The cat’s out of the bag and the winners have been announced! This article is more than a week overdue, but I’ve been on my first trip1 abroad since, you know… (In a sense that was the first time in a year and a half I wasn’t abroad. 🤷) So without further delays, here are the winners of Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres 2021! Spiel des Jahres 2021 MicroMacro: Crime City 1–4 players, 15–45 minutes, 10+ years, light (1. [Read More]
Spiel des Jahres 2021 predictions – Part 2!
It’s time! On Monday, July 19, we will finally know which games won Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres 2021. I really think this is an exciting year with six very strong nominees that all have a lot of arguments going for themselves (and a few against). Even after following the whole year releases very closely, I’m still torn as to who’d be the favourites to win. Algorithms won’t be much help here either – the sample is just too small. [Read More]
Spiel des Jahres 2021 nominations
Nominations are out! The jury selected a total of fifteen games for their longlist, eight for Spiel des Jahres and seven for Kennerspiel des Jahres. Out of these games, three games each are nominated for both awards and can hope to get the coveted meeple added to their covers on July 19. Let’s dive straight into the nominations and recommendations, before we discuss how good (or bad) my predictions were and if the Kennerspiel score is any good. [Read More]
Spiel des Jahres 2021 predictions
It’s our favourite time of the year again: time for Spiel des Jahres nominations! On Monday, May 17th, the jury will once again announce their longlist (aka recommendations) and shortlist (aka nominations) for Spiel des Jahres, Kennerspiel des Jahres and Kinderspiel des Jahres 2021. Just like last year, I’ll try to produce a list of the most promising games to land on the longlist for Spiel and Kennerspiel. (I’ll promise to get around to Kinderspiel predictions in a couple of years. [Read More]
What makes a Kennerspiel?
Spiel des Jahres 2021 nominations might still be a couple of months away, but I thought now is still a good time to return to one of the harder questions in my predictions post from last year: What exactly makes a game a Kennerspiel? By that I don’t mean the qualities that earn a game the award, but the distinction between the more casual Spiel and the more complex Kennerspiel categories. [Read More]
Reverse engineering the BoardGameGeek ranking – Part 2!
This is the second part of a series explaining and analysing the BoardGameGeek rankings. Read the first part here. Last time I left you with the nice result that BoardGameGeek (BGG) calculates its ranking by taking users' ratings for a particular game and then add around 1500-1600 dummy ratings of 5.5. This so-called geek score is used to sort the games from best (Gloomhaven) to worst (Tic-Tac-Toe). One detail however we touched on in passing, but did not resolve, is how that number of dummy ratings develop over time. [Read More]
Reverse engineering the BoardGameGeek ranking
TL;DR: BoardGameGeek calculates its ranking by adding around 1500-1600 dummy ratings of 5.5 to the regular users' ratings. They called it their geek score, statisticians call it a Bayesian average. We use this knowledge to calculate some alternative rankings. I often describe BoardGameGeek (BGG) as “the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for games”. Much like its cinematic counterpart, the biggest board game database not only collects all sorts of information obsessively, but also allows users to rate games on a scale from 1 (awful - defies game description) to 10 (outstanding - will always enjoy playing). [Read More]
And the Spiel des Jahres 2020 goes to… Part 4!
After months of waiting, we finally know what games won this year’s Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres! Without further ado, I’ll present the winners along with a comment on how the predictions went. Spiel des Jahres 2020 Pictures Reading through the comments on the interweb most players seem surprised about the winner of the red meeple. Not me! It was on my list from the very beginning as probably the strongest contender. [Read More]
And the Spiel des Jahres 2020 goes to… Part 3!
Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres winners are due to be announced on Monday, July 20. I promised last time I’d be back with more detailed analyses and predictions. So here we go! Out of hundreds of games published in 2019 and 2020, the jury selected a total of fifteen games they recommend, six of which they nominated for the two main awards. But who is the favourite? Who is the dark horse? [Read More]
And the Spiel des Jahres 2020 goes to… Part 2!
With Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres nominations out (setting aside the Kinderspiel again), it’s time to look at the nominees and to check how I did in my predictions. Nominated for Spiel des Jahres As every year, the jury nominated three games for the main award, one of which will receive the red meeple in July. In addition to that, there are six games the jury recommends. Do these games match the criteria I stipulated last time? [Read More]