This soon turned in to a two horse race between the two most prolific designers in the top 250. I am sure most of you can guess who the other designer was. Martin Wallace has five designs in the top 50, nine altogether in the top 100 and twelve overall in the top 250. It is this toploading of highly rated games which won out over the designer in second place, who has more games rated in this contest but not as highly rated as the best of Wallace's designs. Starting with Brass at number 8 as his top rated game. The railway trilogy of Steam, Age of Steam and Railroad Tycoon are also in the top 50 and to prove that he still has it a Few Acres of Snow has just hit the fifty spot. With no signs of slowing down it looks like Martin Wallace will be the designer of choice for BGG for some time to come.
Those of you who did not guess who was going to be in second place please go to the back of the class. Dr Knizia has a whopping seventeen titles in the top 250. The bad news is that his newest title in the top one hundred is Amun-Re from 2003 and the other four titles showing (Tigris & Euphrates, Ra, Samurai and Battleline) are all now more than ten years old. Classic designs with unrivalled staying power in depth. I think we should all ask him very nicely to start putting out some gamers games again.
No one else had even half the number of points of our top two.
Shining star of the FFG stable of designers and holding four designs in the top 100 and six altogether in the top 250. Sid Meier's Civilization has proven to be a big hit computer game conversion, Mr Wilson also holds credits for Arkham Horror, Descent, A Game of Thrones, Cosmic Encounter and Fury of Dracula. Putting story telling together with interlocking mechanics and deep board gaming experiences. The hits are huge hits when he gets it right.
Part of the American assault with a series of collaborations with FFG colleagues Corey Konieczka weighs in with three of the top rated games of recent years. Providing BSG at number 18 as his top game with Runewars and Mansions of Madness also in the top 100. Embodying the FFG reputation of heavy games with strong themes he has also lent his hand to Starcraft, Middle Earth Quest and Tide of Iron, throwing bits of plastic and thick rulebooks around with abandon. Come for the theme, stay for the day.
If it is not broken and is making lots of money then don't fix it. No games in the top 50 but three versions of Ticket to Ride in the top 100 and two SdJ under his belt I am pretty sure he is not too fussed. He has designed a shedload of games including the '10 Days' series and 18xx variants but they did not make the top 250. Union Pacific and San Marco did however alongside the four (4) versions of TTR. Not a one trick pony but that pony appears to able to fly, speak twenty languages and access our hearts and wallets at will.
One more of the FFG stars. The man behind Twilight Imperium and six other games in the top 250. Three of his collaborations with Corey Knieczka are rated and he also found time to work with Kevin Wilson on AGoT. The most prolific designer on the list outside the top two and another follower of the FFG trend of strong theme with deep mechanics.
If you are going to make in to the top ten with only four games then they will all be top 100 quality, only one other person managed to do it. Through the Ages is currently the second rated game on BGG, joined by Dungeon Lords, Space Alert and Galaxy Trucker. Always exploring new areas and themes and tying them to Euro sensibilities to create a unique flavour. You are never quite sure what to expect next but you know he is worth watching.
The king of the board gaming duet. All his seven games in the top 250 are collaborations but with different design partners. El Grande is at number 12 and he also has Princes of Florence in the top 50. Apparently he was the first designer to put a victory point track around a board, his influence is vast.
C&C: Ancients, Memoir '44 and Battlelore are all in the top 100. From the Alan Moon school of not breaking designs which work. Adapting the successful Commands and Colours system with great effect. The 2010 iteration, C&C: Napoleonics, made the top 250 as well. Inspiring light wargamers everywhere for a decade now.
The other designer to make the top ten with only four eligible games. Agricola and Le Havre are habitual top ten botherers. At the Gates of Loyang and Bohnanza also made the cut. Can he repeat the top ten magic with future releases? One of only two designers with two games in the top ten, his two even have different names.
The rondel master. Imperial, Navegador and Imperial 2030 all break the top 100 and Antike just makes the cut too. Still finding ways to make the rondel mechanic feel fresh but how often can the same trick be repeated?
