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!