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Subject: "Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic" shillers rss

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M@tthijs
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I noticed this brand new game now shines as the new nr.1 wargame on BGG

First, I might be biased. I think we wargamers have a bad rep for being a solistic. 2 wargamers on a con, backs bend over their hex-map and don't you dare disturb them. Voting a 1-player-game as "the best the niche has to offer" isn't going to change that picture. Alas.

I see many BGGers who rated it quite high, giving it a probably deserved high ranking. But nr.1?? But looking at who rated it, there is a number of 'newusers' who gave it a '10'. Smells a lot like shilling. Zooming in on those, these new users have 0 contributions and only rated 1-4 games, all 10s.

That sucks.

jojothemonkey, thenavyman, jeanfrancis, eduardomoya to name a few.
 
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Sam Carroll
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So, I'm not clear from your post what you're complaining about. Is it the game, the shillers, or the BGG wargame community in general?

It does look like there are some shillers - probably just one person shilling a few games from several accounts. Yes, he/she/it is being stupid, but it's not worth worrying about. There are shillers on the Geek and there's not much we can do about it. Anyway, the nature of the wargame ranking is that it's more of a hotness ranking system, favoring newly-released games. Over time, the game's ranking will sink.

If it's the game you're worried about, then as you pointed out, there are high ratings from many reputable users. By all accounts, it's an excellent solitaire wargame. Though I haven't played it myself, I've read several thoughtful reviews. If you don't happen to like solitaire wargames, that's your preference, but why criticize the game for it? That's like criticizing Bach for writing counterpoint.

And as a member of the wargaming community, I don't see how having a well-designed solitaire wargame at the top of our rankings is a bad reflection on any of us. Most wargamers don't play solo because they prefer it, but because they lack opponents and/or time for face-to-face games.
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M@tthijs
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spartax wrote:
So, I'm not clear from your post what you're complaining about. Is it the game, the shillers, or the BGG wargame community in general?
The shilling
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_Kael_ wrote:
spartax wrote:
So, I'm not clear from your post what you're complaining about. Is it the game, the shillers, or the BGG wargame community in general?
The shilling

===============
BGG rating system used as SPAM.
---------
eduardo moya

Registration Date: 2009-09-25 07:29:49
Last Profile Update: 2009-09-25 07:30:26
Last Login: 2009-09-25


jeanfrancis

Registration Date: 2009-09-25 07:01:33
Last Profile Update: 2009-09-25 07:02:08
Last Login: 2009-09-25

This appears to be the same person. No wonder he plays solitaire.

HeThey also gave Campaigns of Robert E. Lee (1988) a 10.

jojothemonkey ; thenavyman too - so he is 4 guys in one!

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Jack Smith
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I learned to ignore the rankings a long time ago. Shilling is self defeating as it means I never trust a score and I doubt many do.

I go by a lot more factors than just score before I buy a game. A game may be amazing but not for me anyway, I assume all buyers go by the same criteria.

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Halfinger wrote:
I learned to ignore the rankings a long time ago. Shilling is self defeating as it means I never trust a score and I doubt many do.

I go by a lot more factors than just score before I buy a game. A game may be amazing but not for me anyway, I assume all buyers go by the same criteria.



And you would think BGG admins would care about it - despite your individual use of it, it is a cornerstone part of BGG.Those ratings are an excellent starting point for finding games, severely tarnished by the trust abuse of shillers.

It ALSO might cause folks to think the designer/developer/publisher is doing this, which would piss me off if I thought so.
 
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So the shills make up only 10% of all the ratings.

That's about the same amount the general #1 board game has.
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Wilhammer wrote:
It ALSO might cause folks to think the designer/developer/publisher is doing this, which would piss me off if I thought so.


You'd think a designer would be more concerned about designing a quality game than the cyber rankings on a wargaming website (and one that doesn't even serve a majority of wargamers, to boot).
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Barry Kendall
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The point about people who've hardly rated anything giving one game a "10" has some validity; on the other hand, there was a time when most of us were new to BGG, bright-eyed and highly enthused about a title or two.

The moderators could reduce some of this by discarding a percentage of the total number of ratings, highest and lowest, but does it really matter?

I rate few games because, first of all, numerical ratings are so very subjective and, second, because I doubt that most folks care what rating I give a game.

