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Subject: No more Mister Nice Guy :-) rss

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Guillaume
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rahdo wrote:
With that in mind, maybe you can see me giving something a 7 is pretty high praise? Basically, since I don't give anything a 10, you can basically consider my calling a game a 7 the equivalent of anyone else calling it an 8


100% agree with this. The runthroughs, not the final thoughts, are there to help us figure out the games we would like, and it works very well. I purchased Coal Baron for myself even though there is maybe 100 games you rate higher than this.

However, it would still be nice to hear more about how the game compares to others. I too was a bit surprised at the rating you gave Praetor because you said nothing bad about it. The fact is to us who have a much smaller game collection and purchasing power, deciding which game to buy is difficult. Sometimes, two games look equally interesting.
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Raphael G.
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Richard, obviously the Final Thoughts are really useful to understand what makes a particular game suitable or not for you, especially thanks to your open-minded attitude toward theme, as well as your insight regarding game design.

So I, too, would be very disappointed should the Final Thoughts be removed from your format. It's just up to us to share your liking or not, based on our own preferences.

Many times you've been saying "design is smart, mechanics are good but I/we don't enjoy it" which makes clear it's all about one's taste.
No reason to fall back or apologize for explained personal statements.

Runthroughts naturally become reviews for the audience.
Does this really have to be debated ?

That being said, I admit that I sometimes found difficult to tell which games you like most just based on your videos (except for those top 10 games). Indeed, your comments are usually enthousiastic -well, you do like playing these games !- so words can eventually be confusing... However, you made the effort to provide numbers too : an extravagantly detailed ranking on your BGG page.


Maybe a legal recommendation would be to put a link leading to this ranking on your videos, as some kind of disclosure. "Don't listen to me, read the full contract". Hey, that's an idea for the 2015 Kickstarter's stretch goals : funds for a lawyer !

Well, don't let negative feelings from outside affect your nice, ingenuous, passionate, rich & smart work, for which I thank you again.
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Michael Weber
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gameraf wrote:

That being said, I admit that I sometimes found difficult to tell which games you like most just based on your videos (except for those top 10 games). Indeed, your comments are usually enthousiastic -well, you do like playing these games !- so words can eventually be confusing... However, you made the effort to provide numbers too : an extravagantly detailed ranking on your BGG page.


Come on give the reviewers in general a break. I keep wondering why reviewers are constantly asked to grade the games. Don't get me wrong I would expect a reviewer to express his opinion in some sort of grading. But why make them compare games to each other that are not really comparable. Can you tell which 10 games you like BEST in your collection? I could not do so because they are so different and often my choice would depend on my mood. Ask me today and I will give you 10 games, in two weeks time I will likely give you 10 different ones.

Also there are so many factors that have to judged here - so for instance in my understanding Rahdo plays with two players most often and it is really important to him that the games are good two player games. I hardly play two players so Rahdos judgement on game a is BETTER than game b does not really help me does it? (unless of course the games use the same mechanisms)

On top of that you have the cult of the new strongly in here as well. I just love the Secret Cabal's section in which the re-review their evaluation of a game after a years time - most of the games the re-review have lost their shininess...
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Marcus Boyce
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Mixo wrote:


Also there are so many factors that have to judged here - so for instance in my understanding Rahdo plays with two players most often and it is really important to him that the games are good two player games. I hardly play two players so Rahdos judgement on game a is BETTER than game b does not really help me does it? (unless of course the games use the same mechanisms)...


Both numbers and reviewers opinions don't automatically mean the games going to work for somebody else anyway. I watch Richard's videos because I enjoy his review style and often play two player games with the wife. However so far there have been games that Richard has reviewed that I've gotten and think are better than what he thinks, for example I think Caverna is much better than Agricola, and others that haven't worked out as well. Troyes has fallen flat. It looks like a good game for me and the wife based on the Run Through, and Richard gushes over it, but I felt there was too much symbolism and that distracted from the game. My wife felt it was "too fiddly" and really didn't like it.

So, in the end, numbers and glowing reviews only go so far. In the end you either like the game when you actually play it or not. I really, really dislike T'Zolkin for example yet when I watched Richards run through I added it my wishlist. Thankfully I played it before forking out the cash, because unlike Troyes I never want to play T'Zolkin again.
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Scot Duvall
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This is truly amazing because I could have sworn you loved, for example, Concordia, and a few others that were on your above list. I have actually purchased these games based on your runthroughs.
 
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Chris Wood
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ScottNotSteve wrote:
This is truly amazing because I could have sworn you loved, for example, Concordia, and a few others that were on your above list. I have actually purchased these games based on your runthroughs.


Who cares if he loved them or not, if the runthrough looked fun enough to you to buy it, that's the best review of all.
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Scot Duvall
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Taloncarde wrote:
ScottNotSteve wrote:
This is truly amazing because I could have sworn you loved, for example, Concordia, and a few others that were on your above list. I have actually purchased these games based on your runthroughs.


Who cares if he loved them or not, if the runthrough looked fun enough to you to buy it, that's the best review of all.


Exactly -- it shows you cannot just rely on Final Thoughts. His exuberance while playing the game spoke volumes.
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Sam Middleton
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I think Rhado's magic is not as an opinion machine ala Tom Vasel but his ability to convey mechanics through his magnetism as a presenter. To use as an example again, it is a lot like Mr. Vasel. Tom and Richard have these big personalities that they've used in differed ways to varied effects. I personally never watch Final Thoughts because I simply don't mind not knowing if Richard cares for a game or not, no offense! I just mean that by the end of a run through I have formed an opinion and further editorialization isn't going to effect that.
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Richard Ham
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ScottNotSteve wrote:
This is truly amazing because I could have sworn you loved, for example, Concordia, and a few others that were on your above list. I have actually purchased these games based on your runthroughs.


I did (and do) love Concordia. My wife Jen didn't though, which I talked about in my video for the game, which is why it's on this list
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Marcus Boyce
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ScottNotSteve wrote:
This is truly amazing because I could have sworn you loved, for example, Concordia, and a few others that were on your above list. I have actually purchased these games based on your runthroughs.


He does like Concordia, see his response above, but in the Final Thoughts he explained that Jen wasn't a big fan of the game. When you mostly play two player and the other player doesn't like the game that really reduces the games chances of staying in the collection.

I got Concorida based on Richard's Run Through because I knew I'd like it and I thought my wife would like it. She does (8.5 out of 10) but she doesn't like Troyes. I purchased both partially on what Richard showed during his run through and not his final thoughts.

The point here is you should judge the game on your circumstances on the run through. Watch a couple of YouTube reviewers (like me!) and read some posts on BGG. That should be enough to form a good guess of if the game is for you and your group. However it may be that despite the research the game still falls flat for you. That's why you can sell or trade games!
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rahdo wrote:

That was directed towards folks who simply watch my final thoughts, and decide on whether they should get the game based only on that, rather than on watching the runthrough and deciding for themselves whether they'd enjoy the game.

Honestly, I'd be happy to not do final thoughts at all (like Rodney Smith, of Watch it Played), but I've got an established format now, so I feel like I should stick to it.

First of all, I hope you stick with it - as I said I really enjoy both your runthrough and final thoughts.
I always as a minimum watch the runthrough and final thoughts, usually also the extended - for me they are extremely valuable together. As I said, giving your view on how it plays the second time, what Jen's feels about it, etc - it matters, at least to me, in making up my mind about the game.

And I personally can't see any problem in people that only watch your Final thoughts - maybe they know the game already, but values your opinion. Like with other youtubers / "reviewers", I watch it for 3 reasons - information, entertainment and personality. I can get the same information else where - but all the small errors, the occupational ramblings and everything else is part of your charm and therefor part of the shows charm. Before my nose becomes to brown, I will try and get to my point

Like with other personalities, either on youtube or anywhere else, they have opinions, preferences and is shines though in what they do. Therefor as a viewer / consumer I have to keep that in mind. With you I know you mostly do games you like, you do like euro's and dislike conflict orientated games. Therefor I have to keep that in mind, when watching any of your video - because it shines through in your runthroughs as well (which is fine by me). E.g. when you play CV and Last Will, these runthroughs shows the games in a different light, than how I would presume others play them. You add story to your character and give it life - where others would properly attack it more mechanical. I find that interesting and shows me what makes them great to you, and why I properly shouldn't buy them.

So I think if you removed Final thoughts you would still be doing it, only as part of comments while playing. It's part of your personality, as I see it, that you comment on e.g. great functions, mechanisms and incorporation of theme. Maybe that is an occupational hazard of your former job as a game designer. Again I find it valuable that you do it and it's part of the greatness that is "Rahdo Runs Through"


rahdo wrote:

Well, I gave Praetor a 7, which means, according to the official BGG defintion, that it's a good game that I'd happily play most any time. And that's true. Also, I have it has a high 7, very close to an 8, which is "love it so much I'll always push it on others".

In short, for me,

5="not really a fan"
6="it's okay"
7="oooh, I'm really liking this"
8="OMG this is amazing, one of the best"
9="As close to perfection as possible"
10=I don't have anything rated a 10.

With that in mind, maybe you can see me giving something a 7 is pretty high praise? Basically, since I don't give anything a 10, you can basically consider my calling a game a 7 the equivalent of anyone else calling it an 8


Regrading this, I agree with you that giving 10 isn't really possible - but that doesn't mean your 7 becomes an 8 And it doesn't need to.
Again I just have to understand your final thoughts better. As I would have thought "Smiling from ear to ear" would give a greater placement on your list. And I think that is what I look at most, not the score but the placement compared to other games.
When thinking about it, that is properly something that would make the final thoughts really great, for me - if you compared it with other games, if possible. Like you did with Nations and Through the Ages. I know this would open up for more people going straight for the final thoughts - but again I don't see a problem in that.

Again sorry for the long post - hope it's comes of like more than just a ramble
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Richard Ham
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As a nod of solidarity with Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Review, who made a top10 most disappointing games of 2014 vid, and in that vid, freely admitted he didn't enjoy doing it at all, I figured I'd do a similar list (though I'm *not* going to do a video). So, for those who are interested:

top 10 most disappointing games published in 2014
10. Deus - brilliant game, and I was really stoked for it because I thought the conflict in it would be mostly directed towards AI barbarian villages, but the more we played it, the more we found it was too harsh for us. And we were mightily disappointed because we *LOVE* the core mechanisms. Disappointed...

9. The Ancient World - pretty much the same situation as Deus, great game, smart mechanisms, needlessly aggressive screwage woven into the game kills it for us.

8. Splendor - frankly, much ado about nothing. Maybe it's not the game's fault, it's really a small little trifle of a gateway, just a wisp of a game, really, and yet SO much praise was heaped on it, so much gnashing of teeth when it didn't win the Spiel des Jahres, so maybe we just went in expecting too much when we finally got to play it. But man, it was definitely a bit of a letdown. Solid, smooth, but ultimately very 'meh' for us.

7. Helios - really smart gameplay, gorgeous art, funky enjoyable theme, but almost zero setup variability makes it start to feel very samey almost immediately. Maybe expansions down the road might fix it?

6. Panamax - this will be another common refrain: disappointed because it's brilliant in its gameplay, but too much of what makes the game brilliant is lost when playing with only 2. This game really needed some sort of automated dummy player to replicate a 3rd player for it to be a keeper at 2, which is a shame because it's so smart in so many ways.

5. Fields of Arle - Uwe's designs over the years have been hewing more and more towards "sandbox" and as a result, we've enjoyed them less and less. As I said in my runthrough for this, we miss the Rosenberg shackles that force us to make tense problem solving decisions. The "don't worry, be happy" approach that Caverna and now Arle espouses is a turn off for us, unfortunately.

4. Orcs Orcs Orcs - this was a big bummer... really like the idea of deck builder fused with tower defense, made competitive instead of co-operative, and the production was stellar and the mechanics solid, but the game was just too simple. If we had kids, I could imagine playing with them and having some real family fun, but nowhere near enough meat on the bone to satisfy just the two of us.

3. Istanbul - like Panamax, thought it was a brilliant game that suffered with 2. I've talked about it at great length in the past, so no need to dredge up that debate, but in the end, no one was able to make an argument that convinced me my math was wrong, so off it went. It's a shame, really, because we loved a lot about that game, and honestly, with a bit of tweaking, I think the 2p issues that we found could have been resolved, but cest la vie.

2. 5 Tribes - well, there's the whole slavery thing, which again, doesn't need to be rehashed here, we can agree to disagree if you think it's fine to include it. Either way, we found the callousness of its gratuitous inclusion disappointment enough, but then on top of that, like Istanbul, the rules for 2p tightening of the gameplay really robbed the game of a lot of its wow-factor (IMO), and again, with some alternate approaches, it could have been made to work sooo much better.

1. Myth - hoo boy... the gameplay is undeniably innovative - the approach to so many standard tropes is really refreshing - the production is absolutely stellar. And when it works, it can be *so much fun*. But MAN, the documentation... the documentation! OMG! Makes me break out in a cold sweat thinking about the literally dozens and dozens of hours I spent trying to piece together the byzantine rules, like some sort of Talmudic scholar. Plus, for all the brilliance, there are a lot of frankly broken elements of the design *coughTRAPScough* Broke my heart this game did, but I talked with the guys behind it at Gencon at length, and I'm confident in the game's future, because they believe it in, and I believe in their vision, and I think the missteps can and will be corrected in time.
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Joel Eddy
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I love a couple of these (Splendor and Panamax especially), but can't argue with your thoughts regarding two player. It don't both me, and I will happily play them two player. But, if that was the only way (or mostly the way) I played them, I wouldn't be interested.

I do find Panamax more interesting with two than Splendor though.
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Jack Fleming
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I feel like a lot of the gnashing of teeth was more for Came Up winning over Splendor than for Splendor not winning.
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Daniel Diemer
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I saw on the most recent BGG newsletter that there could be an expansion to Istanbul. If they did one that made the 2p more varied, Rahdo, would you get this game again?
 
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Richard Ham
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I dunno... I'll be watching to see what's new with it though
 
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Kerstin
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I haven't made a decent Top or Flop 10 yet, but looking at the list, your number 2 and 10 might match mine exactly ... on the top however.
 
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Guillaume
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I absolutely love Five Tribes! It's my game of the year. I agree that the slaves are tiny bit in bad taste but I figured you freed them to help you (turning them into priests or whatever, not sacrificing them!). I don't have a problem with multiple turns in 2 player games. If anything it makes the game a bit less AP prone.
 
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Daniel Diemer
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Aww, the music stops when you click on the next page to read more comments
 
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Randy Espinoza
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Quote:
I love a couple of these (Splendor and Panamax especially), but can't argue with your thoughts regarding two player.


I know that all these lists and reviews are intrinsically super subjective, but when reviewing/commenting on a game there is something to be said about trying to maximize the amount of information about it, like how it plays with different player counts, mechanics, type of game, intended audience, etc, to essentially minimize the subjectivity of the review.

Case in point: some of these games are simply excellent... given the right number of players and in the right setting (family/light/strategic game, 3 or more players, etc), and I can't help feeling that having them in a list titled a bit negatively only because they don't fit a somewhat narrow niche (two player, a particular type of interaction between players, etc) is a bit unfair.

I like Cosmic Encounter a lot. But it's a game that shines with 5-6 players (with the right mindset) and it's really no fun with 3 players. If I had only access to 2 more players it would be kind of unfair of me to label it a dissapointing game. Perhaps a more positive way of framing my list of such games would be to call the list "Great games I wish I could play".

In any case, I enjoy both Joel's and Rahdo's contributions and must thank you both for them. Keep up the hard and good work.
 
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Richard Ham
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Oh, oops, I totally forgot one. So Deus is off the list, and in spot #3 is

3. Patchistory - OMG so broken hearted about this one! The core mechanisms are so brilliant and innovative. This could have been #2 best of the year, if it weren't for a) the boring "first era" which feels like long drawn out setup and b) the series of poor choices for 2p alterations that steals a lot of the cool from the game.
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Jason Reid
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rahdo wrote:
Oh, oops, I totally forgot one. So Deus is off the list, and in spot #3 is

3. Patchistory - OMG so broken hearted about this one! The core mechanisms are so brilliant and innovative. This could have been #2 best of the year, if it weren't for a) the boring "first era" which feels like long drawn out setup and b) the series of poor choices for 2p alterations that steals a lot of the cool from the game.


Largely agree with the first point. Some folks are working on variants to skip the first era and give people bonus starting tiles/resources instead, which I think the game could definitely use.

Can't speak to the 2p experience, but yeah, reading the rules of it put me off of wanting to try it.
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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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rahdo wrote:
Oh, oops, I totally forgot one. So Deus is off the list, and in spot #3 is

3. Patchistory - OMG so broken hearted about this one! The core mechanisms are so brilliant and innovative. This could have been #2 best of the year, if it weren't for a) the boring "first era" which feels like long drawn out setup and b) the series of poor choices for 2p alterations that steals a lot of the cool from the game.

Does this mean you'll soon be releasing a run-through for Patchistory? I'd be very interested...
 
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Richard Ham
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Could be, if I can get Jen to play it a bit more
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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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rahdo wrote:
Could be, if I can get Jen to play it a bit more

At the very least, could you outline here the 2P alterations that you didn't like? It would be helpful for my purchasing decision.
 
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