Tuesday, 22 January 2013

my 2012

Fancy Charts

The dark blue dashed line (total games played) uses the scale on the right axis, the rest use the scale on the left axis.

My total games played has dropped (dark blue), because compared to 2010 and 2011, I played significantly fewer games against computer AI's. The numbers in 2010 were boosted by vs-AI plays of Race for the Galaxy and Dominion, and in 2011 by 7 Wonders and Brawl. I played fewer new games (yellow). My dimes have gone up a little while fives, others and singles have all dropped. However it is not because I was particularly successful in trying to play fewer different games but play each game more to appreciate it better. My dime games are mostly short games, solo games, vs-AI games and iOS games, i.e. they get played more quite easily anyway. Not all are games that I consciously wanted to spend more time exploring. For the first time the number of distinct games played (pink) has fallen. Maybe that is telling me I should further reduce buying games.

Similar chart, but only vs-human plays are counted. Total plays has increased instead, because many 2011 plays were vs-AI. No info for 2010 and before though, so I'm not sure how 2010 and 2011 compare.

Years with an "h" are vs-human-only numbers. Comparing 2012 and 2012h, you can see many dime games are vs-AI plays.

Percentage view.

Game plays count. The difference between 2011 and 2011h is huge, but the difference between 2012 and 2012h is smaller.

Percentage view.

19 games acquired, some bought, some received as gifts. This was the first time I didn't self-make a game. I failed to meet my quota of 18 games (or is it 20?) or fewer per year. I blame Right Games from Russia for sending me more free games than I expected. :-)

Games Played

This year I decided to do something a little different with my gameplay statistics. Instead of just looking at them from a fives and dimes perspective, which favours short games because it is easy to get them played, I want to take into account how much time I spent on each game. So in addition to number of plays, I also sorted my games played in 2012 by total time spent. I use my own estimations for game length, and not the data at BGG.

Here are the games I played in 2012, sorted by number of plays. Where there are two numbers, the first number is the total number of plays, and the second number is the number of plays against computer opponents (AI's).

  1. Ascension (77,29) - On iOS. I surprised myself. I didn't expect to enjoy Ascension so much. At first I thought it was just that the iOS implementation was so slick. Then by the time I expected the novelty would have worn off, I still continued to play, and play, and play. I have explored the strategies, and I don't think there is much more additional depth to be discovered anymore, but I still play. I play in async mode, mostly against Han. I play daily and in a leisurely manner. I did not expected this game to become a daily habit.


  2. Summoner Wars (46,7) - On iOS, and most games were against Han too. I keep losing! I probably win 10% of the games I play against him. Possibly less. It's not really the kind of game I would fall in love with, but I enjoy it well enough to be playing almost daily too, starting a new match right after finishing the previous one. I like playing the Jungle Elves faction the most - very mobile, very nimble. I enjoy the Fallen Kingdom too. Now I'm playing a custom Cloak deck, and they are quite fun. I find that I like factions with quirky powers or offensive tendencies.

