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.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Stats Review 2013

This is the 2013 review of games played at the club, corresponding articles for 2008 - 2012 are linked from the "Previously" box to the right, usually under January of the following year, but sometimes under December of the year in question, as this article should be. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. Full details are on the Stats Pages on the website, which I have been in the habit of updating approximately weekly since July instead of annually as previously.  There is also a geeklist of all the games played here.

2013 was a year that saw attendances at their highest so far with an average of 10 per session over the course of the year rising to 11.1 per session if only the last 6 months are considered.

Games Played
We played a total of 253 games this year (which is 70 more than the 183 in 2012) spread over 77 titles (compared with 87). So we have seen a major increase in games played spread less thinly. 24 games were played for the first time this year while 51 games that were played in 2012, failed to be played this year. The total player time for the year was 1165 player hours up 45% on last year.

The most played games (in terms of player time) were as follows:

1. Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar (18 plays, 132.67 player hours)
Last year, after appearing at Essen, this got 2 plays and made it to number 7 in the list, although I see that was with average play time of 160 minutes. This year with 18 plays the game is number 1 both in terms of player time and also in terms of games played. Game time has dropped to about 2 hours.  Will this level of play be maintained in 2014?

2. Power Grid (12 plays, 112.17 player hours)
This has been beaten into second place this year, but the total play is up. Last year there were 4 new maps to play with, these being Quebec, Baden W├╝rttemberg, UK & Northern Europe. This year’s new board from Essen (featuring Australia and India) has not yet appeared over here, but I expect it will be here early next year. The game play changes seem that they might be among the most interesting of any of the expansions so far.

3. Battlestar Galactica (5 plays, 76.33 player hours)
Back up in the top 5 after falling to 22 last year. New players in the club brings more who are interested in playing this, although the type of play has varied, using different combinations of equipment each time.  The first game of the year did not finish with a number of newcomers, but the 4 games since then show a 50/50 split of wins between Cylons and Humans.

4. Lords of Waterdeep (10 plays, 69.33 player hours)
This was last year’s number 2, so falls 2 spots despite seeing an increase in player time of about 80%. This one gained an expansion later in the year.

5. San Juan (13 plays, 32.75 player hours)
This falls one spot this year, but the actual figures are pretty much the same. Plays have tended to be split between those with the expansion (using my copy) and those without (using Mike’s).

The most played game in terms of times played was also Tzolk’in as noted further up.  The next most played was San Juan.

What happened to last year’s top 5?
Last year saw only one survivor of the previous year’s top 5, this year there are 3 although all saw drops in the rankings, if not in actual play. The 2 that missed out are Eclipse and Brief History of the World, neither of which has been played in 2013. The first of these saw 3 plays in January 2012 and has not been played since.  Steve H has brought Brief History along on a few occasions but hasn’t been played. Now we have a longer potential time for play, I wonder whether this might get played again.

Games that have stood the test of time
We are now down to just 1 game that appears in the records for every year from 2003, this being Industrial Waste, which was played 3 times this year. The game that was not played is Vinci, which I have brought along on a few occasions. That said, I no longer feel the urge to play this that I once did and didn’t feel like trying to get it played at the last moment as I did in 2012 when it was finally played at the penultimate session of the year.

Below is a table of the top 10 (13) games listed by the number of years that they have been played at the club from April 2003.

Industrial Waste11
San Juan10
Power Grid10
Settlers of Catan7
Saint Petersburg7
Katzenjammer Blues7

Just a note on the players we've seen this year, which I haven't added to previous reports. A total of 37 different people have played at the club in 2013, some of these have just attended once while others have come multiple times. The player who played the most games is Mike with 91, one ahead of Dave F on 90.

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope to see some of you on New Year's Day for the first session of 2014.


  1. I suspect that Dave's dedication in running this Blog is one of the main reasons for the increase in the number of visitors we have had this year.

    It has been an exciting year for us with the change of venue, the increase in the number of people turning up on a given night and the facility for us to run on a little later on a Wednesday so we can accommodate longer games. Wednesday has become my favourite day of the week!

    Tzolkin has seen more player time in a year than any other game. I don't feel it has been overly championed by its two owners. Dave F and I have brought our copies along and they have been played, often without us even joining in. I don't imagine it will get the same level of play in 2014 as I suspect some other as yet un-released game will capture our groups imagination but that's just a guess. The expansion needs to be further experienced which will at least see several more plays of Tzolkin in the first month or two of the new year.

    Lords of Waterdeep was a huge hit this year with me. I like it with or without the expansion.

    I think 2014 will see more of the same games being played as this year. We just seem comfortable with the current batch of games which are getting circulated between us. I'd give Suburbia the nod for a top five spot when next year’s stats are totalled but that will only happen if we get at least one more copy in circulation. In past years we have had Andy E and Steve Pa as strong influencers of the group. They have been enthusiastic capable games explainers who have successfully introduced many new games to us. With both of these guys moving out of the area we have seen a marked drop off this year in the number of different games titles played. We could see other individuals come to the fore who will influence the group in an unforeseen way (Stan, Chris, Mark?).

    I'm looking forward to a lot more game playing over the next 12 months.

    1. Thanks for your comment Gordon, but I'm not really sure how much of an influence, my updating of this blog really has. Most weeks I'm only really posting numbers anyway. I think probably a greater influence was your Steve & Scott's running of tournaments at the annual Expo and I also see a growth in the number of people generally who are interested in gaming. That may be my imagination of course.

      A slight correction regards Tzolk'in in that although it has seen more table time in a year than any previous game, in terms of player time it is beaten by BSG in 2009 (147.67).

      I don't think that 24 new games is a bad number, especially considering that a number of the existing games are also being refreshed by expansions which aren't reflected in the figure. That said, I will confess that I am more comfortable with the older games compared with the new, which these days seem more and more to have uninteresting themes with mechanics that I dislike (e.g Worker Placement).

  2. The stats work is great stuff - thanks Dave. I think Dave's blog stuff is important, I agree that Games Expo is less of a draw than finding us on the Web/Geek and this blog is our public face.