NYC Gamer              

Quantifying your Fun

June 28, 2008

Greg Williams recently posed the question over on the BoardGameGeek forums: ďWhy do you log your plays?Ē, referring to the practice of tracking every board game that one plays using a tool available on BGG for doing so. People had all sorts of answers for why they do or donít bother keeping track of every time they play a board game, but the question made me wonder why I bother to go through this process of keeping accurate records of my time spent enjoying this hobby. I realized that many of the advantages of logging your plays stem not from BGG itself, but rather from John Farrellís ďExtended Stats website.Ē This is not the first time Iíve written something inspired by this incredible website, as you may recall my article on the Cult of the New was also based on a new graph feature available on Johnís statistics website that had particularly impressed me at the time. I should mention that to log your own games played, visit BoardGameGeek, search for the game youíve played in the search bar, scroll toward the bottom of the individual gameís page, and in the ďI Played This Game OnĒ box you can set the date and number of times that you played that game, and then click ďSubmit.Ē Upon reading Gregís question, I was prompted to revisit Johnís website and rediscover all the wonderful reasons to diligently log your games played. You can see here the overwhelming wealth of information that is available for my own gaming history, from which I will now pick out some of the more interesting facts to discuss. The Extended Stats website is great for little tidbits of fun information, such as the fact that on average I have played each of the games I own 9.38 times, but itís even better for looking at trends over long periods of time, such as months and years of games played. To celebrate the fact that Iíve been keeping track of my games played for exactly three years now (since June 28, 2005), Iím going to take a look now at three different features of that site that provide a window into the past three years of my gaming history. First, Iíll take a look at a table of my games played by month, including the game Iíve played the most each month and my favorite new game each month. Second, I am going to discuss a list of game designers, ordered by the number of times that Iíve played each of those designersí games. Third, Iíll finish by analyzing the games that have dropped off the radar, meaning games that were played multiple times in one year, but zero times in the following year, to see why those games have dropped of the radar and whether Iíve forgotten some gems in my rush to always try to the next new release. Before I launch into this in-depth discussion of my games played, I should preface it by noting that I played certain games many times before beginning to log them three years ago, so some of the games that Iíve played most wonít appear as such in this discussion. These include particularly Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, but also some plays of the other early additions to my collection, such as Entdecker, Bohnanza, Mississippi Queen, Lowenherz, Settlers of Catan Card Game, Lord of the Rings, and Acquire. With that having been said, itís time to begin quantifying my fun!

The first window into three years of my game playing is the following table, which breaks down my games played by month. For each of the 36 months, it provides the total number of games played, the most played game (the number of times it was played), the runner-up for most played game, my favorite new game that month, and the runner-up for favorite new game. The table should be fairly self-explanatory, and further discussion of the results of this breakdown will follow the tables, so without further ado, please follow me down the rabbit hole into the life and times of an avid gamer.

