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Best strategy board games by number of players

Each time I host a gaming session I am wondering which game fits best with the number of players present. I wanted to do some research on boardgamegeek and make a list to help myself pick the right games. Then I thought I could also just put in a bit more effort and publish some lists for those of you who feel the same.

Best strategy board games of the top 50 games on boardgamegeek

Two players
Three players
Four players
Five players
Six players

Interesting facts and figures

Number of games  in top 50  Average   BGG rank Average playing time in min Average weight

Average weight/   playing time

Two players 6 21 93 3,23 4,81
Three players 11 24 98 3,26 4,51
Four players 25 24 98 3,31 3,66
Five players 6 36 98 3,12 3,30
Six players 2 32 195 3,9 2,00
Average 116 3,36 3,66

Conclusions

By far most strategy board games in the top 50 on boardgamegeek play best with four players, followed by three players.

The games that play best with fewer players tend to have a better ranking on boardgamegeek.

The average playing time is surprisingly consistent among the games that play best with two to five players, namely around 98 minutes. Only the two six player games have a much longer playing time.

The same holds true for the game weight. The average game weight among the games that play best with two to five players is around 3,23. The two six player games are significantly heavier.

The fewer players the better the ratio of game weight to playing time. Three out the six games that play best with two players are two player games only. Also the Boardgamegeek rankings are best for the two player games. Overall it seems to me that the demand of two player strategy games is underserved. So if you are wondering what kind of strategy game you want to design or publish, feel free to get inspired by these numbers 😉

The next graphs are a bit geeky. At the end of this blog post you find the very best strategy board games by number of players according to BGG rank.

Correlation between weight and BGG rank

The correlation between weight and Boardgamegeek rank among the top 50 strategy board games is -0.33. This means that there is a slight tendency that higher ranked strategy board games are heavier.

Best strategy board games

Y-axis: weight (from BGG) X-axis: BGG rank

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Correlation between playing time and BGG rank

The correlation between weight and Boardgamegeek rank among the top 50 strategy board games is -0.44. This means that there is a tendency that higher ranked strategy board games have a higher playing time.

Best strategy board games

Y-axis: playing time in min X-axis: BGG rank

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Correlation between weight to playing time ratio and BGG rank

The correlation between weight to playing time ratio and Boardgamegeek rank among the top 50 strategy board games is 0.11. This means that there is a very slight tendency that higher ranked strategy board games have a higher ratio of weight to playing time. I expected the tendency to be much stronger. I guess this tendency is much stronger if we compute the correlation between the ratio of weight to playing time with sales numbers rather than boardgamegeek rank. What do you think?

Best strategy board games

Y-axis: weight to playing time ratio X-axis: BGG rank

 

Best strategy board games by boardgamegeek rank and number of players

Best strategy board games

Twilight Struggle, best two player strategy board game

Best strategy board games

Through the ages, best three player strategy board game

Best strategy board games

Pandemic Legacy, best four player strategy board game

Best strategy board games

Power Grid, best five player strategy board game

Best strategy board games

Twilight Imperium, best strategy board game for six players

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