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Board Game New Years Resolutions 2023

new years resolutions

It is a new year, and with a new year comes resolutions. So now, we have put together our list of some of our board game new years resolutions for 2023.

Dan Street Phillips

I am very much in that phase of the hobby that is more more more. I want to own everything and play as many games as I possibly can. I am a collector. But the problem with that is I play the games I have so little that I never really get a chance to get to the heart of them. There are some exceptions of course. I play Scythe a lot (as it’s one of my husband’s favourites) and have played more in the last year due to our Rise of Ferris campaign with friends. I also played through the Charterstone and Pandemic Legacy campaigns but legacy games or even just basic campaigns are ever changing. So, despite playing over and over, you never have time to really get in tune with the base game. I have recently found a love for really heavy euros. I love Vital Lacerda’s vast puzzles and Beyond the Sun was out of this world but one play just doesn’t cut it. For Christmas I had the new game Lacrimosa, a game themed around the death of Mozart and helping his widow finish his final requiem.

The first time I played the game I fell In love with the smooth gameplay and the interesting design space. But after one play I didn’t have a clue how you are meant to score well. Like any good euro there are so many ways to get points and each offers a different play style. After the second game, I focused on end game scoring and trying to complete set goals, which scored me well but in doing so I completely missed out on the area control part of the game where so many points can be gained. Next time I know I will go hard on the requiem. Games need to be played over and over again. Experimenting with game play through trial and error really is where the fun lies. So in 2023 I will strive to stop magpie-ing from one shiny new game to the next and spend time delving deeper into the games I want to explore.

Natalie M

One of my board gaming New Year’s Resolutions is to try more of the variants included with games I have. First time you play, there’s often a bit of advice in the instructions about how to keep it simple. Then, once you’ve learned the mechanics of the game and don’t need to keep checking the rule-book any more, it’s easy to forget the extra possibilities.

In Relic Runners, we have always used the ‘basic’ side of the character mats, rather than trying out the special powers you can use on the flip side. These include laying an extra pathway and starting with an extra toolbox.

People I know rave about Carcassonne, but I rarely play it because I find it a bit too simple. Maybe if I tried the supplementary rules offered by the basic game ie Farmers, The River or The Abbot, I might get more into it!

I love Isle of Cats and have used the Kittens and Beasts from the expansions box many times. However, I had forgotten all about the Events module included in the same expansions box until I started perusing the content of my games cupboard for this article. That’s another one to add to the list.

In Burgle Bros (which is a relatively recent purchase), we have only successfully pulled off ‘The Bank Job’ two or three times. But once we are masters at this burgling business, we must not forget to try the ‘Fort Knox’ set-up. In the small (but environmentally-conscious) box, there are also options for changing wall layouts, a ‘lost visual’ mini expansion and advanced character modes.

You get the idea. I resolve to utilise the full potential of my board games. Is that something you have also forgotten to do?

Hannah Blacknell

I love playing games, and I also love stats and so for me it is a no brainer that my challenge is going to be based on statistics. I have over the last few years curated my collection a little more, there has been a lot that have moved on to homes where they will get played more. We are now more aware of the kinds of games that we really enjoy and so I would say our collection is chock full of great “fun-boxes”. So I have decided on two challenges, one is the 30x10 and the other is play every game in the collection in the year.

On the 1st January, I took stock of all the games that we own and then as we play a game I will tick off the list and hopefully come the end of December my list will be all ticked off. I tried this in 2022 but I only managed to complete 75% of this. However with all the new games coming in throughout the year, working full time, training for a triathlon and planning a wedding, I’m still thinking that that is pretty impressive. I keep a track of my plays using the BG Stats app, and as such I can tell you that I played over 140 different games in 2022, 80 of which were new to me! So getting 75% of my owned games played is a masterstroke I think. In 2023 though, I shall be striving to hit 100% of course.

My 30x10 challenge is to play 30 different games 10 times each. Now with a lot of new games coming in and being played all the time, sometimes it is difficult to play games again and again. I find that this challenge helps me to focus on playing games multiple times and exploring them fully. We have a bunch of games which have different modules to them or expansion content and it is a shame not to explore EVERYTHING. In 2022 I managed to complete a 25x10, but what’s a challenge if it isn’t difficult! Here’s to a great year of gaming! Happy New Year.

Alex Chase

2022 was a pretty good year for my board game collection, less so for my wallet and my shelfspace! During the course of the year I seem to have managed to buy over 20 new games of various types and styles. Now don’t get me wrong, they’ve mostly been great! From Mafia De Cuba in January to Merchants & Marauders in December, I’m really pleased with the games that I’ve bought and have loved playing them (though shamefully I still haven’t found a group for Mafia De Cuba, but that’s just a matter of time).

