Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And I thought I was a curmudgeon...

Check out the Knizia-hating Geeklist by BGG user MichaelB. (I don't usually read Geeklists any more but a comment linked to the list from Jim off of my Geekbuddy list.)

I know I just ranted on low-utility plastic figures. I think I had good cause.

Conversely, I wonder why this guy plays games at all.

1. He hates randomness (E&T and RA tile draws).
2. He hates Taj's bits: the plastic palaces and their colors. While color is entirely subjective, the palaces are simple and nicely done. Cheap? So he hates plastic.
3. On Amun-Re: "Everything is great in this game but it just feels mediocre... " You're calling the game great and mediocre in the same sentence?
4. Samurai is "not as fun as it should be". Huh?
5. Lost Cities is "too light even for a filler". Duh. I wonder what his idea of a filler is. And I do not think "rip-off" means what he thinks it means.
6. TtD has "silly components and stupid colors". I love the comment "what is a stupid color"?

Amusingly, his Top 10 include Age of Steam (random production rolls, very cheap bits), Conquest of the Empire (plastic bits that are no better than Taj Mahal's palaces), Age of Mythology (more plastic bits, and a mess of a combat system that's more random than tiles could ever be) and Mare Nostrum (simply a mess of a game due to the map balance and crazy trading).

I'm not picking on the guy. I'm just noting that despite nitpicking on certain games and game elements, I enjoy playing games and don't rag on them just for fun. Vasel knocked Farrell for this in one of his recent podcasts, which was completely unfair and unfounded. Farrell has a staggering 42 '10's and 48 '9's which is far more than Tom does, so saying "why does he even play games" is uninformed. I don't expect journalistic responsibility from the boys in Korea, but they could at least do a little checking instead of shooting from the hip based on the negative stuff written on games they like.


ekted said...

Agreed. I completely get Chris's attitude. Although I don't agree with many of his feelings on games, I love his perspective.

But I don't get that "random" Knizia rip. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, so I didn't jump in guns blazing. But I think many people don't understand WHY they don't like certain games, so they find something. These are the same people whose reviews and comments are worthless.

sodaklady said...

Nah, you're not a curmudgeon; you're persnickety. (I think that's worse) :)

It's just not worth responding to those kinds of comments, Rick. Somewhere along the line, they just don't "get it". Leave it alone and go play T & E.

Mikko Saari said...

Let me assure you there are sensible gamers in Finland, too. He's always struck me as a person I probably wouldn't enjoy playing games with. Haven't met him, though.

Ah, and according to this guy, Mare Nostrum unbalance is simply lack of skills. Also, he describes Age of Mythology bits as "really great".

Tom said...

I was referring to his blog, not his ratings at BGG. I read his blog, and rarely does he not nitpick a game apart - and that's what I was saying, I suppose.

I apologize if it came off overly negative...


Ryan Walberg said...

I got a good laugh off of that GeekList too. I think the guy got flamed plenty for it though.

ekted said...

"I apologize if it came off overly negative...


Your secret is safe with us.

Chris Farrell said...

Hi there Tom.

Just out of idle curiosity, I checked. Over the past 5 months, the games I've had overall positive things to say about on my blog have strongly outnumbered the things I've had bad stuff to say about. Which surprised me, actually, given the amount of crap I played towards the end of last year; it was the most bipolar Essen I can remember. This means that overall I did have more pans than top ratings, but that's hardly surprising given that doing one is a heck of a lot easier than the other and the barriers to entering the market are pretty low. Regardless, you know, I did pick 2005 as one of the best years on record for new games.

If by "picking apart" you mean you'd like me to stop actually analyzing games, and pointing out that most games have areas of strength and weakness, I'm afraid I must decline.

In fairness, this may be a generational thing. Despite what you might think, as an "older" gamer with lots of pressures on gaming time, I really don't have time for lousy games. If you think *I'm* critical, you should play with some of the people I game with, whose time is under even more pressure. I'm a positive softie compared to many of them.

Rick said...

Man Chris, we're thirtysomethings and you've got me feeling old. Sometimes it's easy to forget that Tom and Joe are still on the right side of 30. (And Steadman's already got a 3rd? 4th? kid newly delivered by the stork. Congratulations to Joe and Monica! A new wargamer to swell the ranks.)

Joe Gola said...

There is a certain point where I'll feel that a person is on such a different wavelength from myself that I can't really get annoyed by anything they say. They might as well be talking in a foreign language.

The '9' rating for Mare Nostrum was the tipoff.