2010 Personal Retrospective

January 5, 2011

I managed to keep a record of games played throughout all of 2009 and gave the breakdown in an earlier post, and after a bit of number crunching, now present my 2010 personal retrospective:

Games played: 143
Wins: 70 (49%, up 3% from 2009)
Losses: 72
Draws: 1

Average time between games: 2.5 days
Best game month: January with 31 games played (due to Guatemala service trip and lots of card games)
Worst game month: August and November with 2 games played apiece (August due to master’s thesis, November due to special events I’m in charge of at work)

Two player games: 52 (36% of all games played)
Two player wins: 36 (69%, a 13% increase from last year!)
Multiplayer games: 91 (64% of all games played)
Multiplayer wins: 31 (34%, a 7% drop from last year)

Most regular two player opponents
1. Rick (11 plays, 5 wins)
2A. Russ (9 plays, 8 wins)
2B. Wife Sara (9 plays, 6 wins)
3. Brother Mike (7 plays, 6 wins)
4. Dad Rob (5 plays, 4 wins)

Most popular games of the year
1. Cribbage (15 plays, 8 wins)
2A. Chrononauts (9 plays, 2 wins)
2B. Washington’s War (9 plays, 9 wins)
3A. Carcassonne (7 plays, 0 wins)
3B. Mafia/Werewolf (7 plays, 5 wins)
3C. Pacific Typhoon (7 plays, 3 wins)

Games played for the first time: 13 (9%)

Not a whole lot of surprises here, other than I actually didn’t play many more or fewer games than I did last year. Considering the hectic nature of this year (medical issues, completing graduate school, first child born), I’m pretty impressed with how many games I got in. The only thing that really surprised me is that…I can’t win a game of Carcassonne to save my life. Go figure.

Oh, and because it’s a new year of gaming, time to throw down the gauntlet. Rick, I’m gunning for you. And everybody else…you’d better be gunning for me.

Tell us about your gaming breakdown in 2010 in the comments.


Shamless Plug for Pics of Her Royal Cuteness

November 1, 2010

I just posted on my family blog, The House on Winslow, about our newborn beginning to “play” boardgames with the family. Check it out!


Metro Game Day IV: Preview

October 14, 2010

The fourth gathering of game-playing will commence this Saturday. Between work, family and raking leaves, we haven’t had as much time to put into this game day. I had grand visions of theming each game day (starting with this one and Lord of the Rings) and then tailoring the achievements to fit the theme. But I think it’ll have to wait until next time… or at some point.

Even so, I’m really looking forward to this Game Day. It will be a great opportunity to put off other responsibilities (as much as possible) and just relax, hang out and chat with friends and get in some good gaming. I have recently acquired a few games and I’m excited to get them on the table. I’ve played them solo or with my wife, but it is always interesting to see how the game changes when more players are added. I also like to see how different types of players approach the same game.

Look for a recap next week. I’ll at least have a list of all the games that get played.


Play in Public Campaign

August 4, 2010

Looks like we’re a few days late on this one, but there’s still time to get out there play a game and maybe even win something. For the month of August, Seize Your Turn announced the Play in Public Campaign. It is pretty much like it sounds, grab your favorite Euro, war, or non-traditional board game and go play in a public place. Take a few pictures and follow the rules here or here and you may even win something.

The goal of the PiP Campaign is to create a positive public perception of mature board gamers and maybe even create some new gamers. With that said here’s some tips for a successful outing:

  • Throw out the “Wood for Sheep” t-shirt and try a polo shirt or button down with the sleeves rolled up. Present yourslef as clean and well groomed. Let the board game draw attention and not you.
  • Try the bar or a coffee shop instead of the gaming store. Make sure to buy a pint or a latte before spreading out over a table. Bars and coffee shops are usually social places, so playing a game shouldn’t cause a problem, but be mindful of how long you occupy the table.
  • Pick a game that’s visually appealing and isn’t too large. If you find yourself pulling multiple table together to play you may make yourself more of a problem than an ambassador of board gaming. Choosing something with colorful with interesting pieces like Tobago draw people’s eyes to you game and can make a great conversation starter.
  • Enjoy yourself. Board gaming is supposed to be fun. And everyone likes fun, right?

So, one last question. How much will you give me to play Cash and Guns at hardcore biker bar?


Game Day Achievements

March 25, 2010

Previously, I wrote about introducing achievements to our Metro Game Day. I’m pleased to report, the reception was great. Even among those who aren’t video gamers and the concept was new to them got into the fun of trying to earn achievements and making sure their achievement list was up to date.

Karate Kid Achievement

The Karate Kid Achievement

The achievements were created using the using the website http://www.says-it.com/achievement/steam.php. The website works rather well, but there are a few limitation. There is no ability to upload and use your own images and use of the site is throttled. In the middle of some achievement making marathons, I was forced to take a break and let the bandwidth limit refresh.

