Monday, March 02, 2009

The list of shame

I have a shameful secret, hidden away inside the boxes of my games collection. Many of these games are brand new, unpunched, and have never been played (not even solo). It's my list of shame.

Empire of the Sun: fascinating subject, the nearest thing in history to a war fought in outer space. And the idea of a card-driven hex wargame sounds cool. It's just that I can't get through that rulebook.

The Burning Blue: again a very sexy subject, and a charismatic designer who actually interviewed Battle of Britain veterans for his research. But it's another massive, impenetrable rulebook - I just can't seem to muster the energy to read it.

Unhappy King Charles: another great subject, and beautiful graphic design. My excuse here is that it's a recent acquisition and I just haven't got around to it yet.

Successors: at least I've read the rules to this one. It looks very cool indeed, and I'm planning to punch the counters and get it on the table (hopefully with friends, not just solo) in March some time.

ASL Starter Kit #3: I've punched and played and hugely enjoyed the first two starter kits, but number 3 is sitting untouched in its box. Perhaps the tank rules frighten me.

In the Shadow of the Emperor: OK I have played this online, but have never got the bits out of the box and set it up in anger. This one is hard to sell to fellow gamers.

Reef Encounter: Again, I've played online but never on a table. Also hard to persuade people to try this one.

Verrater: Another gamer's game where the buzz faded years ago. Suggestions to play are met by blank looks.

Turning Point Stalingrad: This one really is shameful. A classic game, closely related to one of my favourites, Breakout Normandy, it's been on my shelf for years, and I've never even read the rules.

This Accursed Civil War: Another hefty rulebook, moreover a rulebook that has changed (and expanded) significantly since it was publised. I don't like moving targets - I get discouraged.

A House Divided: the counters punched themselves, the rules almost read themselves too, but I've never played it yet. My sure-fire ACW opponent Dave actually refused to play it!

Commands and Colors Ancients expansions 2 and 3: The first expansion is enough to keep me perfectly happy for years yet, let alone the extra scenarios that arrive with every issue of C3i.

Various Memoir 44 expansion packs: I think I've mastered the urge to buy any more of these until I actually play some of them.

Ambush: a kind gift from Marty, but alas, no time to sit down and really get to grips with it. And I kind of prefer soloing games that aren't solo games if you see what I mean - I like to feel I am preparing for a real flesh-and-blood opponent.

Attack Sub: I heard (on the Noise Before Defeat podcast) it's like Up Front. Another casualty of my wargame opponent drought.

So perhaps you can understand my New Year's resolution - play games, don't buy games. OK I'm unlikely to stick to that, but it's a good aspiration.


Anonymous said...

I can understand what your going through. I have the same problem. I wish more (read: any) of my friends were into gaming. Maybe I need to find new friends....

Anonymous said...

Empire of the Sun
Maybe devote an afternoon to playing this in real-time at The rules are enforced, which makes things far easier.

The Burning Blue
I fought my way through the rules for this, but realised at the end that it was far too big a game for me. Unless you devote yourself to it completely, you have no chance.

Unhappy King Charles
I'm enjoying this, but the rules are a pig.

I'd really like to play this when we next meet, but I doubt I can find other players.

In the Shadow of the Emperor
I played this over the web, but I was not impressed. Not intuitive enough for a €urogame.

Reef Encounter
I could not understand the rules to this at all.

Turning Point Stalingrad
Supposed to be a classic, but it's telling that only one play was logged at the Geek in February.

This Accursed Civil War
I played this a couple of years ago and it's too complicated for what it is.

A House Divided
I got this in a math trade recently. I'm quite keen to try it, but I think I may be able to persuade a borderline wargamer to try it with me.

This takes hours to play. I could not finish the first scenario in an evening. Solo games of this complexity are best handled by a computer.