Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Ten Games, Ten Times Challenge Results

I heard about this idea after nearly half the year had gone, but threw my hat in the ring anyway it seemed to me that there might be something to the idea of playing a game ten times.

As I've noted previously, it has absolutely been a worthwhile experience. I have found, for instance, once and for all, that Nuts! is not for me with respect to multi-squad per side engagements, but the Chocolate & Cigarette rules in 3.0 are fantastic and just what I want them to be. And I have found Blitzkrieg Commander to be among my all time favorite commercial rule sets (joining G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. as a go-to game) - it has seen action far beyond the initial 10 games.

In total, I played 62 of 100 games for the challenge (I played more games than that total), but given my late start, I'm happy with it.

The 6 games that received 10 plays were:
Adventure Maximus was played 2x and while I think there is potential there to make an interesting solo game, I found it hard to muster the enthusiasm to play a 3rd game. I haven't given up on it though and will try it again at some point.

I've already mentioned Nuts! and BKC, so what of the others?

S&W White Box - There is a great deal of freedom owing to the lack of actual rules here - the trick is to not just fall back on B/X but try to imagine how someone in 1974 might approach the situation (not how I would have done it in '74. I was 2.) I will continue to use these for a little while longer for the the Ever Expanding Dungeon. I am on the hunt for an actual D&D White Box, so that may replace these, or I may try Seven Voyages of Zylarthen which I have downloaded and like enough to consider purchasing the paperback copies.

Song of Blades and Heroes - Initially I was put off by all the special rules and having to use the online war band builder to figure out points easily, but the former was resolved by copying and pasting the necessary rules for a given war band into a word doc to print as a QRS for use at the table. The latter isn't that terrible, because you can just reuse forces over and over again after their initial creation. It successfully scratched my fantasy war game itch, and  got me to paint up some of my Reaper Bones.

Urbion - I really like this card game. It took me several plays to win - a result of luck and skill- and that was just the basic version. I have only scratched the surface of the advanced games and look forward to playing them at some point in the future.

Battle Over Britain - This is a fast play game (less than 15 minutes a game, usually much less) and loads of fun, which is surprising when you see how sparse the set up is. Maybe it helped that I watched Angels One Five, Blue Max and Aces High before I played the final 8 games but I felt immersed in the games as I played. I stuck to the basic rules for all but one game, where i pitted my loan Spitfire against two ME-109s and had to figure out how to handle 3 planes in play (it was surprisingly simple). There are still a load of optional rules and I also have the Solitaire pack  to try, which expands the solitaire rules further.

I will absolutely be participating in the challenge again in 2015.


  1. Ah, yeah. I see people on Boardgame Geek talk about the 10x10 idea. Seems like a good way to really figure out if you like any given game. I barely find enough time and energy to play a few games, so I don't think I could manage a total of 100 plays, But maybe I will try in 2015. I do have a few games that play quickly, and I guess even some of the ones that don't would go quicker once I get a better understanding of the rules, which is where the 10 plays helps I'm sure.

    Best wishes for a happy new year for you and yours!

    (I graduated from high school in 1974, you young whippersnapper! ha ha)

    1. Fitz-Badger, I cannot recommend this experience enough. Still, 10 games, 10 times is a lot, no doubt about it. Even if you play just 1 game 10 times, I think there's value in it. The multiple plays mean you learn the rules and, while the first few times might involve frequent rules reference, by the 10th game, you will probably barely need to consult them. Also, some items in the rules that seemed unclear in the beginning make more sense after repeated play or you notice that you missed something during those initial plays- things you couldn't catch because you didn't really know any of the system yet. Then again, some games that seem great turn out to be nothing like you'd hoped, but you need to get past the learning stage, where it's kind of enjoyable so you write off any friction as part of the learning process, in order to find out that no, you and the game just don't mesh.

      Happy new year to you and yours as well!