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Subject: Pushing Abalone Off my Shelf rss

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Justin Redmon
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Number of players: 2 ( 3-4 with additional marbles of different colors )

Components: (10)
The marbles are solid and nice. The board has an interesting design that allows the marbles to be pushed in rows instead of having to pick them each up individually.

Rules: (10)
The rules are simple to begin with, and the rule book is clearly written and has plenty of examples.

Setup: (10)
The set-up outlined in the rule book takes no time at all. There are alternate setups that I've heard work better, but I've never used any of them.

Area required to play: (10)
It's easy enough to set the board back in the box and play out of it.

Fun: (6)
It's pretty fun the first time you play, but with replay it becomes less and less.

Theme Integration / Mechanics: (4)
Since this game is a pure abstract, I can't judge the theme, but only the mechanics. The first time I played this game, it seemed genius and I loved it. However, after repeat plays the flaw stands out.

Replay Value: (0)
And herein lies the flaw. As excited as I was to play this game initially, I soon found out that as long as both players play well (not perfectly, not even great) the game will always go into stalemate. I've seen it written elsewhere that stalemate was rare but possible... but I'm not sure what game was being played.

Storage: (5)
The box holds everything very nicely, but it is also hex shaped and therefore doesn't fit on the shelf as well.

Accessibility: (10)
This game can be taught to anyone.

Over-All/Bonuses/Biases: -35 = 30
The flaw in this game stands out too much. I loved the idea, but the game itself does not work. I have read about variant setups, or adding a marble to the center that has to be pushed off the board, to remedy these flaws. That may work. I'm not sure.

Overall Rating:

3
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Roger
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You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link
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Drew Hicks
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Even with the original set ups, we didn't notice the game "inevitably" devolving into unpushable stalemate situations.

However, it has happened, and since then, we've started using alternate set-ups (specifically the Daisy setups) in order to alleviate the ability to easily form those unpushable wedges.
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Roger_Jay wrote:

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)


He didn't "have" me like his review. Believe it or not, I am a real person and do things of my own volition.

I liked it because I think Abalone sucks. I wanted to like it, but it's boring.

I don't "like" everything that he posts, but I am subscribed to him, so I do see it all. I "like" things that I like. Weird, huh?
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Roger
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My appologies, you are indeed entitled to like what you like. Each to his/her own.

Now what could be cool is if you were to write your own review of Abalone, with what you like and did not like.

~J
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Roger_Jay wrote:
My appologies, you are indeed entitled to like what you like. Each to his/her own.

Now what could be cool is if you were to write your own review of Abalone, with what you like and did not like.

~J


I may at some point. Haha. Doubt it though, as Abalone would not be where I would start, I'd start with something else. I have only written one review so far, but I did submit my first Session Report today, so I'm all "wrote" out for the day, I'm afraid.

Also, I take criticism a lot more personally than Justin does, so I'm not sure that I'd be up for it.
 
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Roger
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You should not fear critics. The reason I dislike the OP's "review" is not because Abalone is a game I played for many years, but because of the way the review is built and is done. As I wrote, the scale and process do not make sense.

Actually, it does not tell us more than what is in this link, which does a better job.

So take to your keyboard!



~J
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Andy Andersen
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My wife and I really enjoy this game, but with all games, they certainly don't appeal to everyone.

I like to see negative reviews - makes me think.

Thanks.
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Bruce Murphy
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Orangemoose wrote:
My wife and I really enjoy this game, but with all games, they certainly don't appeal to everyone.

I like to see negative reviews - makes me think.

Thanks.


Negative reviews, yes, people who prefer arithmetic to analysis, not so much. Clearly storage and play space are twice as important as fun.

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Justin Redmon
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Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


In a comment to my review of Agricola I stated:

The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

It's flattering that you're displaying a little jealous towards my girlfriend, but it's also a little embarrassing. Ha ha.

Thanks for your input.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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No, your rating system is down to an overly simplistic set of criteria, none of which trade directly off against one another, that you came up with before you looked at this game and which you are blindly applying and summing.

If you were actually estimating what makes this game good (or bad), taken as a whole, this would be a far better review. Of course hearing that replayability is zero right after hearing you never tried the starting positions that specifically fix the published beginner game is also useful context.

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Justin Redmon
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thepackrat wrote:
No, your rating system is down to an overly simplistic set of criteria, none of which trade directly off against one another, that you came up with before you looked at this game and which you are blindly applying and summing.

