This last year, I have have fully embraced my Wargame Revival I first talked about in December 2016. Since the beginning of the year, I have played 34 different games 57 times.
Along the way I taken a deep relook at my BoardGameGeek ratings. I have realigned many ratings, generally shifting more towards a 6.0 (OK – Will play if in the mood) than the 7+ (Good – Usually willing to play) I was at before. This time also afforded me a chance to look at my personal favorites and how they stack up on BGG (ratings/rank as of 08 October 2017):
#1 Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear (second edition) [My Rating 9.5 / BGG Rating 8.1 / BGG Wargame Rank 17]
I like this game for the simple game mechanics that still capture the feel of WWII combat. Absolutely unmatched with the Firefight Generator and Solo Missions expansion. CoH is notably my top ranked game, but also the game with a large rating disparity (my 9.5 versus a Geek Rating of 6.891 – a 2.61 overrating by me).
#2 Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 8.0 / BGG Wargame Rank 46]
An incredibly innovative game that in many ways turns the definition of “wargame” on its head. Also apparently overrated by me with against a Geek Rating of 6.492 or a 2.51 overrating.
#3 Harpoon 4 [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 7.4 / BGG Wargame Rank 547]
Modern naval combat. I think this game gets a bad rap; its not really that complicated to play once you get set-up and some planning completed. Apparently I vastly overrate this game against a Geek Rating of 5.682 or a 3.32 overrating by me.
#4 Fear God & Dread Nought [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 7.3 / BGG Wargame Rank 806]
World War II naval combat. Again, I think its underrated although I can see how it might only appeal to diehard grognards. The lowest BGG Wargame rank of my personal Top 10. Of my Top 10, this is the game with the greatest rating disparity against a Geek Rating of 5.626 or an overrating of 3.37 by me!
#5 Flat Top [My Rating 9.0 /BGG Rating 7.3 / BGG Wargame Rank 180]
I have the Battleline first edition from 1977. The oldest game in my Top 10. Another one with wide disparity of ratings with a Geek Rating of 6.206 (2.79 overrated).
#6 Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942 [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 8.0 / BGG Wargame Rank 140]
Actually paired with Wing Leader: Supremacy 1943-1945 [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 8.5 / BGG Wargame Rank 286] these games both literally and figuratively changed my perspective of air combat games. Overrated – again – at a Geek Rating of 5.983 or a 2.77 overrate.
#7 Scythe [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 8.3 / BGG Overall Rank 8 / BGG Strategy Rank 7]
The only “non-wargame” in my Top 10, Scythe is not without its detractors but it is a rare game that actually delivers on much of the hype surrounding it.
#8 MBT (second edition) [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 8.2 / BGG Wargame Rank 458]
Modern armored combat. Streamlined game mechanics make for easy, fun play. I overrate by 2.81 against a Geek Rating of 5.689.
#9 Panzer (second edition) [My Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 7.8 / BGG Wargame Rank 139]
My first wargame ever was Panzer (first edition) [My Rating 8.0 / BGG Rating 7.3 / BGG Wargame Rank 629]; this is a worthy successor. I overrate by 2.49 against a Geek Rating of 6.006.
#10 Downtown: Air War Over Hanoi, 1965-1972 [My BGG Rating 9.0 / BGG Rating 7.8 / BGG Wargame Rank 106]
As an old Navy Squadron Intel Officer, this game is strike planning like I remember it. Not everyone likes the planning nor some of the abstractions, but to me this is realism and playability combined. Of my Top 10, this one has the least ratings disparity with my rating “only” 2.40 over the Geek Rating of 6.098.
So what have I learned? I learned that BoardGameGeek ratings and rankings are virtually useless!
I like games that others don’t – apparently many games that others would say I overrate. Not sure if it really means anything because I feel that the wargamer segment of BGG is underrepresented by users. It’s OK with me; I enjoy my hobby and hope to keep gaming for many years to come!