My 10 x 10 Challenge – 2018

We have a lot of games in the Traverse City Board Gamer’s Collection.  It seems like we never get the opportunity to play so many of the games.  This coming year I want to spread the love to the games that don’t see as much play as I feel like they should.  I’m attempting a 10 x 10 challenge which entails that I play 10 different games at least 10 times.  Seems simple enough to select 10 games to fit into the challenge but upon diving into the collection I found that some games just don’t need this treatment regardless of it seeing 10 plays yet.  I want to share with you which games have made the cut and why and also what my criteria was for selecting these games.  

The Criteria

Here are some of the criteria I had set for the games to be selected for this challenge.

  1. Must be able to be played at our Sunday game nights at Earthen Ales without issue.  (Table space, noise, play time, etc.)
  2. Have a good mixture of games that span many different complexities, mechanics, and genres.
  3. Must have between 1 to 4 total plays already so I know what to expect and 10 plays will not be torture.  
  4. The replay value must be high as I can see it currently.

The 10 Games and Why They Were Selected



  • The general feedback I’ve got after playing this one has been very positive and has been requested for game night.
  • Higher complexity blocks this one from the table often which is unfortunate.  Getting it taught will help bring heavy gamers into the fold.
  • The mechanics of action selection and resource management are very unique which upon merits more plays.
  • The level of replay value is high as there are many avenues of play that can be implemented which requires more play to appreciate.


The Ancient World

  • Ryan Laukat/Red Raven Games are very popular and this one has seen some requests and excitement once it has been played
  • The game play is very dynamic with a couple different ways that victory points can be acquired giving the game some good replay value.
  • Beautiful artwork which I’ve come to expect from Red Raven Games.
  • Game play works well for many different play styles so very few players feel unfulfilled.


Vast: The Crystal Caverns

  • Asymmetric game play that goes beyond anything that has come before it to the point of saying that each player has a different kind of game they are playing.
  • This would take a minimum of 5 games just to see everything the game has to offer.
  • Teaching is difficult so having more people familiar with the mechanics would set the stage for this to come out more than just hat the challenge demands.


Whistle Stop

  • Ticket to Ride has always been a staple for game night and I feel this one will be a nice step forward to a next tier game.
  • Tile Placement and Pick-up and Deliver give this a wonderfully fulfilling emotion as the game progresses.
  • Variable tile set up will give each game an unique strategy and feel which means more replay value.
  • The aesthetic of this game makes it a very fun experience that will add to its desire for play.


Ex Libris

  • A unique theme that I’ve never seen before in a board game makes this a great pick for this challenge.
  • Many variable player powers come in the box which gives the game more replay value.
  • This worker placement has variable worker locations that change from game to game.  I feel this will be well received as something new to the table.
  • It’s a rather fun experience with tons of theme here to sink your teeth into.


Star Trek Panic

  • Cooperative games are always very popular at game night as they let you play with your friends rather than against.
  • The Star Trek theme is never a hard sell to players.
  • Each mission card are based off of the original series which taps that nostalgic itch.
  • Though the game is easy to teach, it can be difficult to win giving it lots of replay value for those looking for a good challenge.


Flip Ships

  • Light games and dexterity games definitely have there place at our game nights.  This one will see some play and interest.
  • Each player has variable powers at there disposal so things won’t get stale.
  • This has a bunch of curbside appeal which can help promote our game nights to the non-gamers.
  • I want to see how a dexterity game ages over multiple plays and see if interest still sticks afterward.



  • I’m terrible at this and want to challenge myself to get better at this one.
  • A good two player game is always good to have available and sees many opportunity of play.
  • The “I Pick and You Choose” mechanic is widely underused in board games and this offers that as something different.
  • This is fast to play which pairs well with the selected games already.


Hero Realms

  • Deck building games have always been popular at game night and this one is a quicker play than must.  I feel this will get the 10 plays rather quickly.
  • The theme is something most at the game group can get behind and would be interested in trying.
  • Each player receives a unique starter deck of cards associated with their player type giving this the replay value that I’m looking for in these games.
  • The deck building in this has much room for different strategies and tactics which warrants multiple plays.



  • Simply taught with a great light area control mechanic that is good for almost any age at the table.
  • Wide variety of goal cards and technology cards will change dynamics of the game making the replay value very high.
  • Light games have not hit the table as often so I want to see the good ones find the table more often as they have their merits.

Final Thoughts

I must say that I’m skeptical that this is achievable.  Many of the games on this list have not been played at our weekly game night and there already is so much interest in other game night favorites that I feel these won’t see the table as often.  My strategy for getting these played is to play a minimum of 1 challenge game per game night.  This only accounts for 52 plays but I think I may be able to squeeze more plays midweek or at special events to edge out the remaining 48 plays.  I’m excited to further assess these games further after the 100 plays and see which ones have earned their place in the collection.

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