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Subject: BGG ranking bias: myth or reality? rss

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Carl Garber
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Hi all! In another thread someone mentioned that the BGG rankings are biased towards euro's. While I believe that was the case at one time, I wonder if it is still the case today? I decided a poll was in order to see how the BGG community would describe games that have risen into the top 100 that were made in 2010 or later. I look forward to the results. Is the BGG euro bias fact or fiction?

Poll
How would you classify each game?
  Euro AT Wargame Hybrid Other
Eclipse
Mage Knight
Puerto Rico: Limited Anniversary
7 Wonders
Ora et Labora
Dominant Species
The Castles of Burgundy
Summoner Wars:Master Set
A Game of Thrones: 2nd Ed.
Lords of Waterdeep
Troyes
Sid Meier's Civilization
Rune Wars
Earth Reborn
Descent: 2nd Ed.
War of the Ring: Collector's Ed.
Trajan
LOTR: The Card Game
Android:NetRunner
A Few Acres of Snow
Merchants and Marauders
Alien Frontiers
      307 answers
Poll created by CarlG


If you selected other, how would you describe that particular game?

Happy Gaming!

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Carl Garber
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haha, I almost needed an extra column "Euro's aided by AT theme" just for games like Lord of Waterdeep. I'm skeptical LoW makes the top 100 with any other theme....
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Carl Garber
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So far it looks like the euro bias is more fiction than fact as currently both Euro and AT both have 9 games voted in the top 100.
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Christopher Scatliff
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CarlG wrote:
So far it looks like the euro bias is more fiction than fact as currently both Euro and AT both have 9 games voted in the top 100.

Then I stand corrected.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Smoo wrote:
CarlG wrote:
So far it looks like the euro bias is more fiction than fact as currently both Euro and AT both have 9 games voted in the top 100.

Then I stand corrected.


But unless I had a stroke just now and lost all ability to count, this was not the entire top 100.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Maybe we should use redneck rules to determine a game's category:

If your title is in a European language other than English, you just might be a euro.

If you come with little wooden cubes that could choke and kill small children, you just might be a euro.

If you spend more time calculating VPs at the end of the game than the actual set up time, you just might be a euro.

If your board is just a glorified cube/card placemat with rectangles/squares that give the cube/card exchange rate, you just might be a euro.

AND...

If you have zombies or aliens/monsters that look suspiciously like zombies, you just might be AT.

If you have character sheets with little pictures on them (with or without an elf), you just might be AT.

If your box is big enough to use as a table for other games, you just might be AT.

If you have 10 pages of rules for combat exceptions and special attacks but movement is still a d6 roll, you just might be AT.

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Carl Garber
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Adam: yeah, overall there is a Euro bias but I have seen a gradual change over time and I think at this point in time it is pretty balanced.

Chris: Your post actually really got me thinking. You see, my general impression was that I only ever saw these AT games rising up the charts and when I saw you make the same claim the other way I thought I'd look into it.

Being that in both cases we only are seeing 9 out of 22 of either Euro's or AT rise in the rankings both can kind of feel like minorities.

If your a person like myself who only really likes those bland Euro themes, the contrast is even stronger. For me the themes for Alien Frontiers, Dominant Species, and Lord's of Waterdeep are all not "Euro" themes(in my own eyes), leaving me only with 6 out of 22 in the top 100 from 2010-present.

I am really curious to see how 2012 takes shape. Will this balance continue? or will more AT or Euro's rise to the top?

PS- it's also been eye opening to see how the LOTR Card Game and Android:Netrunner are both seen as not AT because I have always lumped those type of card games in with that genre.
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Mage Knight is not AT. Hybrid at minimum. More Euro than AT.
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Enrico Viglino
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That slanting seems pretty obvious - especially as compared to
wargames. Let's see...not a single wargame pushes its way in.

Then again, there's only one (Paths of Glory) in the full top 25.

