Game retrospective 2020, #1: My ‘most played’ & other game stats

Well, we made it to 2021. And the less said about 2020 the better. But that’s not going to stop me geeking my way through my annual retrospective posts. Which are a nerdy dive into some of my gaming stats from the past 12 months.

I always start by talking about how I viewed the year in terms of new releases. But no Essen Spiel – or cons that follow it – means I’m less prepared. As those events are great for discussing and playing all the new releases.

Some publishers have upped their online presence. But I’ve really struggled to get into online cons. I’ve played online with friends a lot, but to keep in contact in a year of low human interaction. I’d swap five of those online plays for one ‘real’ one in a heartbeat.

Board Game Geek is also a good place to test the year’s gaming pulse. At time of writing, only On Mars (number 74) has troubled the top 250 games. For me, the jury is out. But my feeling is 2020 was a solid if unremarkable year. Especially as a lot of the current rising 2020 titles were reprints. It was probably a small step up from 2019, but largely unremarkable. With no big new ideas surfacing, or clever new mechanisms taking the community by storm.

My game play and collection stats

My game collection is down to just over 140, from 156 last year. I’ve not included two ‘for sale’ games in that number, or a couple waiting to be reviewed. But it’s my first time under 150 for years, which is great. I use that as an artificial cap on my collection. So to have breathing room feels positive. Better still, my ‘shelf of hope’ (unplayed games) is down to one title: On the Underground, also on last year’s list. I’m pretty sure I’ll like it to! Maybe I need to leave notes around the house to play it. I’m not getting any younger you know…

Total game plays this year was up to 439, from 371 last year. That had been a bit of a blip, as I’m usually just over the 400 mark. This year’s figure did rely a lot on online plays. I’ve been strict with that though, only including games that have been played fully live in one sitting and that have been done while on some form of live chat channel. It has been a real blessing to be able to keep most of my regular sessions going in some form – it has genuinely help keep me sane through some really difficult times.

Real life gaming (since April) has largely been with Sarah, which is reflected in the ‘most played’ list below. I’ve also introduced a local friend I’ve been in a bubble with (hi Vince! Not that he’ll read this…) to our hobby. While in the summer I managed a couple of ‘real life’ sessions with my local group. I have managed to play a few heavier games, largely thanks to regular online sessions with a few LobsterCon pals (chiefly co-organiser Alex). So my brain has had a bit of a work out!


I played 173 different games in 2020, down 25 on 2019. But we didn’t have Essen, where I tend to play a bunch of new things over a crazy week. Only 96 of those games got a single play, compared to 126 last year. Again supporting the theory that missing Essen week had a big impact on my playing of new one-off titles.

On the flip side, I managed to play more than 20 games at least five times during the year. While some of those were review games, many were old favourites that clearly benefitted from my lack of exposure to the new hotness. Didn’t get any better at them though…

The Extended BGG stats page is the perfect place to geek out on numbers. I record all my board game plays at Board Game Geek, allowing this site to gather a blistering array of useless information. But it still fascinates me. Here’s what I learned:

Extended BGG stat attack

  • I only played 75 ‘new to me’ games in 2020 – my lowest number since 2011.
  • I played 90 (63%) of my 142 games within the calendar year.
  • 2020 became my fourth highest year for total games played. But was still way behind the 530 total plays I managed in 2014 – my only 500-play year.
  • September was the only month in which I didn’t play any ‘new to me’ games.
  • Eight games hit 10 all-time plays in 2020 (including Merchant of Venus and Targi), while two hit 25 total plays during last year: Stone Age and Thurn & Taxis.
  • Eight of my Top 50 ‘most played of all time’ didn’t hit the table in 2020. Many were down to circumstances – small box travel games and those requiring more players. But I need to brush the cobwebs off Dominion and The Manhattan Project. At least the three games on that list from 2019 (Macao, Uruk and Puerto Rico) all got played in 2020.
  • I now own just two of the Board Game Geek top 10 games of all time (Terraforming Mars and Twilight Struggle); and six of the top 20.

