Uniquely Worded Rating Scale for Games
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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I always enjoy reading the rating scales of Gamers who have crafted their own criteria for a rating scale here on the Geek. Unfortunately, I don't have a scale to add but know that several are out there. I would like to see this GeekList become a collection of those rating scales.

The reason for the creation of this list is to find some wording that eliminates some of the conflict felt in rating games. Personally, I find the two criteria based on a game's quality and how frequently I would like to play creates two different ratings. While I understand that I could simply choose one of the two as my system, I am curious about other's rating systems that they have created.

I am going to add rating scales as I come across them to populate this list. If you find your scale here and would like it removed, I will do so immediately just GM me. If you contribute to this list, Thank You.
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1. Board Game Designer: Randy Cox (II)
chearns
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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On his profile, this is listed:

10 - really great game
9 - not as good as a 10, better than an 8
8 - not as good as a 9, better than a 7
7 - not as good as an 8, better than a 6
6 - not as good as a 7, better than a 5
5 - not as good as a 6, better than a 4
4 - not as good as a 5, better than a 3
3 - not as good as a 4, better than a 2
2 - not as good as a 3, better than a 1
1 - not as good as a 2

Which is pretty much what I do, plus I curve it so that my average rating is 5.5
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2. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Steve Mott
United States
Provo
Utah
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10 - Best (only a single game can hold this rating for me)

9 - Top 20% of 8's
8 - Good/Hot Games
7 - Top 20% of 6's
6 - Positive/Warm Games (these games lean positive)
5 - Top 20% of 4's
4 - Negative/Cool Games (these games lean negative)
3 - Top 20% of 2's
2 - Bad/Cold Games

1 - Worst Game (only a single game can hold this rating for me)

With this system, I just initially sort every game I play into a 2, 4, 6, or 8. As soon as a category has enough games to choose a favorite in that category, it gets bumped up to the next number. For instance, if I have 25 games with a "6" rating, I choose my 5 favorites from among that group and award them a "7" rating. As stated, I only choose a single game as my current favorite and award it a "10." Similarly, only a single game can be rated a "1" to serve as an example to all other games that come after it.

(edited for better visual distinction)
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3. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:47]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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Jon Baxter
Canada
Calgary
AB
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Supercalifragiliticexmealidocious
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Mars by 2050!
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How I Rate Games

= Addicted to it, will cancel plans to play if needed.
= Love it, will always play if I have the time.
= Loveable go to game, always ready to suggest it.
= Like it a lot and willing to play it a lot.
= Like it, usually happy to play unless I've played too much lately.
= Don't mind it, but usually prefer something else.
= Not a fan, will occasionally play for the sake of others.
= Dislike it, won't play if I have the slightest choice.
= Hate it, not worth the time, effort, or the feeling of being violated.
= Pile of monkey poo, can't be bothered to finish a 'game'.
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4. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:428]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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From:

Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
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Game Rankings:
I don't like the BGG definitions of the rankings. I will not always recommend Washington's War every chance I get (playing with my young children?), but it's still a "10" in my book. I don't do fractional ratings. Here is my definition:

10 = A+
9 = A
8 = A-
7 = B
6 = B-
5 = C
4 = C-
3 = D
2 = D-
1 = F
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5. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:953]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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From:

Severus Snape
Canada
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"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
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I am calling my ratings' system--system?!--the Yay-Meh-Blech system. The idea comes from Paul Bravey, and I thank him for it.

For those who care about such things, this is how I "rate" games: If I give a game a "10," it is because I like it very much; if I give it a "5," it is because I am so-so about it; if I give it a "1," I do not like the game; and finally, if I own a game but don't rate it, it is because I am not sure how I feel about it.

I feel life is too short to bandy around game ratings on a one to ten scale. "Gee, do I give it a 6.5? a 6.8? or a 7?" Duh. Is time so abundant in a person's life to justify such exercises in futility? And then there are those Geeks who love statistics, who love to make something out of nothing. Just how much emptiness in a person's life justifies making nothing out of nothing?

