Jeff Khoury
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So, when Space Hulk cracked the top 10, I was expecting it to march to the top in a few days, maybe two-three weeks, but it seems to have slowed its ascent considerably, so I took a few minutes to break down the numbers.

Most people are aware that there is a system of dummy votes on BGG (I would love to get into an argument about how much I hate this system and how it favors games that are more popular and receive more votes, which nullifies the "dummy damage", but I won't say any more than this.) I don't know the exact formula. I don't even know if it's a matter of public record, but this is what I came up with.

I warn you, I studied English in college, so some of you math majors may have to correct me, but I believe the dummy ratings system is something like this:

300 votes @ 5.4 each

This may not be exactly correct, but the averages work out so that if you multiply a game's average by it's total number of votes, add 1620 (300*5.4), then divide the resulting figure by the (total number of votes + 300), you will get the geek ranking.

(A*V+1620)/(V+300)

There is one small problem with the above formula: shill busting. It has been mentioned that some sort of shill busting algorithm is in place. So, the above formula doesn't work on all games, depending on how the formula adjusts for shilling (even still, it is usually very close). Of the top 12, it works out exactly for Agricola, Power Grid, Dominion, Space Hulk, and Tigris & Euphrates, is within .01 to .03 for Puerto Rico, Caylus, El Grande, and Race for the Galaxy, and is markedly lower (-.04 to -.07) for Twilight Struggle, Through the Ages, and Le Havre (suggesting these might be influenced by a more generous formula). [I also believe that vote totals are updated more frequently than averages are calculated, so that could have a minimal effect as well.]

It's possible, even likely, that the above formula is the shill busting formula, or some variation of it (certainly Space Hulk would qualify for any anti-shilling procedures). Regardless, the important thing is that the formula works for Space Hulk (and Agricola--so they're on even ground mathematically, even if the vote count is heavily skewed).

So, using this as a guide, as of today, how many votes will it take for Space Hulk to overcome Agricola in the rankings? SH has 889 votes for an average of 8.84 and a geek average of 7.97.

(8.84*889 + 300 * 5.4)/(889 + 300)
(7858.76 + 1620)/1189
9478.76/1189
7.9720
[Quick fact: SH's geek average means that 25%--or some equivalent--of its tabulated votes are 5.4 dummies, very harsh indeed.]

Agricola
(8.34*10813 + 300 * 5)/(10813 + 300)
(90180.42 + 1620)/11113
91800.42/11113
8.2606

Assuming Agricola retains the same average, it will take roughly 1500 8.5 votes for Space Hulk to claim the #1 spot. Even though 8.5 is lower than SH's current average, it is a more reasonable figure as we can see the game gradually ticking down (even still, an 8.5 blows Agricola's unadjusted average out of the water, and it works out so nice, I decided to keep it). This requires a bit more maths to figure.

[9478.76 + (8.5 * 1500)]/(1189+1500)
(9478.76 + 12750)/2689
22228.76/2689
8.2665

This is a rough estimate. As you can see, slightly less than 1500 would actually be required, but I'm not plugging numbers until I get 8.2607, not to mention that I'm certainly off the actual mark by some small order--this whole exercise being nothimg more than estimation. Still, these results suggest that Space Hulk is a good deal farther away from the #1 spot than many had assumed. Agricola's lead in total votes is just too great to mitigate the dumb-dumbs, and we'll need a lot more votes to start rolling in before Space Hulk supporters can claim victory. (I also suspect that the average will continue to slip, so it may take even more to catch up).
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Maybe the Agricola shill accounts could be reused to achieve this.
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Branko K.
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So should we, like, start printing out pamphlets and dealing them out on the streets or...
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Necessary Evil
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just go to a GW fanboy site and post instructions on how to make a BGG account and rate the game a 10.... done in like a day.

-M
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Jeff Khoury
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baba44713 wrote:
So should we, like, start printing out pamphlets and dealing them out on the streets or...


"Space Hulk Supremacy Pamphlets"?

Awesome.

No, this isn't a "get out the vote" post. I don't really care if SH takes first place or not, so much as I hate the current ratings system. This is an examination of what it takes for a game to become #1. Space Hulk is a great case because, despite it's superior rating, it is still rather far off by nature of the system.

"Now we see the dumbness inherent in the system! Help, help Space Hulk is being repressed!"

malloc wrote:
just go to a GW fanboy site and post instructions on how to make a BGG account and rate the game a 10.... done in like a day.

-M


Kind of like how the Rickrollers swamped the Mets vote for a stadium song? That would be amusing, but let's not start that kind of war.
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JonJacob wrote:

I've done my part.


Öh did you remember to vote agricola as 1 also?!

(Note: I have not rated agricola AND WILL NOT since I have not played it!)
hmmm

I would allmost bet my life savings that agricola & other DESIGNER games did not get his much dummy votes for 5,4 average!!?

Is these dummys added just because it's ameritrash game?! I would not suprise if it were!

Space hulk will not easily (in short or even reasonable time) get that many ratings...so I just hope your math is incorrect?
 
