Reflections of 2013

by Nate T on January 20, 2014

As we have done in previous years (like here or here), WoodForSheep looks back on the year that was 2013. Our usual disclaimer, the opinions shared by Steve may be slightly exaggerated than intended (but just slightly).

[WoodForSheep]: What was your surprise favourite game that you learned in 2013?

 

[Steve]: Maybe its a case of a little too much The Resistance, but Mascarade was a welcome addition to play with large groups. This is an interesting deduction game that keeps everyone attentive and involved until the end.

[Nate]: A lot of interesting surprises this year, from Parade, Mascarade, even Star Trek Attack Wing and Q... wait, I'll talk about that later. For now, will go with Warmachine High Command. A different take on deck building mechanic since resources go into acquiring units for combat and conquest, with a rich, thematic backdrop of the Warmachine and the rest of the Iron Kingdoms.

 

[WoodForSheep]: What's a game everyone wanted in 2013?

 

[Nate]: Already a popular game, the revised version of Pandemic seems to have re-invigorated the title. There was a lot of interest in this cooperative game, not even counting the released expansions (both old and new).

[Steve]: Its always a surprise what combination of theme and mechanics appeal to a wide audience. Who knew big monster archetypes and dice rolling would be ingredients for a fun game (as is the case for King of Tokyo). For this year, its a heavy strategy game (with a playing time of at least 3 hours) about fantasy creatures and landscaping - Terra Mystica.

 

[WoodForSheep]: How about a good game you learned in 2013 that everyone should play?

[Nate]: As part of celebrating International Tabletop Day 2013, Mercury Games joined in and was kind enough to give a preview of Quarantine. It does have a medical theme, but it's not a cooperative game (not that there's anything wrong with cooperative games). What the game has are interesting choices - which always pique my interest. Some games present you with X choices, but filtering that down to what makes sense, may really be 2, or worse, 1 choice. Games in the other extreme have a billion choices, but no sense of flow, where none those billon make any sense. Quarantine strikes a good balance of varied options and practical choices.

[Steve]: Yes, its a deck building game. Yes, it deals with trains. Yes, both are themes and mechanics that have been explored through different incarnations in separate games, but never together, until now (or I haven't seen it until now). Trains brings in a unique addition to the deck building genre and train-themed games. Nothing entirely ground-breaking, but the game is always and enjoyable experience.

[WoodForSheep]: A goal or vision to accomplish in 2014?

[Nate]: Still need to work on last year's goal... which leaves much room for improvement. Though with all the events and conventions that we've been involved with (and will be involved with), makes one wonder if Markham should have it own gaming convention soon.

[Steve]: Or perhaps it may be time for WoodForSheep to be more... physical (cue music... "Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get...").

[WoodForSheep]: Something interesting you've learned about gamers since being involved with WoodForSheep?

[Steve]: Gamers are EXTREMELY competitive, even female ones. The ladies that say they're in it "only for fun"... WATCH OUT! They'll manage to deprive you of all your necessary resources, leading to a crushing defeat (yet, strangely, I'm content with that, don't mind it at all).

[Nate]: There's not a lot of areas in life that level a playing field like a game can. Those with athletic ability will do better at sports than those who don't. Sure, word-smart people will still do better in Scrabble and world-smart people will do better in trivia games. But, in a well designed game where a 4 year old can claim (legitimate) victory over those 4 times their age, its quite fun to see.

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