Every Score Keeping and Stat Tracking Method Known to Humankind
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Know a game with an unusual way of keeping track of scores or stats during play?
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Title it in bold, and include a picture and a quick description of how it works. Tell us why it's so good, or how it might be improved.



Note: There are already several "Score Tracks that Stink" threads and lists, so let's not go there for this one.
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1. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Paper and Pencil



The old fashioned way. You write the numbers or stats on a piece of paper, tally columns, etc. Many games use this method, and don't need anything fancier.
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2. Board Game: Yahtzee [Average Rating:5.29 Overall Rank:15220]
Score Card or Sheet



The score sheet organizes everything, you just fill in the blanks, and maybe do the math. BGG has a lot of homemade scoring sheets downloadable for different games.
 
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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Scorekeeping Software



Okay, so this is sort of not applicable, but included for sake of thoroughness. If you stink at math or are lazy, have a computer do the work for you! Just type in the scores or stats, click the button, and it does the rest.
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Around-the-Board Scoring Track



Some people love it, some hate it, but it's a bunch of (hopefully) numbered spaces as a border around the game board, and you advance a marker as you score points (or back up as you lose them).

Advantages: everyone should be able to tell at a glance who's ahead.

Disadvantages: it's easy to knock the markers off, and then good luck trying to remember where they were. Also, many tracks have spaces too small for their markers, aren't numbered in a useful fashion, or the numbers get covered by the markers. These tracks are also hard to read from across the board.
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Separate Scoring Track



Another source of hateage: the separate scoring track. It often has the same disadvantages as an around-the-board track, plus game designers seem to want to get clever and wind the track back and forth confusingly to fit it all on a smaller board. Nothing like accidentally giving yourself negative points because you moved your marker the wrong way.

'Nuff said on the subject.
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6. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Dice



That's right, dice are for more than just rolling. Start with your beginning score or stat showing, then rotate the die to the corresponding number as you take hits, gain points, etc.

You can use a single die for keeping track of lower numbers. Or use one d10 in the ones' place, another d10 in the tens', etc.
 
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7. Board Game: Corunea [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:6439]
Series of Aligned Card Back Counter Images




Corunea tracks Life Point and Faharn stats with two separate rows of face-down cards. Each card back has printed pips representing these, and, depending on how it's aligned, a card can represent one or two Life Points or Faharn Points.

At the beginning of the game you set up two rows with pips corresponding to your character's two values, then subtract or add them as you character suffers damage, uses Faharn, etc. Pretty ingenious.
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8. Board Game: The Great Dalmuti [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1148]
Seating (with or without Hats)



The seat the player is sitting in represents their rank in the game, place in turn order, and whether certain penalties or benefits are conferred.

And the silly hat they have to wear, apparently.
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9. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Lutz Pietschker
Germany
Berlin
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Played Cards as VP Markers

Actually this is a variant on trick-taking games in which you just score the number of tricks taken and count them by placing them in front of you (maybe this should be a separate entry). In Bohnanza the number of coins won is not equal to the number of cards played.
 
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10. Board Game: Capitol [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1374]
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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What about that awful contraption that some evil score board designer put out in Capitol. Even with magnets used to rework it, it is all but useless. I always see paper and pencil being used to keep score(see item 1 in this Geeklist).
 
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11. Board Game: Bolide [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2645]
Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
Bachten de Kupe
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And for almost all other race games:
The place you have on the game board itself.



Advantages are clear:
- you don't need another way to keep coring track than the game itself
- you can constantly and clearly see where everybody stands
- the risk of accidentally changing some players position is rather small
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12. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:597]
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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Score chips with hidden victory point vaues.



Great idea... keeps players guessing until the end of the game.

I used a variation of this concept in my Empires in the New World exploration game. Players don't know the actual value of the places they have "discovered" until the final turn.



In this photo the Netherlands has "discovered" the lost city of Quivera but that player will not know how many victory points that discovery is worth until the game is over.

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13. Board Game: Elasund: The First City [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1137]
Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
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Each player has a set of scoring cubes. Once a player has placed all cubes on the board, he has won. Each cube remaining is showing how near/far away from victory a player is.
 
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14. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:736]
Dennis Leung
United States
Half Moon Bay
California
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How about this cool contraption from the anniversary edition of the Settlers Card game?
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15. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
R.T. Sloan
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Out of four different colored hidden cubes, the player with the most cubes of the color that they have the least of. wow


Obvious. devil
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16. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:170]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Set Collection

In Samurai, you go through a complicated set collection algorithm to determine the winner. It begins by requiring you to have the most of something to contend.
 
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17. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:120]
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Surrounded Area

The winner is the one with the largest surrounded territory. You keep track literally as the game unfolds and the final count occurs when the game is over.
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18. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1443] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Dave Terhune
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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This is a blatant example of frivolous geek gold spending.
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See-through Cards



Place cards directly atop one another. Add up what shows through to the top layer, and that's your score.
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19. Board Game: Euchre [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1288]
Overlapping Cards Showing Pips


Euchre players traditionally use the unused 6 and 4 cards, or unused pairs of 5 cards for one member of each partnership to keep score. The number of pips showing equals how many points you have, so in the example above, that's 3 points and 8 points.



Not to be outdone, New Englanders have their own variation: they use the 2 and 3 cards, and put one at right angles to the other to indicate the score is 5 + the number of pips showing. 3 points and 7 points shown in the example above.
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20. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Life Counter Board


Here's a homemade board for keeping track of life points. For example, for 27 points, you'd put a marker on the 20, and another on the 7.
 
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21. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Chris Cisne
United Kingdom
Leeds
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Memory



This is always how we kept track of people's scores back in the day.

No set-up or tear-down time, universally portable, and free as well. As long as you can count to 20, you ought to be alright for a game of Magic.
 
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