Welcome to the GaGa Zone: Wargames with High Fanboy bases and lots of LUST: 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming Edition
- David Dockter(Herr Dr)United States
A few years ago, I performed an analysis regarding Lust Factor (# of people want the game in trade/# of people wanting to trade the game). List is here: Lust. Top 266 Wargame Analysis. (I flipped the stat around on that list; have corrected it here) .
Basically, I believe that LUST is probably the key stat (people voting with their ownership of games) - along with FAN BOY (# of fans per owners) that a game attracts. Raw ratings (BGG's 1 to 10) have issues commonly cited not only with BGG, but with any crowd sourced review website; they are directional only (I find the associated comments much more helpful).
This weekend, after pushing blocks on Strike of the Eagle, I got a bug to examine games published in the 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming (specifically, in the last dozen years) to get a feel where the hobby has been heading by taking a look at the games that drive us GaGa.
I sorted thru games with at least 300 owners. The ranking is a simple average of where the game ranked against the other 49 games in terms of fanboy and lust. Case Blue originally came in at the top the ratings, so, it's probably not that bad of a methodology for what has grabbed warmers this last dozen years I then thought I'd take another look to see if I had missed anything. I had. Behold the top of the GaGa Zone currently: Enemy Action: Ardennes
I'm sure I missed some others (I don't have access to the BGG database, just the limited advanced search function - and my staff is overworked - point them out and I'll add them when I eventually do an update). One thing the 50 titles reveals is a decent (not complete) picture of what games have seized wargamers over the last 12 years. I've played many of them and the quality of games seems to be improving. Of course, there are issues with the data: at the extremes, lust is messed up (too few/too many produced), cult of the new (eegads), etc.
Another issue is that the GaGa ranking, OF COURSE, only reflects the GaGa within the niche the game found or is aimed at. For example, the niche for CASE BLUE is smaller than the niche for Twilight Struggle - tighter - and hence gets an artificial pump.
And another issue is where a game is in the GaGa cycle: just published and FLAMIN HOT (yes, CULT OF THE NEW ( Death to the Cult of the New: Top 100 wargames without grade inflation ) very present here - almost a 50% correlation with year published - the newer the game, the higher the GaGa factor), midlife blaze or older ember phase.
As an aside, the Class of 2005 led the way (with 6 titles). However, I suspect the class of 2015 may overtake it in a few years: it's been a great year for new war-games! Four 2015 titles already on the list and W1815 and The U.S. Civil War will join VERY shortly.
Somethings never change: SIX new WW2 tactical systems/series in the last dozen years.
The 50 by subject:
WW1/Between the Wars 5
Other (Gunpowder/Middle Ages) 7
The 50 by scale:
Strategic & Strat/op: 21
Power politics/COIN: 4
Grand tactical: 3
The 50 by game co:
Clash of Arms: 4
Columbia, Worthington, Sexism, Simmons, VPG, LLP and FFG all 1
13 heavy weights/monsters: THIS is good.
Decent trend to introduce more politics/friction/interactivity/sh*happens into games, better bits, MORE flavor (BELOVED CHROME!)...and some really decent multiplayer games: let's hope the next dozen years are as good.
lots of recent action in the middle of the chart
I'll try to keep the list updated - and, since this is v1.0, I'll tighten up the requirements for making the list in the future and add a couple of notable exceptions I missed.
- [+] Dice rolls