Category Archives: by the numbers

by the numbers

BTN Mar 2017


This post always creeps up on me. It shouldn’t do, I know it’s coming. But it does. I do enjoy the brief bit of reflection it gives me. What I like now is that because I’ve been doing this for over a year now, I can look back at the same period in time and compare. What was I playing this time last year? Am I still playing those games?

So last month was an epic month, it would be hard to match that, or even beat it. But I think I did pretty well.

There were six new (to me) games that I got to play in March. Plus one that was new to the stats app (Gloom). 

So here are the stats produced by the stats app I’m using.


So here is a new section to the post. Which if I can work out how to do what I want to do graphically, will be a graphic instead of a boring table of numbers. Remember I do everything for this blog on my iPhone! That includes using Numbers (the spreadsheet app) for the graph and this new bit. So sometimes I’m limited in what I can do. 

As you can see I beat the average (which ever way you want to measure it – I’m not a stats nerd, potentially a wannabe, but too lazy) for plays. But just missed on the games played for two of the measurements. 

Let’s look at the graph. Stats always look pretty when presented this way. Great for showing trends. But not great for showing the full story. 

Now it’s time for…

My Game of the Month…

So out of the six new (to me) games I played in March, which one impressed me the most to be given the title of my game of the month?

My game of the month is…

This is my current go to filler game. Portable (fits in the pocket), quick, easy to teach, fun. Mint Works really does hit the spot. Plus it is a big hit with the students that attend my Monday enrichment session.  They really do love it.  Seventeen year olds saying “this is my favourite game so far” and happy to play seven games of it back to back! I think it would have been more if we hadn’t run out of time. That’s the ultimate test passed with flying colours.

Worst Game of the Month…

The gaming world will take a deep sigh of relief this month, because none of the games I played qualified for this infamous award. 

Hopefully hitting the table in April…

Didn’t do too well with last months list. Mint Works was the only one to hit the table. And we know how I felt about that. But going to put the ones from the last month back on for April.

  • Star Wars Rebellion – really want to play this now. Even came close to buying once or twice also in the last month.
  • Broom Service – I think a special learning session needs setting up for this.
  • Mech vs Minions – need to arrange a big session for this I think.

Fenland Gamer Events for April (so far)…

  • The monthly meetup (second Wednesday of the month, 12/4/17)
  • The weekly Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion (or FEG@WL as I call it)
  • T.I.M.E. Stories – life events stopped us completing The Prophecy of Dragons in March. So hopefully our party of time travellers will be able to save the day this time!
  • International Tabletop Day – 29/4/17 – details to be announced 

If you are in the area and want to attend one of the events, please visit the Fenland Gamers Facebook page for further details about the event. Hope to see you there.

BTN Feb 2017

It’s a new month, a busy start at work has delayed this post by a couple of days. Which for some readers will come as a relief.

So let’s get straight in to looking at the numbers behind last months gaming.

Wow when you look at the following numbers for February, just wow.

I played 29 different games last month, 11 of them were new to me (1 was new in the sense I had played it but before I had started recording my game plays). I think with the amazing number of plays also, this has to be probably the best month of gaming I have had so far since records began (just over a year now).

Plus this wasn’t all down to me playing lots of light games. There is a nice mix between the different styles.

Looking back at February 2016, and it’s like OMG! The difference is amazing. I almost feel like I did play any games back then compared to now.

As usual I also generate a graphical view of the number of games played, and the number of plays. That just makes this months gaming figures look even more dramatic.

My Game of the Month…

It was a strong month for games played. For a handful of them any other month and they would have been my choice that month. But one just stood out from the crowd. This months game of the month is Santorini.

The game is proving a big hit in our game group. Jonathan added it to his collection,  he was one of the lucky ones able to find a copy. It sold out fast when it hit the supply chain and the FLGS. Which means it’s sitting on Debbie’s wish list at the moment.

Worst Game of the Month…

I think despite the massive misplays, Dead Men Tell No Tales has to be the worst game I played in February. It’s not that bad that I am consigning it to the Nantucket Wing of Shame (conveniently built round Jonathan’s). I just don’t think there was enough there to make me want to go back and try playing the game correctly. And it’s for that reason Dead Men Tell No Tales has this infamous honor.

SIDE NOTE: Despite Jonathan having underhandedly offloaded Nantucket with New Bedford in a trade/sale recently. He will forever be the home of the Nantucket Wing of Shame.

Hopefully hitting the table in March…

I think I did really well last month with all the games I mentioned making it to the table. So here are the ones I’d like to try and play in March.

