Gaming Challenges, or How to “Game” Gaming

We’re now about a quarter of the way through the year, so I think it’s as good a time as any to introduce some of the gaming challenges this year and check in on my progress so far.  These are all challenges found on BoardGameGeek, and most of them allow you to join in at any time, so if any of these interest you, feel free to check them out!  This is my first year doing a lot of these types of challenges, having only completed a 5×5 (playing 5 different games 5 times each), so trying to complete all of these will certainly present a new… challenge.


10×10 Challenge

This is probably the most popular annual challenge on BoardGameGeek.  The 10×10 in the name refers to playing 10 different games 10 times each.  There are two different levels to this challenge: Normal and Hardcore.  For a Normal challenge, you can start at any time, even after having logged plays for the games on your list, and the games on your list can be swapped out at any time.  So, as long as you can play any 10 games 10 times each during the year of 2016, you can complete a normal 10×10.  For the Hardcore challenge, however, you must declare ahead of time which games you will be using to complete the challenge, and they may not be swapped out for other games.  To help make this a little less daunting, you are allowed to declare 11 different games for your challenge, with one used as an alternate.  To complete the challenge, you have to play at least 10 of your listed games 10 times each, with the additional caveat that any plays logged before you declare your 10 games cannot count towards the challenge.

This year, I am trying for the Hardcore 10×10 challenge.  Last year, our gaming group had a 5×5 challenge, which is a similar idea but on a smaller scale, and since I was able to complete that I decided to go even bigger this year.  My strategy was to choose a lot of 2-player games I would be able to play with Amber (7 Wonders: Duel, Jaipur, Hanabi), as well as a few games I’d be able to play solo if needed (Pandemic, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Star Realms).  Finally I tried to include a few games that I want to try to play at least 10 times to get a lot of experience with them and a deeper understanding of their strategies (Alhambra, Dominion, Paperback, Race for the Galaxy, and Seasons).

My current progress: 27%

My Geeklist for tracking purposes here

More information about this challenge here


100×1 Challenge

On the completely opposite side from the spectrum from the 10×10 challenge is the 100×1, which as you may have guessed is a challenge whereby one tries to play 100 different games 1 time each.  Whereas the 10×10 focuses on depth and playing a few games a lot of times to better understand and appreciate them, the 100×1 is built for breadth of gaming, allowing you to experience a wide variety of games and only requiring you to play each game once.

This challenge is certainly much more in line with our playstyle — I even posed this challenge to or Meetup group for everyone to try to participate.  With everyone bringing a lot of different games each time (and everyone’s collections always growing), playing a lot of games at least once each throughout the year should be no trouble.  And indeed, as of earlier this month I’ve already played over 100 different games this year!

My current progress: 109%  Completed!

My Geeklist for tracking purposes here

More information about this challenge here


365 Play Challenge

Similar to the 100×1 challenge but even more extreme is the 365 Play Challenge.  This challenge actually has a few different facets.  The first level is to log at least 365 plays of games throughout the year (and nevermind that this is a leap year with 366 days, the challenge is for 365).  The next level of the challenge is to play 365 different games at least once each.  The highest level of the challenge is to log at least one game play every day throughout the year.  In addition to these, the challenge’s creator has been posting Weekday and Weekend mini-challenges in the BGG thread linked below (e.g. play games with a certain theme, play some unplayed games, etc.).

So I had high hopes at the beginning of this year that I would be able to complete all three levels of this challenge, and was going strong for the first couple of months.  However, the challenge to play at least one game every day was not going so well — I didn’t always have time for a game or people to play with, so ended up playing a lot of solo games just for the sake of playing a game for a given day.  Since I didn’t want to see gaming as a chore and be obliged to play a game just for the sake of the challenge, I dropped the play a game every day challenge as of 3/15.  For both of the other parts of the 365 Play, I’m still planning to complete  them by the end of the year.

My current progress: 365 Plays 53.2%;  365 Unique Games 29.9%

My Geeklist for tracking purposes here

More information about this challenge here


16 Unplayed in 2016 Challenge

The last challenge on my list is the 2016 Alternative Challenge on BGG that challenges users to play 16 of their unplayed games in the year of 2016.  There are two varieties to this challenge as well.  Challenge A is for games that were in one’s collection and unplayed at the beginning of the year.  Challenge B can contain games that you had unplayed at the beginning of the year, but can also contain games obtained during the year, added in the order obtained, and can only be counted as played once you actually own them.

As Amber posted earlier, we have had our fair share of unplayed games in our collection, and we also add  to our collection quite frequently.  As such, I was definitely interested in both flavors of this challenge.  For Challenge A, I was able to pick 16 unplayed games from our collection that I really wanted to try out, and so far we’ve already played 13 of them.  For Challenge B I limited it to new games we purchased or received this year, and it is aleady up to 16 different games (part of which being a handful of Kickstarters that have come in earlier this year).  Of these new games we’ve gotten this year, we’ve already played 10 of them, so I have no doubt we’ll be able to play all of these unplayed games this year!

My current progress: Challenge A 81.25%;  Challenge B 62.5%

My Geeklist for tracking purposes here

More information about this challenge here


So these are the gaming challenges I’m working on this year.  I’m also unofficially trying to get every game in our collection (expansions notwithstanding) played at least once this year, for which I’m up to about 31%, but I know that number is very unlikely to reach 100% due to a lot of the “classic” games we have that’ll likely not see much playtime this year.  Are you trying for these or any other different gaming challenges this year?  Let me know about them in the comments!

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