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2020 - A Year in Review

Is it over? Is it safe to come out again? 2020 is done and a new year has begun and it’s time for us to look back over the year that has gone and as has become tradition I do that with cold hard numbers. This year I have a lot more data to hand as I have started to track my board gaming via Board Game Stats.

Most Played In 2020

Kicking it all off we have the most played games of the year.

  1. Marvel Champions (134)

  2. Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (87)

  3. Marvel Legendary (60)

  4. Don’t Mess With Cthulhu (54)

  5. Marvel United (28)

  6. Horrified (19)

  7. Fabled Fruit (18)

  8. The Crew (18)

  9. Just One (17)

  10. Zombicide Invader (13)

The honourable mention goes to Lord of the Rings LCG with 11 plays. Before I dive into this we need to look at 2019’s list too.

  1. Marvel Legendary (102)

  2. Don’t Mess With Cthulhu (81)

  3. Lord of the Rings LCG (78)

  4. Rhino Hero Super Battle (33)

  5. Rhino Hero (33)

  6. Times Up Total Recall (24)

  7. Celestia (23)

  8. Menara (14)

  9. Imperial Assault (10)

  10. Roll Player (10)

Just two crossovers between the lists. Not only that but the 2020 list has 7 games that were new to me in 2020. This has been the effect of the pandemic on my playing. As you can see the numbers aren’t significantly different but the games have changed and a lot of that has been because I’ve been playing most of my games remotely. 52% of my gaming for the year was via Tabletop Simulator (the actual number will be higher as I only started tracking data from August.) TTS is a sandbox tabletop environment where you can load and import assets to play physical board games with friends remotely. Despite being remote for the entire year the number of games played has actually gone up, with the total played clocking in at 717 and even though we were limited to the TTS library for the most part I actually managed 100 unique titles.

As for the games themselves, Marvel Champions took the top spot for the year and that one I have been playing solo. Part of the reason for the number of plays was due to my review series, playing each hero against each villain really ratcheted up the play count. But the other reason was that I didn’t get into TTS straight away and for the first few months of lockdown the only person I could game with was me.

Next down on the list we have Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters, but in actual fact not all the plays were of GFTH, a lot of these plays are actually a mod I designed using the engine for GFTH with a Pokemon theme and we’ve been playing it pretty much four times a week every week for the last few months. We were playing it so much, I actually stopped logging the plays as it was vastly skewing the number of plays of actual GFTH which would roughly be around 40, still enough to land it in the top 10 for sure.

Beyond that Don’t Mess With Cthulhu & Legendary are family favourites and have continued to be but with reduced plays from previous years. Marvel United has been played a surprising number of times considering I don’t even have my copy yet! This bodes well for us continuing to play it once I have the physical version and it has gone over well with the family and the game night boys.

Fabled Fruit has seen a lot of plays as I’m currently playing through the campaign with two different groups. Horrified was a bonafide hit this year, being one of the last games I bought before lockdown but it has continued to hit the table via TTS as well. The Crew would have easily seen more plays without Covid, but as it is we have not progressed on this one since March. Just One has proved to be a huge hit as the last game of a game night session and works surprisingly well via TTS.

Zombicide Invader closes out the list but is one that has largely been played solo as I worked through the various missions controlling six heroes on my own, playing on my coffee table. However we have also run quite a few of the Friday Missions via TTS, it’s certainly fiddly and doesn’t use my painted minis, but it’s the best that we can do right now.

Finally LOTR sadly hasn’t been played since lockdown and annoyingly we’re halfway through the saga campaign. I’m sure there is a TTS mod for the game but I want to play it in person with my cards and decks and discuss options not over a microphone and if that means waiting another 6-8 months then it will be worth the wait. All that said, Dave and I have been working through the Lord of the Rings digital game, completing all three campaigns and all four single quests before diving back in to play them in Expert mode. It’s not LOTR LCG but it is fun!

Top Ten Most Played of All Time

2020 Plays - 717

All Time Plays - 5413

2020 Unique Plays - 100

All Time Unique Plays - 416

  1. Marvel Legendary (717)

  2. Lord of the Rings LCG (439)

  3. Don’t Mess With Cthulhu (149)

  4. Marvel Champions (134)

  5. Timeline (123)

  6. Toc Toc Woodman (106)

  7. Zooloretto (103)

  8. Rhino Hero (101)

  9. Imperial Assault (88)

  10. Pandemic (88)

My most played of all time doesn’t see a ton of shifting, with one new entry from Marvel Champions in at number 4. Cthulhu moves up to the number 3 slot and Celestia gets bumped off the list entirely. Timeline and Zooloretto both saw a single play in 2020 and Rhino Hero, Imperial Assault and Pandemic saw none at all. I don’t predict much in the way of change for 2021, although Marvel United has the potential to be a fast riser and Ticket to Ride has been seeing a lot of digital tabletime recently.


It’s been a rough year folks. Total lockdown away from friends and family, unable to play games and running dangerously low on miniatures to paint and I’m afraid I went a bit mad.

Kickstarters backed in 2020 - 8

Total Spent on Kickstarter - £865 not including P&P

This also does not include Dice Throne Adventures which I late backed shortly before delivery was about to commence. It’s a ton of money to be sure but enough to keep me in pretty plastic for a while. I would like to say I’ll back fewer projects in 2021, but we’ll have to wait and see! For an insight into the games I backed this year why not take a look at this top ten list.

Shelf of Shame

New Games Arrived in 2020 - 17

New Games Played in 2020 - 34

Total Unplayed Games at the end of 2019 - 17

Total Unplayed Games at the start of 2021 - 13

Unplayed new games from 2020 - 2

Total Games Owned - 262

Total Expansions Owned - 392

Percentage of Collection Played in 2020 - 31%

Percentage of Collection Played for All Time - 92%

I did good this year in terms of staying on top of new purchases. I actually played almost everything I bought with only two exceptions, The Mind and Infinity Gauntlet and mostly these didn’t get played because I bought them to play with the game night crew and we can’t meet in person right now. Everything else remaining on the Shelf of Shame is at least a year old. Aye Dark Overlord, Crossfire, Fictionaire, Mafia de Cuba, Mafia: Vendetta, Push It, Titan Race, Untold Adventures Await, Who Would Win, Millennium Blades and Adventure Games Dungeon.

Of the remaining games Adventure Games: Dungeon would have absolutely got played at Games Night. Millennium Blades I can really only play with two people neither of which I’ve seen since March. Crossfire, Mafia de Cuba, Mafia Vendetta and Who Would Win all need a higher play count and, you know, the ability to socialise.

As for new games in the coming year, I’ve already bought two, Aftermath and ISS Vanguard and neither will see table time until the lockdown is lifted. I’ve also got a bunch of Kickstarters delivering this year, many of which have actually been played quite a bit already via Tabletop Simulator. Beyond that I’d like to pick up Under Falling Skies for some solo gaming and Via Magica I find has a certain charm that I can see being popular with the family.

Nickels and Dimes

Dollars - 8

Quarters - 32

Dimes - 76

Nickles - 68

H Index - 32

70% of my collection has been played at least 5 times, which is not a terrible statistic, although it drops to a little over 40% for 10 times. I could certainly look at culling some of the less well played titles at this point as I need to clear some shelf space!

Other Stats

47% of games played on Saturday or Sunday.

40% of games played 4 Player

18% of games played Solo

56% of games played via digital means

11% of all my played in the last 3 weeks of December

55% Win Percentage for 2020

Of particular note here is that I managed to get home for the last three weeks of December to see the family, during which time we played 33 different games and 13% of my collection clocking up around 56 hours of play time in 26 days and completing the campaign for Mice & Mystics!

Coming up in the next few weeks we’ll have some Top Ten Lists, maybe some reviews and hopefully I’ll be playing Doctor Strange for Marvel Champions. If you missed it we’ve just finished our 12 Days of Christmas reviews for 2020, 12 mini reviews of games I played over the festive period and The Duke of the Blood Keep has been hard at work adding over 500 miniatures to the galleries on the site.

Until next time, have fun gaming!


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