Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Seven (part one)

While I've been playing board & card games all of my life, I've only been obsessed enough to track every game I play for the last seven years. (I started in July of 1998.) Yes, it's kind of geeky (ok, it's a lot geeky) but the results are interesting. The ten games I've played the most (excluding online play at sites like are:
  • The Settlers of Catan (10 years old this year - this is the 900 lb gorilla of German gaming... while it's not everyone's cup of tea - for example, my wife - it has the tendency to suck players in and show them 'a whole new world')
  • Can't Stop (classic press-your-luck dice game from Sid Sackson... still can't believe Parker Brothers stopped producing this to make video games back in the 80's... sigh)
  • Fill or Bust (the old school dice game "5000" with an added deck of cards... Shari & I play this 2 player a lot)
  • Liar's Dice (Richard Borg's nifty redesign of a saloon betting classic - still in print after all these and still worth owning - a great game of bluff & reading your opponents)
  • Loopin' Louie (the best mechanical kid's game ever - absolutely addictive)
  • Smarty Party (see my post on Smarty Party from a few weeks back)
  • Arriba (the best quick reaction game ever - now published in the U.S. as Jungle Speed)
  • Espresso (I learned it as Nertz or Double Sol.... it's currently published in Germany as Ligretto)
  • Skip-Bo (Shari & I have played a bunch of two player games of this)
  • Zirkus Flohcati (my favorite quickie filler game... works great with kids or adults or adults & kids!)
The eight games I've played the most when you add online play in include:
  • Lost Cities (just played again the other night - and, of course, Shari beat me)
  • Carcassonne (I like this Spiel des Jahres winner best with 2-3 players, even though the game has pieces for 6 players)
  • Ticket To Ride (one of my "new" favorites - just wish I got to play it more "live" rather than on the Days of Wonder website)
  • Street Soccer (I haven't played as much recently, but it's a great little soccer/dice game that reminds me a bit of backgammon in your need to play for position)
  • Transamerica (playing online gave me new respect for this light but enjoyable game)
  • Cafe International (the same is true for Cafe International, which I purchased after playing a number of games online)
  • Web of Power (it packs so much game into so little time - again, I wish I got to play it more "live")
  • Ra (a great auction that I didn't like the first time I played it - but subsequent playings helped me fall in love)
The links all connect you to Boardgamegeek - the best website about boardgaming out there. To be continued...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, I've been tracking a bit longer (since the beginning of 1996), and adding my online plays in matters not at all, but here's my equivalent list:

1) Bridge
2) Hearts
3) 500 (OK, since my first 3 are public domain games, I'll go three deeper at the end...)
4) For Sale
5) Schnaeppchen Jagd
6) Mue (appearing out of nowhere...)
7) Zirkus Flohcati
8) Die Siedler von Catan (a.k.a. Settlers)
9) Bohnanza
10) Puerto Rico
11) Africa
12) Can't Stop
13) Spinball

Only three overlaps, one of those (Can't Stop) only because I went over.

The games I've spent the most time playing in the past decade:

1) Bridge
2) 2038 (an excellent take on the 18xx series - right up your alley, Mark...)
3) Mue
4) Die Siedler von Catan
5) Hearts
6) Puerto Rico
7) Schnaeppchen Jagd
8) Bohnanza
9) Advanced Civilization
10) Saint Petersburg
11) La Citta
12) Carcassonne
13) Merchant of Venus

I think this list more accurately reflects my tastes. Of course, it comes out even closer if I use happiness ratings (=time spent * (rating-5)):

1) Bridge
2) 2038
3) Die Siedler von Catan
4) Puerto Rico
5) Mue
6) Schnaeppchen Jagd
7) Bohnanza
8) Advanced Civilization
9) Saint Petersburg
10) La Citta
11) Euphrat & Tigris
12) Showmanager
13) Fresh Fish

...but that might be taking things a bit too far.