Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The first 40 games: by the numbers

If you're joining us late: we're a married couple who spend a huge amount of time playing tabletop games. As a result, we have a fairly large collection of games, many of which we never seem to get out and play. So over the Thanksgiving 2013 weekend, we decided that we should make an effort to play every game in our collection. To avoid playing all our favorites first, we decided to play them in alphabetical order, or as close to it as we can, given the player and time requirements of some of the games on the list.

We've played the first 40 games on our list, which puts us one third of the way through...or at least it would, if the list didn't fluctuate from time to time. There were 120 games in our collection when we started, but there are currently 126. There may be a few games that we will quietly get rid of before their turn comes up (in fact, there already have been), and we will certainly get more new ones before we're done, but we're not going to re-name the blog every time we buy a new game.

Out of the 40 games we've played so far, we've given four of them a perfect 5 out of 5 rating. It may or may not be a coincidence that all four of them are published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Thirteen games earned a 4 out of 5 rating, twelve earned a 3, and nine earned a 2. Most of the twos serve as an example of why we're doing this in the first place; some games just aren't as fun as you remember them being.

Only two games have earned a 1 out of 5 rating: The Big Cheese, which is a small enough package to have been overlooked during our occasional game purges, and Doctor Who: the Game of Time and Space, which I keep for entirely sentimental reasons, even though it really is a terrible game. Chrononauts came close to getting a 1 for its sheer wasted potential, but its somewhat interesting solitaire variant saved it.

Seven of the 17 games that received a 4 or 5 rating were board games, and four were collectible card games (five if you count Blue Moon, which, while not collectible, employs a similar theme of each player customizing their own deck from a pool of cards). Only two were stand-alone card games (Bang! and Cold War: CIA vs. KGB).

Two of the three tactical miniatures games we played, Aliens and Dreamblade, got a 4 out of 5. Although I'm not sure Crimson Skies really got a fair shake, since it suffers when compared to other, newer air combat games like Star Wars: X-Wing and Wings of War.

The oldest game we've played so far was 221B Baker Street (our edition is from 1978), and the newest was Castellan (2013).

Our lingering affection for collectible card games is obvious: we've played eight of them so far (nine if we're counting Blue Moon), and only one received a score lower than 3.
It is interesting to note that Call of Cthulhu was the only CCG we gave a perfect score to, and it is also the only one so far that is still in active production. This bears out the idea that a steady flow of new cards is an integral part of this kind of game, and perhaps explains why collectible games tend to disappear from the gaming public's consciousness the minute they go out of production.

So that's the first 40. We can't wait to see what the next 40 look like!

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