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Ranking BGG Games By Happiness
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Many years ago now, I realized that there was a problem with 5 & 10 lists - they favor short games. I'd actually spent more _time_ playing longer games 2-3 times - but those didn't show up, and For Sale did. But just length favored games I enjoyed less, but spent a lot of time playing once during the year.

So I created the Happiness metric - (Rating-5) * Times Played * Game Length. But for some reason, I never thought about the fact that it could be applied to BGG.

So I looked through the top 50 ranked games and top 50 played games on BGG, to find (I believe) the twenty-five games providing the most happiness to BGG users. There are problems with the methodology - more of the plays probably come from those with ratings _above_ the average rating, than from those with an average rating, for instance - but I think it's an interesting list, particularly for how it balances the ratings, the number of plays, and the game length; the ratings run from 7.29 to 8.45, the number of plays from 3704 to 76218, and the game length from 20 minutes to six hours.

Without further ado...
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1. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 11,283,156
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2. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 11,283,063

Kinda amazing to see that - at the time I ran these numbers - the difference in total happiness was less than 100. Agricola is now pulling away; this won't continue to be so close. But I think it's fun that I took this snapshot at approximately the point that this crossover occured.
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3. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:161]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 10,249,410

While long out of the top 10 rankings, Settlers remains extremely popular and very frequently played - I'd guess it's the second most frequently played game on this list by those not on BGG...
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 9,583,142
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 7,613,184
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6. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:135] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 6,643,222

Wow - most of the games on this list came as little surprise, but I never would have guessed that Arkham Horror would make the list - _particularly_ in the #6 slot.
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7. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:23]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 6,617,837

(Total Personal Happiness: 2,763)
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8. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 6,126,492
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9. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 5,681,113
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10. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:84]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 4,885,101
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11. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:33]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 4,549,775
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12. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:124]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,973,651

One thing I like about this measure is that it's agnostic; any game can do well. Though I am curious how now-random sampling affects the results; perhaps wargames would dominate the list if more wargamers recorded their plays...
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13. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:160]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,538,572

Total Happiness for San Juan + Race for the Galaxy is still less than the total Happiness for Puerto Rico, note...
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14. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:94]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,534,727
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15. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:122]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,490,784
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16. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:260]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,367,407
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17. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:31]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,333,840
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18. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:52]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,242,322
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19. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:63]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,115,324

Perhaps given the Tichu addiction of certain admins, the rankings will now be changed to be calculated on Happiness...
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20. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:173]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 3,001,811
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21. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:34]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 2,691,538
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22. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:215]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 2,683,157
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23. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:53]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 2,634,509
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24. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:212]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 2,627,145
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25. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:253]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Total Happiness: 2,617,547
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