2018/2019: Looking Backwards and Forwards
Well, well, well – what have we here? It appears that 2018 has come to an end and what a bizarre/wonderful year it has been. Azul and The Mind created a stir in the board game circles, both becoming hugely critically acclaimed. Scythe got turned into a legacy game, and Pandemic has a new version out about Rome. The gaming world has bloomed, with the UK Games Expo letting in even more people, with over 20,000 unique visitors recorded for 2018.
With that in mind, and because it’s been quite around here recently, I thought it would be good to look at some of the great games we have played in 2018, as well as what we have to look forward to this year and beyond. Let’s talk about games.
2018: A Year In Gaming
Our Stand Out Games Of 2018
Right from the very start of 2018 it became the year of Onitama. In between Christmas and New Year last year, we bought Onitama and have played it, or its two expansions, around 40 times. Released initially in 2014, we discovered it in 2018 and it was a real stand out game, remaining to be one I hope we will play more and more of in the year to come.
Two epic games we played a few times this year were Gloomhaven and Twilight Imperium. Both are fun games, and I really enjoyed Gloomhaven in particular. Isaac Childres’ epic dungeon crawler is an instant classic, and deserves recognition for being beautifully put together. Twilight Imperium is an epic as well, although I think I’ll need to put a few more sessions into it before I can definitively say whether it is a game I truly enjoy or not.
Star Wars: Destiny was a big game for my gaming group this year, and I participated in a couple of tournaments. Again, it is good fun, and the dice/card mechanic works really well. That being said, I have now retired my Lando/Padme deck for a different game. In the past few weeks we have discovered Keyforge and I have my first store tournament for that on the 5th January. Keyforge is great and you’ll see more articles about it in the next few weeks.
Okay, so those have been a few larger or collectable games. What about the games we have just enjoyed playing?
Well, for us, there are again a few stand out games once again. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is fast becoming one of our favourite Social Deduction games of all time, and Viticulture is a superb worker placement game. From a solo perspective This War of Mine will take a lot of beating. It is singularly amazing, and I am so glad Beth got it for me for my birthday.
Likewise – Skull – we discovered it two weeks ago but are loving it so far!
I can’t write about every single game we played this year here; however, I do want to give a few shout outs for other games we truly enjoyed:
- Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
- Magic Maze
- Battle for Rokugan
- Rising Sun
- Spirit Island
- Between Two Cities
This is also the first year where we have kept score of our results through an app. We’ve been using BG Stats for Android and, I have to admit, it is a really good app. There is still some tweaking that is needed to make it truly streamlined, but it records our plays and that is all we want of it really.
Another big highlight of the year was the UKGE and meeting The Dice Tower crew. They are awesome guys and I won’t forget it in a long time.
Games Put To Bed
Of course, each year, like how we try a lot of games, we also put a few games back on the shelf for good. This year there are a few games that have been put to bed that we won’t necessarily break out again. There were distinctly few of these this year, but these are games that were either forcefully retired or that we just won’t pick up again. In fact, I think there are only two on the list. These are games we really enjoyed in previous years, but probably won’t continue further.
The first game on the list is Star Wars: X-Wing. Our interest as a whole group was waning with X-Wing, but when Fantasy Flight released the second edition we decided, as a group, to discontinue our collections. We still have space for the occasional casual game, and I will still play with my dear ol’ Dad (who has an Imperial collection) but we’re no longer collectors.
T.I.M.E Stories is the second game, and that was simply because we really enjoyed the first scenario (the one that came with the box), but playing the second (The Marcy Case) wore us down. It got to the point where we weren’t finding it fun, and we found The Marcy Case enough of a struggle that we aren’t willing to part with our money to gamble on a third scenario.
Looking Forward to 2019
I’m not going to talk about the future of the blog in all that much detail, because whenever I do something usually comes along to change fate and the precise circumstances at hand; however, let’s talk about a few things we are looking forward to in 2019.
So, coming into this year we have a few things to look forward to. The first is to do with the TV show A Game of Thrones coming to an end. Why? Well, Beth and I are massive Thronies and bought our gaming group the board game (yes, that board game) for Christmas. We have plans to play it before the season ends. I have dibs on House Baratheon, because they are awesome.
Next, we have three Kickstarters confirmed and arriving within 2019 at various points. These include Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, The Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid miniature game and Set a Watch. Expect to see those soon.
There is the UK Games Expo again in June, which will be amazing, and, as mentioned above, I am starting the year with a Keyforge tournament. Finally, we have Gloomhaven to continue and a new D&D campaign on the horizon. I will be DM-ing, which will be fun.
It promises to be a good year.
From Me to You
Meanwhile, it has been an interesting year for this blog, myself, and my partner (Beth – who proofreads almost everything I write). You may have noticed that I have been quite for the past few months with far fewer posts. As explained back around October time, this is because we are buying a house. We are still in that process (seriously, it is ridiculous what the process is like in the UK) but we are getting there. I have made a promise to myself to write more regularly again in the New Year (although probably only twice a week as opposed to every other day until we have moved into our new place) so we shall see how that goes. If I go quiet again though, just for a short while, you know why. Please bear with me, it is a goal to make this blog a regular one again in 2019!
Okay, so up to this point this has been a fairly self-indulgent blog post, so let’s get back to what is most important aside from gaming – you, the readers.
You are absolutely wonderful, and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your support this year. We have been through ups and downs, but through it all you have been there, commenting, sharing, liking, and generally showing your support. If it weren’t for you we wouldn’t put in the time to write this blog, and you are truly awesome.
Thank you, sincerely, for absolutely everything and for making my 2018 a great one for gaming.
And so, on that note, shall we get on with this? Here is to a fantastic 2019!
Happy New Year everybody!