Butterfly0038's H-Index List
Jimmy Okolica
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After reading Eric Brosius's list, I decided to do one of my own. Your H-index is the # of games that you've played that many times. For instance. my H-index is currently 20. I've played 20 games at least 20 times.

I only started recording plays in 2010 so there are several notable games that have significantly less plays recorded than I've actually played. Agricola, Race for the Galaxy, and Dominion all have well over 100 plays. However, since I don't know how many, I'll just list them at their recorded plays. In addition, there are three games that I have played many times online but only a few face to face, specifically, Through the Ages, Brass, and Tigris & Euphrates. Again, I only list the face to face plays.

My plan is to produce a new H-index list (or update this one) every January. This year the update is a little late and contains a few 2015 plays. Hopefully, next year I'll be more diligent (and less inclined to play with the numbers ).

2016 Update: My h-index is currently 25 (and will be 26 as soon as I play 1817 in Chattanooga in a couple of weeks). I've re-ordered the games based on my play count on 31-Dec-15 and added a 2016 outlook. Overall outlook: I've gone from 20 to (basically) 26 in a year. It'd be great to repeat that, but I'll be happy if I can get to 30 by Jan-2017.

2017 Update: This year I waited till after Chattanooga and, thanks to 1880, was able to bump my h-index up to 27. While I didn't get anywhere near the 30 I was hoping for, the 27 is deceptive. With one play of Grand Austria Hotel, I'll have 28 games I've played at least 27 times and right now, I'm only 5 games short of 28 plays at least 29 times. So, 28 and 29 are close IF I can add some more games to the bottom of the list.

2018 Update: Just back from Chattanooga and updating. This year there wasn't anything I was expecting CRGC to change, but figured consistency was worth something. This year my h-index finally hit 29 with 23 of those titles having 31 plays, one having 30 and another 6 titles having 29 plays. So, bumping my h-index to 31 in 2018 is very doable, and 36 is not out of reach (1822 and Scythe each have 25 plays and Terraforming Mars has 17 plays in less than a month). Still, I doubt I'll get to 50 by 50.
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1. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:420] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #1
2017: #1
2016: #1
2015: #1

The one game on the list whose plays don't match my recorded plays. I played thousands of times growing up. We used to play four or five games a day during lunch and I competed in tournaments all through high school. At one point, I was a rated A player. Therefore, even though I only play it once in a long while now, I still want it as my #1 game.

Initially, the game is played with the active player looking at what 2 - 3 attack combinations he can execute. Then, he starts to learn that he also has to look at how he can defend against attacks. Some time later (years sometimes), players begin to look at the positions overall. At this point, they begin to see the game less as a collection of separate pieces and more as a collection of 1 or more positions. There may be a "middle of the board" position, a "protected king" position, a potential "passed pawn" position. Now players begin to look at weaknesses and strengths of the positions. Individual tactics and attacks are now seen both for how the positions enable them and what the results of the tactics will be on the positions. Finally, players begin to see the game as an overall battlefield. As the game begins, the battlefield emerges, becomes congested as players battle for advantages and positions of strength, clears as players transform potential advantages into actual positions or tempos of advantage and then attempt to leverage those advantages into decisive results.

Brilliant, brilliant timeless game. A perfect 10

2015 Outlook: I played it a few times with my son in 2014 and he's improved a lot. Hopefully we'll get in a few more plays in 2015.
2016 Outlook: It got 7 plays in 2015 with my son and I expect it'll get about the same in 2015 although it now competes with a lot of other 2-player games.
2017 Outlook: The number of plays dropped to 3 in 2016, all with my son. I expect it to continue to range between 3 - 10 plays per year for the forseeable future.
2018 Outlook: Only 1 play in 2017. I expect with a little more free time, it'll return to the 3 - 10 play range in 2018.
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2. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:57]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #1
2017: #1
2016: #1
2015: n/a

116 Recorded Plays

Patchwork didn't just jump to my second most played game in 2015, it actually got centuried! It's the first game to do that since I've started recording plays (I expect Chess, Race, 'Gric, and Dominion all did it previously). This is Rosenberg's third game for the ages. He started with a pure card game in Bohnanza, switched to a card/board game hybrid with Agricola and has now gone to a full board game. This is also his simplest to teach game.

