Revisiting the GaGa Zone: Recent Wargames with High Lust, Fanboy and Wishlist Ratings: April 2019
David Dockter
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About a decade ago, I did an analysis of the Top 266 Wargames of all time:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?233@@.1dd309ee!enclosure=.1...

Somewhat updated 4 years ago with a list: Welcome to the GaGa Zone: Wargames with High Fanboy bases and lots of LUST: 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming Edition

Recently did a poster on evolution of wargames last 5+ decades:

From gallery of Herr Dr


Thought I would peek in on the list of wargames published since JAN 2016 > MAR 2019. The list is NOT comprehensive, but, I think I got most of them: 139. A few summary stats:

From gallery of Herr Dr


As a part of that, I constructed a Ga-Ga rating (10=max, 0=min) that is a function of Lust (# of gamers wanting the game in trade vs # trading it), Fanboy (# of fans/owners) and Wish (# of gamers with it on a wishlist vs owners). 30 games with a GaGa rating of 8 or higher. Wargamers appear to be quite happy with the most recent batch of games.

We're definitely in the 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming (going for about 20 years now). Was really surprised at shear quantity and diversity of whats been published the last 3 years.

Wargame hobby is damm healthy...and growing.. 66k owners of these 139 games published in the last 3 years. I own 14. I am a nut case. Let's say average for an "active" wargamer is 6. Why 6? Why not...2 a year of the newer titles. That would make 11k wargamers...of those bothering to list ownership on BGG. I think you could easily 5x it....probably 10x for "active" wargamers. 100k+? Why not. Not bad in the age of twitter/idiocy. Some hope for us

On to the list: TOP 25 GaGa Rated Wargames published in the last 3 year: go play and buy a few arrrh
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1. Board Game: Napoléon 1806 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:4958]
Board Game: Napoléon 1806
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My mates in Florida, NYC and MPLS seem to be playing this one a lot recently. GaGa rating of 10. Highest lust rating: 55x (meaning 55 want the game in trade for everyone trading it). Light game weight (under 3.0).
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2. Board Game: Maori Wars: The New Zealand Land Wars, 1845-1872 [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:8882]
Board Game: Maori Wars: The New Zealand Land Wars, 1845-1872
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Typical of the great diversity of topics in the hobby these days. Another light game (2.3 game weight).
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3. Board Game: Triumph of Chaos v.2 (Deluxe Edition) [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:7117]
Board Game: Triumph of Chaos v.2 (Deluxe Edition)
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Heaviest game weight of anything on list: 5.0 (but, minimal ratings yet). Beware the chaos. Highest fanboy rating of any game on list, high LUST (23x - 23x gamers wanting in a trade vs trading it) and Wish (1.4x - wishlists/owners). Of course all probably somewhat inflated due to it being published only 10 weeks ago.

High fanboy ratings I think mean that the game hit its target niche. Lust I think is the best rating of game: either people want it or not. Wishlist is also fairly decent, although, I'm guessing once it is on a wishlist, most do not prune.

The other heavy weights making the list...by era:

From gallery of Herr Dr
 
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4. Board Game: The Great Game: Rival Empires in Central Asia 1837-1886 [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:7722]
Board Game: The Great Game
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Saw it played at 1st MN last week. One of only two games on list with a game weight rating under 2.0.

Complete list of 2 player lighter weight games on the list...sorted by era.

From gallery of Herr Dr
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5. Board Game: Horse & Musket: Dawn of an Era [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:7094]
Board Game: Horse & Musket: Dawn of an Era
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Rounding out the top 5 with a GaGa rating of 10. Another light weight at 2.0.

Guess what: no WW2 game in top 5. Go figure.
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6. Board Game: Wars of Marcus Aurelius: Rome 170-180CE [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:6060]
Board Game: Wars of Marcus Aurelius: Rome 170-180CE
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I just picked this one up. Can't wait to play. There are 6 solitaire games here in this next group of 11 games with a GaGa rating of 9. Here is a list of the 1 player games in this group of 139 wargames I examined...ranked first by game weight, then era:

From gallery of Herr Dr
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7. Board Game: 1985: Under an Iron Sky [Average Rating:9.16 Overall Rank:7068] [Average Rating:9.16 Unranked]
Board Game: 1985: Under an Iron Sky
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Legendary Dan Dolan reportable digs this one. Guess I got to pick it up. A MONSTER on WW3. Heavy at weight at 4.2
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8. Board Game: Fatal Alliances: The Great War [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:7619]
Board Game: Fatal Alliances: The Great War
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Another beast. A monster. Weight of 4.3 So, of the top 8...3 beasts / heavy weights. Who says us wargamers are getting old and only want light meals?

Multiplayer games in the 139: By weight, then era:

From gallery of Herr Dr
 
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9. Board Game: The Lamps Are Going Out [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:4052]
Board Game: The Lamps Are Going Out
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Another one I probably need to pick up. Love the topic. One of two multiplayer games breaking the top 16.
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10. Board Game: Great War Commander [Average Rating:8.45 Overall Rank:2903]
Board Game: Great War Commander
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One of four WW1 games in the top 16. One of four middle weight games (3 > 3.9) in top 16.

2 player middle weights in the top 139.

From gallery of Herr Dr
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11. Board Game: N: The Napoleonic Wars [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:6937]
Board Game: N: The Napoleonic Wars
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Solitaire. One of two NAP games in top 16.
 
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12. Board Game: Mrs Thatcher's War: The Falklands, 1982 [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:6320]
Board Game: Mrs Thatcher's War: The Falklands, 1982
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Another Solitaire game. Guess Britain could use an Iron Maiden about now.
 
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13. Board Game: Urban Operations [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:7531]
Board Game: Urban Operations
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2nd modern era game in top 16.
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14. Board Game: Raiders of the Deep: U-boats of the Great War, 1914-18 [Average Rating:8.51 Overall Rank:5685]
Board Game: Raiders of the Deep: U-boats of the Great War, 1914-18
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First of three Air/Sea games in the top 16. Great topic: sub war. Third Compass Games title on the list (only game co with 3). In fact, lots of smaller publishers in top 16 recent wargames with high GaGa ratings.
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15. Board Game: Israeli Air Force Leader [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:5701]
Board Game: Israeli Air Force Leader
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Air game.
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16. Board Game: A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:8181]
Board Game: A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich
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Rounding out the top 16 of games with GaGa ratings of 9 or higher. And, finally a WW2 game. Shockingly, not on the East Front...or Battle of the Bulge.
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17. Board Game: Tenkatoitsu [Average Rating:8.52 Overall Rank:4011]
Board Game: Tenkatoitsu
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Was completely unaware of this game. Middle weight at 3.3. GaGa rating of 8.
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18. Board Game: Semper Fidelis: Bitwa o Lwów 1918-1919 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:7865]
Board Game: Semper Fidelis: Bitwa o Lwów 1918-1919
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Another off the beaten track topic.
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19. Board Game: Helsinki 1918: German Intervention in the Finnish Civil War [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:8177]
Board Game: Helsinki 1918: German Intervention in the Finnish Civil War
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Played this one twice recently (see my AAR). Big thumbs up.
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20. Board Game: Thunder in the East [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:5061]
Board Game: Thunder in the East
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Ok. WW2 East Front checks in. Bob H and Brooks are loving this one and can't get it off the table.
 
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21. Board Game: Königsberg: The Soviet Attack on East Prussia, 1945 [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5112]
Board Game: Königsberg: The Soviet Attack on East Prussia, 1945
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Played at Swampcon 2019. Thumbs up.
 
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22. Board Game: Target for Today [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:3371] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Board Game: Target for Today
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Air war. 3rd Legion game on list so far.
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23. Board Game: Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:5428]
Board Game: Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg
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Really like this publisher, Revolution Games. First ACW topic on the list.
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24. Board Game: Constantinople [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:11090]
Board Game: Constantinople
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
Love the topic. State of Siege game. 8th solitaire game on list.
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25. Board Game: Hands in the Sea [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1675]
Board Game: Hands in the Sea
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
First game with more than 1,000 owners on the list. Lots of wishers (gamers that have it on their wishlist): 800+ at the moment.

GaGa ratings favor games with lower sales (under 300): With higher sales, the impact of the dedicated following is somewhat muted. Also, there is not much correlation between number of owners and GaGa rating: -14%.

5 other titles also had GaGa ratings of 8 or higher: Stalingrad: Verdun, Combat Infantry, Battle Hymm Vol 1, South China Sea and 65: Squad level (I think the only Kickstarter game to make the list).

Here's the total list (click on it a couple times to blow it up to a readable size):

From gallery of Herr Dr
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