Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Gaming In Review

Before I finish deciding on my 2012 Gaming Resolutions, I thought it would be cool to look back on 2011's gaming and see what sort of interesting conclusions I could draw, independent of my 2011 Gaming Resolutions. This is the advantage of logging your plays and your collection, whether on the 'Geek or in some other fashion.

This year I added quite a few games to the collection, selling off perhaps twice as many. It's a little difficult to get a good accounting as I was still entering quite a few games that were either in the closet or that simply hadn't been counted into the database the year before for one reason or another.

Here is a list of the non-wargames I purchased (non-expansion) since last January, roughly in the order of their acquisition:

Merchants & Marauders
Eminent Domain (via Kickstarter)
Wealth of Nations
D&D: Wrath of Ashardalon
Isla Dorada
Mansions of Madness
Spectral Rails
Junta: Viva el Presidente!
Airlines: Europe
Cargo Noir
Space Hulk: Death Angel TCG)
Star Trek: Expeditions
Ascending Empires
Conquest of Planet Earth
Source of the Nile (used)
Rune Age
Elder Sign
Gears of War
Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Urban Sprawl
The Ares Project
Mage Knight: The Board Game
Poseidon's Kingdom
Powerboats (used)

Total: 30

Here is a list of the non-wargame expansions I purchased since last January:

Thunderstone Promo Cards
BStar G: Exodus
Thunderstone: Dragonspire
Thunderstone: Thornwood Siege
Nightfall: Martial Law

Resident Evil: Alliance
Many LotR:LCG expansions
Many Warhammer: Invasion expansions
Wealth of Nations: War Clouds
7 Wonders: Leaders and Manniken Pis
Ascension: Rat King and Return of the Fallen
Power Grid: Russia and Japan map
Age of Steam: Secret Blueprints 1&2
Railways of the World: Event Deck
Railways of the World TCG expansion
Talisman: The Dragon expansion
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Conflict
Ticket to Ride: Asia

Total: 15 (not counting small expansions - 60 cards or less)

Here is a list of the wargames I purchased (non-magazine, non-expansion) since last January:

Steel Wolves
Decision Folio Series (6 titles)
We Must Tell The Emperor
Levee en Masse
Drive on Stalingrad
Karelia '44
Case Yellow, 1940
Guderian's Blitzkrieg II
No Retreat! (GMT version)
Proud Monster Deluxe
Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg
Breakthrough: Cambrai
Iron Tide: Panzers in the Ardennes
Fighting Formations: GD
Bloody Kasserine (used)

Total: 21

Here is a list of the magazine wargames and expansions I purchased since last January:

IJN (for Silent War)
ASLSK Expansion Pack #1
Various VPG expansions
Arriba Espana
Russian Civil War 1918-1922
The South Seas Campaign
The Hardest Days
The American Revolution: Decision in North America
Combat Commander: Resistance
For King and Country (ASL Module)

Total Magazines: 6
Total expansions: 4 (not counting VPG expansions)

Total non-expansions purchased: 50
Total expansions: 20

What do I derive from these numbers? A few things:
  • I have considerable discretionary income;
  • I preorder a lot of wargames, but only seven this year were from pre-orders, this is a smaller number than I expected;
  • I played 21 of the 30 non-wargames purchased this year, meaning the copy I purchased;
  • I played 9 of the 21 non-wargames I purchased, at least to the point of reading the rules, setting up the game, and pushing counters around. 7 of those were played to completion. 
  • I sold more games this year than I bought, but I still am out of room for new games!
I've changed a few things in my buying habits: most of my preorders have been cancelled pending seeing if the game is any good. I'd gotten in the habit of just ordering everything and that was not working well - too many games that were DOA and too many that I really didn't have an interest in the subject matter. I now have something like four or five games total on preorder, and two of those will arrive in the next month or two. 

I'm also learning that the vast majority of magazine games are terrible. There are occasional gems, but for the most part they are intellectual exercises for the designer and the reader, often relatively unsupported and unplaytested. I will not be picking these up in the future. 

I am done collecting Warhammer: Invasion cards. Three full cycles and three full expansions to the set are more than I am using now. I will continue with one or two more cycles of LotR and see if it gets any play with me. I also have enough Combat Commander, Thunderstone, Dominion, Talisman, and many other system games, to last me for quite a while. I'd already jettisoned several entire lines of games during the year (Great Battles of History, Panzer Grenadier, Some War At Sea, etc), so it's good to realize that inertia is not a good reason for buying a game. 

While there were some disappointments in all categories, I did not sell anything I purchased this year. For some reason that comforts me to some extent. On the other hand, there were some real winners - this was, overall, a very good year for games

For financial reasons, 2012 will be a year of relatively few purchases for me. My goal is to keep total purchases under 20 games, including expansions, that come in a medium or larger box (Return of the Fallen barely makes this cut), and another 20 expansions that come in a small box (like the LotR:LCG expansions). The new Civilization expansion is a borderline case, and might go on either side of the cut. I realize that for many people, 20 new games a year would be a huge number, sorry about that: don't hate me because I'm pretty!

Enough for now. I will continue in the next post discussing the games I played, and follow that up with my favorites (and duds) of 2011. At that point I should be ready with my 2012 resolutions, just in time for the new year!

Happy Holidays to all of my readers, may you get exactly the right games under your tree (or menorah, or in your mailbox, or at your FLGS). 

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