Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Second annual List of Shame: The Unplayed Games of 2014

Last year about this time, inspired by Chris "GamerChris" Norwood, I posted my "secret shame" - a list of unplayed games sitting on my shelves.  When I did that, I thought surely, I am now motivated to work my way down this list and play all these games - or pass them along to someone else who will.  Surely, in the next year, say, I will have played nearly all my games and the list will be shorter.

Well, not so much.  In the last year, I've added ten games to my collection that I haven't played yet.  On the other hand, of last year's list, I have since played four and got rid of six.  So this year's "list of shame" adds ten games and deletes ten.  I really haven't made any ground at all.

The bad news:
Games I've acquired in the last year but haven't played:

  • Battue: Storm of the Horse Lords - well, actually, this isn't my game, but a gift to my sons who haven't played it yet
  • Dixit - bought used at WBC last summer because my family saw it on "TableTop," and they like Apples to Apples, so I thought for sure they'd want to play this one
  • Junta - another used acquisition at WBC, picked up because I'd heard about it on a podcast and thought it sounded like a good social game with my group - but the rules seem kind of convoluted after the first read-through
  • For Sale - got this recently at a local game club charity auction because I'd heard good things about it on a number of podcasts, but just haven't got it to the table yet
  • Settlers of Catan: The Card Game - another charity auction acquisition, but this is the German edition, which means I need to download the English rules before I can learn it
  • New England - bought at PrezCon auction this year, but because it isn't a two-player game, my only real opportunity is with my after-work group, and we already have many games to play as it is.  I really need to make a point to learn the rules, talk it up, and bring it in one of these Tuesdays.
  • Yspahan - another charity auction pick-up, based on a strong Dice Hate Me recommendation as a 2011 Discovery of the Year Runner-up, but apparently the two-player rules are a variant on the normal 3-4 player rules, which I haven't tried out yet
  • Pit - first came to my attention when I was surveying games that had been around before Monopoly, have also heard good things on podcasts, picked up used at WBC, somehow never got this out for a group or casual game
  • VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game - very recently got this from the Kickstarter campaign.  I'm sure I'll play it soon.
  • Angry Dice - came with VivaJava Dice - same story

The good news:
Games from last year's list that I have played
  • Sparta, a two-player abstract that Kathy isn't so crazy about
  • Sequence, which has become a semi-regular for our afternoon game sessions
  • Viva Java, a great larger-group game
  • Acquire, which we played at a dinner party with friends and which also made an appearance at the PrezCon tournament
Games on last year's list that I've since passed along to other gamers via the PrezCon auction
  • Stock Market Guru
  • Top Secret
  • Alexander's Generals
  • Battle of Nations: Encirclement at Leipzig
  • Operation Grenade
  • Rivets
The old news:
Games that were on the list last year and I still haven't played:
  • Sushi Roll, a gift that my youngest received for Christmas
  • 007 Scene It?
  • James Ernst's Totally Renamed Spy Game
  • Beans, a card game with beans - really, no idea where this came from
  • Tripoley, which might actually have been my wife's before we got married
  • Cowboys, picked up because my sons had expressed an interest in Western-themed gaming
  • Here Come the Rebels, the second game in Avalon Hill's Great Campaigns of the Civil War series
  • Tech Bubble, a Worthington Games push-your-luck title
  • Aces and Eights, that Western theme again
  • Universe, picked up from a friend when I got a science-fiction RPG itch, along with...
  • Metamorphosis Alpha and
  • Traveller
  • Axis and Allies: Pacific
  • Name 5 
  • Square Shooters, a dice game where the faces of the dice represent playing cards
  • Sorry Revenge Card Game
  • Frag - skirmish game that I bought for my teenager at a Congress of Gamers bring-and-buy
  • Zombie Dice
  • Spearhead, which I picked up when I was on a micro-armor kick
  • Horse Foot Guns, a Phil Barker gunpowder-era miniatures rules set  
  • 30-second Mysteries, which I assumed my wife the mystery writer would like, along with ...
  • 221B Baker Street
  • Successors, the Avalon Hill game on the Wars of the Diadochi
  • High Frontier, Phil Eklund's 2010 ridiculously realistic space exploration game
  • Origins of World War II, which I played avidly as a teenager, then traded to a friend for PanzerBlitz
  • Masterpiece, the Parker Brothers art auction game, which my family played frequently as I recall
  • Stock Market Game, published by Whitman, which I really liked playing in junior high school
  • Senet
Okay, so this year, I really have to make a point to play some of these and get rid of the rest.  Games are not meant to gather dust!


  1. Out of your new games, I definitely recommend Dixit...even though I haven't played it in probably over a year. I like it much better than Apples to Apples. Also, I think you may be a little hard on yourself by including VJ:The Dice Game and Angry Dice - they just game out, and Angry Dice is what...a 30 second "game"?

    Bring a few of those along to WBC...there's hardly enough games there to play....

  2. Yes, I could carry Angry Dice around in my pocket and play it any time, anywhere. And I'm sure we'll be standing around at WBC saying, "Hmm, what are we going to do with ourselves? Did anybody bring a game or something to do?"

  3. The 2p rules for Yspahan are great. I've played that game almost exclusively with two, and it's a lot of fun.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to have games sit after purchase. :-)

  4. Thanks, FarmerLenny. Maybe I'll go ahead and try it with two players right out of the box. I've heard so many good things about Yspahan that I'm eager to try it.

    By the way, since this post, my wife and I have played VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game, and we really like it. It's a nice compact format, short play time that will work well for our backyard cocktail hour games.