My most played games in 2020

I managed 41 plays of ‘unpublished prototypes’ in 2020. A couple down on last year, but almost all the plays were of my own designs this time. So in terms of moving forward with my own stuff, that’s a slightly positive improvement. Elsewhere, there were a lot of family games at the top of my most played games list for 2020:

  1. Ticket to Ride (16 plays)
  2. Codenames Duet (10)
  3. Can’t Stop, Oracle of Delphi, Race for the Galaxy, Targi and Thurn & Taxis (8)

The new-ish ‘Italy & Japan’ map pack helped Ticket to Ride top the list (review incoming). As did a new gamer really getting into the game. Codenames, Delphi, Targi and Taxis are all Sarah/me favourites. While Can’t Stop is a regular closer for online sessions. And the excellent Race for the Galaxy app on Steam has seen some action in 2020.

Just missing out (with seven plays each) were Pharaon, Welcome to… and The Downfall of Pompeii. In terms of heavier games, Concordia and Snowdonia had four plays each. While Kanban, Tzolk’in and Terra Mystica had three.

Codenames Duet and Race for the Galaxy were back on the list after being oddly absent in 2019. While Ticket to Ride and Thurn & Taxis continue their annual dominance. Last year’s top title Azul wasn’t far off with six plays. While Adios Calavera, Dizzle and That’s Pretty Clever (all in last year’s most played list) had three plays each in 2020.

Enjoyed this post? 

I’ll be back with Part 2 (best gaming events and individual plays) in a few weeks. While they’ll also be a Top 10 list of my favourite ‘new to me’ games of 2020. And why not check out the previous versions of this post from 2012, 2013, 2014, 20152016, 20172018 and 2019? What do you mean you have something better to do…?

Essen Spiel 2020 releases – game reviews live and incoming

The box art for Essen 2020 release Lost Ruins of Arnak

So the reviews are starting to come in for the Essen Spiel 2020 releases. I wasn’t massively excited about the list of titles this year, but there are bound to be some great new board games. And with just one review in from me so far, things are looking more hopeful than I’d thought.

This will be an evolving post until about March, so please bookmark and pop back once a month so. I’d love to go faster with the reviews, but the new UK lockdown is making things more difficult. I’ll update the list as review copies are confirmed and when reviews go live. As you can imagine, it’s quite a task for publishers to have to deal with all this via post/email rather than face to face, so I’m not holding my breath. But given time, the games will come! Some are already on the shelves, and more are on the way.

Essen Spiel 2020 releases: Game reviews – live

  • Anansi (1-5 players, 30-60 mins)
    Reprint, with new art, of clever trick-taking game Eternity.
  • Aqualin (2 players, 20 mins) Very light abstract with both players scoring the same pieces, but in different ways.
  • Bonfire (1-4 players, 1-2 hours) Point salad-y Stefan Feld euro game, at the high end of complexity for his game designs.
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak (1-4 players, 1-2 hours)
    Deck building/action selection/resource conversion euro.
  • Under Falling Skies (1 player, 20-30 mins)
    Sci-fi/save the world solo dice puzzler, including full campaign mode.

Spiel reviews incoming

  • Curious Cargo (Being played – 2 players, 45 mins) Pick up and deliver, tile placement and route building in this factory-based one-on-one puzzler.
  • Gods Love Dinosaurs (Being played – 2-5 players, 45 mins) Light tile-laying game where players create sustainable food chains.

The ‘hopefully’ list

I’m also hoping to get my hands on all the other games on my recent Essen wishlist post. And of course I’d love to hear about the new games on your shelves – and the ones you can’t wait to get your hands on. Reach out on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what I’ve missed and need to check out.

Board game accessories: How to pimp your favourite games

Top 10 dice games advert for MDG, a dice company, including 10% off with promo code goplaylisten

The board gaming hobby has increased in popularity exponentially over the last decade. And as numbers increased, it created space for enterprising small businesses to become viable. Board game accessories are now a big deal. So what are you missing out in?

The simple answer is loads. From Etsy sites to home made upgrades there are loads of clever and innovative ways to upgrade your favourite games. I’m not going to go into detail here, but instead give you a bit of an overview. Hopefully it will be enough to point you in the right direction.

Upgrade the components

Perhaps the most common board game accessories upgrades are components. Fancy dice have been around for years, largely thanks to the role-playing hobby. From metal to multi-coloured, you can even have them customised with your own logo on one side. I’d definitely suggest checking out Metallic Dice Games, for example – where you can get a 10% discount with the code ‘goplaylisten’.

