Archive

Posts Tagged ‘what we played’

Our month in gaming: December, plus bonus 2015 roundup

January 10, 2016 4 comments

Happy new year! I’ve been more than a bit tardy with getting back to blogging this year but here, at last, we have the final gaming roundup for 2015…

Scrabble Scramble: a pocket sized, dice based word game; not bad!

Scrabble Scramble: a pocket sized, dice based word game; not bad!


December was a bit of a quiet month for us from a gaming point of view, with only 17 plays of 7 different games. Based on those numbers, you’ll be able to infer that there were some multiple plays, and indeed there were. The biggest game of the month was Codenames, with 6 plays: three plays were just one-on-one games with Miss B and I working for the best score we could, but on Christmas day we had a few games with the extended family, with proper team play, and it was a lot of fun.

Our other multiple plays in December were Loopin’ Louie with 3 plays and Balanx with 2.

And, of course, that brings us to the totals for the year. We got up to an impressive 360 plays throughout the year, so were unbelievably close to averaging a game per day. This is better than we have managed in previous years: 2014 had 223 plays and 2013 had 326.

As for variety, we played 121 different games in 2015, beating 102 in 2014 and 112 in 2013. And, just for the hell of it, let’s work out the mean number of plays per game: 2.98 in 2015, 2.19 in 2014, and 2.91 in 2013.

So, whichever way you cut it, 2015 was a bumper year of gaming by our standards.

I’m sure you can guess what our top game was, based on previous posts, but I’ll go through the games we played at least 10 times in an attempt to build up some dramatic tension.

Apples to Apples, Boggle Slam, Dobble, and Love Letter all had 10 plays each.

Backgammon and Timeline were each played 11 times.

Loopin’ Louie got to 12 plays.

Yardmaster Express had an impressive 16 plays.

But our game of the year, with a walloping 19 plays, was the little tin of dice called ‘6’. This was particularly impressive as our first play of this was on the last day of May, so it only had a little over half the year to amass all those plays. But, like Yardmaster Express, play is quick and we often played more than once in a session.

All this brings us to our final results for the 10×10 challenge. Well, as we only played nine games at least ten times, and some of those weren’t on the challenge list, you can see that we failed. We did manage to get a tenth play of Apples to Apples in over Christmas, but that was about it. Our final scores were as follows…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 9
Love Letter 10
Empire Express 8
Apples to Apples 10
Piece o’ Cake 7
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 7
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 10
Backgammon 10

If we had gone with a “standard” version of the challenge, where we can declare the games we are going for as we go along, we would still have been one short, but then, maybe we would have edged another one over the line. We’re not planning to do the challenge again this year, but I guess we can change our mind later by joining this standard version.

Finally, I guess we have to consider the status of this blog. The truth is that, while Miss B enthusiastically plays some games sometimes, most of the time she would much rather be doing something else. She’s growing up so fast and, while she will always have the opportunity to play games, the priorities of a nine-year-old are not the same as those of the four-year-old I started with.

I expect we’ll keep the blog ticking over for the time being and post occasionally (maybe I will go with the monthly updates at the least), but I expect I might not often get up to even the couple of posts a month that was the norm for last year.

But then again, maybe things will change again. We’ll certainly be playing now and then, and we’ll just see where things go.

Thanks for reading.

Our month in gaming: November

December 5, 2015 4 comments

November was a quieter month for games, and was a bit on the lumpy side: our plays were mostly on a small number of days when we played several games. We had a total of 21 plays of 16 different titles.

We played a game with lasers and mirrors. There might even be a write-up of this one day...

We played a game with lasers and mirrors. There might even be a write-up of this one day…


Our top game of the month was Battleship, yes, the old pencil and paper game of systematic guesswork and calling out coordinates, which we played on actual pencil and paper three times. We also had two plays each of A Piece O’ Cake, Lava Dragon, and new-from-Kickstarter dexterity game, Push It.

All this leaves the annual totals exactly as they were this time last month, with 6 leading the way on 19 plays and Yardmaster Express on 16. Timeline and Backgammon are both still on 11 plays, and Love Letter, Dobble and Boggle Slam are all sitting there on 10. So it looks very much like 6 will be our game of the year, but Yardmaster Express has an outside chance of overtaking. Unless we have something like an insane day of playing Dobble repeatedly (which is not impossible), it’s unlikely anything else will get close. We’ll see soon enough.