Sometimes I will provide a rating to a game that I think deserves positive acclamation (or the opposite: see "The Cattlemen") for its creativity, presentation, enjoyment factor and overall value. Hence a rating for WTID.

It's safe to say that Dan Hodges has no need whatever to shill his own game; first of all, the man has integrity and second, the first printing is sold out and he's already in conversation with a publisher, so what would be the point?

Dark allegations about designer shilling with no proof serves the best interests of no one. A designer who does indulge in shilling usually gets his/her comeuppance on BGG and usually lives to regret the transgression.

The owner comments and game threads serve much more reliably to convey a game's value than a couple of digits.
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Byron Collins
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Wilhammer wrote:
It ALSO might cause folks to think the designer/developer/publisher is doing this, which would piss me off if I thought so.


Though not impossible, I seriously doubt this is the case here.

Most- hell I think all of "us" have integrity. Our reputation depends on it.
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Greg Moore
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The rating system has some anti-shilling measures built in.

If you were to drop the 4 ratings in question, it would only change the rating by .1 (point 1).
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Easy solution: develop a geekbuddy list and use the 'analyze' button on any game page to see only the ratings you trust.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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frontlinegeneral wrote:
Most- hell I think all of "us" have integrity. Our reputation depends on it.


If by "us" you mean all game designers, we've had unfortunate episodes that prove otherwise. I believe that the vast majority of designers do have integrity, but every group has its bad apples.

[edit] To be very clear, I'm not suggesting anything negative about the designer of this game!
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_Kael_ wrote:


All four users don't even exist anymore...hmmmm. So, does their ratings get removed from the average then? Should shift the overall rating a bit I would think.

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_Kael_ wrote:
I noticed this brand new game now shines as the new nr.1 wargame on BGG

First, I might be biased. I think we wargamers have a bad rep for being a solistic. 2 wargamers on a con, backs bend over their hex-map and don't you dare disturb them. Voting a 1-player-game as "the best the niche has to offer" isn't going to change that picture. Alas.

I see many BGGers who rated it quite high, giving it a probably deserved high ranking. But nr.1?? But looking at who rated it, there is a number of 'newusers' who gave it a '10'. Smells a lot like shilling. Zooming in on those, these new users have 0 contributions and only rated 1-4 games, all 10s.

That sucks.

jojothemonkey, thenavyman, jeanfrancis, eduardomoya to name a few.


You give a 1 to this game. Is it not silly as well ??

I do not look at general ratings as I did before. I value more opinions of specific users in the forum I learn to trust more.

I think is great that a game of a new publisher like this one is so high on the list. The game certainly stands out in quality of the components, and is highly rated in play. Interestingly there are 3 solitaire games in the top 5 wargames now.
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Given that he seems not to be a real person,

_Kael_ wrote:


Pues cógeme la polla.


(Somebody had to say it. Yeah I lived in Seville for a while.)
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Andreas Krüger
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Quote:
Counter shill rating


Now, this will really help to establish trust in the ratings. shake

From what I have read in the forums, counter shill ratings have about the same reputation as shill ratings. My personal opinion is that you will help the ratings system more if you give an informed and honest rating.
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Dan Hodges
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Hi Guys,

Apologies for joining this thread late, it’s only just been pointed out to me.

Firstly, I’m a little new to the world of ‘Shilling’ and “anti-Shilling” . It was only when I actually responded directly to someone who gave WTID a ‘1’ to ask why, that he explained it to me.

Now, in defence of WTID. Is it the best wargame ever made. Of course not. But I think it’s got some original elements, particularly in relation to the quality of the components, which has made people opt to give it a high rating. If you look at the comments and reviews that have rated the game highly who clearly have played the game, they do outnumber those who have given it a relatively low rating.

In terms of whether I, as the designer, have falsely been posting high ratings; well, I’m not sure there’s a lot I can do to dispel that myth. The only thing I would say is that from the very beginning I’ve been clear that I don’t stand to make any profit at all from the game. This is a hobby, not my living. Any profits that the game makes will be donated to charity.

