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Subject: Your litmus test game rss

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Matthew S.
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When deciding whether you should put much stock in the ratings and reviews or another user or reviewer elsewhere, what is the game you weight most to determine whether their opinion is valuable to you.

For example... My favorite game is Dungeon Twister 2: Prison, but I recognize that as a very specific niche (fantasy themed ^ perfect/near-perfect information), so while I take notice when people rate it highly*, I wouldn't hold anything against people who say it's not for them. Similarly, I have a spouse happy to play very involved games with me, which means I can actually get full games of The Colonists in without struggling to organize an event, but I understand that many people are not fortunate, so I wouldn't use that as a litmus test. No, for me, the single biggest tell is whether a gamer likes Keyflower. If you've played that and don't rate it at least an 8 (or a 5 on the 6-point BPPP/DoD/HC podcast scale), I'm almost certainly going to disregard your opinion on anything else as irrelevant to me.**

I'm curious to hear what games serve this function for other people.

*Early on, I mistakenly thought Tom Vasel would be a good indicator for me because he ranks this a 10. Subsequently, I've seen him omit Keyflower from both his Best of 2012 and Best of the Letter K lists, and learned how totally mistaken I was. (He also panned both The Colonists and Small City, another game in my top 10.)

**Other things that make me at least somewhat dubious including claiming that Race for the Galaxy is hard to learn or claiming that Chess is better than Go (Vasel, wrong and wrong again). Individually, I would forgive people giving 9 or 10 ratings to Dominion, Small World, and 7 Wonders, but doing so for all three would tell me that we have sufficiently different taste to not be worth bothering with.
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Ernie Bilko
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My litmus test falls more on the line of IF someone loves Memoir 44 than I take everything else they say with a grain of salt... Memoir 44 has several things in it that I just do not like at all(most notably the randomness) Secondly this doesn't mean that everything else they like or recommend is a definite no but 90% of it is. Sorry had to edit it to say Kudos to the Keyflower comment.👍
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TOPofDaMuffin2U wrote:
My litmus test falls more on the line of IF someone loves Memoir 44 than I take everything else they say with a grain of salt... Memoir 44 has several things in it that I just do not like at all(most notably the randomness) Secondly this doesn't mean that everything else they like or recommend is a definite no but 90% of it is. Sorry had to edit it to say Kudos to the Keyflower comment.👍


Ha! If someone waxes poetic about Viticulture and Robinson Crusoe I can be pretty sure I won't like anything they recommend.

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Ernie Bilko
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lucky henry wrote:
TOPofDaMuffin2U wrote:
My litmus test falls more on the line of IF someone loves Memoir 44 than I take everything else they say with a grain of salt... Memoir 44 has several things in it that I just do not like at all(most notably the randomness) Secondly this doesn't mean that everything else they like or recommend is a definite no but 90% of it is. Sorry had to edit it to say Kudos to the Keyflower comment.👍


Ha! If someone waxes poetic about Viticulture and Robinson Crusoe I can be pretty sure I won't like anything they recommend.



Looks like we fall on opposite ends of the rainbow. Luckily their is a pot of gold for both of us there.😊
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lampeter
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I think Pandemic is my litmus game. People who strongly dislike Pandemic seem to dislike certain attributes-- like the puzzliness, the thematic distance, or the possibility of quarterbacking a co-op-- that don't bother me about games. I take their criticisms of other games with a grain of salt.

I also look at how people rate Knizia games, because I love a good Knizia.
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Ryan
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Twister

If they lack the physical bendiness to play and review Twister, then I must question whether they also lack the mental agility to properly review games!

Right foot red!
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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When introducing new people to my (private) gaming group we get either Nothing Personal or Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery. If they hate those games, we know they aren't a good fit with our playing style in general.
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Ryan Keane
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I have never found a single litmus game. Someone might like exactly the same types of Euros as me but then hates some other games I love, like Memoir 44 - that doesn't nullify their opinion on Euros. Someone might like exactly the same Euro-wargames as me, but hate some Euros I love - that doesn't nullify their opinion of Euro-wargames. If someone is knowledgeable about a range of games and provides detailed opinions, their comments are useful to me regardless of what they personally rate each game. But when I find someone that likes a lot of the same Euros and Euro-games as me, that's golden and that person will probably be able to point me to a lot of other great games I have yet to try, but of course our tastes are still not going to coincide perfectly.
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BG.EXE
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I favor Euros, but I like pretty much all games.
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I like too many games for this to work. I also have friends with similar interests but some of us absolutely despise some games the others love. Couple quick examples, I love Trickerion, have a good friend who absolutely hated his experience playing it. Refuses to try again. My wife loves Terraforming Mars and I think it’s a luck-based garbage fest on rails. However all of us like Caverna, Acquire, Blood Rage, and probably a hundred other games.

