Home > Monthly Gaming > Gaming in December… and in 2014

Gaming in December… and in 2014

January 3, 2015

So, happy New Year to both of you out there! It is now time for me to give my final monthly gaming report for 2014 and sum up the year. So here we go…

An off-topic image, but our December has been largely dominated by the start of an extension to our house. When finished, we'll actually have a games room! :)

An off-topic image, but our December has been largely dominated by the start of an extension to our house. When finished, we’ll actually have a games room! πŸ™‚

December was a middlish month by 2014 standards, gaming-wise. We played a total of 17 games, of 14 distinct titles, so not bad really. Our multiple plays this time were Timeline (the Discoveries version, played twice), and Magic: The Gathering (three plays), both of which are games that had been lacking in attention through the year. In the case of Magic, though, we spent some time tweaking Miss B’s deck, which she enjoyed doing, and we opened a couple of booster packs to add to the fun. We now have a 2015 Deck Builder’s Toolkit added to the stash, so I think we’ll be able to have a lot more fun with this in the coming months.

All that covered, we now get to talk about the year as a whole, and compare and contrast with the previous year, for which I handily also have our play statistics.

In 2013, we played 112 different games a total of 326 times, with 6 games played at least 10 times, and we ended up with an H-index for the year of 7. In case you haven’t come across an H-index before, it is a concept stolen from the academic world, where it is a measure of the “impact” of academic papers. Someone figured out how to apply this to game playing, and it is a slightly interesting measure of the breadth and depth of your game playing (there is a thread about this on Board Game Geek, from which a useful quote is, “To calculate your h-index sort your games by number of plays and start counting them. Your h-index is the index of the last game in the sorted list that you have played a number of times that is equal or more than the position of the game in the sorted list.”). It doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s fun if you like pointless statistics.

By contrast, in 2014 we played 103 different games a total of 223 times, with no games played 10 or more times, giving us an H-index of 6.

So we played many fewer games, but the variety wasn’t much less than the previous year. We just didn’t go back to the same games as often.

With us attempting the Ten-by-Ten challenge this year, the depth of play should increase (if we succeed in the challenge, by definition we will have an H-index of at least 10), but only time will tell if we have more plays overall or fewer.

And finally, what were the games of 2014?

Well, not much has changed since my last report. The handful of games played more than 5 times are:

6 plays of Dungeon Roll, which Miss B loves playing, and I’m surprised that it didn’t get to the table more.

7 plays of Coup, mostly played two-player, which makes for a very poor (but very quick!) version of the game, but Miss B is wanting to play more with a bigger group.

8 plays each of Apples to Apples, Love Letter and Plyt. Apples to Apples has done pretty well given that it really needs four or five players (or more) to play, so it only comes out when we hook up with other people to play.

Which means that the most played game of 2014 was Dobble, with 9 plays, though this only actually amounted to 6 playing sessions. It’s a good game, with several different rule sets, of which our favourite is currently “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”, and it’s on the Ten-by-Ten list (as are all the aforementioned games except Coup), so it should get a decent amount of play this year too.

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  1. January 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Happy New Year! Very jealous about the putative “games room” – though I’m less jealous about the building work to achieve that goal, having been through two lots of building work in the last seven years!

    December was a bit of a halcyon game playing period with nearly two weeks off work and a couple of new Christmas games – carefully chosen presents from grandparents to both boys! (I’m still on a (more or less!) game buying ban – though I don’t include expansions in the ban….).

    The two new Christmas games were an old Rudigor Dorn (Istandbul etc) game family game, Emerald, and the animal trivia game, Fauna. Both are cracking games (IMHO). Emerald has a very neat mechanism for moving your knights up to the treasure with a bit of a dose of push your luck with the dragon movement – it’s very quick (about 20 mins) meaning it saw multiple plays most time it has come out so far. Fauna is also quick (about 30 minutes) and so much better than any other “trivia” game I’ve come across – big hit too. In fact, going back to your “10 by 10” idea, we’ve already played both of these games 10 times each since Christmas day!

    Apart from that, a few other games made a first appearance in December. R (aka Braverats) I picked up from BGG and it is a fun, Love Letter style game but only for two players. It’s probably slightly more involved than Love Letter actually, making it a little more difficult for my 7 year old to get to grips with – but after 5 quick plays we are getting there. I finally got Oddball Aeronauts out too – I didn’t back the expansion on Kickstarter – I’m on a Kickstarter ban too (more or less!) – but having played this a few times now, it’s actually quite fun. The next step is to move up to playing the “tricks” on the cards as well as simply using the “powers” – we left those out the first few games to make sure we got the hang of it first.

    I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by Machi Koro, which saw three plays, Incan Gold made a comeback with three plays, I played Alien Frontiers with my 7 year old a couple of times who enjoyed it (mostly as I let him start with an extra dice/ship, so he won) and I also retrieved from the loftspace the D&D Adventure Game, Wrath of Arshadalon – which I actually think is quite fun (it’s much shorter and more streamlined than Mice and Mystics – though admittedly with far less story flavour).

    Taking the year as a whole, our most played games were:
    DC Comics Deck Building Game 27
    Little Prince 23
    Villagers and Villains 22
    GUBS 21
    Fairy Tale 20
    Jaipur 16

    Most of those games actually saw the vast majority of their plays early in the year and haven’t been played so much since – so expect a new GOTY for 2015, with Fauna and Emerald top contenders already!

    Time will tell whether we keep up this rate of play, which is mostly down to my 7 year old son waking me up at 7am most Sundays to go and play games downstairs with him. My 9 year old generally prefers to do other stuff now – which is a bit of a shame – but hopefully he’ll start joining in a bit more again at some stage. At least he liked his Christmas present, Fauna!

  2. Ghoti
    January 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Dobble is great because it’s so easy for little ones. We just got Munchkin Treasure Hunt and it is already a firm favourite. (My kids are 6 and 2, 2 year old hasn’t played Munchkin yet but plays Dobble)

  3. Rob
    January 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Barnetto. Thanks for your write-up, it’s always good to see what you have been up to. I’ve seen Brave Rats around a couple of times, but never looked into it properly. A description of a bit like Love Letter, but for two players and a little more involved actually sounds like a great recommendation to me. Maybe I’ll have to pick it up some time — it’s not like it’s expensive!

  4. Rob
    January 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Ghoti, thanks for commenting! Yeah, Dobble is great — especially because of all the variant games it comes with so you can choose the rules that work best for your group. It also has the great benefit of being a game where kids can compete on level terms with adults pretty quickly — as long as they don’t get too stressed or over-excited. How do you play it with your 2-year-old?

    • January 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Compete on level terms?! They thrash me at Dobble – which TBH I try to avoid playing as it gives me a headache!

      • Rob
        January 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm


    • Ghoti
      January 6, 2015 at 11:10 am

      We lost the rule sheet a while ago, so I can’t remember the proper name, but we do the one where you match to the centre from a pile each, and the one where you have one and grab from the centre.

      • Rob
        January 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        I think those ones are The Well and The Towering Inferno, the first games we played.

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