The BGG database: Using stats for selecting games.

I thought I'd start a blog about ways of using various stats and resources in the BGG database to select games. I feel the resources here on BGG are useful but many users likely under utilize them because the stats aren't always easily accessible especially for those that are new to the site. A lot of the usability and useful features of the site are somewhat hidden away and not as easily sortable as they could be. This blog will be made up of my own personal lists of the "best" games in various categories... all derived from looking at the info available here on BGG.
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Combined Ranks Top 250 games sorted by weight...

Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
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Here's the current weight ratings for each game/expansion in the Combined Ranks Top 250 games:

1.04 Loopin' Louie (1992)
1.12 Diamant (2005)
1.13 PitchCar (1995)
1.15 Apples to Apples (1999)
1.16 No Thanks! (2004)
1.16 Incan Gold (2006)
1.18 Can't Stop (1980)
1.24 Wits & Wagers (2005)
1.24 Category 5 (1994)
1.24 Time's Up! (1999)
1.25 Dixit (2008)
1.26 Crokinole (1867)
1.26 Ca$h 'n Gun$ (2005)
1.26 Guillotine (1998)
1.27 Liar's Dice (1987)
1.3 For Sale (1997)
1.31 Coloretto (2003)
1.31 Saboteur (2004)
1.34 The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow (2001)
1.35 TransAmerica (2001)
1.4 Werewolf (1986)
1.48 Balloon Cup (2003)
1.5 Hey, That's My Fish! (2003)
1.52 Lost Cities (1999)
1.59 Winner's Circle (2001)
1.61 The Resistance (2009)
1.62 Bang! (2002)
1.62 Cartagena (2000)
1.65 Survive: Escape from Atlantis! (1982)
1.66 Bohnanza (1997)
1.7 Carcassonne: The River (2001)
1.73 Forbidden Island (2010)
1.73 Wings of War: Famous Aces (2004)
1.74 Fairy Tale (2004)
1.76 Travel Blokus (2005)
1.79 Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age (2009)
1.8 Fearsome Floors (2003)
1.8 Blokus 3D (2003)
1.84 Blokus (2000)
1.85 The Downfall of Pompeii (2004)
1.86 Ticket to Ride (2004)
1.86 Zooloretto (2007)
1.88 Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 (2006)
1.92 Battle Line (2000)
1.92 Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers (2002)
1.92 Formula D (2008)
1.92 Cribbage (1630)
1.94 Carcassonne: Inns & Cathedrals (2002)
1.95 Ticket to Ride: Europe (2005)
1.95 Carcassonne (2000)

1.96 Ingenious (2004)
1.96 Carcassonne: The Castle (2003)
1.96 Formula Dé (1991)
1.97 Pirate's Cove (2002)
1.99 Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (2007)
2 Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries (2007)
2.01 Roma (2005)
2.03 Colossal Arena (1997)
2.05 Snow Tails (2008)
2.07 Citadels (2000)
2.07 Battle Cry (2000)
2.08 Carcassonne: Traders & Builders (2003)
2.09 Jambo (2004)
2.09 Finca (2009)
2.11 Tobago (2009)
2.12 Alhambra (2003)
2.12 Dream Factory (2000)
2.16 7 Wonders (2010)
2.17 Thebes (2007)
2.17 Blue Moon (2004)
2.17 Elfenland (1998)
2.18 Tales of the Arabian Nights (2009)
2.19 Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (Deluxe Edition) (2006)
2.19 Scrabble (1948)
2.2 Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (2002)
2.21 Mr. Jack (2006)
2.21 Nexus Ops (2005)
2.22 Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game (2007)
2.22 Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition (2006)
2.23 Betrayal at House on the Hill (2004)
2.24 Galaxy Trucker (2007)
2.24 Through the Desert (1998)
2.25 Memoir '44 (2004)
2.25 Summoner Wars (2009)
2.26 Carcassonne: The City (2004)
2.28 Thurn and Taxis (2006)
2.28 Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie (2004)
2.28 Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (2006)
2.29 Taluva (2006)
2.3 China (2005)
2.3 Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game (2010)
2.31 Blue Moon City (2006)
2.31 Medici (1995)
2.33 Pandemic (2008)
2.33 San Juan (2004)
2.34 Small World (2009)
2.35 Dominion (2008)
2.35 Modern Art (1992)
2.35 Vegas Showdown (2005)
2.37 Hive (2001)

