Dale Yu: Recap of the 2011 Cincygamers game nights

Well, since the fall of 2010, I’ve been blessed to have a regular weekly game group again.  For a long time, most of my gaming occurred at the various conventions and invitationals on the gaming calendar.  However, our local group managed to come back together, and once we set our sights on a regular weekly session, everyone made it part of their regular routine.  We still had a number of weeks where we didn’t meet, usually due to conventions (Gathering of Friends, Essen, etc), holidays and summer vacations… But we still managed to 41 sessions during the year (with at least 3 gamers) – which isn’t a bad turnout at all!

Schedule – We try to meet once a week, usually on Wednesdays, but it seems like every week we end up having an email conference trying to figure out which day is best.  I’d estimate that 80% of the time, we ended up meeting on Wednesdays, but Tuesdays and Thursdays were not out of the question.  Most weeks, gaming starts up about 6:00pm or 6:30pm and goes until people get tired.  Since we meet on a workday, usually the group breaks up between 11pm and 1am, though more often on the early side than the late.  In the end, I’d say we average 5 to 6 hours of gaming and chatting each week.  (There were also two special weekend events held in the fall this year where we got together to play some of the post-Essen games.  I’ll talk about those two weekends after the recap of the regular group…)

Our group is intentionally small – we only have 4 guys in the group… (and 3 of us are contributors here on the Opinionated Gamers: myself, Lucas Hedgren and John Palagyi).  By keeping the numbers small, it pretty much ensures that we can get any game onto the table that we want, and we eliminate the “wasted” time that you always see in bigger groups because you’re waiting for the other table to finish so that people can re-distribute for the next round of games.  The downside of the small group is that real life schedule conflicts come up a lot, and we’re often not with a full roster.  Now, that’s not to say that we don’t include others though… If we know that someone is going to be out, we usually try to invite someone to round out the group… and of course, we’re happy to host visitors – fellow Opinionated Gamers such as Brian Yu, Rick Thornquist and Valerie Putman have stopped in throughout the course of the year.  We’ve also played a few times with Superfly Pete who brings an entirely new level of enthusiasm to gaming!

Like most gaming groups (or at least I think like most gaming groups), we do not have a regular meeting place.  We simply rotate hosting duties amongst the gamers.  By only hosting about every 3 weeks, none of our spouses seem to think that it’s too much of a burden!    And since we are limited to one table (well 1.5 tables if we’re playing Ora et Labora or Eclipse), it’s not a problem finding enough space to play.

An average night for us is usually two to four games with a mix between new and old (well, except after Essen when it’s only new…)  Some recent game nights included:

  • November 15, 2011: Cite, Master Merchant, Vanuatu, Meltdown 2020
  • October 5, 2011: Vintage, Antigua, Malta!, Rowboat, Tikal 2
  • August 31, 2011: Shitenno, Adlungland, Seven, The Enigma of Leonardo, Ninja
  • June 22,2011: London, Flashpoint, Troyes, Last Call, Nur die ziege zahlt, Ziegen kriegen
  • March 30, 2011: Rivals for Catan, Attika, Pastiche, Hansa Teutonica (w/expansion), Trollhalla

So what do we play?  Just about anything.  We have a pretty informal agenda – usually as we’re emailing each other about which day works best for us, people also pipe up with which games they’re interested in trying.  I’ll admit that I’m often suggesting some new game to play, as I have been receiving more games to take a look at as a result of this blog you’re reading now… I’m blessed to have a group full of gamers who also love playing new games, so I’d say that most weeks we get at least one “new-to-us” game to the table.  But, we’ve also been playing games for years, and there are plenty of times when someone just wants to get an old classic to the table to remember why we loved the game in the first place!

The Cincygamers are also avid rules readers which helps us get through a lot of the new games.  It helps a lot when everyone is already familiar with the basic mechanics or ideas behind a game.  It also makes it a lot easier to teach the game to that semi-educated audience.  Luke usually takes the lead here, as he has honestly never met a ruleset that he hasn’t wanted to read!  There is most definitely a skill in learning games from the rules, and I’m always amazed at how well Luke can teach a game he’s never played before simply from his rules reading.

This year, we played just over 200 games total at the weekly sessions.  Here are the titles that we got to the table in alphabetical order…