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Christopher Scatliff
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CarlG wrote:
If your a person like myself who only really likes those bland Euro themes, the contrast is even stronger. For me the themes for Alien Frontiers, Dominant Species, and Lord's of Waterdeep are all not "Euro" themes(in my own eyes), leaving me only with 6 out of 22 in the top 100 from 2010-present.

The theme itself is not the focus. It's the implementation of the theme. If I'm just pushing wooden cubes in space or exchanging wooden cubes in the D&D universe, it's still a themeless mess. And if you can get a mediterranean trading game to invoke an epic roleplaying spirit in me that makes me feel like I'm right in the action, I'll call it AT (or wargame) in a second. Many pirate themed games come close to doing just that.

At no point in Alien Frontiers does the game make me feel like I'm exploring an Alien Frontier. At no point in Lords of Waterdeep does the game make me feel like a Lord of Waterdeep. Themeless nonsense.
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David Baunsgaard
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I'm confused. How will this poll help determine if the BGG rankings are biased?
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MWChapel wrote:
Mage Knight is not AT. Hybrid at minimum. More Euro than AT.


Looks like those who have voted in this poll disagree, me among them. Mage Knight is certainly not a Euro, not even close. There is just too much theme, rules, and chrome. I can maybe see calling it a hybrid, but the heart of the game is a standard dungeon crawl which places it deep into the thematic game territory for me.
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sfox wrote:
but the heart of the game is a standard dungeon crawl which places it deep into the thematic game territory for me.


At the heart of it, it's a spreadsheet, and efficiency engine, with a fantasy theme facade to make euro gamers feel like they are playing outside of their comfort zone.
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Harper Hobbs
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-edit- I didn't read the entire discription
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Christopher Scatliff
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MWChapel wrote:
sfox wrote:
but the heart of the game is a standard dungeon crawl which places it deep into the thematic game territory for me.


At the heart of it, it's a spreadsheet, and efficiency engine, with a fantasy theme facade to make euro gamers feel like they are playing outside of their comfort zone.

What does any of this even mean?

"it's a spreadsheet" What? In what way?

"efficiency engine" So is almost every game. You could define Risk as an efficiency engine. What are you conveying here?

"fantasy theme facade" How would you re-theme it?

The game puts me in the shoes of a Mage Knight, makes me feel like I'm running around exploring. This kind of thematic role-play immersion is a feature of AT games. It also features tactical re-evaluation and the inability to form coherent long-term strategies. You have to play each turn as it comes with almost no visibility into what you'll be able to accomplish two turns from now. That's decidedly non-Euro where the games frequently keep everything transparent and let you plan 4 moves down the road.

So exactly what are you claiming?
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Matthew Tadyshak
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MWChapel wrote:
sfox wrote:
but the heart of the game is a standard dungeon crawl which places it deep into the thematic game territory for me.


At the heart of it, it's a spreadsheet, and efficiency engine, with a fantasy theme facade to make euro gamers feel like they are playing outside of their comfort zone.
That heart is very non-Euro random. Whoever wins Mage Knight basically comes down to who draws their movement cards at the proper time the most.


Who in the world voted Trajan a Wargame?
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Shawn Fox
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David BB wrote:
I'm confused. How will this poll help determine if the BGG rankings are biased?


The poll itself does not, it is just intended to allow voters to assign which category the games fall in to (AT/Euro/Hybrid/etc). The games listed in the poll are the top rated games since 2010. The results of the poll show that for the top rated games since 2010, they fall just about evenly between AT and Euro. Thus the conclusion being that since 2010 there does not appear to be much bias against AT style games.
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Enrico Viglino
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NBAfan wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
sfox wrote:
but the heart of the game is a standard dungeon crawl which places it deep into the thematic game territory for me.


At the heart of it, it's a spreadsheet, and efficiency engine, with a fantasy theme facade to make euro gamers feel like they are playing outside of their comfort zone.
That heart is very non-Euro random. Whoever wins Mage Knight basically comes down to who draws their movement cards at the proper time the most.