    Summoner Wars

  3. Ticket To Ride (35,19) - Mostly played on iOS, both against humans (wife and daughter) and AI's.
  4. Brawl (22,22) - On iOS.
  5. Tigris & Euphrates (20,19) - On iOS. These were played earlier in the year. I have not played for quite a while.
  6. Friday (18) - It has been an enjoyable and rewarding journey learning and exploring this solo game.
  7. Spot It (17) - With the children.
  8. Town Center (16) - Mostly the solo version. After a while, I lost interest in the solo game because it felt like a solved puzzle. I've come up with a blueprint that scores very well if I am reasonably lucky with my cube draws. After that I became tired of trying to further improve it.
  9. Halli Galli (15) - With the children.
  10. Roll Through The Ages (15) - Solo games on iOS.
  11. Uno (13) - With the children.
  12. For The Win (12) - With older daughter Shee Yun (7) mostly.
  13. Hacienda (10,10) - On iOS against AI's. The interface is done well enough, but the AI's are mediocre, and the app sometimes crashed on me.
  14. Nightfall (10,2) - On iOS.
  15. Dragonheart (9) - A pleasant discovery on BGA. Quick 2-player-only card game with bluffing, risk taking and hand management.
  16. Risk Legacy (8)
  17. Le Havre (7,2) - On iOS.
  18. Race for the Galaxy (7)
  19. A Few Acres of Snow (5) - First played in 2011, but many plays were in early 2012. I like this a lot. Too bad its reputation is tarnished by the allegedly unstoppable strategy. I try not to pay attention to that strategy, so that I don't consciously avoid it or apply it. That works for me.
  20. Blue Moon (5) - I forgot I had played this. This is a very good game and is very rewarding if you spend time to learn the decks. I still have not played the last three expansions. I have the complete set.
  21. Finito! (5,5) - On the internet.
  22. Mage Knight (5)
  23. Maori (5)
  24. Twister (5)
  25. Antiquity (4)
  26. Confetti (4)
  27. Fauna (4)
  28. Gosu (4)
  29. Innovation (4)
  30. Ora et Labora (4)
  31. Ra (4,4)
  32. Ticket to Ride Europe (4)
  33. Viva Topo! (4)
  34. Web of Power: Card Game (4,4)
  35. Yomi (4)
  36. A la carte (3)
  37. Agricola (3)
  38. Captain Clueless (3)
  39. Famiglia (3)
  40. Glory to Rome (3)
  41. Hamsterrolle (3)
  42. Hive (3)
  43. Indonesian Finger Game (3)
  44. Mamma Mia (3)
  45. Monopoly (3)
  46. Puerto Rico (3)
  47. Seasons (3)
  48. Space Alert (3)
  49. The Bottle Imp (3)
  50. The Kids of Carcassonne (3)
  51. Zooloretto (3)
  52. 10 days in Asia (2)
  53. Confucius (2)
  54. Dixit (2)
  55. Dungeon Petz (2)
  56. DVONN (2)
  57. Fast Flowing Forest Fellers (2)
  58. Haggis (2)
  59. Kakerlaken-Poker (2)
  60. Lost Cities (2)
  61. Mondo (2)
  62. Ninjato (2)
  63. Rommel in the Desert (2)
  64. San Juan (2,2)
  65. Sekigahara (2)
  66. Shinobi (2)
  67. Stone Age (2)
  68. Tammany Hall (2)
  69. The Great Zimbabwe (2)
  70. Thebes (2)
  71. Ticket To Ride Asia (2)
  72. Tournay (2)
  73. Troyes (2)
  74. Tsuro (2)
  75. Ubongo (2)
  76. Zombie! Run for your lives! (2)
  77. 1955: The War of Espionage (1)
  78. 1989: Dawn of Freedom (1)
  79. 51st State (1)
  80. 7 Wonders (1)
  81. After the Flood (1)
  82. Age of Steam (1)
  83. Apples to Apples (1)
  84. Ares Project (1)
  85. At the Gates of Loyang (1)
  86. Automobile (1)
  87. Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition (1)
  88. Axis & Allies Europe 1940 (1,1)
  89. Axis & Allies Global 1940 (1)
  90. Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 (1,1)
  91. Bamboleo (1)
  92. Black Sheep (1)
  93. Blokus (1)
  94. Café International (1,1)
  95. Carcassonne (1)
  96. Carnival (1)
  97. Cave Evil (1)
  98. Cavum (1)
  99. Caylus (1)
  100. Checkers (1)
  101. CO2 (1)
  102. Coloretto (1)
  103. Dawn Under (1)
  104. Diamant (1)
  105. Dominant Species The Card Game (1)
  106. Dominion (1,1)
  107. Escape: The Curse of the Temple (1)
  108. Evolution (1)
  109. FITS (1)
  110. Flash Point (1)
  111. Forbidden Island (1)
  112. Get Bit (1)
  113. Gu Ji Ba (1)
  114. Hawaii (1)
  115. In the Year of the Dragon (1)
  116. Indonesia (1)
  117. Ingenious (1)
  118. Jungle Speed (1)
  119. Kahuna (1)
  120. Keltis (1)
  121. Kids of Catan (1)
  122. Memory (1)
  123. Mow (1)
  124. MR1: Jack the Ripper (1)
  125. MR3: Jekyll & Hyde (1)
  126. Mundus Novus (1)
  127. Neuroshima Hex (1)
  128. Omen: A Reign of War (1)
  129. Pack & Stack (1)
  130. Power Grid (1)
  131. Quoridor (1,1)
  132. Santiago (1)
  133. Snap (1)
  134. Sole Mio (1)
  135. Successors (1)
  136. Sunrise City (1)
  137. Taj Mahal (1)
  138. Takenoko (1)
  139. Through the Ages (1)
  140. Tikal (1,1)
  141. Toss Your Cookies (1)
  142. Tower of Babel (1)
  143. Triumvirate (1)
  144. Ticket To Ride Switzerland (1,1)
  145. Twilight Struggle (1)
  146. Ubongo Extreme (1)
  147. Undermining (1)
  148. Urban Sprawl (1)
  149. Vanuatu (1)
  150. VivaJava (1)
  151. Wasabi (1)