  • Star Wars Rebellion – yeah I’m caving and want to try it. Luckily one of our clubs members has the game in their collection.
  • Broom Service – I want to play Kiki’s Delivery Service the game!! Ok I know it’s not, but it sure could be.
  • Mech vs Minions – well after really enjoying the first play of it, I want to play more of the missions.
  • Mint Works – I have no excuse why this hasn’t been played since getting it.

Fenland Gamer Events for March (so far)…

  • The monthly meetup (next Wednesday)
  • The weekly Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion (or FEG@WL as I call it)
  • Mechs vs Minions (still currently 2 spaces available)
  • A second attempt at T.I.M.E. Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons (full booked)
  • Finale of Season 2 of our Formula D League (was on the 1st)
  • NSPCC Big Board Game Day

If you are in the area and want to attend one of the events, please visit the Fenland Gamers Facebook page for further details about the event.

BTN Jan 2017

It’s a new month and you know the pattern by now, it’s time to look at the numbers for the previous months gaming.

I find it hard to believe that I have been logging my games using the excellent Board Games Stats app on my iPhone now for over a year. What started out as an exercise to act as a potential early warning system for the signs of depression, has now become an addiction in itself!

January continued the growing theme of playing longer games. I’d like to say meatier, more challenging, or involved. But I wouldn’t place Zombicide or The Others in that category. They are light, fun, games. But they can tie up an afternoon playing. Which they did last month. If you look at the time logged against those two games and T.I.M.E. Stories, thats fourteen hours of gaming between those three games. So yes I could have played more games, and had more plays than I did. But I’m glad that I’m getting a chance to play these bigger games.

Although last month did kind of end on a whimper on the gaming front due to life stuff. Not mine I should point out, I’d need a life first. But still it would have meant that the stats would be slightly better. However it never happened, so no point crying over spilt milk. Well unless it’s Leto’s Joker that is just unforgivable.

Comparing January 2016 to January 2017 is interesting. I played the exact same number of games. Slightly less plays, and it would also appear I was less sociable, because I played with less people this year, and in half the locations.

Plus looking back at the games played in January 2016, I’m thinking “oh must get that back to the table” for several of the games. Which year had the better games played for January? Thats a close call. Too close I think. I might give it by the slimmest of margins to 2017.


Looking at the graph the trend still looks to be down. But as I have pointed out above the graph doesn’t really tell the true underlying story. Less games and plays, but bigger more time consuming games played instead.

My Game of the Month…

This is a hard decision this month. I’ve played seven games for the first time this month. They have been good games, games that I would play again. But good enough to snatch the much coveted title “Game of the month”? I’m going to go with Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game. This rethemed, and slightly tweaked version of Zombie Dice was a version of the game I really enjoyed.

Worst Game of the Month…

There isn’t one game I played in January that would warrant being placed in the Nantucket Wing of Shame.

And so onto new sections to By The Numbers.

Hopefully hitting the table in February…

  • Inis – I’ve just got this and definitely biting at the bit to play this. Will it live up to the hype?
  • Santorini – I think this will be a Costa Gaming session. This beautiful looking game is also just in, but it needs an audience to look on and admire it while it’s being played!
  • Kemet – I’ve finally got all the Cyclades minis to go with the C2K expansion, so yes I want to play the game with more monsters to buy!!
  • Scythe – why wouldn’t I want to get this to the table? It’s my game of 2016!

Fenland Gamer Events for February (so far)…

  • The monthly meetup (next Wednesday)
  • T.I.M.E. Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons (full booked)
  • Friday Evening Gaming At The White Lion Hotel or FEG@WL

If you are in the area and want to attend one of the events, please visit the Fenland Gamers Facebook page for further details about the event.

So that’s January 2017.

 

BTN 2016 edition!

Happy New Year!!!! 

Wow so that’s a year gone. We are a day into 2017 so probably the best time to look back at the previous year.

Luckily this post is the last one looking back. I’ve already bored you with my game of 2016, worst and under the radar games of 2016. 

It’s been a year since I started logging my game plays using the BG Stats app on my iPhone. Which then inspired the By The Numbers (BTN) posts here on the blog at the end of each month that have bored you into a coma.

So here is the summary of my year of gaming. Naturally the list of games is pretty long. So I’ve included this at the end as a thumbnail you can click on to view the full list if you are remotely interested.


I have to say I’m amazed at these numbers. Not as high as some I’ve seen being put up on one or two of the Facebook gaming groups. 

The time figure is very very inaccurate because I don’t normally record the duration it took to play a game.

