If you enjoyed literally anything we did this year, don’t thank us. Thank the people who support SU&SD’s ad-free status with donations and make our work possible. Or better yet, join the Gold Club yourself with that big button on the right! Every dollar makes a difference, and guarantees a uniquely British encounter if you meet us at a convention as we thank you profusely without managing any eye contact.
Following in the tradition of 2014’s roundup, after the jump you can enjoy a look back on the best, brightest and silliest work we did this year. Also, a tease of what to look forward to in 2016!
- Similar to how we kicked off 2014 with a trip to a space ship simulator in a caravan, we began 2015 with our Out of Dodge review, a game that turns four chairs into a car. Apparently SU&SD comes out of hibernation very confused indeed.
- Back when Cosmic Encounter was the site’s collective favourite game I was always reading gossip (on the INTERNET, no less) that we were wrong, and that it wasn’t any fun at all. It was hugely satisfying to fix this with a Cosmic Encounter Let’s Play that demonstrated just how fun this game of weird aliens and crepe paper alliances can be. “You’re supposed to TALK?!” I saw one commenter say. Yes, you are!
- Last year I singled out our X-Wing review as the video review I was most proud of. This year that honour goes to Matt and my belated look at Last Will. I can take or leave the game, but the video came together beautifully. T.I.M.E. Stories takes a close second place.
- Back in February Pip had the idea of an article collating all of our experiences ofbeing betrayed in board games. I’ve never commissioned anything so quickly in my life.
- Brendan describing learning chess in Rooky Errors and also his piece on Dumb Games obviously. And just as obviously…
- Paul’s article on attending a poker tournament. The nicest man becomes the darkest horse.
- Then there’s mine and Leigh’s article on placing unexpectedly high in the UK Netrunner Nationals and Chris Thursten’s piece on his first X-Wing tournament. This was SU&SD’s best year for long-form journalism, no doubt about it.
- SU&SD returned as the nation of Japan in the (even more mega!) sequel to last year’s Megagame. Come for Matt’s amusing, permanent presidential panic, stay for the heartbreack of Tokyo getting wiped off the map*.
- Our Cards Against Humanity review was a memorable day, and not just because we were proud to publish it and it was our first time working with an illustrator (and what an illustrator). Taken as a whole last week’s Top 50 might have produced more traffic, but the CAH review is the most visited post this site’s ever produced.
- To celebrate our 100th video I wrote some tips on how to join the ranks of the board game press. I’ve just checked and they’re not outdated (yet)!
- On the subject, I was so happy this year when we took on Eric Tonjes as a miniatures game correspondent. For anyone wondering, he got his paid gig by writing into SU&SD with perfect copywriting that filled a gap in the site’s remit. Eric writes with passion, humour and an in-depth knowledge of his subject.
- Ooh, this got heavy all of a sudden! Let’s all watch the opening minute of the Spyfall review and basically all of Matt’s Imperial Assault review. We have to find another home for that hologram plugin in 2016.
- Hilary Mcnaughton joined us as our RPG columnist, and now I’m trying to figure out if I can find the time to play the Burning Wheel next year. It’s kind of annoying. Is this what you guys feel like when we do board game reviews?
- Oh my god, the second Gen Con special. Oh my god. I remember almost crying when I was editing the end of this. I heard that Origin’s better for actually playing games, but Gen Con remains the Disneyland of the tabletop scene.
- The best photography of the year was achieved in the Samurai review. If only we could shoot all our reviews in a sunny garden!
- SU&SD’s Captain Planet-like heart was showcased during my Top 5 Tips for Problem Players. Spoiler: It’s not about trying to make your friends act differently.
- We got our first exclusive preview in this podcast featuring Star Wars: Rebellion! I’m thrilled to say that you can expect more previews (and more Rebellion coverage) next year.
As for what to expect in 2016?
Matt, Paul and myself are all agreed that this year SU&SD drifted a little closer to traditional games coverage. It’s only natural- reviews, previews and reports of tournaments or events give us reliable traffic and a happy audience. But there are plenty of other sites that do that, and besides, it was never our aim. When we founded SU&SD it was to get people into board games by showing them what was beautiful about it, and entertaining them along the way.
To that end we’re nicknaming 2016 the Good Fun Annum. The plan is to offer a little less inside baseball for enthusiasts and focus more on stuff everyone can enjoy. More videos (like the Megagame!) that you can share with your friends who don’t play many games,but totally should.
So, more coverage of the games we love, less of those we don’t. More of our passion and sense of humour, and less being distracted by our new knowledge of the board game industry.
None of you guys read SU&SD to hear us argue about the best Friedemann Friese game, you know? We’ll never be as good at that as the established gurus. Instead, we’re going to double down on what makes us different. A renewed focus on “Look at this, this is beautiful, here’s how you can get involved.”
I haven’t forgotten my promise. 2016 is the the year that I fall in an authentic London canal.
Enjoy the holidays, everyone. Merry Christmas.