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Popular Bias Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Bias mechanic.
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Playtesting for the First Time [Bag-o-loot]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Does the theme change how you play? Like| 6 comments | [+]
BGASome rating system questions Like| 3 comments | [+]
ReviewFree vs. Paid Reviews Like| 7 comments | [+]
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I'm still waiting on my copy of #Dune: Imperium to be delivered from Fed Ex Limbo, so we played a 4p game of it on TTS. I'm biased toward most deck builders already, but wow, I really enjoyed my first play. 

Also, got in some plays of #Carpe Diem the new edition from Ravensburger. Classic, clean artwork and graphic design. Much lighter in depth than Trajan or Forum Trajanum, right in my wheelhouse. My wife's verdict this weekend? Thumbs up, wants to keep playing it. 


I think BGA's rankings are probably more reflective of how games really rank out in today's crowded field because you dont have as meany dead accounts and outdated ratings as you do on BGG, but that's just speculation because there are so fewer ratings here per game.  Also, perhaps BGA is not as biased toward heavy games, so medium weight games do better comparatively?

Played this one on TTS with my group a few weeks ago.  (Someone in our group owns a copy.) 

I think it's my favourite of his games with #On Mars being up there too.  

The flow and the things you do made more sense than some of his other games that have tacked on complexity just for the sake of it.  (Which I understand is sort of the point of his games but for some of them it was a bit ridiculous. Ahem, #Lisboa

Of course I might be a bit biased since I work in a Kanban like environment so it made a lot more sense to me right off the bat.

Although its terribly old, I think #Bazaar is a superior version of Splendor, but that could just be my childhood bias speaking

My first thought was #Res Arcana so I'm glad to see it's inclusion in this video. Also agree with them with #Spirit Island and #PARKS. Also in agreement with you Phil about #Concordia though I will say I'm a bit biased with all of these as I've only played all except PARKS at a max player count of 2 lol.

So many games here that I'd love to try (and in the case of #Viticulture: Essential Edition, will be trying shortly :D)

Almost added #Tapestry to my GameNerdz hold with my giveaway win when it was the deal of the day a couple days ago, but ultimately didn't because it seems to have a lot of negative reviews and I couldn't tell if they were just people complaining or legit concerns. Any thoughts on this ?

Interesting that the top of the reddit and BGG list are pretty similar while BGA is very different.  I'm assuming that it's because its a different and newer community.  BGG has always been biased towards the heavy games. 

Interesting list. I take it you like mid weight euro engine builders.....LOL

I do think that it is interesting how much you talk about your recency bias, but when I look at your rankings there is only one "new" game on there. And, there are still old stalwarts like #The Castles of Burgundy from 2011,,,,, as well as some other "old" stuff. The reason I think that is interesting, when I see peoples recency bias, they also often have a "cult of the new" bias. I don't see that as much at work here.

I thank each and every one of you who has responded thus far. But, as reminded me yesterday, I asked for your viewpoints without giving ya'll mine. So, I will do so here, now. But, before I give you my answer, I do want to give just a little bit of background.

I am a person who read a LOT growing up. In fact I averaged over well over 200 full length books a year until 2016, which was the year that my son was born. Something I always found very interesting, and even important, in books was to determine the worldview of the author. For me, analyzing the plot, the rising crescendo, the denouement, the whole fabric of the book is and was fascinating. I loved looking at the little literary devices that the author chose to use. But, for me, the most interesting part of reading was trying to determine what the worldview of the author was when he/she wrote the book. Reading does broaden one's horizon, in some very potentially helpful ways. And, it can change the way one thinks. I however have found that if one can identify the worldview, that does tend to armor you a bit against bad worldviews. I think most of us can do this to some point. For example, in my post I mentioned Mein Kampf which is Hitler's famous book wherein he lays out his views on all sorts of stuff. I will further mention The Communist Mannifesto the worldview in this book is super obvious. And, I think that most people with the bare modicum of logical thinking and historical knowledge won't have a problem reading it, they won't be swayed by it. They are aware of the worldview, usually before they even go and read it.

Why do I spend this time talking about books in a post about games? It is because I find many similarities between books and games. I do find that games are often, not always, expressions of a small part of the designers worldview. I think that it is a much more limited medium, but, in great games, there is often some sort of authorial intent behind the game. Again, this is a more limited medium than books, but, it is interesting to think of the authorial biases going into the design. If nothing else, even in the simplest games, there is interesting ideas of what the designer thinks of fun.


Why do I spend this time on this preamble? It is to explain why I really cannot seperate the art from the artist. I honestly don't believe that there is such a thing as a neutral medium. Any medium in which one communicates to another, be it books, or speech, or visual arts, or films, or etc.... is inherently subject to the biases and views of the communicator. Even if they are just "writing books for the money" the books that they write do give interesting messages about what they believe the masses want. The same goes for movies, or pictures, or, ..... Games.


So, if I cannot, or at the least find it very difficult to, seperate the art from the artist, what is my responsiblity in choosing where to spend my time and money when it comes to games?

