Over the weekend, Summoner Wars Master Set climbed into the top 100 of BoardGameGeek.com's rankings list. Having already been #1 in BoardGameGeek's customizable game rankings for months, the game is finally rising towards the top of the overall rankings.
The rankings are a conglomeration of all user ratings for the site. Users rate games on a 1-10 scale based on how much they like and want to play the games. The site does not use only a basic average of user ratings, but takes the average user rating for a game and regresses it towards the average of all game ratings, to keep new or unpopular games from climbing too high too quickly. As a game gets more and more users rating it, its Average Rating is considered more and more reliable and the game's final Geek Rating (which is used for the rankings) becomes closer and closer to the game's Average Rating.
For example, Summoner Wars Master Set's Average Rating by users is 8.42. This is extremely high, and if the Master Set sustained this Average Rating with a couple thousand more ratings, it would be one of BoardGameGeek's top 5 games. However, as of this writing, the Master Set is still under 700 total ratings, so BoardGameGeek automatically regresses its Geek Rating to 7.32, putting it at #100 in the rankings. Most games in the top 20 have over 5000 total ratings. One exception would be the recent release Eclipse, which has an 8.44 Average Rating with about 2300 ratings and comes in ranked at #7. Projecting into the future, Summoner Wars could easily have a similar ranking down the road as the game continues to grow.
One factor that hurts Summoner Wars is that an extremely high proportion of BoardGameGeek users prefer euro-style games which de-emphasize direct conflict and theme while emphasizing resource management and action selection. It's not that BGG users rate Summoner Wars low; as noted above, almost anyone on BGG who has played the game loves it (and indeed the #1 ranked game on the site, Twilight Struggle, is as much wargame as it is eurogame). However, the average BGG user is less likely to have tried Summoner Wars compared to a new euro-style release.
The other factor that hurts Summoner Wars in the rankings is that the two Starter Sets and the Master Set are listed separately from a generic Summoner Wars entry, so the ratings are split, lowering the total number of ratings for any one entry. If you haven't rated Summoner Wars under the Master Set entry, I recommend visiting the Master Set's entry on BoardGameGeek and adding your rating for the game.
Congrats to Colby for reaching the top 100. We're sure it's only the beginning of the game's climb. We look forward to tracking Summoner Wars' rise through the top 100 in the future.