2.37 Attika (2003)
2.38 The Settlers of Catan (1995)
2.38 Ra (1999)
2.38 Yspahan (2006)
2.38 Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game (2010)
2.38 The Settlers of Catan: 5-6 Player Extension (1996)
2.38 Hansa (2004)
2.4 Tichu (1991)
2.41 Chinatown (1999)
2.42 Dominion: Intrigue (2009)
2.42 Catan: Seafarers (1997)
2.43 Kingsburg (2007)
2.44 Cosmic Encounter (2008)
2.44 Thunderstone (2009)
2.46 Dominion: Seaside (2009)
2.46 Catan Card Game (1996)
2.47 RoboRally (1994)
2.47 Web of Power (2000)
2.47 Claustrophobia (2009)
2.48 Saint Petersburg (2004)
2.48 Dominion: Prosperity (2010)
2.48 Dominion: Alchemy (2010)
2.52 Poker (1810)
2.52 Alien Frontiers (2010)
2.53 Acquire (1962)
2.53 Shadows over Camelot (2005)
2.53 Santiago (2003)
2.54 Stone Age (2008)
2.54 Samurai (1998)
2.55 Pandemic: On the Brink (2009)
2.56 Vikings (2007)
2.56 Fresco (2010)
2.57 Union Pacific (1999)
2.57 Innovation (2010)
2.57 Mahjong (1850)
2.58 Ricochet Robots (1999)
2.58 Mykerinos (2006)
2.6 Lord of the Rings (2000)
2.6 Arkadia (2006)
2.63 Neuroshima Hex! (2006)
2.63 Runebound (Second Edition) (2005)
2.64 Hacienda (2005)
2.65 Warhammer: Invasion (2009)
2.68 Commands & Colors: Ancients (2006)
2.69 Space Hulk (third edition) (2009)
2.72 San Marco (2001)
2.73 Domaine (2003)
2.73 The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (2011)
2.74 DVONN (2001)
2.76 BattleLore (2006)

2.76 Primordial Soup (1997)
2.77 Colosseum (2007)
2.77 ZÈRTZ (2000)
2.78 Notre Dame (2007)
2.78 Cyclades (2009)
2.8 YINSH (2003)
2.8 Chicago Express (2008)
2.81 Vinci (1999)
2.82 Ghost Stories (2008)
2.82 Tinners' Trail (2008)
2.83 Space Alert (2008)
2.84 The Pillars of the Earth (2006)
2.84 London (2010)
2.87 Tikal (1999)
2.88 Endeavor (2009)
2.89 Glory to Rome (2005)
2.89 Dungeon Twister (2004)
2.9 Fury of Dracula (2006)
2.9 Torres (1999)
2.91 Catan: Cities & Knights (1998)
2.91 Caylus Magna Carta (2007)
2.91 Doom: The Boardgame (2004)
2.92 Tribune: Primus Inter Pares (2007)
2.94 Race for the Galaxy (2007)
2.96 Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm (2008)
2.98 Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! Russia 1941-1942 (2008)
3 Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium (2009)
3.01 Power Grid: Factory Manager (2009)
3.01 Antike (2005)
3.01 Hammer of the Scots (2002)
3.02 Merchants & Marauders (2010)
3.03 Railroad Tycoon (2005)
3.03 Louis XIV (2005)
3.05 Taj Mahal (2000)
3.06 Battlestar Galactica (2008)
3.06 Mansions of Madness (2011)
3.07 Chaos in the Old World (2009)
3.07 Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion (2009)
3.08 Amun-Re (2003)
3.09 Hansa Teutonica (2009)
3.1 Magic: The Gathering (1993)
3.11 El Grande (1995)
3.11 Genoa (2001)
3.14 Macao (2009)
3.15 Glenn Drover's Empires: The Age of Discovery (2007)
3.15 At the Gates of Loyang (2009)
3.15 Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (2006)
3.16 In the Year of the Dragon (2007)
3.18 1960: The Making of the President (2007)
3.2 Combat Commander: Europe (2006)

