Saturday, 30 December 2017

Past - 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Share it Please
Damn, that was fast! Another year of lots of stuff happening, and also a few games played. In this post I will talk about what games I played (and didn't play) and generally how my gaming year of 2017 went. In the next post I will talk about what I'm looking forward to or hope to play in 2018.

Let's have a look...

Board Games

There haven't been anything like our Imperial Assault campaign in 2016 (that long ago?!) so the curve of played games is a lot flatter. Still, the top place actually goes to Android: Netrunner! All the matches were against my old friend Fredrik who I started introducing the game to in September. Since then he bought his own core set and we've started using as well. It's been a while now since our last game, so it's probably time for more! It really is such a great game and definitely the one LCG I would keep if I had to make a choice.

Next up is the little gem Bios: Genesis, actually up one step from third place in 2016! The big secret is of course enjoyable solo play and me playing a lot during spring. It did hit the table again here in Japan a week ago, with the full four players. This was also fun, but it did take a long time. The great part was all the parasites flying around and being absorbed. Unfortunately it ended up a bit lopsided with one player getting two macroorganisms and and the other three getting almost nothing.

Third place is actually a three-way split between Neanderthal, MERCS: Recon and Terraforming Mars so... bonus tripple feature I guess! I got Terraforming Mars
as a birthday gift last year but didn't get to play it until this year, and am thusfar undefeated. Hehe! I love the theme and I think the game looks pretty nice, the mechanics are clever and it's just a very smooth ride. What does bother me somewhat is how long it takes to play (2.5 hours being our fastest) and that it can sometimes be a bit too smooth. There are rarely actual hard decisions, as most of the time the most obvious move is apparent to you. You just keep arranging your cards in order of which to play first. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but am perhaps not as enamoured as the rest of the community.

MERCS: Recon is very Megacon Games-y; the balance can be totally off and sometimes you're caught off guard by some rules interaction that means you loose the game by no fault of your own. However, it always tells a cool story and it is fun while loosing as well (certainly a worthy attribute for a board game!). In one of the games we decided to try out the Lost Margin Raiders, who are a third party force of raiders just hellbent on killing both corporate SecFor and the Mercs. At first they added a bit of extra colour, but soon we realized how powerful they were and as they just kept coming we were wiped off the board. We lost horribly, but it made for some greate scenes and it was easy to visualize it as one of those desperate action movie sequences where the badass special forces gets taken out by a low tech enemy. Great game that really need some paint!

I've actually only played Neanderthal with other players once, the rest of the times have been solo outings. It's very similar to Greenland, but I find the theme more interesting. At first it can seem chaotic and random (as is often the case with Phil Eklund's games) but as you learn more about how things work you realize that you can often, if not control, at least ride out the chaos to make your tribe flourish survive. I think this might be my favourite tiny Eklund game to pull out and run solo. While I've played Bios: Genesis more, I think I like Neanderthal better. Very eager to get my hands on Bios: Megafauna 2 that have been delayed untul February-ish. Also, there will be a kickstarter for new editions of Neanderthal and Greenland now in January and at $45 for both games there's really no reason not to back!

Looking at what board games I actually played compared to which ones I was eager to play it kind of lines up fairly well. I haven't played First Martians, and I'm kind of hesitant to get it after reading many of the reviews. But I have at least played a game of New Angeles and Andean Abyss, also Bios: Megafauna 2 isn't too far off (although it didn't make the 2017 mark). This year has seen a great increase in quick filler and kids games to play with my spawn and other people not well-versed in board games. Stuff like Kingdomino, Deep Sea Adventure, Happy Salmon, Tok-Tok Woodman and Spooky Stairs. Some other "proper" games that have seen play are Pax Pamir (Phil Eklund tightened up), Roll for the Galaxy (love it!), Star Wars: Rebellion (thematic, tense, long, awesome) and Trains: Rising Sun (my love for trains rekindled when movign to Japan).

Roleplaying Games

Again, not very much roleplaying going on. I've written at length about our Jovian Chronicles campaign that is ongoing, but at a very leisurely pace, with part one being here. Which reminds me that I have yet to type out part five, the latest in the series. as I'm in Japan right now play has halted although I'm hopefull that we'll be able to play over the net using Roll20 or simply using hangouts. We'll lose the board and tactical bits if we end up not using Roll20, but better that than not playing at all. It's a bit ironic now that I've got the new, absolutely gorgeous, minis from the Jovian Wars kickstarter but eh, whatchagonnado?

Arriving in Japan I actually got to meet some folks who were starting a short Blades in the Dark-campaign and I immediately joined up as the Whisperer Tocker Slade. It has been great fun exploring a new system with people that I don't really know (and who didn't really know each other when we started out) and I think we're starting to get the hang of it. I missed out on the last session but am looking forward to the next in January(?). I have plans for a new heist...

While there's been no more proper roleplaying sessions my friend Jacob did start ramping up Tales from the Loop which we will also play online, soon. I hope. As always there are rpg books being read of course, and with the Infinity roleplaying game finally being sent out to backers (although I went the PDF rout) I thought I might read it and post my thoughts as I go. It's a thick tome though, so don't expect it to go fast. I also started reading Mutant: Elysium first, which is about a third of the text but packs a great amount of game in those pages, and I will write about it soon. It won't be out in English for a while so this might be a good preview for the non-Swedish speakers out there (ie, the rest of the world).

Again, what I actually played lined up pretty well with what I was hoping to play. No Torchbearer or WFRP4, but since the latter was delayed until 2018 I'm fine with that. And Torchbearer will simply continue to float on my want-to-play-list.

Miniature Games

A few games of Infinity as me and Claes played through the Red Veil intro campaign, but nothing else I'm afraid. I'm still waiting for my friends to put together Dropfleet or Dropzone forces to play those and I didn't manage to play Lightning Strike or Jovian Wars before I left for Japan. Arguably you could say that some of our Jovian Chronicles sessions have been almost pure miniature gaming, but still, in the end I'm only going to count Infinity. Of course, I'm not too sad about it as Infinity is such a great game and always fun to play. If I can continue to get at least a few games of Infinity played each year I'll be a happy gamer.

A bit of a disconnect compared to games I wanted to play, especially I feel that still no Dropfleet is a bit of a blow. No games of Rogue Stars either, even though we don't even need to paint minis or build scenery for it. Weird. Anyway, me and Anders did back The Legends of Fabled Realms last year, which is looking better and better each time I see or read about it, and the new Necromunda has actually made me take a close look at a GW game in... more than a decade! Test of Hounour is also up there as a potential interest, but more about all these potential candidates in the Future post next year. ;)

Hmm... was that it? I think that was it. There's never enough games played, when you look back at the year, but at the same time there are usually more than you remember. So all in all another good year of gaming! Talk to you soon again in the Future post.

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