Taking it Hard to the Truth Hole

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The one thing that I'd change about BGG. Hey Zeus Christ do I want to change it.

Nick Bentley
United States
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No doubt many before me have ranted about what I'm about to rant about, but I can refrain no longer. I have an itching, burning, festering, boiling dislike of the "weight" ratings.

What is this "weight"? Is it rules complexity? Is it depth of play? Who knows! These are two totally different things. I loath complex rules and I love deep play, and the weight ratings offer zero help to me in looking for games with simple rules and deep play, even though the word "weight" suggests that the measure is designed to help me.

This measure seems consistent with many BGGers' misled belief that complex rules = complex strategy, and that therefore "gamer's games" shouldn't be too light on rules. Maybe that's why there's only one measure where there should be two.

I got fired up over this issue while researching Finca, which I have now bought and played a bunch. In the forums and comments it's as described is "light", and many people seem to think it's not a "gamer's game", apparently because its rules are minimal. I overlooked this game for a long time because of this. It turns out though that, at least when played with 2 players, you can strategize and calculate intensely. It's deep, deeper than many other games which are usually considered "gamer's games", but the weird ways in which we quantify and discuss weight confuse the issue.

There's a ton of open information and the mechanism on which the outcome depends most, the Rondel, is completely deterministic. You can mind grind hard and never get anywhere near the bottom.

But too many of us miss the depth here because we operate under the assumption that simple rules = light game. And then it gets misrepresented on the site, and then I overlook it, and then I get frustrated, and then I write this frustrated post.

I think we should either separate "weight" into "rules complexity" and "depth of play" or somehow we should all stop equating the one with the other. Ideally both.

One more related rant thing: when someone uses the word "meaty" to describe a game I want to light my eyeballs on fire and I don't know why. Please don't hold this against me.

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Subscribe sub options Fri May 25, 2012 8:10 pm
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