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Bots Up Board Game Review

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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

From Tip to Tip-Taking Measure of Wingspan: A Wingspan Board Game Review

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16 Sep 2020 17:02 #314174 by ubarose
BTW my secret plan is to get work them them up from Wingspan to Argent.
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16 Sep 2020 17:13 #314176 by Shellhead

ubarose wrote: BTW my secret plan is to get work them them up from Wingspan to Argent.


Depending on what they like about Wingspan, that might not work. Wingspan is a very pretty game that sounds relaxing to play. Argent is an ugly sprawl of information overload that generates chaos and take-that exchanges.

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16 Sep 2020 17:30 #314177 by dysjunct
WINGSPAN is too complicated for my non gamer wife, non-gamer in-laws, and pre-literate child. I suspect, but don’t know for sure THANKS QUARANTINE, that it is too simple for my game group. Perhaps our bird sanctuaries are in Uncanny Valley.
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16 Sep 2020 17:33 #314178 by ubarose
She may decide she doesn't like it, but hopefully by then the reason won't be because it is inscrutable to her.
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16 Sep 2020 17:36 #314179 by ubarose

dysjunct wrote: WINGSPAN is too complicated for my non gamer wife, non-gamer in-laws, and pre-literate child. I suspect, but don’t know for sure THANKS QUARANTINE, that it is too simple for my game group. Perhaps our bird sanctuaries are in Uncanny Valley.


This is exactly where this game falls. Too complicated for non-gamers. Too simple for advanced gamers. Just right for the intermediate gamer.
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16 Sep 2020 20:56 #314183 by Jackwraith
To jeb's point: I haven't run across anyone who's "annoyed" by the fact that Wingspan is so popular. I know people who are fairly confused by that phenomenon. But I get it. I wrote a decent-sized essay for this here site about the fact that I think Wingspan was really important for the game industry at the current time; not only because it demonstrated in a very visible fashion that, yes, women can be successful designers, too, but also because it embodied one of Elizabeth Hargrave's main complaints about the industry: the vast majority of topic matter in the gaming world is SF/fantasy/horror-related. That's why Wingspan is about birds. That's part of why it probably appeals to "non-experienced" gamers to a certain degree. They don't have to get comfortable with wizards and space aliens. It's just birds. It's like paging through the Audobon guide with some friends, but more fun.

Any annoyance that does occur may be a backlash to the immense popularity of the game; as is always the case with almost any game that wins Game of the Year, 15 Geek awards, etc. Then you come across people who have played a lot of games (like us) and been in the hobby for a long time and we're all like: "Eh. It's an average engine builder." But, again, sometimes that's what's necessary to open the door for new(er) people. I don't begrudge the game its success or favor one bit. It's just not something I'm particularly excited about because I'm not the target audience.

(Plus, 51st State is just better.)
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17 Sep 2020 12:51 - 17 Sep 2020 12:52 #314201 by ubarose

Jackwraith wrote: Any annoyance that does occur may be a backlash to the immense popularity of the game; as is always the case with almost any game that wins Game of the Year, 15 Geek awards, etc. Then you come across people who have played a lot of games (like us) and been in the hobby for a long time and we're all like: "Eh. It's an average engine builder." But, again, sometimes that's what's necessary to open the door for new(er) people. I don't begrudge the game its success or favor one bit. It's just not something I'm particularly excited about because I'm not the target audience.


I saw a lot of ugly backlash directed against Elizabeth on Twitter after the awards were announced. I guess I am still salty about it. It was cruel and hurtful and, I felt, undeserved. I think that the "old guard" (i.e. people like us who have been playing for many years and have played sooo many games) need to recognize that the board game market has expanded dramatically and we are in the minority.

On BGG, look at the number of ratings and owners of older games that we consider "classics" or "better than" the newer games that we might feel are derivatives of these older ones. In many cases the numbers on the older games are lower than the newer ones. And when they are greater, it isn't by as much as you would think for a game that has been in print for 10 years vs a game that has been in print for 10 months. All these older,"better," classic games that the "Old Guard" keep referring to are as old, and clunky and obscure to the majority of today's board gamers as Merchant of Venus, Talisman etc. were to the denizens of BGG in 2005. Like, just last week I saw someone post on Facebook that they had found some old game they had never heard of in the Goodwill, and wanted to know if anyone had ever heard of it and if it was any good. The game was Dominion.

So yeah, not only are we not the market for Wingspan, we also need to come to terms with the fact that we are a tiny, niche market.
Last edit: 17 Sep 2020 12:52 by ubarose.
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17 Sep 2020 13:09 #314202 by Shellhead
BGG has seen some grade inflation in their ratings over time. The early ratings were relatively straightforward, but sometimes fans of newer games would inflate their grades in an attempt to push their new fave higher in the overall rankings. Or sometimes a BGGer would rate a game a 1 to express disapproval of a publisher. For example, Space Hulk racked up a bunch of 1 ratings by BGGers who never played it, simply because Games Workshop made BGG take down some custom content submitted by BGGers. That's why I pay more attention to the verbal descriptions next to the individual ratings at BGG. I give less weight to the 1s and 10s, and pay closer attention to the comments for the ratings in the 4 to 6 range. Not 7s, because too many BGGers seem to use 7 as a default rating for an average game.
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17 Sep 2020 15:53 #314211 by ubarose
I think you misread interpreted what I wrote. The quantity of ratings and quantity of owners. Wingspan has 34K ratings and 48K owners.

Compare that to the hot game of 2005:
Caylus has 26k ratings and 26k owners - and that is the number of owners and ratings it's accumulated over 15 years.
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17 Sep 2020 17:28 #314214 by Jexik
That's a lot of people buying Wingspan! I didn't know it was quite that big. I still haven't played it or even Terraforming Mars yet... I've kind of been under a rock.
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