Spotlight on Games > Ludographies
Five and Ten List
Detailing games played most often in a year. note

Last year's comment continues to apply: I spent even more time with prototypes and most games on this list are to introduce newcomers to gaming or short to consume odd moments at a cafe. In fact this year numbers fell off so much that it seems worthwhile to include fours and threes.
10 Times or more:
20 Timeline – it's so quick that it's easy to run up a bunch plays all in one sitting

5 Times or more:
6 Shenanigans – got this as an evaluation copy and it was worth trying out a few times, a couple of them with variants
6 Coloretto – slipped somewhat, but still just as good
5 Tichu – down a couple from last year
5 Rat Hot – down by half since last year
5 Pax Pamir – a new one cracks the list in its first year; it goes quickly, maybe because we haven't gotten very good at it yet :)

3 Times or more:
4 Einfach Genial (Ingenious) – mostly the travel edition
4 Dominion – hundreds more plays on the computer
4 Cities – about the same as last year
4 Arena: Roma II – about a third of last year
3 Zirkus Flohcati – another quick one
3 Wits & Wagers – – one of just a couple of go-to party games
3 Uno – family gaming
3 Trickster – comparing various versions
3 Founding Fathers – fun introducing others to my design
3 Finito! – still good for introducing gaming
3 BoardgameGeek the Card Game – fun new card game

As the cult of the new continues, and I spend more and more with prototypes, to get on this list most games either need to be used to introduce newcomers to gaming, short to consume odd moments at a cafe or a two-player to consume time while waiting for others to arrive.
10 Times or more:
14 Coloretto – at the top for the second year in a row
12 Arena: Roma II – exactly double since last year; this has become the one to play while waiting
10 Rat Hot – exactly the same count as last year

5 Times or more:
9 Timeline – new to the list, this counts the Inventions and the Historical Events versions. Very easy to introduce to others and the tin packaging makes it easy to carry along.
7 Tichu – up one from last year and still on the list dating back to 2004.
6 10 Days in Africa – same number as last year; this year the Africa version won out, probably mostly for novelty
6 Los Banditos – made a comeback after dropping off the list last year
6 Dominion – hundreds more plays on the computer
6 Morels – contending for a new two-player opportunity; the unsanctioned three-player setting works as well
5 Perry Rhodan – back for the first time since 2010, most likely because the English-language version makes it more accessible

Fell off the list since last year:
Finito! – the "little wearying" comment of last year continues to apply
Kupferkessel Co. – surprising
Cities – perhaps has developed a certain sameness
Hanabi – again, a certain sameness has crept in
221B Baker Street – the cruelty of the dice can annoy

Numbers of playings plummeted even further this year and the emphasis shifted from trying new games to introducing them to non-players.

10 Times or more:
19 Coloretto – Six were with the expansion cards. Short and simple, this one remains the introductory game par excellence.
10 Rat Hot – Pretty much the same as last year; it is a good introductory game as well, but gets fewer playings because it only supports two players.

5 Times or more:
9 Finito! – Also an excellent introduction, if a little wearying for those who have played it too many times.
8 Dominion – (5 Seaside, 1 Intrigue, 1 Intrigue+Seaside, 1 Prosperity). This is also not bad as an introductory game.
7 Kupferkessel Co. – Up 3 from last year; the different ways of approaching it continue to intrigue. Are you foiling the opponent or maximizing your own score?
6 Arena: Roma II – Getting a copy and also giving one away really helped it reach the table at a satisfying level.
6 10 Days in ... – (3 in Europe, 3 in Africa). Another quite popular introductory one if the number is three or less; with four it can get a little too drawn out.
5 Cities – Finding new ways of playing it kept it on the table; another popular introductory game as well.
5 Hanabi – As an introductory game it makes the point that "games today are not what you remember from childhood".
5 Tichu – Up one from last year and still on the list dating back to 2004.
5 221B Baker Street – Playing this in two-player only mode helped a lot. Ironically, bringing it back out was spurred by finding it on the shelves in game stores.

4 Times or more:
As with last year, with fewer games played, let's also have a look at games with four playings.
4 The Pharaoh's Labyrinth – Brand new, but working well so far as a non-conflict, play-your-own-board game. It's fun learning how to design your pyramid well; have yet to try the two expansions.
4 Stich-Meister – We continue to play even though I often forget to bring the translations.
4 Carcassonne – Another good introductory one. There was also one playing for its cousin New World: Carcassonne.

