Monday, April 26, 2010

Five & Dime 2009: Most Played Games

Game Score 2009 2008 2007 2006
Dominion 2185 69.82% 59.63% new new
Race for the Galaxy 1405 46.75% 59.63% 18.60% new
Pandemic 1130 43.20% 50.31% 0.61% new
Agricola 840 33.43% 60.87% 6.71% new
Roll Through the Ages 615 23.96% 0.62% new new
Small World 610 26.04% new new new
Ticket To Ride 495 21.30% 23.60% 25.61% 28.45%
Le Havre 425 18.05% 9.32% new new
FITS 415 18.64% new new new
Stone Age 390 17.46% 24.22% new new
Sorry! Sliders 380 15.09% 11.80% new new
Carcassonne 345 15.09% 13.66% 25.00% 21.55%
Lost Cities 345 13.61% 18.01% 23.48% 18.10%
Tichu 340 13.02% 24.84% 16.77% 23.28%
No Thanks/Geschenkt 320 14.50% 13.04% 22.56% 25.86%
Settlers of Catan 315 14.20% 17.39% 17.99% 25.00%
Space Alert 305 13.02% 4.97% new new
Ingenious 305 12.43% 12.42% 20.12% 28.45%
Hive 295 11.54% 9.32% 11.59% 6.03%
Diamant/Incan Gold 280 12.72% 16.77% 21.95% 27.59%
Power Grid 280 7.10% 21.74% 16.77% 24.14%
Crokinole 275 10.36% 15.53% 10.98% 13.79%
Finito! 275 9.47% new new new
Ra 270 13.61% 12.42% 22.87% 29.31%
Battlestar Galactica 270 11.83% 0.62% new new
Galaxy Trucker 270 11.83% 10.60% 13.04% 2.44%

28th place with a score of 250: Magic: The Gathering CCG - 8.58%

"score" is computed by giving a game 5 points for each person playing it 5-9 times and 10 points for each person playing 10+ times

the percentage numbers for each year are the percent of respondents who reported playing the game 5+ or 10+ times

Kinda hard to believe I've been doing this for 12 years now... on what basically started as a whim back in the good ol' rgb days. (That's "" from the long-forgotten land of Usenet, for you folks who can't remember a time BtG - Before the Geek.) This is the largest pool of entries yet (338) which is ten more folks than we had in 2007. Well done, obsessive-compulsive stat mongers... your brother in arms/spreadsheets salutes you!

Games that dropped out of the top 25 this year:

  • 10 Days/Europa Tour (now at #37)
  • Fairy Tale (now at #38)
  • Loopin' Louie (now at #38)
  • Mr. Jack (now at #38)
  • 6 Nimmt/Category 5 (now at #50)
  • Kingsburg (now at #63)
  • Notre Dame (now at #71)
  • Hanging Gardens (now at #98)
  • In the Year of the Dragon (now at #118)
  • Ticket to Ride: The Card Game (now at #232)

Square dance moment: Dominion & Race for the Galaxy flipped places. (Note: I counted the Dominion expansions, even the ones that are "stand-alone" games, as part of the Dominion total.) As did Pandemic & Agricola. Dose do, pardners...

While I was right about Dominion (though I didn't think it would do THIS well), Race for the Galaxy & Pandemic, I blew the call on Agricola (I thought support for the game would soften). Well, I certainly played it less this year, but that wasn't true of everyone.

Last year, I called "jump the shark" on Carcassonne - and yet, it seems to have settled in. (I actually played it more this year, which was nice. I think part of the appeal is the vast number of expansions allows players to "tune" the game to get the experience they want.)

I also wrote last year about the various Command & Colors games (though none of them appeared in the top 25 this year). While Memoir '44 got a decent bump from the excellent Campaign Book expansion, Fantasy Flight has had a hard time figuring out how to build support & continue releasing product for Battlelore. I think both of them will hold in position this year, with Memoir '44 likely to be the longer lasting of the two games. (I didn't really comment on C&C: Ancients, which is doing quite well for a game marketed more at wargamers rather than generic "gamers".