Year Month Total # of Games Played Most Played Game
(# Times)
Runner-Up Most Played Favorite New Game Runner-Up Favorite
2005 July 45 Blokus, Lost Cities (7) Settlers of Catan (4) Tigris & Euphrates Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico
2005 August 58 Ingenious (12) Torres (7) Torres Samurai, Ingenious, Tikal
2005 September 82 Carcassonne (13) StreetSoccer, Tigris & Euphrates (7) StreetSoccer  
2005 October 65 Ingenious, Tigris & Euphrates (7) Carcassonne, San Marco, Through the Desert (5) San Marco Through the Desert
2005 November 50 Ra (11) Carcassonne, Ingenious, Tigris & Euphrates (4) Ra Reef Encounter
2005 December 52 Carcassonne, Tigris & Euphrates (5) Cartagena (3) Traders of Genoa YINSH
2006 January 71 Caylus (9) YINSH (7) Caylus Louis XIV, Wallenstein, China
2006 February 44 Reef Encounter (8) Caylus, China, LOTR Confrontation (3) Maharaja Fjords
2006 March 69 Caylus (7) Hey Thatís My Fish, Reef Encounter, Tigris & Euphrates (6) Hey Thatís My Fish  
2006 April 56 Fjords, Ra (5) Hey Thatís My Fish, Thurn & Taxis (4) Java Santiago, Twilight Struggle
2006 May 47 Hey Thatís My Fish (5) Caylus, LOTR Confrontation (4) Age of Steam Hansa, Canít Stop
2006 June 9 Goa (2) Amun-Re, Fjords, Samurai, San Juan, Through the Desert, Thurn & Taxis, Torres (1) Goa  
2006 July 66 Hey Thatís My Fish (6) Ingenious, Thurn & Taxis (3) El Grande  
2006 August 91 StreetSoccer (22) Hey Thatís My Fish (9) RoboRally  
2006 September 76 Canít Stop (7) Tigris & Euphrates (5) Nexus Ops A Game of Thrones: Storm of Swords Expansion
2006 October 109 Ticket to Ride (8) Thurn & Taxis (6) Age of Steam Ė Scandinavia Map Battleball
2006 November 75 Canít Stop (9) Carcassonne, Caylus (4) Die Macher  
2006 December 74 Crokinole (35) Wits & Wagers (5) Crokinole  
2007 January 70 Crokinole (19) Gheos, Taj Mahal (7) Mr. Jack Piranha Pedro
2007 February 80 Crokinole (12) Age of Steam, Blue Moon City, Dune, Hansa, Hey Thatís My Fish (3) In the Shadow of the Emperor Dune
2007 March 47 Crokinole (11) Hansa (7) None  
2007 April 63 Hansa (7) eBay Electronic Talking Auction Game (5) Antiquity Imperial, Liberte, Loopiní Louie, eBay
2007 May 37 Crokinole (10) eBay Electronic Talking Auction Game, Piranha Pedro (3) None  
2007 June 43 Crokinole (7) Age of Steam, Kreta (5) Kreta Trias
2007 July 33 Crokinole (8) Micropul, Notre Dame, Piranha Pedro (3) Notre Dame Arkadia
2007 August 70 Ultimate Werewolf (25) Attribute, Crokinole, Lost Cities, Taluva (3) None  
2007 September 68 Notre Dame (10) Loopiní Louie (9) La Citta Before the Wind, Big City, Bonaparte at Marengo
2007 October 65 Carcassonne (6) Crokinole, Notre Dame (5) Byzantium  
2007 November 36 Mr. Jack (4) 1960: The Making of the President, Age of Steam, Amun-Re, Byzantium, Twilight Struggle, Um Reifenbreite, Wits & Wagers (2) Um Reifenbreite  
2007 December 46 Ultimate Werewolf (8) La Citta (6) Cuba  
2008 January 46 Loopiní Louie (15) Crokinole (5) King of Siam Roads & Boats, In the Year of the Dragon
2008 February 28 Antiquity (6) Antler Island, Aton (3) Aton  
2008 March 33 Roads & Boats (7) Ultimate Werewolf (3) Hamburgum  
2008 April 42 Galaxy Trucker (8) Crokinole (4) Galaxy Trucker Extrablatt, Mr. Jack Extension
2008 May 52 Loopiní Louie (7) Maus nach Haus (5) Star Wars: The Queenís Gambit  
2008 June 76 Loopiní Louie (12) Crokinole (6) VOC! Ė Founding the Dutch East Indies Company Perikles, Galaxy Trucker: Rough Road Ahead