With two rules, it's teachable in 2 or 3 minutes and playable in 15. However, with two competitive people, it can turn into a brain-burny 30 minute highly interactive slugfest as players puzzle out who can buy what, how far players will need to leapfrog and how many tough choices they can present to their opponent. When people start playing, there appears to be one dominant strategy -- gets lots of income early. With more experience, players discover that a low income/high coverage strategy can work equally well. And so, players have at least two strategies to consider as they look at the layout of tiles. Which will work best for this game? How much can they force the other guy to play their game?

2016 Outlook: Even after 100 plays, it remains a favorite for me and I'm hopeful for a lot more plays in 2016. The only thing that might change that is King Chocolate. After only 3 plays, it looks like it might fill a similar niche to Patchwork. If so, Patchwork's plays will drop off. That said, it should still be an easy dime and a possible quarter.
2017 Outlook: As expected, plays were way down in 2016 to 14 plays. However, it's seen regular plays throughout the year and I expect that to continue.
2018 Outlook: 2 plays in 2017, both with my younger daughter. Like Chess, which I play with my son, I expect plays will rise slightly a bit now that my PhD is done and I can spend more time gaming with my kids.
 
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
Jimmy Okolica
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2018: #3 (tied)
2017: #3
2016: #3
2015: #2

99 recorded plays.

It's the game that Amanda and I often play as a wind-down before bed. Only a few plays in 2014 (19) but still very well loved. I can't imagine this ever dropping below a 10 for me.

Special power card games (SPCGs) take a long time to play effectively. SPCGs that achieve language-independence through the use of icons take an even longer time to learn. For me, RftG appeared at a time when I wanted to be one of the "cool kids." It was hot, therefore it must be good and I should spend the time to learn it. A card game with lots of depth and replayability that feels like a board game? Sign me up. I doubt that now I'd have the interest to invest in the learning curve. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. In this case, investing that time provided me with a game that I've been playing for years.

I think I'm still willing to invest the time. I'm just much more cautious about when I invest it. Tom Lehmann is one of the few designers that I'll invest in. Sometimes his designs fall short for me. However, he's never produced a bad game. Some of his games I love (RftG, 1846, Phoenicia). Others I only like. And others I admire but don't care for (2038). But his designs are always interesting. They always leave me with "hunh. I hadn't thought of doing something like that before."

2015 Outlook: Alien Artifacts is the biggest reason RftG got as many plays as it did in 2014. With RollftG out, I'm not sure if my plays of RftG will suffer or not. I still think RftG is timeless and I'm hoping to at least dime it in 2015.
2016 Outlook: Despite new releases, it still got 10 plays in 2015. With Xeno Invasion coming in 2016, I expect it'll get at least that many.
2017 Outlook: In 2016, it just fell short of quartered with 23 plays. 11 were Xeno Invasion (great expansion) and 12 were Gathering Storm. It's gotten back into regular rotation and, along with some plays with the kids, I expect it to get between 10 and 25 plays in 2017.
2018 Outlook: Jump Drive completely stole all of Race's plays in 2017 and it didn't get its first play until December. Hopefully it'll get more plays in 2018, but with it competing with Jump Drive, it'll definitely be less than in previous years.
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Jimmy Okolica
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2018: #3 (tied)
2017: #4
2016: #9
2015: #4

99 Recorded Plays

Agricola was my first adult foray into weekly gaming. I played Agricola with the UGOI (usual gang of idiots led by the famous MisterG) for a few years. Unfortunately, most of those plays pre-date my logging of plays. I suppose I could go back through the session reports to boost my numbers, but myeh.

Agricola was my introduction to worker placement and while it isn't the first, it's probably the most well known. It's a brilliant example of "I want to design a game about X. X is composed of doing these activities. So, all I need to do is give each player a certain number of workers and then create action spaces on a shared board to do those activities." Rosenberg chose farming and resource conversion. He then added in the cards that he's famous for.

Looked at in 2007, 'Gric seemed to be a revolutionary foray into worker placement. Now, looking back and considering it as an entry in Rosenberg's body of work, I see 'Gric more as a card game with an action selection mechanic added. It's the farming of Bohnanza where the negotiation is replaced with competing for shared resources to build your farms. (I think) the cards were still where his focus was. The board was just necessary to explore the card space. Now I see 'Gric as another SPCG. Like RftG, the player more familiar with the cards and the different ways to combine them will win most games.

Still an incredibly rich game with lots of space to explore, it is unlikely if it was produced now that I'd choose to dive into it. Interestingly, Caverna takes a lot of 'Gric's mechanics and removes the plethora of cards. Now there are only a couple of dozen cards (buildings) and they are all available to all players. There's still a lot to explore but the SPCG is much more diminished and replaced with the action selection/resource conversion for which 'Gric is most famous.