So here is the graphic that shows my overall trend for the year.

December was a big drop off because we stopped the FEG@WL sessions for the month. December is a busy time for our hosts The White Lion with Christmas parties for various employee groups looking to celebrate a year of playing office Game of Thrones. So we didn’t want to give our fantastic hosts a headache and get in their way. But we will be back to normal from this week.

Game of the Month…

For those that missed it (it was sneaked in on my GOTY post) my game for December was Pandemic Iberia. 

One new feature of the BG Stats app in the last update was to be able to set challenges and track them.

It’s a very popular thing to do amongst gamers apparently. Especially ones like 10×10, which is to play ten games ten times each within a year. 

Do these count as new year resolutions for gamers?

So I thought I’d come up with my own for 2017.

I have been getting meatier games to the table recently. Which I really really enjoy. But I still have some sitting in my ‘pile of shame’. So my main aim in this challenge for 2017 is to get some of those to the table. Naturally as any new meaty games get added to my collection they will get added to this challenge. In fact I don’t have Xia yet, but that will be with me in March when the Kickstarter for the expansion gets sent out.

So here is ‘My Big Game Challenge’ for 2017.

Here is the thumbnail I mentioned earlier in the post. How many of these have you played? 

So that was 2016. I had a great year gaming with friends and family, meeting new people, and some great experiences.

2017 has a high bar to beat.

BTN November 2016

Wow another month gone, and we are now into the home straight to Christmas and the New Year.

But what did last month look like?

I played some great games this month. Out of the twenty games played in November, twelve of them were games that I played for the first time. That’s amazing, the percentage is normally much lower than that.

Life certainly made an impact on the number of chances I had to play games this month. But it didn’t stop the games played from being more substantial, more meaty affairs. And it was nice to be able to get those more complicated, more thoughtful games to the table.

My Game of the Month

I think this can be only one game this month. It had amazingly strong competition from the likes of Kemet, T.I.M.E. Stories, Cry Havoc and Covert. But in the end it could only be Scythe. One game wasn’t enough, we had to play a second straight away. Scythe really did live up to the hype. I’m just hoping that Sunday after playing The Others that there will be time to get a three player game of Scythe in as well.

Hot or Not

At the start of the week I think it was on one of the Facebook board game groups I keep an eye on, some-one posted asking how many of the BGG Top 100 did we own, and how many had we played?

I posted my response which after this mornings little exercise in Excel proved to be inaccurate! Oops maths was never my strong suit, plus I’m old. Well that’s the excuse I’m going with, and sticking to.

As I just hinted I pulled the list of Top 100 games as rated on BGG, along with the current list of Hot Games as of this morning on the site (you can find that list on the home page of BGG), downloaded my current list of games owned from BGG, and then used the magic of Excel to process the data!

So out of the current list of Hot Games, (and don’t ask me how a game gets on this list, I have no idea. There must be some sort of clever algorithm working in the background looking at data on the BGG site.) I own 8 of the 50 games that make up this list, or as a percentage I own 16% of the current Hot Games. But have only played 6 of them, which works out at 12%.

That’s not too bad really, considering that usually the Hot Games are normally just released, or announced games, or existing games that have an expansion coming out.

With the current Top 100 (based on scores BGG members give the game I believe with some voodoo done to those figures) I own 21 of them, or 21% (yes percentages are really easy for the Top 100). But I’ve played 30 or 30% of the Top 100 games.

Which I think isn’t too shabby if you ask me.

Plus there are 2 games (Cry Havoc and Keyflower) on the lists that I don’t actually own yet but will in the next week. With a further 3 I think sitting on the Top 100 that are on my Wishlist.

On the Hot Games list there are 5 games (with only one of them overlapping on the Top 100) that are To Be Played (TBP). Which basically means I want to get them to the table real soon. And there are plans in place for two or three of them already.

For those with nothing better to do here is the excel spreadsheet with my data in it.

I have to admit it has been fun doing this little exercise and I might do it as part of a yearly round up or something. How about that for a threat?

BTN Oct16

Yep that’s another month gone, and we are even closer to the year end.

Out of the 28 games that made it to the table, 10 of them were new (or new to me). That’s not bad. It means I also played 18 games I’d enjoyed previously.

So what does my gaming trend look like? Well the dip has been reversed. Which is always nice.

My game of the month

This was a no brainer for me. I’ve based the decision on the experience I had while playing the game. I had such a blast whilst playing it had to be this game. Oh it’s Escape from Colditz. 

Really great thematic packaging. Fantastic component quality. Rule book could do with improving. Osprey did an amazing job with this reprint.

