New Year, Old Year: 2018 Revisited

In which Wee Aquinas sits in judgement.

February traditions are important. Much like the lesser-known Presidents’ Day (the third Monday) and the Hallmark Greeting Card Company Annual Earnings Holiday (the 14th), the Space-Biff! Retrospective is our chance to revisit nominations of years past and see how they held up. It’s also a chance to see me cop to the mistakes I made along the way! Surely you’re here for the first reason.

Day One: The Revitalized!

What I Got Right!


More seriously, literally everything. There isn’t a stinker among these picks, and I’m still playing most of them a year after the fact. This was probably an easy list for two reasons: first, because these are all remakes or new editions of games that deserved the attention, so they weren’t bad to begin with; and second, I made the call to feature fewer titles for Best Week. It’s far easier to correctly pick the best five games in a category than the best eight or ten games. This streamlining continued in 2019, and will continue in the future.

The most storied title is Exceed, which accompanied me on a medical trip to El Salvador and saw a number of plays in a run-down retreat for priests. Darkest Night is still available, despite being collateral in Victory Point Games’ decapitation at the hands of Dan Yarrington’s Tabletop Tycoon. Endeavor: Age of Sail got a Kickstarted expansion. Yellow & Yangtze proved distinct enough from Tigris & Euphrates to warrant a top place in Reiner Knizia’s oeuvre. And although it was pretty much review-bombed by people who didn’t understand how to play it, Dûhr: The Lesser Houses still gets everyone in my group yawping dur dur dur every few months.

What I Got Wrong!

Ah, you skipped down here hoping for confessions of wrongdoing on my part. Unfortunately, there was nothing wrong with this category’s picks. Everything was right. Sorry.

Next up, I get something wrong.

Posted on February 18, 2020, in Board Game and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You come to El Salvador often? That happens to be where I live. Let me just say that I haven’t discovered a thriving gaming community yet. It has turned me into a solo gamer.

    • My father goes every year to do eye surgeries, and last year I came along and helped do near acuity vision tests during the screening process. Which means most of my time was spent working, although we did manage to see some sights around San Salvador before setting up. I didn’t go this year, but may consider it in the future!

      Which part of the country are you located in? We spent most of our times in the mountains, so I didn’t get much sense for what people’s regular lives are like.

      • Christopher Miller

        I live in the country about an hour mostly north, a little west of San Salvador. If you look for a little town called San Pablo Tacachico that would be quite close to where I am.
        But my status as a US citizen working for a non-profit, means that, while I don’t live like I do in the states, neither do I experience some of the truly hopeless living conditions that many of my neighbors do.

      • Ah! I was on the other side of Santa Ana from you, in a mountain town named Juayua. Very friendly people, at least those who attended the clinic. But yes, the living conditions were rather disheartening.

  2. Ahhhhh CIV sees major table time for me. It’s my go to pick for a game that is light enough to get people to play (it’s just cards!) but strategically deep enough that everyone wants a second go after we finish the first game. I love it and really wish more people played it. It also has such expansion potential! Small addon cards to give each person a flavor, shared boards, etc.

    • I’m glad to hear that! It really is a smart little game that only gets better with repeat plays. Not sure whether it lost its luster on its own or if that’s just part of reviewing as many games as we do. If it earned an expansion, I’d happily repurchase the game for its sake.

      • In my mind, it’s because our final play was perfect. Outside of the legendary flick (mentioned with respect to Seal Team Flix), my final CIV game is towards the top of (positively) memorable Space-Biff sessions from 2018. Me, you, Geoff, and each of us had played multiple times to understand the way the cards form leverage. The early game starts by staking position via card draw. Mid-game causes some temporary alliances. You get an advantage, so Geoff and I start dragging you back. Geoff gains an advantage, so you and I start dragging him back. All this occurs with just eye contact. No words. Towards the end game, the alliances permanently break. Every player attempts to position for victory, which means positioning for tie-breakers, due to the early checks on the leader. I don’t particularly remember who won, but I remember the eye daggers being thrown around as we watched each other take their final turn. I haven’t played it since with you or otherwise.

      • Ha, I remember that. Hard to top a play with so much eye-stink.

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