Now for some observations about this massive table. The first thing that jumps out at me as the most striking feature is the sudden appearance and subsequent dominance of Crokinole. Upon receiving my Crokinole board as a Christmas gift in December of 2006, it quickly became my most played game for seven of the following eight months. Crokinole even became my second most played game for all of 2006, even though I only played it during the last week of the year. While Crokinole plays relatively quickly, in about 30 to 45 minutes (for a full game to 100 points or 4 matches when playing match-play), it manages to beat out many shorter games, primarily because of its replayability. While Iím happy to play a game almost any time of any day, I rarely want to play the same game many times in the same day or the same week, but dexterity games like Crokinole are different. Even more so, Crokinole is different from any other dexterity game that Iíve played, in terms of the way it blends dexterity with strategic decision-making. The second fact that may not be so readily apparent, but was noticeable to me in deciding my favorite new games each month, was how my taste has diverged over time from the favorites on BoardGameGeek. In particular, I have played the following four games, but selected others in each of those months: Agricola (December 2007), Brass (January 2008), Race for the Galaxy (March 2008), and Through the Ages (April 2008). Whereas the popular favorites, such as Princes of Florence, Tigris & Euphrates, and Puerto Rico, dominate the early portion of this chart, my choices have become a little beat more off the beaten path lately as I dig a little deeper into this hobby over time and discover the types of games that I personally enjoy most, wading through the over 35,000 games in the BoardGameGeek database. Itís not that I didnít like any of those four games, but these new contenders for the Top 10 best games of all-time donít measure up in my view to the classics, like El Grande, Princes of Florence, and Tigris & Euphrates. I expect many of these newer games to fade, as was the case with BattleLore (of which my opinion is available here), but Iím sure some of these new games will stick around, and surely join the ranks of Power Grid as notable outliers from the general convergence of my tastes with the BGG crowd favorites. The third thing you might notice is that there were three months (March, May, and August of 2007) where I decided not to pick a favorite, which was not because I didnít play anything new during those months, but rather because nothing seemed good enough to merit being included here. The contenders that I didnít feel merited inclusion were Villa Paletti, Schwarzmarkt, and various RoboRally expansions for March 2007, Bridges of Shangri-La for May 2007, and Taluva, Odinís Ravens, and Schnapp for August 2007. I was tempted to put some of those into the chart, but they didnít quite make the cut in my view. Itís not that theyíre bad games, but rather that surrounded by the likes of In the Shadow of the Emperor, Antiquity, Kreta, and La Citta, it didnít feel like they belonged. My fourth and final observation is the dearth of expansions in this list. While I love buying and trying expansions to board games, Iím frequently disappointed with them, as discussed tangentially here. I included a few expansions in this chart to highlight the expansions that Iíve really been impressed with, including A Game of Thrones: Storm of Swords Expansion, Age of Steam Ė Scandinavia Map, Mr. Jack Extension, and Galaxy Trucker: Rough Road Ahead. Those expansions (in addition to some of the Carcassonne expansions that I tried before the start date of this chart, discussed here), are the cream of the crop in that field. The Storm of Swords expansion for Game of Thrones not only allows you to play with four players, but also introduces leaders and neutral house ally cards, both of which add a lot to the game. The leaders in particular alter the predictability of the timing of the game by allowing you to sometimes march during the raid or consolidate power phase. The flexibility introduced by this expansion makes the game significantly more tense and exciting. The Scandinavia Map for Age of Steam is my favorite three-player map for Age of Steam, which is my favorite number of players to have for Age of Steam. The introduction of the ferry action in Scandinavia is a great addition to the game, and the layout of the map makes for many choke points that players need to rush to claim. As for Galaxy Trucker, itís just a hoot to play, and the Rough Road Ahead expansion just adds to the fun even more, making this game a definite contender for Game of the Year in my view.

The second feature of the Extended Stats website that Iíll investigate now to celebrate the three-year anniversary of tracking my games played is a list of game designers, with the total number of times Iíve played games by that designer, the number of unique games by that designer that Iíve played, and which games Iíve played by that designer, including how many times Iíve played each. This table is ordered by the total number of times Iíve played games by each designer (with the number of unique games played breaking ties). Iíve grouped co-designers together if they co-designed all of the games that I played by them, but separated co-designers if they did not work together on every game that Iíve played by them. I should also note that this chart only includes designers whose games Iíve played at least ten times.

