Sunday, 20 January 2019

2018 Attendance Stats

At the end of last year I released the board game play stats - which games had been played at NoBoG and the approximate number of times those games had been played.

Today we have the 2018 attendance stats. A not quite complete record of people attending NoBoG for last year.

2018 was a world cup year - July 3rd the usual Tuesday NoBoG was held at Athena, hitting the lowest turnout for the year for 2018, and also causing general disruption all round. Oof.

In general the numbers show a slowly declining footfall for Tuesdays and a pretty steady one for Mondays over the course of a year. However I think the trend line for Mondays is deceiving here - there's a dip in the summer, world cup disruptions possibly at play, but a strong finish to 2018 with 3 high attendance days and 1 record equalling day ( Oct 29th ).

This year also interestingly for the first time saw Monday beat Tuesdays for attendance in some weeks. Shocking. Heretical. Three times Mondays beat out Tuesdays, week 44, 48 and 49, possibly showing that Mondays were becoming more popular towards the end of the year.

Incidentally, fair warning, missing data, weeks of zero are down to my own crappy failings rather than no one turning up for NoBoG. The 2018 Christmas period had a couple of missed weeks, other than this, if I recall correctly, NoBoG was on every day.

Click on the stat pics to embiggen.

Some related stats :


Average Weekly - 52
Highest weekly - 78
Lowest weekly - 30



Average Tuesday - 36 ( first half of year this was 42 )
Most popular Tuesday - January 30th, 55 people
Most males Tuesday - May 1st, 43
Most females Tuesday - Jan 30th, 16
Highest Tuesday female / male ratio - Jul 31st, 37%
Average Tuesday female / male ratio - 16.6%


Average Monday - 16 ( first half of year this was 18 )
Most popular Monday - January 15th, October 29th, 26 people
Most males Monday - Oct 29th, 24
Most females Monday - Mar 19th, 12
Highest Monday female / male ratio - Mar 19th, 48%
Average Monday female / male ratio - 19.5%

If you want to play with the stats yourself and mash them up into whatever nefarious datasets you like, then you can access the data here :

Monday, 14 January 2019

All Change, No Change.

It's been almost 4 years since NoBoG went on tour and left the Ribs of Beef behind to find a new home at the Mash Tun. But once again NoBoG is debating a venue move.

To this end we will be holding a trial tour date for NoBoG at  

St Andrews Brew House
21st January 7.30pm

just down the road from the current Mash Tun venue . The aim of this is for NoBoGers to decide whether they like the new venue, and if it meets our requirements, and also for the Brew House to consider whether they like us and we meet their requirements !

If all goes well this opens up the Brew House as a possible future NoBoG venue, whether that's a permanent move for both Mondays and Tuesdays or some other split or ad hoc solution depending on what the NoBoG collective decide.

If you want to know the whys and wherefores of the venue shifting then read on.

So what's up ?

The Mash Tun has been a great home for NoBoG for the last four years. To be sure there have been ups and downs - our highest turnout ever at something around 70, and some great late night specials that stretched towards 1 AM ( unthinkable at our prior venue, the Ribs of Beef which closed up just after 11pm ), but also issues with our chairs and tables going missing, zero notice of big disruptions, and of late, the pub continually running dry of just about everything.

The Mash Tun has been going through a difficult period. One it seems that has seen it cash starved to the point that on some days, it has little if anything to offer in the way of drinks and snacks, and there have been some murmurings of it not doing a great job of looking after the beer it has ( possibly due to massive staff turnover ).

I had been receiving complaints from NoBoGers about the state of affairs since probably the summer of 2018, but as the year wound down the number and volume of complaints increased substantially, as no beer was to be had, no soft drinks could be found, and snacks were as rare as hens teeth. Some weeks were fine. Some weeks were not. And the beer prices went up substantially ( although soft drink prices dropped ). In addition to that the maintenance of the pub itself has been patchy. Light bulbs that are out for months on end - until a room has more blown bulbs than lit ones, leaving parts of the pub in unintentionally dingy lighting.

The state of affairs had been mentioned to the Tun staff over the period, and some form of line of communication maintained with a number of managers that came and went. One of the other connected problems the Tun has had has been in a large turnover of staff, and a general number of staff complaints about the management of the place - infamously staff being paid hap hazardly at one point. This meant that good communications with the pub was more challenging as new staff would continually come in and just not be aware of ongoing problems or setup.

Deciding to have a final chat with the bar manager at the Tun before we made any kind of decision, it came to light that the Tun would be closing for a period during 2019 for renovations. The length of time was uncertain but could possibly be anything from a month to 3 months given the very slow renovation of a smaller pub down the road also owned by the Tun owners.

With the pub due to close anyway for a period of the year and ongoing issues, it seemed that a venue change was being "forced" on us one way or another.

Whether a move is temporary, permanent or otherwise, the mood of most NoBoGers is one of change, and so a venue change beckons. And my hunch is that if a place was found that ticked the boxes, everyone would vote to leave the Tun for good.

This is no easy task however, as although NoBoG individual day numbers are down since our 70 highs ( now basically splitting across Mondays and Tuesdays for a similar-ish grand total ), Tuesdays can still hit an easy 40, and housing 40 board gamers in a pub means a lot of places simply don't have the room. The days of NoBoG being a dozen people able to rock up at any pub are long long gone. Also the NoBoGlins themselves are as you might imagine any demographically super diverse set of several hundred people - difficult to please all at the same time. The idea of gaming in a pub is one that doesn't seem to fade over time, despite a few protestations at a pub environment ( a bare couple are anti pub - but given a bare couple out of hundreds, this seems to be a pretty damn good margin error ), and the pub style, open to all comers type environment continues to be a unique NoBoG charm.

St Andrews Brew House is a far smaller place than the Tun, and for sure has zero room for NoBoG to grow. But given number trends I don't think this is much of an issue anymore. Mondays and Tuesdays are spreading the load to some extent these days, and whilst once upon a time NoBoG was the only board gaming group and place to game in the city, now there are a whole bunch of other possibilities and groups that have popped up which further spreads the load of newcomers ( although it has to be said NoBoG still gets a regular inflow of newcomers ).

Working in favour of the Brew House are that it's upstairs areas are largely out of the way of the main pub, meaning people can kinda choose to be left alone or not, the place seems well stocked, well lit and well maintained, and perhaps best of all, has a restaurant attached that serves good food well into the evening.

There are some other possible options to look at with regards to venue, and I also personally think it would be a shame if we never used the Mash Tun again. So who knows what the future holds for NoBoG venues !