As for the 10×10 challenge, it is looking extremely unlikely that we will complete the planned plays. Miss B has gone off some of the games that she originally chose, and it really isn’t worth pushing the issue too hard. We may get one or two more of the games getting to their 10 plays though (Plyt and Apples to Apples are extremely likely — with the latter almost certain to get some plays over Christmas).

For the sake of completeness, our current status is as follows:

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 9
Love Letter 10
Empire Express 8
Apples to Apples 9
Piece o’ Cake 7
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 7
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 10
Backgammon 10
Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: October

November 2, 2015 4 comments

I was expecting October to be a bit quiet on the gaming front, but was seriously mistaken as we ended up playing 36 games, of 22 different titles. OK, so most of the games were crammed into a couple of game binge days, and a lot of them were short games that we played more than once, but there were some pretty big games in there as well.

A little off-topic for this blog (I don't really have an appropriate pic for this month) but this is I Know An Old Woman, an entry for a contest on BoardGameGeek that Miss B has helped me with over the last couple of months.

A little off-topic for this blog (I don’t really have an appropriate pic for this month) but this is I Know An Old Woman, an entry for a contest on BoardGameGeek that Miss B has helped me with over the last couple of months.

So the top game of the month, in terms of number of plays, was One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which Miss B loves but we don’t get to play often. In this case we played it a few times with one of her school friends, whose dad later joined us for a couple more plays. Next most popular was the ancient game of Nim, this time played on a bit of paper (rather than with coins or stones), with three plays, followed by a whole bunch of two each: ‘6’, Boggle Slam, BraveRats, Empire Express, Gnomi (a prototype from someone else), Noughts and Crosses, and Sleeping Queens (a former favourite, back after a long absence).

This doesn’t make a huge difference to the year’s standings, as we still have the little tin of dice that is ‘6’ ahead, now with a slightly increased count of 19 plays, followed by Yardmaster Express, still with 16. Way behind, Timeline and Backgammon are on 11 plays each, and Love Letter, Dobble and Boggle Slam all on 10 plays.

Finally we come to the 10×10 challenge. We didn’t make a lot of progress in October but, critically, we did get a couple of plays of the biggest game in the set, Empire Express. We also notched up a play of Plyt and finished off our plays of Love Letter. We now have four games completed and three more only two plays from the target. Miss B has looked at this and seen that the end is definitely in sight and, even though right now she is less than enthusiastic about some of the games on the list, she thinks we might be able to do it…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 8
Love Letter 10
Empire Express 8
Apples to Apples 8
Piece o’ Cake 5
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 6
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 10
Backgammon 10

Will we succeed? Watch this space. It’s going to be close.

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: September

October 5, 2015 8 comments

September was a much quieter month for gaming than we have had for a long time, with Miss B largely wanting to be doing other things lately, mostly either reading or playing with the vast stash of Zhu Zhu Hamsters (plus accessories) that she blew a chunk of her savings on when we found them in a local charity shop. It has to be said that it was a fantastic value purchase, but it means that the conservatory is now overrun by small, furry, motorized toys with squeaky voices.

It may not look like it, but this is mammoth racing for the September 24 hour game design contest.

It may not look like it, but this is mammoth racing for the September 24 hour game design contest.

Anyway, the score for September was 22 plays of 14 distinct games, though some might consider we cheated a bit because several of those plays were of a couple of prototype games that I have been working on. They’re still games though, so I reckon they count. The most played game of the month, in fact, was one of these prototypes: I Know An Old Woman, which is a contender in the Children’s Game Design Contest on BGG (if you want to see what’s up, the entry thread, including downloadable and printable materials is here), with 5 plays. Timeline (General Interest) had a respectable 3 plays, and Loopin’ Louie and Yahtzee had 2 each.

Yahtzee has been a new introduction, after Miss B played it on a website that she had to visit to do maths homework, and then I pointed out that I could download and print some score sheets and, of course, we have plenty of dice around here. So far she’s been showing a much better aptitude (plus uncanny luck) for the game than I have.

All this doesn’t affect the year’s top games by much, though it does bring Timeline into double figures. We still have ‘6’ in the lead with 17 plays, closely followed by Yardmaster Express with 16. Backgammon and Timeline are on 11 plays and Dobble is still on 10.

