15 years and 5000 logged plays. What a long strange trip it's been.
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What a long strange trip it's been.

5000 plays!
I joined BGG in the summer of 2001, but I didn't start logging my plays until 2003. In the 5238 days between 2003/01/01 and 2017/05/05, I have now recorded 5000 plays.

That number is wrong of course. I'm sure a game here or there has slipped through the cracks. It also doesn't cover anything from before 2003, especially the years 1998-2002 when I got drawn back into into the current game hobby, not to mention the couple of years before that when I was virtually exclusively a Go player, nor the hundreds and potentially thousands of games of Chess I played since I was a little kid.

750 ratings!
I'm sure I'm missing some games and/or expansions in there, but I've rated 750 things as well.

Some of those ratings are too high, some are too low, but as they say about statistics, it all evens out.

100+ reviews!
More than 105 actually. 103 here on BGG. Six more published in Yaah!, one about to be published, and one requested for the next issue. Plus other contributions on a couple of podcasts, some newsletters pre-BGG, etc. I've been in the hobby a long time.
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1. Board Game: Saboteur: Selfish Dwarf [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
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It's all about me

Yup, this is another one of those "hey look at me!" lists. I'm completely unapologetic about that. laugh

Enjoy, comment, quibble, argue, debate, engage... or just read.

Speaking about me, I've been Geek of the Week twice.

mb I was Geek of the Week #254

mb I was RPG Geek of the Week #180
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2. Board Game: The Game of Top Ten Lists [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
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The best of the best

Back in the fall of 2014, I joined in the fun of the top 20 games list, and came up with Roger's Personal Top 20 Games of All Time.

At some point I'm likely to revisit the favourite top 20 of all time list, but my spontaneous "don't overthink this" Top 10 of This Instant is:

d10-1 Twilight Struggle Still going strong as my #1 game, despite the fact that my expanded pool of opponents on Playdek has shown me how much I truly suck at this game.
d10-2 Pax Porfiriana Probably the most playable Eklund game. I've become a fan of his games, but if I had to pick only one, this would be it.
d10-3 Combat Commander Series This is the game I'm still trying to get to 100 plays through the 100 Game Challenge. I'm 7 plays short (81 plays of Europe, 12 of Pacific), and hopefully will get over the hump this year. My opportunities to play this have shrunk, leading to less table time for this great game than I would like.
d10-4 War of the Ring (Second Edition) This is new since my top 20 list but is a design that impressed me so much I bought the Anniversary Edition with the painted minis. This will hopefully get many more plays.
d10-5 Power Grid This is my favourite multi player game, and one that I have all the expansions for (and I include the so-called Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America among that).
d10-6 The Castles of Burgundy Another game that I have almost all the expansions and promos for, this is a favourite to play with my wife. Feld is hit and miss with me. Some of his titles I really enjoy, some fall completely flat for me. This one resonates.
d10-7 Glen More This was the surprise hit of 2010 for me, and has consistently delivered a great experience on the table. It's one of those games that has a lot of elements from other games, and it could have been a horrible mish mash, but this one is greater than the sum of its parts.
d10-8 Ticket to Ride This family of games is great. I can play them with anyone, and between the various versions and the various expansion maps there's always something new to explore. This game always gets slapped with the asinine gateway moniker, but it's a great set of games in its own right.
d10-9 London Another perennial favourite of my wife's, this is my favourite Martin Wallace game.
d10-1d10-0 Deep Sea Adventure This was my personal game of 2016, and has hit the table almost every month this year. It's the game that really reminded me how much I love small light fast games, a category that is almost criminally underrepresented in people's top X lists.
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3. Board Game: Counting Fun [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked]
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The Most Played

On the Friendless extended stats page, there a stat called the H-Index, which is the number of games you've played n times. My H-index is 30 - I've played 30 games 30+ times. As soon as I play 1989: Dawn of Freedom one more time, my H-index will be 31.

Scrabble 384
Twilight Struggle 349
Chess 302
Go 244
ZÈRTZ 110
Bananagrams 89
UNO 85
Combat Commander: Europe 81+12 Pacific
Pax Porfiriana 80
San Juan 73
Power Grid 65
BANG! The Dice Game 52
Ticket to Ride 51
Glen More 48
TransAmerica 47
London 45
Spot it! 42
Manoeuvre 41
Jambo 40
Sorry! Sliders 40
Carcassonne: The Castle 38
Castles of Mad King Ludwig 38
Cribbage 38
Deep Sea Adventure 37
The Castles of Burgundy 32
Food Chain Magnate 32
Pit 32
Puerto Rico 32
Pacific Typhoon 31
Thunder Alley 31

These 30 games combined represent 2621 of my 5000 plays, over 50%. This is good!
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4. Board Game: Not Your Average Joe [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The Law of Averages

Of the 750 games I've rated, my average is 5.71, which is higher than it probably ought to be since I tend to be generous in my ratings. Of course, this is also tempered by selection bias - I'm unlikely these days to sit down and play something I don't expect to enjoy.



About my ratings: I don't like BGG's definitions. "Always want to play" can only ever be under the ideal circumstances for the game in question. To steal a great line from my friend Rusty (kuhrusty), "EastFront is one of my favorite games, but if we only have two hours, or if there are five of us, or you're three years old, I would rather play something else. I'm still calling that a 10, though, because under the right circumstances, I'm going to suggest it!"

So, when I rate a game, it goes roughly like this...

