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Another Year Of Gaming Well Spent

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  • Craig Massey
    The holidays are almost over and before I try to make it to midnight this evening, I thought I would put pen to paper and put my own personal spin on the year
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
      The holidays are almost over and before I try to make
      it to midnight this evening, I thought I would put pen
      to paper and put my own personal spin on the year
      games, gaming, and gamers in the year 2002.

      The Numbers
      With a few sands in the 2002 hourglass, here are the
      raw stats.

      715 - The # of different games played. A significant
      drop off from last year's 830 games played.

      257 - # of different games played this year. Hmmm,
      less games played overall, but a hair more variety
      with last year's number at 256 different games played.

      146 - The # of new games (to me) played. Last year I
      played 170 new games. I'm betting this number
      continues to get smaller in years to come

      52 - # of times I played Puerto Rico, making it the
      top game played this year. Last year's top game was
      Catch Phrase at 44.

      4 - The # of games that I have played at least once
      per year each of the last 7 years (Liar's Dice, 1870,
      Magic the Gathering, Poker). I really thought there
      were more games meeting this criteria.

      225 - # of games I played with Pitt Crandlemire,
      almost double that of the next person in line, Mike
      Schloth. This stat alone should be enough for me to
      reevaluate my gaming habits.

      2534 - # of games I have played since tracking all of
      this nonsense 7 years ago.

      I'm sure I could derive a number of other odd facts or
      statistics, but that is probably best left to resident
      number crunchers like Matthew Gray.

      The Best of the Best
      Playing almost 700 games and over 150 unique games
      give you the opportunity to see a lot of different
      themes and mechanisms. Some good, some not so good,
      and plenty of mediocre ones. Here are my thoughts on
      what made the grade (or didn't) for me in 2002.

      2002 Game of the Year - Puerto Rico: I can hear Pitt
      groaning as he reads this, but Puerto Rico gets my
      game of the year award. I'm not sure if it is clearly
      the best game to be released this year, but a board
      game that gets 50+ plays has to have something going
      for it. I thought I would get burned out on Puerto
      Rico after 20 or so plays, but it remained fresh and
      interesting. The recent new buildings expansion
      should hold my interest into it for a while longer.
      Besides, if you want to avoid playing a game with
      Pitt, nothing works better than breaking out Puerto
      Rico.

      Longest Game Of The Year - PBEM Diplomacy: I've never
      played Diplomacy before, but I jumped at the chance to
      get into a PBEM that Campbell organized. Campbell,
      Pitt, Kyle, Adam, James, Andrew (not that Andrew) and
      myself started back in late June and the game is still
      going strong. It has been a very interesting
      experience - one which I'll happily participate in
      again. But, you have to be prepared for plenty of
      nastiness, name calling, and bitter feelings and
      remember to leave them in the game. While Campbell
      and Kyle have engendered my wrath in this game (and I
      have theirs as well), I wouldn't want to hit thim with
      my car or anything outside the game. Good stuff and
      from what I hear, a truly different game from
      face-to-face Diplomacy.

      The "How Do You Play This Game Again?" Award - Liar's
      Dice & Transamerica: Both had ten plays this year and
      I didn't win a single one of them. I'd like to say it
      is all luck, though ten plays seem to be enough games
      to demonstrate that I played really badly. Well,
      maybe not in the case of Transamerica which I still
      think is all about who gets the best cards despite
      thoughts to the contrary. Maybe Dave B. can give me
      some advice on Liar's Dice now that he is finally
      winning games.

      Falling From Grace - Crokinole: yeah I know it still
      is plenty popular - more than last year - and boards
      show up at a variety of game sessions, but the game
      doesn't do it for me. Almost 40 plays last year and
      less than 10 this year despite have more opportunities
      to play it. I'm probably a lone wolf in Unity Game
      land on this one.

      And finally, here is my list of the top 10 games that
      I enjoyed most during the year - some new, some old,
      but all the games played were time well spent.

