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Subject: For the Meeple, by the Meeple (THE Top Ten) rss

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Michael Carpenter
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West Virginia
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In the world of private tennis instruction, tennis pros try to develop "common threads" in each stroke of each of their students. There is no limit to the number of different ways you can swing a forehand, a backhand, or a serve, but there are a few very distinct common threads that are necessary in each stroke to help the student try to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in their strokes. I'm not going to get into those threads specifically but I would like to apply the concept to board games. We have tens of thousands of board games available to us to play, critique, rate... and yet there is seldom much commotion and rearrangement in the top ten board games on this website's rankings. So it leads me to wonder if there are some common threads in these top ten games...

Now I know the obvious statements here are that the games are good, they're well-designed, etc. What I am looking for is if there are any specific things that each of these ten games or a majority of these ten games do especially well that set them apart from the other highly ranked games. I would consider things like theme, cooperative designs, legacy designs, mechanisms, and other specific details of the games as nuances or tweaks to the overall concept of board games while an example of a potential common thread would be depth of strategy, replayability, fun factor... I'm not saying these are necessarily correct, just some examples of conceptual things that can be present in all games rather than details of the specific design. My specific interest is determining what common threads hit the largest portions of audience.

Also,

Is there a separation between these games and the other highly ranked games or have we simply amassed too many games to consider just ten to twenty games the upper echelon?

Are the top ten games recipients of some other kind of fortune? Hype, Nostalgia?


*If you don't find the top ten games to be an accurate depiction of the top games in the hobby tell us about what common threads your favorite games have?




If you would like to check out my reviews, please check out my geeklist For the Meeple, by the Meeple
 
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Jason Stone
Australia
Wavell Heights
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I think the common threads are not what we all like about the highly ranked games , but rather what we all don't like about the lower ranked games.
 
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Melody Klein
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MariettaTennis wrote:
*If you don't find the top ten games to be an accurate depiction of the top games in the hobby tell us about what common threads your favorite games have?


Good expressions of the deckbuilding mechanic and good puzzles.
I'm under no delusion that my favorite games are an accurate depiction of the top games in the hobby for anyone but myself. I'm also under no delusion that the top 100 games list on BGG is an accurate depiction of the top games in the hobby for anyone, but only of the most popular on BGG in the aggregate, and even that is not by a significant margin due to the way the ratings are formed with dummy votes and other arbitrary rules.
 
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Michael Carpenter
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JuanLiShai wrote:
I think the common threads are not what we all like about the highly ranked games , but rather what we all don't like about the lower ranked games.


That's an interesting twist and I think you are right to a degree, but there has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere, whether it is after #10 (and it's not) or #157 or any number, there has to be a tipping point or a decline that begins somewhere. I'm not really looking at great games and bad games. I'd like to know what people think make great games great and not just good. I'm assuming that whether people like the top ten games or not, it is hard to deny that they are great games. There are certainly more than ten great games, I just started there.


For me, I really enjoy Patchwork. I could sit and analyze that game for hours and not find something I think is poorly implemented or unnecessary that negatively hurts the game. Patchwork is #36... That is a very respectable number for Patchwork in my opinion. Then you have Revolution. This is another really good game with nothing that seemingly breaks the game and yet it is #831. Is there something about Patchwork's design that makes it that much higher than Revolution or are there outside forces at work in these ratings like was mentioned.


Anyway, one common thread I think all great games have is replayability, whether that replayability stems from the fun the game provides or the strategy or the variability in each play-through. That would at least start to explain the difference between Patchwork and Revolution because there's no way Patchwork will play the same from game to game, but Revolution can certainly develop a rut for the strategy you take.

Then you look at Pandemic: Legacy and it is the epitome of no replayability depending on your take of whole versus parts.

 
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