Let’s Look Back At 2013 – What was ATGN playing?

Well 2014 is well under way but that won’t stop me from delving into the dark depths of the ATGN memories to bring you the games we played in 2013. Join me as I whip around the ATGN crew and see what they played in 2013. I’ll start…

Dylan (That’s me :P) – Brisbane, QLD
Contributor/Video Editor

Game: Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures

This game is way too much fun. I’m a long-time Warhammer 40K player and early in 2013, I began looking into new miniature wargames to branch out. Even though I bought Star Wars X Wing Miniatures, I couldn’t really find many to play with me so they sat on my shelf for a while, until late in the year, when a friend saw them sitting there and we decided to play it. That was it. He went and bought another starter set as well as several ships and I suddenly bought a few more ships than I should have (apologies to my darling fiance for that). Since then, we’ve played it together every chance we get. There’s no competitive list building. No need to one-up each other on who can get the most from their point costs. We just put together a cool combo of ships, come up with a mission (like our Rebel Rescue – Lambda Shuttle must be last standing on Imperial side, have no shields left, have at least 1 Ion Token and have the Rebel Prisoner Enhancement) and then go at it with Star Wars Soundtracks blasting through the stereo (again, apologies to my fiance for that). I think it will always be a casual game for me but I will be buying new ships whenever I can. TO THE FALCON CHEWIE!

Eleanor – Melbourne, Vic

Game: The Resistance: Avalon

A sequel to the 2009 game The Resistance, Avalon hit my board game group by storm this year and completely reawakened my interest in party games. Set in King Arthur’s mythical court, you play servants of Camelot attempting to succeed in three heroic quests. The only problem is that hidden among you are agents of Morgana seeking to fail your quests. Your goal is to use deductive reasoning to figure them out before they lose you the game. The same basic premise as The Resistance, but adding special characters such as Merlin, Percival, Morgana and Oberon, Avalon goes well beyond the original game for me. I would choose Avalon pretty much every time. Seriously, it has fantasy, hidden identities, and lying to your friends – what’s not to love?

Ashley – Brisbane, QLD

Game: Star Wars: the Card Game (LCG)

2013 was a big year of tabletop gaming for me having being introduced to a lot of new card and board games throughout the year. I was introduced to the cyberpunk fantasy that is Android: Netrunner early on and really dug the style of play LCGs brought to tabletop gaming. I quickly discovered the Star Wars LCG soon after which sang to my geeky need for more Star Wars in my life (because you can never have enough).

I delved into the game head first, really intrigued by the level of strategy and chicanery involved by both Dark and Light sides to take out the opposing objectives and defeat the Rebel scum or dethrone the Empire. I kept at it week after week and picked up a few tips along the way until the Nationals rolled around in November.

The Star Wars Nationals, as well as the local Brisbane ‘Ashes’ events, were my best memories of tabletop gaming in 2013. The calibre of games and opponents I played was bar none and all participants had fun and learned from each other as well as being able to discuss the game with like-minded players. I also picked up my best result coming 5th which was definitely my highlight of the year. Bring on more tabletop gaming for 2014!

Mike – Perth, WA

Game: Android: Netrunner

Netrunner, Netrunner, Netrunner, Netrunner, Netrunner… (Writers Note: He said that another 195 times. Seriously.)

Toby – Brisbane, QLD

Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

I played a great many games in 2013 so this was really a hard decision for me. I’m going to have to say the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game though, as my most satisfying purchase in terms of tabletop gaming for 2013. I had dabbled with Fantasy Flight Games Lord of the Rings LCG but found it a little too complicated and a little too difficult. Learning to play the Pathfinder ACG though was a breeze and the game itself was very rewarding. I’ve played it numerous Friday nights with friends and it’s always been a great evening. Special mention has to be made though of my time with the actual Pathfinder campaign ‘Rise of the Runelords’ and the ‘Letters from Whitechapel’ board game.

Ben – Ballarat, VIC

Game: Oh No… Zombies!

Not playing many different games in 2013, my fav game was ‘Oh No… Zombies!’. It’s a quick, fun, quirky board game best played with 3 others. Simple in premise (get from A to B and return alive) with a little twist that each player controls both a single survivor and a random zombie pair. Back stabs and real life bribery ensues.

The most memorable moment for me was when I failed to roll higher than a 1 on a die for movement for 3 turns, got eaten by a zombie, turned into a zombie, failed to roll less than 5 for movement from then on, chased down other players, eat said players, zombies win!

Marcus – Brisbane, QLD

Game: Battlestar Galactica

This game has been out for years but it is an absolute gem by Fantasy Flight. This one scorched its way to the top of my list of all time favourite board games when I played it for the first time earlier in 2013. I’ve never played a game that handles political intrigue quite as well. This is a game that has to be played with a bunch of friends who are fun to play with otherwise the constant stream of baseless accusations flying around the room will start to get personal! BSG is a board game for 3-6 players that thematically represents the desperate situation of humanity’s plight as depicted in the TV series with a high degree of effectiveness. One or more of your number may be or may become a Cylon and it’s up to the human players to try and suss it out before it’s too late!

