This is a slightly modified version of the original post from June 6, 2017
I’ve been using BoardGameGeek (BGG) for many years now, but I don’t take advantage of all the things the site has to offer. You can track your collection. You can access useful files developed by other users or sell your unwanted games in the Geek Market. There are so many cool things to do on BGG that it would require an entire series of posts dedicated to just that topic.
One of the many things you can do on BGG is rate games that you have played. I was terrible about rating games that I played. It seemed too difficult to assign a value based on the ranking system suggested by BGG:
- Awful – defies game description
- Very bad – won’t play ever again
- Bad – likely won’t play this again
- Not so good – but could play again
- Mediocre – take it or leave it
- Ok – will play if in the mood
- Good – usually willing to play
- Very good – enjoy playing and would suggest it
- Excellent – very much enjoy playing
- Outstanding – will always enjoy playing
Now I liked the explanation part of this guide better than the descriptive rating, because it helped me really consider how I was measuring my interest. There’s just not enough of a difference between the words excellent and outstanding for me to apply them to games that I enjoy. My thought was to create a set of benchmark games so that it would be easier to place a game on the rating scale. If I played a new game and wanted to give it a rating, I would just compare it to the benchmark games on my list by asking a single question.
Would I rather play this new game more than the benchmark game?
If the answer is yes, then I move on to the next benchmark game until the answer is no. At that point, I can assign the new game a value one lower than the benchmark game I liked better.
Here are my benchmark games:
- Win, Lose, or Banana – defies game description
- Diplomacy – won’t play ever again
- Chess – likely won’t play this again
- Monopoly – but could play again
- Munchkin – take it or leave it
- Settlers of Catan – will play if in the mood
- Agricola – usually willing to play
- Ticket to Ride – enjoy playing and would suggest it
- Walnut Grove – very much enjoy playing
- Thurn and Taxis – will always enjoy playing
Example of rating process
Let’s use the game Cacao as an example. I start at the bottom until I get to a game that I would rather play, in this case, Cacao made it all the way up to Walnut Grove. I would rather play Walnut Grove over Cacao, so I go back down to Ticket to Ride. Given the choice between Cacao and Ticket to Ride, I could go either way. That makes Cacao another 8 for me.
I created a geeklist on BGG since that’s where I would be doing the ratings. Use the button below to check it out.
Update – I think my original list is still useful. My game collection has grown since 2017, but my opinion of those benchmark games remains the same. I’m a little sad that I can’t bring back some of the great comments that were left on the original post, so if you have any thoughts or feedback, please leave a comment.
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