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My Game Weight Preferences

Jesse Dean
United States
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Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!
Microbadge: I have more previously owned games than owned gamesMicrobadge: Out for blood - I play without mercyMicrobadge: My Favorite Contribution to BGG
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While game weight is perhaps not the most effective metric, its use on BoardGameGeek has caused it to effectively enter the board game lexicon. While I do wish we had more precise tools to analyze game complexity, depth, and difficulty, it can still be a useful tool for dialog as long as you are willing to accept this imprecision.

While thinking about Hawaii and Pantheon for the purpose of writing a review, I became more acutely aware of my general dissatisfaction with middle weight eurogames. This prompted me to take a look at the games I have played and owned and how my perspective of middle weight eurogames compares to my overall preferences for heavy (weight 3+) or light (weight <2) games.

It turns out that of the 84 games that I rate 7 or higher, which is the general threshold for which I consider myself to like a game, only 20 are what I consider to be middle weight. Of those 20 (listed below), only 8 of them are what I consider eurogames: Chicago Express, Clippers, German Railways, Neue Hemat, and Ra, Texas & Pacific, The Manhattan Project, and Vikings. This is not a particularly diverse list of eurogames. Chicago Express, Clippers, German Railways, Neue Heimat, and Texas & Pacific are all opaque Winsome-style games that are notoriously outside of the general trends in eurogames design and development, and I know people who argue that they are in an entirely different category, train games, rather than being eurogames. Ra, The Manhattan Project, and Vikings are all traditional eurogames. The rest of my middle weight favorites are a mixture of war games (Command & Colors: Ancients, Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War, and Sekigahara: Unification of Japan), complex card games (Glory to Rome, Innovation, Puzzle Strike, Race For the Galaxy, and Sentinels of the Multiverse), and old-school American-style games (Merchants of Venus).

As my ratings decrease, so does the average weight of my rated games. The first light games do not appear until I hit rating 7 (Crokinole and Zing!) and heavy games completely disappear by the time I hit my lowest ratings. I have played more heavy games than mediums or light. Fully 45% of all games I have played are heavy, with 39% being medium, and a mere 16% being light games. I suspect both the average ratings and relative quantities are based on the fact that over the last two years I have become much more aware of my general preference for heavier games and have largely self-selected away from games that are lighter. Based on this data, I think that maybe I should start self-selecting away even more aggressively, outside of the three primary categories I listed above (train games, war games, and complex card games).

So what are your general game weight preferences? Do you find that you tend to only enjoy certain types of game in a particular weight class? Is my recent purchase of Magic Realm going to push my average weight of my favorite games up?

Medium Games I Like
Chicago Express
Command & Colors: Ancients
German Railways
Glory to Rome
Hellenes: Campaigns of the Peloponnesian War
Merchants of Venus
Neue Heimat
Puzzle Strike
Race For the Galaxy
Sekigahara: Unification of Japan
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Summoner Wars: Master Set
Texas & Pacific
The Manhattan Project
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