As my waistline will testify, I have only ever completed my New Year’s resolution twice in my life. It just happens that those have been consecutive over the last two years. It was to play board games more. Thanks to the Board Game Stats App I can tell you that in 2021 I logged 866 plays, considerably more than the 595 plays in 2020. 2022 was a bumper year with 986 plays of 271 different games logged. Can I improve on those numbers in 2023? Time will tell.
Last year I set myself my first ever 10 x 10 challenge. That is a challenge to play ten games a total of ten times. An in-app purchase is required to set these up, but you could easily do it on a computer or on a piece of paper stuck to your fridge! I failed this particular challenge last year, completing only 75%. I must confess failing hasn’t bothered me. What I did identify was that the challenge helped pull games off the shelf that might’ve been otherwise ignored. So as well as a 10 x 10, I have also created a 25 x 5 challenge to ensure games already in my collection don’t get muscled out the way by the shiny and new.
I must confess at this point it all seems bonkers and I have to remind myself they are only arbitrary numbers! However, I am energised and raring to go in this fresh new year. I thought I would share what is on the list this year and some of my reasons why.
Also to be clear there are some links to buy the games. As I want to play them ten times in 2023 they are obviously games I enjoy, so don’t mind promoting them in that way, click on an image to buy them!
I know I’ve mentioned Akropolis a lot lately, both in ‘My Board Gaming Year in 2022’ and my ‘Top 10 New To Me Board Games in 2022’ features. Here it is again! As one of my most played games of last year it could be easy to neglect it in 2023 and I don’t want that to happen! So here it is first on the list of games for 2023’s challenge.
Doppelt So Clever.
This is the first game to crossover from last year’s challenge. As a result of it being on last year’s 10 x 10 I think it nudged ahead of Ganz Schon Clever in all but review rating. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but I like Ganz Schon for being accessible. Doppelt adds more without bloating or overcomplicating too much. The things it adds, like the bring back down a dice bonus, I miss when I play the original now. I still love Ganz Schon and would recommend it, especially as a starting point for the genre.
Ecosystem is another one of my highlights from 2022 that I don’t want to ignore in 2023. This lovely drafting game really does work so well for those new to the hobby and for experienced gamers alike. Playing up to six people and with the ability to work with younger players this hopefully will get to the table a lot anyway. I’m hoping this will be one of the easier ones to tick off the challenge this year.
Last year the biggest board game box I own turned up in the post. So ridiculously big it did not fit in a Kallax cube. I backed Everdell: The Complete Collection on Kickstarter. It was expensive, really expensive. So this sits on the 10 x 10 challenge to bring down its cost-per-play and also because my first few plays last year were really enjoyable and I want to see that tree sprouting from my table more! Bringing it to the table will also help my physique as lifting it ten times would feel like a workout!
It’s A Wonderful World.
It’s A Wonderful World makes a return in 2023. It was one of only four games on the list I successfully played ten times! It’s not on the list for an easy challenge though. It is on the list because I know if it wasn’t on last year’s list, we would’ve only played it a few times and it is a game I thoroughly enjoy! I really can’t wait to play this one more!
Next Station London.
My most played game of 2022 is indeed on the list for 2023. This will be easy to record ten plays of throughout the following year, but it is on the list so I do. In 2021 Ganz Schon Clever was by far my most played game with 43 plays. Last year it only hit the table five times. I did not want to see that happen to Next Station London so here it is as a reminder to get it to the table!
Planted is a game that arrived late last year. It was a Target exclusive and as such only available in America. It was cheap to buy over there but the postage was eye-watering. A bit like Everdell, I want to make sure that I get my money’s worth and bring the cost-per-play down. Also, it is a beautiful and fast game for up to five players so I will be delighted to play this ten times or more! My wife and I agree that this is one of the most relaxing games to play that we own.
The Quest for El Dorado.
I love this game and it sits in the hall of fame for a reason. It was also on my 10 x 10 last year and we ticked it off the list. In doing so, I discovered I’m actually quite good at it! The Quest for El Dorado is one of the rare games where I win more often. I’m not overly competitive but this is one of my wife’s favourite games so it makes the victories a little bit sweeter! Talking this glibly will no doubt see me fall from the podium in 2023!
A new entry on the 10 x 10 challenge this year. I bought Tenpenny Parks when it first came out and it was love at first sight. The artwork, theme and gameplay appealed. It has been a surprise hit that is only just starting to get picked up on. I heartily recommend it and it will be a joy to get this played so much more in 2023.
A firm favourite of mine and board game review hall-of-famer, Wingspan is the last entry in this ten by ten challenge. It returns from last year and I can’t wait to play this at least another ten times in 2023.
All these games have been featured on my Instagram as part of a little hashtag challenge #10days10x10challenge where other boardgamers are sharing their pledges, be sure to take a look and feel free to join in!