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Biggest biggest surprises, good and bad, of 2020


So, this is the week of Christmas. I find it difficult to believe that the end of the year is nigh. At this time of year I like to reflect back on the previous year and think about various things in connection that happened in the previous year. One thing I like to think about are my biggest surprises, good and bad, of the previous year. So, I would like to ask y'all, what was your biggest surprise, good and bad, of 2020? I am thinking especially in terms of individual games, but you can also mention other things if you so wish. 

I think for me, the biggest disappointment has probably been the fact that there were a few small hiccups, such as a global pandemic, rendering impossible several trips I had planned to the states. These trips being times that I get to play multiplayer games the most, that was a disappointment. However, if I think of specific games that were a disappointment, I think I would say #Root has been my "biggest disappointment." Now, before and and some of the rest of you burn me as a heretic, let me explain myself. It is honestly a stretch for me to call Root a disappointing game. I just had it built up to such a pitch, that I honestly expected it to be my number 1 game of all time. It still came in at my number 9, it is in my top 10. I still think it is a good game. And, it is still pretty new to me. I can easily see this rising as I play it more and become increasingly familiar with it. This I would charactirize, not as a failing of the game, but my expectations being higher than they should have been.

The game that has been my biggest good surprises for me this year is an easy pick. This is #1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties. So, I won this back in a BGA GAW back when they let you pick any game up to $60 for their GAW winners. I picked this as a huge gamble. When I picked it it was because I wanted to explore the space a little bit. I honestly remember thinking to myself that if it would be a 6/10 for me, I would be happy. Well, it came, I played it, and I was blown away. I have only gotten to play it 3 times so far. But, each time I have become more fascinated. The quality of the puzzly play for solo is just amazing. Instead of it scoring a 6/10 it scores a easy 10/10. In fact, when I tabulated my top 10 list, it came in at number 2. Now, I will say, that by the time it came, I had watched a few videos, and had decided I would probably like it better than a 6/10, but I never expected it to get better than a 7-8.

Anyways, drop your surprises, good and bad, in the comments.

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24 days ago

Some of my 2020 surprises:

An amazing experience with our foreign exchange student-better than we had imagined.

#Disney: The Haunted Mansion - Call of the Spirits Game is far better than I had expected.

I'm loving #Paladins of the West Kingdom more than I thought I would.  I think it's an incredible game.

Game Nerdz has been out of stock on Scythe and Everdell, and most of the other games I'm interested in at the moment, ever since I won a $200 gift card here at BGA back in mid-November. I'm still waiting to spend most of it!  

Supporter26 days ago

By the way and I didn't get a notification that I was tagged in this post.  Is that also one of the new less notification features?  If so is there a way to make sure I do get notified if I'm tagged?

Owner26 days ago

Strange. Notifications should always happen for mentions and if you get replies directly from a comment.

Supporter26 days ago

Supporter26 days ago

I am going into hiding....LOL

26 days ago

Biggest disappointment is just not being able to play many games with people (and perhaps losing a little faith in humanity, at least where I live). It's been a really tough year to even schedule virtual games with my friends for various reasons, so basically the only game I've played is #Scythe Digital Edition, which I suppose would qualify for...

My biggest surprise, which would again be the only game I played! I picked up the Digital Edition and was impressed by the amount of information it collects for you during play. I only played #Scythe once before, physically, and was totally lost when the game ended (I think I had zero stars lol). The Digital Edition has a pretty good tutorial and I had a group of friends that had the game who were also relatively new to it. I thought I wouldn't like this game at first, because I tend to play on intuition rather than planning out many moves in advance and calculating point values of different actions. Scythe definitely pushed me in ways I didn't know my brain was willing to go, because playing ranked games online is brutal if you aren't both well-prepared and ruthlessly opportunistic. 

Supporter26 days ago

I am so happy that the digital gaming came through for  you. I very much hear you though on the whole "losing faith in humanity." I don't think that is confined to people from a single area.

Supporter28 days ago

Biggest disappointment:#Spirit Island. Was supposed to be the Game. Turns out it was just a game.

Biggest surprise:#Circadians: First Light. Didn't think too much of the game when I first saw it but after going out on a limb and purchasing it I was blown away by the quality, depth, and play time. Very very excellent.

28 days ago

  • Biggest disappointment (Life Edition) - Not going to Scotland for my 15 year anniversary.  Maybe next year
  • Biggest disappointment (Game Edition)
    • Not getting more of my 20x5 games played.  I'm sitting at 43 out of the 100 plays I wanted
    • #Bob Ross the Art of Chill - I was really disappointed by this game.  I wasn't expected great but average would have been good enough.
  • Biggest surprise - Gaming Related: How much better virtual gaming on Board Game Arena and Tucata.  Not as nice as in person, but significantly better than no gaming and significantly better than I thought it would be.
  • Games of 2020 (no particular order) that I've played - Yes I know some of these came out in 2019 but new to me this year
  • Anticipation for 2021

Supporter28 days ago

I've been intrigued by#Dice Settlers. Doesn't seem too expensive. Does it have a solo mode?

27 days ago

So according to the box it does.  I've only played with 3 players, which according to BGG is the best count to play at.  I enjoyed both of my plays of it.  We screwed up a rule the first play, fixed it for the second play and got a pretty competitive game both times.  Teach took a couple of minutes but afterwards its really simple and straightforward dice drafting/dice pulling game with a couple of fun mechanics on exploration.  If a friend didn't have it, I'd consider picking it up for myself. 

Supporter27 days ago

Cool! I wonder if the solo mode is worth anything. Do you think it compares at all to#Tiny Towns? Obviously not mechanically but perhaps from a similar feel?

26 days ago

I don't think so.  Tiny Towns is a little lighter of a game with an easier teach.  There is more player interaction with Tiny Towns since every turn causes everyone to place the colored block.  While there is interaction within Dice Settlers there are turns where everything you do is limited to your player board.  You have more control over what happens and what strategy you want to focus on in DS vs TT.  DS is probably 10 - 15 min longer than TT as far as game length, both of our 3 player games lasted roughly 45 - 60 min.  I feel like a 3 player game of TT is more in the 30 - 45 min range.

The games are different enough that you can easily own both and find reasons to play both.

Supporter26 days ago

Ok, great thanks. Have you played either solo?

Supporter28 days ago

Yep, for those of us who like to travel, this year was rotten. 

I did pretty poorly with my 10x10 challenge. So that makes me sad.

27 days ago

This was my first attempt at a 10x10 or in my case 20x5.  My biggest problem was that I only own 2 of the games on my list.  The rest are all owned by someone in my gaming circle and I was hoping to encourage/borrow the games to get my plays in.  I was looking pretty good until March.  I had played about 20 of the games on my list by early March and then things fell apart.  It helped I was able to get a bunch of solo plays in for a couple of the games.  Trying to deciede if I want to do it again next year. 

Supporter28 days ago

I know I would be terrible at that 10x10 thing. So I've never even bothered. 

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1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
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