2015 Outlook: After a 2-year hiatus, I played 'Gric for the first time in December-2014. I expect to play it some more in 2015 although it will likely compete with Caverna for plays. Its rating has fluctuated from a 10 to a 6 and is now back at an average 7. Hopefully with more plays, it'll move back at least to an 8 in 2015.
2016 Outlook: As predicted, Caverna (and Fields of Arle) took its plays in 2015. As a result, it only got played twice. However, it's high on my radar of games I want to play. Hopefully 2016 will be its comeback year (plus, the 10th anniversary edition may help that too).
2017 Outlook: It was nice to see it back to its old play count with 47 plays in 2016. To be fair, a lot were solo and a lot were with the "ooh shiny" of the new edition. I expect that it'll end up being a one year blip and will go back to around 10 plays in 2017 as the "anniversary" edition has been delayed to 2018.
2018 Outlook: 6 plays in 2017 and all of them included my son. It's become one of his favorites and it's one of the few that will sometimes get him away from the computer. I'm hoping to get at least 6 - 10 plays in 2018 unless the anniversary edition comes out and becomes an "ooh, shiny".
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
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2018: #5
2017: #5
2016: #4
2015: n/a

80 recorded plays.

The game that convinced me I need to stop listening to the "cool BGG kids". What are people thinking? This is an absolutely brilliant game (although significantly better with expansions). Simple to teach, virtually no downtime, players always engaged, lots of interaction, lots of room for nastiness, experienced players will win most of the time.

I suppose it can be played cute and cuddly but I have yet to play it that way, even when I'm not trying to be mean. It's the only game that's ever made my daughter cry (twice) and that's with her having played well over 100 different titles. I probably like this best as a 2-player where nastiness doesn't kingmake, but I'll happily play it with any number of players.

2016 Outlook: 67 plays since I discovered it in June and I'm hopeful to at least quarter it in 2016.
2017 Outlook: Unfortunately my daughter has decided it's too mean for her, so plays dropped to 12 in 2016. Unless that changes, I expect 2017 will remain the same with between 5 and 10 plays.
2018 Outlook: Only one play in 2017 and that was a first (and last) play of Rails & Sails with Amanda. Unlikely to see any plays in 2018.
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6. Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:553]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #6
2017: #6
2016: #7
2015: #7

63 Recorded Plays

It's not a surprise that my most played 18XX is also the shortest 18XX that still has some interesting decisions. Most of my plays still take 2 - 2.5 hours, but that's about the same length as the medium-heavy euros I like. So, if I'm playing with people who are willing to play 18XX, it fits perfectly in the time slot. A perfect 10 for me.

While others may disagree, I think there are some interesting decisions surrounding where to par your companies and how many to initially start. While I disagree with JC that taking a private on the first go-round is always bad, I think the previous decisions need to be factored in. And unlike other 18XXs, you get to see how well you did in about an hour and if you did badly, the game is almost over.

2015 Outlook: It remains my favorite short 18XX and one of my favorite 18XXs overall. Very much hope/expect to dime it in 2015.
2016 Outlook: 14 plays in 2015 kept this as my 7th most played game. While 18SW is getting a lot of plays and many of them are plays 1846 would have gotten, I've found that I can play both games in about 4 hours. As long as I have willing players, I hope both games see many plays in 2016. With luck, this'll be dimed again in 2016.
2017 Outlook: 13 plays in 2016 seems consistent. Despite SW and 61/67 getting a lot of love, '46 remains the short game of choice. Nothing can compare to it for XX in 90 minutes. I expect the play count will remain about the same in 2017.
2018 Outlook: 12 plays in 2017 is again consistent. Expect this to continue for the forseeable future.
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:372]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #7
2017: #7
2016: #8
2015: #10

53 Recorded Plays

Absolutely my son's favorite game and a game that my daughter loves as well. It's so neat watching them play and seeing how nice they are. I used to think it was just because they were afraid to get stuck with cards they didn't want to plant. Now, I see they really want to help everyone to be successful. Thankfully this kumbaya spirit doesn't extend to all games, but for some reason, it fully manifests in Bohnanza. This will always be a favorite for me because of my memories of games with my kids.

Kid games aside, this is a brilliant Uwe Rosenberg design. Play time is about 30 minutes. There's a fair bit of randomness in the card draws. But the interaction (when played with gamers) is beautiful to watch. Personalities come out as people can range from helpful to mutually beneficial to burn-the-other-guy-down. Very cool to watch. Currently rated as an 8.

