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.

Saturday 31 December 2011

Stats Review 2011

It’s the end of the year and time for a blog post, which is something that’s been uncommon in 2011, maybe I’ll do better next year.

This is the 2011 review of games played at the club; corresponding articles for 2008 - 2010 are linked from the years. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. I expect to update the stats pages over the next week or so.  For a rundown beyond the top 5, there is a geeklist of all the games played here. Note this won’t appear on the geek front page of the Geek.

Games Played
We played a total of 187 games this year which is an increase from 176 in 2010, spread over 73 different ones compared with 98, when play was a lot more spread. The number of games new to our tables was 30 including the number 3 game.

The total player time for the year was 776 player hours an decrease of 15% on last year’s figure of 910.

The most played games (in terms of player time) were as follows:
1. Power Grid (9 plays, 77.8 player hours)
Power Grid continues to be the most played game, this year being a clear winner with better than twice the player time of its nearest rival. There was no new board this year and most of the play was seen on the Benelux/Central Europe board with various combinations of power plants from both full decks and a few promo plants.

2. Caylus Magna Carta (6 plays, 35.5 player hours)
When it first appeared in 2005 and then the following year, Caylus was played a lot at the club, being 2006’s most played game and still holding a position of 5 in the all time list despite having not been played at all since 2006. Caylus Magna Carta seems to have supplanted it and this year has seen the most play of that game having been played a few times each in most years from 2007 (exception 2008)

3. King of Tokyo (18 plays, 31.1 player hours)
The big new game of the year having only first appeared in June. A nice little dice game that has become the club’s preferred filler game. This was the most played game in terms of number of plays.

4. London (5 plays, 31.0 player hours)
Martin Wallace’s game from Essen last year has seen steady play throughout the year, interesting all 5 games featuring myself, Steve H and Donald.

5. Battlestar Galactica (2 plays, 27.5 player hours)
We played this in January using the newly published Exodus expansion, which didn’t go down that well. On the basis of that I shall think very carefully about buying any future expansion. The other play was in November stripped back down to the base game with 2 new players.

As noted further up, the most played game in terms of games played was King of Tokyo.

What happened to last year’s top 5?
As last year the 2 survivors from the previous year are Power Grid and Battlestar Galactica, the other 3 games having fallen way down. Last year’s number 2 was World Without End (also top in terms of games played), which saw 5 plays this year and appears at number 6 on the list.
Number 4 last year was Louis XIV, which has only been played once this year and stands at 42. Number 5 was Homesteaders, which also had 1 play and is at 35.

Games that have stood the test of time
There are still 2 games, played every year since 2003 with both Vinci and Industrial Waste being played again this year although with only 1 play each.

3 other games had been played every year since 2004, of these both Power Grid and San Juan have been played again, although Kremlin did not make it to the table this year.

I now have records for 9 years (only partially for 2003) and the following have been played in at least 7 of the 9 Years.

Games played in 9 of 9 years
Industrial Waste
Games played in 8 of 9 years
Power Grid
San Juan
Games played in 7 of 9 years

Now let’s see what 2012 brings.


  1. Yowch. You played Eclipse on Wednesday. I am disappointed! I wanted to play it, but I'm stuck in Oxford. Oh well... plenty of opportunities for future play after next week, when we'll be playing Age of Industry...

    Looking at the year in review, personally, I'm not surprised that World Without End has dropped down, but then everyone knows what I think of it.

    I'm surprised about Homesteaders, which is really very good. The only explanation must be that there are now so many good games out there that it just slipped our minds.

    Whilst I do like Old King Cole (Louis), the random end scoring of shields feels tacked on, unthematic, and just too much of a game-breaker. In a similar fashion to Steel Driver, that last round just clangs like a bag of hammers dropped in a cathedral. It's a huge pity, because the rest of the game is interesting, intriguing and full of difficult choices. I would ask to play it if the final scoring wasn't so dumb.

    London is such a great game, and especially good because it manages to be absorbing even during downtime. What the other players choose to do is just as interesting as what one plays oneself. Probably my favourite card game, even above Race for the Galaxy; however, I can easily talk people into playing Race, where London remains a club-only activity.

  2. Power Grid is top yet again which is well deserved but it would be nice to see something else take the annual most played spot for a change.

    I would have liked to see 20th Century cracking the top 5. Mike needed to be pushing it more as I think he has the only copy other than mine and as I go to the club so rarely the games I push to play hardly count.

  3. It might be nice to have something else be top, but its staying power alludes to its strength as a game. It still amazes me that such a mish-mash of mechanisms works so well.

    Of course, as well as being a strong game, the other point in its favour is that it's one of the few that is strong for those times when there are just five players at the club. Other than Battlestar Galactica, I can't think of anything that everyone will play and is strong with five. I think Agricola works well, but there are club regulars who hate it. I think this may be part of the reason it stays at the top - its length and suitability for high player counts mean each play tends to add a lot of hours.