Welcome to the GaGa Zone: Wargames with High Fanboy bases and lots of LUST: 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming Edition
David Dockter
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From gallery of Herr Dr


From gallery of Herr Dr


A few years ago, I performed an analysis regarding Lust Factor (# of people want the game in trade/# of people wanting to trade the game). List is here: Lust. Top 266 Wargame Analysis. (I flipped the stat around on that list; have corrected it here) .

Basically, I believe that LUST is probably the key stat (people voting with their ownership of games) - along with FAN BOY (# of fans per owners) that a game attracts. Raw ratings (BGG's 1 to 10) have issues commonly cited not only with BGG, but with any crowd sourced review website; they are directional only (I find the associated comments much more helpful).

This weekend, after pushing blocks on Strike of the Eagle, I got a bug to examine games published in the 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming (specifically, in the last dozen years) to get a feel where the hobby has been heading by taking a look at the games that drive us GaGa.

I sorted thru games with at least 300 owners. The ranking is a simple average of where the game ranked against the other 49 games in terms of fanboy and lust. Case Blue originally came in at the top the ratings, so, it's probably not that bad of a methodology for what has grabbed warmers this last dozen years I then thought I'd take another look to see if I had missed anything. I had. Behold the top of the GaGa Zone currently: Enemy Action: Ardennes

I'm sure I missed some others (I don't have access to the BGG database, just the limited advanced search function - and my staff is overworked - point them out and I'll add them when I eventually do an update). One thing the 50 titles reveals is a decent (not complete) picture of what games have seized wargamers over the last 12 years. I've played many of them and the quality of games seems to be improving. Of course, there are issues with the data: at the extremes, lust is messed up (too few/too many produced), cult of the new (eegads), etc.

Another issue is that the GaGa ranking, OF COURSE, only reflects the GaGa within the niche the game found or is aimed at. For example, the niche for CASE BLUE is smaller than the niche for Twilight Struggle - tighter - and hence gets an artificial pump.

And another issue is where a game is in the GaGa cycle: just published and FLAMIN HOT (yes, CULT OF THE NEW ( Death to the Cult of the New: Top 100 wargames without grade inflation ) very present here - almost a 50% correlation with year published - the newer the game, the higher the GaGa factor), midlife blaze or older ember phase.

As an aside, the Class of 2005 led the way (with 6 titles). However, I suspect the class of 2015 may overtake it in a few years: it's been a great year for new war-games! Four 2015 titles already on the list and W1815 and The U.S. Civil War will join VERY shortly.

Somethings never change: SIX new WW2 tactical systems/series in the last dozen years.

The 50 by subject:

WW2 24
WW1/Between the Wars 5
Modern 5
Ancients 4
NAP 3
Future/Fantasy 2
ACW 0!
Other (Gunpowder/Middle Ages) 7

The 50 by scale:

Strategic & Strat/op: 21
Tactical: 10
Operational: 9
Power politics/COIN: 4
Grand tactical: 3
Air/Naval: 3

The 50 by game co:

GMT: 28!
MMP: 5
Clash of Arms: 4
Compass: 2
Decision: 2
Academy: 2
Columbia, Worthington, Sexism, Simmons, VPG, LLP and FFG all 1

13 heavy weights/monsters: THIS is good.

Decent trend to introduce more politics/friction/interactivity/sh*happens into games, better bits, MORE flavor (BELOVED CHROME!)...and some really decent multiplayer games: let's hope the next dozen years are as good.

From gallery of Herr Dr

lots of recent action in the middle of the chart

I'll try to keep the list updated - and, since this is v1.0, I'll tighten up the requirements for making the list in the future and add a couple of notable exceptions I missed.
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Board Game: Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939
David Dockter
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REALLY like this game/package.