2015 Outlook: I can't imagine my son's opinion of Bohnanza changing anytime soon. It should be easy to dime and it'll probably once again come close to be quartered.
2016 Outlook: as expected, my son still loves it. What was unexpected is how much I loved Sissi!: Die Bohnenkaiserin. It adds more hand management and increases negotiation. With Sissi, I'll ask to play it. However, my daughter is getting tired of it. I hope to at least nickel it in 2016 and possibly dime it.
2017 Outlook: Just barely managed a dime in 2016. Hopefully the frequency will continue in 2017.
2018 Outlook: Like Patchwork and Chess above, schoolwork caused a big drop in plays with my kids in 2017. Only 2 plays in 2017; I'm hoping it gets better in 2018.
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8. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:450]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #8
2017: #8
2016: #5
2015: #6

49 recorded plays

This saw a lot of plays while I was dating my now ex-gf. Since we split in August, it's only see a couple more plays. It's no wonder that Donald X designed this and Dominion. They both have the same feel. They're both strongly front-loaded where players are asked to make critical decisions on their first couple of turns. Where Kingdom Builder improves on Dominion is often after the first several rounds, Dominion goes on auto-pilot with the only question being when to switch to VP collection. The decisions that KB offers often remain interesting for much longer as there is generally more opportunity for intentional interaction than with Dominion.

2015 Outlook: If Amy and continue to play it, it'll easily be quartered in 2015 (and may become my first half-dollar). Otherwise, I still expect it'll be dimed. I really enjoy this game and will play it as often as I can.
2016 Outlook: 10 plays in 2015 bumped it up one play on my H-list. However, I'm not optimistic it'll see the same number of plays in 2016. I love it but everyone else I've introduced it to is lukewarm at best. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can keep getting it played.
2017 Outlook: Only 4 plays in 2016 and I expect that trend to continue in 2017.
2018 Outlook: only 1 play in 2017 and I expect the 1 - 5 play trend will continue.
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9. Board Game: 1817 [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:2057]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #9
2017: #10
2016: #26
2015: #14

45 Recorded Plays

I continue to be surprised by this game. Every time I think I figured something out, I play another game and find out I was wrong. Often called the nastiest 18XX, it's more about realizing that nothing has value unless someone thinks it does. Named after the opening of the NY Stock Exchange, this is a game about cash management and making sure that your cash is doing the most it can for you.

2015 Outlook: If I could play this once a week, I would. Realistically, I'm hoping for around 10 plays.
2016 Outlook: It fell just slight short of the 10 plays I was hoping for with 8 plays. It would have gotten more but my local group has decided against playing it with 3 and I didn't get to CABS enough. If I can find one more local player, this'll get a bunch more plays in 2016. Otherwise, it'll probably stay around a nickel.
2017 Outlook: Attending more conventions let me get 16 plays of this in 2016 and ensured it'll be in my h-index for years to come. I'm finally easing off on it a little. It's still in my top 5 games, but I'm now more interested in who the other players are and what the player count is. I still won't ever turn down a chance to play it. Hopefully 2017 will see as many plays as 2016.
2018 Outlook: Only 3 plays in 2017 because (a) the Dayton group isn't crazy about it and (b) I stopped going to CABS in 2017 to focus on schoolwork. Hopefully 2018 will be better.
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10. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #10
2017: #9
2016: #6
2015: #3

43 Recorded Plays

I wrote a review of this when it first came out called "Dominion for Gamers." Now with more experience, I'd probably change that to "Kingdom Builder for Gamers" since I feel like TM has more interaction than Dominion, although it probably still falls short of Kingdom Builder. In all of these games, the first few decisions are the most critical. The biggest issue with TM is that players pay for poor early decisions for the next 2+ hours. Therefore, while I still love TM, I now try to restrict myself to only playing this with experienced players. If I could always play TM with quick, experienced players, I'd rate it a 9. However, finding those players (other than online) is tough. So it remains an 8 for me.