On the general Shilling point, it’s difficult to know how to tackle it. The whole point about open forum is they are just that, and unless the Geek moderators start to “second guess” posters, I’m not sure what can be done at that level. One solution I might look at for future games is to include an individual Rating Reference with all copies that are distributed, with a request to include it when posting ratings. That why at least you “anti-shillers” will be able to post fake high ratings, and if I don’t challenge them or have them deleted then you’ll know I’m pulling a fast one! On the other hand, that seems an awful lot of work, and...well...a little bit silly.

My final message would be this; to both those who “Shill”, and those who “anti-Shill”. There’s a wonderful, great world wide out there, full of magical and magnificent and amazing things. Life really is too short to spend your time falsely marking up, or marking down, wargames on Boardgamegeek.

Embrace life! And neither a Shiller nor a Shillee be...

Dan Hodges
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Where There Is Discord
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Colin Hunter
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I'n my limited experience with Dan, he has been a class act. If I played solo games I would have ordered the game in a heart beat, sadly I don't really, although this game has made me consider it.
 
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What a noble attempt from Dan here to "bring harmony" to the discussion (more in a Franciscan than Thatcherite sense, of course).
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Byron Collins
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Sphere wrote:
frontlinegeneral wrote:
Most- hell I think all of "us" have integrity. Our reputation depends on it.


If by "us" you mean all game designers, we've had unfortunate episodes that prove otherwise. I believe that the vast majority of designers do have integrity, but every group has its bad apples.

[edit] To be very clear, I'm not suggesting anything negative about the designer of this game!


Yes, that's what I meant by "us". I'm not aware of the unfortunate episodes (and probably don't want to be). I guess my point was that most designers/publishers see that it's self-defeating if you rate your own games. I've seen some 'anti-shillers' who hone in on that and throw up 1's to counteract a designer rating his own stuff- with comments to the effect of "Designers shouldn't rate their own games", etc.

The discussion comes up again and again and it's almost tiring to even tackle it. I'm part of the industry- Hence, I don't rate games at all on here, and I quit spending my time and energy worrying about it. The system may be able to be improved or changed, but shillers and anti-shillers will remain. "You can't fix stupid."
 
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M@tthijs
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Dan Hodges wrote:
In terms of whether I, as the designer, have falsely been posting high ratings; well, I’m not sure there’s a lot I can do to dispel that myth. The only thing I would say is that from the very beginning I’ve been clear that I don’t stand to make any profit at all from the game. This is a hobby, not my living. Any profits that the game makes will be donated to charity.
It's certain the ratings were manipulated by shilling. But I never accused a certain person, nor do I believe that's it's you.

Although I don't play (let alone: buy) solitair games it's clear you made a good game, and as such I hope you'll invest at least some of the profit in your next design.
 
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
I'n my limited experience with Dan, he has been a class act. If I played solo games I would have ordered the game in a heart beat, sadly I don't really, although this game has made me consider it.


Do more than consider it, Colin, grab it. As soon as a friend of mine can harmonize schedules, we're going to do a "Cabinet" play wherein I'll administer the mechanics, but we'll confer on strategic and operational considerations.

We're also considering a "strictly naval" commander and an "everything else" commander, and may bring additional participants in on it.

I'm convinced the game design will work as a cooperative multiplayer venture.

Besides, it really doesn't play like a typical "play both sides" solo run of a two-player. You really should consider it seriously.

On the original topic, to Dan:

A very graceful response. You are a gentleman and a scholar.
 
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Dan Hodges
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Thanks for your kind response to my response...



Dan



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Barry Kendall wrote:
Do more than consider it, Colin, grab it. As soon as a friend of mine can harmonize schedules, we're going to do a "Cabinet" play wherein I'll administer the mechanics, but we'll confer on strategic and operational considerations.

We're also considering a "strictly naval" commander and an "everything else" commander, and may bring additional participants in on it.

I'm convinced the game design will work as a cooperative multiplayer venture.

Besides, it really doesn't play like a typical "play both sides" solo run of a two-player. You really should consider it seriously.


I'd love to see a good interpretation for co-op. I was thinking that for something that would feel really satisfactory the war opinion element could be developed further. One player is the commander the other the Prime Minister managing the commander's actions for international and domestic consumption.

There would need to be additional materials produced, perhaps cards and additional board or something else but it feels like the direction of the game that could be pushed into something bigger (clearly the land war could be too, but that would sequential rather than parallel play).
 
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