But dice are now the tip of the iceberg. Games with resources are commonplace, so upgrading everything from your wood and sheep to the money and player pieces are commonplace. It started with simple wooden shapes. But enterprising firms now offer some fantastic handmade pieces. Such as those pictured below, from The Game Crafter. The most popular games (such as Terraforming Mars and Power Grid) often have sets of counters specifically put together to replace those in the box.

Board game accessories - handmade wheat, apple and grape pieces for board games.

Sleeves & laminate

But it’s not always about the looks. Board game accessories can also add longevity to your favourite board games. Collectable card game (Magic, Pokemon etc) players have long used plastic sleeves to keep their cards in perfect condition. This helps maintains their value. But it also stops the cards becoming marked, which can be especially problematic for tournament play. This phenomenon is now firmly in the board game arena too, with many players sleeving their cards to maintain their quality.

Laminating is also growing in popularity. A big driver for this has been the huge growth of roll-and-write games. Buying new score sheets is clearly a false economy compared to laminating a few and using them repeatedly. But you’ll find nervous players laminating all kinds of other game components – from flimsy player boards to player aids. This is particularly useful for game extras you’ve downloaded and printed off yourself.

you can even take this to the next level. Games such as Zombicide and Terraforming Mars can really benefit from player board organisers. These are usually made from plastic or even plexiglass. And help keep important counters in the right spots.

Board game accessories: Box inserts

Another growth area is box inserts. While some publishers are making an effort to put compartments in the game boxes, many just leave you to worry about that yourselves.

Personally, I’m happy with throwing the bits in a few plastic baggies. But if you like everything in its place, there’s a whole world of inserts waiting for you.

  • HDF: High density fibreboard can be laser-cut with great accuracy, creating super thin walls to separate components. This is super useful in games with a lot of sturdy wooden or plastic bits.
  • Foam: Foam trays were formally purely in the realm of war gamers. They’re perfect for transporting more fragile game pieces such as detailed plastic or metal miniatures. Especially if you’ve gone to the trouble of painting them. But with many board games now having equally fragile components, foam inserts are now commonplace.

But this doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. One great budget solution is a simple plastic ‘bits box’. Pop to your local pound shop, or discount DIY store. You’re bound to find small plastic containers of nails, screws, picture hanging pieces etc – usually dirt cheap. Simply empty the bits into another container and you have perfect board game accessories.

Plastic bits boxes can make great cheap board game accessories, to help storage.

Extras: Bowls, tables, chips & towers

Here’s a round-up of some other popular board game accessories that can add to the player experience. Just don’ blame me when your credit card bill comes in…

  • Poker chips: Money can be one a disappointing game component. From flimsy paper to thin cardboard, it’s often overlooked by publishers. So a high quality set of poker chips can be a great addition to your game shelf. Simply grab them whenever you play a game with crappy money. I got mine from Premier at a surprisingly good price.
  • Bits bowls: Your game table can soon get messy, especially if you’re a euro or Ameritrash fan. But a little imagination can go a long way to tidying things up. Get a few food takeaways? Save those little plastic sauce pots. Or what better excuse to grab some packs of Gu puddings? The perfect size for keeping components in!
  • Dice towers: Rolling dice can be problematic on a bust game table. We all have a friend who can’t keep them on the table. Or who knocks over half the game pieces when they throw. So why not invest in a dice tower? They look great on the table, while also keeping things fair and contained. My favourites are the Legendary Dice Throwers from Drawlab – who also make amazing metal coins for your games.
  • Game tables: Got a couple of grand burning a hole in your pocket? Then you could consider upgrading your game room with a dedicated board game table. The simplest ones have a removable top, with a baize beneath for gaming. Perfect, as you can leave a game set up and still have dinner in style. But the more you pay, the more you get – from drink holders to pull-out player shelves. Check out Geeknson, for example.

Are board game accessories a false economy?

Table porn from Bandpass Design

Before you get your wallet out though, think good and hard about what you’re paying for. Because while good board games tend to have great resale value, components are a different story.

Tables, towers and poker chips are great because you can use them for games throughout your collection. But game-specific additions may add little to no value to your games. Just because you wanted custom meeples for your game, it doesn’t mean anyone else will be happy to pay extra for it when you get bored of the game.

But if you and your group are big on aesthetics, good board game accessories can make a difference. so let me know your favourites – and more importantly what I’ve missed.