The thing is, I’ve noticed that I’ve ended up buying games with no idea who I’ll play them with and no regard to their place in my collection. Do I really need four different social deduction games in my life for example? Or two separate Sherlock Holmes themed games? (due to Christmas I now have five!) This leads me to my resolution; before I buy a new game in 2023, I’m going to think about what else I have that scratches the same itch (do I need a Crokinole board when Catacombs has the same disc slidey goodness and a story as well?) I’m even going to consider getting rid of one game if I am going to buy a new thing that does the same job! (Consider mind you, maybe Descent and Imperial Assault can survive on the same shelf?) It’ll be tricky, and sometimes I imagine the urge to buy the shiny big box will win out (Oath: Chronicles Of Empire & Exile is on order as I write). But if I stop and think before I buy, then next January maybe I won’t need to clear out as many older games to make room for my new toys!

Thom Newton

For me, 2022 was the year of new games. I planned on ticking off one game a week from my shelf of shame/opportunity (delete as appropriate). It was a lot of fun, we played some absolute belters. But with learning lots of new games many of the games that made it to the table were only played once or twice each. The big exception to this was Gravwell which seemed to make it out almost weekly, such a fun way to end a games night!

Anyway, on to matters of the day. This year I’m going completely to the other end of the scale. At my games group we’ve decided to have ‘The Year of the Campaign’. We’re planning on putting a much bigger emphasis on all of those massive boxes that sometimes get abandoned due to one of a huge variety of reasons. And there is only one game that is really screaming at me to play it although it weirdly isn’t in my collection at the moment, and that game is Frosthaven.

For anybody who has been living under a boardgame rock for the last few years, Frosthaven is the big box follow up to Gloomhaven. It’s a split between story and combat encounters with a heavy emphasis on card management. Your characters can develop and specialise until eventually they can retire having met all of their personal goals. At this point you get a new character and off you go again!

Frosthaven now also expands into city building as well. You now have to help build and fortify the titular city of Frosthaven so it can withstand whatever the local beasties can throw at it. It is likely the biggest campaign game out there so my 2023 boardgame resolution is this: I am going to complete the Frosthaven campaign.

Rachel Page

I am not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions. I rarely stick to them, so all I am really doing is setting myself up to fail early on in the year. But after hearing everyone’s resolutions last year, I thought it was time to step up and give it a go.

Every year my board game collection grows and grows. Writing for the Zatu Blog doesn’t help either because people are constantly talking about the exciting games they have recently discovered. Parcels are always arriving at my door. And yet I am always playing the same games over and over. No matter how many new games we get, we always go back to Tapestry or if we have enough time, Eldritch Horror. When it is a games night, Secret Hitler and Love Letter are the main hits. It is the same thing over and over again.

It even got the point last year where I rearranged the games on my shelves so that the most played games were at the bottom and the games we never grabbed were at eye-level. This was supposed to force us to play the games we always forgot about. It didn’t work. It is not even that we have any bad games! We are just creatures of habit.

So this year, I will be playing two of our “less popular” games before going for one of our regulars. We have such a wide range of exciting games and they deserve to be played! I had forgotten how much I loved LUNA Capital until we picked it out last week.

By the end of the year, I hoped to have played all of our games at least twice, not just Tapestry 100 times. Though with the new expansion for Tapestry coming out this year, I am really going to be tested...

Rob Wright

I must confess, I am not one for New Year Resolutions, usually because the pressure to come up with something on the spot is way too much after a couple of bottles of Cava and innumerable Cheeky Vimtos. January is also the last place you want to make any binding promises to a bunch of people who may or may not be as ‘lubricated’ as you are. Plus, surely getting through all 398 days of January is a resolution in itself?

Therefore, I give myself a little time and usually keep things to myself. Except here.

Well, in 2020/21 I said I wanted to build a gaming community, try a legacy game and just get out more. I guess that we do have a community now, I have got out more… and Jaws of the Lion is kind of legacy, isn’t it? So: what now?

Well, I could do with being a bit more brutal with my games collection. Sure, I’m not in uncontrollable hoarder territory yet by any stretch, but I also know that there are games I can trim from my collection. This is not a done deal, of course, but… I’m gonna try.

Next… well this will probably link in with the above, but I’m going to start playing back through my collection more, I guess to give myself an idea of what I want to keep and what I want to let go. There are a lot of games in there which really need a thorough playing, and I’m the only guy who’s going to do that. Old is the new New!

Finally, I want to get back into podcasting and/or vlogging. True, I’ve got a face for radio, but I really enjoyed doing the whole podcast thing when I did it and I just can’t resist a stage, and after fifty years this stage is not one I am going through in a hurry.


