About four months ago, I discovered the joys of BoardGameGeek. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a huge database of board games (including miniature wargames), allowing you to rate games, search for specific mechanics etc. You can also enter your own collection and even the dates of games played. It’s a fun tool and it produces some interesting statistics.
Let’s start with my collection. I’ve entered everything I own at the moment as well as everything I can remember playing back to my childhood. This makes 93 entries; however, they do contain a couple of items I put on my wishlist, so those are games I’ve never played.
Also, role-playing games are not in the database; there is a separate site, RPGGeek, for those. I’m not registered there because I only play D&D at the moment and also because one bureaucratic obsession is enough.
I rated all the games I have played according to the 1-10 scale BGG provides, 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. I tried to be true to the wording, which is quite interesting, because it does not only ask how good you think a game is, but also how much you are prepared to actually play it. This is an important distinction for me, because there are games which I think are good but I’m still not really keen to play them (such as Chain of Command, because I’ve no interest in WW2), and there are games that I don’t find very good but will play because the family enjoys them (e.g. the kid’s game Drecksau).
This is my average rating:
Most of my games are rated a 6 or 7, meaning “Ok – will play if in the mood” and “Good – usually willing to play”. Those would be the games that most of the time are not my first choice when it comes to discussing what to play, but I will happily agree to playing them if the others want to. For board games, Colt Express, Small World and King of Tokyo are among them, for miniature wargames, there are DBA, Hail Caesar and SAGA.
I was rather surprised at the high number of games I’ve rated a 9. The singular 10 (“Outstanding – will always enjoy playing”) is not surprising and you will have guessed it by now: It’s my all time favourite Sharp Practice. The 9s (“Excellent – very much enjoy playing”) are board games like Zombicide, Battlecry and Empires in America and miniature wargames like Flashing Steel and Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. I’m pretty glad I’ve got so many games with such a high rating, meaning my collection is not flooded with stuff I won’t play anyway.
Let’s compare this with actual gameplay. I’ve logged the games played since beginning of May, so there are now over four full months of data.
I’ve logged 37 gameplays. The most played games are Battlecry and Sharp Practice (both 8 times), followed by Zombicide (6 times). This is good, because it means the games I enjoy the most also get to the table most often. I’ve also played Mice & Mystics quite often (5 times), but this is a bit of a special case because although I enjoy it, I do it with and for the kids. The rest of the numbers are made up of games I’ve played twice or once. Most of those are games I don’t own myself and have played at a friend’s place.
Another fun statistics are the “Largest Disparities in Ratings” – where do my ratings differ from the community? Sharp Practice is again on top of this list, as on average, it is a meager 5.574 (“Mediocre – take it or leave it”). The same is true for Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes and Empires in America. On the other hand, many people are really keen on Carcassonne, which has an average rating of 7.334 from the community and an almost embarrassing 4 (“Not so good – but could play again”) from me. I really find it rather boring.
BoardGameGeek is a fun tool. It’s interesting to compare your ratings with the community and logging game play is a good way to remember yourself what you played – and what you’d like to play more often. They also have a lively forum and a friendly marketplace. Highly recommended!