Thursday, 22 December 2016

Six by Six - A Challenge

On another blog I posted a comment wondering why all of the online challenges run for and by wargames bloggers seemed to relate to painting and modelling figures and terrain, rather than actually playing with the things. After all, we are all gamers (if you're not, you're going to find most of this blog pretty dull), so I assume we're playing games of some kind.

After I posted it I thought that perhaps some kind of play-based challenge was in order. I had a vague recollection that I'd seen one, and eventually found it HERE on Boardgame Geek. As described there it's quite involved, and was about refining your understanding of a few games throughout the year instead of playing lots of games only once or twice, but I thought that it would be a good place to start.

So, I am setting myself a blogging challenge for 2017, and am inviting you to join me. The Boardgame Geek challenge requires at least ten plays of each of ten different games. I decided to make my challenge less of a trial of endurance. I'm proposing Six by Six. Why? Ten plays of ten games is probably impractical for most people. I have a butterfly nature; I flit from game to game throughout the year, and certainly play more than ten different ones. But I think I'd be hard pressed to play ten of them at least ten times. I know people who play less frequently than I, or who can focus on fewer games, would find it an impossible challenge. Six games seemed a more practical number, and six plays of each seems quite feasible. It's two games of something every three weeks. Not impossible.

How does it work?

Well, anyone who chooses to take part commits to the following:

Choose six games for the year. It would be great if you chose them all at the start, but I know how mercurial I can be in my selections, so changing them as you go on would be quite legitimate. I probably will.

Post your choices to your blog.

Your challenge for the year is to play, and record in some way, at least six individual sessions of each of your chosen games. I say 'sessions' because you may choose to count multiple games of a small, short game (such as 'Love Letter') as a single session. Or not.

Any tabletop games count, be they miniature wargames (for preference), board-games, card-games or role-playing games. I shall probably select a mix of things. They can be games you are very familiar with, or you could use the challenge to try out games you want to learn more thoroughly.

At the end of the year you should have at least thirty-six game-plays recorded. If you have, then pat yourself on the back. That's the only reward, aside from the fact that you will now have greater experience of your chosen games.

Game reports can be as detailed as you like, ranging from the visual feasts I like to produce from time to time, to a simple one-liner saying 'Played Game X last night. I won.'

It would be good, and probably helpful, to record overall progress in some way; perhaps a cut-and-posted list of the games, with a running total of the number of games next to it. More ambitious people could have links to the recorded sessions.

I suspect that, in reality, I will be the only person doing this, and will post my list of chosen games at some stage over the Christmas break. But if you are interested, or want to spread the word, here are the 'rules' in a handy form you can copy to your own blog:

The Six by Six Challenge 2017

(i) Select a list of Six games. These can be miniature, card, board or role-playing games. You may change entries on the list during the year, but game-plays for games you drop should no longer count towards the challenge.

(ii) To start the challenge, post the link to your blog.

(iii) You commit to play each of  your six chosen games at least six times during the course of 2017.

(iv) When you play a game in your challenge list, record the play in your blog. This record can range from a one line acknowledgment to a full blow-by-blow report.

(v) If you've done it right, at the end of the year you should have at least thirty-six game sessions recorded.

If you do decide to take part (and there's no reason you can't dive in at any point during the year), then drop me a note in the comments, with a link to your blog, and I'll set up a post listing everyone so we can all follow your progress. 

Let's get out there and Play!


  1. I'm in! I'll get working on my list.

  2. Hmm, tempting. Off the top of my head: Blood Bowl, Saga, Mansions of Madness, Imperial Assault, Eldritch Horror, Sherlock Holmes. Lots of choices but can't guarantee the time! Let's see how the year pans out. More achievable than ten by ten, anyway.

    1. I thought that six games was fairly achievable for most people. Look forward to seeing how your year turns out.

  3. Count me in! Although I may fail as for the last 6 years I get in about 25-30 games a year. But at least it will be something to aspire to. I can "cheat" with one of them by making it my own ancient rules as I am planning to play them at least 6 times this year.

    My blog is at:

    shauns wargaming with miniatures

    I will post a list of my possible games after I have thought of them, hopefully before the new year!

    1. Hey, there's nothing that can be considered cheating. I'll be choosing HOTT as one of my games, and I know I'll play at least six games of that in a year. At the end of the day the challenge is about documenting game-play.

  4. Alrighty KK, sounds like a plan. Grats on inventing a thing!

    1. Thanks. Really just adapting someone else's thing, but there we go :)

  5. I'm in! Here's a link to my post: Games in the list: Blucher, Saga, Blood Bowl, Arena Rex, Strange Aeons, and Fistful of Lead.

    1. Good to have you in the challenge, and an interesting se;ection of games.

  6. What a great idea. Thanks for the challenge; I will accept it. I've got to think about the games I'm going to play, though. So many choices.

    You can find my blog here.

    1. I'm still considering my choices as well, even though I've left the option to change them as you go along :)

  7. I like this idea:

    For sures:
    1. Dungeons & Dragons (1974 edition and 1st edition AD&D)
    2. Ral Partha's Chaos Wars

    Depending on situation and need in my campaign world:
    3. HOTT
    4. Book of War (D&D Skirmish game)
    5. One Hour Wargames

    If I can find opponents who want to play against my Sumerian armies or Medieval Armies
    6. DBA


    If I can manage to assemble the figures out of what I have to make temporary basing for:
    6. Neil Thomas's Ancients/Medieval Wargaming

    My blog is here, I'll put up a post later next week about this:

    1. The first person to select an RPG I think. And I love the idea of linking in the big-battle rules as well. Look for ward to seeing your final selection.

  8. Nifty idea but I cannot imagine playing six different games a minimum of six times each. I can think of two games in which I could theoretically hit six playings each but where would I come up with the other four? That would be pushing it for me. Still something to consider.

  9. Now this is a conundrum! I had seen the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and had decided to blow the cobwebs off my paints and brushes and set my own modest target in a proxy challenge. And then I saw your 6x6 gaming challenge! Do I do this one or both (or neither!)?
    If I did I would go for:
    DBA - v3 rules have been staring at me for some time
    Memoir 44 - lots of scenarios and again it's pretty quick
    OHW - lots of choice
    Squad Leader - the original game quietly gathering dust in a cupboard needs to see the sun again
    AMW - more Neil Thomas

    I just need a sixth, which might be an experiment in solo role playing with CRGE, or I might go for a Song of Blades and Heroes.

    I'll see what New Year resolutions I make!

    1. You can add in games as you go, so don't sweat Number Six. I'm still pondering Five and Six, and may leave one slot open for something I take up on a whim during the year.

    2. Do you have a blog link please?

    3. Yes I am in! My blog (such as it is) is at I will post something about the challenge in the next day or so

  10. I'm in!

  11. OK, I'm in


  13. I'm in. I'm going to have a go at the full BGG hardcore 10x10 version


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