His first game was released in 2005 and seems to have published an extraordinary number of varied games in the past two years. No games in the top 80 but four in the top 125. We seem to like his games but not love them. In the Year of the Dragon, Notre Dame, Die Burgen von Burgund, Macao and Luna all feature. Will his games make the jump from respected to adored?
If you are going to collaborate with someone then the top ranked designer on BGG seems like a good choice. Then you may as well chuck your name on the front of your biggest solo success just so everyone knows who you are. Railroad Tycoon, Railways of the World and Glenn Drover's (duh) Empires: The Age of Discovery. Three (two?) games, three top 100 hits. Bosh.
I think I will get myself known for the Combat Commander series of war games and then come along and wow the world with the second rated board game released in the past two years. That's how to make a splash. The Combat Commander games alone would have had him just outside the top twenty designers, that was not good enough so he designed Dominant Species, our number 17 game. Nice.
Known for his work in card games such as Game of Thrones and Warhammer Invasion. Mr Lang cracks the top 50 with Chaos in the Old World, he also worked on the top 100 rated Deluxe version of LoTR: Confrontation. Shows versatility and and an ability to tie established settings to mechanics in a unique way.
The designer of the GIPF series of abstract games, four of which make the top 250 but not GIPF itself. DVONN, YINSH, TZAAR and ZERTZ. He is like the anti-FFG and if their beams ever cross then BGG will implode.
The designer of the game so good they rated it twice. Dominion and Dominion:Intrigue both sit in the top ten and trust me I am not getting into that argument. The gaming phenomenom of the past three years and still producing hugely popular expansions. More of his games are coming to market and with his name they are sure to judged widely and publicly.
Well known for designing the long standing BGG top ranked game, Puerto Rico, he also has two SdJ awards to his name. Neither of which were for Puerto Rico. One of those winners, Thurn and Taxis, join PR and the similarly themed card game, San Juan, in the top 250. The other SdJ winner is Manhattan in case you did not know. I am sure you did.
Made the top twenty due to two hugely successful designs with Wolfgang Kramer, El Grande and Princes of Florence which are rated at 12 and 22 on BGG respectively. No other designs in the top 500. Still looking to rediscover the old magic.
Another game so good they rated it twice. I suppose if I had paid an arm and a leg for the War of the Ring Collector's Edition I might want it to have its own entry. With the two versions of the game rated at 15 and 23 the design team make the top 20 designers on BGG. I am still not getting into this argument.
The design team from Splotter Spellen with three solid entries in the top 250; Antiquity, Indonesia and Roads and Boats. Putting out one solid game every year or so and the reprint of Antiquity can not have done its ranking any harm.
The designer of Twilight Struggle, the top ranked game on BGG, and another top 50 hit in 1960:The Making of the President. Still to provide the same success with non-two player games but then I guess he can just walk around with an 'I am awesome' t-shirt on and cock a snoop at the world seeing as he is the designer of Twilight Struggle, the top ranked game on BGG.
Designer of the top 50 game Goa as well as Genoa, Louis XIV and Jambo which all made the top 250. Has been producing solid games for over a decade including working with a who's who of German games companies.
Designed Shogun, which is number 36 in the BGG rankings and won the Golden Geek Game of the Year 2007 and is a reimplimentation of Wallenstien which ranks at 72. Also won the SdJ in 2003 with Alhambra which is so good it made the top 250 and then made the top 250 again in a bigger box. Apart from those two games he has also designed a collection of top 1000 hits.
No games in the top 100 but four in the top 250. Three collaborations with Wolfgang Kramer; Maharaja, Torres and Tikal. Also the 102 ranked Vikings which he sole designed. He has two SdJ and he may also be a vampire as no images appear to exist of him. Also eight more designs in the top 1000 games. Perhaps he should put them in a bigger box, collector's edition with a retheme and they might crack the top 250. I did say I was staying away from that didn't I?