Async App Plays and Recording Boardgame Stats

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am an avid recorder of my boardgame play stats, using the wonderful Boardgame Stats app.

My February 2020 stats.

I also love playing boardgame apps or boardgames online asynchronously.

A few months ago, I got into a little discussion with Sarah Reed on Twitter. Sarah’s a boardgame designer but in this case she was talking about keeping stats for her online games played.

I mentioned that I don’t record my stats for games that I play asynchronously.

She was curious why and I told her.

In thinking about things, I thought I would expand on what I told her and actually do my first opinion post in a while on here.

Basically what I said was that I don’t record my stats for them because it’s way too easy to lose track of what you’re trying to do in a game when you play asynchronously. Especially when it can be days until your next turn (for whatever reason).

I can’t count the number of times in Ascension when I (to name one example) took a card from my Dreamscape before realizing that I had the construct that lets you replace a card taken from there waiting in my deck. If I had the construct out, the Dreamscape card I took would have been replaced.

Since I didn’t, it wasn’t.

I realize that description may very well mean nothing to you, but what it says should be understandable.

I didn’t remember that I had something which would help me, and thus did a poor play.

(Being in 17 different Ascension games at the same time may add to that problem).

I’m sure I haevn’t even played as many games as some of my friends have.

Ascension is an easy and fast game, so it’s not usually that big of a deal.

However, now I’m playing (for example) Root (the new app from DireWolf Digital that is amazing and a review of it should be coming out soon).

Root is a complex game with many layers and it also takes a lot more time than Ascension.

I’m in three games right now, all of them as different factions

I’m not very good at the game anyway, but obviously when it’s a couple of days between your turns it could be very easy to lose sight of what I wanted to do.

Then I make a move and I’m like “shit, I forgot that I can’t build a Roost in a rabbit clearing so I’m going into Turmoil”.

I play as optimally as I can, of course.

But mistakes happen.

I don’t want those recorded on my stats.

That’s one reason I don’t record asynchronous plays.

The other reason, and I think it’s just as important (and this isn’t in what I told Sarah but I just thought of it).

I keep track of my stats as a social thing, too. I want to keep track of games that I’ve played “live” and with people. Able to talk to them, socialize, sit across the table (or now play online but we can Zoom or find some other way to talk).

We’ve restarted our weekly Smash Up games at lunch via the Steam app from Nomad Games.

Smash Up - Minion
Oh, this minion has an ongoing pow…whoops! I moved my finger.

Sadly, there are only two expansions on the app. I bought all of the expansions for the tabletop game from Alderac Entertainment Group a couple of months before the pandemic hit.

We got through two of them before we had to stop. The rest are sitting in my office waiting for us to come back.

But we’ve restarted the games, been able to socialize while playing (and unfortunately not be able to fix mistakes that we make like we could in the lunch room!) and thus I’ve been counting these as a play on BG Stats.

The same when a co-worker and I played 7 Wonders: Duel and the Agora expansion on Boardgame Arena.

It may be a small difference. I have played all of these asynchronous games so why shouldn’t they count?

But it is a big difference to me, and why I do keep track of stats.

This post probably means nothing to those of you who don’t keep track of your games played.

To each their own.

Are you a boardgame app player? Do you record your boardgame stats? If so, do you record your app plays?

Let me know down below.

9 Comments on “Async App Plays and Recording Boardgame Stats

  1. I record all my play stats in BGG, but like you I don’t include digital games (async or no). For my stat-tracking, I want to track how often I play physical box games that I own, and how often they hit the table.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is a perfectly reasonable attitude as well.

      I have to be honest. I’m not 100% sure how I would feel if it wasn’t for COVID. Right now, online is the only way I would be playing any game except with my wife.

      If I was having normal game days? Then I might not feel the same way. Also I don’t think I would have any live games online without COVID. LOL

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very interesting observations! I track my app plays as well as my live ones (whichever few those are this year) – but I only have one game going on at a time. And I don’t care much for win stats (except for a few games in which I really want to grasp strategy and improve my play) – I mostly do it to see what I played and how often.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I started out that way, actually. A lot of my early entries on BG Stats are with “Anonymous” players because I don’t remember who I played with or what our scores were.

      But with BG Stats have the scoring functionality as well as the comparisons and stuff, I just got hooked on that too.

      Liked by 2 people

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  4. I’m thinking about starting to track my async games with Board Game Stats, but I’m unsure how to record the time for it. The only reason why I haven’t tracked them is because I want to be able to know how much time it takes on average to complete a game session, but I’m worried if I don’t record a time for async games it’ll skew that data downward. Anyone know if I record a game with 0 time if Board Game Stats counts it?


    • BG Stats can still record the play, but I don’t actually include asynchronous games in my tracking just because it’s not “real” to me. What I mean is that I may play sub-optimally at times because I may forget what I was planning to do! So if I’ve only played a game asynchronously, I don’t include it in things like “Games Played” Countdowns or anything like that.

      If I did record them, I would just not record the time because there’s no way to tell how long it would have taken otherwise.

      I’m open to others’ thoughts, though!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


    • Oh, and just realized that my answer is kind of incomplete. If you record “0” time, then yes it will skew your Time stats in the app. You could just make an average time, maybe? If you want to have something there. And it really won’t be an accurate reflection, I don’t think.


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