8-10: A great game I want to play often.
4-7: I'm willing to play. If I have played it but there's no rating, it's in here somewhere.
2-3: Games I never want to play again.
1: The game equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space

I only rate in whole numbers, because I don't have the patience to decide if game A is 0.1 or 0.5 or some other fraction "better" or "worse" than game B. I also happily give out 10's and 1's to games I feel deserve them.
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5. Board Game: Abstracts [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
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The Unthematic

I put a lot of value on theme in a board game. I like to have something I can hang my hat on, that I can sink my teeth into, that I can verb my cliche preposition.

But that said, there are two abstract games that I love. I'm not very strong at either of them, indeed, you could describe me as a patzer for both of them.

The first is a game that was one of the first I learned as a small boy - Chess. This is a game I've almost certainly played over 1000 times in my life. It's a game I would enjoy playing regularly, but it would require someone who's at my level of play and it's also a game that I strongly prefer to play live, feeling the wooden pieces in my hand.

Some years ago my dad had a garage sale and the Chess set was in one of the boxes of stuff they wanted out of their basement. It's now safe in my house.

The second is a game that I became literally obsessed with in the early 1990s and played to the virtual exclusion of everything else - Go. At my very best I was probably a 10kyu player, but it's a game that demands study and frequent play (especially the latter) to be competent at. The last time I played I think I probably was back down to 18-20kyu.

During the Canadian Go Open in Victoria in 1996, where I came in 4th in the D division (aka bottom feeders), a professional Go player whose name I've shamefully forgotten, was playing one of the strongest players from our club, and after almost every move of our club player, the pro would say "Oh! Genius move! Genius move!" and after the game ended our club player asked the pro what he meant by his comments and the pro looked him dead in the eye and said "it was because it would take a genius to win with moves like that!"
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6. Board Game: Agreed by Consensus: The Tournament Game of Quotes [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Stats Geek

I'm a stats geek (for some value of stats geek) and I enjoy using Friendless' Extended Stats site. As I mentioned above, my current H-Index is 30.

But BGG has some stats too, and it's interesting to compare what BGG users on the aggregate think vs. what I think.

Here are 5 games I love that BGG thinks less of.

1 EastFront II is a 10 for me, a 6.36 for BGG (but #43 among wargames)
2 Eat Poop You Cat is also a 10 for me, a 6.68 for BGG.
3 Combat Commander: Pacific is yet another 10 for me, 6.97 for BGG (but #5 among wargames)
4 Napoleon's Triumph is a masterpiece and a 10. BGG says 7.02 (and #17 in wargames)
5 Conquest of Paradise Expansion: Random Events Cards is a rock solid 9, to BGG and its 6.19.

And here are 5 games BGG thinks I'm completely out to lunch on.

1  1   Hanabi vs. 7.13 by the BGG community.
2  1  Abalone vs. 6.23. This game is a pretty abstract, and I should probably re-rate this to a 2. I don't have a visceral hatred for it like Hanabi. And really, shouldn't that be required to rate a game a 1? In fact...

Let's make Abalone a  2 .

3  3  Agricola vs. 7.96. I never need to play this again.
4  3  Race for the Galaxy vs. 7.68. I far prefer San Juan.
5  3  Dominion vs. 7.61. There are a small number of deck building games I actually enjoy that were absolutely inspired by Dominion, but this game has no soul.
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7. Board Game: Movable Type [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
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So What Kind of Gamer am I?



According to Friendless, this is my ALL TIME pie chart of gaming typology.

I think I can honestly say I'm an omnigamer. I have strong preferences (clearly), but I'll most anything once.
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8. Board Game: Peer Review [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Roger's Reviews

I enjoy writing board game reviews of games. It gives me a creative outlet for non-fiction writing for one thing.

I've written 104 reviews (as of this writing) on BGG, which are all listed in this geeklist.

I have a few personal favourites from that list, in no particular order...

[Roger's Reviews] Alea Iacta Est! - this was one of my favourite Columbia Games releases in the past decade, and I also really liked the photos I took for it.

[Roger's Reviews] Dominant Species: An Intelligent Design - this surprise hit from GMT Games had one of my favourite titles.

[Roger's Reviews] Conquest of Paradise: Come Sail Away With Me - I wrote this as part of the Voice of Experience series of review contests and I even won a prize.

[Roger's Reviews] Ogre Designer's Edition: Big Beautiful Behemoth
- a paean to the game that launched me into the hobby for good when I was 12.

[Roger's Reviews] Power Grid Deluxe - comparing the new to the old - sometimes a review is all about aesthetics.

I've also become a regular contributor to Yaah!, a magazine published by Flying Pig Games.



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9. Board Game: Cosmic Convention [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
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Conventions

Despite the length of time I'd been a gaming hobbyist, it wasn't until 2009 that I went to my first ever convention, and I went to BGG Con 2009.

I've been every year since, and had a great time.

Here are all my BGG convention experiences...

BGG Con 2016 report
BGG Con 2015 report
BGG Con 2014 report
BGG Con 2013 report
BGG Con 2012 report
BGG Con 2011 report
BGG Con 2010 report
BGG Con 2009 report


I'm still on the fence about BGG Con 2017, partly because I'm going to SHUX2017 right here in Vancouver!

And then there's the always fun local con run by my friend Rob Bottos, always in November a short run up to BGG Con. This will be my 5th year...

BottosCon 2016 report
BottosCon 2015 report
BottosCon 2014 report
BottosCon 2013 I attended but didn't write up.


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10. Board Game: Go Go Gelato! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:5533]
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The Game Chat League Concept

Back in 2010, user

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invited me to join a Game Chat League. GCL Stingray was my home within the Geek until 2011 when it split into two new ones, and I was in GCL Phoenix until I decided to spawn one of my own - GCL Gelato

That's where you'll find me most of the time when I'm not actually gaming or writing reviews.
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