Here's the same list, but sorted by how much time is spent playing each game. I'll call this my half and quarter list - paying special attention to games that I've played 12 hours or more and 6 hours or more. Or perhaps it would be better to do 24hrs and 12hrs? The first number is the number of plays, and the second number the time spent in hours. This list will favour longer games.

  1. Ascension (77, 38.5hrs) - Still #1 on the list, because of how many times I've played it.
  2. Ticket To Ride (35, 35.0hrs) - 1 hour per game is what I estimate for playing the physical copy. Most of my plays were actually on iOS, i.e. much much quicker.
  3. Summoner Wars (46, 23.0hrs)
  4. Tigris & Euphrates (20, 20.0hrs)
  5. Mage Knight (5, 15.0hrs) - Now we see something jump to a much higher position compared to the previous list. .
  6. Axis & Allies Global 1940 (1, 15.0hrs) - This was a PBEM game started in Nov 2012, and it ended in Jan 2013.
  7. Town Center (16, 12.0hrs)
  8. Risk Legacy (8, 12.0hrs)
  9. Antiquity (4, 12.0hrs) - I am quite pleased to have played this against Michelle four times. Nowadays it's not easy to convince her to sit down to learn a new game. She enjoyed it and won many games, while I enjoyed trying out the different patron saints.


  10. Le Havre (7, 10.5hrs) - I like this game, and am happy that I've managed to play it this many times, thanks to the iOS version. Mostly played with Han and Allen. I prefer playing this face-to-face than via async mode, because in async mode, it takes quite long between turns (OK, maybe I should blame Allen rather than async mode :-P ), and sometimes by the time my turn comes around, I have forgotten what I was planning to do. In Le Havre you need to have a consistent strategy.

