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2002 Summary (5s+10s, top 10s, year to year comparisons, etc.) (long)

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  • Matthew Gray
    Last year was another good year for gaming, and here s my year end summary. First, some overall statistics: 650 total games 279 different games 163 sessions
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2003
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      Last year was another good year for gaming, and here's my year end summary.
      First, some overall statistics:

      650 total games
      279 different games
      163 sessions
      241 different people
      3.9 games per session
      161 new-to-me games
      30% 2 player games
      30% 4 player games

      Here's this year's 5s and 10s and 20s list. A pretty good set
      overall.

      20+ Geister (32), SpinBall (24), Electronic Catchphrase (24)
      10+ TransAmerica (19), Crokinole (15), LOTR:TC (14), Bluff (11),
      Puerto Rico (11), For Sale (10)
      5+ 6 nimmt! (9), Knockabout (9), Speed (9), Hamster Rolle (8),
      Industrial Waste (8), Zirkus Flohcati (8), Pente (7),
      Alles im Eimer (6), Battle Line (6), Can't Stop (6),
      Hick Hack in Gacklewack (6), Lord of the Rings (6), Mause Rallye (6),
      Pico (5), Pueblo (5)

      So, as some people have probably noticed, I like statistics and
      metrics, so I've included my top 10 for the year according to a wide
      variety of metrics. First is an "overall" top 10, based on a
      subjective combination of most of the other metrics. For all of these
      top 10's I've only done "strategy games" which by my personal
      definition excludes party games, word games and dexterity games.
      Those are listed at the end.

      Overall top 10
      --------------
      1. Puerto Rico
      2. TransAmerica
      3. LOTR:TC
      4. 6 nimmt!
      5. Lord of the Rings
      6. Industrial Waste
      7. Geister
      8. For Sale
      9. Bluff
      10. Battle Line

      I've listed this year's top 25 according to the "Huber Hapiness
      Metric", since I think when the data is available, it makes one of the
      better metrics. This tends to most closely match my own sense of what
      I think a "top" list should be.

      Huber Happiness Top 25
      ----------------------
      1. Puerto Rico
      2. Lord of the Rings
      3. TransAmerica
      4. 6 nimmt!
      5. LOTR:TC
      6. Industrial Waste
      7. Battle Line
      8. Call my Bluff
      9. Geister
      10. Pente

      11. Traders of Genoa
      12. Code 777
      13. Pueblo
      14. For Sale
      15. Euphrat & Tigris
      16. Medina
      17. Traumfabrik
      18. Trias
      19. Pizarro
      20. Can't Stop
      21. ad acta
      22. Vinci
      23. Roads & Boats
      24. Frisch Fisch
      25. Schnappchen Jagd


      The "initiative" metric is another one I came up with which is
      basically total playing time, plus 30 minutes per game regardless of
      length. This helps avoid the bias against small games that a pure
      time metric has.

      "Initiative" metric
      -------------------
      1. Puerto Rico
      2. Trans America
      3. Lord of the Rings
      4. Industrial Waste
      5. LOTR:TC
      6. 6 nimmt!
      7. Call my Bluff
      8. Geister
      9. Battle Line
      10. For Sale

      This is the metric I proposed recently, which I think does a very good
      job for games I play in general, though it makes a better long term
      metric than a short term one. See my top 50 comments and the month
      metric associated those, below.

      Month Metric
      ------------
      1. TransAmerica 7
      1. For Sale 7
      3. Puerto Rico 6
      3. Zirkus Flohcati 6
      3. Call my Bluff 6
      6. 6 nimmt! 5
      6. LOTR:TC 5
      6. Industrial Waste 5
      6. Geister 5
      6. Battle Line 5
      6. Knockabout 5
      6. Can't Stop 5

      Someone pointed out that a session metric works very well, and I think
      they're right, though it may bias towards short games as well. In
      fact, the results seem to strongly bear that out:

      Session Metric
      --------------
      1. TransAmerica 15
      2. Puerto Rico 10
      3. LOTR:TC 9
      4. Geister 8
      4. Call my Bluff 8
      4. Knockabout 8
      7. For Sale 7
      7. Industrial Waste 7
      9. 6 nimmt! 6
      9. Zirkus Flohcati 6
      9. Battle Line 6
      9. Can't Stop 6

      To call these non-strategy isn't entirely fair, but it's shorter than
      "party, dexterity and word games". I wasn't sure whether Bang! should
      really count as a party game, but I think it does. Pictionary
      Telephone perhaps shouldn't even count as a game, but I'm counting it.

