Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Gaming Review of 2017

Slightly arse-about-face here but having looked forward to 2018 how about last year?  I'll follow again the structure used by the Meeples and Miniatures guys starting with best games of 2017:

In fifth place is a board game, Tsuro.

In terms of its physical components this is the most gorgeous board game I own. It takes no time to set up, not much longer to explain and about ten minutes to play.  As such it's been brought out more than once when Saturday Afternoon Wargames have finished early.

In fourth place it's Arc of Fire.

This set of twentieth century large skirmish rules just carries on delivering for me.  It's been the game engine behind the large, multi-player Andreivian games at Crisis Point and has worked equally well for 1918 and the 1990s. This year Chris Barnes and I got in a game with his new Cold War Brits too.

In third place this year it's the X-Wing Miniatures Game.

This is another game that you can just pull out and play without too much preparation (not as quick as Tsuro though).  Although it's mostly played one-on-one with equal-point forces, I prefer to use it for scenario-based games such as the bombing run game we played this Christmas.  TIE Bombers are just so cute!

So that's X-Wing down a place from last year.  Its previous second place has been taken by Sharp Practice 2.

SP2 is a considerable improvement over the first edition. The new command-flags-based mechanism is very clever and the game seems to be slightly less prone to chance events completely screwing a player's game experience and an umpire's carefully designed scenario.  Even so it's taken me a while to appreciate that the way to go is to keep the scenario very simple and let the game mechanics drive an interesting narrative.

And in first place, again this year, it's Chain of Command.

Although it's not quite been the most played game this year (SP2 takes that crown) it does remain the game I'm most keen to keep playing. Just as, a few years back, Cold War Commander resurrected my 6mm scale moderns collection so CoC has me looking at my 1/72nd scale WW2 toys with fresh eyes.  A winter 1944/45 American platoon is now approaching the painting desk.

So now we move on to the Biggest Disappointment Category.  Here I'm afraid it's the Gripping Beast plastic Dark Age Cavalry.

Although the timing of their arrival was ideal for me, the actuality was underwhelming. Only three basic poses and all of them with those annoying short-sleeved tops....  They aren't at present demanding that I finish them.

The Favourite Models of the Year category goes to another 28mm plastics manufacturer. The Victrix ancients range has provided me with Numidians, Carthaginians, Romans and Italian allies so far and I won't be hesitating to buy their Iberian cavalry when the painting schedule allows.

So that was 2017 in gaming for me.  Boardgames aside I reckon I played and/or organised 18 games; not as many as I'd like but probably as many as I should given other commitments!

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