I bought the BGStats app at the end of 2018 and started logging plays on 1/1/2019.  I spent the year keeping close tabs on each play just so I could see what’s to see after a full year of gaming.

Some observations on the past year

  1. Playing a game with my wife and then immediately pulling out my phone to log the play and record who won or lost is a turn off for some people.  I can see that.  My goal wasn’t to record my wins so I could brag at the end of the year. (It was for science!)  But the emotion is valid.  Sometimes it’s nicer to engage in some post-game conversation and banter or discussion about how the game went, how we feel about it, etc., rather than giving the impression that the entire experience was just so I could check off a box on a digital to do list.  New Year’s Resolution: Remember to act more like a human.
  2. The game group got off to a slow start in the first quarter.  I was busy building a new house, people have busy lives and other hobbies.  Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 seemed to be a catalyst for our group, encouraging us to make room in our schedules so that we could progress through the 12-month campaign in a timely fashion.  We got better at using Doodle.com, we got better at coordinating schedules with our spouses, and as the year progressed, we started playing on an almost weekly basis.  /fistpump

  3. Some people like other kinds of games, and that’s okay.  Dan and Steve #3 are big into Magic: The Gathering, and I’m giving it a shot.  Steve #3 has a preset cube of 500 cards, which removes my primary complaint about having to always be buying cards in order to be able to compete.  Now I just have to learn how to draft and synergize 500 cards from a fixed set – a much easier prospect. /eyeroll  And Collin is DMing us in our first Dungeons & Dragons campaign — I almost died already!  It’s been great!  Some of these gaming choices might not be each of our first preferences, but I think we’re all jumping in with enthusiasm.  The way I see it: I ask them to play boardgames with me all the time.  The least I can do is play the games they like to play, too.  Result: I’m finding new kinds of fun.
  4. 3 of us went to a boardgaming convention (PAX Unplugged), and even though I was as sick as a dog, it was a fun time.  I’m not sure I would attack so many games in such rapid succession again, but it was nice to get a lot of demos done and get a feel for games that have been on my watchlist for several years.  I’ll go again.  
  5. I’m getting more critical of games. I don’t want to play a mediocre game that take 120 minutes when I can play a fantastic game that takes 60 minutes.  I use Math Trades as a way to ditch games that aren’t worth the effort, exchanging them for games I’ve wanted to try, but didn’t want to just buy outright because they might be a waste of money.  When possible, I’ll try to sell for cash instead.  I currently own 51 games and 15 are probably going on the chopping block. Dan bought his first boardgame (Dice Throne: Season 2), and Haller has been buying a few here and there.  We can’t play all the games all the time, so we gotta focus on the good ones.  Fewer, high-quality games + More depth = More fun.
  6. We focused our gaming this year and aimed for depthPandemic Legacy: Season 2 and the Scythe: The Rise of Fenris campaigns certainly encouraged that, but we were hitting Scythe pretty hard anyway.  Clans of Caledonia was our other choice for diving deeper and I think we all discovered new layers to these games that were not apparent on the first few plays.  Overall, this was a highly satisfying year of boardgaming.  I’m thinking of doubling-down on this whole Depth Year concept I’ve been reading about.
  7. I’m often the guy that everybody thinks wins most of the time so when they have a choice to attack someone they like to pick on me.  I do my best to plead my case: “Look!  I’m in last place!  You should attack him!  He’s the real threat!”  I deploy lots of smoke and mirrors and charismatic bluffing and speaking with confidence, but the stats don’t lie.  The gig is up.  Best to go into 2020 with guns blazing.
  8. So much of my attention was locked up in the house project that I hadn’t been focusing on playing with my sons.  If there was free time to play, my mind was preoccupied with subcontractors and project deadlines.  But the house project is winding down now and I’m already making efforts to change things.  I’m trying to relax about playing games with 100% accuracy to the rules with the boys.  Sometimes fudging it a bit makes it more fun.  Maybe we didn’t play the game as intended, but my sons had fun with their dad, and that’s what I want them to remember.  Example: I’ve been avoiding teaching Boden Flick ’em Up! because we might lose pieces or Bennett might come over and he’s maybe a little too young to understand.  Boden and I played 2 games and I immediately started packing up the game when Bennett came over to see what we were doing.  Major Dad Fail!  I stopped myself, set up the town again, let Bennett decide where to place the cacti and hay bales and barrels, and then the three of us just had one crazy insane shootout. Bodies were strewn everywhere! Buildings got knocked over!  Optimus Prime even showed up! Turns out Flick ’em Up! is pretty much just a toy and Bennett has a ridiculously strong (and incredibly accurate) flicker finger.  Both of them are already asking to play again. Major Dad Save!

