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Subject: What are you playing this week? (April 23–29 Edition) rss

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Nick Shaw
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Good morning, all you pegheads out there! Hope you're pumped for a great new week of gaming!

So, I've been doing a lot of playtesting on some games recently, and playtesting usually means playing the same game 10, 20, 30, or more times. With some games, I've been perfectly happy to play them over and over that many times, but others it can often feel like a slog to get the game out, set it all up, play it, note down playtest results, pack it away again, etc. Playing a game that isn't fun surely defeats the purpose of playing (gaming should be fun, after all; who wants a hobby that isn't fun to them?!).

So I wondered: How many times do you play a certain game before it becomes 'stale' to you and you trade it / sell it on? And how many games have you played more than say 10 times, 50 times, and 100 times (if you can remember)? And what are your MOST played games (let's say top 3)?




But what the pegheads REALLY want to know is: What are you all playing this week? And are you going to any International Tabletop Day events on Saturday?
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Nick Shaw
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So for me: The only game I've traded away due to "playing it out", so to speak, is Imperial Settlers: I played the solo campaign, which was great, and I LOVED the game, but after 13 plays of the campaign game (which I didn't bother finishing to note) and about 7 standard solo plays, and only 3 or 4 multiplayer plays, I felt there was nothing more to explore in the game. I didn't want the bother of setting it all up and playing any more. And I didn't want to fork out the money for the new faction (only Atlanteans was available at the time), so I decided to sell it on and get something to replace it.

But there are games I've played a LOT that I'll still happily play. Petrichor I played maybe 30 times during playtesting and I'll still happily play that.

As to my top 3 most played:
- #3: Castles of Burgundy I'm happy to play any time, with 125+ games logged so far.
- #2: Star Realms I think I've played over 250 times, though that's 95% on the app so not sure that counts. But I'd still happily play my physical copy.
- #1: Carcassonne I'll happily play *any* time, usually only IF it includes at least some expansions, and only at 2 or 3 players. I've got 300+ plays of this. About half were digital, but were playing against a colleague at work [we'd play during lunch hour when we didn't have the table space to play the physical copy we kept at work, but did play that physical copy a lot too].




This week: Game night on Wednesday; current plan is to teach Trickerion: Legends of Illusion (basic game only; not enough time to teach AND play the full game). Plus anything else to fill the remaining time.

Saturday is International Tabletop Day of course. There's an event going on in my city, but my wife is working part of the day, so I'd only be able to go along for the last hour, which isn't much. I may just play games with my kids at home instead.
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Joe Pilkus
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Good morning to the U.S. Pegheads and good afternoon, Nick and our European Pegheads!

Like Nick, as a developer/playtester, one game played a few dozen times, especially when it's in its early stages can prove painful and not particularly fun...which is why we're often rewarded with a copy of the final version.

Truthfully, no game for me has gone stale, as I've mentioned before my collection is kept at a discriminatingly low and manageable number of titles. As for my Top 3:

#3: Troyes with more than 60 games played...many of which conducted at BoardGameArena
#2: Castles of Burgundy with ~150 plays on Boite-A-Jeux and two dozen or so with friends/family
#1: Arkham Horror with >200 games played over the past decade, 90% of which I played solo with four Investigators

This week, it's D&D 3.5 on Wed and as I've started dating someone with an interest in learning new games, I'll ease her into the hobby with Deep Sea Adventure.

I'm getting together with a friend this weekend and I'll introduce her to a few games...as of yet, TBD.

Cheers,
Joe
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Jason Brown
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The only game I played out was Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set. I played through the entire campaign twice with a party of three. This was before I logged my plays, so it must have been 60-70 plays. I picked up Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – Base Set when it came out and didn't even get through the base game...

This week I have Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave on my table. I just learned it and played my first few games last night and I have abductor packs 1-7 waiting next!
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Brendan Riley
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Hi All!