Designer Total # of Plays Unique Games Most Played Game (# of Times) All Games Played (# of Times)
Reiner Knizia 321 plays 19 games Tigris & Euphrates (67) Amun-Re (21), Blue Moon City (4), Carcassonne: The Castle (3), Digging (1), High Society (2), Hollywood Blockbuster (1), Ingenious (57), Lord of the Rings (2), LOTR Confrontation (23), LOTR Confrontation Deluxe (5), Lost Cities (20), Medici (1), Modern Art (4), Ra (52), Samurai (26), Taj Mahal (8), Through the Desert (21), Tigris & Euphrates (67), Tower of Babel (3)
Klaus-Jurgen Wrede 212 plays 14 games Carcassonne (66) Carcassonne (66), Carcassonne - Abbey & Mayor (1), Carcassonne - Die Katharer (2), Carcassonne - Inns & Cathedrals (54), Carcassonne - King & Scout (7), Carcassonne - The Princess & the Dragon (4), Carcassonne - The River (10), Carcassonne - The River II (2), Carcassonne - Traders & Builders (54), Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers (3), Carcassonne: The Castle (3), Carcassonne: The City (1), Downfall of Pompeii (1), Mesopotamia (4)
Wolfgang Kramer 79 plays 13 games Tikal (21) Australia (4), Category 5 (2), El Caballero (1), El Grande (10), Hacienda (4 plays), Hornochsen (1), Java (9), Maharaja: Palace Building in India (4), Mexica (2), Princes of Florence (8), That's Life! (1), Tikal (21), Torres (13)
Michael Schacht 66 plays 10 games Hansa (38) California (1), China (10), Coloretto (3), Fist of Dragonstones (1), Hansa (38), Hansa - Changing Winds (1), Hansa Extrakarte (1), Rat Hot (1), Web of Power (9), Zooloretto (1)
Michael Kiesling 54 plays 7 games Tikal (21) Australia (4), Java (9), Maharaja: Palace Building in India (4), Mexica (2), That's Life! (1), Tikal (21), Torres (13)
Richard Breese 53 plays 6 games Reef Encounter (44) Key Harvest (1), Keythedral (4), Keythedral Expansion (1), OíKudos (1), Reef Encounter (44), Reef Encounters of the Second Kind (2)
Gunter Cornett & Alvydas Jakeliunas 52 plays 1 game Hey! That's My Fish! (52) Hey! That's My Fish! (52)
Corne van Moorsel 52 plays 1 game StreetSoccer (52) StreetSoccer (52)
Alan Moon 51 plays 10 games San Marco (14) Diamant (6), Elfenland (3), Mammoth Hunters (3), New England (3), Oasis (4), San Marco (14), Ticket to Ride (13), Ticket to Ride: Europe (3), Ticket to Ride Marklin (1), Ticket to Ride: Mystery Train Expansion (1)
Sid Sackson 48 plays 4 games Canít Stop (37) Acquire (6), BuyWord (4), Canít Stop (37), Focus (1)
Martin Wallace 47 plays 8 games Age of Steam (28) Age of Steam (28), Age of Steam - England & Ireland Map (2), Age of Steam Expansion - Scandinavia and Korea Map (7), Brass (2), Byzantium (4), Liberte (2), Perikles (1), Tempus (1)
Carol Wiseley 45 plays 1 game Loopiní Louie (45) Loopiní Louie (45)
Kris Burm 43 plays 5 games YINSH (22) DVONN (17), PUNCT (2), TZAAR (1), YINSH (22), ZERTZ (1)
William Attia 42 plays 1 game Caylus (42) Caylus (42)
Andreas Seyfarth 40 plays 4 games Thurn & Taxis (17) Manhattan (7), Puerto Rico (12), San Juan (4), Thurn & Taxis (17)
Klaus Teuber 39 plays 10 games Settlers of Catan (16) Cities and Knights of Catan (3), Cities and Knights of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion (2), Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons (5), Hoity Toity (2), Lowenherz (5), Seafarers of Catan (1), Settlers of Catan - The Fishermen of Catan (1), Settlers of Catan Card Game (2), Settlers of Catan (16), Settlers of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion (2)
Rudiger Dorn 39 plays 4 games Louis XIV (14) Arkadia (8), Goa (13), Louis XIV (14), Traders of Genoa (4)
Ted Alspach 38 plays 2 games Ultimate Werewolf (36) Age of Steam - Disco Inferno/Soul Train Map (2), Ultimate Werewolf (36)
Leo Colovini 37 plays 5 games Clans (23) Bridges of Shangri-La (2), Cartagena (10), Clans (23), Masons (1), Vabanque (1)
Franz-Benno Delonge 32 plays 4 games Fjords, TransAmerica (13) Big City (5), Fjords (13), Goldbrau (1), TransAmerica (13)
Jeroen Doumen & Joris Wiersinga 30 plays 5 games Antiquity (13) Antiquity (13), Bus (2), Indonesia (2), Roads & Boats (12), VOC! - Founding the Dutch East Indies Company (1)
Bernard Tavitian 25 plays 2 games Blokus (15) Blokus (15), Travel Blokus (10)
Stefan Dorra 24 plays 4 games Kreta (13) For Sale (9), Kreta (13), Marracash (1), Schwarzmarkt (1)
Aaron Weissblum 24 plays 4 games San Marco (14) Mammoth Hunters (3), New England (3), Oasis (4), San Marco (14)
Bruno Cathala & Ludovic Maublanc 24 plays 2 games Mr. Jack (20) Mr. Jack (20), Mr. Jack Extension (4)
Dirk Henn 22 plays 3 games Wallenstein (11) Alhambra (8), Metro (3), Wallenstein (11)
Stefan Feld 21 plays 2 games Notre Dame (18) In the Year of the Dragon (3), Notre Dame (18)
Richard Ulrich 19 plays 3 games El Grande (10) El Caballero (1), El Grande (10), Princes of Florence (8)
Vladimir Chvatil 17 plays 3 games Galaxy Trucker (14) Galaxy Trucker (14), Galaxy Trucker: Rough Road Ahead (1), Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (2)
Karen Seyfarth 17 plays 1 game Thurn & Taxis (17) Thurn & Taxis (17)
Richard Garfield 16 plays 5 games Magic: The Gathering CCG (7) Magic: The Gathering CCG (7), RoboRally (6), RoboRally - Armed and Dangerous (1 plays), RoboRally - Crash and Burn (1), RoboRally - Grand Prix (1)
Dominic Crapuchettes, Satish Pillalamarri, Nate Heasley 16 plays 1 game Wits & Wagers (16) Wits & Wagers (16)
Christian Petersen 15 plays 4 games Game of Thrones, LOTR Confrontation Deluxe (5) Game of Thrones (5), Game of Thrones: Storm of Swords Expansion (3), LOTR Confrontation Deluxe (5), Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition (2)
Jens-Peter Schliemann 15 plays 1 game Piranha Pedro (15) Piranha Pedro (15)
Jason Matthews 14 plays 2 games Twilight Struggle (9) 1960: The Making of the President (5), Twilight Struggle (9)
Rene Wiersma 14 plays 1 game Gheos (14) Gheos (14)
Friedemann Friese 13 plays 5 games Power Grid (5) Fearsome Floors (3), Felix: The Cat in the Sack (3), Frischfleisch (1), Landlord (1), Power Grid (5)
Uwe Rosenberg 13 plays 5 games Bohnanza (6) Agricola (3), Bohnanza (6), La Isla Bohnita (1), Mamma Mia! (1), Space Beans (2)
Bruno Faidutti 13 plays 4 games Diamant (6) Citadels (5), Diamant (6), Fist of Dragonstones (1), Vabanque (1)
Thorsten Gimmler 13 plays 3 games Odinís Ravens (5) Aton (4), No Thanks! (4), Odinís Ravens (5)
Richard Borg 12 plays 4 games Liarís Dice (8) BattleLore (1), Commands & Colors: Ancients (2), Liarís Dice (8), Memoir í44 (1)
Marcel-Andre Casasola Merkle 12 plays 3 games Attribute, Taluva (5) Attika (2), Attribute (5), Taluva (5)
Rudolf Ross 12 plays 2 games Carcassonne - The River (10) Carcassonne - The River (10), Carcassonne - The River II (2)
Mac Gerdts 11 plays 3 games Imperial (8) Antike (1), Hamburgum (2), Imperial (8)
Karl-Heinz Schmiel 11 plays 3 games Die Macher (7) Die Macher (7), Extrablatt (2), Saint Petersburg - The Banquet (2)
Fraser Lamont & Gordon Lamont 11 plays 2 games Shear Panic (8) Antler Island (3), Shear Panic (8)
Claudia Hely & Roman Pelek 11 plays 1 game Santiago (11) Santiago (11)
Michael Tummelhofer 10 plays 2 games Saint Petersburg (9) Saint Petersburg (9), Stone Age (1)

