Rate Your Games Properly, Please!!!
Dick Hunt
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People seem (to me, anyway) to toss around BoardGameGeek's numeric 1-10 ratings for their games far too casually. For example, there seem to be an awful lot of 10's out there for the rather strict definition under which a game is supposed to receive that coveted rating.

The purpose of this particular list is to remind everyone just what BoardGameGeek's numeric game ratings are supposed to mean. While you may rate the games on this list very differently from the way I've rated them, I think you'll at least agree with the rationale I've used for rating them where I have.

While you cannot add stuff to this list, I don't think you'll really need to after you see how I've constructed it. Just look at it as entertaining and instructional. That will ease the pressure on me to actually make it those things! Thanks for your cooperation!
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1. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Baseball [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:1135]
Dick Hunt
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According to the BoardGameGeek rating scale, a game you rate as a 10 has to meet this standard: "Outstanding. Always want to play and expect this will never change."

Now that's a tough standard for any game to meet. How many opinions do you have in daily life that you seriously expect to NEVER change?? Strat-O-Matic Baseball is the only 10 in my entire collection. How does it achieve this lofty state? Well, I've been playing it for 33 years, so I guess you could say that my relationship with this game has stood the test of time! And you can ask my wife--my love for SOM doesn't look to be changing at any pace that she can detect! I've always spent too much time playing it to suit her, and I probably always will! Go Argyle Sox!
 
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2. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
Dick Hunt
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According to the BoardGameGeek rating scale, a game you rate as a 9 has to meet this standard: "Excellent game. Always want to play it."

That's a bit easier for a game to handle; at least this standard doesn't require eternal love! El Grande and Puerto Rico are the only 9's in my collection.
 
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3. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:342]
Dick Hunt
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A game you rate as an 8 is supposed to meet this standard: "Very good game. I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and will never turn down a game."

I've actually got quite a few games that meet this description: Wallenstein, History Of The World, Settlers Of Catan, Traders Of Genoa, Cosmic Encounter (Mayfair edition), Goa, Medici, and Alhambra.

The 8's are currently my most troublesome group due to the sheer size of the group. Far too often two of these games will be starting up at once in my gaming group, cruelly forcing me to choose between them. At the moment, Wallenstein would get the nod, but you'd see sweat beading up on my forehead while I was doing the nodding.

Currently, that's Wallenstein for me.
 
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4. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:792]
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A 7 is a "Good game, usually willing to play."

This is another crowded field for me, and I suspect it's the most crowded rating for most people. After all, you don't keep too many games around that don't at least meet this standard. My other 7's are Carolus Magnus (awesome for 3 players), Eurorails, Cities & Knights Of Catan, Starfarers Of Catan, Carcassonne, RAF, Empire Builder, Andromeda, Bohnanaza, Scattergories, Balderdash, Beyond Balderdash, Password, Vinci, and Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers.

"Did he just rate Password as a 7?" Yes, he did. For me, it's a "good game I'm usually willing to play." I'm fairly good at word games, but rarely get to play them because word games nearly always require opponents of similar skill levels. If you're the walking dictionary of your family like I am, just TRY to sucker anybody into playing word games with you! Anyway, older games like Password can often hold a 7 rating for decades, unlike certain rating-sliders I could mention where you won't play unless you get to be the race car, and not often even then.
 
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5. Board Game: Dante's Inferno [Average Rating:4.69 Overall Rank:15172]
 
Dick Hunt
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The 6's in your game collection should meet this standard: "OK game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood."

These are the types of games that can get played to death over a short span, and then go unplayed for months or even years before getting hauled out and beaten to death one more time. You don't grow to hate them or anything; they just go from hot streak to hot streak.

My other 6's are Seafarers Of Catan, Campaign Trail, Sid Meier's Civilization (The Boardgame), Rummikub, Rack-O, Casino Yahtzee, 25 Words Or Less, Blue Max, Acquire, and Fill Or Bust.

