2018 came in like a beautiful golden lion, bringing hope and excitement, but left like a smelly dead fish someone left in the kitchen garbage overnight. I will try and focus just on the highlights
Games of Note for 2018
Scum and Villainy
I’ve been wanting to play in a science fiction role playing game for years and Scum and Villainy has proven to be a winner. Produced by Evil Hat and created by Stras Acimovic and John LeBoeuf-Little, Scum and Villainy is based on the Blades in the Dark system. Players can be a crew of smugglers or bounty hunters just trying to make some credits or rebels fighting against an oppressive galactic government.
Playing Scum and Villainy this year has been one of the best role playing experiences ever for me. I’m lucky to be playing with a great group of friends that really get the genre. Our game master is flexible and skilled at dealing with our zany solutions to the challenges he creates. We recently overloaded the pump on a chocolate fountain in a posh casino to cause a distraction. The system rewards creative thinking and is very story driven, but has just enough crunchy bits to scratch that old-school RPG itch.
I remember when my buddy Joe told me that Richard Garfield was designing a card game where each deck was unique. That just didn’t seem possible. How is Fantasy Flight going to make money on a card game that doesn’t allow you to customize a deck? I should have known better than to doubt the power of the Garfield.
Keyforge is a duel where two players race to gather energy to forge three keys. Each deck has a unique combination of cards from three different factions or houses. There’s a buttload of videos on how to play out there so I’m not going to bother. It’s not a difficult game to learn.
I love this game. I actually participated in a tournament at my friendly local game store, The Crazy Squirrel. I really like the idea that you don’t need to focus on building a better deck, but rather getting better at playing your particular deck. You seriously can just buy a single $10 deck and start playing. Go do that now if you haven’t already done so.
Goals for 2019
I go back and forth about continuing this blog. I’m not an industry insider. I don’t want to be a critic or be a game reviewer. You can’t throw an owlbear without hitting someone doing a game review or a how to play video. That’s great for them. It’s just not what I’m about. I just like to write and this is one way that allows me to do that in a way that someone might read it. My goal for 2019 is to post something every month. It may be about games or gaming, or it may just be something I’m thinking about. This is usually games or gaming, but I do think about other stuff.
I have way too many games. I would like to cut my collection in half. I must have over 400 games right now. I’ve got another eight years or so before I retire and I want to be able to downsize to a much smaller home when I do. I want to go through everything I have and start 2019 with a record of how many games I sell and how many I buy. I want to start 2020 with less than 300 games in my collection. That would be a good start at least.
I had a wonderful vacation in early 2018. We went to Europe for a couple of weeks and it was really fantastic. The game stores in Germany are a dream. My German is getting better. I would like a penpal if I have any German readers out there. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is now my favorite place in the world and I can’t wait to go back. I also love cruises and I would love to do that again soon. Both my wife and I tend to get wrapped up in work and we need to take more time to get away.
I want to wish everyone a happy new year. It’s been a rough year for a lot of folks, so hug your friends and loved ones. Be kind. Play games.