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Fab game: Tons of Heart, Little Hood: 1st MN's Winter Thaw Meets Mokszycki’s Red Winter: Jan 23, 2015
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27. Board Game: Navajo Wars [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:1354]
Board Game: Navajo Wars
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Tip of the hat to designer tackling this topic. Haven't played, but a few at the club recommend.
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28. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:487] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
David Dockter
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Only space 4x game on the list.
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29. Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:857]
Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front
David Dockter
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Haven't played the system, but can't resist now that it includes Italy 44.
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30. Board Game: Genesis: Empires and Kingdoms of the Ancient Middle East [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:4234]
Board Game: Genesis: Empires and Kingdoms of the Ancient Middle East
David Dockter
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From gallery of patton55


Improves on PAX: Some Bronze Age Friday Nite Hittite Fun: 1st MN Gives Berg's Genesis a Whirl: July 31, 2015
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31. Board Game: Ottoman Sunset: The Great War in the Near East [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2278] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Ottoman Sunset: The Great War in the Near East 1914-1918
David Dockter
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VPG makes an appearance on the list (although No Retreat! was originally their system I believe).
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32. Board Game: Triumph of Chaos [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:3035]
Board Game: Triumph of Chaos
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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LUST of 11 in 2008 (out of stock since then) vs 5 today.

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Pre-rant

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ToCv2 play testing Summer 2015...The Source...MSP

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...more ToCv2 with underpaid plabytester... Winter 2017...NYC

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v2 coming in 2018: Triumph of Chaos v.2 (Deluxe Edition)
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33. Board Game: A World at War [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:3633] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Board Game: A World at War
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Board Game: A World at War

Annual WBC tourney


The beast, that thankfully gave us one of the best bits EVER on BGG or CSW: A life-altering game deserves this kind of session report.
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34. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:565]
Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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1st game on the list to violate the conditions for being on the list: at least 5% fans and 2x LUST ratio. This one has 10% fans (among the highest), but, basically no lust. What gives?

Also, this is the game that invented the LUST factor. Back in 208, it had a LUST rating of 170 (170 wanting the game, one crazy soul was trading it; I wonder if they ever did).
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35. Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:4171]
Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Family: Series: 1914 (GMT)


Spawned an evolving series.
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36. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:2119]
Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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37. Board Game: Strike of the Eagle [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1807]
Board Game: Strike of the Eagle
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of patton55



Played Friday (the item that prompted the list). AAR: Clever Orders, A Cloak of Invisibility and A Place Called Suvalki: 1st MN Gives Strike of the Eagle a Go, OCT 23, 2015
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38. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:134]
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients
David Dockter
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39. Board Game: Under the Lily Banners [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:3101]
Board Game: Under the Lily Banners
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of GenjiSiKaanu


2nd in the fab Series: Musket & Pike Battle (GMT) : a fav at First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society : Musket & Pike: Boot Camp, 1/24
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40. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:575]
Board Game: Washington's War
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Its father game kicked off card driven war-game genre. And, its always been a great tourney at WBC on saturdays.
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41. Board Game: It Never Snows [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:4091]
Board Game: It Never Snows
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Does Operation Market Garden ever get old? No.

1st in the new monster SCS series...

AAR: Turn Back the Clock with a BIG DUMB MONSTER: 1st Mn Hits the Day of Days Beaches: SEP 4, 2015

From gallery of Herr Dr
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42. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:369]
Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
David Dockter
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From gallery of Herr Dr


From gallery of Herr Dr


Initiated the massively popular COIN series.
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43. Board Game: Silent War [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2449]
Board Game: Silent War
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Bought it when it was first published, but, haven't managed to play.
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44. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:1809]
Board Game: Unhappy King Charles!
David Dockter
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Board Game: Unhappy King Charles!


Still have to give this one a go.
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45. Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:1589]
Board Game: Ardennes '44: The Battle of the Bulge
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Does the Battle of the Bulge ever get old? No.
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46. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:758]
Board Game: Empire of the Sun
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of AlbertaClipper

EotS 1st MN Boot Camp

Herman's fourth title on the list: it's been a good decade for him...and us.

Link to EotS staff game AAR:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/9bre3s9e6jsdb04/EotS_Staff_Gam...
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47. Board Game: Pursuit of Glory [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:2110]
Board Game: Pursuit of Glory
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
Board Game: Pursuit of Glory


2nd PoG genre game that makes the list: fabulous game. I've got to play it more. Bob H has beat me at least a dozen times in it.

Online WBC tourney beginning very shortly.
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48. Board Game: War of the Ring [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:118]
Board Game: War of the Ring
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
Groovy mobilization track for the camps/factions.
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49. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:531] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
From gallery of Herr Dr
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50. Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:3569]
Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
From gallery of Herr Dr



Berg's second game making the list. 3rd game in the series. Rejoice: THUNDERBOLT! (the 2nd Punic War) is in the works: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dcf9f95/6294 arrrh

From gallery of Herr Dr
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