I’ve decided to take the 10×10 challenge on Boardgamegeek this year. The challenge is a committed effort to not just play more games, but to focus on playing a few games more often, ten games played at least ten times each.
As a counterpoint to the Cult of the New, this challenge encourages people to play each game several times to explore and experience them in depth. There is no rush to find the optimum strategy on your first play, or read all of the cards beforehand. Instead, each play reveals something more and something different, you get to try various strategies, and everyone’s strategies evolve with their understanding and learning of the game. If you are tired of constantly learning new rules when running after the latest hotness, never really learning various strategies to any game, and needing to relearn the rules of old games because it’s been too long since they were played, this is the challenge for you.
For the record, I am no longer part of the Cult of the New, or even the Cult of the GNU, which is actually fairly harmless as far as cults go, unless you make a living creating proprietary software, I suppose.
There are two versions of the 10×10 challenge, the normal and the hardcore. In the normal version, you choose ten games, but you can change your mind throughout the year, as long as by the end of the year, you’ve played ten games ten times each. In the hardcore version, you have to commit to ten games and stick with them. I don’t think I’m ready for that. I think it’s going to be hard enough as it is for me to get through the normal challenge. I think the hardcore challenge also requires that you game without pants; although, I am not 100% positive of that.
Here’s my list of games. I tried to choose a variety of game mechanisms with opportunities for online play.
- Basari – I’m listing these alphabetically, so right from the start I have an older game with no opportunity for online practice; nevertheless, I included this one because I totally suck at games like this. I’m really bad at determining bidding values in games like this or Medici. In terms of getting in ten plays during the year, this may be the most problematic game on the list.
- Fate Accelerated – The challenge rules allow for RPGs, and I would like to become really fluent in this system. It’s well suited to those times I want to GM a 2-3 session scenario.
- Forbidden Desert – I’ve yet to win this damn thing. Maybe I’ve just been playing it wrong. If I can’t win this stupid game after another ten attempts, then it will be going to the thrift store in 2016.
- Glen More – This is a good example of a game I really like but don’t play because I don’t want to relearn the rules. Available for online play at Yucata.
- Hearts – I hope this one works out. I wanted a classic card game for four players, and this gets the Amy seal of approval.
- Industrial Waste – This is another old favorite that I feel needs some repeated play. Available for online play at Yucata.
- Jäger und Sammler – I’ve played this once, and I enjoyed it, but my copy is still in the shrink. There’s no opportunity for online play, but it plays well with two and it’s something I think my wife would enjoy.
- Jaipur – I wanted a good two player game, and this fits the bill. Adding this one to the list almost feels like cheating, because it will be easy to get in ten plays. Available for online play at Yucata and Boardgame Arena.
- Port Royal – I wanted to include one game that I’ve never tried. I’ve heard great things about this one and I just got a copy thanks to my buddy Mark. It’s also a pirate game, so why not? Available for online play at Yucata.
- Sobek – I love this game, but I don’t play it enough. I want to become familiar enough with it to teach it without prep. Available for online play at Yucata and Boardgame Arena.
I’ve created my geeklist if you want to track my progress. My list may change throughout the year. I have that option because I will be wearing pants.