If you were actually estimating what makes this game good (or bad), taken as a whole, this would be a far better review. Of course hearing that replayability is zero right after hearing you never tried the starting positions that specifically fix the published beginner game is also useful context.

B>


I have played this game maybe five times with the rules are written. The rules are written, without adding using any variants, make the game terrible to me. I never said that you had to feel that way that I do. I am very thankful that you do not.

My rating system is intentionally simple. It was designed to show at a glace how I feel about the game. It was never intended to be a guide to tell you or anyone else to feel about this game.

Does it really rile you up so much that another person posted a review that you don't agree with, using a system that you also don't agree with? I'm going to have to remember to keep to myself about politics and religion the next time you and I attend whatever social function we're at when I dream of Hell.

 
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Bruce Murphy
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Abstract games don't get enough reviews so I regret ones which are less useful than they could be and hope for more in general.

If you simply avoided the blind sum and then reported your overall feeling, this would be a more useful review. The sum as you force the numbers together is not useful.

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Abalone » Forums » Reviews
Re: Pushing Abalone Off my Shelf
JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


In a comment to my review of Agricola I stated:

The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

It's flattering that you're displaying a little jealous towards my girlfriend, but it's also a little embarrassing. Ha ha.

Thanks for your input.




The problem with your system is that it is flawed, and as such your review is flawed and it distorts the rating of the game you review and mislead people who want to invest in the game.

The same problem occurred in your review of Agricola, a game that I don't like myself and score 6/10 (this to clarify that this is not an Abalone Fanboy response!).

Imagine you are a teacher and you are marking a student paper. There is three questions, each have been answered by the student to some degree of satisfaction against pre-set criteria. The student score 65% but then you think that for some reasons that nobody but you knows, he does not deserved this mark (maybe he has been naughty and got too cosy with your girlfriend ) so you decide to slash the mark in half!

But on what is this decision based? Either you have objective criteria other than those against which you have already marked the game or you need to include in the 100 marks a number of marks for your personal enjoyment of the game.

But you cannot in any case set up a marking system, and just plainly ignore the end results and modify it to make it fit your bias.

Actually, you can but then don't bother with the individual criteria, just say that well, you played Abalone, thought it was an interesting game but don't like it and subjectively mark it 3/10.

Another alternative is to give two marks, one for the game and one for how you feel about it.

That way people know where you come from and give due attention to your review.

~J
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Justin Redmon
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Roger_Jay wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


In a comment to my review of Agricola I stated:

The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

It's flattering that you're displaying a little jealous towards my girlfriend, but it's also a little embarrassing. Ha ha.

Thanks for your input.




The problem with your system is that it is flawed, and as such your review is flawed and it distorts the rating of the game you review and mislead people who want to invest in the game.

The same problem occurred in your review of Agricola, a game that I don't like myself and score 6/10 (this to clarify that this is not an Abalone Fanboy response!).

Imagine you are a teacher and you are marking a student paper. There is three questions, each have been answered by the student to some degree of satisfaction against pre-set criteria. The student score 65% but then you think that for some reasons that nobody but you knows, he does not deserved this mark (maybe he has been naughty and got too cosy with your girlfriend ) so you decide to slash the mark in half!

But on what is this decision based? Either you have objective criteria other than those against which you have already marked the game or you need to include in the 100 marks a number of marks for your personal enjoyment of the game.

But you cannot in any case set up a marking system, and just plainly ignore the end results and modify it to make it fit your bias.

Actually, you can but then don't bother with the individual criteria, just say that well, you played Abalone, thought it was an interesting game but don't like it and subjectively mark it 3/10.

Another alternative is to give two marks, one for the game and one for how you feel about it.

That way people know where you come from and give due attention to your review.

~J



The difference in marking a students exams and rating a game, as I've explained multiple times, is that rating a game is entirely arbitrary. If I were grading a student's paper I am so confident that I wouldn't be judging his opinions as much as his correct responses.

What I'm saying here is that your critique of my rating system is just as flawed as my system, if there is a flaw in either. You don't like the system? Great. To say that it's wrong for me to analyse the game by any means or methods I see fit? Ridiculous.

I can't imagine how dull a life a person must lead to be so focused on how a random stranger half a world away feels.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Rating a game is not entirely arbitrary, and it is possible and in fact desirable to use objective measures for many of the features you describe, even if you need to calibrate relative to similar games rather than absolutely. The object is to communicate or you wouldn't have posted it here.