  • I agree with that being informed is important. I think it is ok to call out bad stuff. I think it is even important to call out bad stuff. But, far more people pass judgment without understanding, or desiring to understand the context.
  • I will, almost necessarily, at a minimum, engage with people I disagree with in any medium I consume. This includes games. Of course, some games, were designed by people who's actions or worldviews whose views are actually repellent. I will  not find, I doubt that you will, find a game, or any other medium, whose creator(s) line up with your worldview.
  • G.K. Chesterton reminded us that "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." I do think that it is ok to draw lines and say that "everything on that side of the line, is something I won't touch." I don't think it is a problem to see cultural appropriation in Tascini's game, for example, and decide that you won't devote time or money to them. I, for example, have decided not to play games by Harry Wu A.K.A. John Bohrer because of the generally despicably way he has treated everybody in the game design industry who has worked with him. It is almost as if he really does see himself as adopting the worldview portrayed in one of his 18xx games.
  • Actively reject the bad. For instance, if you are playing a game by Eklund and you see racism, or you see praises for colonialism, reject it. Reject it personally, if you are playing with someone, point out the problem and dialog with it.
  • I think it disengenious to have huge problems with games that glorify colonial conquest, for example. But, then love a good fantastical or sci-fi 4x game. I recognize that there are some differences, in that in the colonial conquest one, real people were, and continue to be affected. That being said. Both games are representing and fostering the same worldview. I believe that you have a equal responsibilty to call out the problematic issues with the scifi game as with the historical game.


Do I think there is space for morally repungant games in my collection. I think, for me, yes. I cannot answer that question for you. I remember the first time that I toured the holocaust museum in Washington D.C. My overwhelming feeling was that real people, ordinary people, were the perpetrators of this atrocity. Ordinary people, conservative Christians, looked the other way during Hitler's rise to power, and they even enabled him, because he did institute effective economic reform. I was privilaged to speak with a survivor or Auschwitze one time. The stories he told were made even more chilling when I remembered that the horrors he saw and experienced were perpetrated by humans who were "merely doing their job." I do believe that this lesson is important. I don't think we are in some sort of special place in human history. I don't think that we are really at a higher plane than our slave owning ancestors, or our ancestors that enjoyed public executions, or our ancestors who viewed torture as the most expedient ways of arriving at the truth. I believe that when we lose sight of this fact. When we lose sight that we, as humans, are prone to ignore the suffering we are inflicting on others in the pursuit of our own good. For me, if I play a game that I violently disagree with, it does do a valuable service reminding me, that real humans perpetrated the problems I have with the games. We are often reminded that the slave trade was trade in humans. This is a lesson we dare not forget. But, neither dare we forget that this trade in humans was, in fact, perpetrated by humans. And, that, even people who rejected the slave trade, supported it by their tastes for commodities produced by slave trade. So, to the extant that games require me to examine my position, jostle my mind and remind me of a blind spot that I might have, than these games with problematic games can serve as a valuable part of my collection.

That being said, I would hesitate to play a game with problematic issues with, slavery for example, with someone whose life has personally been negatively affected by slavery or the after effects. I however would play it with someone who might be turning a blind eye to the after affects, and engage with them about it afterwards, to try to get them to see if they have some sort of complicity.

, I just joined Boardgameatlas, so I am just seeing your post now. I may not be qualified to answer your questions as I am in the biased position of the game designer, but I'll give it a go! I would say that For Glory is a tactical combat game with a deck-building mechanic. The meat and potatoes of the game is in the arena battles, where you and your opponent take turns attacking with the gladiators that you have played on previous turns. You also can play one "tactic" card from your hand each time you attack. You basically want to play every card first, and attack with every gladiator first, but you can only choose one of each on every turn. My goal was to create a card game where it not only matters which cards you play, but also when and how you choose to use them. I don't feel qualified at all to answer whether the gameplay is immersive (because of my bias), but I tried my best to make it so. There are now a few reviews on Youtube, and more to come since we released the game earlier this month.

Great analysis Chris. Thanks for doing all this work. I too think the pandemic put a damper on a lot of the more recent games. 

Do you think that the progression of board gaming as a hobby has caused the recency bias?

In general terms a board game produced today has higher quality components, high quality rulebooks, and just a generally high level of production. Also years of refinement in mechanics and Automa development have really helped newer games. I think these are all factors as to why newer games are pushing older ones down. 

Good thoughts.  I don't do Kickstarter, but I wonder if that factors into the equation...seems like people who kickstart a game are already pre-invested, and because of their investment tend to force themselves to like a game more.  If the game goes to retail then those who pay less may not be as biased?

The only reason I look for popular games is because with limited shelf space and limited opportunity to play, I like to cycle through games - play them a few times, sell them, buy more.  If I buy obscure games then I can't resell them for a decent price.  Luckily, many "popular" games happen to be good!

Just based on a cursory glance it seems like #The King's Dilemma would be right in my wheel house.  Bias, traitor, voting, yes please.