2015 Outlook: The expansion convinced me to re-acquire it. I've enjoyed my one play of the expansion and hope to play it more. While I know I'll be playing it online, I don't record my plays. I still hope to nickel it in 2015.
2016 Outlook: No plays in 2015. It takes an effort to teach this. With Stella in the house, I may teach it to her in which case it may see 10 plays. Otherwise, I doubt it'll see any.
2017 Outlook: No plays in 2016. However, with the kids getting older and Meagan living with us, maybe it'll get played in 2017.
2018 Outlook: repeat of 2017
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11. Board Game: 18SW [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #11
2017: #11
2016: #12
2015: n/a

39 recorded plays

2016 was a year of designing for me. While I haven't gotten anything published yet (and don't know if I ever will), it's still given me a huge feeling of accomplishment. 18SW is probably the design I'm most pleased with. As someone who often only has one other person to play 18XX with, the dearth of 2-player 18XX games has always been a problem. In 2014, 18OE fixed that for me, but even a 2-player short scenario is still a long time investment. It's also a bit intimidating for new players. Enter 18SW. It plays from 2 - 4 players with a board/tile set/companies/bank/etc that vary by player count. It takes from 2 - 4 hours (still trying to get it down to 90 minutes) and I've achieved that time range with both experienced players and new 18XX players. And it has different levels of play to allow new players to experience 18XX without drowning in the rules.

While I always knew designing a game would let me indulge my creative urges, it never occurred to me that the result would be so satisfying. As the designer, I got to design a game that was exactly what I wanted. So now, whether or not anyone else thinks it's any good, it's a game I love. And, luckily, there are enough local people who had a hand in the development who are happy to play it. That's enough for me.

2016 Outlook: It takes 2 - 4 hours and has enough variability that it doesn't get stale playing it several weeks in a row. Plus, my local 18XX group can play this plus 1846 in an evening. I expect it'll be an easy dime and likely a quarter in 2016.
2017 Outlook: With the design behind me, number of plays dropped to only 6. I still love the game, but I'm no longer pushing it. That said, talking to Scott Petersen at Chattanooga last weekend has revived my interest in it and I will be pushing it more in 2017. hopefully at least a dime in 2017.
2018 Outlook: I'm not sure why it got 0 plays in 2017. I'm going to try doing some streamlining and graphic design in 2018 and hope it gets a few more plays.
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12. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #12
2017: #12
2016: #10
2015: #5

39 Recorded Plays

I played this for the first time less than 6 months ago. Without a doubt, its short play time is one of the reasons, it's #5 on my most plays. However, I've got a lot of games with a short play time and this is one that's always asked for. Played as a single hand, the game only takes about 5 minutes. That means I can play 3 or 4 games with the kids and everyone is "in it" for every hand. I've just introduced them to the "play to 35 points" variant. My youngest didn't care for it, but we'll see if her opinion changes the next time.

Personally, I love it. It has that same "how do I play my hand" feel of traditional card games. While the luck of the draw can sometimes completely mess you up, with a 5-minute game, that's not a problem. Currently rated a 9 with potential upward mobility.

2015 Outlook: on the one hand, I think saying I'll quarter it is optimistic. On the other hand, given the way the family feels about it, I can definitely see it happening. Completely expect it to remain a favorite and see a lot of plays in 2015.
2016 Outlook: I was surprised to not see this get more plays in 2015. It only came out twice for a total of 3 plays. I think Spot It! and Pairs replaced it for our family. However, it's a different game and that shouldn't have happened. Will try to make more of an effort to play this in 2016... hopefully at least a dime?
2017 Outlook: I was lucky to even get in one play in 2016 (late December). Hopefully we'll play it more in 2017. Maybe a nickel?
2018 Outlook: No plays in 2017. Hopefully a few in 2018?
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13. Board Game: 18NY [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:5313]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #13
2017: #15
2016: #14
2015: #15

37 Recorded Plays

It has all the things I love in my 18XX games, minors that grow into majors, privates with cool powers, loans, and a national railroad whose formation timing makes for interesting decisions. The only thing I dislike are the 5DE trains. While they're not overpowered, they'll still much closer to the diesels than the 12Hs. This makes for an annoying halt as companies hold back with one or two 12Hs left to try to arrange to be able to buy the last 12H and at least one of the two 5DEs. It would have been a 10 except for the 5DEs. Still an absolutely great game and one I really need to play more.

