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.

Monday 2 January 2017

Stats Review - 2016

This is the 2016 review of games played at the club, corresponding articles for 2008 - 2015 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. I also tweeted the top 10 @halesowenBG.

As in 2015, 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 another slight fall in the figures over the previous year. The average attendance was 10.6 per session (compared with 11.4 in the previous year, but the figure was rising in the last few months prior to Christmas).

Games Played

We played a total of 274 games this year (down from 300) spread over 114 titles (compared with 119 in 2014). 36 games were played for the first time this year (in addition to 1 which was played in a new version, recorded against the version of the game played previously) while 63 games which  were played in 2015, failed to be played this year. The total player time for the year was 1329 player hours, down 4% on 2014.

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

1. Kingdom of Kiralysag(12 plays, 112.67 player hours)
For the first time, the top game of the year is not a published game but a prototype. This was designed by Scott and I understand (as might be expected with development changes) that it has changed over time, so perhaps it should strictly be considered multiple games, but the information to make that split isn't available.

2. Terraforming Mars (10 plays, 86.33 player hours)
This is number 2, but the top published game of the year, despite only having been first played in October. I brought it to the table and played it for 9 weeks in a row before feeling the need to play Power Grid. Most people who've played seem to have enjoyed it and there's a good chance there'll be more than one copy around next year when the reprint arrives.

3. Power Grid (7 plays, 61.00 player hours)
Down to number 3 this year with a mere 7 plays, although I suspect this would have been somewhat more if I hadn't spent so much time finishing off Pandemic Legacy in the first half of the year and then being almost completely occupied by Terraforming Mars from October on.

4. Grand Austria Hotel (8 plays, 58.67 player hours)
I don't really know a tremendous amount about this one except that it is the latest design by stable  that brought us Tzolk'in (#1 in 2013) and Marco Polo (#1 in 2015). It will be interesting to see what comes from that direction in 2017.

5. World Without End (7 plays, 40.50 player hours)
World without End has been well played ever since it first appeared in 2010 and this is its highest position since its number 2 position in that year. The game stands at #8 in the all time list surpassing its predecessor Pillars of the Earth which currently sits at #20.

In the last few years the game top by player time was also top by number of games played, that run has been broken this year as the highest number of games played is Love Letter on 23 plays spread between different versions. I notice that it hasn't been played since October though with Guillotine seeming to return as filler of choice.

What happened to last year’s top 5?

Only 1 of last year's top 5 remains, that being Power Grid, which itself has fallen by 1 to number 3. Of the others Marco Polo has fallen to number 9 from number 1. Pandemic has fallen from 3 to 7, we finished the Legacy campaign in June and have not played that or the original since, although we did play a few games of Reign of Cthulhu on the last session of the year, which I think is sufficiently different to call a different game. Fury of Dracula was only played once during the year and stands at 33 down from 4. Nations goes from 5 to 15.

How much difference does Saturday play make?
Looking at the figures for all sessions the top 5 games are exactly the same and in the same order.

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 (this was a particularly easy table to compile this year as all the games on the list were played).

Industrial Waste14
Power Grid13
San Juan13
Saint Petersburg10
Katzenjammer Blues10

A total of 36 different people have played at the club’s Wednesday sessions in 2016, the player with most plays was myself on 100 followed by Mark W on 96.


  1. Excellent review of the year from a statistical point of view, which is something I always appreciate. I predict that Terraforming Mars will be the top game for 2017! I don't know of anything on the horizon from the designer of Tzolk'in, Voyages of Marco Polo and Grand Austria Hotel, so the latter may continue to get some plays this year. Gordon's absence from the club over the past few months has certainly affected the number of plays of all three of these games.

    Regarding Kingdom of Kiralysag, it can probably be broken down into three main iterations - iteration 1 lasted for 1 play test only, iteration 3 accounts for the latest 3 play tests, and iteration 2 for everything in between.

  2. Great summary as always Dave. I enjoy wallowing in Statistics, always have.