    Le Havre

  11. Nightfall (10, 10.0hrs)
  12. Hacienda (10, 10.0hrs)
  13. Friday (18, 9.0hrs)
  14. A Few Acres of Snow (5, 7.5hrs)
  15. Ora et Labora (4, 6.0hrs)
  16. Monopoly (3, 6.0hrs) - Gosh... of all games... Monopoly made it to the quarter (of a day) / 6hr mark.
  17. Halli Galli (15, 5.0hrs)
  18. Roll Through The Ages (15, 5.0hrs)
  19. Rommel in the Desert (2, 5.0hrs)
  20. Agricola (3, 4.5hrs)
  21. Ticket To Ride Europe (4, 4.0hrs)
  22. Sekigahara (2, 4.0hrs)
  23. The Great Zimbabwe (2, 4.0hrs)
  24. Indonesia (1, 4.0hrs)
  25. Axis & Allies Europe 1940 (1, 4.0hrs)
  26. Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 (1, 4.0hrs)
  27. Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition (1, 4.0hrs)
  28. Puerto Rico (3, 3.8hrs)
  29. Race for the Galaxy (7, 3.5hrs)
  30. Maori (5, 3.3hrs)
  31. Dungeon Petz (2, 3.3hrs)
  32. For The Win (12, 3.0hrs)
  33. Innovation (4, 3.0hrs)
  34. Fauna (4, 3.0hrs)
  35. Seasons (3, 3.0hrs)
  36. Tammany Hall (2, 3.0hrs)
  37. Confucius (2, 3.0hrs)
  38. Troyes (2, 3.0hrs)
  39. Successors (1, 3.0hrs)
  40. Twilight Struggle (1, 3.0hrs)
  41. CO2 (1, 3.0hrs)
  42. Ra (4, 2.7hrs)
  43. Thebes (2, 2.5hrs)
  44. Urban Sprawl (1, 2.5hrs)
  45. Dragonheart (9, 2.3hrs)
  46. Glory to Rome (3, 2.3hrs)
  47. A la carte (3, 2.3hrs)
  48. Yomi (4, 2.0hrs)
  49. Gosu (4, 2.0hrs)
  50. Zooloretto (3, 2.0hrs)
  51. Ninjato (2, 2.0hrs)
  52. Tournay (2, 2.0hrs)
  53. Stone Age (2, 2.0hrs)
  54. Caylus (1, 2.0hrs)
  55. After the Flood (1, 2.0hrs)
  56. 1989: Dawn of Freedom (1, 2.0hrs)
  57. Through the Ages (1, 2.0hrs)
  58. Brawl (22, 1.8hrs)
  59. The Bottle Imp (3, 1.5hrs)
  60. Space Alert (3, 1.5hrs)
  61. Mamma Mia (3, 1.5hrs)
  62. Ticket To Ride Asia (2, 1.5hrs)
  63. Power Grid (1, 1.5hrs)
  64. Age of Steam (1, 1.5hrs)
  65. Taj Mahal (1, 1.5hrs)
  66. Cavum (1, 1.5hrs)
  67. Hawaii (1, 1.5hrs)
  68. Vanuatu (1, 1.5hrs)
  69. Automobile (1, 1.5hrs)
  70. VivaJava (1, 1.5hrs)
  71. Spot It (17, 1.4hrs)
  72. Viva Topo! (4, 1.3hrs)
  73. Web of Power: Card Game (4, 1.3hrs)
  74. Fast Flowing Forest Fellers (2, 1.3hrs)
  75. Blue Moon (5, 1.3hrs)
  76. Captain Clueless (3, 1.3hrs)
  77. At the Gates of Loyang (1, 1.3hrs)
  78. Dixit (2, 1.2hrs)
  79. Uno (13, 1.1hrs)
