#51in15: Completion and Conclusion

Well, I made it. Seven and a half months since Tabletop Day, and my #51in15 list is finally complete.

So here are the 51 tabletop games I have played since April:

  1. Tsuro
  2. Zombie Dice
  3. Coup
  4. Small World Underground
  5. Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow
  6. Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition)
  7. Hillfolk
  8. Star Wars: Armada
  9. Fate Core
  10. Dead of Winter
  11. The Vicar is Coming for Tea
  12. Sellswords
  13. Love Letter
  14. Galaxy Trucker
  15. Master Plan
  16. Ca$h ‘n’ Guns
  17. Black Crusade
  18. Psi*Run
  19. Dungeon World
  20. Crabz
  21. Guess the Mess
  22. Takenoko
  23. Dominion
  24. Hanabi
  25. Pixel Tactics
  26. Tiny Epic Kingdoms
  27. Space Alert
  28. Descent: Journeys in the Dark
  29. Lords of Vegas
  30. Ghost Stories
  31. Warhammer Fantasy (6th Edition)
  32. Carcassone
  33. Monsterhearts
  34. Spyfall
  35. Trail of Cthulhu
  36. Microscope
  37. Leverage
  38. Two Rooms and a Boom
  39. Tokaido
  40. Swords Without Master
  41. Lord of the Rings: Trivial Pursuit
  42. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
  43. Bananagrams
  44. Edge of the Empire
  45. Cars Don’t Fly
  46. Cosmic Encounter
  47. X-Wing
  48. The Final Girl
  49. Rogue Trader
  50. The Witches
  51. Forbidden Stars

That’s a lot of games! And pleasingly, very few of them were bad. I’d say that a mark of a good year in gaming.

I stopped a couple of months in to blog about this before, which is good, because it gave me another milestone to compare myself against. So here is where I stand now, with regards to the extra challenges I set myself:

  • I’ve not been to the London Indie RPG Meet at all since I last posted. Boo. My excuse is I’ve just been too busy (playing 51 tabletop games mostly), but I’m looking forward to seeing and maybe playing with some of the stalwarts at Dragonmeet this weekend. And I have time set aside in January to finally put in an appearance.
  • I did play X-Wing (you can see it at the bottom of the list!), but I still want to play more. Because I still love it, and I still keep buying miniatures for it, and now some of my friends are collecting it too. In other news, I don’t live a mile away from Dark Sphere any more… but I still make the pilgrimage when I can, for Black Friday sales say…
  • I’m pleased to say I have indeed been getting in extra games of Galaxy Trucker, Ca$h ‘n’ Guns, Dead of Winter and Lords of Vegas. And I just bought myself Dominion after realising I kind of love that too. Now to just get a repeat game of Tiny Epic Kingdoms in…
  • I played many more new games in the first two months of the challenge than the rest of it combined, but that’s not so surprising – as indicated above, I spent much of my board gaming time in the subsequent months replaying games already on my list. But I’m hoping I will continue to keep playing new games and not let that momentum slip, because exploring more about what’s out there has been something about this challenge I’ve really enjoyed.
  • Still not that many roleplaying games – only 16 out of the total 51. But if I thinking of it as “I have played 16 different roleplaying games since April”, that actually feels pretty good, especially as I reckon 9 of those I’d never played before the start of the year.

The other thing I picked up from my last post is that arbitrary awards are a good excuse to talk about some games I want to focus on, so here are a couple…

Best Recent Board Game Discovery is Spyfall, though given the hype this game is now generating, perhaps “discovery” isn’t the right word. I love hidden role games anyway, but finding one that approaches the core principle in such a different way is an extra treat, especially when it adds comedy and bizarreness to what can sometimes be quite a stressful genre. I don’t really do board games reviews, but Shut Up and Sit Down do, so go watch their analysis and buy yourself a copy immediately afterwards.

Best Recent Roleplaying Game Discovery is Swords Without Master. This year I was invited to join a small “RPG Book and Brunch” group that look at a new RPG every month; the event has been an absolute treat, and Swords is possibly the best game to come out of those meetings. One of my fellow players actually wrote up their experiences with the game, so again I can just link to that instead of bothering to write my own feedback, but the key thing for me to call out from my own experience is this: I failed almost every roll I made in this game, and not only did I still have a great time, I also never registered my failure as a disappointment on any level. I can’t think of any other RPG I’ve ever played for which that would be true.

Most Pleasant Surprise is Bananagrams, aka “Speed Scrabble”, which I first dismissed as a “casual game” until I played it. I was subsequently blown away by the psychological component of the game – thinking under pressure, pushing your advantage into other players when you’re doing well, not freezing up when other players apply that pressure. Definitely gets a recommendation.

Most Unpleasant Surprise is Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. Admittedly my expectations for this were probably unreasonably high (given reviews), but so far I’m two cases in and I’m not enormously impressed. I didn’t understand the solution to the first one and am certainly not bothered to go back and try to; solving the second one would have required a logical leap that, to my mind, was completely unreasonable. The pacing of this game is also really weird; there’s little indication of how close you are to solving a puzzle, and no timer that tells you when to stop, so cases just go on and on until you give up in bored frustration and consequently barely care about the solution… or until you solve it, I guess. Anyway, as you can probably tell from this paragraph, I suck at this game, and since the alternative is to accept that I am stupid, I instead choose to believe the game is not very good.

Teenage Girl Award for Fan Fiction Inspiration is Forbidden Stars, the last game on this list, which like my game of Warhammer before it, has inspired me to write up a short story to tell of my experiences playing. Whether I’ll actually get round to it awaits to be seen, but the fact I’m considering it is a testament to this game’s depth and capacity for emergent storytelling.

Or possibly just a testament to how much I like Warhammer.

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