2015 was a great year in board gaming, both locally and globally. There were so many considerable games, the leading reviewers were having a hard time to cut down their list. Here’s my top 10 best:
10. Dice Tower Network Expanding
This year Zee Garcia and Sam Healey went full-time with Tom Vasel. This allowed Tom to create new shows and revive old favorites. Zee started Board Game Blender, a funny and quirky show about board games. Tom’s show Board Game Breakfast still delivers board game news and many other topics weekly and is growing in contributors. The coverage of review videos also grew significantly last year.
9. Reboot of the Dice Steeple Podcast
Dan King and Sam Healey now head the Dice Steeple podcast. It’s a show about Christianity and Board Gaming. They talk about various views and how they apply in gaming and life. My favorite episode was when they discussed about contentment and how that applies to our hobby.
8. Board Game Cafes Everywhere!
In the Philippines, board game themed establishments are booming like crazy! Who would have thought letting play for hours on end be a viable business model? However, these entrepreneurs have figured it out. In Metro Manila alone we have around 20+ establishments already! We have more in Baguio and Cebu. If you are a board game café and host regular events, send me your info, so I can post you in our address book of playgroup places.
7. Quotes & Verses wide release
Quotes & Verses (Q&V) is a game I designed under ScripturedYou, and was published by Ludus Distributors. It got its nationwide release, in the latter part of the year. It’s a delight to see while perusing a store for a book or games.
6. Board Gaming with my Dad
It is known that my family games, from my Lola and Mom, uncles and relatives. My dad however, prefers not to join, maybe he’s intimidated by his memories of how competitive scrabble can be in the family. During the holiday break though, I got my dad to play Roll-for-It and Splendor while we drink a bottle of good brandy. I’ve got to say, my dad can really roll dice.
5. Game of Thrones 2nd Edition
I went into board gaming, trying to satisfy my thirst for the discontinued World of Warcraft TCG. Its depth of play was unlike any other. I really feel I’ve found its successor. Theme dripping, deep tactics and overall straight-forward mechanics sate my hunger of Zangermarsh.
4. VariablePlay Podcast
While posting the last episode for the year of the VP podcast, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had to number it S01E20. That plus the pilot episode we produced more episodes than there were months in the year! We got reactions about topics we covered, show length, overall sound quality and people talking over people. For a bootstrap podcast the people this was good! People actually listened. We hope to improve that this coming year. We really appreciate your comments and would strive to become better this 2016.
3. Makati Board Game Club
What started as a simple game meets now became a staple haven for traveling gamers. Our group plays every Tuesday and whenever random folks are near the area, they pass by and play. We welcome everyone. My heart melted a bit when I saw that little chalkboard at Ludo Makati with our name on it. If you are near the area every Tuesday after work, please come and join us.
2. Ludus Gaming Expo Family Game Day
Not to be confused with the café, Ludus Distributors focuses on bringing in games in general, from tabletop to physical sports. When Pete and Sir Freddie approached me for helping out, I was amazed on how much support we got from the VP volunteers. Spending whole day teaching people how to play these new games was tiring and fulfilling. The glint in people’s eyes when they discover modern game design is just priceless.
1. Friends of VariablePlay
I am thankful to you our reader, listener and friend. Thank you for sharing our thoughts, voicing out your comments and helping us grow. We love this hobby and its just getting better. Happy New Year and let us all welcome 2016 by playing more games! Until next time, make your gaming count.