As for the 10×10 challenge, we haven’t been doing so well, and Miss B has been losing enthusiasm for the enterprise, so it is looking increasingly unlikely that we will get there. Mind you, we only have 24 plays left to go, with 3 months in hand, so with a bit of a tail wind, 8 plays a month is entirely possible. This could go to the wire…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 7
Love Letter 9
Empire Express 6
Apples to Apples 8
Piece o’ Cake 5
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 6
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 10
Backgammon 10
Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: August

September 8, 2015 8 comments

August was an excellent month for gaming for us, though actually we didn’t do so well on the 10×10 challenge. But more on that later. The month saw a great games afternoon with friends, as well as a holiday to see the part of the family in Ireland, meaning that we got to play a couple of games on a ferry, which is good for novelty.

Competition in backgammon can get very fierce around here.

Competition in backgammon can get very fierce around here.

As you have probably seen, we also began this year’s TaG Award process, but unfortunately we’ve been a bit slack about progressing the contest. Hopefully we’ll get to have the Catacombs vs Lift Off! session to determine the second finalist very soon…

The headline numbers for August are that we played 25 different games, for a total of 39 plays. Our top game for the month was actually Boggle Slam!, with 5 plays (which reminds me that we haven’t done a write-up on that yet), followed closely by 6, with 4 plays, Te Kuiti with 3, and on 2 plays each there were Apples to Apples, Citadels (awesome to have this back from the wasteland), EcoFluxx, Magic The Gathering, and The Hare and the Tortoise. A good spread of multiple plays there, I reckon.

So that leaves our leader board for the year so far with 6 finally taking the lead with 17 plays, overhauling Yardmaster Express, still on 16, then Backgammon on 11 and last year’s winner Dobble on 10. All of these games have been played more times than anything was played last year, and the total games we have played so far this year has flown past the 2014 total. 2015 is turning out to be a good year for us and games.

As for the 10×10 challenge, we fell back a little through August, only adding 6 plays to the tally. However, I make it that we need a minimum of 27 more plays to complete the challenge, which means about 6½ plays per month would get us there, so we are still in with a very good chance. Miss B has gone off the idea of the dice games (Heckmeck and Dungeon Roll) in particular lately, but we’ll see how things go.

Our current scores are as follows…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 6
Love Letter 9
Empire Express 6
Apples to Apples 8
Piece o’ Cake 5
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 5
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 8
Backgammon 10

(We have actually played an extra game of Backgammon, but it doesn’t count for the challenge.)

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: July

August 4, 2015 4 comments

July was a pretty good month for gaming, helped along a bit by the arrival of GanCan’t, the Internet “unconvention” for those who can’t attend the enormous GenCon in the USA. This was a great excuse for us to wear fake convention badges and play a load of games.

GenCan't took place in a few venues around here, including this coffee shop.

GenCan’t took place in a few venues around here, including this coffee shop.

So the headline figures are that we had 32 plays of 19 distinct games, so almost the same as June, and a whole heap more than last year. The top game for the month was Love Letter which, after not much play for the first half of the year, suddenly came back into favour with 4 plays; I think that some of this was due to Miss B finding the massively unofficial Dad’s Army Love Letter set that I have lying around (even though she has never seen the TV show). Following up on 3 plays each there was 6, Boggle Slam, Yardmaster Express and a prototype for my entry to the July 24 hour game design contest. Balanx and new Best Thing Evvarrr, Catacombs, had 2 plays a piece.

For the year’s totals, that leaves Yardmaster Express the leader with 16 plays, followed by Dicey-come-lately 6, with an impressive 13 plays. Dobble and Backgammon have now made double figures at 10 plays each but, having hit their targets for the 10×10 challenge, will they do any more? Love Letter and Timeline are next in line with 8 plays.

Having covered the main numbers for the month, I just wanted to relate another story from this month. We were well into a game of Empire Express, and I was looking at cards while Miss B took her turn when I heard her saying: “One, two, okay! *giggle*”

“What did you do?” I asked. She pointed at the board, where she had added track out of a city to connect up to my incoming track, meaning that if I wanted to connect to the city (which I did), I would have to build a detour in order to enter on the other side, or pay her 4 megabucks to use her track every time I wanted to go there. She had spiked the city most effectively. “Really?” I said, completely astounded at what had just happened.

“Nah,” she said, “Only joking!”

“No, it’s okay, it’s a fair move and you can do it if you want.”

“Nah.” And with that she rubbed out her new bit of track and got on with her turn.