Which board game to buy? Comparing two ‘Top 100’ lists

A 'top 10 games' image for my which board games to buy article

When you first start in this hobby, you soon realise the huge range of choice – so which board game to buy? Like many, I first turned to the Board Game Geek Top 100 list. But I lost my faith in those rankings several years ago.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the website. It’s just the game rankings I no longer trust. There are simply too many games high on the list I really didn’t think deserve to be there, where years earlier it did largely ring true. There had been games I didn’t like, sure. But I understood why they were popular. But in recent years that has really started to change, in my opinion, for the worse.

Previously, I’d actively seek out games in the top 100 I hadn’t played. I’d sometimes regret it, but usually because it wasn’t my thing. But largely I found some great games. Many of which are in my collection to this day. But now, it’s rare to find a new gem in the same list. Most games that have arrived in the upper echelons in the past few years feel like flashy looking parodies of better games from the past. Or games which seem to have a high rating purely because there’s a metric ton of stuff in the box.

Why has the BGG top 100 list faltered?

The main reasons I think this has happened are:

  • Ratings creep: In recent years there seems to be a trend of rating games higher, generally. This is noticeable particularly in re-releases of old games, which tend to get quite a big bump in numbers for a new edition. Partly this comes down to these re-releases having shinier components. But should the fact a game looks pretty give it a whole point (or more) bump on a 1-10 scale? Not for me.
  • Kickstarter: Around the same time, the board game Kickstarter boom began. This has seem a lot of unscrupulous tactics used by publishers in manipulating BGG stats. Many games have been pumped up by one-and-done accounts rating games highly. And many of these games have seen massed high ratings before the game has been published. Sometimes by backers hoping to increase interest to unlock stretch goals.
  • New gamers: This same period has also seen a massive rise of new players joining the hobby. Brilliant, yes. But it has also meant thousands of new gamers playing new titles and rating them incredibly highly, when they haven’t got much to rate their experiences against. BGG’s rankings also bias towards games with more rankings – giving an unfair bump to recently released, heavily purchased games.
  • The cult of the new: So many new games, so many new publishers – and such a great resale market. Where game collectors were once a rare and strange breed, it is now far more common for people to buy a game, play it a few times, and move it on. This means people are rating games often on first impressions and moving them on before even considering things such as replay value. And/or, they don’t come back and change their rating later when they tire of the game.
Gloomhaven box image - top of the BGG top 100 list in July 2020, so on many people's 'which board game to buy' list

So, which board game to buy? Alternative lists

In February 2020, friend and fellow board gamer/blogger Martin (qwertymartin on BGG) came up with an alternative way to rank games via BGG’s stats. This list was based on play data from thousands of BGG users to work out game popularity over time. In this way, he hypothesised, you form a list of games many people are actually playing, rather than ones they just whack a high rating on. Surely a better measure of what gamers should check out?

He had two criteria for a game to be included. It had to be published at least five years ago (to demonstrate longevity); and be in the Top 100 games played by unique users in at least five different years. This skewed the results towards the amount of people playing games, rather than total plays. Firstly, because obsessives can radically bugger up this kind of result and secondly, because that is another way the system can be cheated.

Of course, completely removing the hotness from the past five years is daft in terms of players looking for new games. It’s only natural to want to explore games hot off the presses and I do it as much as the next gamer. But I think you need to do a bit of both. And in truth, as most gamers gain experience, their collections start to lean much heavier towards those older classic titles. Because, a lot of the time, they’re simply better games.

BGG’s cult of the new…

I looked at Martin’s list from February, comparing it the standard BGG Top 100 list from July 2020. There are some interesting parallels and differences. If you take out titles from 2016-2020 from the BGG Top 100 you remove 40 games – including a frankly ridiculous seven of the current top 10. Then take out the 15 (?!) 2015 releases, and you’ve accounted for more than half of the ‘best ever’ board games. Imagine looking looking at a ‘best bands of all time’ list and finding seven from the last five years?! You’d think the world had gone mad.

Looking more into the numbers, only three of the BGG top 100 games are from before the year 2000. The mid to late 90s saw an amazing renaissance in board and card games, many of which are best sellers still in print today. Worse, only 15 games on the currently list are from 2000-2009 – and only two of those (Twilight Struggle and Brass) are in the top 20. I doubt you’d find anyone who could justify these numbers in real terms.