My yearly attempt to predict what WON'T return went had me batting .750 - I got Hanging Gardens, Ticket to Ride Card Game & Kingsburg (even with the expansion, which is supposed to be very, very good) right. But I missed on Stone Age... sigh. I do wonder, however, if being easily available for online play had some effect on that.

And with that, it's time for my predictions for 2010... I'm pretty sure Power Grid will finally drop off the top 25, as will Finito, Galaxy Trucker & Space Alert. I think Battlestar Galactica is "on the bubble" - but if there's a new heavily-themed well-made sci-fi game, it's a goner

I also listed a set of "big questions for 2009"... here they are again with the "answers" (such as they are):

  • Q: Will Dominion & Race for the Galaxy find any real challengers? My guess: probably not.
  • A: I was right. Pandemic was in the neighborhood, but Dominion looked pretty much untouchable.
  • Q: Will Power Grid continue to grow in popularity? My prediction: I think it's reached the zenith of popularlity (for a heavy 2+ hour game) but I don't think it will lose much ground.
  • A: I was wrong... Power Grid dropped from 21% to 7%. That's a major shift.
  • Q: Where will Small World end up? My prediction: it will be on this list... at least in the top ten and probably in the top five. (Ah, the advantages of waiting until the Gathering is finished to make my predictions.)
  • A: I was close! Small World made it to 6th place.

The big questions for 2010:

  • What's with this wave thing going on with Tichu, Hive & Crokinole? (Their playing percentages don't really degrade as much as undulate.) Will this continue?
  • Again, will Dominion & Race for the Galaxy be able to hold onto the top spots? I think the answer is "yes," esp. since they both have expansions on the way & their closest challenger (Pandemic) doesn't.
  • Who's got 2010 in the Dead Pool for Settlers? Will it finally drop off the Top 25? My guess: no - but we may finally be closing in on that in 2011 or 2012. (That makes me sad, btw.)

In fact, what do you think about any of this? Use the comments area (and keep it clean & friendly!)


Jonny5 said...

Regarding Crokinole, it'll be interesting to see if the Mayday games release of an "affordable high-quality" board will have an effect.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I didn't realize they were doing that - that would pretty much doom Sorry! Sliders... though I guess it would depend upon their definition of "affordable" as well.

Jonny5 said...

Other than price, I can't imagine why anyone would choose Sorry Sliders over Crokinole... nor Crokinole over Carrom.

David Arnott said...

I predict a bump UP for Finito next year. Mostly because it's one of those game that you almost NEVER play just once.

Bear in mind, though, that I might be willing to travel the country to make sure that comes true :)

GeekInsight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GeekInsight said...

I own 8 of the top 25. And my wishlist is very prominently represented.

But, I still don't see how so many people play Lost Cities. That game got so old, so quickly for me.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

GeekInsight - you got me wondering, so I went & checked. I own 14 of the top 25 and have easy access to all of the rest except Le Havre (which I have not played). (I haven't played Hive, either - but that's my fault.)

I've been playing Lost Cities since before it was released - thanks to being in the right place (Gulf Games 3) at the right time (Jay Tummelson of Rio Grande Games flew directly to GG3 from Nurnberg Toy Fair) - so I may not be the best person to ask. I think there is more to the game than simply "playing the right card" - reading your opponent is CRUCIAL.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Dave: Finito! is a potato chip game - you are correct. I just think that the lack of American release will keep it from spreading.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Jonny5: I'm not Crokinole's biggest fan - it's a decent game but the "rules" that I was taught can make for LONG games (1 hour?!) of flicking... and as fluffy as I like my games, that's just a little too much time popping wooden discs w/my finger while inhaling Mespi dust. :-)

GeekInsight said...

I can strongly recommend Le Havre. Mechanically, it feels similar to Agricola, but its definitely its own game. I've got three plays under my belt and have enjoyed each immensely.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

re: Le Havre

I need to try it - but every time I see it being played at a con or gathering, it looks like such an uphill climb to figure out what's going on that I just mentally check out & go play some Haba games.