Wow, that was quite something. Miss B was able to spot a really cool move that might have changed the result of the game, but didn’t want to go through with it because she didn’t want the game to go that way. I would have been very happy if she went through with it, but it’s lovely that she isn’t wanting to win at all costs. I don’t know if she meant to take the move back all along or she saw my shock and surprise (which I really must learn to hide better) and changed her mind, but this is a definite sign that she is now starting to look for, and spot, deeper possibilities in a game board.

Then a few days later she kicked my butt in Mijnlieff, followed by two consecutive games of Balanx, showing that she really is starting to get the hang of some of these games and I am now having to really pay attention. The days of me winning easily are over, and I couldn’t be happier.

And finally, just to finish off, we have the 10×10 challenge status, where we are making solid progress once again, with another game hitting the target, and only really a couple of games struggling (though still moving along)…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 5
Love Letter 8
Empire Express 5
Apples to Apples 6
Piece o’ Cake 4
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 5
Dungeon Roll 4
Timeline 8
Backgammon 10

I think we may actually get there…

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: June

July 1, 2015 6 comments

After the awesome gaming in May, June was still good, with 34 plays of 19 different games. That sounds like a lot more multiple plays than usual (and, to be fair, it was better than many months in that respect) but the figures were rather skewed by the fact that 9 of the plays were of the little tin of dice that is “6”. Apart from that we had 3 plays of Dobble, taking us up to our scheduled 10 for the year (I’m sure there will be more!), and 2 each for Backgammon, Dino Hunt Dice, EcoFluxx, Loopin’ Louie, and a prototype of a game I threw together for a contest on BoardGameGeek.

Nice to get the "special" chess set out once in a while.

Nice to get the “special” Chess set out once in a while.

EcoFluxx’s plays were both in a coffee shop while we were out and about, as it happened to be the game that I had thrown in the bag, “just in case” (I usually have a game or two with me).

We had a few games too thanks to a visit from one of Miss B’s school friends, who went on to rule the roost at Loopin’ Louie, which is always good for a laugh.

Oh, and Miss B has been reading her Chess book a bit lately, so we got a chess set out for a play. We settled on me having a 2 rook handicap, which wasn’t enough to make it too difficult for me, but she’s definitely getting a lot better at spotting threats and possible attacks on her own, so I’m looking forward to that handicap getting reduced very soon.

So, for the year to date, Yardmaster Express still maintains its position at the front with 13 plays, despite not coming out during June. But the chasing group is getting close, with Dobble and newcomer “6” coming up fast on 10 plays, and Backgammon only just behind on 9. Loopin’ Louie is now alongside Timeline on 7, with Apples to Apples, Gubs and Rhino Hero on 6 plays. We should get a few more games to at least 10 plays thanks to the 10×10 challenge, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if either Yardmaster Express or “6” took the crown despite not being on the list due to their fast, multiple-play appeal.

And thinking of the 10×10 challenge, we fell behind a bit in June, with only four of the games played during the month, but being half way through the year we have got through more than half of the necessary plays, so there is definitely hope. Our current status is:

Game Plays so far
Dobble 10
Plyt 4
Love Letter 4
Empire Express 4
Apples to Apples 6
Piece o’ Cake 3
Gubs 6
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 5
Dungeon Roll 3
Timeline 7
Backgammon 9

It’s nice to have one of the games complete and another really close. We just need to bring up some of those laggards…

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: May

June 2, 2015 3 comments

May was a good game for games, and finished off with a bang as we went to UK Games Expo, where Miss B spent her usual couple of hours playing roleplaying games in the family zone, and also spent some time exploring a few of the games available in the family games library provided by Imagination Gaming.

Miss B thinking hard about her next move in the Peter Pan inspired RPG for kids.

Miss B thinking hard about her next move in the Peter Pan inspired RPG for kids.

So how good was the month? Well, we managed an impressive 40 plays together, from a total of 29 different titles, which is the best score for variety that we have ever recorded. We even did well in the 10×10 challenge — but more on that later.

We played Balanx and Yardmaster Express 3 times each, with Backgammon, Ingenious, Lift Off!, Pick-Up Sticks, Plyt, Quoridor, and Timeline (the General Interest set) each getting 2 plays a piece.

So for the annual totals, that reinforces Yardmaster Express in its strong lead, now amassing 13 plays, well ahead of Backgammon and Dobble on 7, and Apples to Apples, Rhino Hero and Timeline played 6 times. Still a long way to go, but I’m sure Yardmaster Express will get at least a few more plays this year, so it’s looking unlikely that it will get caught, but you never know.

