Friday 31 December 2010

my 2010

I have done this before for 2008 and 2009. This will be an even longer post than previous years, so you may want want to just skim or even skip the long boring lists. As usual, let's start with the fancy stats.

The detailed statistics. Total plays shot up to more than 1000, because of 260+ plays of Dominion against AI's and 280+ plays of Race for the Galaxy against AI's. I still had 50+ plays of Race for the Galaxy against Michelle (my human wife). Number of distinct games played continued to increase. Similarly for new-to-me games. And I continued to have even more games played just once ("singles"). I guess I really am a game taster.

I have played more than 140 different games in 2010. My game collection comprises more than 200 games, including expansions. I think I have played less than half of my collection in 2010, because many plays are of games belonging to friends - Han's, Allen's, Jeff's, Chong Sean's, etc.

Percentage view.

Comparing the fives, singles and others, the plays are slightly higher than last year. Only the dimes had a huge jump, because of the computer versions of Dominion (with all expansions - Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy and Prosperity) and Race for the Galaxy (with all 3 expansions too). In 2004, the big contributors were Carcassonne and Lost Cities; in 2005, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper and Ticket to Ride; in 2008 and 2009, Race for the Galaxy.

Percentage view. The numbers are pretty crazy. But the dominance of the dimes in 2010 didn't beat that in 2005. Now this is the first time you hear Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper beating the double-team of Dominion and Race for the Galaxy.

I exceeded my quota of 20 new games per year. Again. But but but some are gifts, and some are rewards for translation work. And some are for my children. Strictly speaking I only acquired 17 games. I've been a good boy.

Raw statistics of plays (including fives and dimes):

1. Race for the Galaxy338Still loving it, although Michelle has been my only human opponent in 2010. She recently beat me 87 to 37. Humiliating. I eagerly look forward to the new story arc expansion.

Race for the Galaxy

2. Dominion273I have been enjoying the quick vs-AI games because saving so much time in shuffling and handling cards let me appreciate and explore the strategies more. It surprised me a little that although I liked Prosperity, I still liked Seaside more.

Computer version of Dominion downloaded from the internet.

3. Halli Galli27Mostly with elder daughter.
4. Ubongo23Mostly with younger daughter.
5. Innovation19One of my favourites of 2010. I don't mind the big swings because I feel there are things than I can do to try to improve my position. Your decisions do matter. Just like history, unpredictable things happen, both good and bad, and you just try to make the most of it while going with the flow.


6. Roll Through The Ages19Game play records not accurate. I played many solo games on the iPhone. Very good implementation.
7. Times Square14I like it, but wife is lukewarm unfortunately.
8. At the Gates of Loyang12Numbers slightly boosted by the simplified games that I have played with my 5-year-old elder daughter.
9. Pandemic11Many games played with my Hong Kong friends. I still haven't played the bio-terrorist variant in the expansion.
10. Blokus 3D10With children.
11. Keltis10
12. Twister9With children / wife. Not with fellow male hardcore gamers. Not at Old Town Kopitiam Cheras or any public venue.
13. Space Alert8Want to play this more.
14. Hive7With children, sometimes with simplified rules.
15. Agricola6
16. Through the Ages6My wife and my classic.
17. Uruk6A little disappointed. I did play with wrong rules in quite a number of early games. I should give it more plays so that I can reassess it, but the enthusiasm is not there.
18. Viva Topo!6With children.
19. Connect Four5With children.
20. FITS5
21. Ingenious5With children.
22. Le Havre5
23. Snakes and Ladders5With children.
24. Blokus Duo4
25. Cash-a-Catch4
26. Chicken Cha Cha Cha4
27. Galaxy Trucker4
28. Hansa Teutonica4Want to play more.
29. Lost Cities4
30. Pick Picknic4
31. Twilight Struggle4
32. Wasabi4
33. Aton3
34. Battle Line3
35. Blokus3
36. Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers3
37. China3
38. Go Away Monster3
39. Kakerlaken-Poker3
40. After the Flood2
41. Alien Frontiers2
42. Automobile2
43. Battlefields of Olympus2
44. Blue Moon2
45. Bonnie and Clyde2
46. Campaign Manager 20082
47. Carcassonne2
48. Catacombs2
49. Endeavor2
50. Factory Manager2
51. Fluch der Mumie2
52. Gulo Gulo2
53. Horus Heresy2
54. Jambo2
55. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation2
56. Memory2
57. Othello2
58. Power Grid2
59. The Princes of Florence2
60. Space Hulk2
61. Saint Petersburg2
62. Stone Age2
63. Thebes2
64. Through the Desert2
65. Ticket to Ride: Switzerland2
66. 10 days in Asia1
67. A la carte1
68. Age of Steam1
69. Airships1
70. Axis & Allies Global 19401
71. Axis & Allies Pacific 19401
72. Carson City1
73. Castle1
74. Chicago Express1
75. Cluzzle1
76. ColorMonsters1
77. Cyclades1
78. Didi Dotter1
79. Die Dolmengotter1
80. Die Handler1
81. Die Macher1
82. Dixit1
83. Fight the Landlord (斗地主)1
84. Dune1
85. Dungeon Lords1
86. El Grande1
87. En Garde1
88. Funny Friends1
89. Get That Toy1
90. Gin Rummy1
91. Goa1
92. God Dice1
93. Greed Incorporated1
94. Grimoire1
95. Hammer of the Scots1
96. Homesteaders1
97. Ice Flow1
98. In the Shadow of the Emperor1
99. Indonesia1
100. Kahuna1
101. King of Siam1
102. Klunker1
103. Lifeboat1
104. London1
105. Ludo1
106. Macao1
107. Magical Athlete1
108. Mare Nostrum1
109. Medici1
110. Minnie's Garden Game1
111. Mystery Rummy #4: Al Capone & The Chicago Underworld1
112. Mykerinos1
113. Nuns on the Run1
114. Old Maid1
115. Planet Steam1
116. Power Struggle1
117. Ra: the dice game1
118. R-Eco1
119. Saboteur1
120. Samurai1
121. San Juan1
122. San Marco1
123. Shipyard1
124. Strozzi1
125. Summoner Wars1
126. Surprise!1
127. Tales of the Arabian Nights1
128. Taluva1
129. The BoardGameGeek Game1
130. Ticket to Ride1
131. Ticket to Ride: Europe1
132. Ticket to Ride: Marklin1
133. Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries1
134. Tikal1
135. Tongiaki1
136. Vasco da Gama1
137. Wan's Star Wars prototype1
138. Warriors of God1
139. Way Out West1
140. Wizard1
141. Zombie State1

New-to-me games in 2010:

  1. A la carte - Rather disappointed. Rules seem to be those for a simple strategy game, but I feel it's actually very random, more random than worth the effort to learn the rules.
  2. After the Flood - Tense and tight.
  3. Alien Frontiers - Excellent new designer and publisher. Gave me the Catan feel.
  4. At the Gates of Loyang - Pretty solitaire and probably would be too long with 3 or 4 players. I've only played with 2, and it's alright I guess. Gives me a puzzle-solving feeling. Overall I feel so-so.
  5. Aton
  6. Axis & Allies Global 1940 (combining A&A Europe 1940 and A&A Pacific 1940) - Enjoyable but I feel execution is too long and tedious. But I guess once in a while it's good to spend that much time and effort to do such a monster game.
  7. Axis & Allies Pacific 1940
  8. Battlefields of Olympus
  9. Campaign Manager 2008
  10. Carson City
  11. Cash-a-Catch - Exciting ring-the-bell-quick fun.
  12. Catacombs
  13. Cluzzle - An even more non-gamer-friendly version of Barbarossa
  14. ColorMonsters
  15. Cyclades
  16. Didi Dotter
  17. Die Dolmengotter - Good abstract area majority game, but I think needs more players to be fun.
  18. Die Handler
  19. Dixit
  20. Dune - Amazing how such simple base rules can facilitate so much story. The special cards do help to support the story. It's important to read the cards before your first game.
  21. El Grande
  22. Endeavor - Succinct. Beautiful. I'm proud for being able to resist buying it.


  23. Factory Manager
  24. FITS
  25. Fluch der Mumie - Lots of fun and suspense.
  26. Funny Friends
  27. Get That Toy
  28. Go Away Monster
  29. God Dice
  30. Greed Incorporated - I'm in the minority for not liking this. I'm biased by my poor performance in that first game. This game is brutal and unforgiving, and if you fall behind, you may never be able to catch up or even get anywhere near the leading pack. But I must admit being unforgiving is a feature and not a flaw. If all players know the game well and play well, I think this can be a tight and thrilling game.
  31. Grimoire
  32. Hansa Teutonica
  33. Homesteaders
  34. Horus Heresy - Strong narrative, but I felt a little restricted / railroaded.
  35. Ice Flow
  36. In the Shadow of the Emperor
  37. Innovation
  38. King of Siam - Excellent quick and thinky game.
  39. Klunker
  40. Lifeboat - Not to be confused with Lifeboats, this is a card game.
  41. London
  42. Macao - I can't point to anything particularly wrong, but it feels JASE (just another soulless Euro) to me.
  43. Magical Athlete
  44. Mare Nostrum
  45. Nuns on the Run
  46. Planet Steam
  47. Power Struggle
  48. San Marco
  49. Shipyard - Pleasant surprise. I look past the rondel mechanisms. They are just tools. I do feel like I am building ships in this game.


  50. Stone Age
  51. Strozzi - Feels a little old-school Knizia, like it was designed around the same time as Medici. It left me a little cold, because I've played many Knizia games of similar style and weight.
  52. Summoner Wars
  53. Surprise!
  54. Tales of the Arabian Nights
  55. The BoardGameGeek Game
  56. Times Square - There's a spark of genious in here. Excellent two-player game but needs a few plays to grasp the strategies.
  57. Tongiaki
  58. Ubongo
  59. Uruk
  60. Vasco da Gama
  61. Viva Topo!
  62. Wan's Star Wars prototype
  63. Way Out West
  64. Wizard
  65. Zombie State

Games acquired (including bought, received as gifts and self-made) in 2010:

  1. At the Gates of Loyang
  2. Axis & Allies Europe 1940
  3. Axis & Allies Pacific 1940
  4. Factory Manager
  5. Hansa Teutonica
  6. In the shadow of the emperor
  7. Innovation
  8. Tales of the Arabian Nights
  9. Twilight Struggle - Bought the deluxe edition but have not played this copy yet.
  10. Uruk: Wiege der Zivilisation
  11. Agricola: Farmers of the Moor expansion
  12. Dominion: Seaside expansion
  13. Keltis expansion
  14. Race for the Galaxy: the Brink of War expansion
  15. Times Square (self made) - my good friend in Hong Kong, Ben, was recently in touch with Reiner Knizia's assistant Karen (work related), and he passed on an article I wrote about him and his designs back in 2007. Reiner liked the article and had it posted at his website. I felt a little embarassed, because (a) in the article I really sounded like a fanboy, and (b) I mentioned so many of his games that I had self-made. So now Ben has to buy 100 of Reiner's games so that Reiner won't sue me.
  16. Funny Friends - This and the next one are rewards for game rules translation work. I probably would not have bought these myself.
  17. Planet Steam
  18. 10 Days in Asia - This and the next three are mainly for my children. Or maybe to be more accurate - for me to play with my children.
  19. FITS
  20. Ubongo
  21. Viva Topo!
  22. ColorMonsters - review copy.
  23. Wizard - complimentary copy for translation work of this specific game.

Other thoughts on games:

  • Favourite new-to-me games in 2010: Hansa Teutonica, Innovation, Shipyard, Endeavor.

    Hansa Teutonica

  • I also quite like: Axis & Allies Pacific 1940, Axis & Allies Europe 1940 (admittedly I've only played the Global version), Dune, King of Siam, Die Dolmengotter, Times Square, After the Flood.
  • Pleasant surprises: Shipyard, Zombie State, Cyclades
  • Deserves more attention: Times Square, Cash-a-Catch
  • Classics that I'm happy to have revisited in 2010: Die Macher, Age of Steam
  • Wish I had played more: Taluva, Twilight Struggle, Warriors of God (should do this again before I completely forget the rules)
  • Favourites that I hadn't played in 2010: Lord of the Rings, Brass, Traumfabrik (Dream Factory), Attika, Axis & Allies Guadalcanal

Looking back at 2010:

  • I'm playing more and more games with my children, who are 4 and 5 now. I've started using full rules (I call them "adults' rules") with my elder daughter, as opposed to using simplified variants, and she likes it.
  • In 2010, my wife Michelle had 178 plays, 49 distinct games. Most played games are Race for the Galaxy (55), Innovation (12), At the Gates of Loyang (9). Older daughter Shee Yun (5 years old) had 124 plays, 30 distinct games, most played games are Halli Galli (22), Twister (13), Ubongo (11). Younger daughter Chen Rui (4 years old) had 68 plays, 19 distinct games, most played games are Ubongo (18), Halli Galli (9), Blokus 3D (8).
  • Han is back in town after a long out-station work posting, so we can play more regularly now.
  • I now sometimes play at Old Town Kopitiam Cheras too, joining the Friday night open gaming sessions organised by Jeff.
  • Allen the new father was house-bound starting September, so Han and I added another gaming venue - Allen's home, so that Allen had some gaming company and baby Ethan had some uncles to smile at (or cry at, depending on his mood).
  • Memorable game sessions: Dune, Die Macher, Axis & Allies Global 1940, marathon session in Hong Kong. Wait a minute... none of these involve my longest running kaki (fellow gamer) Han?! That's not right! Got to fix this in 2011. Actually we did have a number of exciting sessions - Horus Heresy, Space Hulk.
  • I was quite happy that my article about being game tasters received many responses from fellow gamers. Eric Martin of (temporarily down but will be online again soon as part of posted it to BGN.
  • I did an interview with Jeff (a.k.a. CK) who runs (Facebook / blog / webstore), an online retailer in Malaysia which actively develops the local boardgame community. I've always been interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the local boardgame industry (if you can call it that), so this little project was very interesting for me.

    After a game of Axis & Allies Global 1940 (combined game of A&A Pacific 1940 and A&A Europe 1940).

  • I started a Chinese blog.
  • I received a review copy for the first time ever.
  • I saw my name printed in games for the first time because I had helped with some translation work.
  • A reader's suggestion gave me an idea of ranking games by year. I did it for 2009 games that I have played.
  • I gave a home to the concise reference sheets that I have been making over the past 7 years.


Darryl said...

Wow, you're very hardworking in logging in all your plays! I have very few games with me, and yet I still am very lazy in collecting data for my games. The only one I have managed to successfully log in every play is Mr. Jack in New York.

I still haven't tried any heavy games like Agricola yet, but the most played games of 2010 for me were For Sale and Carcasonne, both very light and social games.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I have a small notepad which I use for recording scores. It is quite convenient, and it has become a habit to have it around whenever I play games.

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