No idea what games are coming up this week, but I'm keen to play something fun on Tuesday. We may supervise (meaning watch silently) a couple blind playtests of our furthest-along game, but I hope to play a couple games as well. We'll see. As for the rest of the week or the weekend, I have no idea.

Gone stale: Usually a game goes stale for me if another comes along that does the same thing better or if I feel like it's too "samey" each time I play. It's pretty rare, but off the top of my head I'd say Castle Panic, Best Treehouse Ever, and Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game are three examples.

As for top three by plays, my numbers are complicated. I want to discount party games and my all time top game, because they don't feel like the kind of game you're asking about, Nick. So I'm giving you a bit more detail:

Most played game:
Android: Netrunner, 388+ plays

Most played party/light games:
One Night Ultimate Werewolf, 32 plays
Two Rooms and a Boom, 28 plays
Dead Man's Draw, 27 plays
Escape: The Curse of the Temple, 19 plays

Most played non-party/light games:
Friday, 22 plays
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, 20 plays
Ghost Stories, 18 plays
Betrayal at House on the Hill, 17 plays

The thing that strikes me most about this is that nearly all these games (Pandemic Legacy not included) are games I've had for quite a while. As my acquisition disorder grew, my collection got wider, and it was less common for us to play the same game more than a couple times. These are all older games from when my collection was smaller.

They are also all games I can play with my family or by myself. The heavier strategic games, which are my favorites, just don't make it onto the table as much.

That said, if current trends continue, this list would include Gloomhaven next year, as we're already 12 plays in since January.

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Meghan Naxer
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Based on the BGStats app, I noticed about a year ago that ~15 plays is where I max out on a game if I'm going to. As far as the games I've played the most, according to BGStats (and I'm sure these numbers would be different if I included stuff from before I started logging plays, but this is what I have for now):

#3: Mottainai, 37 plays
#2: Red7, 47 plays (we officially retired & purged this one)
#1: Hive, 85 plays

HM Games that might be close:
Onirim (second edition) if I included app plays
Suburbia if I included plays pre-BGStats
7 Wonders ditto

This is going to be another quiet week for gaming—search committee work is more time consuming than I ever thought possible!!! Beginning Thursday night I'm booked most days and evenings for about a week!!! yuk
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Scott Sexton
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I'd have to hazard a rough guess on most played games simply because I don't track plays. It would probably look something like this:

1- Traditional Card Games (I'm just gonna lump them all together because if I didn't my top 3 games would be hearts, Peon, and Poker).

2- Star Wars CCG (from Decipher).

3- I would guess its pretty close between Lord of the Rings CCG (From Decipher), Ascension (thanks to the IOS APP), Jedi Knights CCG (From Decipher), and Star Wars Destiny.

This week I'm not sure what I'm going to do about Tabletop Day. My kids have some school events so I may not do any gaming.

This past weekend my daughter and I went out by ourselves to play a session of the Crypt of the Vampire game book and my son and I went to another Shadespire tournament. The boy took second place again!

I believe I have another session of Charterstone on tap.

If I'm lucky I may get in some more time with Dungeon Alliance.

If I'm super lucky, I may finish putting together Heroes of Land/Air/Sea.
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j s
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I like to dig into games. To me, a truly good game will never get to the point that I want to trade it away. I tend to look at games that get stale as a failure in some way. With the exception of games that are designed to be consumed like legacy games.

This flows into the what I will be playing this week.

Rising Sun
Rising Sun
more Rising Sun.

Have a great week everyone
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Chris Graves
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@Prof: If you ever are somehow in Southern Oregon or I end up in Virginia, I would be honored to play a session of Arkham Horror with you. Early in my gaming life, that is the game I wanted most. I never got a copy, but played it at GenCon 50 for the first time with 7 other noobs. Somehow, we beat the game, and it is one of my happiest gaming memories of all time.


I just looked up my numbers. I didn't start recording right away, but I have been very diligent since I started entering plays. That said, we play a lot of new stuff because, combined, there is a HUGE collection and we want to try to get stuff played. My most played pales in comparison to most/all of you, but here are my top 3:

King of Tokyo - 17
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - 10
Blood Rage - 9

I have to say, I think I like playing new stuff all the time. For example, if you asked me to play Blood Rage, I'd play it but I'd probably want to play something else instead.

