Almost perfect - but not quite!
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The description for a score of perfect 10 in BGG's list of recommended ratings reads:

"Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change."

When I rate games, unlike some other players, I actually try to follow the recommended rating system. BGG's system uses ratings 1-10, so there are ten different scores available. Yet, at the time of writing this, I have rated 65 games (or expansions), but never used a score of 10 (or 1, for that matter). Why?

This is a list of my "9" ratings and the reasons for not giving them a 10. (A list of my "2" ratings may follow later.)

Feel free to add your own!
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1. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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(I have rated all the expansions 9, too.)

If I'd score any game a 10, this one would surely be it. This game relaunched the hobby for me a couple of years ago. Every session makes a memorable evening. Best played with players who have watched the tv series through and know how to appreciate what's going on thematically.

But a 10? While the storytelling is great, there's not much about the game mechanics to write home about. For what it is, there's just too many small details to remember about the rules and too many pages in the rule books. While there's an impressive amount of crisis cards, play the game enough times and nothing surprises you. "...expect this will never change"? I don't think so.
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2. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
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If both players have about the same amount of experience, this game is always full of tension. There will be sweaty shirts after all the tough decisions. Newbies, however, usually have no chance against an experienced opponent. If one knows the deck and the other doesn't, the game's pretty much decided in advance. As much as I like the game, I can't give it a 10 for this very reason.
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3. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:431]
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At the start of a battle, you roll a die to determine the performace of your general. There's a 50-50 chance: he fights either at full capacity, or at half capacity. Then you roll again for the actual battle.

I don't like it. There's one roll too many. The roll for the general's performace seems unnecessary, abstract, and "gamey" to me. Yes, it makes extreme combat results possible, but it's too swingy.

The winner of a battle takes either no casualties, or exactly one casualty (again, decided by a die roll, and affected by the opposing general). I think the winner should occasionally take more casualties. Would be more realistic that way.

These are not big issues in any way, but put together, they drop the score that one point, at least for me.
 
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4. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:594]
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The CRT produces "extreme combat results" way too often.

The game takes too long. The last hour or two is always a struggle to stay alert.

If I was younger, the second issue wouldn't be worth mentioning, but the CRT makes it impossible for me to rate this great game a perfect 10.
 
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5. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:293]
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Solo gameplay suffers greatly from the fact that the Jihadist "AI" opponent never activates US associated events from his card play. The mechanic is, in my opinion, at the very heart and core of every "Twilight Struggle -like" system. The lack of it in Solo takes almost all the fun away.

With experienced players, the game situation on the map tends to change a little slow for my taste. I'd prefer more sudden drama somehow.
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6. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:418]
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For newbies, playing the Democrat against a more experienced Communist can be pure torture. If they don't win a single country, how can you expect them to ever play again? Even with more experience, the Democrat almost always has a much harder time of it. Not a single mistake is allowed, if you want to win.

Yet, when you know and accept this in advance, it makes a great game. Like with Twilight Struggle above, I just can't give a perfect score for a game if a newcomer is such an underdog.
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7. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:142]
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The combat system with the card matching is too simplistic. I'd prefer something like in Middle-Earth Quest, for example: more than just one function in each combat card.

There are many small rules that rarely see any use. The rule book could use some cleaning up.
 
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8. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:28]
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The rule book is a laughable mess.

The wooden tokens are way too small for big and clumsy hands.

The art is... missing in action.

The game is great and in small ways quite unlike any other I have encountered, but the so-called "production values" could use an uplift.
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9. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:129]
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The basic idea of playing an area card on an action - and not the other way around - is counterintuitive and at war with human cognition. After you learn it, it makes great gameplay, but you have to kind of unlearn stuff first.

The combat tower is a wonderful innovation, but it makes a cluttered map on the board. Too many small wooden bits everywhere. I prefer cleaner and more simplistic ways of representing tactical situations.
 
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