If you are hanging out in the Zatu blog, then I am pretty sure you really like games. You probably have your own collection, be it vast and sprawling or a fine tunes capsule collection. Now looking across all your games, how many of them do you think you have given enough attention to in the past year? Are you like me and go through phases of favouritism where you play a couple of games in rotation? The 10x10 gaming challenge might just be for you!
In December, I played through my whole collection with my partner. We played 87 base games in four weeks whilst still carrying on with “life” as well. You can read more about this challenge in my feature article here. Now that we have recovered, we are setting the next challenge. In my non-gaming life, I am an avid triathlete and pre car crash I was doing ultra-marathons. So setting myself challenges and pushing myself to complete them is a theme in my hobbies.
This is quite a common challenge that people set themselves in the board game community. You play ten different games ten times across the year. This sounds easy, and it is if you choose quick games. But for bigger games playing games about once a month is a bit of a tall task really. However, not one to be put off by how daunting a task looks, I have jumped feet first into this task. So here, in this public forum, I am pledging to play the following ten games ten times in 2021.
This game of woodland warfare is one of our trickier games, and it is one where you need to practice to be good. This is an asymmetric game and so it relies on all the players knowing what they need to be doing each turn and also knowing what everyone else is trying to do to win. I want so badly to be good at this game, and as we know practice makes perfect!
I am low-key obsessed with serial killer documentaries, so this game was an insta-buy. It is a crunchy hand management game that I seem to randomly excel and suck at. I never know which way this is going to go for me because at its heart it is quite a strategic game that requires you to be thinking a few turns ahead. Sometimes, I can see a plan and sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants. I also have The Carnies expansion which I am so excited to try.
This is a pretty quick game (30 mins), and we have both the Pantheon and the Agora expansion. I want to play the expansions to a point where I know the symbology without having to refer to the rules constantly. There are so many ways to win here, and the expansions build on this still further. Do you smash your opponent with your cunning scientific research, annihilate them in battle with your military might, create a political landslide and corrupt the Senate, or just an old fashioned victory point win? I’d like to try and win via all of these in 2021, trouble is the games are so tight, you have to work hard to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
This is a game we got in December and immediately played, the hype around this game is both well deserved and understandable. The components and artwork are great, and the gameplay is combo-tastic which is my favourite way to play. This is a game that feels like it could climb into my Top 10, and ten plays would cement its positioning.
This is quite a light game really but with some of the absolute best artwork, I have seen on any game. I adore this theme of underwater politics. I also got both the expansions for this for my birthday back in October, and I have yet to play them! This must not continue, especially since I hear nothing but praise for especially the Leviathan expansion as it improves immensely on the monster track.
I counted this out as a game I didn’t like much. I know it’s a classic, and I know it’s the ultimate gateway. What I would say though is when we played our collection in December I was really surprised by this. I thoroughly enjoyed myself playing it just the base game and just two-player. I was so wrong, I take back all I said about Carcassonne’s cultish following, and stand here repenting my sins. Carcassonne is a great game as long as you don’t have experienced players annihilating the less experienced ones. So I would like to get better at playing this game, and who knows in ten plays time I might have all the expansions and a Carcassonne room to store them in!
This is a nifty little co-op trick-taking card game that we originally played the wrong rules for. We played the first 20 scenarios with these wrong and much harder rules too. So I want to learn the right game and play that in 2021. It was still good the way we played it, but well I am pretty sure that some rounds were impossible, let’s try again properly. I might even get good at trick-taking games!
This is a real-time silent cooperative game that can cause arguments. Each player is able to control all four of the pawns but they can only do specific actions. One person may only be able to move North, one only East etc. You as a team without speaking must get the four coloured pawns to their respective treasures and then out the shopping mall via their coloured exit. Which shouldn’t be too hard, and perhaps for many it isn’t, but for us, it can cause all-out scowling warfare.
When you need the other person to do something you can’t speak, but you can simply bang a massive red pawn down in front of them, stare into their soul and curse their stupidity. Which of course just makes them cross with you because although they can’t see that the purple pawn needs to move East, you also haven’t noticed that the green, orange and yellow pawns need to be moved North. We really should be able to do this game without losing our generally level-headed minds and yet, here I am, airing the dirty secret that we can’t work together silently.
This is one of my favourite games and I love it. Because of this, I have bought all the expansions and campaign modules that you can buy though. I want to get The Lost Village campaign expansion played and make sure that we play with each of the character packs too. The Ancestry expansion offers new folk to play as which give the players unique starting health and decks and make for a really different gameplay style.
This is another asymmetric game, where each character has a different way to win. You cannot play without keeping your head up and watching what others are doing or a win might sneak away from you. Initially, I didn’t “get” this game, as I felt like the game was perhaps too hard. As I have played many more games though, in general not of Villainous, I feel I have become a better “gamer”. With this newfound skill, confidence and knowledge, I feel ready to tackle this again. It’s definitely a good game, but with practice and knowledge, this could be a great game in my collection. This and Root are top of the list of games I want to play when we are finally allowed to meet up with the rest of our game group.
Let the Challenge... Begin!
Here I’ve thrown down the metaphorical gauntlet of challenges and stated in a public forum what I must strive for games-wise in 2021. Will you join me on my 10x10 gaming challenge journey? What challenges could you set yourself for 2021? Check back in at the end of the year to see how I got on!