  80. Confetti (4, 1.0hrs)
  81. Famiglia (3, 1.0hrs)
  82. Hive (3, 1.0hrs)
  83. Haggis (2, 1.0hrs)
  84. Mondo (2, 1.0hrs)
  85. San Juan (2, 1.0hrs)
  86. Ares Project (1, 1.0hrs)
  87. Cave Evil (1, 1.0hrs)
  88. Flash Point (1, 1.0hrs)
  89. Sunrise City (1, 1.0hrs)
  90. 51st State (1, 1.0hrs)
  91. In the Year of the Dragon (1, 1.0hrs)
  92. Mundus Novus (1, 1.0hrs)
  93. Tikal (1, 1.0hrs)
  94. Twister (5, 0.8hrs)
  95. Finito! (5, 0.8hrs)
  96. Kakerlaken-Poker (2, 0.8hrs)
  97. Shinobi (2, 0.8hrs)
  98. The Kids of Carcassonne (3, 0.8hrs)
  99. Hamsterrolle (3, 0.8hrs)
  100. Undermining (1, 0.8hrs)
  101. Tower of Babel (1, 0.8hrs)
  102. Santiago (1, 0.8hrs)
  103. Ticket To Ride Switzerland (1, 0.8hrs)
  104. Forbidden Island (1, 0.8hrs)
  105. Ubongo (2, 0.7hrs)
  106. Zombie! Run for your lives! (2, 0.7hrs)
  107. 10 days in Asia (2, 0.7hrs)
  108. Dominion (1, 0.7hrs)
  109. Carcassonne (1, 0.7hrs)
  110. Ubongo Extreme (1, 0.7hrs)
  111. Apples to Apples (1, 0.7hrs)
  112. Takenoko (1, 0.7hrs)
  113. 1955: The War of Espionage (1, 0.7hrs)
  114. Wasabi (1, 0.6hrs)
  115. DVONN (2, 0.5hrs)
  116. Tsuro (2, 0.5hrs)
  117. Lost Cities (2, 0.5hrs)
  118. Carnival (1, 0.5hrs)
  119. Kids of Catan (1, 0.5hrs)
  120. Pack & Stack (1, 0.5hrs)
  121. 7 Wonders (1, 0.5hrs)
  122. Omen: A Reign of War (1, 0.5hrs)
  123. Ingenious (1, 0.5hrs)
  124. Mow (1, 0.5hrs)
  125. Black Sheep (1, 0.5hrs)
  126. MR3: Jekyll & Hyde (1, 0.5hrs)
  127. Keltis (1, 0.5hrs)
  128. Kahuna (1, 0.5hrs)
  129. Triumvirate (1, 0.5hrs)
  130. Dominant Species The Card Game (1, 0.5hrs)
  131. Evolution (1, 0.5hrs)
  132. Dawn Under (1, 0.5hrs)
  133. Neuroshima Hex (1, 0.5hrs)
  134. Café International (1, 0.5hrs)
  135. MR1: Jack the Ripper (1, 0.4hrs)
  136. Jungle Speed (1, 0.4hrs)
  137. Quoridor (1, 0.3hrs)
  138. FITS (1, 0.3hrs)
  139. Coloretto (1, 0.3hrs)
  140. Get Bit (1, 0.3hrs)
  141. Diamant (1, 0.3hrs)
  142. Sole Mio (1, 0.3hrs)
  143. Blokus (1, 0.3hrs)
  144. Bamboleo (1, 0.3hrs)
  145. Escape: The Curse of the Temple (1, 0.3hrs)
  146. Toss Your Cookies (1, 0.3hrs)
  147. Checkers (1, 0.2hrs)
  148. Memory (1, 0.2hrs)
  149. Indonesian Finger Game (3, 0.2hrs)
  150. Gu Ji Ba (1, 0.1hrs)
  151. Snap (1, 0.1hrs)

