The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Stats review 2008

I've catching up on the stats for the year and I've updated the website here. The list of games played in 2008 is here. Having looked at them, these are some of my observations of what we've been up to during the year. Note the stats only include games played on Wednesday nights.
Games Played
We played a total of 142 games during the year including 64 different ones. 40 games were played only once (although several of these were new toward the end of the year and I expect will get further play in 2009). 38 games were played for the first time this year.
The number of games played is up from 127 in 2007 and the total player time at 656 player hours is up from 588. These figures are slightly misleading (not a lot), because I have completely excluded any role-playing this year. If we exclude the 2 games of Star Wars RPG, then the 2007 figures fall to 125 and 573, so that gives increases of 13.6% in games played and 14.5% in player time.
The most played games (in terms of player time were as follows:
1. Power Grid (11 plays, 92.8 player hours)
For the second year running, Power Grid is the most played game and it was also top in 2005. It is interesting to note that since the game appeared in 2004, the number of plays has increased each year, which is some indication of its continuing popularity.
2. The Pillars of the Earth (5 plays, 43.3 player hours)
Again for the second year running this is the second most played game, latterly with the expansion allowing the number of players to increase from 4 to 6. The fact that the figures are less than half those of Power Grid, though, give some indication of the hold that game has over the club.
3. Agricola (4 plays, 36 player hours)
A new entry, this is of course everybody's favourite game on the geek. It will be interesting to see if maintains its play in 2009.
4. Brass (3 plays, 26 player hours)
Another new one, this by Martin Wallace. All the plays were in the first 3 months of the year. I remember quite enjoying it, but was unsure about the effect of the Shipyards. We must try this again soon.
5. Tinners' Trail (6 plays, 22.8 player hours)
Another new Martin Wallace, introduced at the UK expo. This is a shorter game than Brass and got its play in the middle months of the year. It is another that could do with more play.
The most played game in terms of games played was Tsuro, which is a wonderful quick filler. It had 12 plays, just edging out Power Grid.
Games that have stood the test of time
The records I have date back to September 2003 and the overall figures for all years are here. Looking at the figures I see that there are 5 games out of 226, that we played in 2003, that we also played in 2008, these are Vinci, Amun-Re, Industrial Waste, Acquire and Ra, so these games could be said to have staying power. Of these games, all except Ra (which was not played in 2007) have been played every year since the records began.
Of course we only have 4 months records in 2003, so I have also compared with 2004 and that adds San Juan, Power Grid and Kremlin to the 5 above, all these 3 have been played in every year from 2004 to 2008.
I'll stop there, although I'm sure that there is more esoteric data to draw from the figures.


  1. Congratulations, Halesowen Boardgamers. I am glad to see that Power Grid is no.1 in your stats. Same to my groups here in Shanghai.

    And could you please tell me if San Juan is good to buy? how about replay value? thanks.


  2. Hi Tick, it is always nice to hear from other groups - we wish you a Very Happy Gaming Year for 2009. My personal view is that San Juan is an excellent card game, good for three but best for four players, giving 35-45 minutes of tricky decisions. Replay value is very high, as there is random card drawing right from the start, which makes every game different. As in Puerto Rico, a main idea is to buy buildings which give special abilities to the owner. We have found that some of these are perhaps more powerful than others if built early in the game, but I do not think that the advantage this can give the player who builds them cannot be overcome by the other players using good tactics.

  3. I'll echo most of what Mike says there, San Juan is definitely worth buying. That said, for myself I'd now prefer to play Race for the Galaxy, which plays in a similar time and has more variety and (to me) a better theme. I know, however that Mike will disagree with me.

  4. thanks for all comments.

    I have bought San Juan and found it interesting. I think I could teach San Juan more efficiently than RftG to players with Puerto Rico experience. Because SJ looks more simple and do have a PR feeling.

    Wish you all have a great gaming year.