Saturday, June 13, 2009


I haven't been doing a lot of gaming over the last few months, due to a sense of ennui or existential angst or general slackness or something. And the anime thing which I mentioned earlier. But I think also I'm changing what I want from gaming, or maybe what I'm getting from it. Scrabblette has mentioned that when you do something as intensely as I do gaming it becomes like work, and that's definitely the case. I've been doing this for 5 years and 3000+ plays, and I've potentially taught people how to play 1000 of those times. That's definitely a lot of effort.

One thing I've definitely been feeling is that I'm less interested in playing new games, less interested in acquiring new games, and more interested in playing the old ones. My efforts to decrease my collection have been stymied by (a) reluctance to simply dump games, and trading doesn't really decrease the number of games you have, and (b) Scrabblette still assesses my collection on whether a game is good or not, not on whether I need to own it or not, so she resists many of my attempts to get rid of things. When I went gaming last night I stuck St Pete and Puerto Rico and Upwords in the game box. They're all old favourites, and that's what I want to play.

This morning I have been revising my ratings on BGG in line with how I feel at the moment. Although there have been no huge revisions, there have been a significant number of small ones, so I feel that rather than my tastes having seismically shifted, they've just tilted a little. Let's review some of the changes.

Torres - from a 10 down to a 9. Yes, it's a great (intense) game, but I don't always feel enthusiastic about it and doubt that I will want to play it forever.

Trias - from a 9 down to an 8. I used to rate this 10, but I don't think I've won in the last few years. That in itself is not enough to get it demoted, but dammit, I KNOW what I'm doing, and I often come last. I don't even think it's because people pick on me. I don't think the game rewards experience, and if it rewards skill I'm damned if I know what the skills of the game are. My current hypothesis is that the strategy is illusionary.

Axiom - from a 9 to a 10. I really love this freaky game and I can see there's a lot of play left in it. It's easy to teach and it messes with your head. I just need an opponent. Other than Mikey, 'cause he beat me.

Milleranagrams / Snatch - both gained a point. These are very similar speed anagramming games, which, as mentioned in my previous post, I rock at. For putting me in the zone they get high ratings.

Thebes - from an 8 to a 7. I find myself not so keen to play this, and when I do I see the winner being determined by the luck of the tile draw rather than strategy. I don't mind some luck in my games, but that amount of luck in a game that requires that amount of thought seems unfair. I would dump my copy if I was allowed.

Memoir '44 Expansions - several dropped a point. I've realised one of the great things about Memoir is that it's simple, and the expansions make it not simple. Yes, they're fun, but they're not as good as the original.

That's enough of that sort of talk! My feelings of boredom / yearning / unfulfilled desire remain strong, so I expect I will continue to tilt in the coming months. I can be sure I'm not tilting towards Ameritrash like some other BGGers have - if anything I'm tilting towards word games and abstractness. Maybe I'm getting old or something.


Maria said...

I like Upwords!

Mr Coffee and I saw this game Cranium in a store recntly. There wasa price tag nearby that said $15 but it didn't say for what item, so we asked if it was for Cranium. They told us it wasn't, it was for some other kiddie game, Cranium was $60. But then the store manager let us have Canium for $15 anyhow!

What the heck, that's what we are looking for in games :)

Good luck with your new sense of gaming direction!

Paul K said...

I feel a little the same as you, John. It's kind of what I've been saying for a while now - I really want to spend some time playing games that everyone knows how to play.

Why don't you and I and anyone else spend a little while just bringing games to Critical Mass that we know for a fact at least a few people know how to play, minimizing the chance that we will be explaining the rules to a game.

Friendless said...

Paul, whenever I try that there's some smarty-pants like Kevin or Adam there with a boatload of new games and I get sucked into playing those. I do tend to carry around St Pete and Hacienda and Puerto Rico a lot - they're old favourites to me, but many of the new / infrequent players haven't even played those. I don't want to play TransEuropa and Bluff every week.