Friday 2 January 2009

my 2008

First, some fancy statistics and diagrams. One note on terminology - "plays" mean how many times I have played a certain game, and "games" mean the game itself.

Fives and dimes of 2008, and some other statistics.

The dark blue line (total plays in 2008) uses the right axis. The others use the left axis. Total number of plays decreased in 2006 and 2007, but increased in 2008. Number of distinct games played increases every year regardless, which means I have been able to try more and more different games.

Number of distinct games played, and the breakdown into fives, dimes, others (i.e. played 2 to 4 times), and singles.

Same data, but looking at percentages.

Plays in 2008, with the breakdown of how many are of dimes, fives, etc. In 2005 the most played game was Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper. In 2008 it was Race for the Galaxy. 2004 was Carcassonne, there were many plays of Ticket To Ride in 2005, behind Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper. Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper was also the most played game in 2006. 2007 was a slow year, after my second daughter was born in Dec 2006. Most played game was Gulo Gulo, with my elder daughter.

Percentage view.

Number of plays (in brackets) for games played in 2008:

1. Race for the Galaxy (248)
2. Agricola (35)
3. Blue Moon (28)
4. TTR Switzerland (20)
5. Through the Ages (17)
6. 10 days in Asia (17)
7. Dominion (15)
8. Gulo Gulo (15)
9. Pandemic (12)
10. Carcassonne (11)
11. 10 days in Europe (10)
12. Mamma Mia (9)
13. TTR Card Game (8)
14. Galaxy Trucker (8)
15. Loopin' Louie (8)
16. Blokus 3D (7)
17. Ticket to ride (7)
18. Tribune (6)
19. Princes of Florence (6)
20. Chicken Cha Cha Cha (6)
21. R-Eco (6)
22. Carc Discovery (5)
23. Thebes (5)
24. In the year of the dragon (5)
25. Jambo (5)
26. MR3: Jekyll & Hyde (4)
27. Sticheln (4)
28. Risk Express (4)
29. Sole Mio (4)
30. Brass (4)
31. San Juan (3)
32. Babel (3)
33. 80 days around the world (3)
34. MR4: Al Capone & The Chicago Underworld (3)
35. Ca$h n Gun$ (3)
36. Dou4Di4Zhu3 (3)
37. Blue Moon City (2)
38. Louis XIV (2)
39. Hive (2)
40. Attika (2)
41. Taluva (2)
42. MR1: Jack the Ripper (2)
43. Age of Empires III (2)
44. Die Macher (2)
45. Lord of the Rings (2)
46. Power Grid (2)
47. Hacienda (2)
48. Zooloretto (2)
49. To Court The King (2)
50. Once Upon A Time (2)
51. Blokus Duo (2)
52. TTR Nordic Countries (2)
53. Lost Cities (2)
54. Diamant (2)
55. Glory to Rome (2)
56. Citadels (2)
57. Ivanhoe (1)
58. Pillars of the Earth (1)
59. Notre Dame (1)
60. Mykerinos (1)
61. Catan card game (1)
62. Elasund (1)
63. Felix: the cat in the sack (1)
64. Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage (1)
65. Starcraft (1)
66. En Garde (1)
67. TTR Marklin (1)
68. Axis & Allies: Guadalcanal (1)
69. Railroad Tycoon (1)
70. Beowulf (1)
71. Barbarossa (1)
72. Quo Vadis (1)
73. Shadows Over Camelot (1)
74. Mwahahaha (1)
75. Caylus (1)
76. Coloretto (1)
77. 6 Nimmt (1)
78. Goa (1)
79. Puerto Rico (1)
80. Dawn Under (1)
81. Niagara (1)
82. Thurn und Taxis (1)
83. Conquest of the fallen lands (1)
84. Frank's Zoo (1)
85. Gin Rummy (1)
86. Halli Galli (1)
87. On the Underground (1)
88. Twister (1)
89. Monopoly Here & Now (1)
90. China (1)
91. Caesar & Cleopatra (1)
92. Make You Gunfighters (1)
93. El Capitan (1)
94. Cuba (1)
95. King Arthur the card game (1)
96. Mordred (1)
97. Royal Turf (1)
98. Trendy (1)
99. Circus Flohcati (1)
100. Galactic Emperor (1)
101. Hoity Toity (1)
102. Pickomino (1)
103. Age of Steam (1)
104. Can't Stop (1)
105. Metropolys (1)
106. 300 the boardgame (1)
107. Winds of Plunder (1)
108. Through the Desert (1)
109. Magic the Gathering (1)
110. Hansa (1)

I record my games played religiously, since some time in 2004. I do it in an Excel sheet, and also on Boardgamegeek. There are some games where I even record the scoring breakdown (Race for the Galaxy, Agricola), or I write comments / mini session reports (like Through the Ages). I also record my game purchases - when I bought what, at what price, whether I have played it, what my rating is etc. I looked through these records, and found some interesting things (well, maybe only to me). So here are a lot of random observations, mostly about gaming in 2008.

Favourites - Through the Ages, Race for the Galaxy. And to certain extent Tribune too. Although the number of plays of Through the Ages is much much fewer than Race for the Galaxy, when considering how long the game is and how I need to set time aside for it, I am quite happy to have enjoyed so many games of Through the Ages.

10's - 2008 is the first time I rated a game 10, according to Boardgamegeek ratings. I gave two 10s, to Through the Ages and Race for the Galaxy. Agricola may get a 10. It is a 9.5 now.

Few-plays-doesn't-mean-bad - I only played these very few times, but I enjoyed them a lot and would love to play again. Axis & Allies Guadalcanal, Die Macher, Brass.

Correlation with BGG - I am mostly in sync with BGG. I think Agricola, Through the Ages and Race for the Galaxy should be in the top ten. I like Agricola more than Puerto Rico. Only Dominion I don't think of as highly as other BGGeeks. I have played 15 games. I appreciate some of the strategies, but it doesn't grab me like Agricola or Through the Ages. Admittedly I still don't feel I have a good grasp of it yet. I need to play more.

Other good buys - Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, a December 2007 purchase, was well worth the money. Michelle and I played many exciting games of this. I just bought Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. I wonder whether I'll get to play this as much.

Probably need not have bought - Blokus 3D. This is interesting but I find that I don't really play it a lot. I bought it at The Mind Shop when visiting Melbourne. I often cannot resist the temptation when I visit a game shop overseas. Ticket to Ride Card Game, Carcassonne the Discovery, Mamma Mia, Sole Mio. These were OK. Interesting, at least at first. But after the initial few games, I find that I rarely have the urge to revisit them.

Glad I didn't buy - Power Grid China/Korea. It tempted me, but I already have too many other Power Grid expansions that I am not playing often enough. Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage. I actually like it, and I like the Mike Doyle artwork, but Michelle won't play this with me. Han has a copy anyway.

Played out - "out" as in I was starting to get tired of it. 10 Days in Asia, 10 Days in Europe, both were borrowed from Chong Sean. I actually quite like them. They are quite different from other games that I have played, and they give me a type of fun that I have not experienced in other games. But I simply played too much within too short a time. I had initially planned to buy 10 Days in Asia, but now I have decided not yet. This is a good game for new players and casual gamers, but probably not for a hardcore gamer, at least not after 27 plays.

Classics revisited - I played Princes of Florence 6 times in 2008. Despite all being the 2-player variant, I enjoyed myself.

Should play more - Lord of the Rings and its three expansions. I really like this game, but have not been playing it a lot. I think the Friends & Foes expansion really need more than 2 players or it will be too hard. I have played the Sauron expansion with 2 players (supposedly minimum 3), where I played 2 hobbits and Michelle played Sauron. It was too taxing for the hobbit player. So I think it does need 3. The Battlefields expansion should be OK with 2 players. I also should play more of Age of Steam and its expansions, In the Year of the Dragon and Puerto Rico. Come to think of it, I have never played any of the Age of Steam expansions that I own. I quite like In the Year of the Dragon, and especially after the big rule blunder in my recent game, I want to try it again with 4 or 5 players.

Surprised I played that many - Blue Moon. Michelle doesn't like it. Among the plays in 2008, about half were with Han, the other half with Michelle. Since it is always hard to convince Michelle to play it, I thought I didn't play many games. I guess Blue Moon is quite short, so it doesn't feel like I have played a lot. I have all the 8 races, both the Emissaries & Inquisitor expansions, and also the Buka Invasion expansion. That's one very expensive game if I add up how much I had spent. I really want to play more of this, and I continue to bug Michelle to play it.

Nagging suspiscions - Should I be mixing all the decks (E, I, K and Z) when playing Agricola? I checked the rules and the rules do allow this. However there are some disadvantages of "diluting" the cards. There are three roads (Minor Improvements) of different quality. If you build a road and noone else has built another road of better quality, then you score a bonus. Since we have so many cards, the chances of two roads being in play in the same game are very very slim. There's also the Chieftian (Occupation) and the Chieftian's Daughter. The Chieftian's Daughter can be played for free if the Chieftian is in play. The chances of them appearing in the same game are slim. There are more cards which depend on other cards, e.g. those depending on Plough cards. However, right now I just cannot be bothered to sort the cards, and anyway I like the variety. I like to be surprised.

Other non game specific observations:

Gaming group - Han, my only regular opponent other than Michelle for the past few years, moved to another city because of work. However this year Chee Seng introduced two new friends to me, Sui Jye and Jing Yi, who have become regulars at gaming sessions. Before Han left, I had planned to join the Cheras gamers, who play at Oldtown Kopitiam on Friday nights. However after more than half a year of talking about it I still have not gotten around to it. I only dropped by once to say hi to Jeff and Heng.

Games owned - 164 according to BGG. The actual number is probably less. I counted some games which I can play using components from another game.

Games acquired - 24 in 2008. Only one was self-made in 2008. One was free. So 22 paid games. I hope to buy less in 2009, and I hope to play all purchased games at least 5 times in the first year, except for long games (like Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition which is currently on my to-buy list).

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