This time last year I posted an article, reviewing the games played stats for 2008, 12 months later it seems like time to do the same for 2009, so here it is. This year I will compare with the corresponding figures from the last article and we'll see how things have changed. I have also got all the tables prepared to post on the stats site, but I seem to be having a bit of difficulty uploading to that at the moment, so they are not online yet.
We played a total of 150 games during the year including 62 different ones. 34 games were played only. 30 games were played for the first time this year.
The number of games played is up from 142 in 2007 and the total player time at 740 player hours is up from 656 (an increase of 12.8%), as last year all school holiday role playing games are excluded.
The most played games (in terms of player time were as follows:
1. Battlestar Galactica (11 plays, 147.7 player hours)
I turned up at the first meeting of the year and Dave C had this. As we had 6 we gave it a go and I was quite surprised at how well it was taken to. The first game went unfinished but I think all the others were completed. More recent plays have been with the Pegasus expansion.
2. Power Grid (7 plays, 60.0 player hours)
Last year's number 1 still seeing a good amount of play and I suspect there would have been a lot more if not for the emergence of BSG. This is the first year that the number of games of this played in a year has dropped, down from 11 last year. We currently have 1 board that we haven't played (Spain/Portugal) so that is one we must give a try soon.
3. Dominion (19 plays, 42.6 player hours)
This just made it into 2008, with just the 1 play in December. Interestingly it hasn't seen any play since July, possibly because I haven't been carrying my copy about regularly. I see the game more as a filler and more recently other games have come along to fill that niche that take up less room in my bag, although I'm sure this one will see more play in 2010.
4. Race for the Galaxy (7 plays, 32.6 player hours)
I'm a bit surprised to see this one so high up, but I think that's possibly because we probably take more time over it than many groups do, also we have tended to play it with high numbers of players which drives up the player –time.
5. Small World (6 plays, 32.2 player hours)
This initially saw a flurry of plays being a fantasy update of old club favourite Vinci, but I have to say that I do prefer the former. The hidden scoring and fixed turn length together with loss of the cohesion rules detract from the game for me. Additionally the use of individual counters for each race (typical Days of Wonder style over substance) can make it difficult to differentiate who's units are who's (particularly when in decline).
The most played game in terms of games played was Dominion.
What happened to last year's top 5?
The only game of 2008's top 5 still remaining there is, of course Power Grid. The number 2 game was Pillars of the Earth and that dropped to number 7. Number 3-Agricola saw just 1 play and stood at number 46, while number 4-Brass saw no play. The fifth game was Tinners' Trail which garnered 2 plays to take position 22.
Games that have stood the test of time
Last year I noted that there were 4 games which are recorded as played in every year from the start of my records in 2003, but this has now dropped to 3 with Acquire and Amun-Re getting no play in 2009, although I'm sure they will return. Of the survivors Vinci was played once, while Industrial Waste had 3 plays. I also noted a further 3 games that had seen play every year from 2004 (the first full year's records), these were San Juan, Power Grid and Kremlin, each of which has been played again this year.
Now let's see what 2010 brings.