  1. 11 nimmt!
  2. 20th century x 2
  3. 23
  4. 51st state
  5. 7 Wonders
  6. 911 to the Rescue x 3
  7. A Few Acres of Snow
  8. Adlungland
  9. Age of Industry
  10. Airlines Europe
  11. American Rails
  12. Ankh Morpork
  13. Antigua
  14. AoS Outer Space
  15. Aquedukt
  16. Assyria
  17. Attika x 2
  18. Avanti x 4
  19. Basketball GM x 2
  20. Battleship Galaxies
  21. Belfort x 2
  22. Biblios
  23. Big Points
  24. Botswana
  25. Bottle Imp
  26. Burger Baumeister & co
  27. Burgund x 6
  28. Campos x 2
  29. Caravelas
  30. Carc Dice Game x 3
  31. Cargo Noir x 4
  32. Cite
  33. Colorado Midland
  34. Combit
  35. Die Spiecherstadt x 2
  36. Dominion x 5 (various expansions and prototypes)
  37. Dungeon Petz
  38. Eclipse
  39. Edison and co
  40. Eminent Domain x 3
  41. Evolution
  42. Famiglia
  43. Familienbande
  44. Fealty x 3
  45. Firenze x 2
  46. Fistful of Penguins x 4
  47. Fits
  48. Fjords x 3
  49. Fliegende teppisch
  50. Florenza
  51. Furstenfeld
  52. Goal!
  53. Gosu
  54. Grand Cru
  55. Great Fire of London
  56. Hansa teut w exp board x 2
  57. Heartland
  58. I Betcha
  59. Ikebana
  60. Inca Empire
  61. Irondale
  62. Jambo
  63. Kaigan
  64. Karnaxis
  65. Keltis das orakel
  66. Key Market
  67. King’s Breakfast
  68. Kings of air and steam x 2
  69. Last call
  70. Leprechaun’s Castle
  71. Level X
  72. Loch Ness
  73. London
  74. Luna
  75. Magnum Sal
  76. Malta!
  77. Master Merchant
  78. Meeptropolis
  79. Meltdown 2020
  80. Merkator x 3
  81. Mines of Zavandor
  82. Monsta
  83. Nefarious x 3
  84. Neighborhood Planner (prototype) x 5
  85. New Era x 2
  86. Nightfall
  87. Ninja
  88. Norenberc x 2
  89. Nur die ziege zahlt
  90. Olympos
  91. On the cards x 3
  92. Ora et Labora
  93. Pantheon x 2
  94. Pastiche
  95. Patrizier (Patrician)
  96. Pergamon
  97. PG: Factory Manager
  98. Pillars of the Earth card game
  99. Potion Making Practice x 2
  100. Puzzle Strike x 4
  101. Quarriors x 3
  102. Risk Legacy x 5
  103. Rivals for catan
  104. Rowboat*
  105. RRR x 6
  106. Samurai the cardgame
  107. Santiago
  108. Secret of Monte cristo x 2
  109. Settlers of America
  110. Seven
  111. Shitenno x 3
  112. Splits x 3
  113. Star Trek Expeditions
  114. StichMeister x 2
  115. Strasbourg
  116. Summoner Wars x 5
  117. Sword & Skull x 2
  118. The Enigma of Leonardo
  119. The Golden City
  120. The Swarm
  121. Thebes
  122. Tikal 2
  123. Timeline
  124. Top & Down
  125. Toscana
  126. Tournay
  127. Traffic x 2
  128. Triumvirate x 2
  129. Trollhalla
  130. Troyes x 3
  131. Tuareg
  132. Uluru
  133. Upon a Salty Ocean
  134. Vanuatu
  135. Vasco de Gama
  136. Vintage
  137. Wampum
  138. Web of Power
  139. Wiraqocha
  140. World Without End x 2
  141. Yomi x 4
  142. Ziegen Kriegen
  143. *Unnamed prototypes x 5

So, as you can see, we play more newer games than not, and frankly, we don’t repeat a lot of games.  If there is a downside to being in the Cult of the New, and receiving a lot of new games in the mail, it’s that many games only get played one or two times.  However, the list above only includes games from the weekly meeting and there are plenty of other gaming events where we all get to play our favorites a bit more…

And speaking of that… This year, after Essen, our group organized two weekend long events where we got a chance to play a lot of the new games, as well as playing games with a few more folks than we normally see at the weekly group.

In early November, we had the first (hopefully annual) Basement-con.  I hosted 8 or 9 gamers over the course of a long weekend (Weds to Sunday) and we tried to play as many new Essen games as we could!  We played 46 games total, and not many repeats…

Post Essen Weekend list

  1. Ab in die Tonne
  2. Carre x 2
  3. City Tycoon
  4. Coney Island
  5. Dr Shark
  6. Dungeon Fighter x 2
  7. Eclipse
  8. Feudalherren
  9. Forgotten Planet
  10. Fortuna
  11. Fruit Ninja TCG x 2
  12. Galaxia
  13. Gnomes of Zavandor
  14. Hawaii x 3
  15. Helvetia
  16. Marble Monster
  17. Master Merchant
  18. Meltdown 2020
  19. MIL (1049)
  20. Old Men of the Forest
  21. Paperclip Railways
  22. PAX
  23. Pergamemnon
  24. Poseidon’s Kingdom
  25. Rallyman: Dirt
  26. Recycle
  27. Rolling Bones
  28. Singapore
  29. Talat
  30. Terra Evolution
  31. Timeline: Inventions x 3
  32. Tournay
  33. Trajan x 2
  34. Tschaak
  35. Vanuatu
  36. Walnut Grove x 3

This was followed up with the traditional weekend gaming on the Friday/Saturday/Sunday of Thanksgiving.  Attendance on this weekend is always variable because everyone has different plans with their families, but we almost always manage to get in a good session of gaming…  I was also happy to host fellow Opinionated Gamer James Miller for a weekend of fun…

  1. Ab in die Tonne
  2. Belfort
  3. BonBons
  4. Carre
  5. Coney Island x 2
  6. Hawaii
  7. Last Will
  8. Metropolitan (prototype) x 3
  9. Rapa Nui
  10. Rumble in the House
  11. Sidi Baba
  12. Space Bastards
  13. Splits
  14. The City
  15. Timeline
  16. Vanuatu
  17. Walnut Grove

So, that’s the year that was. We played over 250 games in the group, and 2012 looks like it’s going to shape up to be as good of a year as 2011!  If you’re ever going to be in the Queen City (Cincinnati, OH), let us know and we’ll see if we’re gaming when you’re nearby!

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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2 Responses to Dale Yu: Recap of the 2011 Cincygamers game nights

  1. Trent Hamm says:

    How do you handle inviting “guests to round out the group”? This has always been a difficult spot for us. We’ve considered inviting more people to our weekly game group on occasion to fill extra spots, but what if they really enjoy it and ask about becoming a regular? Do you just simply say “you’re not invited, so no”? It seems to go against the social nature of gaming.

  2. Dale Yu says:

    Trent – i’m usually pretty open about how our group works when we ask people to come as a guest. We have plenty of other times when we game on the weekend or when we have longer gaming events that are open to more than the four of us. It hasn’t been an issue yet — and I think being up front about the organization of this particular Wednesday night group helps.

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