2015 Outlook: I expect it'll see 5 - 10 plays in 2015.
2016 Outlook: Dimed it in 2015 and hopefully will dime it again in 2016.
2017 Outlook: Surprisingly only 3 plays in 2016 as the Dayton Crew consistently preferred shorter games. Hopefully a few more plays in 2017.
2018 Outlook: Only 3 plays in 2017 as the Dayton crew focused on 1822. Hopefully a few more plays in 2018.
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14. Board Game: Clubs [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2435]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #14 (tied)
2017: #13
2016: #15
2015: #17

36 Recorded Plays

"Tichu-light", "myeh climbing game", "good intro to climbing games". To heck with all of you. Yep, Tichu is head-and-shoulders above this. However, Clubs is still a brilliant game. Any game where my 9 yro can come from behind and with a little help from her brother steal my win from me? It's a game I'll always be happy to play. I keep thinking about teaching the kids Tichu or Chimera, but as long as Clubs continues to generate such amazing plays, I see no reason to. A very solid 8.

2015 Outlook: As long as my kids continue to like it, I expect it to get a lot of plays. My guess is 10 - 20 in 2015.
2016 Outlook: Dimed in 2015 and, with the kids continuing to love it, I expect it to be dimed in 2016. BTW, even though I taught the kids Tichu in 2015 and they enjoyed it, they still prefer Clubs. It's simpler and quicker.
2017 Outlook: Nickeled in 2016 and I expect about the same number of plays in 2017.
2018 Outlook: no plays in 2017 because whenever the kids played it, I was doing school work. Hopefully that changes in 2018.
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15. Board Game: Jump Drive [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:962]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #14 (tied)
2017: n/a
2016: n/a
2015: n/a

36 recorded plays.

It's replaced Race for the Galaxy as the quick 2-player engine building game. It has less depth than RftG, but it's also got a different focus. Where RftG is more about playing the players, JD is much more MPS. I've actually designed a serious game based on JD's mechanics that may make it into some of the short course curriculum. JD is all about balancing your VP engine and your income engine and it does it very well with a full game taking 10 - 15 minutes and set up being no more than 1 minute. Perfect!

2018 Outlook: The luster has worn off as we moved on to the new Spiel hotness. However, its short play time should ensure it gets at least a few plays in 2018, probably in the 5 - 10 plays.
 
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16. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #16
2017: #14
2016: #11
2015: n/a

35 Recorded Plays

Prior to 2015, I had only played it once at a convention. I liked it, but couldn't see investing $100+ in a board. Then, in 2015, I decided to start going from quantity to quality. While that failed and I ended up going from quantity to quantity + quality, one good thing that came out of it was a custom Crokinole Board.

When we first got it, Amanda and I played an obscene 25 games in a single sitting. While we haven't tried repeating that feat, it continues to average a couple of plays a month. Part of the reason is that it's hanging in our dining room so it's very visible. A second reason is that it's simple, mind-relaxing fun. While the dexterity element is hard and convinces us we're doing something more meangingful than playing Villa Paletti, the chance to relax our minds and trash talk makes it a great game.

2016 Outlook: I doubt I'll quarter it in 2016, but it's possible. At least it should be an easy dime.
2017 Outlook: No plays in 2016 despite looking down at our dining room table all year. Hopefully at least a few plays in 2017.
2018 Outlook: One play in 2017 and hopefully more to come.
 
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17. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:117]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #17
2017: #16
2016: #13
2015: n/a

33 recorded plays

Age of Steam has all the elements I love in a game including runchy decisions, money management, logistics planning, long term strategy and short term tactics with lots of player interaction and screwage. It also causes my butt to tighten like very few other games. In AoS, you're not just competing against the other players but you're also competing against the game. There are lots of time that you feel like the game itself has in it for you and wants you to fail. That may sound icky to some people, but I love it.

The other thing I really love about AoS is that it has a simple ruleset so that it's fairly easy to teach to new players. It also has different maps for different player counts and different difficulty levels. With enough maps, there's almost certain to be one that fits the group of players you've got.

2016 Outlook: Although half of my 14 of my 2015 plays were to develop my 2-player AoS map, AoS remains a favorite of mine. I expect to at least nickel it in 2016 and hopefully dime it.
2017 Outlook: I think for the first time since I discovered AoS, I failed to get a single play in 2016. Less Game Nights at my FLGS and it's still a little much for the kids. Hopefully I'll get some plays in 2017, but I'm not optimistic.
2018 Outlook: I gave up on it in 2017 and moved it to the garage. I'm still hoping for some plays in 2018 as there are people at my FLGS like it (though they only play it when I'm not around).
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18. Board Game: 18OE: On the Rails of the Orient Express [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:2574]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #18
2017: #19
2016: #22
2015: #12

32 Recorded Plays

As a full game, this is a behemoth. However, I generally play the 2 - 3 player short scenarios. These only take 4 to 6 hours. When I play with my train-gaming group, we finish it in a night. When I play it with Amanda, it's usually over a weekend. Either way, I think it's a great introduction to 18XX.