Tomas – Melbourne, VIC

Game: Netrunner

Why would it be anything but Netrunner?! I’ve already posted an article about all the great things that have happened for the game this year. To give you the TL;DR, the game has grown and the community has bloomed with it. The game is doing something different and good people seem to gravitate towards it. If your local game group has been letting you down lately, jack-in to your friendly local.

David – Newcastle, NSW

Game: Game of Thrones Board Game (2nd Ed.)

Part way through the year I met a guy who owned this game, and was looking for others to give it a go. Being a fan of both the books, TV show and strategic board games it was a pretty perfect opportunity. We jumped in straight away with 4 players and took most of the game to realise that we were playing it completely wrong. Playing through a second time helped this.

At this point two things happened. We gained a player, making 5 and changing the game with the addition of House Tyrell. Thus we had three relatively careful players, one new to strategy games and Andre, whose one and only objective was to take any and every opportunity to fight someone, or as he said ‘get some biff.’ How can one strategise against a berserker?

The other thing that happen was I embarked upon a string of randomly selecting House Lannister (notoriously hard to play) for about 6 games in a row. While I did feel some thematic affinity with their ruthless way of acting (also lions are cool) I could not bring myself to be so ruthless as to use the internet strategies against friends. Despite this the game was always a joyful frustration (as all strategies should be), as I relished the challenge of overcoming all others.

Daniel – Townsville, QLD

Game: Magic: The Gathering

I’ve been playing this awesome card game called Magic: The Gathering for 18 years now and had my greatest success as a competitive player in 2013. I’ve always promoted casual variants of this game by running non-sanctioned tournaments from my home for Commander, Tribal Wars, Emperor and Planechase but as for this year, all my spare time was consumed whilst preparing for the biggest tournaments of my life by playing in the pro tour overseas. I had huge success by taking down the best of the best in the world and now have the opportunity to share my tips and stories with all of our readers who are interested.

Kris – Brisbane, QLD

Game: Eldritch Horror

The newest game in the Arkham Horror Files, Eldritch Horror takes stopping the Ancient Ones to a global level. A brilliant game that pits a group of Investigators against an Ancient One, saving the world from indescribable terror. I bought this game and have played it several times, and each time something different has happened to make each game thrilling. I may only like it so much because I like Cthulhu Mythos stuff so much. I have done a full review.

As for what is coming up, what I am looking forward to the most is the Call of Cthulhu RPG 7th Edition. I will get a fez with it, and for that reason alone it will be awesome.

Patrick – Melbourne, VIC

Game: King of Tokyo

We have a group down here that’s well used to marathon gaming sessions, with boardgames whose rulebooks look more like flight instruction manuals than the prelude to an afternoon’s fun. So we were on the lookout for something a bit more casual, and King of Tokyo scratched that itch brilliantly.

In it, you play as giant monsters duking it out over the titular metropolis, stomping on corner stores, breathing fire, and raining destruction down on your opponents. Everything is done by rolling and re-rolling a chunky handful of dice, which let you dish out damage, heal yourself, gain energy (for buying cards that let you, say, grow an extra head), or quietly just terrorise the city for extra points.

The whole thing is very silly, very fun, and the average game takes less than an hour. I’ve yet to play a game of it that hasn’t ended with everyone involved instantly agreeing to another, and it’s accessible enough that we’ve even managed to rope one or two of our non-gamer friends into loving it.

Jonathan – Brisbane, QLD

Game: Lords of Waterdeep (Board Game)

Now here is a spiffing way to spend an evening. Lords of Waterdeep is more than a piece of D&D branded merchandise. It’s a moderately complex, terrifically absorbing exercise in points accumulation. Send your minions onto the board to collect the soldiers you need to complete quests. But beware the ‘Intrigue’ cards hoarded by your competitors! Nothing dampens a game plan quite like a surprise ‘Mandatory Quest’ or a purloined white cube (cleric soldier); that’s right, the 1 white cube which completed the set of 10 needed to complete the ‘Confront the Xanathar’ quest, thereby adorning your coffers with the points needed to overtake Steve who may or may not have a Skulduggery themed Agent as his secret avatar! And if the base game starts to get a bit old then snap up the superb expansion set, Scoundrels of Skullport. The expansion introduces a compelling layer of strategy with a limited supply of valuable corruption tokens that subtract points from your total should you be unfortunate enough to have them in your possession when the game ends. Lords of Waterdeep emphasises interactivity and a sense of proactive achievement; and a complete game typically lasts 1 to 2 hours only. 10/10. Would quest again.

So what do you think? What game did you enjoy playing most in 2013? Let us know in the comments and keep on gaming!

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