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Posted by admin On May - 6 - 2012

Today I wanted to start BOP News with a really positive thought. I stumbled upon a gaming blog the other day called iSlaythedragon and it’s pretty great so I am now following the blog and the writers on twitter. They do a Friday question and answer session and there was one post in particular I found really interesting. It’s titled “What Game Gets a 10?” and their opinion on the matter. Now, the answers are well thought and just really great opinions, but what I especially like was their sincere positivity and their mention of all the seriousness and criticism of gaming. You can read the original post, while checking out some of their other great posts by them as well, i’ve quoted it below as well.

“There was quite the Twitter conversation a few days ago based on what games (if any) deserve a 10 on the Board Game Geek 10-point scale. So that’s the question today: what games do you rate a 10? …..”

“@FarmerLenny answers:
I had a professor in college who never gave a perfect score on papers because he wanted to let his students know there was always room for improvement. That’s why I counted it among my best moments at college when he gave one of my papers a 96—the highest he would possibly go.

But listen, folks: this isn’t college, and we’re not trying to keep entitled college students humble. We are part of a hobby that is supposed to be fun. Saying “There is no perfect game” with our noses in the air isn’t exactly inviting to newcomers. And while I agree that there is likely not an absolutely “perfect” game that fits every situation and group, that’s no reason to avoid giving a game a 10. This is also why the discussion of late about “serious” board game criticism is not attractive to me. Have we forgotten the joy of the hobby? There is such a thing as overthinking it or too much self-reflection, and we’re in serious danger of it when we travel these waters.

I don’t exactly hand them out liberally, but when I look at my list on Board Game Geek, the games I’ve given a 10 are El Grande, Dominion: Intrigue, and Dominion: Prosperity. There are a few games at the 9.5 level (Dominion and Dominion: Hinterlands), and many at the 9 level. Actually, my ratings appear to follow a fairly standard distribution: five 10s, twenty-one 9s, thirty-four 8s, twenty-four 7s, five 6s (and then a few fall in the 3-5 category). Do my ratings skew high? Probably a bit, but there are a few explanations for that. First, I do a lot of research before I add any games to my collection. With a limited budget, I can only add to my collection periodically, so every purchase counts. I usually only buy a game that there’s a good chance I’ll like. Second, I try to evaluate games based not on my favorite game but based on how well it fits a situation. I rate The Resistance a 9; that doesn’t mean I always want to play The Resistance. And third, I try to keep gaming as a hobby, not an all-consuming passion. This can be difficult at times, but when I approach board games looking for fun, I can usually find it—even in Cosmic Encounter.

@Futurewolfie answers:
It all depends on the target “audience” per say when handing out ratings. When I rate games as far as how I feel about them, there are definitely a few 10′s – Cosmic Encounter, Twilight Imperium for certain, and a few others that will probably make the cut once i’ve played them more (such as Battlestar Galactica or Rex… holy crap those are all FFG games. Not on purpose. Dominion (w/expansions), Smallworld, phew, there’s a few non FFG ones.) Plenty of 9′s (I find it rather funny that no matter what scale of rating system we use, we will almost certainly want to add a “.5″ in there somewhere). These are games that I greatly enjoy and love playing and have no reservations at all about playing them.

But rating publicly, I feel I need to be more objective. Do I think any of these games is truly flawless? Twilight Imperium certainly lasts too long and has a few finicky issues, especially without expansions. Cosmic Encounter has a few unbalanced powers, and some games end too quickly, go to long, or just fall flat. Dominion has a few weird uber-strategies that might come into the mix, and is not extremely interactive between players (although more than some would claim). Smallworld might just last a little too long. These are things that should objectively knock off points from a public review. Or should they? What do you think?

Another thing about the number rating system is that it’s wildly arbitrary. A number can be based off a whole slew of conditions, including the person’s emotional state at the time of rating, based on a play with annoying players (or even a bad day having nothing to do with the game itself). Which is why you should find a trustworthy review site and read what they have to say about the game, and not just go on the numbers.”

Playdek games has been cranking out some high quality games lately including recent deck building games Nightfall and Ascension. But the real motherload is coming in June when they release Summoner Wars and again this Summer with the release of Agricola! With the high quality graphics of their previously released games and great user interface, i’m sure to expect nothing less with Summoner Wars and Agricola. Keep an eye on their news releases for updates, and check back with BOP for reviews because you know we’ll be all over these releases!

If you enjoy Mage Knight, then you’ll be excited to hear about MAGE WARS! Primarily a 2 player dueling mages game. Where mage goes against mage in deadly arena combat! Check out the official website for more information

Some other new games coming out BOP is especially excited about are Fantasy Flights “Infiltration” and “Merchant of Venus”

“Infiltration” is designed by one of our favorite designers here on BOP, Donald X. Vaccarino, it’s a “a tense card game of futuristic larceny in which two to six players take the roles of thieves, competing to steal valuable secrets from a highly secured corporate facility.” -Fantasy Flight.

 And the popular pick up and delivery game “Merchant of Venus” is getting a total facelift with new elements  to get excited about. “This revision of the 1980’s classic remains true to its magnificently campy core while expanding the game in surprising ways that will cause even the most hardcore fan to celebrate.” - Fantasy Flight

We recently reviewed the 7 Wonder Leaders expansion, and in July, Repos Production is releasing the new Cities expansion… I wonder what new wonders they’ll come up with next ;)

- BOP out.