      10. Spades - Never seems to get dull.
      9. Haste Worte - Has become my favorite party game
      and probably has a spot in my all time top 10.
      8. Up Front - Extremely frustrating game.
      7. Funkenschlag - Holding up very well after a year.

      6. $25k Pyramid - Pitt's tournament a few weeks back
      was the most enjoyable game I played all year long.
      5. Age of Steam - The best of the Essen crop.
      Better than last year's Volldampf
      4. Santa Fe Rails - There are plenty out there who
      think this wasn't an improvement on Santa Fe. I'm not
      one of them.
      3. Lord Of The Rings: The Confrontation - Simple
      concept from Stratego made into a compelling game.
      Best new two player game of the year.
      2. Five Hundred - A very late entry. I've played this
      almost nonstop over the holidays with family in town.
      A great traditional trick taking/bidding partnership
      game that isn't well know in New England. I'm happy
      to teach it anytime to those who are interested.
      1. Puerto Rico - I'm not sure if a new game will ever
      get my attention for anything approaching 52 plays
      again.

      Happy New Year!

      Craig







      =====
      Craig W. Massey
      cwmassey@...

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    • Susan Dohnim
      ... On that note . . . you don t by any chance walk to work, do you, Craig? :) _________________________________________________________________ MSN 8:
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
        >While Campbell and Kyle have engendered my wrath in this game (and I have
        >theirs as well), I wouldn't want to hit them with my car or anything
        >outside the game.

        On that note . . . you don't by any chance walk to work, do you, Craig? :)


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      • Campbell MacInnes <haleon@sennicam.com>
        ... Yes, but you are a wanker. The game is pretty much wound-down now. I ve only played one complete face-to-face game and no complete PBeM games as yet, but
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
          --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, Craig Massey <cwmassey@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Longest Game Of The Year - PBEM Diplomacy: I've never
          > played Diplomacy before, but I jumped at the chance to
          > get into a PBEM that Campbell organized. Campbell,
          > Pitt, Kyle, Adam, James, Andrew (not that Andrew) and
          > myself started back in late June and the game is still
          > going strong. It has been a very interesting
          > experience - one which I'll happily participate in
          > again. But, you have to be prepared for plenty of
          > nastiness, name calling, and bitter feelings and
          > remember to leave them in the game. While Campbell
          > and Kyle have engendered my wrath in this game (and I
          > have theirs as well), I wouldn't want to hit thim with
          > my car or anything outside the game. Good stuff and
          > from what I hear, a truly different game from
          > face-to-face Diplomacy.
          >

          Yes, but you are a wanker. The game is pretty much wound-down now.
          I've only played one "complete" face-to-face game and no complete
          PBeM games as yet, but I definitely see differences betwixt the two.

          >
          > Falling From Grace - Crokinole: yeah I know it still
          > is plenty popular - more than last year - and boards
          > show up at a variety of game sessions, but the game
          > doesn't do it for me. Almost 40 plays last year and
          > less than 10 this year despite have more opportunities
          > to play it. I'm probably a lone wolf in Unity Game
          > land on this one.
          >

          Not even remotely. I've never enjoyed this game. But then, I lack
          dexterity to the point that I fail the hand-eye coordination tests
          for DUI even when completely sober...


          > 1. Puerto Rico - I'm not sure if a new game will ever
          > get my attention for anything approaching 52 plays
          > again.
          >

          Ah yes, but the backlash has begun against this. I believe the first
          Puerto Rico burning will be held sometime next week.

          --Campbell
        • Dave Bernazzani
          Craig - great, great list and recap of the year! Looking forward to others as they pour in (I know a lot more people kept lists this year of what games were
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
            Craig - great, great list and recap of the year! Looking forward to others
            as they pour in (I know a lot more people kept lists this year of what games
            were played).

            I decided to take a break from recording this stuff all year long. I will
            probably go back to it in 2003. But my most played game of 2002 was:

            > Falling From Grace - Crokinole:

            Currently my all-time favoraite game ever. Unlikely to fade!

