Muskegon Area Gamers Year in Review
It’s time for our annual retrospective. What games did we play? What was our attendance like? What were the major events that affected the Muskegon Area Gamers and The Gaming Annex? And what will be in store for 2017?
Oh my poor, poor game plays. My game plays have been dropping off in the past few years. I hit my apex in 2013 and have been dropping ever since.
To be fair, we have been playing a lot more epic length games. This could account for some of the decline. The other reason is my job has been more demanding and I’ve missed a few more gaming sessions than normal in 2015 and 2016.
I do have a recovery plan for 2017: my doting wife. Little does she realize it, but she and I will be board gaming it up in 2017.
We managed to get an 8 player game of Twilight Imperium: the Long War to the table in 2016. It took us two sessions to complete. But it was definitely worth it. So much so that Jon has all but written off the original game because the Long War fixes so many issues.
We also got a game of Mega Civilization to the table in 2016. This was done in a one session fashion–a mistake we are correcting in 2017. After 17 hours of gaming, we called the game.
We mustered not one but two games of Diplomacy. This classic is becoming a favorite at The Gaming Annex. We will have another Diplomacy session in 2017, probably right before CabinCon IV.
Speaking of CabinCon, we had CabinCon III in 2016. We had 8 full time gamers plus several others who dropped by. CabinCon III saw the addition of Nick Sima, Dr. Steve and Jeremy to our lineup. We nixed Twilight Imperium from the schedule and added several other shorter games. It goes without saying that CabinCon III was a huge success.
Heavily Played Games
My most heavily played game of 2016 was [drum roll…]
I played Rudiger Dorn’s new family game 12 times in 2016. This game is an instant classic. The Gaming Annex loves. And I get to play it with my doting wife. She has played it with me a few times. She’s still working on her path-building skills.
It turns out there is a mini expansion for it (the volcano). And the completest in me will need to own it.
I fell in love with Battlelore 2nd Edition during 2016. I played this 10 times in 2016. And I have not scratched the surface of it yet.
Everyone who has been taught Battlelore has also loved it. It’s unfortunate that Fantasy Flight seems to be giving this game the axe 🙁
Empires: Age of Discovery was another hit in 2016. I played it 7 times last year. The game has a lot going for it so I suspect it will get lots of traction in 2017 as well.
The game has lots of cool minis, it’s got other great production values. Plus the rules are easy enough to teach new players while also have depth for the serious gamer. I liked it so much I bought the recent retheme Rebellion: Galactic Empires.
Attendance in 2016
We had 1,105 visitors to our events in 2016. This includes all gamers at all The Gaming Annex events plus the events held at other venues that The Gaming Annex directly supported (like CabinCon).
We’ve only been keeping attendance since the middle of 2014. This is our second full year of data. Compared to 2015, we are up in attendance by a nice margin: 18% increase! This increase is almost entirely due to our thriving Thursday night group. Our Thursday night group has surpassed Sundays in attendance by a wide margin. And this shows no sign of letting up. We have several promising candidates in our group.
Have you ever wondered how much time you spent at The Gaming Annex? Check out this graph to find out. This shows our top 15 attendees. If you are not on here, then you do not spend enough time with us!
We had Kids’ Gala III and IV in 2016. These Kids’ Galas are a huge hit. And they seem to be getting more popular too!
We had 20 kids and parents over in March (Kids’ Gala III). This was amazing. But then we had Kids’ Gala IV in October. We mustered a staggering 30 kids and parents! We may need more room to accommodate this growth.
We had a second gaming event at the Brew House on Seminole. This was also the last event there since the place closed down only weeks after we sponsored an event. Even if the Brew House had not closed down, the Muskegon Area Gamers would probably not sponsor events there anyway. The crew and managers there were not responsive or conducive to our club’s needs. Judging from their input at our last event in February, I can understand why they had to close their doors.
The Gaming Annex in Muskegon has partnered with a local gaming store. Byte Club Gaming in North Muskegon hosted an Extra Life event in November. Our group supported the efforts. We raised $600 for local charities.
We have also demoed games there. Look for us to continue to demo games once a month at their facility on the corner of Whitehall Road and River Road.
The Gaming Annex was given the option to rent the adjacent suite (1980 W Sherman). This will take place in early 2017. We will increase our size by about 60%. We will have a full kitchen and enough table space to keep multi-session games.
Our facebook page (see below) has reached the 500 likes milestone. (563 as of this blog post). Take that, West Michigan Table Top Gamers (462 likes). Not too shabby, considering the West Michigan Tabletop site covers a population over 10 times what we cover.
Want to learn more about our club? Follow us here! Join us for a wild ride in 2017