No surprise to see Reiner Knizia at the top of this list with 321 plays. That means that fully 15.4% of all my games played over the past three years have been designed by Reinier Knizia (321 out of 2,091), which is quite a lot indeed for one man, but I suppose heís not just any man. Not many designers can say theyíve published 266 games, of which Iíve tried a measly 19 different games. Itís incredible to think that Iíve tried only 7.1% of Kniziaís games. And not many designers can say theyíve been Andy Warhol-ized either, can they? Aside from the dominance of Knizia, exceeding the second most played designer by over 100 plays, another noteworthy thing about this table is the fact that Iíve played the games of 48 designers (or design teams) at least 10 times, which was the cut-off for being included here. Thatís a whole lot of different designers, ranging from the well-known and widely publisher to the obscure. The top of the list is not surprising, but what is surprising is to see who is missing from the top. Designers such as Rudiger Dorn and Dirk Henn, who came in at 16th and 26th respectively, were ones I would have definitely expected to make the top ten. Itís also interesting to see which designers made it near the top of the list on the strength of a single game, such as Gunter Cornett & Alvydas Jakeliunas with Hey Thatís My Fish, Corne van Moorsel with StreetSoccer, and William Attia with Caylus. In contrast, some designers (such as Uwe Rosenberg, Friedemann Friese, and Klaus Teuber) show up relatively low on the list considering how many different games Iíve played by each of them. I guess it just goes to show that there are some designers with games that Iíve played deeply and other designers with a variety of games that Iíve played broadly, although the number of different games that Iíve played by a designer does roughly decline as you go down the list as youíd expect. Clearly I explore more of the different games of the designers whose games I especially enjoy and play many times. In the end though, Iíll say that these 48 designers are the cream of the crop when it comes to game designers, and you canít go wrong giving their games a try.

