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Your source for reviews of various board games, game play information, or even strategy tips then this is the right place. This is where you will find coverage of all things board games. Whether it’s a meaty Euro game, fun party game, or an Ameritrash adventure game we play as many as we can and tell you about them here.

WiscoDice does coverage of board games via their audio podcasts on the main podcast or on Conesy’s Diary, via blog articles, or on our YouTube channel.

Conesy’s Stunning Tabletop Gaming Statistics for 2023

It’s been another year of playing games and logging all of those plays. I am still amazed at the types of insights that can be derived from these logged stats. Often, I find myself surprised when looking at the stats. Games that, as a reviewer, I may not have thought were that great may show up with a lot of plays. Meanwhile, games I thought were brilliant may only receive a single play. Logging gameplay is not something everyone should or would want to do, but I share some of the insights derived as I wrap up 2023.

Traditionally, I log all of my stats on BoardGameGeek’s website using the native BGG tools. Moving forward in 2024, I will be using a new App, BGG Catalog, which Suzanne has used for quite some time. There are versions of the App for both Android and iPhone users so give it a try if you are interested in logging your games.

Some interesting statistics jump out immediately:

  • I played over 480 games
  • I played over 138 unique games.
  • May was my best gaming month, with 60 games played.
  • My collection grew by approximately 66 games, toping now at 731 titles, including expansions.
  • Less than half of my plays were via online platforms

Most Played Game – Ark Nova

ArkNova-PlayerBoard-InGamePlay
Ark Nova

It’s no surprise to me that Ark Nova from Capstone Games/Feuerland Spiele was played the most. Not only was it my 2022 game of the year, but it also was implemented on Board Game Arena, where I was able to play it 57 times. While I had 5 in-person plays of Ark Nova, it didn’t get to the table as much as I would have liked. It’s a little tricky to fit in a weekly game night, especially if we need to teach it which has made it a bit harder to table.

I enjoyed this game so much that I immediately wrote a review of Ark Nova for this blog. I am still very high on this game, though my online play has slowed. With the release of the Marine Worlds expansion, which I also think is brilliant for the game, I am hoping to have this game hit the table a few more times in 2024.

Board Game Review: Dice Manor

Dice Manor is a recent addition to the game library. WiscoDice was given this game to review from Arcane Wonders. In Dice Manor, you play as a developer who is building a lavish manor.  You start with just a foyer, build your manor up, market it, and give people tours through this ever-growing manor. Those who manage to build the finest manor, gather the best rooms, and provide first-rate marketing for their manor, will be the victors of this dice-rolling game with a bidding mechanic. Do you have what it takes to build a fantastic manor?

Game specs:

  • Players: 2-4
  • Playtime: 30-45 minutes
  • Genre: Dice
  • Mechanics: Dice Rolling, Bidding/Auction
  • Publisher: Arcane Wonders
  • Designer: Garrett Herdter
  • Artist: Damien Mammoliti

HerStory, More Than a History Game

Herstory Game Box Cover
HerStory Game Box Cover

Women have played a big role in the history of the world. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we were provided a copy of HerStory from Underdog Games to play and share our thoughts. Before playing this game, I hadn’t seen or heard much about it, so I did not know what to expect, other than it appeared educational. 

HerStory Trivia: 

  • The game was designed with input from women educators
  • Young girls were included in the research as student advisors
  • A portion of game proceeds supports the Malala Fund

Game specs:

FORK – An Engaging Game for All Ages

FORK or (Fox. Owl. Rabbit. Kale.) is a clever and engaging trick taking game from Sunrise Tornado Games Studio and designer Ta-Te Wu that the whole family can enjoy. FORK is launching on Kickstarter January 30, 2023.

Game Play

Each card in the 54 card is a Fox, Owl, Rabbit, or Kale card and has one of four terrain types; Arctic, Desert, Mountain, or Swamp that acts as the card’s suit. Foxes are wild and count as any terrain type.

Each turn a player will lead a trick by announcing terrain type and in a twist on traditional trick taking games they play their playing a card face down unless they are playing a Kale card, which is always played face up. Then all other players then also play a card face down or a Kale card face up. The cards played must match the announced terrain type, if possible.

To resolve the trick, all players cards are revealed and we follow the food chain with Foxes at the top. If only one Fox card is in play it allows a player to score either an Owl or Rabbit card worth 1-3 points as long as it matches the terrain type of the trick. The chosen Owl or Rabbit card is claimed by the player scoring it. After the Fox has fed, starting with the highest value Owl card, players can score a Rabbit card of the matching terrain type.  Then Rabbits can score Kale cards in the lead terrain and if any Kale cards remain after that the owner of the Kale cards claims it themselves for points. New tricks are played until a player has 5 score cards or everyone is out of cards.

Overall Thoughts

FORK is a deceptively simple little game. It’s easy to learn but still offers some interesting strategic choices, my 7 year old son and 11 year old daughter were able to start playing after just a few minutes of explanation, but I still found myself thinking carefully about what cards to play each turn. Do I play my highest value Owl now so that I get first shot at any rabbits that get played? Maybe I should play a Kale to hope that I can score it or at least see if my opponents play a fox or higher value owl or rabbit cards first. Having almost all the cards played face down each trick adds some fun tension to the game. You are never sure that you are going to score a meal on any given trick.

Components and Design

FORK has delightful artwork that strikes the right balance between cuteness and realism that I think can appeal to both kids and adults. I particularly like the illustrations for the Striped Owl and Snowy Owl cards. Lili Chin did a wonderful job illustrating this game.

Final Thoughts

I think FORK can fill a perfect little niche as a family oriented trick taking game. It has much more to think about than a game of go-fish and has a great playful theme as opposed to something like Euchre. I see FORK as the perfect kind of game to bring along one of my family camping trips. Ultimately FORK is a great twist on trick taking games to play with family, gamers and non-gamers alike. 

This review is based on a review copy of FORK WiscoDice received from Sunrise Tornado.

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Conesy’s Top Gaming Stats 2022

Since I started tracking the games I am playing I have been amazed at some of the stats that have come about from it. Tracking my games played gives me great insight into what games we are actually playing, what games get multiple plays, and where I have been playing those games.

  • I played over 455 games
  • I played over 126 unique games.
  • February was my best gaming month, with 54 games played.
  • My collection grew by approximately 50 games toping now at 665 titles including expansions.
  • My online game plays have come down massively

Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the top games that Conesy played in 2022!

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