I had so much ambition at the beginning of 2017. I was going to play so many solo games, so many times each. But alas, we are halfway through the year and I have made very little progress on my original list.
Here are the original ten games I wanted to play for my 10x10 this year:
Runebound (3rd ed.)
Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
Legendary: Alien Encounters
Race for the Galaxy
Valley of the Kings
Sentinels of the Multiverse
In reality, I am about halfway to a 10x10 for the year... I just haven't been playing the games I thought I would. Here are the games I have played ten or more times so far in 2017:
1. Race for the Galaxy
I actually did it! I added Race for the Galaxy to my 10x10 this year because I wanted to learn to play it. Race is one of those games that everyone says is great, but that seems to have a high cost of entry. FINALLY I can play this one (with the Gathering Storm expansion for solo play) and it brings me so much joy. Success.
2. Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
This game has been in my backpack all year, so I pull it out to play when I have a moment. I'm still not amazing at it, but it's a satisfying card game experience when I have a reasonably-sized table and a chunk of time to kill.
This solo game is just so easy to pull out and set up. Its footprint isn't that big, either (unlike Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game). My appreciation for Onirim only increases with time. Although I typically prefer to play physical copies of board games, I have also been enjoying it on the app!
I know! It's not a solo game! But my students adore it, which means that I play it at least once per week during the school year. Something about the jewel-encrusted theme and the satisfying clink of the poker chips attracts kids to Splendor. Plus I can teach the rules in less than five minutes—ideal for students who are always hearing the call of the Snapchat.
I have definitely played this game 30+ times since January. My students like Splendor, but they LOVE Ivanhoe. It is ridiculous how long they will play this game if you let them. (This especially becomes apparent right before long holidays and during finals week when kids are at school but have already taken all of their final exams.) I'm super burnt out on Ivanhoe right now, but I suspect I will catch a second wind in time to teach it to a new group of students at my new job in August.
I did not expect to play so much Jaipur this year, but I ended up playing it a lot with one of my recently-graduated seniors. She refers to Jaipur as "our game," and she's totally right—she is my primary Jaipur playing partner, and I'm going to miss her. In fact, I just got her college address so I can sent her a copy to play with her new friends! Jaipur is quick to teach and quick to play, which makes it a fantastic gateway game for students who are interested in branching out into card games that aren't UNO.
Now that I look back over my year in gaming so far, I have played a lot more games than I thought. I just haven't been playing too many games at home on my own time, and I haven't been playing the games I planned to play. There is still time to change that, though. Summer has just begun, and I deliberately haven't packed Runebound or Mage Knight yet... We'll see where I'm at next time I check in!