In 2012 various aspects of life took away time from games and the numbers plummeted, not only their number, but also the number of minutes spent on each. But this is still interesting, perhaps even more so, because in a straitened environment, which titles rise above and demand to be played?

10 Times or more:
17 Coloretto – Works so well for introducing the new games and is so easy to take along. Almost half were played with the expansion, which keeps it much fresher than a few cards would indicate.
12 Rat Hot – up by one from last year; plus two plays of the not-as-good predecessor Dschunke: Das Legespiel

5 Times or more:
6 Finito! – down from 29; just a bit too light after a while
6 10 Days in ... – 2 each of Africa, Asia and Europe, which is down just one from last year
5 Fjords – same as last year; has taken to living in the car
5 Dominion – either Prosperity or Seaside; down from 51 because of so much on-line play, not recorded here
5 Schotten-totten – made a comeback from the 1 of last year; again it's easy to carry along

4 Times or more:
With the shortened list this year it might be interesting to go down to four.
4 Twilight Struggle – satisfying the desire for something on a larger scale; would be 6 if on-line playings were counted
4 Tichu – down a lot from 17, a casualty of the need for exactly four
4 Stich-Meister – down a lot from 22; an English version might help here
4 Los Banditos – down a lot from 22; has worn out, not sure if forever
4 Kupferkessel Co. – Up from 3 last year and still on the list dating back to 2004.
4 Hanging Gardens – new acquisition and new to the list; vagaries of luck may hurt in the long term
4 Cities – down by 6; seems either you get the long waters or you don't
4 Apples to Apples – new to the list; nice for the casual situation; Telestrations had 3

25 Times or more:
51 Dominion (in some form) – up by over ten from last year
29 Finito! – many single rounds, but getting into the full game a lot more; great for evangelizing games

10 Times or more:
22 Stich-Meister – new, and became the go-to trick-taking card game
22 Los Banditos – – took over as the new carry-along two-player game
17 Tichu – up by five after a slight dip last year
15 Roma – the let's play until latecomers arrive game happily nearly doubled this year
14 Hanabi – a co-op game?! this is just so wrong
11 Rat Hot – exactly the same as last year
10 Wits & Wagers – broke into this section this year
10 Cities – down by five; may be time to add more variants; evangelism

5 Times or more:
8 7 Wonders – new; more to accommodate others wanting to try it
7 Kakerlakenpoker – new; so fun to spring on people for the first time; evangelism
7 Burgenland – Schmidt's Easy Play line is doing well hereabouts
7 10 Days in Europe – down slightly because others in the series getting played more; evangelism
6 Telestrations – unsure why it dipped, but am sure every playing was for many hours
5 Haggis – down by six from last year, some due to Stich-Meister
5 Fjords – easy to carry, but down by three from last year
5 Coloretto – slipped quite a bit for some reason, should get expansion maybe; evangelism

Fell off the list since last year:
3 Jaipur – other two-player games are crowding it out
3 Wits & Wagers FamilyTelestrations seems to have stolen much of its time
3 Kupferkessel Co. – other two-player games seem to have crowded it out
3 Perry Rhodan – down by half, though no particular reason; this is the one would most like to get back to five
3 No Thanks! – other intro games are crowding it out
2 Rosenkönig – slightly down this year
2 Witch's Brew – apparently the novelty wore off
1 Schotten-totten – replaced by Los Banditos
1 Cambria – probably because of the large and flimsy box is difficult to take along; should get new, more compact edition
1 Arena: Roma II – should acquire an own copy
0 Hai-Alarm! – gave copy away to friends and have yet to replace

25 Times or more:
40 Dominion (in some form) – nearly double last year and happily so

10 Times or more:
19 Finito! – most of them being single rounds, not the official full game
15 Cities – finally getting my own copy really helped this one
14 Coloretto – finally getting my own copy really helped this one too
12 Tichu – surprisingly up from last year
11 Rat Hot – slightly down from last year
11 Haggis – nearly all in three-player mode
10 Telestrations – this party game is a hit everywhere
10 Cambria – didn't realize it had reached this level, but found new dimensions to it

5 Times or more:
9 Jaipur – slightly down
9 10 Days in Europe – 13 for the entire series
8 Wits & Wagers Family – working well in family situations
8 Roma – back on the list probably due to more two-player opportunities
8 Fjords – lack of ability to make decisive moves is starting to wear
7 Schotten-totten – down from 19 last year - Dominion's fault?
7 Burgenland – new entry for two players
7 Armorica – new compact entry that supports 2-4
6 Witch's Brew – – new entry; nobody says no to it
6 Los Banditos – – new entry for two
6 Kupferkessel Co. – same as least year
5 Rosenkönig – slightly down this year
5 Perry Rhodan – down by half, though no particular reason
5 No Thanks! – back for the first time since 2007; introducing more new players
5 Hai-Alarm! – new entry
5 Arena: Roma II – – look for this to surpass the original next year

There should also be a special mention for Winsome Games, many of which share similar mechanisms and which between Preußische Ostbahn, Samarkand: Route to Riches, Lokomotive Werks, West Riding Revisited, Union v. Central, ConTrack: Switzerland & Austria - Austria, and TrainSport: Switzerland reached 9 playings.

25 Times or more:
30 10 Days in Europe – picked up a sale copy on a whim while visiting Funagain and it's proven a hit again and again

20 Times or more:
22 Dominion (in some form) – the trouble involved in setting it up insures it gets played at least twice every time

10 Times or more:
19 Schotten-totten – surprisingly the first time in the list
13 Dominion – the vanilla game only
12 Rat Hot – third time in the list
11 Finito! – strong "just one more" quality
11 Fjords – second appearance in the list
11 Helden in der Unterwelt – second appearance in the list
11 Perry Rhodan – forthcoming English edition may increase this number
11 Tichu – has never been out of the list
10 Jaipur – only acquired in mid-December
10 San Francisco Linja 1 (two Streetcar) – first time in the list and very welcome

5 Times or more:
8 Dominion: Intrigue – played with only the Intrigue box
7 Rosenkönig (one a Texas) – third time in the list and finally got to try the original Texas version
6 Kupferkessel Co. – third time in the list; re-publish this please
6 New World: Carcassonne – the version that seems to work best for two
6 Pompeji – came close to making the list in '03
5 Carcassonne – including teaching some young new game players
5 China Rails – if all the games in this series were one, would be well over ten
5 Race for the Galaxy – sometimes including one or both expansions
5 Silverton – very pleased to see this one; undoubtedly the longest-playing of the titles here; both editions represented

10 Times or more:

5 Times or more:
9 Auf Achse – the new version is great for 2 yet also supports 6; many more playings of this on-line, over 100
9 Roma – fun trying to exploit various cards; slightly down from last year
9 Tichu – this is suggested very often and only rarely turned down; falls a little each year
8 Down Under – there is a lot to learn here
7 Kupferkessel Co. – great quick game for two or three; back in the list for the first time since 2004
7 (an unpublished prototype) – historically-oriented card game
6 Helden in der Unterwelt – latest addiction
6 Maestro – great introductory game
6 Rat Hot – great introductory game for two; back in the list for the first time ince 2005
6 Tally Ho! – great introductory game for two; back in the list after taking a year off
5 Cambria – new, quick multi-player
5 Candamir – a new fascination
5 Rosenkönig – great introductory game for two or four; back in the list for the first time since 2004
5 TransAmerica – great multi-player introductory
5 Tsuro – works great if you're 7-8 and don't want to split

10 Times or more:
13 Fjords
11 Roma
10 Tichu

5 Times or more:
7 Twilight Struggle
5 No Thanks!

10 Times or more:
17 Tichu

5 Times or more:
6 Non Merci
5 Villa Paletti
5 Thurn und Taxis
5 Tally Ho!
5 Jambo

10 Times or more:
14 Tichu
12 Lost Valley

5 Times or more:
9 Halali! (Tally Ho!)
6 Shadows Over Camelot
6 (an unpublished prototype)
6 Jambo
6 Geschenkt
6 Easy Come, Easy Go
6 (another unpublished prototype)
5 Zirkus Flohcati
5 Rat Hot
5 HeckMeck am Bratwurmeck (Pickomino)
5 For Sale
5 Einfach Genial (Ingenious)
5 Around the World in 80 Days

10 Times or more:
14 Tichu

5 Times or more:
8 Halali! (Tally Ho!)
8 Kupferkessel Co.
7 San Juan
6 (unpublished prototype)
6 (another unpublished prototype)
6 Der Flaschenteufel
6 Express
5 Rosenkönig
5 (yet another unpublished prototype)
5 (still another unpublished prototype)

note Number is the number of times played. This summary only includes games played face-to-face, not on-line play.

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