A few years ago, I made my first ever gaming new year’s resolution. And that was to play some co-operative games. I was inspired by a generous Zatu Secret Santa gift. And diving into an escape room game from the excellent EXIT series by KOSMOS, I vowed to work with rather than against my fellow players more in future! And I am pleased to say I have! Fuse, Viticulture World, Between Two Cities (that counts! Haha), more EXIT puzzles and games….I am officially able to play nicely with others.

So this year, I am going full circle, and resolving to play more games solo! Not because co-operative play has put me off working towards a shared goal. But rather because it is a great contrasting experience. Plus, it will hopefully mean I am upskilling for when relied upon by others to bring my game-face to the table!

Being the architect of my own demise (or occasionally victory) also panders to my control-freakery, as well as gives me a chance to try-fail-try-succeed in the privacy of my own game space. I have dipped a toe into solo gaming over the past 12 months, for sure. And I have loved the focussed moments of calm it has brought me. But it is definitely something I want to allow myself to do a lot more in 2023. Not just as an indulgence or a treat. Or even the only option when my gaming partners are absent. But as an active part of personal wellbeing, development, and pleasure.

I don’t think I will be the type of solo gamer who embarks on epic quests involving acres of table space and hours of set up. I’m still a working mum and wife with eleventy billion demands of my time. But I will definitely try to feel less guilt when taking time out at the end of the day to sit and play a game alone. And allocating part of our family game budget to one player offerings or those that have great solo mode will become just as valid as playtime, mechanism, and theme in 2023. That is my board gaming vow, and I’ll check back in with you in 12 months’ time to let you know if I achieved it!

Pete Bartlam

The World Changes

Between agreeing to write these resolutions and actually submitting them, 2023 has significantly changed for me. As I may have let slip we are currently in New Zealand visiting our daughter and her long-standing boyfriend, Lewis. Well, very romantically, whilst down on Doubtful Sound he proposed to her and I’m now looking down the barrel of a year of planning for a wedding in 2024 with guests from either side of the globe!

W-Day is going to make D-Day seem like a stroll on the beach! Still, what little time and money I have left will go on the following.

STOP PRESS I now know Amber is leaving! How ZATU are going to find someone who is so dedicated that even her name reflects the Company colour – maybe they should see if Jason Orange is looking for a job.

Boxed In

To save myself time and get great value I’m going to try some of ZATU’s splendid subscription boxes, probably the new releases one. I’ll cancel my current wine case subscription and it will be better for my mind and body!

Meet & Greet

I’m going to get out and about to meet some more wonderful fellow ZATU bloggers. Airecon looks a possibility for the Northern contingent then maybe UKGE or even ZATUCON23 or maybe I’ll take my Senior Railcard and see if I can rock up at some of the game clubs and cafes you run.

Crunchy (other chocolate bars are available)

Why is this such an overused way of describing a game’s complexity? I’ve done a survey and 67.2% of all reviews use the word “crunchy” (I haven’t really ) Let’s come up with alternatives and save the crunchy for a special treat. English is such a rich and diverse language so : engaging, complex, stretching, detailed, chewy, toothsome, mid-level or if we’re sticking with choccy how about BOUNTYful, TOPICal, a bit of a MARATHON or TWIX hard and easy – there’s a whole GALAXY of options.

O Pun My Word

That brings me to the next resolution: I will blog 1,000 puns or dad jokes in 2023 and that’s 5 already. You have been warned! (Oh! No we haven’t. Oh! Yes you have!)

One Rules To Rule Them All!

I will compare and contrast different sets of Wargame rules for various areas of combat e,g, Bolt Action, Flames of War, Undaunted for WWII or GW Horus Heresy, Dead Zone, Star Wars Legion for Sci-fi etc etc. Then there’s Air warfare, Naval warfare, Ancient, Horse and Musket. I may need more than one year!

Final Piece Of The Puzzle

I know you’re all looking for some actual numerical targets so how about I will complete 24,000 pieces of jigsaw puzzle in my spare time?

Bubbling Under

And here’s a few that didn’t make the cut:-

  • “I will complete one project/campaign/miniature army before I start another” – NO. This won’t happen. I’ve been trying for over half a century and never achieved it.
  • “I will not suffer FOMO” especially when people rave about Kickstarters I haven’t even heard about – No, I will.
  • “I will check out SLACK within 5 seconds of free stuff, GOTM and/or WYBP being announced” – I wish! But it will never happen.

And that’s it. Welcome to my 2023 and I hope you all have a good one especially Amber wherever you are.

That concludes our list of Board Game New Years Resolutions. Is there any we missed? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames.