We had a good month of gaming in October. It was mostly short games, many of which got played multiple times, so that we have had, for the first time, an average number of plays per game a little above 2. Our total number of plays was 37, our second highest of the year, and that was of 17 different games, which is also a very respectable count.
We had a couple of get-togethers with other families for gaming afternoons, which was great, and always helps keep things ticking over.
The thing that pleased me most from the month is our most-played game, which was Cribbage, on 5 plays. This is a traditional card game with somewhat arcane and bizarre rules, but is one of my favourite games of all time, and one which I may well have played more than any other in my life. On a whim I offered to teach it to Miss B, and she enthusiastically accepted and then picked up the rules far more quickly than I did when I was a kid. It is now becoming one of her favourites and she is starting to get the hand of the tactics in the game, so she will start winning more often soon.
The other games we played more than once were BraveRats, Push It, In a Bind, and Giftmas with the Grimms (one of my prototypes) on 4 plays each, plus All Hands on Deck, Cockroach Poker, Hnefatafl, and TiddlyWinks all on 2 plays.
And that leaves us with our three top games for the year stretching their lead over the rest of the field, but staying in the same position relative to each other: Push It keeps its nose ahead with 16 plays, closely followed by BraveRats on 15, and In a Bind, which only had its first play in June with a strong 13 plays. Next up is the mighty little tin that is ‘6’, which has still been played 9 times this year.
It looks like we have three plausible candidates for this year’s crown, and only two months left to see which comes out on top — or if we get a sudden surge from an outsider.
September wasn’t a bad month for gaming, with a respectable 24 plays of 14 different games. The highlight of the month was the games afternoon we hosted. We didn’t have quite as many people as last time, but we had a nice houseful, with two tables of games running for a fair bit of the afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came, played, shared food, and took photos!
The games that we played multiple times were led by traditional counter-flipping game, Tiddlywinks, and house favourite (though not played so much this year), Dobble, each with three plays a piece. We also played Array, Codenames Pictures, Magic: The Gathering, Push It, Spyfall, and Yardmaster Express twice each.
Array was a gift brought back by S on a recent trip to the USA which, unfortunately, we found unenjoyable using its intended rules (“We don’t have to review this one, do we?” asked Miss B — no, we don’t), but we gave it a second play with some alternate (speed play) rules that we made up on the spot and had a fun time. Codenames Pictures was also a gift, this time from some of our visitors at the games afternoon, and I think we actually prefer it to the original Codenames, which is great in its own right (and won this year’s prestigious Spiel des Jahres prize).
Which brings us to the running totals for the year… Well, Push It has pushed its way into the lead with 12 plays, nudging ahead of BraveRats, still on 11. In a Bind is still on 9 plays (though Miss B has played a few more times without me), alongside 6. Then there is a gap before we hit Dobble on 6 plays and a whole heap of games with 5 plays.
So we are now three quarters of the way through the year. We’ve played a fair bit less than last year, and it has been a bit patchy, but that is fine. You know that whole “training a gamer” thing? Well, I think I am finally getting trained properly. Sometimes I’ll suggest playing a game, and sometimes the idea is accepted, but increasingly we get situations when Miss B comes in and points out a game that we haven’t played for a while and fancies having a go at.
Patience is rewarded.
We did pretty well for games in August, with a games afternoon with another family as well as a couple of father-daughter games afternoons throughout the month. We even got started (a little late) on this year’s Training a Gamer Award, so you can expect the reports for that to be forthcoming over the next few weeks.
Our total for the month was 28 plays, with 15 different games. This is well down on last August, but only beaten by two months this year. We had several games with multiple plays, top of which was In a Bind, with 6 plays, followed by Apotheca, Hey That’s My Fish, and Yardmaster Express, with 3 plays a piece, and 6 and Win Lose Banana each on 2. That latter game (WLB) is a bit bizarre (to say the least), requiring exactly three players and being a game that seems entirely random at first, but then turns into a game of psychology after a few rounds.
I think my highlight of the month was trying out Railways of the World, which I had been wanting to play for some time and then managed to acquire a copy on the cheap, then had a great opportunity to play it when we had a visitor over. We made a couple of minor tweaks to the rules to make it a little more accessible for a first play with kids, but after the rules explanation, the game flowed really well and we all enjoyed it very much.
For the year, BraveRats maintains its lead position with 11 plays, followed by Push It with 10, both unchanged from the previous month. But now we have 6 and In a Bind, right in the chase, each with 9 plays, so it looks like the race is well and truly on at the moment. There is nothing else we have played more than 5 times so far yet this year.
July was another pretty quiet month from a gaming point of view, with 14 plays of 10 unique titles. Oddly, only one of the games we played got played more than once, and the beneficiary of this attention was BraveRats, with 5 plays, which it now occurs to me we haven’t yet done a write-up of, so I’ll have to have a word with Miss B for an official verdict. This is a game that we love playing on trips to coffee shops, as it is quick, takes up little space, and Miss B somehow manages to beat me almost every time.
We had a really nice afternoon one Sunday when another family came around for an afternoon of gaming, which meant we got to play a few great games, including Tokaido and Scotland Yard.
So, for the year, BraveRats has edged into the lead with 11 plays, just a nose ahead of Push It, with 10 plays, and a gap before 6, which has had 7 plays.
We’re into the summer holidays now and Miss B has got into the idea of having another TAG Award contest, so I think we will be having a go at doing that over the next few weeks, plus we are building up a list of “we should really write that up” games, so hopefully we’ll have a bit more content coming really soon. Watch this space. 🙂
June was our lightest month of gaming since I started keeping records at the start of 2013, with a mere 8 plays of 6 different games.
This may seem a little weird given that we went to UK Games Expo at the start of the month, but a lot of the day where we were all there (I had been at the Expo for two days already by the time S and Miss B joined me on the Sunday) was taken up by Miss B occupying the roleplaying tables in the family zone, a complete highlight of her year. This time she played in one game set in the world of Peter Pan (and a sequel to a game she played last year), and one based loosely on the Night at the Museum films.
This year’s Expo was nearly twice the size of last year in terms of attendees, and I think about twice the size in terms of floor space. It was an amazing event and highly recommended, the family zone is absolutely awesome, and the availability of food and drinks was vastly better than previous years. We can’t wait for next year.
Anyway, we only played two games more than once: Miss B’s favoured abstract Strategy game, Balanx, and new-to-us In A Bind, which is a hilarious physical game (it has been described, with some justification, as Twister the Card Game) which Miss B is rather taken with and I expect we’ll have a write-up on it pretty soon.
That doesn’t change our stats for the year at all, so we still have Push It our most played game of the year so far with 10 plays, followed by 6 with 7 plays and BraveRats on 6. (For some reason I am reminded of the old jokey football scoreline: East Fife 4, Forfar 5.)
Onwards. We’ll be into the school holidays in a couple of weeks or so, so it will be interesting to see if we get more played then.
Oops! I was late last month, and even worse this time around. Must do better.
Anyway, Miss B and I played 14 different games in May, with a total of 20 plays, so our least gamey month so far this year in both respects. But one of those games was the enormous Runebound, which we played across two days, so that makes up for it quite a lot.
Our multiple played games were 6, Murder of Crows, The Metagame (playing in “Timelines” style), and Treasures of Atlantis (one of my own designs and still a work in progress), all on two plays a piece, and former favourite Sleeping Queens, back from the Twilight Zone with three plays.
That leaves our annual totals with BraveRats steady on six plays, 6 on seven plays, and our first game to get into double figures this year, Push It on ten plays.
So we’ve been slowing down a bit, but the games come out from time to time and they are still fun. We are still getting some new games in as well (see The Metagame and Murder of Crows above), so there may well be some more write-ups coming. Right now it’s all about going with the flow.
I’m a bit late again this month, but on the other hand, we’ve just passed five years of this blog. Okay, so the posting frequency has fluctuated a lot, but this counts as a very long term project for me! 🙂
So April turned out to be a huge month for gaming for us, with 42 plays of 29 different titles. The last time we played more games than that in a month was January of 2015. Okay, so a lot of those games were quick, small games, but hey, it all counts!
One weekend got a lot of play due to us hosting a gaming afternoon, where the house was overrun by game playing families. Actually, this contributed to Miss B’s personal play count quite significantly, but rather less to mine, and we didn’t play together much. But I was so pleased to see her just piling into games with assorted different people, particularly when I caught her setting up Odin’s Ravens with one of her friends; I just needed to help explain the rules, and they were off.
Top of the heap of games in April was Mastermind, with four plays (we count a play as one guessing game each), followed by Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, Odin’s Ravens, Highwayman, and BraveRats with three plays, and Push It and Magikus on two each.
That leaves the year-so-far totals with Push It consolidating its lead with nine plays, with BraveRats moving up strongly to six plays, followed by 6, Odin’s Ravens, and Wetland on five plays a piece.