The third and final feature of the Extended Stats website that Iíd like to explore here is the one that indicates which games have dropped of your radar lately. These are lists of games that I played multiple times in one year, but zero times in the following year. This seems useful for identifying which games were played at least a couple times, but then were forgotten and never played again. These may be games that I intentionally stopped playing and have been meaning to avoid, but alternatively they may be forgotten gems that I have simply overlooked in my haste to constantly be trying the next new exciting release. This is yet another feature on the Extended Stats website that makes logging your games played especially worthwhile.

First, the games that I played multiple times in 2005, but not at all in 2006, are as follows: Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers, Metro, Acquire, Attika, Balloon Cup, Category 5, Chess, Cities and Knights of Catan, and Settlers of Catan Card Game. This list and the two subsequent lists for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are ordered by the number of times each game was played in the previous year (and alphabetical for ties). Unlike the two subsequent lists, both of which feature a number of games that Iíd like to try to play again, this mostly a list of games that Iíve traded away or sold because I didnít like them. I traded away Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers, Metro, and Attika, and I sold Acquire. I still have Balloon Cup, Cities and Knights of Catan, and the Settlers of Catan Card Game, but am not dying the play any of them. So this list actually tells me little because none of these are games Iíd forgotten to get to the table, but rather are simply games that Iíve not been meaning to play again and donít intend to play again anytime soon.

