evolution symbiosis

Games Played: Rest of 2019

School has been a mixed blessing for my ongoing project to play more of my board games. I’ve had more Professional Reasons to play than ever before… but also less time to write and reflect on games played. That said, let’s see how the back half of 2019 went. What did I play?

Holiday Gamefests

The fall was not a great time for gaming — October saw my lowest count of the year, with only 10 games played. December and July made up some of the lost ground, though. We spent a week in July at a mökki north of Tampere. We had a huge table, lots of games, and a minimum of electronic distractions. As a result, there were many rounds of No Thanks!, Fuji Flush, and Gulo Gulo.

December was also a game heavy month, with 52 games played. That’s the highest count in over a decade of logged plays. One of the kids discovered Uno, so Uno sessions made up 10% of the count. That’s a mixed blessing at best. On the other hand, the Uno games also led to us trying Skip-Bo, which I quite like.

solo games played Tapestry
A rare solo victory in Tapestry against the Automa

The Solo Factor

Despite the welcome uptick in family games played, though, I found that my play was limited more by the time of others than my own time or the games available. I can find time to play; finding time that matches up with busy friends and family members is harder.

In previous quarters, I’ve played a lot of app versions board games like Evolution and Splendor. That was true in the back half of 2019 as well. But I also found myself playing a lot of solo variants of board games on the shelf. Tapestry, Snowdonia, Nemo’s War, and Minerva all saw table time through solo play.

Many new games are hitting the market with solo variants built in, which is another way in which the current game market bears a suspicious resemblance to the wargames boom of the 1970s. It’s nice to have a solo option; it’s a little worrisome that so many games seem to need it.

Personally, though, I don’t have much to complain about. Even during the busiest parts of the fall, I had games to play and some people to play them with. 2020 seems to have started off well, too, with some old favorites hitting the table for the first time since 2018 or earlier.

Final Games Played Stats 2019!

Two sets of stats this time, for the half-year and the year as a whole.

Games played: 151 (319 in 2019, 244 in 2018)
Different games played: 48 (74 in 2019, 72 in 2018)
Games played more than once: 18 (35 in 2019)
Games not played earlier in 2019: 18
Newest game played: Tapestry (2019)
Oldest game played: Crazy Eights (1930s)
Longest time since last played game: Wits and Wagers Family (May 31, 2016)
Status of Cape Hornyear 20 ended with it still in the shrink wrap.

And finally, my top 10(+) games played most this year! (Plus the usual honorable mention to Ascension, which I play constantly via app but don’t track as individual games.)

1. Evolution (136 plays, mostly the app)
2. Splendor (18 plays, mostly app)
3. Ticket to Ride (16 plays, different versions, mostly app)
4. Planet (8)
5. No Thanks! (7)
6. Tapestry (7)
7. Spot It! (6)
8. Azul, Gulo Gulo, Uno, and Wingspan (tied at 5)

In the end, I played about 51% of my collection. That’s… about the same as last year. Despite the anti-climax, though, it was a pretty good year. We’ll see how things go in 2020!