Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year's Alphabetical Playthrough

My primary gaming partner is my wife - she loves playing games. So, just before the new year, she had a clever idea:

"In January, we should try to play through our whole collection of board games alphabetically."

This sounded great to me because I like the idea of every game in the collection getting played. Our standard system of choosing a game is to allow the loser to choose the next game. But we decided it would be fun to follow her proposed system for as long as it took.

We cheated just a little by starting our Alphabetical Playthrough on New Year's eve. We wanted to play something, and my wife was in the mood for Alhambra, which happens to be the first game in our collection, alphabetically. Our goal was to play each game that was playable and fun with just 2 players. We skipped run-of-the-mill American games like Rook and Clue because we don't ever really play those. We also skipped games with listed player ranges of 3 or more, with the exception of Lost Valley which we enjoy with 2 players.

One other benefit of playing through the entire collection was to see if there was anything we could decide to trade or sell. My goal is always to trim down the collection to our tastiest selections so that we always enjoy any game we choose to play. If a game has become somewhat uninteresting to us, we get rid of it.

You'll notice that near the end we stepped out of the alphabetical cycle. This was because we received a new game order in the mail and decided to incorporate those games immediately. This meant that, before moving on, we had to first play the new games which would have been played earlier in the cycle.

So, here you go: the list of what we played for the 12 days it took us to tackle our current board game collection.

Day 1 - Dec 31, New Year's Eve

1. Alhambra
2. Arkadia

Day 2 - Jan 1, New Year's Day

3. We stepped out of the alphabet system this day to play Coloretto with family who was visiting. Otherwise, this game wouldn't have gotten played.

Day 3 - Jan 2

4. Balloon Cup

5. Bohnanza
6. Castle Keep
7. Citadels

Day 4 - Jan 3

8. The Downfall of Pompeii

9. Fairy Tale
10. Hansa
11. Hey! That's My Fish!

Day 5 - Jan 4

12. Jambo
13. Kingdoms
14. Lost Cities

Day 6 - Jan 5

15. Lost Valley
16. Mamma Mia
17. Masons
18. Mykerinos

Day 7 - Jan 6

19. Oltre Mare

Day 8 - Jan 7

20. Pick Picknic
21. Plunder

Day 9 - Jan 8

22. Quicksand
23. San Juan
24. Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation: Deluxe Edition (we received this in a game order that day)

25. R-ECO (this was also in the game order)

Day 10 - Jan 9

26. Pillars of the Earth (part of the new game order)

27. Taluva (the last game from our new game order)
28. Through the Desert
29. Thurn and Taxis

Day 11 - Jan 10

30. Ticket to Ride
31. Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition

32. Treasures & Traps

Day 12 - Jan 11

33. Winner's Circle

34. Wyatt Earp

During these 12 days, I also played a few games of Orchard with my son. It was a nice experience going through the collection in this way. It was a chance to give everything a play. The experience was confirmation for me that, if my wife wasn't such a fan of both, I would trade away Lost Cities and Kingdoms. Everything else is worth keeping around for a while. My wife sounded ready to trade away Balloon Cup, but decided we can keep it since I like it.

Of the new games we acquired during this period, my wife won our first plays in 3 of the 4 games. In fact, I'm pretty sure she won the majority of the games we played. She's a strong strategist, especially in the games her brain clicks with. We didn't play any of the games that were already put on the shelf as trade material. We may try running through this exercise more often because of the benefits already stated: A chance to test each game to see if we still like it, and an opportunity to enjoy all the unique facets of our collection.

I hope your Christmas and New Year's gaming was as abundant and enjoyable as ours! Thanks for reading Games on the Table in 2007 and for your continued visits and comments! Keep on playing for the fun of it, not just to win it!

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