A more accurate understanding of how I feel about individual games can be found in my comments (though they tend to be brief), and in my reviews. I would like to write more, but it takes time & effort to write anything worth saying or, even more challenging, worth hearing. goo
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6. Board Game: Banzai [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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From:

Eric Lai
Hong Kong
Happy Valley
None
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A little about my rating system for games:
1) I will only give 1 or 2 points for games that are broken!
2) I will change ratings depending on new rules/variants tried and mark these changes in my comments.
3) 3 points means: Do not buy! This is crap in its current state.
4) 4-6 point games, please read the comments, some games are actually quite good, but my ratings need to put into consideration other factors such as quality of pieces and scope of the game and the relative score of other games. So even though I may give a game a score of 4, it doesn't mean is bad. So read the comments I make.
5) 7-8 point games are outstanding games, safe to buy if you like the theme and after reading a few more reviews and you still like the game. I like these games and will play them regularly.
6) 9-10 point games are legendary and should be seriously considered and I consider must haves.
7) Games that don't have a rating, just need another play before I add one, so I will add more as time goes on. I have played 95% of all the games on my list by the way, I just want a fresh perspective before adding ratings and comments to my newly formed list.
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7. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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From:

"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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About my ratings: I don't like BGG's definitions. "Always want to play" can only ever be under the ideal circumstances for the game in question. To steal a great line from my friend Rusty (kuhrusty), "EastFront is one of my favorite games, but if we only have two hours, or if there are five of us, or you're three years old, I would rather play something else. I'm still calling that a 10, though, because under the right circumstances, I'm going to suggest it!"

So, when I rate a game, it goes roughly like this...

8-10: A great game I want to play often.
6-7: Average games I'm willing to play.
4-5: Sometimes ok games I need someone to persuade me to play.
2-3: Games I never want to play again.
1: The game equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space

I only rate in whole numbers, because I don't have the patience to decide if game A is 0.1 or 0.5 or some other fraction "better" or "worse" than game B. I also happily give out 10's and 1's to games I feel deserve them.
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8. Board Game: Rommel in the Desert [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1037]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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If you were to combine the games I like, you'd get a Cheapass Columbia block game with Icehouse pyramids, with limited downtime, light rules, and just enough randomness to keep things interesting. Running over people with tanks, good. Forcing your buddies to fight each other, even better. Exploration and trade... not so much.

(I also tend to like bidding, blind bidding, and games where you have to predict what the other players will do.)

Here's what my ratings mean:
10 - Let's play this! (BGG's 8 or 9)
8 - Yeah, I'll play this! (BGG's 7 or 8)
6 - Well... OK, I'll play this. (BGG's 6 or so)
4 - Are you sure you want to play this? (BGG's 4 or 5)
2 - Dude, I'm not playing this. (Probably BGG's 2 or 3)

Here's why ratings are bogus: "I always want to play this" can only mean under optimal conditions for this game. EastFront is one of my favorite games, but if we only have two hours, or if there are five of us, or you're three years old, I would rather play something else. I'm still calling that a 10, though, because under the right circumstances, I'm going to suggest it!

Or take Family Fluxx: I would never, never play this with my regular group, but if my regular group is trickling in and there's a beginning reader who only has 15 minutes until bedtime, and he's excited about playing a game with the grownups, then it's about an 8, isn't it? What would be better? Maybe Geschenkt, but you can't really add new players in the middle, and you have to come up with some handicap ("you get 10 extra points," that's not so cool).

Or take Go. I'm not much of a Go player, so with a person who also doesn't really know how to play, I wouldn't suggest it. But if a good player wants to spend an afternoon schooling me, I'm all over that. What do I rate that, then?

New games, too: at this moment, End of the Triumvirate is sort of new to me, so I'm trying to push it on people whenever the circumstances are right.

Anyway, the result is that my ratings are skewed so high as to be nearly useless, but I don't see another way to do it. (The BGG guidelines just don't fit in my brain; I would never rate anything higher than an 8.) At least the relative ratings should give you an idea of what I like, in case you're trying to figure out whether a game I suggested will be your kind of thing.
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9. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:82]
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
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Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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As for my game ratings, I have adopted the scale proposed by dakarp, namely:

10: Outstanding game. One of my all-time personal favorites.
9: Excellent game. Always a pleasure to play. Shines under most circumstances.
8: Very good game. Rarely disappoints me. High on my request/recommend list.
7: Good game. Usually willing to play. I might even request or recommend it.
6: OK game. Some fun or challenge at least. Enjoyable in the right circumstances.
5: Average game. I'm indifferent, but may be willing to play.
4: Below average game. I avoid playing and would need to be persuaded.
3: Poor game. Will strongly resist playing.
2: Very poor game. I refuse to play this.
1: Dead game. Seriously negative entertainment value. Black Hole of Fun.
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