Having written a short article over at Hit Somebody which assesses my progress on my hobby resolutions for 2017 (spoilers, they ain’t goin’ great), I’m keen to consider how we think about a good or bad year in our hobby.
Years ago, when I first started collecting board games, a good year might have been measured in acquisitions. How many cool, new titles have I added to my collection. How full are my shelves? What’s next on the horizon?
Now, that’s not a metric I’d use. My collection is at a stage where it’s already probably too large and a game needs to be pretty special to find its way onto my shelf. Or be made by GMT. I’m a sucker for their stuff.
Maybe you measure a good year by the number of games you get to play, either by counting the number of overall plays or by the variety of games that you cover. Many people use the 10×10 method to foster this, pledging to play ten different games ten times each. This ensures both breadth in the types of games played and depth, in that you are exploring each game with ten playthroughs. It’s something I might try myself next year.
If you’re an RPG player, you might measure it in terms of the progress or experience of your group. You might have advanced a long campaign, or maybe you played several smaller ones. Both are valid. I’ve never been in a long, long campaign, but I love middle length ones that might last weeks or months, and I adore one-shot gaming as well.
Perhaps you’re into miniatures and your year will be measured in the quantity of lead, plastic and resin that you apply paint to. This is an area that’s been important to me this year, certainly.
In reality, for most people, the answer will land somewhere in the middle of all of the above, bringing in other metrics and gut feelings about what’s gone well and what has not. What about you? What would you aim to accomplish in a “good” year of tabletop gaming?