3.21 Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe (2006)
3.21 Carson City (2009)
3.25 Maharaja: Palace Building in India (2004)
3.27 Cuba (2007)
3.29 The Princes of Florence (2000)
3.3 Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2005)
3.3 La Città (2000)
3.3 Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War (2010)
3.31 Power Grid (2004)
3.32 Wallenstein (2002)
3.33 Puerto Rico (2002)
3.33 Twilight Struggle (2005)
3.35 Power Grid: France/Italy (2005)
3.35 Diplomacy (1959)
3.37 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (1996)
3.39 Shogun (2006)
3.39 Dune (1979)
3.41 Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion (2006)
3.42 A Game of Thrones (2003)
3.43 Arkham Horror (2005)
3.43 Goa (2004)
3.43 Tide of Iron (2007)
3.44 Troyes (2010)
3.45 Dungeon Lords (2009)
3.48 Agricola: Farmers of the Moor (2009)
3.49 Steam (2009)
3.55 Automobile (2009)
3.56 Tigris & Euphrates (1997)
3.57 Agricola (2007)
3.58 Imperial (2006)
3.58 Runewars (2010)
3.61 Struggle of Empires (2004)
3.66 Descent: The Road to Legend (2008)
3.68 Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game (2010)
3.68 Civilization (1980)
3.69 Reef Encounter (2004)
3.75 Le Havre (2008)
3.76 StarCraft: The Board Game (2007)
3.77 Chess (1475)
3.79 Paths of Glory (1999)
3.83 War of the Ring (2004)
3.84 Caylus (2005)
3.85 Brass (2007)
3.91 Dominant Species (2010)
3.94 Age of Steam (2002)
4 Go (-2200)
4.08 Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (2006)
4.11 Twilight Imperium (third edition) (2005)
4.13 Twilight Imperium (third edition): Shattered Empire (2006)
4.37 Die Macher (1986)


The average weight of all 250 games/expansions is 2.56

I know "weight" is a somewhat controversial topic on BGG as everyone has a differing view on what "weight" means. To some it's rules complexity... to others game length... to others it's depth of gameplay... and to some others (including me) it's a combination of several factors. There are several interpretations and some users even see the weight stat as useless as they feel that in too many cases it compares apples to oranges when comparing various games.

Personally I think it IS useful to have a weight stat for each game. It may not be a perfect stat but I like that you can have a single number that at least has some value in judging at a glance how deep/heavy/long/complex a game may be and that can be a helpful benefit in selecting games to purchase depending on who you game with.

Put it this way... if I was a total newbie to boardgaming and wanted to choose a few very simple games to play with other non-gamers just starting out in the hobby... having a simple stat that could help steer me away from complex games towards simpler games would be a useful feature.

I would say that would probably save some frustration and possibly speed up the "addiction" process of indoctrinating friends into the hobby ... by choosing games more suited to their level of patience and tolerance at an early stage.

Games in the top 20% of that list up above would likely be much better introductory games than games in the bottom 20% of the list. That's all the weight ranking needs to be really... a general reference rather than a precise concept. Much like ratings it's a general guideline to use as a filtering device rather than an exact concept written in stone.

Even for veteran users on BGG... I think a weight stat is a nice feature as it lets us instantly have a feel for how complex/deep a game "might" be without having to initially research deeply by reading reviews and watching videos trying to ascertain how well suited it might be for a possible purchase. We can always look into the games further but having an initial weight filter at least lets us have a quick sorting method to help weed through the tens of thousands of games on BGG.

So in short I think it's a very useful little feature on BGG that's "under publicized" to some degree. It would also be nice if the weight rating for each game would come up in the advanced search results as you can currently filter by weight using the search feature on BGG, but the actual weight rating for each game isn't actually shown in the search results.
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