So, yesterday you looked through two collections of games. As some of you guessed, the first list was a snapshot of the 100 highest ranked games on BoardGameGeek (from June 2nd, if you’re curious). The second list was a snapshot of the 100 most owned games (excluding expansions) from the same day. (The 45 games which appeared on both lists were removed, so that the lists weren’t too long.)
So the question is – who is well served by the current ranking system?
Clearly I’m not; of the games in only one list, I had a strong preference for those more owned over those higher ranked. While I had odd nooks and crannies in my gaming preferences, most would describe me as a hardcore Eurogamer, so perhaps Eurogamers aren’t well served by the current ranking system.
But I think it’s clear that fans of American style games aren’t being well served either; when I look at a list of games such as RoboRally, Munchkin, Bang!, Guillotine, Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie, Axis & Allies, Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, HeroQuest, Runebound (2nd edition), Nexus Ops, and Dungeon Twister – well, those might not hit the taste of _every_ fan of American games, but it seems like a fine starter set. It also seems to me that the German games only found on the most owned list seem to be a better fit for fans of the American style.
Wargamers – and particularly serious wargamers – are clearly _far_ better served by the rankings. While most groups of gamers can likely find something of interest on both lists, the most owned list doesn’t feature a wargame more complex than Axis and Allies, as compared to over a dozen strong titles on the ranking list.
Fans of abstracts seem to come out better with the most owned list; YINSH goes missing, but it’s replaced by such classics as Hive, Blokus, and Ingenious. I suppose that might still be a step down for fans of heavier abstracts, if it weren’t for additions such as Chess and Backgammon.
There’s not much for fans of children’s games on either list, though the most owned list is a lot more child friendly. The same can be said for party games; the most owned list is only slightly better.
Besides wargames, the other place where the rankings shine is for fans of heavier strategic games. Most of the games I would miss from the ranking list fall into that camp (along with a couple of wargames), but enough of my favorites are outside of the top 100 that the effect is muted.
So: one more simple task for those who braved the long lists yesterday…
- How would you categorize yourself, as a gamer?
- Did you find the highest ranked or the most owned games more to your taste?
Being I’m seemingly equally open to both quality and populist games, put me down as a game strumpet.
I consider myself very much to be a Eurogamer and a member in good standing of the Cult of the New. And while newer games are almost always better represented in the Geek 100 than in the most owned list (both because of the long-standing bias toward newer games in the rankings and because it takes time for a game to build up a large list of owners), most of the games from Collection 1 that I like aren’t new ones. Instead, the games that are most represented in my list are challenging Euros that are well thought of by more experienced gamers, but which are rarely very big sellers. Goa, Year of the Dragon, and Amun-Re are very good examples of these games. It’s games like these that help explain why I’ve always had a good correlation with the Geek 100, particularly when compared to the list of most owned games, even though a lot of the recent hits are games that don’t appeal to me.
If it is a game, I’ll play it, and probably enjoy it – especially in the right company. Thus, I have a collection (and a played list) that largely favors set #2. However,the games I enjoy the most tend towards the Euro style. Thus, given infinite time and a good gaming group, my preferences would align more closely with the Geek 100 list. However, my most played list of games might align more closely with the 100 most owned games, due to my gaming with many non-hardcore gamers.
I feel that while I’ll play just about anything, I definitely have a preference to the Eurogame side of things. While the numbers say that I like more of the games in Collection 2, there are more all-time favorites for me in Collection 1. Furthermore, as I am a card-carrying member of the Cult of the New, there are more recent games in Collection 1 than Collection 2. The new “hot” games seem to be able to jump into the Top 100 of the BGG rankings without necessarily having a lot of owners — Exhibit A: Age of Steam.