In contrast, the different score allocations to questions or question parts in an exam are completely arbitrary based on difficulty or relevance to the course being examined. In exam marking the naive summing is not unreasonable because a straight number is required, as well as reducing personal biases between students doing exactly the same exams as much as possible. This is a different situation.

So your individual ratings are reasonable, the sum is not and your magic bonus is just an illustration of the disconnect. You would be far better off coming up with the overall score you already have in mind directly, perhaps highlighting which aspect(s) were deal breakers or your favorites, and abandoning the pretense that the scales had equal weights or interacted linearly.

As it is, if we ignore the summing, your review is useful as an illustration of what happens when someone to whom the game appeals doesn't take the simple and well known steps to address the biggest perceived flaw (the flatness to draw of the game). A useful warning to others.

For myself, as someone who enjoys abstract games as a class, I think it's a shame for you personally that you didn't apply the fix to get a more interesting game from the bland thing that the publishers thought would have more general appeal.

B>
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Justin Redmon
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thepackrat wrote:
Rating a game is not entirely arbitrary, and it is possible and in fact desirable to use objective measures for many of the features you describe, even if you need to calibrate relative to similar games rather than absolutely. The object is to communicate or you wouldn't have posted it here.

In contrast, the different score allocations to questions or question parts in an exam are completely arbitrary based on difficulty or relevance to the course being examined. In exam marking the naive summing is not unreasonable because a straight number is required, as well as reducing personal biases between students doing exactly the same exams as much as possible. This is a different situation.

So your individual ratings are reasonable, the sum is not and your magic bonus is just an illustration of the disconnect. You would be far better off coming up with the overall score you already have in mind directly, perhaps highlighting which aspect(s) were deal breakers or your favorites, and abandoning the pretense that the scales had equal weights or interacted linearly.

As it is, if we ignore the summing, your review is useful as an illustration of what happens when someone to whom the game appeals doesn't take the simple and well known steps to address the biggest perceived flaw (the flatness to draw of the game). A useful warning to others.

For myself, as someone who enjoys abstract games as a class, I think it's a shame for you personally that you didn't apply the fix to get a more interesting game from the bland thing that the publishers thought would have more general appeal.

B>


I thank you for admitting that we can agree on a middle ground. If anything, I have decided to leave the numbers off future reviews. I will still use the system personally, but when I post the review the numbers will be absent. The entire reason that I stated using it is that I tend to be a black or white "10" or "1" kind of person, and I feel like that type of rating or review is the least helpful of all.

You did address what I was feeling, which is that without the numbers associated most of the people who have commented would have very little to complain about, unless they wanted to attack me for disliking a game that they enjoy. I still contend that it's all arbitrary, but I see that it's only a place for an easy argument that can be otherwise avoided.

Also, since you're so sure that this game is worthwhile with the variants, I'll give it another try. I'm a huge fan of abstracts, too. I certainly wouldn't want to have a great one sitting in my closet waiting to be traded off without ever exploring it's potential.
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Bruce Murphy
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I'm quite curious to hear how you fare with the daisy setup particularly and hope you update the review so I can see.

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Roger
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JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


In a comment to my review of Agricola I stated:

The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

It's flattering that you're displaying a little jealous towards my girlfriend, but it's also a little embarrassing. Ha ha.

Thanks for your input.




The problem with your system is that it is flawed, and as such your review is flawed and it distorts the rating of the game you review and mislead people who want to invest in the game.

The same problem occurred in your review of Agricola, a game that I don't like myself and score 6/10 (this to clarify that this is not an Abalone Fanboy response!).

Imagine you are a teacher and you are marking a student paper. There is three questions, each have been answered by the student to some degree of satisfaction against pre-set criteria. The student score 65% but then you think that for some reasons that nobody but you knows, he does not deserved this mark (maybe he has been naughty and got too cosy with your girlfriend ) so you decide to slash the mark in half!

But on what is this decision based? Either you have objective criteria other than those against which you have already marked the game or you need to include in the 100 marks a number of marks for your personal enjoyment of the game.

But you cannot in any case set up a marking system, and just plainly ignore the end results and modify it to make it fit your bias.

Actually, you can but then don't bother with the individual criteria, just say that well, you played Abalone, thought it was an interesting game but don't like it and subjectively mark it 3/10.

Another alternative is to give two marks, one for the game and one for how you feel about it.

That way people know where you come from and give due attention to your review.

