And at long last, the moment you have both been waiting for. Yes, it’s the final stage of the award so exclusive that most of the designers and publishers nominated have no idea that it even exists. This really is a hipster award. So, without further ado, I give you the final of the 2016 TaG Award, and present the finalists, which have made it through a rigorous and exhausting selection process to get this far: Dragonheart and In A Bind.
We played Dragonheart first. To be fair, Miss B started off with a shocking hand, which I later found out included four of the ship cards, which just isn’t a happy way to get going, take my word for it. It’s the sort of hand I seem to always get when playing the game online. Her fortunes picked up as we went along, but I ended up with a comfortable win in the end.
Then, of course, we came to In A Bind. I removed my glasses (only fair!), we shuffled the cards, and then got going. A couple of minutes later my cards went everywhere and Miss B was giggling at my ineptitude. So we had another game, this time using In A Bind Junior, an alternative set that replaces some of the trickier cards with nutty stuff like making animal noises when someone draws a card, and I managed to get my revenge, so we had to have a decider (best of three), which Miss B won. I consider myself a winner, though, having managed to avoid any cricks or strains from putting myself into awkward positions.
I will now hand you over to our head judge, Miss B, to report on the results of her deliberation…
These are things I think make a good game:
-a bit of a challenge
-a bit of a laugh
And In A Bind has all 3. Dragon heart is a good game and came very close to winning because of the thinking you have to do and neat ideas in it. Overall In A Bind won because of this. 😀
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the winner of the 2016 TaG Award: In A Bind.
We had a good month of gaming in October. It was mostly short games, many of which got played multiple times, so that we have had, for the first time, an average number of plays per game a little above 2. Our total number of plays was 37, our second highest of the year, and that was of 17 different games, which is also a very respectable count.
We had a couple of get-togethers with other families for gaming afternoons, which was great, and always helps keep things ticking over.
The thing that pleased me most from the month is our most-played game, which was Cribbage, on 5 plays. This is a traditional card game with somewhat arcane and bizarre rules, but is one of my favourite games of all time, and one which I may well have played more than any other in my life. On a whim I offered to teach it to Miss B, and she enthusiastically accepted and then picked up the rules far more quickly than I did when I was a kid. It is now becoming one of her favourites and she is starting to get the hand of the tactics in the game, so she will start winning more often soon.
The other games we played more than once were BraveRats, Push It, In a Bind, and Giftmas with the Grimms (one of my prototypes) on 4 plays each, plus All Hands on Deck, Cockroach Poker, Hnefatafl, and TiddlyWinks all on 2 plays.
And that leaves us with our three top games for the year stretching their lead over the rest of the field, but staying in the same position relative to each other: Push It keeps its nose ahead with 16 plays, closely followed by BraveRats on 15, and In a Bind, which only had its first play in June with a strong 13 plays. Next up is the mighty little tin that is ‘6’, which has still been played 9 times this year.
It looks like we have three plausible candidates for this year’s crown, and only two months left to see which comes out on top — or if we get a sudden surge from an outsider.