Searching for the Spiel des Jahres winner
Ben Lott
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Why wait for the jury to vote? We have so many tools to figure it out for ourselves. Here are some of the methods I used to determine which game might win.
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1. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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Perhaps the worst method to find things out, especially since only one of them has been published in the US. But it looks cool in a graph...

Most Games Played
Stone Age = 2572 plays
Keltis = 221 plays
Witch's Brew = 150 plays
Marrakech = 123 plays
Blox = 56 plays

 

 
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2. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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This also seems quite ineffective, because these are calculated based on the next geeklist item.

BGG Rank
Stone Age = 99
Witch's Brew = 1477
Marrakech = 1629
Keltis = 1660
Blox = 3059
 
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3. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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The problem with this information is that those games that have more ratings get a distinct advantage in counteracting the dummy ratings that are added in.

Bayesian Average Rating
Stone Age = 7.27
Witch's Brew = 5.92
Marrakech = 5.88
Keltis = 5.87
Blox = 5.59
 
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4. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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Now we're getting a little more even-handed. Without those added dummy ratings you can get a more realistic comparison of which game is best.

Average Rating
Stone Age = 7.68
Witch's Brew = 6.75
Marrakech = 6.72
Keltis = 6.53
Blox = 6.08
 
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5. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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How about checking with the players who play these games the most (and have entered a rating)? That might give us a good idea of how good these games are after a few plays.

Players with the most logged plays (and a rating)
Stone Age = Thorwolf - Rated 9 after 60 plays
Marrakech = olavf - Rated 8.5 after 18 plays
Witch's Brew = minegi - Rated 8 after 7 plays
Keltis = Pancho - Rated 7.5 after 15 plays
Blox = Bulsara - Rated 6.8 after 6 plays
 
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6. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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Here is something really cool. I never realized we had the ability to do this in the Stats section until I read Phrim's list about the Common Rating Average. This is the Average Rating for users who have rated all of the games in the list. In this case there were 6 users who have rated all 5 SdJ nominees (toob, eizahn, montsegur, Rukus77, ludosophicus, LucyJo.)

Common Average Rating
Stone Age = 7.83
Witch's Brew = 6.42
Keltis = 6.33
Marrakech = 5.75
Blox = 5.08
 
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7. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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Well, according to everything I've read there is one really effective method for determining the SdJ winner (at least it worked in 2005 and 2006.) And that method is the BGG Virtual Stock Market. Here's the current standings:

BGG Virtual Stock Market
Stone Age = 40.80
Keltis = 33.00
Marrakech = 11.85
Witch's Brew = 8.80
Blox = 7.40
 
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8. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Lott
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Are we noticing a trend here? Although the jury has certainly made some surprise decisions in the past so nothing is set in stone. But maybe you just want to know more about the games so that you can make up your own mind. There is a perfect opportunity for you to hear all about the games at www.thespiel.net. In episodes 56 & 57 they review all the games.

So are there any other methods of figuring this out? Please add...
 
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