At this time of year, I used to sit and work out a gaming challenge for the following year. Usually a ten by ten challenge, sometimes something crazy - one year we attempted a hundred train games in the year. The ten by ten is a great thing, it allows you to deep dive strategies for games and sometimes it determines that you really don’t need to play that one game anymore and it can make room on the shelf for something else!

Then again, setting goals can become a chore and take some of the joy out of gaming, if you want to play one thing but it’s not on your ‘to do’ list you may feel bad, but you shouldn’t - gaming should be fun, not a chore (as adults we have enough of them to last a lifetime!)

Recently though, I have tried to concentrate on playing our ‘Shelf of Opportunity’ (aka shelf of Shame) Keeping the balance between new games and old favourites can be tough at times (especially if you then add review games into the mix!) There might even be something that becomes an old favourite in the new pile!

With that in mind, at the end of every year, I compile my ‘unplayed list’ for the upcoming year and also try to keep track of how many new to us games we play. The unplayed list goes up and down as new games come into the collection, they get added to the list. I know I was horrified at the start of the year to discover we were over a hundred unplayed games on our shelves and I know at one point it hit around 125. At the end of this year, we are under that mark, with ninety-five currently outstanding (though when I do a proper count it may hit a hundred again - boo!)

According to my spreadsheet, we have played 79 new to us games this year (though I may have forgotten to log some!) which I think is pretty good going. Learning new games takes time and patience, something we don’t always have time for!

I know my collection on BGG is horribly out of date so I have started a full audit of our collection, something that I take no joy in but needs doing for various reasons! Whilst doing this, we have decided to give up on the idea of a ‘spare bedroom’ and move the piles that are currently sat on the front room floor into new Kallax(es) in there. We will have a spare games room instead! In doing this, Rob has had ‘the chat’ with me about when to stop, apparently, when that room is full we shall be following a strict ‘one in, one out’ protocol. Maybe by then, we will have a bigger house?! Lol

End of Year Musings Unplayed

So, where do we all draw the line between collecting and playing? Personally, I enjoy both elements of it but space dictates otherwise. Other the last couple of years I have noticed that my collection is leaning towards the heavier side of things. But, yes, we still have a ‘party games’ shelf for when the mythical non-gamers come to visit, and our small games collection is ever-growing, after all, you need something to play at the start and end of a night. However, these are the style of games that are being sacrificed in the name of space. Partly, with that in mind, I Play Red will also be starting to lean that way. 

This year was the year I was brave enough to put myself in front of the camera and going into 2020 I will be continuing to do so with my ‘Ten Minute Teach’ series focusing on the mid to heavy weight games that I enjoy. Some of these will be older titles that we love and some will be newer stuff (I still have eleven games in the ‘review’ pile!) If there is anything you would like to see in this series, drop me a line and if I know it/own it I’ll be happy to oblige! The new (ish) schedule will be written content up on a Tuesday with some sort of video release every Thursday, so if you haven’t subscribed on YouTube please do!

Now I need to get back to cataloging the games and searching for cheap Kallax(es) on Facebook Marketplace, so I hope everyone has a great festive season, with lots of games (new and old!) played and a massive thank you to my Patreons who help me keep the site alive!