  9. Carolyn and I have had several conversations recently about the impacts of technology on our quality of life, the number of interruptions it causes, the addictive nature of the internet, screens pulling us away from being in the present moment, TV shows that aren’t really that great but we watch them anyway, and a whole host of other things.  She used to be my main gaming partner.  Since we had kids and started building the house, that’s pretty much been gone, and I miss it.  We’re going to turn off a lot of notifications on our phones and start keeping them in a basket in the kitchen rather than in our pockets.  When the night is over and it’s time for bed, we can go get our phones again.  TV won’t be an every night thing anymore.  Exercise, family walks in the woods, and meal prep will be a more common thing this year.  I’ll continue to try to balance getting house project work done and making sure I have time and attention for playing with the boys.  We’re going to try to accumulate less, enjoy and share what we have more, and seek health and happiness as a lifestyle.

Total Games Played (by me) in 2019

Total Plays: 179
Total Unique Games Played: 53
Total New Games Played: 32
H-index: 7 games were played at least 7 times
Total Playtime: ~90 hours
Number of Days on which games were played: 67

# of Plays
Scythe + The Rise of Fenris 17
Kingdom Builder 16
Clans of Caledonia 13
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 12
Rhino Hero: Super Battle 10
Animal Upon Animal 9
Carcassonne 8
Roll Player 7
Magic: The Gathering 6
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure 5
Tsuro 5
Brass: Birmingham 4
Evolution: Climate 4
Kingdomino 4
Pharaoh’s Gulo Gulo 4
Dragonwood 3
Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters 3
Jaipur 3
Mine Shift 3
Schotten Totten 3
Terraforming Mars 3
The Magic Labyrinth 3
Tobago 3
Bananagrams 2
Biblios 2
Glen More II: Chronicles 2
Imhotep 2
Steampunk Rally 2
Akrotiri 1
Boss Monster: Rise of the Minibosses 1
Catan 1
Concordia (demo) 1
Deep Blue (demo) 1
Dice Throne: Season One (demo) 1
Dice Throne: Season Two 1
Dominant Species 1
El Grande (demo) 1
Everdell (demo) 1
Exit: The Game – The Forbidden Castle 1
Fae (demo) 1
Forbidden Desert 1
Galaxy Trucker (demo) 1
Glass Road 1
Imperial Settlers (demo) 1
Lockup (demo) 1
Morels + Foray 1
Nanty Narking (demo) 1
Pandemic 1
Rattus (demo) 1
Spirit Island (demo) 1
Taluva 1
The Quest for El Dorado 1
Ticket to Ride: Europe 1
Unlock! Tonipal’s Treasure 1