…versus qwertymartin’s filler games of old

On the flip side, Martin’s list has its own problems. Half the games would be considered ‘fillers’ – games you can squeeze in at any opportunity to kill a bit of time. These are often picks of convenience, or lowest common denominators. What can we quickly pick off the shelf that no one will really hate? And if they’re not keen, it only lasts 20 minutes. Some of these are truly great games worthy of the list – but there is some rubbish here too.

Maybe 20% of the games on Martin’s list are made since 2010 – and almost all of those are light family games. While I understand the rules for his list, they seem a little too balanced towards older, shorter games. Two of his games were actually outside the current BGG top 1,000 (Saboteur and Bang). While the likes of Roborally, Tikal, Descent, Guillotine and Roll Through the Ages are showing their age. These games have better alternatives now.

Some recent games are clearly instant classics and should be on any list: Azul, Codenames, Terraforming Mars. And in future, they will make his list. If you do want a list of what’s currently being played to death by users, you can find those too with a little bit of BGG Fu (thanks Martin for the link).

But what Martin’s list has that BGG’s doesn’t are the genuinely massive games of our hobby: Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride. The older classics: Can’t Stop, Acquire, Perudo. And the lighter games that really do deserve recognition as much as any minis or euro game: For Sale, 6 Nimmt, No Thanks. As well as party games such as Dixit and Apples to Apples.

The consensus

Believe it or not, despite these huge disparities, a healthy 26 games did make it onto both lists. I think it says a lot that I have played all of these games (all well before doing this post). And I own (or have owned) half of them. There’s only one I’d refuse to play (can you guess?) and a few more I’d probably veto. But this is a genuinely great list of titles if youre trying to decide which board game to buy (links go to my full reviews):

Twilight Struggle board game box - which came top of the combined 'which board game to buy' list
  1. 29 – Twilight Struggle 9-20
  2. 30 – Puerto Rico 25-5
  3. 43 – Agricola 29-14
  4. 43 – Power Grid 36-7
  5. 51 – Castles Burgundy 14-37
  6. 63 – Race for the Galaxy 51-12
  7. 76 – 7 Wonders 50-26
  8. 90 – Terra Mystica 15-75
  9. 93 – Concordia 17-76
  10. 94 – Caylus 61-33
  11. 100 – Tzolk’in 39-61
  12. 101 – El Grande 63-38
  13. 102 – Dominion 87-15
  14. 104 – Pandemic 88-16
  15. 107 – Lords Waterdeep 58-49
  16. 107 – Through the Ages 40-67
  17. 114 – Le Havre 45-69
  18. 117 – Stone Age 100-17
  19. 119 – Battlestar Galactica 73-46
  20. 121 – Robinson Crusoe 47-74
  21. 122 – Tigris and Euphrates 83-39
  22. 124 – Orleans 26-98
  23. 136 – Five Tribes 57-79
  24. 164 – Dominion: Intrigue 70-94
  25. 176 – Patchwork 77-99
  26. 181 – Roll for the Galaxy 81-100

(Ranked by totalling each game’s position on both lists)

Which board game to buy: Conclusion

There are several things that I think skew people’s game rating in unhelpful ways. Some of which I’m also guilty of. If it’s really pretty, really clever, or really ‘deep’ – you’ll see those games go up as few points. While if it’s basic, short and small – down a few points you go. And of course anything that takes risks (politically, mechanically etc) is also likely to see more big negatives from the haters. But equally you can’t just go on plays, as it throws up too many average family filler games. So what to do?

If I had to pick one list to recommend to a new gamer, I’d go with Martin’s list – with one big caveat. There are, of course, loads of great games from the past five years. The problem is finding them. For me the most sensible thing to do is start with the classics, find you and your group’s range, then research further. Look for new games in the same categories, by the same publishers/designers, or played by reviewers/BGG users/bloggers whose tastes you start to respect. That should lead you to a great board game collection.

* Like for more lists to help decide which board game to buy? Check out all my board game Top 10s here – as well as my own Top 40 games of all time 2020.

Flipping the token: On reaching 50

Ramble: On

50 point markers from the Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers board game

The sun is just over the yard arm on my 50th birthday. To stave off opening a lock down beer for another hour or so, here I am. Writing my 467th blog post since I launched GoPlayListen back in 2011. Back then, my intention was to write about going places, playing games and listening to music. The music writing dropped off fast – there’s only so many times you can write about going to see the same crusty old bands with the same crusty old people 🙂 I still do a bit of the ‘go’, but only if it involves gaming too. But if I ever actually get around to doing a board game podcast, the ‘listen’ will be back too. Full circle.