            I also enjoyed Carcassone H&G this year. Haste Worte was a lot of fun as
            well. And I'm enjoying Puerto Rico a good deal although I'm not as excited
            about it as much as many other folks. Password didn't get nearly as much
            play-time this year and that's a disappointment since it's still one of the
            best games going. The 80 participant Gathering tourney was the highlight
            for Password this year and I'm going to make an effort to get it to the
            table again soon.

            Even without keeping track, I clearly played fewer games this year than
            last. Partially because of a busy year moving and partially with the change
            of SSG venues back in January 2002. But overall I've enjoyed gaming even
            more this year (if that's possible!) and look forward to more in 2003.

            This is also the first year in about half a decade where I sold more games
            than I bought. I think I have 2 fewer games in my collection that this time
            last year. And that alone is a good feeling :) I had so many unplayed
            games to start the year that I was determined to get through the backlog and
            catch up on some old favorites before venturing into new game territory.
            The few new games I got (Carcassonne:H&G, Die Sieben Weissen, Where's Bob's
            Hat, Puerto Rico, Canal Grande, and a half dozen others) have all been
            excellent as I think I've managed to get the cream of the crop without too
            much filler material.

            --
            Dave Bernazzani
            daveber@... (remove NOSPAM to use)
            http://www.unitygames.org (E pluribus Unity - Eastern MA gaming)
          • Craig Massey
            ... yeah, but you were a wanker first. Kinda makes you wonder how the game would have turned out with the exact same people in a face to face setting. Craig
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
              --- "Campbell MacInnes <haleon@...>"
              <haleon@...> wrote:
              > Yes, but you are a wanker. The game is pretty much
              > wound-down now.
              > I've only played one "complete" face-to-face game
              > and no complete
              > PBeM games as yet, but I definitely see differences
              > betwixt the two.

              yeah, but you were a wanker first.

              Kinda makes you wonder how the game would have turned
              out with the exact same people in a face to face
              setting.

              Craig

              =====
              Craig W. Massey
              cwmassey@...

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            • Campbell MacInnes <haleon@sennicam.com>
              ... I am the biggest wanker, or so the ladies tell me. ... Oh, I would have lost horribly, and much, much earlier. I am, at best, mediocre at tactics. My
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
                --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, Craig Massey <cwmassey@y...>
                wrote:
                >
                > yeah, but you were a wanker first.
                >

                I am the biggest wanker, or so the ladies tell me.


                > Kinda makes you wonder how the game would have turned
                > out with the exact same people in a face to face
                > setting.
                >

                Oh, I would have lost horribly, and much, much earlier. I am, at
                best, mediocre at tactics. My greater strength is in the diplomatic
                side of things, and the PBeM version of the game greatly enhances
                this aspect of the game.

                --Campbell
              • Andrew Boyer
                ... Alas, not even diplomacy could prevent my being first out of the game. It had been a while since I played at all, and I gambled a bit in Spring 1901.
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 31, 2002
                  At 07:10 PM 12/31/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                  >Oh, I would have lost horribly, and much, much earlier. I am, at
                  >best, mediocre at tactics. My greater strength is in the diplomatic
                  >side of things, and the PBeM version of the game greatly enhances
                  >this aspect of the game.
                  >
                  >--Campbell

                  Alas, not even diplomacy could prevent my being first out of the game. It
                  had been a while since I played at all, and I gambled a bit in Spring
                  1901. After an awful set of first moves, I could never recover. Having
                  Russia and Italy both invade me on turn one was too hideous for words. On
                  second thought, I could come up with a few words, but, in the spirit of the
                  holidays, I'll just wish everyone a happy new year.

                  Andrew (not that Andrew)


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mike Long
                  ... I d still like to play PR some more, I ve only been able to play it once. -- Mike Long
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 2, 2003
                    >From: "Campbell MacInnes <haleon@...>" <haleon@...>
                    >Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 18:22:18 -0000

                    >Ah yes, but the backlash has begun against this. I believe the first
                    >Puerto Rico burning will be held sometime next week.

                    I'd still like to play PR some more, I've only been able to play it
                    once.
                    --
                    Mike Long <mike.long(at)analog.com>
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