New To Me

60 new-to-me games in 2012. That's fewer than both 2010 and 2011. Quite a number of them are games played with the children during family outings to Meeples Cafe. Just look at those family and children games bunched together below. In brackets are dates first played followed by number of plays in 2012.

  1. Risk Legacy (1 Jan, 8) - A good start to the new year - having the determination to do repeat plays of the same game. This game certainly needs repeat plays preferably with the same group of players to bring out the story.

    Risk: Legacy

  2. Carnival (6 Jan, 1)
  3. Captain Clueless (8 Jan, 3)
  4. Pack & Stack (8 Jan, 1)
  5. Ares Project (19 Jan, 1)
  6. Ninjato (20 Jan, 2) - I expected a boring worker placement Eurogame, but it turned out to be more fun than I expected. Sending out your ninjas to execute a theft or robbery is always exciting. I love saying "GONG!" when an elite guard unexpectedly turns up to fight the ninja, much to the dismay of the ninja's owner.


  7. Mage Knight (1 Feb, 5) - A fantasy themed game where you don't need to roll dice all the time. There is deck-building and hand management. Many actions are deterministic, or the risk and rewards can be calculated, so there is a lot of planning as opposed to just following your heart.
  8. Yomi (3 Feb, 4)
  9. Cave Evil (10 Feb, 1)
  10. Undermining (24 Feb, 1)
  11. Quoridor (10 Mar, 1)
  12. Mow (11 Mar, 1)
  13. Black Sheep (11 Mar, 1)
  14. Jungle Speed (11 Mar, 1)
  15. Mondo (11 Mar, 2)
  16. Ora et Labora (23 Mar, 4)
  17. Flash Point (6 Apr, 1)
  18. Tournay (27 Apr, 2)
  19. Sekigahara (4 May, 2) - For me, one of the most memorable games in 2012. No dice. Some luck in card draws, but the role of cards is primarily creating hidden information. Cards in this game allow bluffing and double-guessing. Creating randomness is secondary. Deciding to fight or to avoid battle is tense. You can see what cards you hold, you can try to remember what cards your opponent has used or discarded, but you can never be sure what cards he is holding. Even after committing to a battle, the simple card play during battle is tense. Which units do you commit? Are you prepared to lose them? All this is delivered in a thematic and beautiful package. Maybe I should buy this. Even though Allen has a copy, buying a copy is a show of support to this great design. Also just in case Allen's copy gets stolen by aliens.

    Sekigahara: the Unification of Japan

  20. Confucius (7 May, 2)
  21. Sunrise City (11 May, 1)
  22. Dragonheart (19 May, 9)
  23. Gosu (22 May, 4)
  24. Ticket To Ride Asia (25 May, 2)
  25. Triumvirate (22 Jun, 1)
  26. Get Bit (6 Jul, 1)
  27. Mundus Novus (6 Jul, 1)
  28. For The Win (15 Jul, 12)
  29. Cavum (27 Jul, 1) - One of the games that I marked as "buy if quota for 2012 not exceeded". Unfortunately I did exceed my game-buying quota. So, maybe if I don't bust the 2013 quota... I find this game a little different from the common Euro fare nowadays. There is a significant spatial element. There is careful planning required. There are opportunities to block others and to protect yourself. The board situation can change significantly from round to round. The review that intrigued me said that this was a very open game, like a wide canvas for your to freely plot your own strategy. I find it quite true.


  30. Ascension (16 Aug, 82)
  31. Tsuro (22 Aug, 2)
  32. Hamsterrolle (22 Aug, 3)
  33. Fauna (22 Aug, 4)
  34. Hawaii (24 Aug, 1) - This is one game where my opinion is the opposite of most players. It rubbed me the wrong way because to me it encapsulated the "yet another Euro" feeling. I recognise the meaningful decision-making, the finely tuned balance, the player interaction and the variability. However to me it felt like a beautiful machine with no soul.
  35. Town Center (24 Aug, 16)
  36. Dominant Species The Card Game (7 Sep, 1)
  37. Vanuatu (7 Sep, 1) - In contrast with Hawaii, Vanuatu gave me feelings. And it's not just that deliciously painful action selection mechanism. The whole package jives and creates a convincing setting. Maybe it is also the excellent artwork that helps to draw me in.


  38. Friday (13 Sep, 18)
  39. 1989: Dawn of Freedom (14 Sep, 1) - Interesting reenactment of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. Quite good. Many similarities to Twilight Struggle. One of the added elements, power struggles, is quite exciting, like battles in the classic Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage. I still have no idea why Allen bought this despite not liking Twilight Struggle. There's something about GMT Games and him...
  40. Zombie! Run for your lives! (16 Sep, 2)
  41. Confetti (16 Sep, 4)
  42. Shinobi (21 Sep, 2)
  43. Finito! (23 Sep, 5)
  44. Web of Power: Card Game (27 Sep, 4)
  45. Axis & Allies Europe 1940 (29 Sep, 1) - Played against the AI using TripleA, which is not a good way to evaluate this game.
  46. Rommel in the Desert (5 Oct, 2) - Finally, I managed to get this played. It's new ground for me, my previous block game experiences being limited to simpler block games like Hammer of the Scots. Digesting the rules was challenging. My concise reference sheet had to span more than one page. I like how there are many considerations behind each action. How far are you willing to risk having your supply line cut off? Do you make an aggressive move and try to cut your opponent's supply line? Does your opponent have enough real supply cards to make a strong counter-attack? Is your opponent bluffing when he makes a bold advance? Should you sacrifice your position by withdrawing or should you stand firm and battle it out? I have only played a simple scenario. Much more to explore in the more complex ones.

