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 7 January 2016

Stats Review 2015

This is the 2015 review of games played at the club, corresponding articles for 2008 - 2014 are linked from the "Previously" box to the left, usually under January of the following year, but sometimes under December of the year in question. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. Full details are on the Stats Pages on the website. There is also a geeklist of all the games played here.

As in 2014, we held a couple of Saturday sessions, for avoidance of doubt any figures quoted in this article refer to play on Wednesday evenings unless otherwise stated. This year saw a fall in the figures over 2014 after a few years of increase, even so the numbers are still up on 2013, making the past year the second best on record. The average attendance was 11.4 per session (compared with 13.5), the variation between sessions is not as high as 2014.

Games Played

We played a total of 300 games this year (down from 310 in 2014) spread over 119 titles (compared with 118 in 2014). 45 games were played for the first time this year (in addition to 5 games which were played in new versions, these games were recorded against the version of the game played previously) while a considerable 74 games (out of 118) that were played in 2014, failed to be played this year. The total player time for the year was 1385 player hours, down 18% on 2014.

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

1. The Voyages of Marco Polo(16 plays, 111.92 player hours)
This has been played a remarkable number of times since it first appeared at the club in July and is Gordon's (and Scott's although I think to a lesser extent) new shiny toy. It will be interesting to see if this will be maintained or whether some new shiny will come along and replace it. Personally I haven't played it as it is labelled with the kiss of death that is "Worker Placement".

2. Power Grid (11 plays, 97.00 player hours)
Not so much Power Grid this year. Following 2014's play through of all the maps it has returned to a more normal pattern, although with no new expansion at the end of the year (OK there was an expansion, but I'm rather dubious about trying to turn this into an 18XX game and I haven't bought it) and the fact that there were actually a couple of other games (see items 3 & 4) that I've been very interested in late in the year, play fell off a bit in the last couple of months.

3. Pandemic (Legacy)(13 plays, 44.67 player hours)Pandemic has been played off and on at the club over the years and Pandemic Legacy appeared at Essen. As keeper of the stats I have declared Pandemic Legacy to be a version of the earlier game so the figure for Legacy play (9 games) are combined with the 4 games of Pandemic from earlier in the year. I'm not sure that this will remain this high next year as our 4 player group (Myself, Mike, Mark W and Steve W) are already through July so there are only a maximum of 10 games left to play in the campaign. Maybe it will if Season 2 appears or some other subgroup starts to play this. Pandemic Legacy is the only BGG #1 game that I've enjoyed playing.

4. Fury of Dracula (3rd edition) (4 plays, 42.67 player hours)
Another game here where I'm going to talk about "versions", I've been intending to post something about this separately for some time. In this case I decided that the 3rd edition of Fury of Dracula is a different game to the second edition, so there is a separate play of the second edition on the 2015 list (at number 46) . All the play of this has happened in the last couple of months of the year and I would like to play a fair bit more. There is some question about whether Dracula is too powerful in this game as opposed to the hunters who I've little doubt were at an advantage in the previous edition. I find the mechanisms in this latest version to be much more thematic than the previous one and although the trail mechanism is still there, a couple of changes have been made that make it less annoying.

5. Nations(3 plays, 37.50 player hours)
I find this a bit of a strange one. This was number 2 on the 2014 list and falls to 5 this year with 3 plays. The thing I find odd is that those happened from April to August with nothing at the start of the year or the end. Possibly the end of the year is explained by the sudden appearance of Marco Polo and to a lesser extent to a new version of Through the Ages, but I'm puzzled that it wasn't played early in the year.

The most played game in terms of times played was also The Voyages of Marco Polo, making it 3 years in a row where the top game by time is also the top game by plays. The next most played was Love Letter with 15 plays spread over 3 different versions, it benefited I think from the fact that there are more people other than Mike who have copies (even if they are not all the same version).

What happened to last year’s top 5?

As in 2014, there are 2 games surviving from the previous year's top 5, the first is of course Power Grid which is only number 2 this year, while the other is Nations falling from 2 to 5 which I've touched on elsewhere in this article. Of the others, Tzolk'in, which last year fell from 1 to 3 and this year fell to number 17 having only been played twice, widely spread in April and October, my first thought was that this was largely due to Marco Polo, but looking at the figures shows that there is only one play in the first half before Marco Polo came on the scene. Last year's number 4 was Caverna which has been played twice this year and is at number 29, I noted in last year's article that I expected a fall for this due to Jaime & Isabel moving away. Last year's 5 was Viticulture that has not been played at all which is not surprising as I think only Chris had a copy and he has not been since the first week of last year.

How much difference does Saturday play make?
Looking at the figures for all sessions the top 5 games are exactly the same except that Nations moves up from 5 to 3. Looking at the places below, Concordia moves up from 42 to 7 having been played at both Saturday sessions.

Games that have stood the test of time
Industrial Waste was played again this year remaining the only game to have recorded play every year since 2003.

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

Industrial Waste13
Power Grid12
San Juan12
Saint Petersburg9
Katzenjammer Blues9

A total of 45 different people have played at the club’s Wednesday sessions in 2014, up from last year’s 42. For the third year in a row, the player of most games was Mike, playing 107, up from last year's 93. I was second, playing 92 games.


  1. Nice write up Dave. Thank you for all you do with the web site over the year and your faithful recording of the results which you present so well.

  2. Yes, as always, an interesting analysis. Regarding Nations, I still very much enjoy playing the game. However, if played slowly it can happen that either we can't finish a game before the end of the session or we go on well past 11pm. There was a very slow and hence unfinished game earlier in the year which seems to have put Jim Falkus off the game after his first play. There is now an expansion available for the game, which I may buy and thus become more motivated to bring it to the table. However, I have other priorities, not the least of which is playtesting Kingdom of Kiralysag...

  3. I also miss Tzolk'in, but I don't have my own copy to bring and I haven't seen much of Gordon's copy recently. Besides, Mike at the least is very wary of playing with me...

  4. I was quite surprised when I looked up on bgg which were my most played games of the year. After 31 solo games of Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, my next most played games were Quartermaster General (11), Terra Mystica and Voyages of Marco Polo (10 each), Istanbul and Splendor (7 each).

  5. My top plays of 2015:

    Machi Koro - 23
    Splendor - 16
    The Voyages of Marco Polo - 14
    Carcassonne - 8
    Agricola - 6
    Antike II - 5
    San Juan - 5

    In 2016 I'll be looking to get in more plays of Marco Polo, mixing it with Tzolkin, Concordia, Istanbul and St P. It could be that Pandemic makes the number one slot this year if a Season 2 comes out before next Chrstmas.