New Year, Old Year: 2018 Revisited

Day Three: The Messenger!

What I Got Right!

Sometimes I’ll revisit my own articles, usually to see how my thoughts have developed or if there’s something I missed at the time of writing. This is an exercise, not a pat on the back, and it helps me frame my thinking. That said, there were two articles in 2018 that fill me with a deep satisfaction, both because I was privileged to play such insightful games and because I’m relieved I was able to express what they meant to me. Those games were Sol: Last Days of a Star and Meltwater. If those were the only things I got right in 2018, they would have been enough. I only regret they didn’t inhabit the first two slots.

To a lesser extent the same is true of This Guilty Land, although I don’t believe it hangs together as well as a play experience. At least they all found their way into the top three!

What I Got Wrong!

I wouldn’t say I got High Treason “wrong,” although it’s a system I want to see developed further — and that was the plan until Victory Point Games was smothered to death. Cataclysm was also a good game, but I won’t be playing it again; there are too many exceptions and fiddly parts, which is something I’m trying to be more critical of in wargames. It probably wouldn’t be enough for me to dampen my praise, but make the caveat more plain? Sure.

Almost there! You’ll find more mistakes on day four.

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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