-)

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

That's precisely my feeling too. And I guess that also contributes to why I'm not so keen to learn yet another new game. Every new game means spreading myself even thinner.

My regular opponents and I are trying to revive the Game of the Month concept, to give some games more focus and more plays. We've started with Le Havre, and next is War of the Ring. Hope this works out.