February 8th, 2022 marked the 1 year anniversary of Meeple and the Moose. I started writing this blog because I hadn’t seen my game group in person for nearly a year, and I was craving 2 things: physical board games, and a broader board game community. These two cravings led to me exploring the solo modes of the board games I already owned, and to write about my thoughts and experiences.

Over the last year I’ve published 50 posts related to board games, mostly reviews and counting down my top 100 favourite games (as of March 2020 when I created the list). I’ve started Twitter and Instagram accounts, neither platforms which I had ever used before, and I’ve played a lot of great games!

When I started Meeple and the Moose it was more of a creative writing outlet; a way to get the itch to write out of my system. I found that I really enjoyed engaging with the wider board game community! I’ve started watching lots of twitch streamers, and commenting on other people’s creative works, and I have enjoyed seeing the responses to the words I’ve been putting out into the world.

Something else I really enjoy doing is tracking my plays and stats regarding board games. I track:

  • The games played
  • Who played the games with me
  • The scores of each player in the game
  • Where the game was played
  • How long it took to play the game (rarely, I very often forget to push the start button on the timer)

I’ve often been asked “why do you track these things? Can’t you just enjoy playing the games?” and while the real answer is ‘no, you uncultured swine’, apparently that answer “isn’t good enough” and I’m told to stop “being rude to my mother.”

Before I get into why I track, here’s some stats about my board game plays as of February 2022:

  • I’ve recorded 1,244 plays of 336 different games
  • 33% of my plays included 4 players
  • My average win rate is 40%
  • My H-Index is 17 (I’ve played 17 different games at least 17 times)
  • I’ve played 54 games 5 times or more
  • I’ve played 34 games 10 times or more
  • I’ve played 10 games 25 times or more
  • I’ve played games with 111 different people
  • My most played game is The Crew: Mission Deep Sea, followed by Pairs, (36 and 33 plays respectively)
  1. Data doesn’t care about your feelings

The first, and most prominent reason that I track my stats is because humans are so damn bad at intuiting numbers. For example, one of my favourite games is Food Chain Magnate, and I would have said that I had played it at least 20 times. I also would have thought that each game took at least 4 hours to play because it is such a big game that’s full of decisions.

Looking at my stats, I’ve played Food Chain Magnate 14 times, and the average play time is closer to 2.5 hours (I almost always play with 4 players). Knowing that the game will likely be over in 3 hours means that if I want to play it during a weeknight, I have to have the game set up before my guests arrive. Keeping track of these details helps me plan better game nights.

2. Trends interest me, and help me become a better gamer

Have you ever played a game and been unsure of what certain things are worth? You wonder if you should you spend your whole action acquiring three bonus points, or if that is a waste of time. Tracking the final scores in my games helps me be a better gamer and game teacher, as I can tell people what they can expect for the final score. Three points is a big deal in Agricola, but it’s negligible in The Castles of Burgundy.

A friend of my built a tool called Goodat.games that collects game play data submitted to Board Game Geek and finds the average score. I find this site to be very helpful in my journey to be a better board gamer

3. Because it’s fun!

Honestly, I just like looking at the insights page. I enjoy seeing which games are getting played, how many plays I’ve had, and how many different games I’ve experienced over the course of a month, or year. I love looking back and reflecting on the games I’ve played, or having a witty response when someone mistakenly states that they are new to a game. For instance, when one of my friends says “I’ve never played this before” I can retort with “We played it together on March 17th, 2018 at the board game cafĂ©. You won.”

I also enjoy putting together lists of my favourite games, and it’s very helpful to be able to filter games solely to ones that I’ve played before.

Post from 1 year ago: Tiny Epic Tactics