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JVKhoury wrote:
I believe the dummy ratings system is something like this:
300 votes @ 5.4 each

vhirvela wrote:
I would allmost bet my life savings that agricola & other DESIGNER games did not get his much dummy votes for 5,4 average!!?


Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

Aldie's "shillbuster" algorithm is also supposed to ignore the ratings "suspected to be false" (e.g. a user with a single rating, a user with only 10s, etc.).

Details on both (dummies and algorithm) are intentionally left vague by Aldie to avoid that users start to "play the system".

Have fun (with games, more than with ratings)! meeple
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Jorge Arroyo
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Careful what you all say. Some people seriously believe there's a conspiration going on to put SH on the top spot!

About these numbers, I did a similar thing and reached similar numbers. Right now it seems that SH is getting a steady amount of new ratings everyday (something like between 30-60 each day) so it seems quite reasonable to expect that it'll reach 1500 ratings in less than a month, maybe even just about 2 weeks!
 
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

I read they recently changed this to a variable number depending on some number of factors. Not sure if it was depending on the number of ratings or it's rank, or something else...
 
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vhirvela wrote:
I would allmost bet my life savings that agricola & other DESIGNER games did not get his much dummy votes for 5,4 average!!?

JVKhoury wrote:
Of the top 12, it works out exactly for Agricola, Power Grid, Dominion, Space Hulk, and Tigris & Euphrates [...]

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maka wrote:
Luke the Flaming wrote:
Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

I read they recently changed this to a variable number depending on some number of factors. Not sure if it was depending on the number of ratings or it's rank, or something else...

The number of dummy votes (and their value) is the same for all games. It was set to 100 at some point in the past, but is linked to the total number of ratings in the database, and thus slowly increasing.
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What I don't get is that people care this much. BGG represents a small slice of the gamers out there. It just happens that Space Hulk is a cross over from the world of miniatures gaming.

If even a small percentage of these gamers showed up here and rated the game it would be on top. How many people does Games Workshop attract to their conventions? (hint: considerably more than most board game cons)

The fact is that SH is a good game that has stood the test of time (20years) and deserves a high rating.

It does no one any good to give a fake rating (good or bad) on any game. I do not rate games I have not played(save the hoax votes) and even then I don't give needlessly low ratings to games that do not appeal to me.

In the end what difference does it make if SH is 5 and Dominion is 6? Who cares if an AT game get in the top 10? As an AT fan the ranking of games on this site has been worthless for a while. I know that I will find most eurogames dull, I don't care if that one was ranked #1 or not, as you should not care that SH is now #7.

Different Strokes people It is what keeps this place fun.

-M
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Werbaer wrote:
maka wrote:
Luke the Flaming wrote:
Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

I read they recently changed this to a variable number depending on some number of factors. Not sure if it was depending on the number of ratings or it's rank, or something else...

The number of dummy votes (and their value) is the same for all games. It was set to 100 at some point in the past, but is linked to the total number of ratings in the database, and thus slowly increasing.


It would then appear to now be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300?

So, if the number is increasing, the problem (if one feels that it is a problem) is actually getting worse?
 
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JVKhoury wrote:
Werbaer wrote:
maka wrote:
Luke the Flaming wrote:
Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

I read they recently changed this to a variable number depending on some number of factors. Not sure if it was depending on the number of ratings or it's rank, or something else...

The number of dummy votes (and their value) is the same for all games. It was set to 100 at some point in the past, but is linked to the total number of ratings in the database, and thus slowly increasing.


It would then appear to now be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300?

So, if the number is increasing, the problem (if one feels that it is a problem) is actually getting worse?

We are going to be overrun by dummies. One could almost make a re-themed zombie game out of it...
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Attack of the Zombie Dummy Voters from Beyond the BGG!!!
(Patent Pending)

Luke the Flaming wrote:

We are going to be overrun by dummies. One could almost make a re-themed zombie game out of it... ;)
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Werbaer wrote:
maka wrote:
Luke the Flaming wrote:
Each game with at least 30 ratings (i.e. ranked) gets 100 "dummy" votes equal to the overall average of all the ratings of all games (supposedly a value around 5.5).

I read they recently changed this to a variable number depending on some number of factors. Not sure if it was depending on the number of ratings or it's rank, or something else...

The number of dummy votes (and their value) is the same for all games. It was set to 100 at some point in the past, but is linked to the total number of ratings in the database, and thus slowly increasing.


Oops! It seems I misread the information then... I'm glad I was wrong Although it seems it's increasingly hard for the less popular games to make any impact in the ratings which is bad news for independent games mostly...
 
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I have not yet rated Space Hulk as we have not yet gotten the game on the table. Perhaps this weekend . . .
 
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ohbalto wrote:
I have not yet rated Space Hulk as we have not yet gotten the game on the table. Perhaps this weekend . . .


Do it. FOR THE EMPORER!

Oh, and as interesting as the number tacked on to this game that i like is (Aka, the Rating,) It is depressing to see SO many threads devoted to that slowly decreasing number and not, ya know...

the game.
 
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Wait, there's actually a game about the Space Hulk incident? Is it an expansion for BGG: The Board Game?
 