We are celebrating International Table Top Day with a monthly Meet Up. I'm learning Evolution with the Climate kit added (just got that this weekend). I'll also bring my standard pile of stuff and we'll see what gets played.

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John Kanost
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I cannot really quantify this, since it's rare that I play out a game. Most games that leave the collection do so relatively quickly... I guess I'm only willing to give a game a few chances to change my mind before it's gone. One game that did exit recently, Splendor, got 30+ plays before being donated... but that was mostly because it was played out for my wife. I'm still willing to play it and enjoy it when I do; I just can't play it at home with my family any more.

Looking at my stats, since I started keeping track, I've played exactly 50 games more than 10 times. But it drops off drastically after that... there's only one game so far that's managed to crack the 50 barrier (and the 100 as well) and that's Magic: The Gathering with 175 recorded plays. It's still not "played out" for me (and probably never will be, given that it's constantly evolving; nevertheless it's been about 2 years since I actively played it due to how expensive it is to keep up with.

So removing MTG from consideration, my top three played games?

3: Mottainai, 40 plays
2: Codenames, 40 plays
1: Star Realms, 41 plays

My favorite game, Scythe, is slowly but surely closing in on these numbers with 36 recorded plays to date. Second favorite Terraforming Mars is hot on its heels with 33. Great Western Trail has a lot of ground to make up, only 15 plays for that one.

Edit: as an aside, I'd also like to point out that I do not record digital plays of board games. That's 41 physical plays of Star Realms with real cards... were my Star Realms app plays included in its total, it would probably rival Magic's numbers.
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Scott Sexton
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Grishny wrote:



3: Mottainai, 40 plays


Jealous.
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Meghan Naxer
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scottatlaw wrote:
Grishny wrote:



3: Mottainai, 40 plays


Jealous.


Me too! Going to have to close that gap with 3 more plays soon!
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Jamie Maltman
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Most played logged games?

131 Through the Ages: New Story - through the app and online sites with other players + I'd have another 100 of Through the Ages as well I think
114 Kingdom Builder
60 Santorini
57 A Feast for Odin (lots of them solo)
42 Concordia (including online plays)
38 The Voyages of Marco Polo (including online)
32 KLASK

Some are because of my kids, others are some of my very favourite games. I guess the games I love are ones that will never get played out for me.
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Kevin Farrell
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Going back to Gloomhaven tonight!

According to BGStats - my most played games (in person) are:

Great Western Trail
Yokohama
Automobiles
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Gabriel Edge

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njshaw2 wrote:
Good morning, all you pegheads out there! Hope you're pumped for a great new week of gaming!

I wondered: How many times do you play a certain game before it becomes 'stale' to you and you trade it / sell it on? And how many games have you played more than say 10 times, 50 times, and 100 times (if you can remember)? And what are your MOST played games (let's say top 3)?
s



But what the pegheads REALLY want to know is: What are you all playing this week? And are you going to any International Tabletop Day events on Saturday?


As far as playing out games, that really depends on the game. I'm wondering if I've played out Dominion (I hope not ... though I didn't buy Nocturne) given how often I even want to get it to table. Some games, like Quarriors!, last 2 plays before I'm done with them. Others, like the reroll for the next episode Viticulture Essential Edition, I've easily gotten 20 plays of and am still excited to play it again.

The thing about most played games is ... I only recently started tracking my plays AND am more on the discovery edge of gaming (I like playing games that are new to me more than replaying games I know I enjoy). So Viticulture and Skull King and Azul get a lot of plays (with Rajas of the Ganges and Element possible future contenders), but none of those plays cracks 50.

