GCL Phoenix: Phoenix Prize 2017 (discussion)
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In GCL Phoenix 344: Spiel des Phönix (6th August 2017), Rich wondered about awarding a Phoenix Spiel des Jahres. (And in our comments, we quibbled about the criteria, adjudication, and parameters of such an award.)

For my part, I thought the idea charming. And - since it might take a little while to come to some agreement on the constraints - thought it might also be useful to have a not-intended-as-weekly place to come to some agreement.
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1. Board Game: Candidate [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:13392]
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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What games might be candidates for the prize? For sake of example, imagine if we restricted ourselves to things that we'd rated (and, ideally, played) that were published in 2016. If I limited the slate to things that at least four of us have rated, the candidates would be:
--
9p Terraforming Mars
8p Great Western Trail
8p A Feast for Odin
7p Scythe
6p Yokohama
5p Inis
5p Spirit Island
5p The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
5p An Infamous Traffic
5p The Colonists
5p Santorini
5p Quadropolis
4p Kanagawa
4p Tin Goose
4p 4 Gods
4p Fabled Fruit
4p Millennium Blades
4p Secret Hitler
4p Kingdomino
4p Imhotep
4p A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King
4p Honshū
4p Captain Sonar
4p Not Alone
4p ICECOOL
4p Codenames: Pictures
4p Kodama: The Tree Spirits
3p (16 titles)
2p (53 titles)
1p (136 titles)
--
(Read that first line "9 Phoenixes have rated Terraforming Mars.")

Unsurprisingly, this data is readily available on our Stats Page. Try 2016 by Rated.

What candidates would you want to see?
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2. Board Game: Prime Time: The Ratings Game [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Dave Peters
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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As is often the case when an Award is suggested, someone carps "We already have that information: just look at the ratings we've given."

We could do that, too, of course; but it's less interesting than voting!

2016 by Rating renders our average raw rating (so the leader is Agricola (Revised Edition), which Jeremy has given a _10_ and no-one else has rated. Next is Throne and the Grail which only Morten has rated, and a _9_.)

2016 by Rank renders the list by (a hidden) Bayesian average (it throws our ratings into a pool along with a set of average-ish ratings, and ranks the result. The leader there is An Infamous Traffic followed by Spirit Island.

2016 by Schulze shows the list by a Schulze ranking (where votes are implicit by rating. If you rate A better than B, that's considered a "A > B" vote.) Leaders there are: Spirit Island, Captain Sonar, Clank!, Factory Funner, and Tyrants of the Underdark.

Again, for sake of example, I'd like to propose we consider a Schulze vote using totally-ordered lists (much like the Golden Geek awards work). But how to specify the desired order?

How would you like to vote?
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3. Board Game: Rank [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Dave Peters
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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I think this is plausibly the most contentious - and, equally, the most interesting (for me.) Exactly what are we hoping to achieve?

Are we trying to choose the "best" game? (I could then possibly vote in favour of a game I don't like: my sense of "best" is often quite different from my sense of "most enjoyed.")

Are we wanting to restrict ourselves to a particular subset of games? Games published last year (or in the last year) is reasonable; but the first few SdJ awards were happy to grab historically-published titles - so that's not completely clear. Do we have a target audience in mind? (I'd suggest "us"; but I'd be interested to hear alternate arguments.)

As Tom has noted on several occasions (I love his rants about Crokinole on Phil's GCL Madness lists) some games are fundamentally not comparable. Do we want to restrict ourselves further? Spirit Island is a cool test case: separating the (significant) merits of the game from our association with Eric is difficult. And it's not even clear to me that one wants or needs to try!

What would you want to see as the scope and purpose of our (still-hypothetical) award?
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4. Board Game: The Name of the Rose [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1585]
Dave Peters
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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There's also the issue of what to call our (yes: still hypothetical) award.

I've used "Phoenix Prize" in the header, since that was what Morten's last comment had used. But I'd not want to restrict us. If we were to have an award, what would you want it called? (And would that name be contingent on, or constrain, the parameters of the award?)
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