~J



The difference in marking a students exams and rating a game, as I've explained multiple times, is that rating a game is entirely arbitrary. If I were grading a student's paper I am so confident that I wouldn't be judging his opinions as much as his correct responses.

What I'm saying here is that your critique of my rating system is just as flawed as my system, if there is a flaw in either. You don't like the system? Great. To say that it's wrong for me to analyse the game by any means or methods I see fit? Ridiculous.

I can't imagine how dull a life a person must lead to be so focused on how a random stranger half a world away feels.


you are missing the point... which is not that I don't like your rating system, but that is worthless, even by accepting it is arbitrary, as was demonstrated by other in the Agricola thread.

My own game reviews are as arbitrary as yours, because like you I assess a game againts various criteria which are not that dissimilar to yours, but I distinguish between what I feel about the game from the rating I applied to the different criteria. Your approach nullify your own rating.

As Bruce below above better puts it: "So your individual ratings are reasonable, the sum is not and your magic bonus is just an illustration of the disconnect."

And don't worry, that will not stop me sleeping! I have made my point and don't think I can add to it.

~J
 
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Justin Redmon
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Roger_Jay wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


In a comment to my review of Agricola I stated:

The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

It's flattering that you're displaying a little jealous towards my girlfriend, but it's also a little embarrassing. Ha ha.

Thanks for your input.




The problem with your system is that it is flawed, and as such your review is flawed and it distorts the rating of the game you review and mislead people who want to invest in the game.

The same problem occurred in your review of Agricola, a game that I don't like myself and score 6/10 (this to clarify that this is not an Abalone Fanboy response!).

Imagine you are a teacher and you are marking a student paper. There is three questions, each have been answered by the student to some degree of satisfaction against pre-set criteria. The student score 65% but then you think that for some reasons that nobody but you knows, he does not deserved this mark (maybe he has been naughty and got too cosy with your girlfriend ) so you decide to slash the mark in half!

But on what is this decision based? Either you have objective criteria other than those against which you have already marked the game or you need to include in the 100 marks a number of marks for your personal enjoyment of the game.

But you cannot in any case set up a marking system, and just plainly ignore the end results and modify it to make it fit your bias.

Actually, you can but then don't bother with the individual criteria, just say that well, you played Abalone, thought it was an interesting game but don't like it and subjectively mark it 3/10.

Another alternative is to give two marks, one for the game and one for how you feel about it.

That way people know where you come from and give due attention to your review.

~J



The difference in marking a students exams and rating a game, as I've explained multiple times, is that rating a game is entirely arbitrary. If I were grading a student's paper I am so confident that I wouldn't be judging his opinions as much as his correct responses.

What I'm saying here is that your critique of my rating system is just as flawed as my system, if there is a flaw in either. You don't like the system? Great. To say that it's wrong for me to analyse the game by any means or methods I see fit? Ridiculous.

I can't imagine how dull a life a person must lead to be so focused on how a random stranger half a world away feels.


you are missing the point... which is not that I don't like your rating system, but that is worthless, even by accepting it is arbitrary, as was demonstrated by other in the Agricola thread.

My own game reviews are as arbitrary as yours, because like you I assess a game againts various criteria which are not that dissimilar to yours, but I distinguish between what I feel about the game from the rating I applied to the different criteria. Your approach nullify your own rating.

As Bruce below above better puts it: "So your individual ratings are reasonable, the sum is not and your magic bonus is just an illustration of the disconnect."

And don't worry, that will not stop me sleeping! I have made my point and don't think I can add to it.

~J


Yet you keep making the same moot point again and again. It's okay, though. I've long ago accepted that opinions are like assholes, and the ones that you want to hear the least from you'll always end up hearing the most from. Ha ha! Good day.
 
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oh god this thread
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Roger_Jay wrote:
You really have a strange way of reviewing games.... (after that one)

To say that there is no replay value in Abalone is like saying that there is no replay value in Reversi.

I have played many games of Abalone and they rarely ended in stalemate. There is a lot of replayability and strategy in Abalone, you just did not bother finding out about them and base your judgment on hearsay.

As for you "malus" of 35, why bother rating different aspects of the game separately if it is to rate it again and differently at the end? It really does not make any sense.

Scoring of that review: 3, Malus -2: 1/10.

~J

PS: and having your girlfriend liking your review is a bit pathetic incongruous (that's the word I was looking for...)
Edit: fixed link


You Roger, are my new hero.
 
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