Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Golden Geeks part 2: What may have been.

While Jamie touched on the announcements of the Golden Geek nominations (Here), I think I'll take a different approach. He picked out his favorites in a few categories also highlighting some of his other top choices. I'm going to take a look at some of the games I wish I'd had the opportunity to play. Starting in the Board Game of the year category is Great Western Trail by Stronghold Games.

Stronghold has had a HUGE couple of years, pumping out some amazing games. Fabled Fruit, Animals on Board, Coal Baron, Diamonds, The Dragon and Flagon, Terraforming Mars (which is far superior to Scythe). How could their next game disappoint? I wanted so badly to try this game at BGGcon last year but the stars didn't align. Deck building and tile placement have this game pegged as a great intro game, but the reviews repeatedly show how much depth and decision making this game really has packed in. I really hope to be able to play this in 2017.

Next up, getting nods in the categories of; Card Game, Cooperative Game, Family Game and Thematic Game is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. I originally passed on this game due to the cooperative name tag it wears. But after seeing it and hearing from a few people, it has the one feature that I enjoy in a co-op game. The game actually fights against you. The reason I don't like co-op is generally, you win or you lose. It comes down to the choices the players make, but when the game actually throws you curves and makes it harder and harder to win (a'la Robinson Crusoe) I'm all in. I have recently acquired HP and can't wait to get it to the table. ABERTO!

And I'll leave you with one more game that I hope to finally get to play this year. Roll Player, nominated in the Innovative Game category. Roll Player takes what is arguably the most boring part of RPG games, character creation, and making a game out of it. Dice rolling, Drafting, Set collection, Races , Classes, Equipment , it's all right here in the box. The reprint is coming soon (March) and an expansion is slated for a Kickstarter campaign later this year. Now I have to decide, buy when the reprint is available, or wait for the Kickstarter and get the whole package? Either way I'm getting it. This is the game currently at the top of my want to play list. and I'm not sure how much longer I can wait! -Rob

The Golden Geeks

Every year, BoardGameGeek.com (the website for board game reference material) compiles a list of the best of the year for board games, with a number of different categories of games, as well as the best podcasts. All of the nominees are chosen by the users of BGG, and winners are chosen the same way.

The nominees for 2016 were announced this morning, and looking over the list, it made me look back at the last year and realize how great a year was. There are some amazing games on the list, and a lot that Rob and I haven't had a chance to try yet. I'm going to go over some of my favorites that were nominated, and maybe we can coax Rob into doing the same. You can find the list here.

Board Game of the Year - Of the fifteen nominees, I've played Captain Sonar, Quadropolis, Scythe, Star Wars: Rebellion and Terraforming Mars. This one is a really tough choice for me. Scythe and Terraforming Mars are two of the best games I've ever played. I think that I'm going to give the edge to Scythe. There's a ton of depth to the game, lots of variability in strategy. I've played it more than 10 times and each time, the game plays out differently. Plus the game is gorgeous. The artwork by Jakub Rozalski is awe-inspiring (Scythe was also nominated in the Artwork & Presentation section).
Look at this-I want this on my wall!
Terraforming Mars is nearly as good, which made it a tough call. It's a solid a game as I've ever played, with lots of interesting card interactions. The fact that the card art is all from NASA photos is such a cherry on top of a really good sundae. It's amazing, it's great, but it's just not quite as good as Scythe for me.

Innovative Game - I've played a few on this list too - Nominees that I have experience with include Adrenaline, Captain Sonar, Fabled Fruit, Mystic Vale, and Scythe. We've already talked about Scythe, so let's go with Captain Sonar and Fabled Fruit. Captain Sonar is a great game for this category. If you haven't played or heard of it - you're basically playing submarine crews trying to hunt each other down. There's a Captain, 1st Mate, Engineer, and Radio Operator on each side, each with a different job. It's a blast to play, but it really shines with the full player count of 8, which can be tricky.
Captain Sonar!

Fabled Fruit is going to be my choice for this category. It's a very simple card game to learn and teach, and it evolves as you play it, adding rules as it goes along. Fabled Fruit is sort of a campaign style game, where you can save your spot and come back to it in subsequent plays. I've played it with three people and five people, and it's solid with either. This one hasn't made it to our collection yet, as it sold out quickly but Rob is supposed to be picking up a copy from an auction soon, so I'm really looking forward to playing it again. Fabled Fruit would be a great addition to a family game night, since it's very easy to start and evolves slowly enough for kids and non-gamers to understand it.

Fabled Fruit. It has anima-meeples too!

Those are just a few of my favorites from the year. Take a look at the BGG list and let us know in the comments what some of your choices on the nominees are!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Update from the field

Wow, it's been a while. Thanksgiving was our last post. Lots of things in the world have happened since then. Christmas happened, a new year dawned on us. Things politically are kind of a mess, which is upsetting a lot of people (myself included). Rob and I went to BGGCon, and had a blast. Things in my personal life have been a bit rocky, and I haven't had as much time as I'd like to do what I like to do best- play games.

Things have started to settle down, so here I am, providing an update. Chits & Bits 2017 is starting to gain steam. Rob has been contacting game publishers and donors, and prizes are rolling in. I've been working on some of the "behind the scenes" stuff, looking for sponsors, getting swag to give to our marathon players, working with Mike to update our website - stuff like that. Rob has definitely been doing the lion's share though. Seriously, this thing we do, wouldn't be as successful as it is, without him. I'm eternally grateful for that.

We've got a lot of new things planned for the year as well. Chits and Bits is definitely growing to be much more than just the game marathon. Once again, I'm going down to Extra Life United to compete for BBCH. I'm hoping that I can bring home some prize money again this year. We've got another game day we're working on at a different location later in the year, so we can spread our footprint a little (details to come as we get closer). Stay tuned to our Facebook page for these events as they get scheduled.

Beyond Chits & Bits, Rob and I have both started to spread our gaming wings a little. Rob has teamed up with Red Raven Games, as part of their new ambassadorship program. I've done the same with another company, Stonemaier Games. This will bring us to some different events, teaching and demoing those company's games, one of the things both of us love to do.

I'll be updating this blog on a regular basis, with our comings and goings. Our plans as they unfold. Details about what we've been playing, game reviews, etc. I hope you'll indulge me and follow along.


Time to wake up!