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The 2016 TaG Award: The Shortlist

September 28, 2016 5 comments

I’m running massively late with this, but at last I would like to announce the shortlist for this year’s Training a Gamer Award (formerly the Golden Thingummy).

In case you haven’t been reading this blog in previous years, each summer Miss B and I choose a set of four games (Miss B chooses two and I choose two more) that we enjoy and want to play a bit more.  These games are paired off so we can have two “game-offs”, playing a pair of games in one session so we can decide which we enjoyed most on that occasion.  The winners of each heat become the finalists for one more game-off to decide which will win the prestigious and sought-after TaG Award.

Last year was won by flicktastic dungeon crawler Catacombs.  What will get the laurels this year?

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Miss B seems to be better at photography than me. Not difficult.

Miss B’s first choice was instant, the game of contortions, In a Bind, which she introduces to friends and visitors whenever she can.  Her second choice surprised me a little as it is something we haven’t played for quite a long time, but she really fancied breaking out Dragonheart, which we used to play a fair bit a few years ago.

I added recent favourite Apotheca to the list as I think it deserves a few more plays and is probably at its best with two players.  My second game is one that we haven’t covered here before, but Miss B did express interest in while we were discussing the award: a cute card game called Murder of Crows.

So we have four contenders, two new and two not so much.  Coming soon: the game-offs.

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What was on the table in August?

September 4, 2016 8 comments

We did pretty well for games in August, with a games afternoon with another family as well as a couple of father-daughter games afternoons throughout the month.  We even got started (a little late) on this year’s Training a Gamer Award, so you can expect the reports for that to be forthcoming over the next few weeks.

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We had a really fun game of Railways of the World when one of Miss B’s schoolmates came to stay over.  Looking forward to trying that again.

Our total for the month  was 28 plays, with 15 different games.  This is well down on last August, but only beaten by two months this year.  We had several games with multiple plays, top of which was In a Bind, with 6 plays, followed by Apotheca, Hey That’s My Fish, and Yardmaster Express, with 3 plays a piece, and 6 and Win Lose Banana each on 2.  That latter game (WLB)  is a bit bizarre (to say the least), requiring exactly three players and being a game that seems entirely random at first, but then turns into a game of psychology after a few rounds.

I think my highlight of the month was trying out Railways of the World, which I had been wanting to play for some time and then managed to acquire a copy on the cheap, then had a great opportunity to play it when we had a visitor over.  We made a couple of minor tweaks to the rules to make it a little more accessible for a first play with kids, but after the rules explanation, the game flowed really well and we all enjoyed it very much.

For the year, BraveRats maintains its lead position with 11 plays, followed by Push It with 10, both unchanged from the previous month.  But now we have 6 and In a Bind, right in the chase, each with 9 plays, so it looks like the race is well and truly on at the moment.  There is nothing else we have played more than 5 times so far yet this year.

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