Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stat Block

Over the course of 2014 I tracked almost every board game I played. It all started on New Years Eve, 2013. I was having a conversation about gaming with friends in which I claimed to lose far more games than I win, but also that I'm more likely to win games I don't own, and as soon as I buy it, I'm unlikely to win again.

Using a calendar I got from a friend, I tracked every game I played, how many players were involved, and weather I won or lost, along with a few other factors for specific games.

The tracking started with a game of Love Letter on January 1st, and ended on December 31st, with a game of Dixit, that technically ran into the New Year, but I'm counting it, mostly because I won.

Since it ended, I've been wondering how to put together the data I had collected into something usable. I'm no statistician, so I didn't know how to start. But a friend recently pointed me to an App for the iPhone that tracks games played and statistics over time, called Board Game Stats. While it is a paid-for App, it's really well built and has some great features, like linking to BoardGameGeek, or tracking not just your plays, but who you played with in each session.

I went back to my calendar and started plugging in all the games I had tracked. I was missing some information, like I had tracked the number of players, but not who they were, so all my games in the App for 2014 have one player, and I either win or lose. So the end stats aren't as good as the App can normall manage, but I did get something to share.

I played 59 unique games, over 194 play sessions. Seven games were played over seven times, with Bohnanza and Cosmic Encounter getting the most plays at 13 each. I won a total of 62 sessions. Given that Hanabi is a game you don't win, so much as do your best as a team, I won't include those four games in working out my win percentage. That's 62 out of 190 sessions, or 32.29%, which is actually a lot better than I expected. There is a margin for error, I may have missed tracking a few games, but it's a good approximation.

Machi Koro has the highest individual win percentage, at 75%, or 6 out of 8 games played, and lots of games have no wins, the highest ranked of which is Tsuro, at 24th most played game, three plays, all loses. Everything above that I've at least won once.

I guess this just goes to prove the concept of confimation bias. I believed I lost most of the games I played, and while I did lose over 50%, I wasn't losing as many as I expected. Given that I ususally play games with three or more players, winning almost one third of my total plays is actually expected!

The App doesn't track whether I'm more likely to win a game on first play or after a few games, nor does it track if I own the game at the time I won, but what it does track is fun to think about.

I'll be tracking my games from now on in the App, but I won't be as fastidious about it as I was in 2014. Also, I wasn't tracking any of my games before now in 2015, so there will be a big gap between plays in early 2014.

Then again, with Ada's arrival, there was a big gap anyway!