Just dropped in on the wargame rankings for the first time in 3-4 months. I guess I haven't been there since BGG changed the system. What they have done is take a system that was an unmonitored joke, frequently hijacked by company fanboys (Yeah, including our own), and made it worse. Trivialized it in fact. Now, with the heavy emphasis placed on the number of ratings it is little more than a measure of company size.
There are numerous companies, and I hope that LNLP is one of them, that publish high-quality, well-designed, wargames. Wargames that stand a real good chance of nabbing 8.5 and higher ratings from objective, mature, raters. Unfortunately, only the well-established companies with dominant market shares will ever get the number of ratings necessary to see their game at the top of the rankings. And make no mistake, these rankings matter. Not so much to individuals, but hugely to time-challenged resellers and distributors, who often place orders based on BGG rankings.
The system, as currently implemented, works against industry growth and innovation. Works against gamers seeing new games on fresh topics. Works against new publishers.
The fix? BGG could go a couple of ways, both start with a return to a 30-50 rating base. I propose 50 ratings, as that would tend to mitigate the initial rating spike. Ratings should either be supervised. By this, I propose a brief check. For example, does the guy who just gave Combat Commander a 1 rate all GMT Games 1, and all Worthington Games a 10? If so, disallow the vote. Or another alternative would be to require a simple 250-word play report with each rating. Would that reduce the number of ratings? Sure. Would it make them foolproof? No. Would it help? Sure would.
Would these suggestions (and I have more) require effort on BGG's part? Well of course it would, but make no mistake. BGG makes money from these wargame publishers. Money in both advertisements, and money in pages views that translate into higher ad rates (I've worked in the EE industry for over a decade. I have a REAL good idea of what Ubisoft is willing to pay for its advertising). I suggest they use some of the money to help the hobby (and themselves) and give us genuine and realistic ratings of the games.
Final caveat...this is not a publisher problem, it's a BGG problem. I have nothing against the larger publishers. For example, I'm a huge GMT fan, Combat Commander is one of my favorite games. By the same token, I understand that even small publishers, such as Academy Games, have highly-raked games, but let's get real. Conflict of Heroes is an aberration. An outstanding game, perhaps the best-selling wargame in the history of wargames, but the entry price into BGG's top ten wargames shouldn't be to design the best wargame of all time.
Come on Geek. Let's give everyone a chance.
You can comment on BGG, if you like. Here's the original post: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4577308#4577308