Jondi’s 2018 10×10 Picks

2017 was the first time I ever did a 10×10 and I learned a few things…the main thing is that a 10×10 (for me) is kind of an exercise in futility. Seriously. To be fair, I didn’t make wise choices for my 10 games in 2017. They were all great games, and had I gotten all 10 plays in for them…fun would have been had in all 100 plays. But therein lies the problem. I chose games that were very difficult to get 10 plays in 10 times.

So…for 2018 I took a different approach to my 2018 10×10 selections. It may still be an exercise in futility and come December, I may still be looking back over the year happy that I played so many great games but realizing that I didn’t get many plays in on my 10×10 picks. Thing is, I don’t get a lot of gaming in at home, and if I do…we focus on games that are better for two players. When I get together with our gaming group, I have to take into account that everyone has games they want to play and Jared, too, has his 10×10. So, it isn’t like my 10×10 is going to be the focus. So…this year my husband had input on the picks so there are games on here that he and I, in theory, will play together at home – lighter quick games that can be easily played.

Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars

DesignerJacob Fryxelius
PublisherFryxGames, Arclight, Ghenos Games, Intrafin Games, Korea Boardgames co., Ltd., etc.
Year Published2016
# of Players1-5
Playing Time120 minutes

Terraforming Mars was on my 2017 10×10. I absolutely love this game and I am going to attempt to get the ten plays in this year. I even totally blinged out my copy with metal cubes (except the gold ones, but I am on a hunt for those as well – I hear I can get them from BGG).   I have the organizer from Daedalus with the nice inserts to go with it from GameTrayz and the player boards GameTrayz from GameTrayz as well. I also have the Hellas & Elysium expansions. So, with all that bling – OF COURSE I’m going to try to get a lot more plays in on this gem!

Onitama

Onitama

DesignerShimpei Sato
Publisherconception, Arcane Wonders, Igiari, Maldito Games, minimalGames, etc.
Year Published2014
# of Players2-2
Playing Time20 minutes

Onitama isn’t my favorite game of all time and I’m TERRIBLE at it. It’s kind of like Samurai Chess. It’s a strategy game where you really need to be able to think at least a couple steps ahead of your opponent, just like you would in a game of chess. Seriously, I have never won a game of it. I am NOT good at these kinds of games. But, my husband really likes this one. It’s a nice two-player game and it is small, it travels well – it was one he specifically wanted to add to this year’s list. It shouldn’t be hard to get ten plays in. I guess this means I should go ahead and pick up the Sensei’s Path expansion.

7 Ronin

7 Ronin

DesignerMarek Mydel, Piotr Stankiewicz
PublisherBadger’s Nest, Grey Fox Games
Year Published2013
# of Players2-2
Playing Time30 minutes

It’s funny that I’ve got two Samurai theme games on my list this year, considering I’m not all that into Samurai or feudal Japan – at all. BUT, my husband is. He especially loves the Akira Kurosawa movie “7th Samurai,” which is the story upon which this game is based – basically a village of farmers hire 7 samurai to protect them from bandits that are invading the village (in the game the invaders are ninjas). In the game one player controls the 7 Ronin (samurai) and one player controls the army of invading ninjas. It is a secret unit deployment/area control/strategy game. I am also not great at it – but at least I have managed to eek out a win of this one.

Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

DesignerPaul Dennen
PublisherRenegade Game Studios, Dire Wolf Digital, Lavka Games, Lucrum Games, Raven Distribution, etc.
Year Published2016
# of Players1-4
Playing Time60 minutes

 

Clank! In! Space!

Clank! In! Space!

DesignerPaul Dennen
PublisherDire Wolf Digital, Renegade Game Studios
Year Published2017
# of Players2-4
Playing Time60 minutes

Ok, maybe it’s a slight cheat – but I am counting Clank! and Clank! In Space! as ONE pick! I had Clank! on my 10×10 last year and them Clank! In Space! came out and I wanted to play it, but I didn’t want to play and really like it and then not get plays in on Clank! for my 10×10. So it remained unplayed. So this year, I am “cheating the system,” because why not? It’s my 10×10 and it’s not like there are any real rules to this whole thing. It’s all about getting multiple plays in on games and having a good time, right? Right.

Mega Man Pixel Tactics: Mega Man Blue

Mega Man Pixel Tactics: Mega Man Blue

DesignerD. Brad Talton, Jr.
PublisherJasco Games, Level 99 Games
Year Published2017
# of Players2-2
Playing Time45 minutes

Here’s another maybe kinda sorta cheat, but not really?? I am counting any and all versions of Pixel Tactics as a 10×10 play. They’re all the same game, Mega Man is our favorite version, basically because my husband really likes Mega Man, but after playing the Mega Man version (our first ever version of Pixel Tactics at all) we decided we are going to purchase all Pixel Tactics. So, when we (my husband and I) play any versions of Pixel Tactics, I am counting those plays toward the ten plays for 2018. Again, it’s about playing your games and having fun, right?

 

Near and Far

Near and Far

DesignerRyan Laukat
PublisherRed Raven Games
Year Published2017
# of Players2-4
Playing Time120 minutes

I’ve mentioned before that Ryan Laukat and Red Raven games quickly became one of my favorite new designer/artist/publishers in 2017. Near and Far is what started it. While it wasn’t the first game of theirs I got to play, it WAS the first one I saw, which convinced me to buy Above and Below…and then subsequently their other games. And I have the Amber Mines expansion coming for Near and Far. Now, I had Above and Below on my 10×10 last year and only got three plays in, so maybe I won’t get all ten plays in…who knows…but however many plays I do manage to get in (hopefully all ten), I know they will all be enjoyable!

 

Dragoon

Dragoon

DesignerJake Given, Zach Given, Jonathan Ritter-Roderick
PublisherLay Waste Games
Year Published2016
# of Players2-4
Playing Time60 minutes

This little game is just a great game! It’s all about Dragons collecting and protecting their treasure. If you get the Gold edition, the metal pieces are made out of (or at least plated with) real gold, silver, copper and nickel! The box has nice foam inserts to protect your pieces, and it comes with a bag to carry your pieces for travel – which doubles as the scorekeeper, should you decide not to keep them in the box. The board is a made of a nice sturdy cloth as well! You can get a less expensive version where the pieces are made out of plastic – but seriously, if you’re going to play a game about dragons hoarding their treasure – you want metal gold, silver, bronze and nickel finished dragons! I love this game and I really think I can get ten plays.

Monopoly Gamer

Monopoly Gamer

Designer
PublisherHasbro
Year Published2017
# of Players2-4
Playing Time45 minutes

Yeah,  yeah – it’s basically Monopoly, with a twist. And I know some people (Jared) will give me a hard time for adding this to my 2018 10×10 picks- but I have a really valid reason. I refer back to my introduction in which I said I took a completely different approach to my picks this year, in hopes that this year’s 10×10 would not just be an exercise in futility. Well, I end up playing a lot of games with my nephews throughout the year. I received the Collector’s Edition of Monopoly Gamer for Christmas – and I actually enjoy it. Yes, at it’s very base – it is still Monopoly. You still go around the board and buy property. But there are no houses to build or hoard. Instead (and this is where the fun and the twist comes in) it has a Mario Kart feel to it. There are power-ups, star abilities and Boss Battles in the game which really adds a new layer to the game. I won’t play Monopoly – like EVER – but I will play this. It’s fun and just different enough from Monopoly to make it fun.

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