Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friendless Metric Planning

We had a Critical Mass day of games today. I played Crokinole, Vikings, Fairy Tale, Fist of Dragonstones, La Citta, TransAmerica and Buyword. But that is not what this article is about.

I realised while I was playing Vikings that it's a great game that I should eventually play 10 times. Actually, if I had fewer games I could see it easily getting to 30, but lets' not get ahead of ourselves. Remember that the Friendless Metric is calculated like this: count how many games you've played 10 or more times, and call that number n. Then figure out how many times you've played your nth least-played game. That's your Friendless Metric. Mine is currently at 1, and I'd like to get it to 2. To achieve that, I need to increase n by 39, or play 39 games so that they increase to 2 plays (or else dispose of them). Let's say I do half of each, which games would be the ones that get to 10 plays? Last year I increased my number of games played 10 times by 25, so 20 would be a reasonable number for this year.

OK, so Vikings is one of them. It's currently at 5 plays. My opponents are still falling for the fishermen trap, so I need to educate them. Then I need to start playing with the special tiles. I couldn't ever be bothered playing with the auction variant - too much time wasted for negative amounts of enjoyment.

Rheinlander is currently at 9 plays, and I like it a lot, so I'd expect it to hit 10 this year. It's a 45 minute multi-player war-sort-of game. That's about how long that sort of game needs to be.

Tri-virsity and Ticket to Ride are at 9 plays each, and Scrabblette likes both of them, so I suppose they'll be played during the year. Scrabblette also likes Carrom (8 plays), Attika (8 plays) and Alexandros (7 plays) so it shouldn't be pushing the friendship too far to get each of those to 10 plays.

Cathedral, Igel Argern and Xe Queo! are at 9 plays each, but don't get played so often. Gecko3D and his kids will probably play Igel Argern, and I'll probably be able to convince Uncle Scott to play Cathedral and Xe Queo! Xe Queo! hasn't been played for a long time though. It's a very quick 2 player game, so it doesn't really fit in often at games meets, the kid is over it, and it's not Scrabblette's sort of game at all.

I'm up to 10, but it's getting a little more difficult. I cart a lot of games to games meets, but often end up playing other people's games. Maybe 1 in 5 games I take to a meeting gets played, and it's often the latest thing rather than an old favourite. For example, I played Stone Age 5 times last year without really trying, because other people wanted to. I would have preferred St Petersburg.

I played Africa 7 times last year because I pushed it on a lot of people. That's because I really like it! Not everybody else did. But it's easy to explain and quite quick, so I can probably get it played another 3 times this year. Rumis is currently at 9 plays, and one more seems practical.

What about Kris Burm games? Several are already over 10 plays. I would like to play GIPF much more, but it's not on and I've used up a lot of my potential plays with Scrabblette and Uncle Scott already. ZERTZ is currently at 8 plays, so I hope I can find 2 more plays of that this year.

A week or two ago CyberKev and his wife Dr Annalog came over and played Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper with me. Dr Annalog likes card games, so maybe if I play my cards right I will get one more play of Mystery Rummy: Rue Morgue this year. Scrabblette is not so keen on card games though.

Now we're getting into the really difficult territory - games that require 5 or more plays. I've left out some games, such as Lord of the Rings and Shadows Over Camelot which are at 7 or 8 plays, but I can't really predict when I'm going to play them next. Scrabblette doesn't go for the thick themes, but they sometimes happen when playing with other groups. They may get to 10 plays this year, but I'm not betting on it.

Now, wishful thinking territory. Upwords is at 5 plays. I really like Upwords. All I need to do is invite Miss Jane over for dinner every week, and I'm sure I'll be able to arrange it. Scrabblette sometimes plays Upwords as well.

Ingenious Travel Edition is at 4 plays. Scrabblette likes this, but will there be 6 opportunities to play it? Last year we played 2 games while waiting in restaurants, and I think 2 games on the tilt train. Opportunities like that don't come along every year.

Kogworks is also at 4 plays. The kid says he likes it, but it's hard to get to game with him these days, what with Habbo and iTunes and skating and being too cool for Dad. At least he still likes Pandemic. Uncle Scott may have to be my Kogworks victim, or maybe his boy young Benny.

Asterix and Obelix is only at 3 plays. It's a very light and simple card game, but it deserves more than 3 plays. I think I've almost booked Scrabblette for the entire year. Maybe the kid. Maybe Benny. Maybe I can make new friends.

Finally, Hacienda. I like Hacienda a lot, but I've only played it 3 times. I want to understand it better. I might be able to get Scrabblette to play, but it's more the sort of game that gets played at games meets. 7 plays in a year at games meets would be a lot though. Still, I fancy my chances better with something lightish like Hacienda than with Key Harvest or something hefty.

Goodness. This seems like a tough target. I have some playing to do.


sschroeder said...

Just wanted to point out that Gipf is on

Never tried it myself.

Friendless said...

There's no graphical interface though :-(. Maybe I should write one.

sschroeder said...

What I eventually figured out is that, even for games that aren't implemented with graphics, it is possible to see the standings without using the list server commands. For example:

Some, like the last one, are a little touchy with capitalization. At least you can see if anyone already in the standings is playing or wants to play more.

What maybe they should do is, even if the game isn't implemented with graphics, is have all the active games listed and bring up the equivalent results of the show -t command with the browser.