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Does not the fact that other games in the top ratings are still available count at all ?

Space Hulk is a limited edition, Agricola is not. Agricola will be available to new games (as will Power Gris among others in the Top Ten), Space Hulk 3rd edition will not. So, if it does reach a high position, what exactly does that tell us ? For one thing, it tells gamers "Buy it" because it is high in the charts ? But, gamers cannot because.....yep, it is a limited edition.

Will the game in it's eventual ratings retain it's slot ? If that were so, then one can say it ranks above or just below X, Y or Z. That cannot not be so, because it is a "limited" edition game and does not really reflect the long term popularity issue.

If I were to see, for example, Day and Night selling out...that I can understand. Why ? Because it is not a limited edition. The selling power took it up there and production continues to maintain the game in it's chart position. That factor alone does not make a Poll really viable. It only says that the limited edition of the game has got it to it's high position and it cannot go further up.

The statistitians can give this example: Bananas sales are the same as the rise of the population of country "X",; does that mean that bananas are responsible for the fertlity rate of country "X" ? So, the same goes for SH....the sales are up, it is a limited edition, does that mean it is a great game to deserve it's position in the chart ?

The type of Poll and Chart rating for Space Hulk 3rd ed. just does not make sense regarding long-term popularity of a game.

Regards.

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Just to add my two cents to this (probably only one cent, but who's counting), I believe that the Geek Rating must in some way take into account standard deviation. So not only does Space Hulk need more votes to offset "dummy votes" but it needs to have a smaller standard deviation than Agricola (which currently has a St. Dev. of 1.49, while Space Hulk's is 1.67).

An current example of of a game with a higher average rating and more votes but with a lower Geek Rating than the game ranked ahead of it is Race for the Galaxy. It has a st. dev. of 1.50 while El Grande, which is the game ranked ahead of it, has a st. dev. of 1.32.
 
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Current number of Rankings for SH: 889

Current number of BGG Users Owning SH: 1697


Thats 808 more rankings minimum if all owners of it played it and took the time to rank it...


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elfrododumbo wrote:

Does not the fact that other games in the top ratings are still available count at all ?

Space Hulk is a limited edition, Agricola is not. Agricola will be available to new games (as will Power Gris among others in the Top Ten), Space Hulk 3rd edition will not. So, if it does reach a high position, what exactly does that tell us ? For one thing, it tells gamers "Buy it" because it is high in the charts ? But, gamers cannot because.....yep, it is a limited edition.

Will the game in it's eventual ratings retain it's slot ? If that were so, then one can say it ranks above or just below X, Y or Z. That cannot not be so, because it is a "limited" edition game and does not really reflect the long term popularity issue.

If I were to see, for example, Day and Night selling out...that I can understand. Why ? Because it is not a limited edition. The selling power took it up there and production continues to maintain the game in it's chart position. That factor alone does not make a Poll really viable. It only says that the limited edition of the game has got it to it's high position and it cannot go further up.

The statistitians can give this example: Bananas sales are the same as the rise of the population of country "X",; does that mean that bananas are responsible for the fertlity rate of country "X" ? So, the same goes for SH....the sales are up, it is a limited edition, does that mean it is a great game to deserve it's position in the chart ?

The type of Poll and Chart rating for Space Hulk 3rd ed. just does not make sense regarding long-term popularity of a game.

Regards.



Do you even know what you're trying to say? "Cannot not be so."? Is the double-negative intentional, or not?

"The type of Poll and Chart rating for Space Hulk 3rd ed. just does not make sense regarding long-term popularity of a game": What does that even mean? How many types of poll and chart ratings are there? How does it not make sense? People play Space Hulk, like it, rate it. I doubt the thought of whether someone else can buy the game down the road even factors in how they chose to rate the game.

Have you missed the many times people have pointed out the original edition of Space Hulk has remained popular and relatively high in the rankings despite being out of print for well over a decade? And that's with the not-well-regarded second edition being factored into those ratings. Advanced Squad Leader is unavailable from the publisher more often than not, and it maintains a respectable ranking. Twilight Struggle, #4 in the rankings, is out-of-stock at the publisher (and you can be sure it had a much smaller initial print run than Space Hulk) and a deluxe edition just made the P500 cut (with a whopping 800+ orders; nothing against Twilight Struggle, great game, just highlighting the difference in print runs and availability) and is waiting to be printed.

Sales have nothing to do with a game earning high rating scores. People can buy Space Hulk and not be thrilled with it -- like you, as you have tediously reminded everyone, in just about every Space Hulk thread you can find.
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JVKhoury wrote:

No, this isn't a "get out the vote" post. I don't really care if SH takes first place or not, so much as I hate the current ratings system. This is an examination of what it takes for a game to become #1. Space Hulk is a great case because, despite it's superior rating, it is still rather far off by nature of the system.


Space Hulk doesn't have a superior rating. There are 590 games with better average rating then Space Hulk.

So unless you are *really* agitating for Even Elephants Forget to become the new #1...
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My original rating was 9, than I thought about those people who gave 1...so I gave 10!
I think thare is a natural "compensation"...
 
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