      Top 10 non-strategy games
      -------------------------
      1. SpinBall
      2. Electronic Catchphrase
      3. Crokinole
      4. Hamster Rolle
      5. Haste Worte?
      6. Mause Rallye
      7. Pictionary Telephone
      8. Pounce
      9. Bang!
      10. Compatibility

      Looking at my top 50 games of all time, using the Huber Happiness
      Metric, I wanted to see how they all did this year. They are listed
      below by trend, with their "all-time month metric" score in
      parentheses. Some indicate a number with a + sign. These are because
      I have imperfect records before 2000.

      7 of them didn't get played at all: Settlers (10+), Bohnanza (7+),
      Durch die Wuste (5), Loopin' Louie (6), Mu (3+), Taj Mahal (5), Mamma
      Mia! (4) All of them will get played again at some point. None have 100%
      lost their shine.

      4 of them are new to the top 50 this year: Puerto Rico (6),
      TransAmerica (7), Industrial Waste (5), and LOTR:TC (5). All are
      likely to stay there for the forseeable future.

      4 are "rising stars", which were played in previous years but are
      increasing in popularity: Electronic Catchphrase (13), For Sale (9),
      Lord of the Rings (8), SpinBall (7). I'm getting a bit burnt out on
      Electronic Catchphrase, but it is a appealing enough pastime to many
      that I expect despite my increasing weariness of it, it will still get
      played a lot.

      9 are "falling stars", which were played a lot more in previous years,
      but are still played occasionally: RoboRally (12+), Lost Cities (11+),
      Carcassone (10), Schnappchen Jagd (9), Apples to Apples (10), Basari
      (7), What's That On My Head? (7), Princes of Florence (5), Das Amulett
      (4). Some of these may fall off the top 50 at some point, while many
      I expect to recover. I expect Carcassone, Lost Cities and RoboRally
      to remain at a fairly low level but most of the others will probably
      (hopefully) go up again.

      26 are stable members of the top 50. They haven't gotten more or less
      play recently than in the past. They are: Call my Bluff (17), Battle
      Line (15), 6 nimmt! (15), Can't Stop (13), Crokinole (11), Ra (10+),
      Ricochet Robot (9), Traumfabrik (8), Flowerpower (8), Medici (7),
      Vinci (6), Adel Verpflichtet (6), Vino (6), Pente (6), E&T (6),
      Ursuppe (4), Barbarossa (5), Medina (4), Alladin's Dragons (4), Pounce
      (5), OFuA (6), Royal Turf (5), Evo (3), Acquire (5+), Traders of Genoa
      (3), La Citta (4).

      While low compared to Joe Huber's >365 different games this year, I've
      come to the conclusion that I really enjoy variety in games, and
      despite playing slightly fewer total games than last year, I played
      more different games. Overall, I really enjoyed the variety. Even
      though I think Puerto Rico is a great game, if I'm going to play 50
      games, I'd rather play 10 games of Puerto Rico and 40 games that are
      all not quite as good as Puerto Rico than 50 games of Puerto Rico.
      There were a few stinkers though, which I either have little or no
      desire to try again, or actually wish I could get back that time from
      my life. Those games: Murphy, My Brain is Bleeding, Triology, and
      Dog's Life. Murphy and Triology I almost want to try again because I
      feel like there might be something there, but the games were bad
      enough I may not. My Brain is Bleeding I don't regret trying once,
      and it has one neat mechanic, but never again. Finally, Dog's Life
      was awful and made worse by a rule misunderstanding which made the
      game go an hour beyond when it should have ended.

      I started keeping detailed game logs in 2000, but kept a pretty good
      log in 1998, and some notes for 1997 and 1999. The below table shows
      the total number of games by year, the number of new-to-me games, the
      number of different games, the number of sessions and the number of
      different people. The 1999 number for 'New' games includes '97-'99.

      Year to year trend:

      Year Games New Diff Ses Ppl
      1997 ~30
      1998 ~100
      1999 ~150 63
      2000 301 112 141 126 129
      2001 712 172 266 175 165
      2002 650 161 279 163 241

      Looking at the past 6 years, a short list of games have been played in
      at least 4 of those years. Obviously, the vast majority of games I've
      played I hadn't heard of even in 1999, and a large fraction have been
      released since then, so this isn't a huge surprise. I'll probably
      keep the threshhold of interest at 4 years, even next year, and a
      substantial number of games should join the list. The game that made
      me discover these games of ours is the only one to be played every
      year for the last 6...

      Missing years ('97-'02)
      RoboRally 6 PERFECT!

      E&T 5 1997
      En Garde 5 1997
      Set 5 2001
      Modern Art 5 2002

      Ursuppe 4 1997, 1998
      Wildlife Adventure 4 1997, 1998
      Acquire 4 1997, 2000
      Caesar & Cleopatra 4 1997, 2002
      Manhattan 4 1997, 2002
      Settlers of Catan 4 2000, 2002

      2003 is off to a good start with 6 plays on the first day :-)

      ...Matthew
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