I’ll read this to you!
Hey hey. I’ve recently discovered something called a “ten by ten” which is a commitment/challenge to play ten games ten times in a set amount of time, usually a year. I’m so excited to explore this and to work on my own 10X10 throughout 2018. This will be my first time doing a 10X10 and, while the concept seems pretty simple, I wanted to make sure I was “doing it right”. In addition to doing some research on my own I also posted this in an online community of board gamers:
Here’s what I’ve learned…
“As a counterpoint to the Cult of the New, this challenge encourages people to play each game several times to explore and experience them in depth. There is no rush to find the optimum strategy on your first play, or read all of the cards beforehand. Instead, each play reveals something more and something different, you get to try various strategies, and everyone’s strategies evolve with their understanding and learning of the game. If you are tired of constantly learning new rules when running after the latest hotness, never really learning various strategies to any game, and needing to relearn the rules of old games because it’s been too long since they were played, this is the challenge for you.” -Board Game Geek, on the 10X10 Challenge
There are two traditional forms of 10X10s :
- Choose which games you’ll use for your 10X10 after you’ve played them
- Since you’re choosing your games after they’ve been played you don’t have to stick with a game if you’re not inclined to
- Choose which games you’ll use for your 10X10 before you’ve played them
- Stick with your picks, no changing your mind/swapping out games
It may be a good idea to have a “buffer” if you choose to do the hardcore challenge; pick 11 or 12 games to play 10 times each. As long as 10 get played 10 times each, you succeed. The majority of this article will focus on the hardcore challenge since the normal challenge is completed after the games have been played.
There are TONS of variations and most people recommend adjusting your 10X10 to suit your needs and wants. Don’t want to play 10 times? Play 6 times. Don’t want to get stuck with one version of a game? Include expansions and other games in the series all under one title. For most players a 10X10 is intrinsically about having fun, so if the pressure of playing a game more often than you can or want to is getting to you, change something so that your 10X10 remains fun. Personally, I’ll be playing the hardcore but including 2 buffer titles in my challenge, because I want the option of dropping one or two games if they are not working out.
Choose your games thoughtfully and intentionally.
- Consider player count/player inclusion. Include games you can easily incorporate into your existing play group and ones you can play with people with whom you normally play games (this seems obvious, but I think its a good reminder for me). Players recommended choosing games you could play alone or with a single partner, in addition to games with 3+ player counts
- Choose games with varied mechanics. Playing 10 worker-placement games 10 times will get tiring/boring
- Have a mixture of light, mid, and heavyweight games – this is a tip I’ve received many times and so I’m passing it on to you, however, I’m going to be a little willfully ignorant of this when picking my games. I won’t pick 10 super-heavy Euros, but I refuse to pick games simply to have 10 games; I won’t add Go Nuts for Donuts to my 10X10 just to have an easy game…As a professional demonstrator its my job to learn and teach new games several times a week. My 10X10 is for my enjoyment and because of this I’m going to fill it with games I really want to play
Recording games is easy and players can use any method to do so. In my research I found downloadable PDFs, handmade trackers for sale on Etsy, and even the mention of an app. I adore my planner and put all kinds of information in it already. For me, this is a logical and easy place to keep my 10X10.
Some players reward themselves for completing, in whole or in part, their 10X10s. Rewards are varied in value and in frequency rewarded. I’m not sure if I’ll incorporate rewards into my own 10X10…I kind of feel like playing the games I really want to play is the reward.
I’m working o my own 10X10 and will post it in its entirety after its complete, but I know that I will definitely include Settlers of Catan (with any expansions I choose), Pandemic Legacy Season 2, and Arkham Horror The Card Game. I’m also considering having one of my slots be for games I own but have never played, and in that category I am most looking forward to playing an out-of-print Days of Wonder game called Mystery Express: A Whodunit on Rails.
Are you considering a 10X10 in 2018? What format will yours take? Whether you are doing a 10X10 or not, what games are you excited to play in 2018?