This collection of 6's wanders all over the map in terms of types of games, but that's just how it works. My collection is fairly eclectic, and it's probably odd to see a deep game like Sid Meier's Civilization rated at the same level as a game as simple as Rack-O. But hey, both of them fall under the description given for 6's around here!
 
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6. Board Game: Yahtzee [Average Rating:5.29 Overall Rank:15230]
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The 5's are where the ratings start to get a little brutal: "Average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it."

Personally, I don't care for this particular rating. Does "simply boring" really apply to something you're supposedly rating as "average?" It shouldn't, at least not in my humble but infallible opinion. Okay, so it's more infallible than humble. Sue me. I wish they'd use this description for 4's rather than 5's. I just don't like seeing a 1-10 rating scale where the mathematically average rating is used to describe "slightly boring."

My other "slightly boring, take it or leave it" games are B-17: Queen Of The Skies, Pirate's Choice, Sequence, and The Farming Game. These are all games I "leave" far more often than I "take," but none of them is bad. They're just, well, slightly boring!

Wow. These guys really DO know what they're doing!!
 
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7. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1087]
 
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The 4's in your game collection are supposed to be games that are "not so good, it doesn't 'get' me but I could be talked into it on occasion."

Now we're on the outside edges of the games I wonder why I still even bother to own. I guess I'm saving them for an "occasion." Backgammon is greatly loved by its fans, but it's just a game that doesn't grab me. The only other game that I own despite its lack of grabbage is The Farming Game, which was big with my family when it first came out because one of my brothers is a dairy farmer. But we played The Farming Game to death, and it has sat in my closet ever since.
 
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8. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2277]
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According to the BoardGameGeek rating scale, a game you rate as a 3 has to meet this standard: "Likely won't play this again although I could be convinced. Bad."

Welcome to that part of your gaming collection that you should seriously consider trading away on the 'Geek, or just plain trashing if your copy is in an untradeable condition. I mean, let's get serious! "Likely won't play this again" and "bad?" What the hell are you hanging on to this turkey for?

And then he launched into a list of his other 3-rated turkeys: Carrier, Submarine, Circus Maximus, and Gladiator. This category has collected a weird group of games for me--I don't claim that there's a thing wrong with any of these games. There's just something about each of them that turns me off. For Carrier and Submarine, it's the usual wargame depth of their rules, something I've never been able to wade through. Circus Maximus doesn't have a "difficulty to fun" ratio that appeals to me, being harder to figure out than it is fun to play. Gladiator is just dull for me, an exercise in algebraic formulae on every move you make. As for Stratego itself, I don't like "memory games," those contests where you're screwed if your opponent is a lot better than you are at remembering what that piece over there was when you revealed it five minutes before. I suck at memory games. Hell, I even call my wife "sweetie" so that I don't have to remember her name quite so often.
 
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9. Board Game: Monopoly: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:5.27 Overall Rank:15161]
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Your 2-rated games have a hilarious standard to meet: "Extremely annoying game, won't play this ever again."

That's Monopoly in spades for me. And I don't care if we do stick to the rules as they're written. For this game, the "playing time to fun" ratio is completely out of whack. A game that can take five hours to slog through needs to be a lot more fun for me than Monopoly has ever been. Like everyone else, I played it tons as a kid and don't care if I never see it again.

So why do I still own it? Because I have kids. That's my only excuse. And it's not even a good one, because I can't remember the last time I saw my kids playing the damned game.
 
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10. Board Game: Attack! Expansion [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
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If you're fool enough to have any 1's in your collection, they're supposed to completely piss you off: "Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly Broken."

It's the "clearly broken" part that sunk Attack! and its expansion to this low state, but the fact that the game is completely fix-able keeps it in my possession. The game is clearly broken, but the fixes are so clear to me that it's amazing that the expansion was ever released as is.

This game can be salvaged, but it will take a ton of house rules and the time to write them all out. Until I get really ambitious (read: bored) one day, this game will gather dust. It's the only 1 in my collection because any other 1's I've seen have failed the "fixable" test and been thrown out, given away, traded away, or garage saled away.

So if you have any true 1's in your collection, you'd better have a darned good excuse!
 
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