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Subject: Level of Play rss

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Jeff Thompson
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I am new here to BGG and love this site. Most people would never dream of having such a great source for their hobby.;)

OK on to my question- Is there a way (even amongst all our subjective views) to categorize games as Light, Medium, or Heavy levels of play? Yes I am starting out in this hobby, but it doesn't mean I am just looking for another list of gateway games. I would like to look at a category of Medium weight games and then break them down respectively. You could see where they are ranked overall. Which ones were co-op. Which ones play best with three and so on. If you've been in the hobby for a while this probably is something not as helpful. For those of us who are building our collections, however, it can be a little challenging.

Have I missed something out there, a forum or list where this has come up before? Please share. Thanks
 
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Brian M
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Under the Statistics section of games there is an 'Average game weight', which refers to the 'level of play'.
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Richard Irving
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StormKnight wrote:
Under the Statistics section of games there is an 'Average game weight', which refers to the 'level of play'.


Actually, no its doesn't, for two important reasons:

1) "Weight" was never well defined--it could include many factors:
- complex, hard to understand, rules
- long, multi-step, but not particularly difficult rules,
- free-form, unstructured gameplay without set phases or turns (much harder to learn the rules--because you have to know them all.)
- depth of strategy and tactics
- time it takes to play
- number/amount of components (I kid you not)
- seriousness of theme (Cute themes need not apply)
- intensity of competition (even it is just for the best player in your club)
- fiddliness/large of data or stats to crunch
- A probably much more

2) Each person has their own personal "Game Weight-ometers". If you play or know of very complex games, what you think of as "heavy" is very different than someone who hasn't played very complex games. For convenience sake, I classify hevy game players as wargamers, light game players as Eurogamers. A weight 3 game for wargamers is very different in weight than weight 3 game for Eurogamers.

Now for the problem: Two new games come out--EVERY SINGLE PERSON who play both games think both have SAME WEIGHT as Puerto Rico.
- One of the games is "Settlers of Carcassonne" played primarily by Eurogamers who think Puerto Rico (therefore SoC) is pretty complex, so its average weight is 4.
- The other "Generals of WW2" played primarily by wargamers who think Puerto Rico is rather light game (especially compared to stuff like ASL or Third Reich), so it gets a weight rating of 2.
- Puerto Rico itself is very popular game played by both Eurogamers and wargamers, so PR gets an average of 3.

But EVERY SINGLE PERSON thinks these games have SAME WEIGHT, but they have very different average weight ratings. The reason is average is very dependent on who rates each game.

Classic "Garbage In, Garbage Out" data problem.
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James Palmer
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The Game Weight statistic is probably your best bet, but make sure you are comparing the same genre of games.

Otherwise, if you find some games that look interesting, you can usually read the manuals online, and can certainly ask on the forums if X is heavier than Y. Different people will have different opinions on what is heavier or harder to play, so you're never going to be able to find an objective rating.
 
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