It’s a strange (read: miserable) time to have a landmark birthday. I’m very aware many people are genuinely suffering thanks to coronavirus. Three friends have lost a parent during this time, creating heartbreaking situations due to shielding, travel bans and restrictions to gatherings. Others have lost jobs, or had scares and hospital stays. But that just makes me feel more guilty for being miserable about something so meaningless. Which makes me more miserable. Gawd, what a whiny baby. But you know what I mean. On the plus side, at least I don’t have to worry about some misguided soul throwing me a surprise party (shivers). And I don’t ‘have’ to be sociable.

Reasons to be cheerful

With ‘go’ out the way due to covid, ‘play’ and ‘listen’ have become heightened. Just like the senses, my brain is rewiring itself to cope with this loss. Rerouting my go hours to more playing and more listening (and some gardening, weirdly. But who knows how the brain works?) Money saved on travel and hotels has been funnelled into funding music venues and musicians. Whether its buying CDs and T-shirts, or getting my name put on venue ‘walls of fame’ to help them survive the crisis, I’ve been doing my small bit. And it feels good.

Time saved on going places has been put into playing (and gardening, obvs). Which hasn’t been easy, seeing as half the point of me leaving the house tends to be to go play games. Here, online gaming has been an incredibly satisfying outlet. If I’m playing a favourite game, chatting to friends and having a glass of adult beverage, its a good evening. In person would be better, but its a perfectly acceptable substitute. And I don’t have to wear trousers. But I’ve gone on about online gaming enough of late, so won’t repeat myself here.

[insert cricket analogy here]

As for being 50, it’s hard not to be reflective – both looking backwards and forwards. I tend to find things I say are, in my mind, glass half full. But they tend to come out sounding almost completely glass empty/smashed/full of piss.

For example, I’m looking forward positively because – with any luck – I’ve only got 10 years or so of ‘work’ left to go. And the rest (if any) will be MINE. I’ve always been confident I could fill my days if they were free of work. And have never understood people who claim they would be bored. Being furloughed for 10 weeks has only strengthened my feelings that, if anything, I’d be busier.

The other recent phenomenon has been Black Lives Matter. Well, not ‘new’, but you know what I mean. I can’t help thinking it will be another false dawn. As we watch film companies edit a few dodgy scenes in films, while doing nothing about the disparity in their board rooms or in their casting and hires. The coming second wave of covid in the US is sure to topple this 65th wave of equality sentiment in the news cycle soon. Which is a fucking travesty. We seem better than ever at ‘protesting’, but worse than ever at doing anything about it. The nauseating waves of meaningless social media memes do nothing except make those posting them feel better. Stop it. If you really feel something, go and do something.

silhouette of inclusivity - different types and colours of people

Inclusivity – and YOU

I know there are problems of racism, sexism and I expect every other ‘ism’ in the board gaming industry. Just as there are in all walks of life. And I know that, as a white male, I’m much less likely to come across/notice them. But in my little corner of the gaming world, I’m often conscious of how joyfully diverse things are. My games have come out through American, German, Greek and Polish publishers. I’ve played with people of countless creeds and colours. And I’ve had brilliant game experiences with both pensioners and kids of all sexes – often at the same time. Being 50, 60, 70 etc will not be a barrier.

But as I say, I do know I’m in a position of white male privilege. So help me out. I have this blog, this mouthpiece, and I’m happy to share. Do you have a story to tell? Of despair, of hope? Of your troubles as any kind of minority, in gaming? you can tell your story here – or I can talk to you, and we can put it together, together. Just get in touch, either by replying here or contacting me via social media. The more stories that get out there, the more people will realise even the smallest things can add to that big pile of prejudice. Let’s do something.

Right, I need a drink…

Ramble: off

Note: The cricket photo is of absurdly talented batsman Mark Ramprakash reaching a 50. I used it because he too is 50 this school year. We went to 6th form college together, not that I expect he remembers me. He wasn’t often in the smoking room… Our mums were friends. We even played a bit of cricket and football together, in the park, when we were young. And while I’ve probably had more board games published than he has, I grudgingly admit he has done slightly more with his first 50 years. But i’m coming for you in the second 50, Mark!