Saturday, January 08, 2011

Quarters, Fives and Dimes - a Year of Boardgames

Like many of my fellow boardgame geeks I log when I play a game online here so that I can see trends. Now I played a lot of games(!) in 2010. I logged 382 plays of 173 games, so obviously there were some repeats. Games that reach the distinction of being played 5, 10 or 25 times become Quarters, Fives and Dimes. When you have as many different games as I have then each of the games that reach this honor must have something to distinguish them from the herd. Here's my take on the games of 2010. For the games of 2009 click here


Werewolf is my only quarter in 2010 with 27 plays, in fact it is my first quarter ever as no game came close in 2009. In 2009 I only managed 6 plays, so why the jump to 27 last year? The simple answer is Bering UMC game night. They have a once a month game night that some friends who attend that church invited me too. They wanted to introduce people to games outside the usual fare of Mexican Train, Rummikub and Uno. Werewolf is a great large group game - you need at least 8 people to play, and it is easy to learn so long as the Moderator has a good handle on the rules and a flair for drama :) It's become a staple of their game nights since I introduced it.


Hive almost got there with 23 plays. This elegant 2 player game didn't even make it into rotation last year as I did not own a set. The bulk of plays happened in the first 8 months of last year - obviously something came along to remove it from popularity, or someone. Hive only plays 2 people, so whenever a third person appears it is removed from the table.

Dominion had 17 plays last year which is down from 22 in 2009. It's fast, and has enough expansions to keep the game interesting. It may not have been number one in 2010, but the fact that it is still in the top 3 is a sign of a great game.

Animal Upon Animal is a simple children's dexterity game. I played this 13 times in 2010. Seven times on one day!!! It's amazing the things I will do to keep young children entertained.

Fluch de Mumie is another awesome children's game that I managed 10 plays of. This one is fun to play with just adults too as it turns into an intriguing cat and mouse game of deduction as the mummy tries to locate the archaeologists who are stealing treasures from his pyramid.


Sticheln is a trick taking game that is wonderfully painful to play. Trump constantly changes every trick, and with most of the deck giving you negative points a positive score is very difficult to achieve. I managed 9 plays last year.

Ascension is probably the game I am most surprised to see on this list. I managed 8 plays of this game which is surprising as I didn't even learn the game until Nov 19th! It's a cross between Dominion and Magic the Gathering.

Tichu managed 8 plays last year. It's a great 4 player card game that takes a while to get your head around. It's one of the standard late night games at the boardgame convention that I attend every year. Last year I entered the tournament and sucked!!! But it's still great fun.

Pitchcar is a silly game that involves flicking wooden cars around a racetrack. There's really not much else to say, easy to learn, and hilarious to play. I managed 7 plays last year.

The Bucket King is a card game with surprising depth. The different animals on the farm all charge at different colored buckets. Your task is to keep your pyramid of buckets intact for as long as possible. I managed 7 plays of this game, 4 of which took place while on a vacation to Disney World :)

Ta Yu is a nice 2 player game. You take turns laying tiles on a board trying to connect the two sides. The board hit the table 7 times in 2010

Felix the Cat in the Sack is a Texas Hold em Variant transformed under the guise of bidding for a sack of unidentified cats! 5 plays for the curious felines in 2010

Pass the Bomb is a light party game. It's amazing how blank your mind can go when you are trying to name words while holding a ticking bomb. The bomb got passed around 5 times in 2010.

Telestrations is a published version of the Telephone Game. The erasable books make the game easy to play and the fun is often not so much in who wins (indeed it's very difficult to score) but more in the silly progressions of the words. It's more of a fun activity than a game, but the important this is that it is fun - I received the game as a door prize at the Board game Convention in November, so the fact that it has managed 5 plays in a month and a half shows how much fun it is.

Fallen from Grace
-games that had a minimum of 5 plays in 2009 that were not touched at all in 2010

Chains of Fenrir
fell from the table as other games superseded it, but it has been played in 2011 so it's not beyond hope.

Duck Duck Go
also disappeared from view in 2010 with zero plays.

Travel Blokus
had 5 plays in one day in 2009 and has been gathering dust ever since.

received 5 plays in 3 days due to a family vacation in 2009, it also has not hit the table since.

The Top Three

When I combine the data from both years, there are no real surprises.
Dominion has 39 plays.
Werewolf has 33 plays
Hive has 23
Most of these games can be purchased at though a few of them are out of print.
If you're looking for a game suggestion for a group, ask me :)
Tune in next year, for my gaming review!!!!

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