Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Numbers for 2009

The numbers this year are slightly wobbly, as I was away over New Year (on a plane!) and some of my games are in transit from India. Nevertheless I'll work with this close approximation. Here are the articles from previous years, for comparison.

2007 article
2008 article

In 2007 I had 369 games, in 2008 400, now I have 425. At least the 2nd derivative is negative. The BGG rating for my collection has decreased (like I give a damn) and my rating has slightly increased.

There are 425 games in this collection. The BGG average rating for this collection is 6.4.

Your average rating for this collection is 6.92.

On average you have played each of these games 6.78 times.

Your Friendless Metric is 1 (90 games played 10+ times, 46 games never played.)

Your Continuous Friendless Metric is 3.31 which corresponds to an average utilisation of 53.41%.

2009 was a frustrating year for collection management. Scrabblette was not available to play games most of the time due to her study, yet she was often available to tell me not to dispose of any of the games I wasn't playing. I will seek revenge this year. For example, I will get her to play many of the Indian games that have been lying around untouched since her previous trip.

My Continuous Friendless Metric improved, but not as much as I wanted, and my Friendless Metric headed in the right direction, but way too slowly. My game room remained full. More shelves are not the answer - fewer games is.

I only recorded 644 plays for the year, fewer than the previous 3 years. I guess the demise of Scrabulous is responsible for some of that, but also the kid's reluctance to do essentially any of the same things as his dad, Scrabblette's business, and a whacking great holiday to a country without CyberKev helped. I also missed conventions due to saving up leave to go on the whacking great holiday :-(.

I also played fewer new games (90) than in the previous 4 years. To some extent I've figured out what I like and I can recognise a game I won't like, and both CyberKev and I are acquiring fewer new games.

What ambitions do I have for the new year? I'm not going to put numbers on it this time, as I've failed to make them 2 years in a row already. So I'll just say I want to play the games I like lots of times. See how we go with that!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Ganjifa Man

I had a couple of goals on our Indian holiday, including to try lots of new things, and to get some ganjifa cards. Let us say I wasn't considering the second and had severe misgivings about the first when we arrived in Bangalore and saw this sign:

It turned out this was just around the corner from where we were staying, and holding each other's hand tightly and chanting to ourselves "just looking not buying", Scrabblette and I walked over to see what was going on. It turned out what was going on was that a bunch of stalls had been set up in the car park of the Reliance Mart, selling various handicrafts. This was the type of stuff that we'd been desperately avoiding all holiday, but we were somewhat more relaxed when the salesmen weren't so pushy. I particularly liked the stuff at one stall, from which we eventually brought home this little guy:

Scrabblette mentioned that this was the sort of art work done in Orissa, which we weren't going to. As we were looking through the items we found a round piece which Scrabblette identified as a ganjifa card. We'd actually seen ganjifa cards earlier in the trip, in the museum in Mysore, but only one set had been on display and we weren't allowed to take photos. The attendant at the museum said they had lots of them in the store room :-(.

Anyway, we asked the Orissa guy whether he knew where we could get ganjifa cards, and he said that he did in fact have some, but not at the stall. He'd made them himself and people didn't buy them. Woohoo! He didn't want to tell us the price till we'd seen them, so we suspected they were expensive. However, one set took him 22 days at 3 hours per day - hand painted - so what should we expect? By the way, here's Orissa guy's card:

We went off to Hampi for a few days, and when we got back eventually organised to get back to the stall when he was actually there - shops open late in India, which really didn't work for an impatient Australian trying to fit a holiday into winter daylight hours. Sure enough, as promised, he had several sets of ganjifa cards, of which we bought this one:

The horrifying price was 2500 rupees, i.e. about $A60, which I was happy to pay. I was also thinking about potentially paying a $A75 quarantine fee to get them irradiated if necessary (I think they're painted on palm leaf), so I didn't expect this project to be dirt cheap in the first place. In any case, Orissa guy and I both went away happy.

I've been looking for rules for games with them, but haven't got any authoritative descriptions yet. Apparently there is Naqsh which is basically poker, and that doesn't interest me at all; but there are also Hamrang and Ekrang. My best knowledge so far is that they're some sort of trick taking game, where you have to play 2 cards per trick. I'll post again when I've figured it out.