So I signed up for the 10x10x12 Challenge for 2014 on BoardGameGeek. The basis of the challenge is that you pick 10 games, and you try to play them 10 times in 2014. There is a strong emphasis on playing games you feel you've neglected. I picked 10 games I thought would be a piece of cake to play 10 times. I thought I'd love to play them ASAP. However January went by and I didn't touch a single one of them. I just got too many games for Christmas and from Kickstarter that I wanted to get in. Trying to play these 10 games I was chomping at the bit to play in December 2013 has been an insightful experience, almost 2 months into the challenge.
Some games I knew would be a challenge to play 10 times. I put Twilight Struggle and Washington's War on the list, and it's becoming blatantly obvious to me now that only one of them is going to get played 10 times. I'm making good progress on playing Agricola, but so far it's about the only one. Ad Astra and Tribune are both solid eurogames that I simply don't have the enthusiasm for which I thought I had. I'm always thinking "Man, I need to play those again" and then the time comes around, and something else I'd rather play takes precedent.
That is really the toughest problem with meeting the 10x10x12 Challenge. There are always new games I want to play. Or even just games that I simply can't pass up when I have to choose only one game for that night. As much as I'd love to play Tribune again, we've all forgotten how it goes, and Firenze is proving to be so much fun right now.
One of the more fascinating road blocks has been moving past No Retreat: The Russian Front to No Retreat: The North African Front. I've gotten so invested in The Russian Front. I've finally gotten to a point where I think I have mastery of the rule set. Leaving it behind for another game in the same system seems criminal. I only now got good at the first one!
Space Empires 4X I think I can still get 10 plays in with, but only because it has solitaire modes. But that feels a little bit like cheating? Especially when my reason for putting it on the list was to finally play it more with other people. I've yet to even play the full ruleset with other people! We've stuck to the simple tech tree because we play it so rarely, every game feels like an intro game.
Still, the biggest problem has been the new games. I actually haven't bought many new games. I just have a lot of preorders. Too many Kickstarters, and P500 orders with GMT. I cancelled a few P500 orders because I quickly realized there just wasn't enough time in the year to play them all! Especially the Great Battles of History titles. That series constantly taunts me with it's richness and complexity. In the end I always back away from it however due to the time it'd take to master the series.
Overall the 10x10x12 Challenge has definitely brought into focus how quickly I go through games. Which ties into this blog actually. Paradoxically enough, I started this blog in part to get me to focus on games more deeply, and really spend more time with them individually. However, attempting a weekly review schedule quickly defeated that purpose. Reviewing every other week has helped, but it's still difficult. Balancing playing games at least 10 times for each review, with also managing to get a review out every 14 days is quite a challenge, especially for games that take longer than 30 minutes.
I think there is still hope for completing my 10x10x12 Challenge. However it's really going to require some discipline, and changing how I approach games. Which was the entire purpose of the challenge really. I suppose the upside is that I'm more likely than not going to be reviewing one game off my challenge list a month. I'm playing them 10 times anyways, I might as well review them too.