The achievements created were designed to reward play, embarrass, and give people something to brag about. The complete list of achievements is as follows:

  • A Dish Best Served Cold – Beat someone who beat you
  • A Series of Tubes – Reference the internet for more information on a game
  • And So It Begins… – Play the first game of the game day
  • Boom, Headshot – Make a video game reference
  • Card Shark – Play and win a card game
  • Cobra’s Worst Enemy – Roll “snake eyes” twice
  • Cornucopia – Bring food to the game day
  • Do Not Go In There – Hold up a game for a bathroom break
  • Do Or Do Not – Learn a new game at the game day and win at that game
  • Don’t Get Cocky, Kid – Win three games
  • Got Me Some Edjukashun – Learn a new game
  • Film Buff – Quote a line from a movie
  • Grain Sales to Soviets – Make a “Twilight Struggle” joke
  • Heartbroken – Fail to win a single game
  • Hobo – Roll “boxcars” twice
  • It’s a Trap! – Lose a game by being betrayed
  • Karate Kid – Knock, spill, or otherwise disrupt the game board due to animated movements
  • Life of the Party – Bring three or more games to the game day
  • Long Haul – Play in a game that lasts over two hours
  • Lush – Bring alcohol to the game day
  • Ninja – Win three games in a row
  • No One Suspects the Spanish Inquisition – Make a “Here I Stand” joke
  • Pity the Fool – Win every game played
  • Power to the People – Teach a game to someone
  • Return to Sender – RSVP for the game day
  • Rival – Beat or be beaten by the same person twice
  • Sonic – Finish an entire game in less than 15 minutes
  • The Hoff – Play a board game that won German award
  • There’s No I In Team – Play a cooperative board game
  • Those Things Cause Cancer – Hold up a game for a phone call
  • War Monger – Play and win a war game
  • Zombie – Stick around to play the last game of the game day

The original idea was to print all these out and have a large board where we could write everyone’s name and tape the achievements underneath. But time was short and arts and crafts isn’t my forte. So, instead I created a TiddlyWiki with tiddlers for each player and linked the achievement images into their tiddler. This was all displayed on a 23 inch monitor.

Long Haul Achievement

The Long Haul Achievement

The TiddlyWiki worked, but because so many people were unfamiliar with wiki editing and how I was linking the images, it ended up be a user unfriendly situation. In the future, I’d either go with the low tech solution and print everything off or go even more high tech with a custom written application and a 42 inch HDTV display.

So, for next time, TiddlyWiki is out and a custom built Flex app is in. The goal will be to have check boxes to easily update and unlock achievements and statistical view where you can compare two player’s achievements or see how many people have unlocked each achievement. Maybe by Game Day IX I’ll figure out how to get social network integration working so everyone can log in with their facebook account and we can embarrass them in front of their friends by posting their board game achievements.


Achievement Unlocked

March 12, 2010

Tomorrow is Metro Game Day II, as opposed to Rural Game Day I which is what it would be if I hosted. The game day was created to share our love of gaming with friends and acquaintances; a chance to try to new games, get people excited about gaming, and flaunt our vast collection of games that aren’t found on the shelves of Walmart.

At the inaugural game day, a rudimentary scoring system was introduced at the last minute. You earn a number of points equal to the number of people you beat. So, first place in a four player game gets three points, second place get two, and third gets one. It was simple enough, but deeply flawed. A two hour slug-fest of a Twilight Struggle game would only get you one point. In that same amount of time, another player could play a variety of party games and rack up a double-digit score.

For Game Day II, we went to work trying to develop a new scoring system. While a system that takes into account complexity, time, and number of players is very much possible, the tracking would have had to be done on a spreadsheet and arbitrary decisions to create weighted values for complexity would only lead to problems.

Borderlands: My Muse

Borderlands: My Muse

But in every dark situation, great men shine. I thought back to how I kept jumping off of cliffs trying to land on an enemy in the video game Borderlands just to get an achievement. (Let me tell you, it’s harder than you’d think, especially when you are targeting midget bandit ravagers.) But, if a little meta game reward could keep me doing stupid stuff like this, just imagine what I could instill in my friends!

That’s right, Metro Game Day II brings achievements! Perform certain tasks at the game day and participants will earn achievements.

Here’s a complete list of achievements. Except for the embedded examples, how to earn them will be kept secret until after the game day.

  • A Dish Best Served Cold
  • A Series of Tubes
  • And So It Begins…
  • Boom, Headshot
  • Card Shark
  • Cobra’s Worst Enemy
  • Cornucopia
  • Do Not Go In There
  • Do Or Do Not
  • Don't Get Cocky, Kid 1/3 Achievement

    The Don't Get Cocky, Kid Achievement With Partial Credit

  • Don’t Get Cocky, Kid
  • Got Me Some Edjukashun
  • Film Buff
  • Grain Sales to Soviets
  • Heartbroken
  • Hobo
  • It’s a Trap!
  • Karate Kid
  • Life of the Party
  • Long Haul
  • Lush
  • Ninja
  • No One Suspects the Spanish Inquisition
  • Pity the Fool
  • Power to the People Achievement

    The Power to the People Achievement

  • Power to the People
  • Return to Sender
  • Rival
  • Sonic
  • The Hoff
  • There’s No I In Team
  • Those Things Cause Cancer
  • War Monger
  • Zombie

Next week, I’ll describe how I made the achievements, how we gave them out, and the lessons learned from the game day.¬† In the mean time, feel free to speculate on how they are earned.


Here I Stand Game being live-tweeted today!

November 15, 2009

Three pairs of brothers are playing Here I Stand today. Head to Twitter.com and look for user: marginofvictory  or go to http://twitter.com/marginofvictory


Thanks, Point 2 Point!

August 27, 2009

Thanks to Jason and Scott of the Point 2 Point podcast for mentioning us on their latest episode (40). Oh, and if you read us regularly and run a boardgame media outlet yourself, let us know–we want to start a list of links and need to gather some. Cross-linking means more traffic to our site and yours, which means Russ might stop wearing that sandwich board/pink hotpants outfit on the Highway 169/55 interchange during rush hour. Or maybe not. I think he likes all the horn-tooting he gets from the truckers. But who knows if they have time to write down the URL?