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The End of the Year 2021

The end of the year is here, and, like many people, I tend to reflect on the events of the year that have brought me to this point. I have lost family members, gained new friends, and of course, I have played several games. I use a board game app called BG Stats, that I track all of my game plays on

For me, playing games is a big part of my life. The reason I love playing games so much is the friendships that games enrich and the memories that game nights bring. This year the first event that really was a major highlight was when Meeple Nation teamed up with Herriman Utah Gaming Gals (HUGG) and created our own private con. We did this because SaltCon had been cancelled that spring. I am not sure whose idea this really was, I remember Julie mentioning the idea, and I also remember Claudine mentioning it. Regardless of who was the first to mention it, it was an amazing idea! Andy was gracious enough to let 30 people come and invade his home and take it over for 48 hours. We played a ton of great games, ate some insanely delicious food, and most importantly we strengthened those relationships around the gaming table.

The repercussions of this event resulted in a second gathering of gamers. This time Meeple Nation packed up our stuff and headed to Herriman for another equally amazing 48 hours and even more belt bursting food, and of course, more bonding through gaming. We got the opportunity to meet and play games with HUGG spouses and play some very loud and intense games of Werewolf. These two weekends were by far the top weekends of the year.

SaltCon is always a big highlight. I love being able to run events, meet new people and play games with those people that we meet at every SaltCon. SaltCon is always a lot of work for us. This Spring we are hosting 28 events. Two of these events are our SaltCon Gameshow. This has become another event that I look forward to. Again it all comes down to the fun and the memories that this event creates.

Putting conventions aside, at the end of the year I get to review my personal gaming goals. In 2021 I set some pretty steep gaming goals.

The first was to play a minimum of 500 games during the year. This was completed way back in September of 2021. I completed the year by playing over 800 games.

The second goal was to play 150 games with my wife. My wife is the most important person and supporter in my life, and as such I want to play a lot of games with her. However, games are not nearly as important to her as they are to me. So when I set this goal I have to make sure that I have and will play games that she will enjoy. It has taken several years and several games to find a good rotation of games she will play, but it was so worth it. We did not complete this until just before Christmas but we did manage to play almost 200 games together.

The third goal was the standard 10 by 10 gaming goal. This means at the first of the year I pick 10 games plus one alternate game, and out of those 11 games, 10 of them must be played at least 10 times each during the year. This allows you to get a better feel for a game and a deeper experience with the game. It is a double edged sword though. Two years back I discovered I really did not like a game that was on my list. I had played this game more than my alternate game, so it was the one I needed to finish. Those last four plays were very rough.

The fourth goal was similar to the 10 by 10, but instead of a set 10 games this was an open list of games to play 10 times each. However, that list added at least 20 more games to be played 10 times each. My 30 by 10 game list would include my 10 by 10, but the other 20 game titles could be something that shined during the year. This goal was one that was easy to complete too and it was completed long before the 10 by 10 list was completed.

The fifth goal was to play 40 games that were new to me, or games that I had not recorded a play of before. Since I have only been recording my game plays since the end of 2016 there are many games that I own that I have not recorded game plays of. So this list does not simply include new games but it also includes games I have owned for years. Even with that caveat, I still played 104 “New To Me” games in 2021. Forty new games seemed like a lot, but turns out was a very easy goal to complete.

The sixth goal was 10 plays of Clank!. This could be any of the versions, or any of the maps. Clank! is a game I enjoy but the game was not seeing the table very often. So, to get Clank! to the table last year, I created this goal of playing Clank! 10 times. I was very happy with this goal and was able to play with a wide variety of people to get it completed.

My seventh and final go was to play 10 set games once during the year, or a 10 by 1 list. There are games that I love to play, but due to time, theme, or style of the game, these games seem to remain on the shelf more than most. So this goal was created to get games that I like to play to the table, similar to my Clank!, but just getting one play in for each of these 10 games.

Now these goals are nice and all but what purpose do they serve me? Why do I set gaming goals? They do not fill any greater calling, simply put, what they do is help supply me with an outline of what to play. There is nothing worse than gathering for game night and debating back and forth about what we are going to play tonight. With gaming goals there is a plan and there is a path set. Some people like to shoot from the hip, and I am definitely not a person who plans every second of their life. However, I do require some form of structure.

Do you set any gaming goals? What makes game nights amazing for you?

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