Although players can lose in the initial auction (usually by over-extending and then not having the cash for track rights/initial tile lays), as long as experienced players help new players avoid it, the remainder of the game is noob friendly. All the companies are started in the first or second SR and then it's primarily a track-laying game. There are certainly other decisions surrounding when to grow up and when/if to nationalize, but as a teaching game, it's one of my favorites. It's also great with 2 or 3 as the track laying can get very nasty for people who like those sorts of 18XXs.

The combination of a great 18XX introduction, superb components, a nasty 2-3 player track laying game, and the option to play an epic game makes this a 10 for me.

2015 Outlook: the shine is off the apple. Amanda and I are on to other heavy games. So, while I expect to at least nickel this in 2015, I doubt it'll get nearly as close to being quartered as it did in 2014. I expect 5 - 10 plays in 2015.
2016 Outlook: it got 3 plays in 2015, but with 18SW filling my 2-player 18XX need, that was it. I expect it'll get a couple more plays in 2016, but 3 - 5 is probably the extent of it.
2017 Outlook: 3 plays again in 2016. I suspect it'll stay at about that pace in 2017.
2018 Outlook: another 3 plays in 2017 and I expect that pace to continue.
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19. Board Game: The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:871]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #19 (tied)
2017: #17
2016: #23
2015: #13

31 Recorded Plays

The most versatile game I own. Plays great from 2 to 5 players. Plays great with gamers, kids, families, and non-gamers. Plays great on a picnic or an airplane. Thematic. Short. Very interactive. It has all of the characteristics I look for in a game. A perfect 10.

2015 Outlook: I don't love the game. It's a myeh game. But it's perfect for what it is. So, while I can't see myself making an effort to get it played, I expect it to get around 10 plays in 2015.
2016 Outlook: Isle of Skye stole most of the plays I was expecting to give Little Prince in 2016. It was still only one play short of getting nickeled and I expect it'll get about the same number in 2016.
2017 Outlook: Just managed to nickel it in 2016. It's in the car and that's helping it get occasional plays on kid game days. Hopefully another nickel in 2017.
2018 Outlook: No plays in 2017. hopefully at least a few plays in 2018.
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20. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:277]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #19 (tied)
2017: #18
2016: #19
2015: #8

31 Recorded Plays

As I said above, SPCG take a long time to play effectively. Although I've been playing Innovation for years, I still don't feel like I've played it enough to play it well. This is a game that needs to be played regularly so that people remember what cards are out there. Stop playing it for a while and it means you need to climb that learning curve again.

That said, it's still a game I enjoy. It's stupid and frustrating but it makes me laugh while it's pissing me off. Sad I didn't get to play in 2014 and happy I've already gotten one play in 2015 (thanks, Martin!). Still rated an 8.

2015 Outlook: I really only want to play this with 2 players, so the number of opportunities is small and the competition is fierce. Hopefully, it'll get a couple of plays in 2015. Of course, if I find someone that wants to play it, it could pop over 20 easily.
2016 Outlook: I got a five games in with Meagan (plus 2 with Amy) but that was it. Hopefully I can get together with Meagan again in 2016 or find another victim.
2017 Outlook: Late year plays with Meagan got me to 3 plays in 2016. Hopefully now that she's living with us, we're play it more regularly. So it could go from no plays to a quarter, depending on Meagan's interest level.
2018 Outlook: only 1 play in 2017 as Meagan discovered Grand Austria Hotel and embarked on a campaign to beat me at it (she's still on the campaign). Hopefully a few plays in 2018, but I'm not optimistic.
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21. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:481]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #19 (tied)
2017: #21
2016: #20
2015: #9

31 Recorded Plays

A year ago, the only reason this was hanging around was because of its small size and because of my eldest daughter's love for it. Then I got the expansions. Now, while I agree it's not the deepest game, the extra cards mean you can't just play it on auto-pilot. It requires some thinking and it's still really quick to set up and play (unlike Zooloretto). It's again one of my favorites and currently rated an 8.