    Rommel in the Desert

  47. Urban Sprawl (12 Oct, 1)
  48. Seasons (19 Oct, 3)
  49. Forbidden Island (26 Oct, 1)
  50. Ubongo Extreme (26 Oct, 1)
  51. Bamboleo (26 Oct, 1)
  52. Escape: The Curse of the Temple (26 Oct, 1)
  53. Toss Your Cookies (26 Oct, 1)
  54. Apples to Apples (26 Oct, 1)
  55. The Great Zimbabwe (26 Oct, 2) - Another memorable game. I have only played it twice, and need to play more to further explore the strategies. Like many Splotter games, the game is unforgiving, and you need to know what you're doing to be able to fully enjoy the game. Only when everyone is familiar with the game you can take counter-measures against others' strategies. In this the game is very interactive.

    The Great Zimbabwe

  56. CO2 (2 Nov, 1)
  57. VivaJava (16 Nov, 1)
  58. Takenoko (16 Nov, 1)
  59. 1955: The War of Espionage (25 Nov, 1)

Games Acquired

  1. Dungeon Petz - I like it more than Dungeon Lords probably partly because the blind bidding is not as brutal. In both games you do have some control and some information to help you decide how to bid, but I think in Dungeon Petz mistakes are punished less severely. Other than this central blind bidding mechanism, I also enjoy the overall theme of running a pet monster shop and caring for pet monsters.

    Dungeon Petz

  2. Ora et Labora
  3. Antiquity
  4. The Great Zimbabwe - I couldn't sleep well until I decided to buy a copy, despite knowing that Allen had already ordered a copy and I could always find an opportunity to play it. Now I have a new justification (*cough* excuse) for buying games - I buy a game to support the designers and to show support for excellence in game design.
  5. Friday
  6. Fauna
  7. Rommel in the Desert
  8. Paths of Glory - Unplayed. I had hoped to play this during my long break from work in the first half of 2012, but it didn't work out. I did read the rules and make a rule summary. I should have put more effort in scheduling a session before I started work again. This being a full day game, it will be challenging to schedule a session.

    The next six are expansions.

  9. Le Havre: Grand Hameau - I must admit I bought this due to completist reasons. I do like the base game. And it's just a small expansion.
  10. Power Grid: Robot - Not necessary unless you often have only 2 or 3 players and need to boost player count.
  11. 7 Wonders Leaders
  12. Ticket to Ride: Asia
  13. Age of Steam Expansion: Alabama Railways, Antebellum Louisiana & Four Corners - I bought these Age of Steam expansions because they contain 2P-specific scenarios, and I wanted to play them against Michelle. I only managed to play Alabama Railways so far. It was good. It made Age of Steam work for two.
  14. Age of Steam Expansion: 1867 Georgia Reconstruction, South Carolina & Oklahoma Land Rush

    The last five are review copies and gifts. I usually decline review copies because I am not spending enough time playing the games I want to play, but I enjoyed Evolution enough to be interested in its expansion.

  15. Shinobi - A simple yet clever secret identity card game. A pleasant surprise.


  16. Evolution: Time To Fly - It is still fun to make weird superspecies, even though the best strategy in this game seems to be just focusing on one or two such superspecies.
  17. Confetti
  18. Zombie! Run for Your Lives!
  19. For The Win

So, if I don't count expansions and gifts, I only bought 8 games, which is much lower than my quota of 18 per year.

I keep telling myself this year after year.

Other Thoughts on Specific Games

  • Favourite new-to-me-in-2012 game: Sekigahara, without a doubt.
  • Unexpected and pleasant discoveries in 2012: Dragonheart, Shinobi.
  • Other memorable new-to-me games in 2012: Cavum, Vanuatu, The Great Zimbabwe, Rommel in the Desert
  • Games I like but did not play in 2012: This list is just too long and depressing to display fully. Some games that I miss include Lord of the Rings, Axis & Allies: Guadalcanal, The Princes of Florence, Age of Empires III, First Train to Nuremberg and Brass.
  • I'm glad to have explored these in 2012: Antiquity, A Few Acres of Snow, Successors

    A Few Acres of Snow

  • I'm glad to have played these old favourites: Puerto Rico, Age of Steam, Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition, Through the Ages, Indonesia, Automobile.