I couldn’t leave my whole opinion down to one game.
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CHAPEL
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My litmus test of the worth or a reviewer, or a gamer for that matter is how they bid on the initial private companies in 1830: Railways & Robber Barons. It definitely separates the wheat from the chaff. Don't even peddle your wares unless you understand the bidding strategy of C&A rightly.

devil
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Kate Tristan
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It would be cool if BGG had a tool where you could dial in parameters to see a list of users who like games you input AND games you dislike.

Example for me:

Users who rate Battle Line 7 or higher AND rate Stone Age 5 or lower.
(Same user would be rating both these games)

Then I could see what OTHER games they like. Or change the games in my request to get different users.

And you could dial the number up or down, if you get too many/few results, and a 3rd or 4th game to the AND parameters.
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chris thatcher
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Wiz-War!. Interestingly The Dice Tower did not like at all. I would have thought Tom would love it.

But yeah, Wiz War in many respects sums up my group. We love take that and the silly theme.
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Greg
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My main test for a reviewer is how they respond to tension and cuthroatness in a game. For example, what are their thoughts on something like Food Chain Magnate? If they complain about the "meanness," then our tastes probably differ.

Also, another common point I look at is, what are their thoughts on the Agricola vs Caverna: The Cave Farmers debate? If they prefer Caverna because things are easier and more open, then we probably look for different things in games.
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Ryan Keane
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KT55 wrote:
It would be cool if BGG had a tool where you could dial in parameters to see a list of users who like games you input AND games you dislike.

Example for me:

Users who rate Battle Line 7 or higher AND users who rate Stone Age 5 or lower.

Then I could see what OTHER games they like. Or change the games in my request to get different users.

And you could dial the number up or down, if you get too many/few results, and a 3rd or 4th game to the AND parameters.


I know that exists but I can't find the link - it's a separate fan-made site. You enter the BGG game ID # and how high a rating you want to restrict the search to (e.g. 9+), it searches the BGG users that rated that game that highly, and gives you a list of all other games with an average rating among these users above a number (e.g. 8+). It doesn't tell you which users were part of the search though.
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Shane Davies
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Dominion - not necessarily that a player likes it, but if they've ranked flashier but mechanically inferior deckbuilders like Clank! and Star Realms above Dominion, I know that they value different things in games than I do.
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Derry Salewski
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Also keyflower. I ignore anyone who says they don't like it.

Someone's reaction to Race for the Galaxy also tells me a lot about them as a person/gamer. It's more nuanced than the keyflower test, though.

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Dave Horn
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deadwing wrote:
Dominion - not necessarily that a player likes it, but if they've ranked flashier but mechanically inferior deckbuilders like Clank! and Star Realms above Dominion, I know that they value different things in games than I do.


I'll give you Star Realms and Ascension and the like. But I can't fault anyone if they highly rate both Dominion and Clank! they are vastly different.

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Steve
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There isn't one. Vasel's a good example. Whether or not he likes a game doesn't correlate at all with whether or not I will. It's pretty much 50/50.

SU&SD too although I guess all I ever learn about a game from one of their videos is that they like Concordia better.
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David B
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I think discounting someone’s opinions in general based on their opinion of a single game is elitist snobbery.
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Derry Salewski
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pfctsqr wrote:
I think discounting someone’s opinions in general based on their opinion of a single game is elitist snobbery.


I fail to see how the words you use connect to anything the OP was talking about.

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Bryan Thunkd
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KT55 wrote:
It would be cool if BGG had a tool where you could dial in parameters to see a list of users who like games you input AND games you dislike.
That would be cool. The closest thing I've found is this correlation tool: http://korttipeliopas.fi/bgg/correlation.php

My litmus test game is Agricola. Anyone who gives it a favorable rating is probably going to like at least some games I like.
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Jimmy Smith
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If they like Ticket to Ride, I can't take anything else they say seriously
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Daniel
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I can't do this with a single game. I haven't found a single gamer or reviewer I agree with completely or disagree with completely. I might love someone's #1 game and hate their #2. No single game includes everything I love and excludes everything I don't.

But I if I look at someone's top 20 or 30 games, I get a general idea of how similar we are. If we have a few favorites in common, I'm at least interested in their opinion on other games.
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Beau McDaniel
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To a degree it really depends on the mechanic. For worker placement it's Champions of Midgard. For deck building its thunderstone. Each game is so different in their own right it's hard to lump then all in one big pile.

But that said, if someone goes on about how wonderful Ticket to Ride is then I can't actually take them seriously in any aspect of life
 
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Matthew S.
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(This is the OP, clarifying.)

I don't expect to agree 100% or disagree 100% with anyone. The point is that time and attention are limited; a litmus test game is good for deciding whom you don't need to waste time listening to, even if they would be right on rare, exceptional occasions.
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