My most played games of 2012

Gaming isn't just about the new hotness, there are loads of great games out there and just because it’s new it doesn't make it any better. I've already looked at my favourite games of 2012 but to balance this I thought I'd look at what games I actually played in 2012. I've been logging my plays all year on Board Game Geek (yes, I am that sad) and with a bit of spread sheet jiggery pokery and estimations of play length I've come up with a definitive list of my most played games of the year. And because no-one wants to play crap games these must be the best games there are.

5 Neuroshima Hex

The game of tile laying, hex based warfare that is Neuroshima Hex was an instant hit for me. It’s like a careful blend of collectible card game and chess but if every player was using a different chess set. It’s a hard game to explain but when you play a game it all falls into place. As soon as I played it I needed to add it to my collection and every gamer I've introduced it too has done the same. The combat sequences can get a little confusing but there’s not another game like it. If you include all the times I've played Neuroshima Hex and the Puzzle game on my iPhone then this would probably be my most played game of the year.
Neuroshima Hex is a hard game to describe but really addictive.

4 Warmachine

Warmachine has caused something of a spark with me this year, it’s re-engaged my love of miniature games and has got me painting miniatures, creating scenery and poring over tactics. What makes Warmachine so good is how simple, tight and yet hugely tactical the game is. Everything is helped along by a unique theme of fighting steam powered robots, mix in some Hordes and you've giant beasties to hand as well. My other reason for playing and loving this game so much is that it scales so well; one warcaster and a couple of warjacks is enough for a game, and you never feel short changed, but if you fancy something more epic you can ramp up the warjacks and support troops. I've not ventured much further than the starter box (well 2 starter boxes combined, mine and a friend's) but there's plenty of fun to be had and it’s brought my painting along nicely.

The fun of gluing my fingers together returned with Warmachine.

3 Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride, or 'the train game' as it’s been nicknamed among my friends, is here for one reason only; this is my girlfriend’s favourite game. Ticket to Ride and has the advantage of being easy to teach and yet plenty of depth in strategy. It’s true my hardcore friends aren't too interested but when the non-gamers come over this is what we bring out. It’s because of the games simplicity, bright colours and tense ticket system that this game has become a hit.

I've played Ticket to Ride 15 times, I've still not won a game.

2 A Game of Thrones the Board Game 2nd edition

The inclusion of this game surprised me, I honestly thought I hadn't played a proper game of A Game of Thrones yet; it may be because every game I've played has involved teaching half the participants the game from new. It’s a bit frustrating trying to develop a strategy and forge alliances if everyone is asking "wait a minute, how do ports work again?" It’s one of the issues with the game in that there are a lot of rules to consider but when in full flow it’s a game of intrigue, backstabbing and hoping that your opponent is not using their best general. I'm still waiting for the 6 player game where everyone knows what’s going on.

A Game of Thrones nicely captures the backstabbing and general being a git of the books.

1 Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror is the game I have played the most during 2012. At first I thought this may be because of the play length, when an average game lasts over 3 hours it’s not surprising that this has taken most of my gaming time but if no-one liked it, or where put off by the playtime, then this game would have one or two plays but instead it’s come out almost once a month. It could be because I don't own any other co-ops, it could be because it becomes an event and so we're more likely to organise a gaming day around the game, or it could just be because it’s actually that good.

Have I mentioned I love Arkham Horror?
It’s interesting to note that none of my favourite games of 2012 made it onto this list. I think this is mainly due to most of my favourite games coming out in the second half of the year. I’m hoping to revisit this next year and see how things have changed.
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