Games Acquired in 2019

Game # of Plays Acquired by On the Chopping Block? That’s just like, my opinion, man.
Scythe + The Rise of Fenris 17 Purchased by Group
Scythe good, Fenris just OK
Rhino Hero: Super Battle 10 Purchased Might Ditch It
Meh, random die rolls ruins it
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure 5 Received in Math Trade Good
Brass: Birmingham 4 Purchased
Great, but half the group hates it
Kingdomino 4 Purchased Might Ditch It Meh, too light
Evolution: Climate 4 Steve #3 Purchased
Meh, random, chaotic
Terraforming Mars 3 Steve #3 Purchased Good
Bananagrams 2 Received as Gift Meh
Glen More II: Chronicles 2 Received as Gift Good
Imhotep 2 Received in Math Trade Might Ditch It Good
Dice Throne: Season Two 1 Dan Purchased Good
Nanty Narking 1 Purchased Great
The Quest for El Dorado 1 Received in Math Trade Might Ditch It Meh, too light
Whitehall Mystery 0 Received as Gift
Village 0 Received in Math Trade
Chickapig 0 Boden received as Gift

Games Removed in 2019

Removed from Collection # of Plays That’s just like, my opinion, man!
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 12 Completed it.  It was good.
Dragonwood 3 Just OK
Exit: The Game – The Forbidden Castle 1 Meh
Unlock! Tonipal’s Treasure 1 Meh
Ticket to Ride: Europe 1 Meh
Morels + Foray 1 Just OK
Specter Ops 0 Good, fiddly rules, 2nd edition fixes some of it
Hunt for the Ring 0 Really bad rulebook, might have been great but work effort too much
Nuns on the Run 0 Good, but bad rulebook

Games on the Chopping Block

On the Chopping Block # of Plays
That’s just like, my opinion, man!
Rhino Hero: Super Battle 10
Meh, random die rolls ruin it
Roll Player 7
Good, but too solitaire
Tsuro 5 Meh
Kingdomino 4 Meh, too light
Mine Shift 3 Meh
Schotten Totten 3 Meh
Biblios 2 Good
Imhotep 2 Good
Forbidden Desert 1 Just OK
The Quest for El Dorado 1 Meh, too light
Letters from Whitechapel 0
Great, but plays overlong
Love Letter 0 Meh
CoinAge 0 Meh
Kill Doctor Lucky … and his little dog, too! 0 Meh
Heimlich & Co. 0
Childhood Favorite, in disrepair

Game Group Stats

Player # of Plays H-index
Steve #2 (Me) 179 7
Steve #3 75 4
Dan 73 4
Collin 68 5
Top 3 Most Played Games # of Plays Game Type Achievements
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 12 Cooperative Win Rate: 75%
Scythe + The Rise of Fenris 8 Competitive
Top Score: 89 (Collin and Steve #2)
Clans of Caledonia 2 Competitive
Top Score: 173 (Steve #3)
4p Group # of Plays Win Rate
Steve #2 (Me) 14 59%
Collin 14 44%
Dan 14 44%
Steve #3 14 37%
3p Group A # of Plays Win Rate
Steve #2 (Me) 25 58%
Dan 25 20%
Steve #3 25 16%
3p Group B # of Plays Win Rate
Steve #3 6 50%
Steve #2 (Me) 6 33%
Collin 6 16%
3p Group C # of Plays Win Rate
Collin 6 50%
Steve #2 (Me) 6 33%
Dan 6 16%

My Family Gaming Stats

Total Plays: 61
Total Unique Games Played: 20
Total New Games Played: 6
H-index: 4 games were played at least 4 times
Total Playtime: ~31 hours
Number of Days on which games were played: 27

Player # of Plays
Steve #2 (Me) 56
Carolyn 34
Boden 38
Bennett 15
Top 10 Most Played Games # of Plays Achievements
Animal Upon Animal 9 Bennett wins one!
Rhino Hero: Super Battle 8 Boden & Bennett beat Mom & Dad!
Kingdom Builder 6 Boden’s first “heavier” game
Tsuro 5 Boden beats Dad!
Kingdomino 4 Boden beats Dad!
Pharaoh’s Gulo Gulo 4 Bennett’s Winning Streak: 2
Dragonwood 3 Boden beats Dad, twice!
Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters 3 Cooperative Win Rate: 66%
The Magic Labyrinth 3 Boden beats Dad!
Schotten Totten 3 Boden beats Dad!