My recent plays include:
Skull King
Roll Player (with expansion ... I prefer Sagrada, but won't buy either of those two games while I have Azul)
Between Two Cities
Rajas of the Ganges
Seikatsu (which, if Christina hasn't played yet, she REALLY NEEDS TO)
started a game of Iron Dragon that I'm finishing on Friday
and learned Stockpile just last week.

I have no idea how many games I'll get to play this weekend, but I've had fun with my few games played already.
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Gabriel Edge

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Since started taking [inconsistent] play stats: my big games are:
Azul (16 games)
Skull King (13 games)
Cribbage (9 games) (should be over 10 ... waaaaaaay over 10)
Element (9/10 games, depending on if you include both versions)
Rajas of the Ganges (8 games)
Tiny Swords SMAAASH! (8 games - these are super short)
Vitculture (8 games ... like I said, very inconsistent play stats)

And ... I mean, I played Phase 10 Masters Edition easily some 30 times in college ... and that's a low estimate.
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John Kanost
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I got to play a few games on Monday, including Santorini, Letters from Whitechapel, and Love Letter.

Last night was a Beermongers game night, and I got to try out Space Base! Space Base! Space Base! (It's fun to say... try it!)

It really does blow Machi Koro out of the proverbial water. After one play it's on my want-to-buy list.

After that we played some Steam Park. It was my third chance to play this one, and the first time using the "Play Dirty" expansion. I think as of this play I prefer the base game alone, but we didn't use all the elements that the expansion adds, so perhaps I need to give it another try with some different add-ons.

Saturday for ITTD I am planning to run board games all the day long at my FLGS. We might be a little cramped since the day also coincides with release weekend for Magic's latest and much-hyped set, Dominaria and we'll be competing with booster drafters for table space. But if I can't beat 'em, I might have to join 'em... I'm highly tempted to check out this particular set...
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Scott Sexton
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Grishny wrote:



Last night was a Beermongers game night, and I got to try out Space Base! Space Base! Space Base! (It's fun to say... try it!)


Here is what I don't get about Space Base. All I've really heard about it is that it is a better version of Machi Koro. I already own two games that replaced Machi Koro: Dice City (with expansions) and Valeria Card Kingdom (again, with expansions). How does Space Base compare to either of these two solid titles?
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John Kanost
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scottatlaw wrote:
Grishny wrote:



Last night was a Beermongers game night, and I got to try out Space Base! Space Base! Space Base! (It's fun to say... try it!)


Here is what I don't get about Space Base. All I've really heard about it is that it is a better version of Machi Koro. I already own two games that replaced Machi Koro: Dice City (with expansions) and Valeria Card Kingdom (again, with expansions). How does Space Base compare to either of these two solid titles?


Dice City failed to replace Machi Koro for me and my sons. It did briefly work for my wife, who despised Machi and refused to play it again after the first game, but she also grew bored with Dice City pretty quickly and it has since left the collection, while MK has endured--my boys and I still enjoy it occasionally.

I only played Valeria Card Kingdoms once, and I was impressed by it, but not enough that I wanted to go out and buy it and then get rid of MK.

I do want to go out and buy Space Base (and if I wind up keeping MK, it will only be because it is from Pandasauras and I can still get reward points for teaching it).

I'm sure part of the allure is theme; science fiction themes always draw me in more than others. Space Base felt a little snappier too, playing in just under 60 minutes even with a table full of new players... I may be mistaken but my recollection of VCK was that it took at least 90 minutes to 2 hours to finish a game. Our MK play times have varied between 45 to 75 minutes. Of course this might not be an accurate feeling since I've only played the game one time.

What I liked most about Space Base though is how well it kept ALL the players engaged throughout the game. The ship-launching mechanic means that from your very first turn, you'll be watching what the other players roll and more often than not applying their dice results to your own board to gain resources in some form or fashion. In fact I found myself several times having to ask someone what they'd rolled when I stopped to chat with someone watching the game when it wasn't my turn. The action is fast and you want to keep paying attention so you don't miss anything.
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Douglas Klipfel
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I love this question, but I do a poor job of keeping track of plays. So I am unable to list my top games with any accuracy.

