UK vs. The Rest of the World: How our BGG ratings compare.
Andy Wade
England
London
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Stiff-upper-lipped, bowler-hat-wearing, industrial-sized-vat-of-tea-swilling football hooligans with a penchant for discussing the weather and an inability to avoid sunburn if venturing any further south than watford gap. Or so the stereotypes would have us believe.... Just to show that there's more to the Brits than a soap-opera royal family and chronic xenophobia, I've put together this list of popular BGG games and investigated how the we, les ros-beefs, rate them compared to the rest of the world.

I've separated the games into 3 sections; rather conveniently, that's how the sample i chose happened to fall: Those that have gone down well in the UK (like the Spanish Armada), those that, inexplicably, we agree with the rest of the world (probably not the french, though) and those that are viewed with distinctly more regard on foreign shores.

The commentary I have included below is based, almost entirely, on sweeping generalisations. It may, therefore, be some way from your what you might regard to be an accurate, or, indeed, competent, analysis
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1. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.11
BGG: 7.84
Var: +0.27

We love Taj Mahal! Perhaps its just that it reminds us of how far the influence of the once-great British Empire stretched, but there's no doubt that, compared to the rest of the world, we can't get enough of this game. Its untajable.

The top 6 games on this list were all similarly well-loved and a quick run-through of the games shows considerable similarities between them. All of these games would generally be referred to as 'gamers games' (Taj Mahal probably the least so); they are, on the whole, quite heavy games with interesting/novel mechanisms, some lacking a significant player interaction element.

Another interesting point of note is that of these top 6 games most contain a significant element of auction/bidding (Taj Mahal, Modern Art, El Grande, Die Macher). Maybe this explains the proliferation of antiques shows and David Dickinson-U-likes on TV.

I guess the word that best sums up these games is 'calculating'.
 
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2. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:100]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.64
BGG: 8.38
Var: +0.26
 
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3. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:185]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.29
BGG: 8.07
Var: +0.22
 
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4. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:53]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.36
BGG: 8.15
Var: +0.21
 
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5. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 9.06
BGG: 8.90
Var: +0.16
 
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6. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:227]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.04
BGG: 7.91
Var: +0.13
 
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7. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:217]
 
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.55
BGG: 7.50
Var: +0.05

Heading the 'we don't want to but I guess we'll have to agree you on these' section is Tikal. Tikal is a good example a tile-laying game, a category well-featured in this section. Other games with a significant element of tile-play making an appearance in this section include Acquire, Carcassonne, Durch die Wuste and Euphrat & Tigris. This, to me shows that while they don't exactly Tikal the British fancy, tile-laying games have Acquired a place in our hearts.

Other games in this section include both settlers expansions (seafarers and C&K) and the carcassonne expansion; clearly we don't feel too strongly about game expansion either.

Perhaps our lack of passion for tile-laying or expansion games is a result of the implosion of our 'empire'. This national failure is bound to make any right-thinking gamer consider deeply whether he wants to partake in an exploration/expansion game.

Or, more likely, we don't care too much for 'the luck of the draw'. Now I think about it, the games in section one seem to have very little luck involved, compared to those in this section.

Tile-laying games can be largely about managing risk, so, if I had to sum up what distinguishes the games in this section it would be 'risky'.

Note: One game in this section really seems to be a square peg in a round hole - Princes of Florence. I guess this game just goes to show that no sweeping generalisation can be perfect....
 
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8. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:206]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.84
BGG: 7.80
Var: +0.04
 
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9. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.87
BGG: 7.85
Var: +0.02
 
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10. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:435]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.77
BGG: 7.76
Var: +0.01
 
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11. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.76
BGG: 7.77
Var: -0.01
 
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12. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.19
BGG: 8.20
Var: -0.01
 
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13. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.50
BGG: 8.53
Var: -0.03
 
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14. Board Game: Catan: Seafarers [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.66
BGG: 7.71
Var: -0.05
 
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15. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.91
BGG: 7.96
Var: -0.05
 
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16. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1196]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 6.90
BGG: 7.01
Var: -0.11

Well, the final section. Games that are loved and revered around the world but receive a distinct lack of enthusiasm here in the UK.

There's not really much to discuss here, other than to say that we are obviously not a very friendly bunch; these games are exclusively games in which dealing with people is the main mechanism, be it through trading or negotiation, bluffing or cooperation...... and we can't stand it!

And I thought that stiff-upper-lip tag was just a stereotype. Just goes to show, doesn't it?..... I wonder how many national stereotypes are so close to the (boardgaming) truth?

I guess the word to sum up this section is 'friendly'.


----------------------------------------------------------

In conclusion, a detailed analysis of the psychology of the British people shows that they are calculating and can be risky but they are certainly not friendly.

What a suprise.
 
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17. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 8.03
BGG: 8.17
Var: -0.14
 
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18. Board Game: Pit [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1351]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 6.52
BGG: 6.69
Var: -0.17
 
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19. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.30
BGG: 7.49
Var: -0.18
 
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20. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:225] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 7.14
BGG: 7.37
Var: -0.23
 
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21. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1016]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 6.96
BGG: 7.22
Var: -0.26
 
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22. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
Andy Wade
England
London
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UK: 6.54
BGG: 7.30
Var: -0.76

And the loser is......Diplomacy. By a long way......

From this section it is clear that Brits don't want to trade/deal with their friends, but, on the upside, at least we don't want to stab them in the back
 
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