    Age of Steam: Alabama Railways

My 2012

In 2012 I started playing boardgames heavily on my iPhone. Ascension and Summoner Wars have become daily routines. All this started when Allen got an iPad. Han, who was on an overseas job posting for most of 2012, had always been playing boardgames on his iPad regularly, but we never started playing together on the iOS platform. The three of us just played face-to-face games until Han went on his overseas assignment. When Allen got his iPad, we thought it would be nice for the three of us to play regularly again on the iOS platform. In addition to Ascension and Summoner Wars, we also played Le Havre and Nightfall.

My interest in watching out for new games and reading about them continued to wane. I don't get withdrawal symptoms anymore when BGG is down for maintenance. My Google Reader subscription list sometimes feels like a chore than something I look forward to. I do "mark as read" quite often now. I continue to strive for quality over quantity - I want to play games I already like more, and I'm prepared to pass on good new games, even excellent ones.

In 2012, my wife Michelle had 78 plays (about half of 2011), of 40 distinct games. She is less interested in boardgames now, but I'm happy to have played quite a few games of Antiquity with her. I need to be picky in introducing new games to her. She is not a patient new game learner. Her most played games in 2012 were Ticket to Ride (8 according to my log, but I'm sure she played many more than that on the iPad vs AI's) and Race for the Galaxy (7). Most time spent was on Antiquity (12hrs). Older daughter Shee Yun (7 years old) had 121 plays (about the same as 2011), of 44 distinct games (increased), and most played games were For the Win (11), Uno (10), and Ticket to Ride (10 according to my log, but again I'm sure it's actually much higher). Younger daughter Chen Rui (6 years old) had 113 plays (higher than 2011), of 28 distinct games (same as 2011), and most played games were Uno (15), Spot It (14), and Halli Galli (8). I think she played quite a bit of Ticket to Ride on the iPad too. This iOS purchase was well worth the money!

I did a few family outings to Meeples Cafe in 2012, where we tried out many new games. The children enjoyed these outings. It's a good way to spend time with the family. We get to play games that we don't own.

With the family at Meeples Cafe.

I have been playing at OTK (Boardgamecafe.net) more. One of my two regular kakis (fellow gamers) Han was overseas for most of 2012. Allen and I played at Allen's place if we wanted to play 2-player games, and we went to OTK if we wanted to play in a bigger group. Sometimes we arranged virtual sessions with Han, mostly playing at BoardGameArena.

I wrote 95 posts at this blog in 2012, slightly lower than 2011. First time in 5 years that I fell below 100. I used to be always a little over 100. But I hope my personal boardgaming journey is still interesting and relevant to my visitors. Here are some posts in 2012 that I like:

As the new year begins, I look forward to another good year of boardgaming and blogging, and also the now reset quota for buying games. :-) Mmmmhhh... Cavum...

End note: Only after I've done up the fancy charts and statistics I realise some numbers are slightly off. Oops... But I'm too lazy to go back to fix and redo everything, since the impact is not big. This post has taken enough time already. I just hope your first reaction upon seeing it is not TL;DR...


BGG ID: dtroy_de_rapcore said...

Gosh, now I'll have to reconsider Cavum again, you made it sound good :) I contemplated purchasing Cavum for the last couple of BGC black friday sales and maybe 2013 will be the year that I actually get it.

I need another Kramer game.


Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Hmm... maybe I should not be increasing the demand of a game I'm thinking of buying, just in case it sells out at BGC just when I finally decide to buy. :-D

Michael at QuizPoo said...

Wow - that is quite the list, Hiew. Pretty cool that you build your own games, too.

Erwin said...

Great site!

Have you found a copy of Sekigahara: Unification? It looks amazing, but I haven't found a copy anywhere and the P500 on GMT isn't close to coming to fruition.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I have not found a copy of Sekigahara yet, but then I wasn't really searching hard. I'm still thinking about whether to sign up for the P500.