Star Wars: The Card Game I played very heavily with friends and in tournaments. I have gotten rid of all those cards except just a few that I kept back.

At the same level I Played Magic: The Gathering. However I have kept decks of these cards and would gladly play with friends again.

Over the last year I can say I have put the most hours into Gloomhaven. I will still gladly play, however I am ready to start playing other games with that game group. For example Blood Rage
or Rising Sun would be a nice change.

Other than the star wars ccg I do not have any games that I liked at one point but played them out. There are games like New York 1901 that I wouldn't mind getting rid of, but the truth is I never really enjoyed the game all that much.
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Nick Shaw
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Game night last night. A good turn-out of around 20 people.

I first played Santa Maria, in a 4-player game. What a lovely game! Gentle, and simple enough mechanically but with some good depth of decisions to make! Ended up coming 3rd, though I was 1 point off the winner (1st and 2nd place were tied on 69 points, so that went to tie-break, and I was on 68; 4th player was on 37). Really liked it. Not one I feel I need to own, but would happily play it again.

Santa Maria took a lot longer than planned though [the 45-60 min claim on the box is probably only accurate if all players have played before and don't think too much about their actions - it took 20 mins to teach, and an hour and a half to play]. That meant my planned play of Trickerion: Legends of Illusion had to be rushed through - I'd wanted 2 hours to teach and play the basic game. In the end we had just 1 hour; I managed to teach it in 20 minutes, so we had 40 minutes to play. We got through 2 of 5 turns, enough to give the players a flavour of the game, but by no means the feel for the strategies that evolve during play, AND it was only the basic game. Hopefully though we'll be able to play a full game another time, now those folks know the rules and basic gameplay.
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Bill Kunes
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Great questions this week, Nick.

My Top 3 Most Played Games
126x - Guildhall
120x - Dominion
112x - Castles of Burgundy

I try to give most games at least 10 plays before determining whether it has a lasting place in our collection, as we like to play our games multiple times (e.g. 10x10 challenge). However, there are those games that it only takes a few plays to know that it isn't for us or not going to cut it, but there have been few as I am of the "cult of the proven" ilk and mostly get games that have impressed enough trusted opinions before I buy.

With that said...

100+ (4)
50+ (10 more)
25+ (21 more)
10+ (50 more)
...that's 85 games with at least 10 plays!

meeple Keep playing (the games you have)...
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Meghan Naxer
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I'm doing it, everyone! I'm posting what I played this week when it is still this week! This weekend definitely felt a bit like getting back on the horse after very intermittent game playing this month. I still had to work all weekend, but we made some time for gaming:

Saturday we got in our euro game goodness with Puerto Rico, La Granja, and Keyper. Puerto Rico is still such an impressive and fun game, especially with the buildings expansion, which really changes things up from game to game. It's even brilliant with 2! La Granja was super close and ended with a tied game and Paul taking the win by having $1 leftover! Keyper was also close, where I tried to diversify and focus on the starter buildings and Paul went for those awesome animals.

Today we played some great 2-player games! Started with Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, followed up with 7 Wonders Duel, and I hadn't had my fill of Uwe, so we ended with Caverna: Cave vs Cave. While Paul swept both days, every game today was a 1- or 2-point game!!! Everything was so close and down to the wire, which made it really exciting.
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Paul Naxer
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cuteusagi wrote:
While Paul swept both days, every game today...

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John Kanost
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Aaaand the rest of the week...

I feel like I spent more time writing about my gaming than actually gaming this week... I know that's not true but it still felt like it. It took me all week to finish my Cabin Con report (posted it Friday) and with ITTD on Saturday I didn't get started on tomorrow's blog post until this afternoon. Juuust finished it.

So here's just a quick recap in titles of the rest of the week... you can read the exquisite details over on Grishny's Games tomorrow if you want.

Friday:
The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31

Saturday:
Cottage Garden
Slide Blast
Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure
Machi Koro
Tsuro
Space Base (yeah, I bought it already)
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