User Profile for selwyth
David F
United States
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Some useful quick links to hotspots in my profile, in case you can't find them yourself:

My top contributions
1. An Alternative Classification of Board Games (long)
2. 25 Tips after 50+ Plays (the Brass bible)
3. Wiz-War session report
4. selwyth's ToBG Game Recommendations Tool (a little outdated though...)
5. MY GAMING MANIFESTO (even more outdated...)
6. Jizz in my Pants
7. I coined the term "soft reserve", seen on every single auction geeklist today. Check out the oldest geeklist with that term.

My game ratings + comments (updated regularly)

I had the honor of being Geek of the Week #447.

I like to rationalize my teenage years of spending too much on trading card games by saying I developed all of my economic intuition from trading card games (e.g. trading makes everybody better off...). Yes, I was really into trading card games in my teenage years in Singapore blush. I spent 3 years with the now-defunct Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game (being a Tolkien fan), was very good at it, and still have 8 tournament-level decks lying around in storage. I also dabbled in Raw Deal and the WotC Star Wars TCG, and just hung out at the hobby gaming store on Saturdays, and sometimes after school (5-min walk away). Throughout this period, I kept thinking that it'd be wonderful to be able to play games with these cool mechanisms, but not have to collect every damn thing. I'm happy to say I have found that Holy Grail through these amazing new board games!

After 5 years in America, I (re-)started with Settlers, like so many others, but I've since learned to eschew soulless economic principles espoused in Eurogames and embrace my first love: physics. Games in space, the limits of imagination, the unknown, and laws dictated by probability, where amazing happens. Luck, as long as it is dosage-controlled and can be preempted or reacted to, is justified as an enabler of shocking game-changers because something is memorable only if it was unlikely. Let the Lord of Chaos rule. I'm a born-again Ameritrasher. Though I still appreciate the rare (rare, after 400+ learned games) innovative design.


Top 10/Hot 10
Top 10 lists my all-time favorites (excludes games I rate highly but need more plays to confirm), Hot 10 lists what I want to play right now. Extended Top 10 can be found in my sorted ratings.

UPDATE: For a more detailed want-to-play list, check this out: selwyth's Playlist

Want to Play
I only tag 'want to play' for games I don't own (since it's a given that I want to play any game I own -- I hope that's the case for your collection too). My top want-to-plays are in my Top 10/Hot 10 as mentioned above.

Logged Plays
For games I play online,, I log a single play, with details on how many times I have played it, to disclose my experience with it (and give you an excuse for kicking your ass). For PBEM games, I record each play, as the effort and time spent on them almost approximates a face-to-face play. Regular plays are logged as normal, and I try to put as much detail as I can remember into them, partly for my own future reference, and partly to bore you to sleep.

Each of my game ratings is made up of design - how impressive/innovative the game is to me upon a first play - and longevity - how much I want to play it. The latter number can decay with repeated plays; the former doesn't. I record both scores as x+y in my comments (x for design quality, y for replayability). I periodically normalize and update my ratings. Expansions are design and value of getting the expansion (instead of longevity, since all expansions increase replayability).

Ratings normalized 1/23/12. Got rid of decimals, since 1-10 scale is enough granularity already, and so the rating breakdown is more accurate.

Recently Played Games:

What I wrote elsewhere before wrote:
Lots of Eurogamers out there who hate luck/randomness because Euros don't apply it well and they keep trying Euros that strip out more and more luck (that actually become more dependent on luck among skilled players because you can narrow it down to 1 or 2 sources instead of having it even out), then hate luck/randomness even more. The paradox is to try a higher-luck Ameritrash game and learn to embrace randomness, as an enabler of game-changers and as a tool to focus on the general narrative instead of being an annoyance to nitpick and 'game'. That's my primary reason for liking Ameritrash games. Luck, in measured doses, doesn't ruin games; it's just another thing to manage and be aware of. Luck is overly taboo on BGG, possibly (and rightly so) because our first encounter of it in board games was in Monopoly.
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User Details for selwyth
Registration Date: 2008-03-15
Last Profile Update: 2016-02-29
Last Login: 2016-04-28
Country: flag United States
State: California
Town/City: Emeryville
GeekMail: mail Send Private Message to selwyth
XBox Live:
Collection Summary for selwyth
Board Game
Owned   139
Previously Owned   328
For Trade   30
Want In Trade   75
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   110
Preordered   1
Wishlist   84
Commented   512
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   2
All   792
Board Game Expansion
Owned   51
Previously Owned   88
For Trade   7
Want In Trade   8
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   2
Preordered   0
Wishlist   6
Commented   105
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   1
All   174
Board Game Accessory
Owned   0
Previously Owned   1
For Trade   0
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   0
Commented   1
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   1
Board Game 9
Board Game Designer 1
Board Game Artist 1
Board Game Publisher 1
Board Game Implementation 1
For Sale 11
Sold 141
Rating 100
Board Game Plays 2242 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Board Game Expansion Plays 147 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Board Game Accessory Plays 1 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Trade Rating (111) Propose A Trade With This User
Board Game Ratings 505
Average Rating 5.17
10 12   (2.4%)
9 17   (3.4%)
8 41   (8.1%)
7 67   (13.3%)
6 93   (18.4%)
5 105   (20.8%)
4 54   (10.7%)
3 43   (8.5%)
2 40   (7.9%)
1 33   (6.5%)
Board Game Expansion Ratings 99
Average Rating 5.08
10 4   (4.0%)
9 7   (7.1%)
8 8   (8.1%)
7 15   (15.2%)
6 12   (12.1%)
5 17   (17.2%)
4 6   (6.1%)
3 5   (5.1%)
2 10   (10.1%)
1 15   (15.2%)
Board Game Accessory Ratings 1
Average Rating 1.00
10 0   (0.0%)
9 0   (0.0%)
8 0   (0.0%)
7 0   (0.0%)
6 0   (0.0%)
5 0   (0.0%)
4 0   (0.0%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 1   (100.0%)
Top 10
#1: War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth
#2: Clash of Cultures
#3: Merchants & Marauders
#4: Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Expansion
#5: StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion
#6: Runewars: Banners of War
#7: Chaos in the Old World: The Horned Rat Expansion
#8: Claustrophobia
#9: Twilight Struggle
#10: Middle-Earth Quest
Hot 10
#1: Pax Porfiriana
#2: Merchants & Marauders: Seas of Glory
#3: Clash of Cultures: Civilizations
#4: Runewars: Banners of War
#5: Fire in the Lake
#6: StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion
#7: Android
#8: Mare Nostrum
#9: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
#10: Battles of Westeros
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