Welcome to the GaGa Zone: Wargames with High Fanboy bases and lots of LUST: 2nd Golden Age of Wargaming Edition
David Dockter
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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:

WW2 24
WW1/Between the Wars 5
Modern 5
Ancients 4
NAP 3
Future/Fantasy 2
ACW 0!
Other (Gunpowder/Middle Ages) 7

The 50 by scale:

Strategic & Strat/op: 21
Tactical: 10
Operational: 9
Power politics/COIN: 4
Grand tactical: 3
Air/Naval: 3

The 50 by game co:

GMT: 28!
MMP: 5
Clash of Arms: 4
Compass: 2
Decision: 2
Academy: 2
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.
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1. Board Game: Enemy Action: Ardennes added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 18:06:15
2. Board Game: Case Blue added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:09:40
3. Board Game: Triumph & Tragedy added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:10:15
4. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:11:59
5. Board Game: The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:11:21
6. Board Game: RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:36:39
7. Board Game: Panzer (second edition) added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:36:53
8. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:13:36
9. Board Game: Julius Caesar added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:12:23
10. Board Game: Churchill added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:13:00
11. Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:37:17
12. Board Game: La Bataille de la Moscowa (third edition) added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:14:29
13. Board Game: Fields of Fire added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:37:29
14. Board Game: Liberty Roads added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:14:58
15. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:15:37
16. Board Game: Fire in the Lake added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:16:04
17. Board Game: Here I Stand added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:16:24
18. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:17:51
19. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:17:22
20. Board Game: Whistling Death added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:37:49
21. Board Game: Twilight Struggle added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:16:41
22. Board Game: Next War: Taiwan added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:18:26
23. Board Game: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:18:40
24. Board Game: The Battle for Normandy added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:38:07
25. Board Game: Amateurs to Arms! added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:19:17
27. Board Game: Navajo Wars added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:20:27
28. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:20:14
29. Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:19:55
30. Board Game: Genesis: Empires and Kingdoms of the Ancient Middle East added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:20:48
31. Board Game: Ottoman Sunset added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:52:03
32. Board Game: Triumph of Chaos added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:21:25
33. Board Game: A World at War added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:38:27
34. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 15:38:53
35. Board Game: 1914: Twilight in the East added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:21:51
36. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:22:06
37. Board Game: Strike of the Eagle added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:22:19
38. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:22:42
39. Board Game: Under the Lily Banners added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:23:48
40. Board Game: Washington's War added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:24:04
41. Board Game: It Never Snows added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:24:14
42. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:23:20
43. Board Game: Silent War added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:24:28
44. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:24:41
45. Board Game: Ardennes '44 added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:24:54
46. Board Game: Empire of the Sun added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:25:35
47. Board Game: Pursuit of Glory added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:26:18
48. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:25:47
49. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:26:35
50. Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War added by Herr Dr on 2015-10-25 09:27:27
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