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Published on January 23rd, 2015 | by Colin

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Cardcore Gamer: Wake up! Time to January.

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Arriving questionably late for the new year, it’s time to blow the dust off myself and catch up: GO TEAM 2015!

So it’s been a while, right? By that I mean “my son can walk now” but not quite “and he just walked out of the door to go to his first job interview” but yes, a while. A lot can happen in a while.

MEANWHILE, RIGHT NOW:

Many, many things to talk about: XCOM: The Board Game is released in a week or so, we have an entirely new scumbag X-Wing faction on the scanner, Asmodee are blobsorbing all and sundry, the ‘TableTop Effect’ may be on the wane and I still don’t have a date to the prom I’m judging an X-Wing tournament this weekend!

First, let’s recap The State of Play according to my brain, shall we? Life as a dad is pretty busy, but I’m finding time to play a decent number of games and this year I am logging all my plays on BoardGameGeek. I don’t know how long it will last, hopefully long enough that I can prove that War of the Ring gets played at least four times in a year.

With my wife deeply submerged in Dragon Age: Inquisition and my son able only to play ‘Poop, or No Poop?’ I was lead to a surprising realisation: few quality solo games exist outside of card-and-counter wargames. So far I’ve mostly been playing Gears of War, and Red November, with dummy multiplayers of Rivet Wars, Mars Attacks!, but I require something more immersive and meaty. Ambitions of acquiring the much-lauded Mage Knight, or Rosenburg’s new Fields of Arle to go with a glass of whisky of an evening are currently frustrated by our slippery old pal Mr. Bank Note and his tendency to go off being sensible, rather than having fun.

This year I’m probably going to be trying something a little different with Cardcore Gamer, approaching my writing in more of a bloggy way, so as to avoid 2am “What was my point again?” situations where an article wraps itself around writers block at 90mph, with no survivors. My YouTube channel will be active once I figure out where in the house I can comfortably shoot video footage, now that Seth has a room of his own and I’ll be working on a series of videos for people new to gaming, starting with ‘Game Boxes: Their Filthy Lies Exposed!’ or something along those lines. I may even return to ‘how to play’ videos as those are more popular than my reviews in a manner than can only be described as ‘Paul Ross vs Jonathan Ross’, or ‘A Nice Relaxing Bath vs Jamming Your Thumb In The Fridge Door’

Last year was a bit crazy-go-nuts in gaming and in games retail with what seemed like an endless landslide of new titles – Good, Bad and Ugly – and barely enough time to absorb one game before another barged it off the table. This has thrown up several interesting pondering points about our shared pastime, so I’ll finish up by giving you something to rub your brains against until next time:

1. With so many releases last year, did popular-selling titles such as The Castles of Mad King Ludwig eclipse other equally worthy games? What was the ‘signal to noise’ of quality games versus sheer quantity of new releases?

2. Are we giving enough time to each new game before the next Big Thing muscles it out? With so many hot titles, how do you prioritise replays versus new experiences?

3. Similar to 2: Are reviewers still able to give games a fair shake? With so many releases to cover, is it possible to fully form accurate impressions of each game without getting snowed under?

4. As Kickstarter projects tend to fund and therefore release games and expansions simultaneously, are we as buyers becoming more selective as to which game system we put squeeze our wallet juice into?

To sign this one off, I will roll on the Fire Chasm Adventure Table from Warhammer Quest:

3-6 The ring is stuck. Try again next turn

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About the Author

Colin

Colin likes games. Sometimes he mischievously tells us we're all really in one big game. We only take him seriously when one of us goes missing. We've found two of out five people so far.



  • Ben

    Good to hear from you again and I enjoy your articles, as give good thoughts and mention games I don’t otherwise think of. I also prefer text to video, but that’s just me. Very interested in solo play tips, as similar situation, is Red November good in 1 player?

    • Colin

      Red November was actually pretty good fun as a single player – it’s a solo version of the three-player game – but I’m not sure how much repeat play you could get out of it before you’d get a bit bored. I had Mage Knight as my big hope for a ‘proper’ solo game, but having watched some videos I just don’t know, I’l have to play it first.

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