176 – 2019 Retrospective and 2020 Goals – The Family Gamers Podcast

Episode 176 - 2019 Retrospective & 2020 Goals

We’re looking both forward and backward this week, examining last year’s resolutions and using what we’ve learned to come up with new goals for 2020.

Thanks to our sponsor, First Move Financial, for helping support The Family Gamers Podcast.

What We’ve Been Playing

Koi – from Smirk & Dagger. Goldfish are mean.

Dungeon Academy – from The OP. We have discovered wet erase markers! So much better for writing on a laminated sheet.

Squire for Hire – a very compact card game from Letiman Games for 1-2 players. Complete “quests” and manage the inventory in your “backpack”.

Animal Kingdoms – from Galactic Raptor. Play cards into 5 “kingdoms”, each with a different placement restriction.

Miyabi – from HABA. Just as puzzley as we were promised it would be. Reminds us a bit of NMBR 9 but with a better theme.

Ecos: The First Continent – from AEG (which we first saw at PAX Unplugged). Not a simple game, but everything fits together well. Engine-building that seems fairly intuitive. Not a lot of reading, but the game requires procedural understanding that comes with knowing how to read. The iconography and production quality are both fantastic.

The Grimm Masquerade – from Skybound Games. We tried the special powers, which we’d never done before. They make for a good catch-up mechanism for the player(s) with the fewest points.

Duple – from Anomia Press. It’s been a long time! Still a favorite though.

Unlock! Secret Adventures: A Noside Story – both in difficulty and in content, this one is very approachable for kids. Destroy a secret lair full of silly robots. The app for this one started with a “phone call” to explain the mission!

Boom, Bang, Gold – from HABA. Throw “dynamite” into the box to make tokens jump and flip over. Quickly grab all the tokens that show gold or special powers! Quick, silly fun for kids and adults alike.

MegaCity Oceania – from Hub Games. We are still learning, so we haven’t explored all the subtleties of the rules yet, but we are loving the ability to build your buildings and gently push them into place.

Similo games

SNAP Review – Similo

This is one of our favorite games in recent memory. Similo: Fables and Similo: History are compact, approachable cooperative card games. See the pictures and read the transcript over at the SNAP review.

New Year, New Games!

We review our resolutions from last year (episode 126). Did we accomplish our goals?

Complete a 5×5 – FAILURE

Andrew upgraded to a 10×10 challenge (10 specific games, played 10 times each)… but failed at this challenge. He got 31% done.

Anitra also challenged herself to a 5×5, but did not manage to play each of the specified games 5 times. She got 67% done. (Although there were another 33 games that she played at least 5 times each.)

We forgot that we spend a lot of time reviewing games, and cycle though lots of games very quickly!

Having a dedicated gaming space was not as helpful as we thought it would be.

Board Game Tracking – Success! (mostly)

Anitra continues to track (nearly) every play of (nearly) every game. The BG Stats app, although it costs a few dollars, has made this a lot easier.

Andrew also loves the BG Stats app, but is not as careful at tracking every single play.

We quickly discuss the concept of “H-index” – a way to measure both depth and breadth of your game play.

We digress a little bit into statistical nerdiness.

Fit All the Games on the Shelves – Success? Fail?

Because we bought more shelves! Oops.

We did intentionally cull our collection quite a bit this year, but our collection still grew a little bit overall. We kept it from growing in an out-of-control way. We’re emotionally ready to get rid of more games when we need to.

Reduce the Shelf-of-Shame – FAIL

It’s currently 22 games, and more than the “two cubes” space that we mentioned last year. (Although 12 of those games are new, that we got in the last month). But 7 of the “shame” games are more than a year old.

Reduce the Review Queue – SUCCESS?

At the beginning of 2019, it felt like we had too many games that needed review. We succeeded because we reviewed all of those, and we’re doing a good job staying on target to get reviews out quickly. But we are still getting to know more publishers, and are receiving more games to review.

So for 2020, it’s not about making the queue shorter (fewer games), but keeping our turnaround time reasonable so that games don’t stay on there too long.

Create a Prototype for Andrew’s Game – FAIL

That bag of parts mentioned a year ago? It has not changed at all. The game still requires more research, and enough free time to make it a reality.

2020 Goals

So, let’s look forward! What are we planning for 2020?

Conventions: last year, we did make it to Dice Tower Con, Origins, GenCon, and even TotalCon, in addition to our usual BostonFIG and PAX Unplugged. This year, Andrew is going to NY Toy Fair (February). We need to figure out whether or not we’re going to Granite Game Summit. But we’re not going to be able to do Dice Tower Con or Origins, at least this year.

However, Nick will still be going to GenCon, we’ll be going to Boston FIG, and we’ll definitely be at PAX Unplugged. There’s a possibility that something else may come up as well. Stay tuned.

Andrew and Anitra will attempt 5X5 challenges again. Anitra is going to add games to the challenge slowly, based on what actually gets played.

We plan to continue our weekly Commonheart Game Night, and explore if a board game café can work in our area.

We’d like to get kids involved more with making content for The Family Gamers (as much as they want to be).

Rather than shrinking the game collection, let’s just try not to add more shelves and avoid overflowing the shelves we have!

What are your board game goals for 2020?

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