As we reach the end of 2018, I wanted to share some of my highs and lows in gaming this year. It has been a great year for me as far as gaming goes, and I am excited to see what 2019 will bring for my blog as I continue to work towards a consistent schedule and bringing new games and review to you. For those of you who have followed along this far, I just wanted to say thank you and I hope the New Year brings the best to each of you.
Highs of 2018
Best Gaming Experience: Rise of Fenris
By far, the game that I had the best experience with this year was Scythe’s expansion, Rise of Fenris. This may very well be my favorite expansion released for any game ever. However, that was not what made it my favorite experience. Instead, it was who I played it with and their reactions that made it stand out to me not only as a memory for this year but one I will cherish in the years to come.
I played Rise of Fenris with both of my parents and my husband. It was the first game in a long time that my dad actively looked forward to playing and asked about each time we came over. The sense of discovery that was inherent within the game and the well written story and objectives for each round kept everyone engaged. I was especially happy that it was not a legacy game, because my dad hates doing permanent change to a game (something we quickly found out with Charterstone).
This time spent with my family, engaged for many hours was some of my favorite time spent this year. I just wanted to thank Ryan Lopez DeVinaspre and Jamey Stegmaier for creating such an incredible experience. We will be finishing our campaign with a bang tonight as it seems fitting. Time to bring out the metal mechs and let the best faction win.
Best Convention of 2018: Gen Con
I had a blast this year at Gen Con, not because of the new games released or the absolute madhouse of an exhibition hall but because of the wonderful people I was able to meet this year. Interacting with the community has been one of the highlights of my year. This year at Gen Con I was able to meet so many of the people that I talk to on a daily basis and play games with them. It was definitely a winning situation on all sides.
Beyond that I was able to try out plenty of new games and meet with a variety of publishers and designers. It is always an interesting experience to have the opportunity to talk to the designers of games and see their passion for the games they have created. I will be attending Gen Con again next year, and I am hoping to see many of the same faces again and be able to connect with even more of the gaming community.
Best Part of Gaming: The Community
I got into gaming about five years ago because I wanted something to help get me social. The part of gaming I love the most is sitting down and connecting with other people over something I love and sharing that love. Normally I am somewhat introverted, and gaming really helps me come out of my shell and share with others.
The sole reason I have become so immersed in gaming and continue to expand even further is because of the incredible community built around gaming. This community has been a major encouragement for me, and is the reason that this blog exists and I still post so frequently on Instagram. It is an incredibly encouraging and diverse community that brings plenty of new perspectives and ideas to gaming which I appreciate immensely.
I consider the gamers I interact with both in person and online to be friends of mine, despite that some of the them I will likely never sit down at a table and play a game with. Thankfully we still have board game apps! It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have friends all over the world with a shared love for gaming.
Lows of 2018
Worst Gaming Experience of 2018: Gloomhaven
Like many others, I was very excited when I had the opportunity to try Gloomhaven for the first time. As both a role playing gamer and a board gamer, Gloomhaven seemed to offer the best of both worlds. Now I won’t go on to say that Gloomhaven is a bad game, because I truly do not think it is a bad game, but it was not a good fit for the people I was playing with.
It was made into the worst experience of 2018 for me because my group was not consistent and worked terribly together. We were supposed to meet every week, and continued to try to meet every week for six months….We actually met a total of five times, and only for about 2-3 hours each time as people were often late. This left little time for set up and game play.
This lack of consistency was made worse by the fact that our group couldn’t coordinate an effort to save our lives. In fact, we spend all the five times playing on the first mission. It was like trudging through the same failures for 15 hours of my life. Once again though, it was the fault of my players not the game itself.
Despite that fact, I have no interest in playing Gloomhaven again. If I am looking for an adventure, I will just stick with a D&D campaign.
Worst Disappointment in 2018: Changes in Adventurers League for D&D
I love D&D and my party was an active member in the organized play group, Adventurers League. I continue to be extremely disappointed with the rule changes that were implemented in the latest season. The lack of logic in game play behind the decisions that were made dealing with treasure, experience, and factions makes me frustrated even today.
Despite the fact that I highly dislike the rules, I still have played Adventurers League since that point, and while I enjoyed the actual game, trying to teach the new rules to others in a convention setting took up a lot of play time. Beyond that many of my beloved characters have been made obsolete from the change in factions and therefor the change in alignments.
My characters backgrounds were important to them, but their connection to their faction was as well. Being forced to choose between the two ensured that some of my characters were retired from AL and moved to home brew games.
The one good thing that has come out of this is that our group has enjoyed exploring the possibilities of home brew. We now play two different home brew campaigns a week. Despite my dislike of the rule changes, we will still continue to play AL at the various conventions we attend for the purpose of playing Adventures League.
Goals for 2019
Attending Gateway to the West
I have been wanting to add another convention to my yearly excursions, but I wanted this one to focus mainly on playing board games rather than purchasing them or playing D&D. It seems like Geekway to the West would be a good fit for me, as it is fairly close to where I live and it is generally over my birthday weekend! There would be no better way to spend my birthday than playing games with awesome people.
Grow The Meeple Street
This may not come as a surprise, but my main gaming goal for 2019 is to continue to grow my blog. The Meeple Street has only been around since April of this year. I am proud of the progress I have made this year, and I am looking forward to adding further ideas into the blog in the future.
I appreciate those who have helped me along the way to create better content. I wanted to leave off 2018 with a question to you…How should I continue to improve for 2019? What would you like to see added or changed about the blog?