Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Now that we are starting 2016, it is time to look back at 2015 and go over some of the highlights of the year.

Role Playing Games

I collect an obscene amount of rpgs and finding the time to play all of them can be a challenge.  Due to some life changes gaming time was sparser than usual in 2015.  However, I did try out some games in my collection.  Scarlet Heroes is a fantasy game by Kevin Crawford.  It is designed for a GM and one player.  It uses a modified OSR ruleset and it fully compatible with any OSR game.  I ran the quickstart with a friend.  I recommend this and should plan on running some more sessions for when our full group can't meet.

I also was able to play a cleric in a session of D&D 5th edition.  The session was fun and fast.  We ended up crashing an airship!  I also ran a session of FATE Accelerated in 2015.  I had been itching to try out FATE since backing the Kickstarter.  I like the system and hope to run a FATE sci-fi game this year. The other game I ran was a Star Wars Edge of the Empire game using the quickstart rules.  I reviewed that game in another post.

As to other rpgs, the game I played most in 2015 was Call of Cattulhu.  My daughter loves this game and asks to play it often.  For 2016 I hope to try out Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE system and finish writing a Call of Cthulhu scenario that I started working on.  Hopefully it will be ready by Halloween.

Board and Card Games

I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of board and card games that I played in 2015.  I tried out quite a few games that I have never played before.  Botswana, which is now sold as Wildlife Safari, is a Reiner Knizia game that I found in a used book store.  It is a card game that comes with little plastic animals as game pieces.  If you like light Knizia games I recommend this one.

I was able to try out my copy of the original base set of Dust Tactics, a miniature WWII/mecha/weird science battle game.  The game is expandable but has since undergone two revisions and moved to another company since I received my copy.  If I wanted to add on to my set I would have to invest some serious cash.  Luckily my base set contains enough for hours of mayhem.  The miniatures are awesome and the game has the right balance of tactical play and fast action.

Another game I was able to try out was Nexus Ops.  A friend pulled this out at a Game Day event during the summer.  This game was everything that I enjoy about board games; cool plastic pieces, rolling dice, and attacking people.  Other games of note that I played this year were Dino Hunt Dice, a family-friendly retheme of Zombie Dice, Love Letter: Batman, another retheme, Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion, Cartoon Network Fluxx, and Chaos of Cthulhu.  Right after the holidays I got to try X-Wing Miniatures and Coup (which has a great free iOS app) with my nephews.  These two games are going on my to buy list.

The first game that I played in the New Year was Dragonwood, a fun fantasy-themed card and dice game from Gamewright.  You play adventurer cards as you try to capture monsters.  This one was enjoyed by the whole family.

This year my daughter asked me to teach her to play poker.  Poker has been a family tradition for me. Whenever my grandparents would come to visit we would play poker for hours.  It was nice to pass the tradition on, and hopefully we will have more family poker nights.

Books and Comics

I read a lot of good books and comics, some of which I reviewed on this blog.  My favorite book that I read this year was Wolf in White Van.  Other good books that deserve a shout out are Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer and The Astounding Antagonists by Rafael Chandler.  If you plan on ever running a superhero rpg campaign where the players are villains then I highly recommend reading The Astounding Antagonists.

My favorite new comics series came to an end in 2015.  Gotham by Midnight was the supernatural series that Justice League Dark should have been.  Now that the series is over you can read the collected editions.  Space Riders was a great comics series that blended space opera with psychedelic art.  The print editions keep selling out but you can pick it up digitally.

Those were some highlights of 2015.  May 2016 bring you much gaming with good friends!