As for the 10×10 challenge, we played all of our nominated 11 games at least once, and as you can see from the above, we played three of the games twice, meaning that our chart is looking pretty good now:

Game Plays so far
Dobble 7
Plyt 4
Love Letter 4
Empire Express 4
Apples to Apples 6
Piece o’ Cake 3
Gubs 5
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 5
Dungeon Roll 3
Timeline 6
Backgammon 7

So that means that for our lowest scoring games we still only need to average one play per month and we’ll get there. And we even have two games that only need three plays each to complete. I’m feeling a lot more confident about this than I was last month, but we’ll have to wait and see how things pan out.

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: April

May 3, 2015 2 comments

April picked up a little from a gaming point of view, and we managed to have 25 plays of 17 different titles; and this is a heap more than the handful we managed to play in April of last year. Having the new games room means that most of the game collection is in sight and we’ve started getting into games that have been languishing for a long time, as you will have seen from the recent posts on Cathedral and Ramses Pyramid. The shelves have not been augmented by the addition of a table, so we can now play there without having to clear the dining table, which feels like an amazing level of luxury.

Runebound is a big event game for us and it's great to be able to leave it set up and play over two days.

Runebound is a big event game for us and it’s great to be able to leave it set up and play over two days.

The top game of the month was newcomer Cathedral, with a beefy 4 plays, followed by a bunch of games with two plays each: Dominoes, Frog Rush, Goblins Drool Fairies Rule, Monster Cafe, and Prickly Pile-Up. The big gaming event of the month, though, was a play of Runebound, which Miss B absolutely loves but can take several hours to play (even using the high speed rules that we opt for), so it doesn’t often come out. This play was a special to inaugurate the new gaming table and we were able to leave the game set up overnight for completion the next day.

For the year as a whole we don’t see a lot of change, with Yardmaster Express still on 10, followed by Rhino Hero and Dobble on 6 plays a piece. The 5-play group has expanded now though, with Loopin’ Louie and Backgammon joining Apples to Apples. If we progress more on our 10×10 challenge, though, we should see some of these games steadily climbing.

And thinking of which, we have made a little progress on our 10×10 challenge, but the rate of ticking off plays is still well off the pace set at the start of the year. We have added another five plays to the tally though. Miss B’s interest in this seems to be picking up again though, and she seems keen to get at least one play of all the games logged in May. We’ll see if that has worked out in a month’s time.

The current number of plays for each of our 11 games (10 plus an alternate, remember) are as follows…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 6
Plyt 2
Love Letter 3
Empire Express 3
Apples to Apples 5
Piece o’ Cake 2
Gubs 4
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 4
Dungeon Roll 2
Timeline 4
Backgammon 5

I’m very surprised Plyt has fallen behind there, but with 8 months to go, it is still very possible to average a play per month for this and the other tail-enders and complete the challenge on time.

Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags:

Our month in gaming: March

April 8, 2015 4 comments

Oh dear, this is all getting a bit late isn’t it? More than a week into April and still no monthly report. Well, things have been a bit chaotic lately; the extension to our house that I mentioned a few months back has now been completed and so we have been spending a lot of time assembling new furniture, moving stuff around, and so on. There is still a fair bit to do, but we are getting there. And on the plus side, the board games collection now has a new home.

Still a work in progress, but we now have somewhere new to store the games.  Soon it'll be somewhere we can play them too!

Still a work in progress, but we now have somewhere new to store the games. Soon it’ll be somewhere we can play them too!

Compared with the last couple of months, March was fairly light on the gaming, but we still managed to have 19 plays of 15 distinct titles, which is the same number of plays as March last year (and one fewer title).

In March we didn’t play anything more than twice, and the doubles were Backgammon, “Coin Football” (an old game I learnt at primary school using three coins on a table that I taught to Miss B), Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck, and Hey That’s My Fish! (the digital version).

So the leaderboard for the year has Yardmaster Express ahead with a solid 10 plays, followed by Rhino Hero and Dobble on 6, and Apples to Apples on 5.

We made some progress on the 10-by-10 challenge, but we have some games falling a little behind schedule. That said, we have 9 months left, so if everything gets one more play per month we will have aced it. The current number of plays for each of our 11 games (10 plus an alternate, remember) are as follows…

Game Plays so far
Dobble 6
Plyt 2
Love Letter 2
Empire Express 3
Apples to Apples 5
Piece o’ Cake 1
Gubs 3
Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck 3
Dungeon Roll 2
Timeline 4
Backgammon 4
Categories: Monthly Gaming Tags: