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Gathering Storm» Forums » General

Subject: Okay, explain the 4 rating...... rss

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Greg S
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For the record:

1. I don't have the game yet, although it is on it's way.
2. I don't use BGG ratings to determine which games to buy or which games are good/bad.

So far, 2 ratings: 8 and 4.

Explain the disparate ratings to me - why a 4?

Pre-supposing that nobody would really purchase this game without also owning A World at War, and also assuming that you wouldn't purchase this game if you HATED the other game, I'd like to know why it was given such a low rating.
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Robert Fox
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Geekmail the guy that gave it a 4. He'll probably give you the reasoning.

I haven't given the game a shot yet, as the footprint is too small for my small table, so it's waiting for room on my big table.
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john guthrie
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FuManchu wrote:

I haven't given the game a shot yet, as the footprint is too small for my small table...


you're blowing my mind here
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Robert Fox
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grafpoo wrote:
FuManchu wrote:

I haven't given the game a shot yet, as the footprint is too small for my small table...


you're blowing my mind here


The map itself isn't particularly large, it's the 5 country charts + the army chart + the naval chart.

Having all of them laid out takes up a bunch of room. You could minimize this if you wanted to track them by paper/pencil in a small binder. Doing so would reduce the footprint to a minimal area.

Also, you can go to ...

http://www.gatheringstorm.org/

To do some initial reading. They posted a few play throughs and one strategy article (outlining early Russian play).

My impression so far is the game is nowhere near as complicated as it appears on the surface, the rules just don't give very good insight on how to actually play. The Russian article in particular was very good. It looks like the game has Russia completing the second half of its 5 year plan as the game begins. Failing to get Russia's economy in order before turning to military matters can really tank their potential.
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David
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essayons7 wrote:
Pre-supposing that nobody would really purchase this game without also owning A World at War


I did. I liked the concept/description of Gathering Storm even though I've never played A World at War.

(I also haven't had a chance to play Gathering Storm yet, though.)
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Greg S
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AmadanNaBriona wrote:
essayons7 wrote:
Pre-supposing that nobody would really purchase this game without also owning A World at War


I did. I liked the concept/description of Gathering Storm even though I've never played A World at War.

(I also haven't had a chance to play Gathering Storm yet, though.)


Well, you know what they say about assuming..... LOL!

I know it can be played without AWAW, so I'm not surprised my assumption was wrong!
 
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Ben Bosmans
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My guess is that over 50+% of the ratings for ALL games come from people who don't even touch the game seriously.

Apparently for a lot of guys it is enough to open the box and close it 5 minutes later to rate it on BGG.

Most even have an opinion before they opened the box. or scrolled through a video from a self declared video reviewer.

So there you have your answers OP.
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chuck reaume
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The 4 could be from expectations that GS plays like AWAW which, from what I can tell, is not the case.
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St.John Wright
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It could also come from someone who understood what GS was but found the poorly-written rules, lack of examples and absence of any set-up guide whatsoever a big frustration and a huge disappointment. Perhaps they were also one of the many people who have not received all of the proper game components.

My own rating of the game went from an 8 to a 4, to a 2 and then a 1 as I was shocked to discover just how little effort had been taken to make this easily playable by someone who does not have a past master of the game on hand to explain everything. Now I'm not rating it at all in the hope that I can one day actually play it. Well, I have rated it as an 8; based on the quality of the design itself, this clearly doesn't deserve an overall score of 4. The more people who get this game, the better.

We just need some support from expert players on getting started...
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St.John Wright
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FuManchu wrote:
...the rules just don't give very good insight on how to actually play.


I could not agree more. GMT Games are my favourite game publishers, and I trust their work implicitly. So how on earth did GMT release a game where "the rules just don't give very good insight on how to actually play"? What other purpose should the rules serve?
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chuck reaume
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that is surprising. is it something an update to the rulebook can fix or is the game over all just flawed?

i was thinking of picking this up but definitely waiting now.
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Greg S
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SommeGrandads wrote:
It could also come from someone who understood what GS was but found the poorly-written rules, lack of examples and absence of any set-up guide whatsoever a big frustration and a huge disappointment. Perhaps they were also one of the many people who have not received all of the proper game components.

My own rating of the game went from an 8 to a 4, to a 2 and then a 1 as I was shocked to discover just how little effort had been taken to make this easily playable by someone who does not have a past master of the game on hand to explain everything. Now I'm not rating it at all in the hope that I can one day actually play it.


I agree, this seems shocking. Bad rules AND missing components. It pains me to hear of these issues with a GMT product.
 
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Bruce Harper
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I think some of these comments are inane. Most of the people who have actually played GS have found the rules to be clear. The game itself is not complex at all.

On Monday, at the WBC convention, a number of AWAW players intend to play and document a demonstration GS game, and post it in detail on the GS website in order to help newer players better understand exactly how to play.

But reading these comments doesn't do much to inspire me to make the effort, frankly. Maybe it's impossible to design a game that has substance but can also be played by anyone - if so, I will always prefer the substance.

