Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Shape of gamers II

It’s been over two years since I churned out a load of spider charts to show everyone their strengths and weaknesses, so I thought I’d do some more. This time I used the data from last season, and I included players who’d played twenty games or more.

These graphs show, out of a player’s points, which category was most successful for them. There’s no comparison to other players.

Again, I took the game mechanics listed on BGG as my guide and, after grouping them together, came up with the following twelve categories (with clarifications for those that need them).

Area Control
Tile Placement
Stocks and Shares
Worker Placement
Card management
Luck, Dice Rolling, and Betting
Set Collection
Fairly obvious, but this also includes trick taking. Normally, I’d consider trick taking as a separate category, but we didn’t play that many last season.

Variable Player Powers
For those games where the players begin with different characters that have different strengths/weaknesses

Outside the Box
Includes games that need skills other than those number crunching and psychological skills you normally need in a Eurogame. Namely: dexterity, scholastic and artistic knowledge.

Point to Point
Races and deliveries.

Direct Combat
When you deliberately target one or more players, as opposed to your actions having a knock-on effect.

I took each game we played from January to March and gave them a "score" based on these categories. For example, Quantum is 0.33 area control, 0.33 dice rolling and 0.34 direct combat (I had to put that stray 0.01 somewhere).

So, Katy was the champion last season, so let’s begin with her.

She has a well-rounded graph, but her strongest category is Point to Point (Deep Sea Adventure, Midnight Party) while, surprisingly she did badly in dexterity games. Perhaps her reputation as Doctor Toppleblocks is undeserved.

Second was Ian.

His spiky graph shows that he excels in some games, and collapses dramatically in others. Another poor showing in Outside The Box (which goes to show, you don’t need to be deft to be a champion) and he’s had no luck at all. Strong in the more traditional Eurogaming skills, though.

I came third.

An odd-shaped graph. I have done best in those games that reward non-gaming skills. Is that good? I’m also pretty lucky.

In fourth was Martin.

A shocking amount of luck is the most prominent feature on this graph. Dice rolling, bluffing and pushing his luck have all done well for him last season. Interestingly, no weak category on this graph.

In fifth place came Andy.

No surprise to see that Andy does badly at dexterity games, but apart from that and Point to Point games, he does pretty well: scoring highly in Card management and, frighteningly, direct combat.

Sixth place was Joe.

Another well rounded graph, showing his ability at a wide range of games. But, just like two years ago, his skills are counter-balanced by a complete lack of luck.

In seventh place was Sam.

His graph shows that he can rely equally on a wide range of skills, especially tile placement. His only weakness being Outside the Box type games, as he struggled with Riff Raff and Timeline last season.

Eight place was take by Ben.

The newest member of the group doesn’t rely on any one category, although he’s another player who finds his luck deserts him at important moments.

Ninth, and last on this list, was Matt.

Matt’s Card management and Set Building skill are both very low. This is a shame, since they come up so often in Eurogames. However, he can bid and manipulate stocks with the best of them.


  1. Interesting. Maybe 'luck' is not just luck...

    1. Yeah luck is a hard thing to nail down. I'm happy with my graph though - it's a nice shape.

  2. Yeah I'm happy with my hourglass figure... thanks Andrew.

  3. Very interesting stuff, Andrew. Can't believe that I've been so bad at point-to-point, but then we don't really play racing games (among my favourite categories) so guess this must be pick up and deliver dragging me down.