Second, the games that I played multiple times in 2006, but not at all in 2007, are as follows: LOTR Confrontation, YINSH, Backgammon, Blokus, BuyWord, Diamant, Keythedral, Mesopotamia, Carcassonne Ė The Princess & Dragon, Carcassonne Ė The River, Carcassonne Ė The Castle, Game of Thrones, Mammoth Hunters, Princes of Florence, Sword & Sail, Ta Yu, Tower of Babel, Australia, Bohnanza, Bus, Carcassonne Ė Die Katharer, Carcassonne Ė King & Scout, Carcassonne Ė The River II, Elfenland, Fifth Avenue, Games of Thrones Ė Storm of Swords Expansion, High Society, Hoity Toity, Mexica, Modern Art, Oasis, Penguin Ultimatum, Polarity, Space Beans, Ticket to Ride: Europe, and Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition. This list includes some more interesting games that Iíd actually like to try to play again, although of course it includes a number of games that were not accidentally not played in 2007. I suppose these more recent lists include some better games because my collection has grown significantly, making it harder to get all the good games to the table each year. Some of the games that I played multiple times in 2006, not at all in 2007, but would like to try to make sure to play again in 2008, include LOTR Confrontation, Princes of Florence, YINSH, Keythedral, Oasis, Ta Yu, and Game of Thrones. Thatís a solid list of seven games that deserve to be played each year, and Iíll try to give each a try again soon. Iíve actually already played two of these (LOTR Confrontation and Princes of Florence) in 2008, and have plans to play Game of Thrones again soon. So I just need to make sure to get YINSH, Keythedral, Oasis, and Ta Yu to the table in 2008 at some point. In contrast though, there are certainly a number of games on this list that not only did I not play in 2007, but also donít plan to play again in 2008 or ever perhaps. This includes games that Iíve traded away like Australia, Mesopotamia, Ticket to Ride: Europe and Tower of Babel, and also games that are on my to-trade list now, such as Fifth Avenue and Modern Art. This list also includes some mediocre games that I may or may not play again, such as Mammoth Hunters, Mexica, Blokus, Elfenland, Penguin Ultimatum, and Polarity, but donít need to make sure to play again like the seven mentioned before, but donít need to avoid like the ones just mentioned or the ones about to be mentioned. Finally, this list includes a number of games that I never owned, but rather tried other peopleís copy, and determined that they arenít my cup of tea, so Iíll be happy to not play them again, including Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, Hoity Toity, and Diamant. So there are many different categories in this list, ranging all the way from a few great games that I need to make sure to play again to a few games that Iím not interested in ever playing again or disliked so much that I got rid of them. Either way itís handy to be able to see what I played multiple times in 2006, but never in 2007, and try to figure out why those games have dropped off my radar.

Third and finally, the games that I played multiple times in 2007, but not at all in 2008 (through the end of June), are as follows: Age of Steam, Notre Dame, Gheos, Taj Mahal, Chess, Stuff Yer Face, 1960: The Making of the President, Die Macher, Taluva, TransAmerica, Yspahan, Age of Steam Ė Western US & Germany Map, Attribute, Blue Moon City, For Sale, Ingenious, Magic: The Gathering CCG, Odinís Ravens, Shear Panic, Through the Desert, Travel Blokus, Trias, Age of Steam Ė Scandinavia & Korea Map, Amyitis, Chairs, DVONN, Fearsome Floors, Go, Lost Cities, Micropul, Wits & Wagers, Age of Steam Ė England & Ireland Map, Age of Steam Ė France & Italy Map, Age of Steam Ė Disco Inferno & Soul Train Map, Bridges of Shangri-La, Canal Mania, Commands & Colors: Ancients, Egyptian Ratscrew, Elk Fest, LOTR Confrontation Deluxe, PUNCT, Terra Nova, Thurn & Taxis, Um Reifenbreite, War of the Ring, Web of Power, and Ys. Just like the list of games that I played multiple times in 2006, but never in 2007, this list of games played multiple times in 2007, but never in 2008, includes a broad spectrum of games, from a few great games that I need to make sure to play again soon to a few games that Iíll be happy to never play again. The great games on this list include Age of Steam, Notre Dame, Die Macher, Through the Desert, Trias, and Web of Power. Those are six games that most definitely deserve to be played each year, and will hopefully be played again soon. In contrast, Iíve traded away or am looking to trade away Gheos, Yspahan, Amyitis, Bridges of Shangri-La, Canal Mania, and Thurn & Taxis. Thatís six games that I definitely donít need to play any more, although Iím happy I gave them all multiple chances in 2007, even if theyíre not for me in the end. Itís an interesting and diverse list of games that comprise those that you play multiple times in one year but not at all in the subsequent year. Itís also a list that sheds light both on games you mean not to play again and on forgotten gems that you need to make a conscious effort to play again soon.

In the end, I keep track of my games played for these reasons and many more. The wealth of information available on John Farrellís ďExtended Stats websiteĒ is truly incredible. You can really tell a lot about a gamer by the information available about them on that site, and you can really tell a lot about yourself by looking at that information as well. Breaking down the games played by month, by designer, and by year has allowed me to glean a variety of interesting facets of my game playing habits. These are just a few of the windows into yourself and your fellow game players that you can enjoy if you keep track of your games played.