Or perhaps this is just a website I should avoid, as the negative comments seem to outweigh the positive ones. Maybe this is the forum for complaints, and other forums (like the Yahoo discussion group and ConsimWorld) are for people who actually are interested in whichever game is being discussed.
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Greg S
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BruceHarper wrote:
I think some of these comments are inane. Most of the people who have actually played GS have found the rules to be clear. The game itself is not complex at all.

On Monday, at the WBC convention, a number of AWAW players intend to play and document a demonstration GS game, and post it in detail on the GS website in order to help newer players better understand exactly how to play.

But reading these comments doesn't do much to inspire me to make the effort, frankly. Maybe it's impossible to design a game that has substance but can also be played by anyone - if so, I will always prefer the substance.

Or perhaps this is just a website I should avoid, as the negative comments seem to outweigh the positive ones. Maybe this is the forum for complaints, and other forums (like the Yahoo discussion group and ConsimWorld) are for people who actually are interested in whichever game is being discussed.


Bruce:

First, glad you are posting here.

Understand my OP was NOT a condemnation of the game, simply an attempt to understand why the BGG rating went from around 8 a few days ago to a 4. This didn't seem to make sense to me.

Let me reiterate: I couldn't care less about the BGG rating. As a matter of fact, I reject all of the BGG ratings and refuse to rate any games myself. These ratings are all subjective, and are meaningless to an individual.

That having been said, the defensive tone you have taken is not only unhelpful, but quite saddening to me.

Please address the issues others have mentioned with your own take on them - clear things up for them.

My copy will be in my hands by Saturday, and I'm looking forward to it. I also look forward to your reply.

GregS
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chuck reaume
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BruceHarper wrote:
Or perhaps this is just a website I should avoid, as the negative comments seem to outweigh the positive ones. Maybe this is the forum for complaints, and other forums (like the Yahoo discussion group and ConsimWorld) are for people who actually are interested in whichever game is being discussed.


i find the opposite to be true. this is by far the most civil and positive site i've been a member of. sure you're going to find some negative discourse but for the most part it's not only civil but extremely helpful and informative. i suggest sticking around for a bit and checking out more threads before labeling the entire site negative.
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Robert Fox
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BruceHarper wrote:
I think some of these comments are inane. Most of the people who have actually played GS have found the rules to be clear. The game itself is not complex at all.

On Monday, at the WBC convention, a number of AWAW players intend to play and document a demonstration GS game, and post it in detail on the GS website in order to help newer players better understand exactly how to play.

But reading these comments doesn't do much to inspire me to make the effort, frankly. Maybe it's impossible to design a game that has substance but can also be played by anyone - if so, I will always prefer the substance.


I prefaced my original comment by saying that I haven't gotten through a full game yet.

My observation about the rules not giving good insight into how to actually plays came after I read through the rules twice. Usually after reading through a set of rules once I have a pretty good idea what the flow of the game is going to be. After the first reading, I read through again and still didn't really have a good idea.

I think not having a set-up section in the rules caused some of my initial confusion. The game is a nice collection of charts, counters, and cards but the rules don't initially help the player figure out what to do with them.

That's when I sought out other resources. I found the website very helpful, and setting out the components along with the resources from the website I was able to figure out where the game was going.

Putting out resources to help players is always a worthwhile endeavor. Just look at Empire of the Sun. When it first came out it initially received a negative impression. Mark's support of the game through replays and videos brought more people into the game that were initially put off by the unique card mechanics and misunderstood design decisions. Now it's one of the most highly regarded wargames currently on the market.

With my comments, I was attempting to show I had the same initial impression that some people have started with, but moved past it to see the potential with the game. I was hoping it would encourage others to seek out the same resources I did.
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One thing about AWAW/GS rules is they are written in a way that favours being effective as reference over 1st time learning.

It's a trade off...if anyone has struggled to find something in a verbose rulebook, they know the other side of the coin.

Playing my first game right now and enjoying it, not finding it as complex as it seemed after that first cover to cover read through. You just have to dive in and reference each section as you go through the SoP. It clicks very quickly, and all the various sub systems flow together really well, and definitely immerses you in the historical period.
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St.John Wright
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Mr Harper, what we need is your help and encouragement.

We want to play GS, we care about GS, we have invested our money and time in GS. We respect you as the designer of the game. I think the rulebooks should have been made more user-friendly, which was the work of a sub-editor - not the designer; yours is the vision, the passion that sees the game from an idea to a physical product, and the design of the game itself. The game design looks fantastic, just like AWAW - that what makes me so frustrated when I find that reading the rulebook doesn't get me to that "ready to play" state.

You can easily see on this website who has actually bought a copy of your game. I have. I have AWAW as well. This website offers you a great opportunity to reach those of your supporters/customers who don't visit Yahoo or Consimworld. I do hope that you will take it.
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Mr. Sloth
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I am not AWAW fan nor have I ever played it, but I did get to play Gathering Storm with a seasoned AWAW vet recently and we quite enjoyed it. Getting it setup and understanding the rules initially was terrible. We had to constantly reference the manuals to figure out what the crumb we were doing and if we were making legal moves. Many of the orders of operation seemed unnecessarily complicated or could have been handled better...I'm looking at you research.... Once you get the hang of it though, the game is actually very simple and turns go by quickly. My friend as the allies ended up declaring war on me two years earlier than normal but I still ended up with more victory points. I didn't realize that I had left him open to declaring war by being overly aggressive with Italy. Next game should go by way quicker and I look forward to figuring out how our premature WWII declaration would play out in AWAW. To summarize...it's a really cool game if you are into WWII. Be patient with the rules at first as the game should drastically pick up pace once you and your mates get into the swing of things.


edit: one thing that really bothered my simple brain at first was adding income each turn...they make it easy by giving you + or - indicators on your countries tab sheet. They did this on everything you need to keep track of except for military factories. I get that you just need to count them individually but when you are just learning the rules it's another thing that you can easily over look and I wish they just would've been consistent.
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Gary Goh
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As the annual AWAW convention will be starting in early August, it will be some time before a reply from Bruce is in.

I do recall vaguely reading somewhere that the convention attendees will be doing a play walkthrough which will be available for everyone, so let's wait and see what comes out after the convention ends.

I will give GS a playthrough (solo and/or otherwise) over the next few weeks, and will try to shed more light on how things work.


Edit: LOL...the comment was made by Bruce seven posts up. I feel like an idiot modest
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Michael Olsen
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BruceHarper wrote:

But reading these comments doesn't do much to inspire me to make the effort, frankly. Maybe it's impossible to design a game that has substance but can also be played by anyone - if so, I will always prefer the substance.

Or perhaps this is just a website I should avoid, as the negative comments seem to outweigh the positive ones. Maybe this is the forum for complaints, and other forums (like the Yahoo discussion group and ConsimWorld) are for people who actually are interested in whichever game is being discussed.



As one who is currently gathering information about the game in an attempt to evaluate whether it holds enough interest for me to warrent a purchase, I find the developer's reaction to negative feedback fairly disturbing.

Therefore I find it necesary to ask the developer: Do you intend on offering support (answer rules questions in a reasonably timely manner) on bgg?

Thanks in advance for your reply.
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St.John Wright
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I have read the Rules again, visited the Gathering Storm website, read everything I could there, set the game up as best I could and...

I cannot play this game. The rules are a series of notes to help people play the game once they know how to. If you don't have someone who has already been let in on the secret, then hard luck.

How did this get released?
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Greg S
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SommeGrandads wrote:
I have read the Rules again, visited the Gathering Storm website, read everything I could there, set the game up as best I could and...

I cannot play this game. The rules are a series of notes to help people play the game once they know how to. If you don't have someone who has already been let in on the secret, then hard luck.

How did this get released?


I hope that Mr. Harper's reaction in his one and only reply does not mean he intends to ignore any questions here on BGG.

I notice that there is not yet a CSW page dedicated to GS, so there is no place to ask these questions there either. I truly hope to get this to the table soon after it arrives, but my hopes are fading....
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BruceHarper wrote:
I think some of these comments are inane. Most of the people who have actually played GS have found the rules to be clear. The game itself is not complex at all.

On Monday, at the WBC convention, a number of AWAW players intend to play and document a demonstration GS game, and post it in detail on the GS website in order to help newer players better understand exactly how to play.

But reading these comments doesn't do much to inspire me to make the effort, frankly. Maybe it's impossible to design a game that has substance but can also be played by anyone - if so, I will always prefer the substance.

Or perhaps this is just a website I should avoid, as the negative comments seem to outweigh the positive ones. Maybe this is the forum for complaints, and other forums (like the Yahoo discussion group and ConsimWorld) are for people who actually are interested in whichever game is being discussed.



This is like the Author's Big Mistake (a term used in writing forums) - the author who stumbles across negative reviews of her book on Amazon and proceeds to flame the reviewers for being stupid, illiterate, and not "getting" her book.

I bought this game, and am hoping that when I get a chance to try playing it I will not find the rules as cumbersome as some folks here are saying they are. But Mr. Harper's response above would probably have lost GMT a sale if I had seen it before it shipped.

That said, I will be at the WBC and hope to see the game demoed.
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Robert Fox
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In the grand scheme of things, Gathering Storm is considered linked to A World at War. They didn't want to split the discussion, so Gathering Storm is discussed under A World at War on Consimworld.

That being said, the player base for A World at War stays on the Yahoo message boards. If you'd like to have questions answered, the quickest way would be to head on over there and ask. They are mostly friendly, and are diehard AWaW fans, so they're pretty good with answering questions quickly.

I'm not quite sure why they stayed with Yahoo groups and not with Consimworld where they'd get more exposure ... but that's how they've set themselves up.

I'd gladly answer Gathering Storm questions here, except I haven't gotten a game in yet and I won't be able to for at least a few more weeks as my big table is currently occupied for tasks other than gaming.

Yahoo group is here:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/aworldatwar/info
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