10×10 Challenge 2017 Recap

Earlier this year, I wrote about the 10×10 Challenge that my wife and I were undertaking for 2017. We chose ten games at the beginning of the year and set ourselves a goal of playing each of them at least ten times before the end of the year.

As of the end of April, I wrote that we were on track (35 plays with 33% of the year done). How did we do the rest of the way?

We made it! I’m proud to say that on November 12, 2017, we recorded our tenth and final play of Pandemic Legacy Season 1 of 2017, thus completing our 10×10. Huzzah!

A few nuggets about the challenge:

  • We did not make slow and steady progress. In May and June, for instance, we only played a total of 4 games that counted toward the challenge. October only had 3. We went nuts in November and got our final 18 plays in just 12 days.
  • Fresco was the biggest mistake on the list. I mentioned that we included it mainly because we hadn’t played it in a while, and we discovered that we really just don’t like it that much any more. Adding in the “expansions” that came in the box did help, but by the end of the tenth play we were happy to have it behind us. We gave it away to our neighbors, who I think will enjoy it.
  • I’ll confess a very slight cheat here: Our tenth play of Pandemic Legacy Season One, our very last play of the challenge, was actually a play of Pandemic Legacy Season Two. I wrote in my April round-up post that there was a risk that we might complete the Season One campaign in fewer than ten 2017 plays (we had started it in 2016). And as it turned out, we finished the final Season One play on our ninth play of 2017. So, instead of just replaying the December scenario one last time (which would not have made any sense given the way our campaign turned out), we just counted the Prologue scenario of Season Two as a Season One play. There, my sin is confessed.

Would I do a 10×10 Challenge again? Well, if it were just me, sure! I liked setting up a shelf in my game room with the ten games on it, always reaching for those first when deciding what to play. I liked feeling like I could actually explore what these games have to offer instead of just giving them a taste and then moving on to something new. I liked the sense of progress and ultimate accomplishment for achieving this goal we had set.

But my wife did not like it at all. We did a 365 plays challenge in 2016 and this 10×10 challenge in 2017, and both times she ended up feeling a lot of stress and even resentment over playing board games. That’s not the feeling you want a game to create! So, no formal challenges like this for 2018.

The Shelf of Opportunity

However, I do have a goal I’m informally working toward: Clearing off my Shelf of Opportunity. This is what’s often referred to among board games as the “shelf of shame” but I prefer to be more positive here. I’m talking about my shelf of unplayed games.

You can’t see all of them in the photo, but there are currently 35 games on this shelf, none of which I have ever played. Some of them are quick little games that I could knock out multiples of in a single sitting (different Lord of the Fries decks, for instance). Many are much beefier than that, though.

Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “10×10 Challenge 2017 Recap

  1. Arkham Horror! Great game on your SoO list, my girlfriend and I are hooked, although I was never much of a boardgames fan, and her most geeky escapades were a Game of Life and Monopoly sessions 🙂

    1. I’m a bit nervous about that one, just because I understand there’s so much stuff going on in the box with setup and everything. But it’s a game I feel like I “should” play at least once!

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