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]

And the Spiel des Jahres 2020 goes to…

For the impatient: If you don’t care about the analysis of previous winners and all you’re interested in are the candidates for this year’s awards, jump straight to the list… It’s that time of year again when the whole board game scene takes a deep look into their crystal balls: On Monday, May 18, the jury Spiel des Jahres will announce the nominees for the game of the year award in Germany. [Read More]