Who in the world voted Trajan a Wargame?


It is: Trajan
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Keith Sletten
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NBAfan wrote:



Who in the world voted Trajan a Wargame?


Probably the same person that voted War of the Rings a euro...
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I find the ratings most biased toward newer games. A few years back when there was a new euro daily, that helped make it look like euro's were favored.

-M
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Steve Duff
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I don't like the use of the word "bias" here, as it generally conveys a negative tone of discrimination. As if folks weren't actually ranking games the way they really feel, because they were biased against certain games. There's no bias, just tastes of the userbase.

But yes, there has been a massive shift in the userbase over the past few years. When I joined in 2007, the site was mostly eurogamers. The rankings reflected this, as the vast majority of the highly rated games were euros.

Just look at that list, just 7 of 22 games are euros. That says a lot.

Now eurogamers are a minority. Pretty soon the top 5 games on this site are going to be either AT, Wargames, or Theme (Mage Knight will soon be top 5, and there's probably some other hot latest AT thing soon to join).
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Enrico Viglino
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:


Just look at that list, just 7 of 22 games are euros. That says a lot.


Oddly enough, 9 of them have a majority voting that they are.

Are eurogamers facing what wargamers often do here - the perception
of most of the site is not in alignment with their segment of the hobby?

At least y'all don't have to deal with your hobby being used as
a category to be voted on in the main DB.

Quote:
Now eurogamers are a minority. Pretty soon the top 5 games on this site are going to be either AT, Wargames, or Theme (Mage Knight will soon be top 5, and there's probably some other hot latest AT thing soon to join).


Wargames ain't gaining in popularity here, I fear. Not a single one
of the games listed above would qualify completely - and I'd say
(CDG as wargame opponents aside) that only one in the overall top
25 does.
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Rob Doupe
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calandale wrote:


Are eurogamers facing what wargamers often do here - the perception
of most of the site is not in alignment with their segment of the hobby?



This site is in alignment with its current users. The makeup of those users has changed over the years. The tremendous growth in the number of users has dramatically altered the complexion of the site, giving greater prominence to new games and new styles of games. Fairness and bias have nothing to do with it.

BGG is a dynamic, evolving work in progress where wargamers are, and will likely always be, a small minority. If you want a site with a stable user base of wargamers, then Consimworld is your place.
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Carl Garber
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Steve: I have definately noticed this trend as well which is why I did this poll in the first place.

For me it doesn't change too much actually as the old euro bias tended to go towards heavier, dice-free eurogames. I love some randomness and variability to my games, and I generally prefer medium-weight Euros(3.1 being on the high side), so I was a minority before, and I remain a minority now.

Thankfully Stefan Feld is around to make the games I like, as well as I have found some geekbuddies with similar tastes All that said, if a boardgame website was made that was strictly for eurogames I would jump there in a second!

Happy Gaming
 
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Enrico Viglino
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Rob Doupe wrote:
calandale wrote:


Are eurogamers facing what wargamers often do here - the perception
of most of the site is not in alignment with their segment of the hobby?



This site is in alignment with its current users. The makeup of those users has changed over the years. The tremendous growth in the number of users has dramatically altered the complexion of the site, giving greater prominence to new games and new styles of games. Fairness and bias have nothing to do with it.


Who said anything about fairness? It's about having ones hobby
defined by outside forces that's at stake. I figure that if the
same issue can be shown to affect a larger group here, maybe
some solution will help for wargames.

Quote:
BGG is a dynamic, evolving work in progress where wargamers are, and will likely always be, a small minority. If you want a site with a stable user base of wargamers, then Consimworld is you place.


What's the point in that? Especially when what I'm interested in
is letting outsiders understand what my hobby is about?

It's no different from any group that's been tarred with an incorrect perception.
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