Worst game of the month

I’ve had a great month of gaming and nothing has qualified for this award this month. Which is always nice to see I’m playing quality games.

Well that’s it for another boring stats post. 

BTN September 2016

It’s that time of the month to look back and reflect on the previous months gaming again.

So here we go here are the numbers for last month.

It doesn’t feel it but the graph shows the trend on plays is down for a second month. But games played is up. I have played some meaty games last month.

If I’ve counted right eleven of the games last month were first plays of new games or from the pile of shame.

My Game of the Month

I like this award to be a new game. Whether it’s just been released or one that I’ve never played before. However I’m bending the rules!

This month my game of the month is Istanbul with all the expansions. The new expansion Briefs and Siegel mixed in with the Mocha and Baksheesh expansion just take the game to such an amazing level.

Played this way isn’t for noobs to the game or gaming. But if you are a seasoned  gamer, or played before, oh boy this is just mind blowing.

Worst Game of the Month

I think last month must have been a good month for gaming. I don’t think I’ve played any that you would call a stinker or worse deserve a place in the Nantucket hall of infamy, that is current housed in the Nantucket wing at Jonathan’s.

The Pile of Shame Five

So looking at the last pile of shame Five that I named as targets to play only one of them was played.

This time I’m going to deviate away from the usual selection process and have a list of games I want to get back to the table.

  • Five Tribes
  • Imperial Settlers
  • Neuroshima Hex
  • Tiny Epic Kingdoms
  • Viticulture

All great games that are long overdue a return to the table.

 BTN August 2016

Yep it’s that time of month again where I bore you rigdged with how much gaming I’ve done the previous month.

For a month that sees people taking time off to have a holiday with family and loved ones, I’m quite happy with only having played 16 games 43 times in total.

As you can also see I’ve done a lot of two player gaming. Which is unusual for me. 

Half of the games played were new games. Of which two are no longer on my pile of shame. I think that’s pretty impressive really. 

So let’s look these numbers as a pretty pretty graph. 


So the pretty graph shows a dip but it was always going to be nigh on impossible to top July for number of plays, especially during a holiday month.

My Game of the Month

This is not going to be a surprise to anyone. My game of the month this month is…

Yep It’s the Kickstarter deluxe version of The Manhattan Project Chain Reaction with its better box and wooden components for yellow cake and uranium. This is such a great game, everyone whose tried it so far has enjoyed it, if not liked it as much as I do. I can’t wait for the regular edition to hit the stores so I can buy it for Nath. 

Worst game of the month

Another none surprise this month, the only real shocker would have been if this didn’t get the worst game award for the month. This was such a stinker that already I’ve spent too much time talking about it, and I haven’t even named it yet. This months game that wreaks is Nantucket.

BTN July 2016

Wow another month has flown by. 

Twenty two games, sixty plays. That’s incredible. Two OP events (Star Realms and Netrunner) helped push these stats through the roof. 

Some old and new favourites got to the table. Although I’d liked to have got Guilds of London back to the table, and played more The Voyages of Marco Polo. 

With Biblios Dice and Valley of the Kings seeing daylight, two more games make it off the pile of shame. Plus they didn’t disappoint.

July saw six brand new games getting played. Five of them in my collection. 

In all a very successful month I think. Despite none of pile of shame five not making it to the table.

Let’s look at the pretty graph showing the trend.

Wow! hey? The number of games played kind of continued the plateau I’d reached. Good grief I didn’t think I’d ever beat the high of March/May for number of plays. But holy heck this month smashed it. I’ll never ever improve on this months figure. 

My game of the month…

So this month I think my choice for my game of the month has to be between Qwixx and 7 Wonders Duel. 

Qwixx as I pointed out yesterday is a great gateway game, easy and quick to teach. And it also fills that gap of quick filler game wonderfully. Plus I think when it comes to throwing a bag of games together to take for a Costa gaming session, Qwixx will be an instant addition along with Love Letter Batman.

However I think 7 Wonders Duel has to be my game of the month. It’s such a great two player game. It has lots of replay ability, no two games are the same. It’s joined Star Realms and Netrunner in my top three two player games. Look how it hooked Nath yesterday. I don’t see how this can’t be game of the month.

Worst game of the month…

This was a close one too. My candidates for this infamous award are Dalek Dice and Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. 

I think the one that definitely takes this unwanted title has to be the unfulfilling Dalek Dice. An unnecessary over complicated push your luck dice game, that should have kept it simple. Just doesn’t measure up to Zombie Dice.