2015 Outlook: the reason this gets played is because of my kids. If their interest remains, it'll be an easy dime and potential quarter in 2015. If they grow bored with it, it'll be tough to nickel.
2016 Outlook: No plays in 2015. If it doesn't get played in 2016, it'll drop off the list. Hopefully I'll find a day here or there to get it nickeled. Still love it; it just gets overlooked by the new shinies.
2017 Outlook: Only 3 plays in 2016 and those were all on the same day. Hopefully I'll get in a few plays in 2017. With the expansion, it's one I continue to enjoy.
2018 Outlook: 2 plays in 2017, but at KBMC. Glad to get this played as I always enjoy it.
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22. Board Game: 1880: China [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:2197]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #19 (tied)
2017: #26
2016: N/A
2015: N/A

31 Recorded Plays

The longer I play games, the more 18XX games bubble up onto my h-index. 1880 is the sixth one with 1861/67 close behind and 1830 possibly getting back onto the list. Every 18XX has its own idiosyncrasies, but 1880 has more than most. Unlike every other XX I've played, 1880 has companies running in a fixed order independent of share price. Furthermore, stock rounds occur based on when all of the trains of a current band are sold. So stock rounds can occur often (even before every company has operated) or slowly (after companies have operated multiple times), depending on what the table wants. It also provides large rewards for companies with high share prices. Those three things provide most of the framework around which games of 1880 evolve. What's neat is that the game is fairly short (3 - 4 hours) with experienced players and works well with 6 players.

2017 Outlook: It got 7 plays in 2016 and it has already gotten 2 in 2017. I expect it'll probably end up somewhere in the 5 - 10 play range.
2018 Outlook: 3 plays in 2017 and I expect it'll stay in that range in 2018.
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23. Board Game: 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:1738]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #19 (tied)
2017: n/a
2016: n/a
2015: n/a

31 plays

While it's not quite as short as 1846, it's close. We played a 4-player game in CRGC in about 2.5 hours just last week. For that short time, it's got a lot of neat things including minors that grow/merge into majors and a train rush that needs to be managed to avoid them being thrown into the national Russian railroad. While some people have a strong preference between 1861 and 1867 (1861 on a Canada map), I have no real preference (as shown by having 17 plays of 1867 and 14 plays of 1861). I'll happily play either. That said, this'll never replace 1846 for me and I expect most years that the plays will reflect that.

2018 Outlook: 7 plays in 2017 and I expect it to have a comparable number of plays in 2018.
 
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24. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:59] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #24
2017: #23
2016: #16
2015: #19 (miscoded)

30 Recorded Plays

This includes Dominion in all its instantiations so I know the real number is over 100. However, most of those came before I was recording plays. Now, I only play with Intrigue as my base game. It's a game I rarely suggest but one I'm always happy to play. Not sure if it'll stay in my h-index or not. hopefully it will. Currently rated as a 7.

2015 Outlook: maybe it'll get a play or two in 2015 but unlikely it'll get any more than that. It may fall out of my h-index in Jan-2016. Not sure if I should still keep it on the list since I know I've played this many more times then I've recorded. Guess I'll decide this time next year.
2016 Outlook: my 2015 outlook was correct, but I somehow missed a bunch of recorded plays. I only got one play in 2016, but with the total plays correct, it's up to 16. In 2016, I'm hoping to teach it to my kids which may give it a new lease on life. We'll see.
2017 Outlook: still waiting to teach it to the kids. Plays in 2017 will depend on if I teach and, if so, how much they like it. Right now I don't have a guess.
2018 Outlook: one play at my FLGS and one play with my kids that didn't go so well. Hopefully a few plays in 2018, but I'm not optimistic
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25. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2018: #25 (tied)
2017: #20
2016: #18
2015: #8

29 Recorded Plays

Another game first played in 2013. This like RftG is a wind-down game for Amanda and me. I have played this with 3 and 4 players, but the majority of games is with only 2. With 2, I like the level of interaction and the opportunity to mess with each other. Although we do generally split into two different strategies (Vladivostok vs. Kiev+Factory), there is still sufficient interaction over black track and engineers that it's not solely MPS. That said, it's enough MPS that it's a good wind-down-before-bed game. I currently rate it an 8 and I doubt it'll go up.

2015 Outlook: I expect it to see a few plays in 2015 but I'm not sure if I'll nickel it.
2016 Outlook: no plays in 2015, but with the expansion received as a Christmas gift, I'm hopeful for many plays in 2016. At least a nickel if not a dime.
2017 Outlook: two plays in 2016, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end. It's a good game; it's just not good enough to get chosen over similar games. I'm not optimistic about plays in 2017, but maybe I'll get a few in.
2018 Outlook: I tried a couple of times to get this played in 2018, but for me, First Class will always be preferred. Still, maybe I'll have more luck getting Amanda to play this over First Class in 2018.
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